Will Intel crush AMD next year?

Will Intel crush AMD next year?

Summary: Intel honcho and head of the Digital Enterprise Group Pat Gelsinger made some promises or at least bold statements (with mentioning rival AMD by name) at IDF this week. He said that Intel would "unquestionably be the performance per watt leader in 2006." He also said, "We [Intel] will have absolute leadership in the market next year." It will take more than words for Intel to slow down AMD...

SHARE:
TOPICS: Intel
62

Intel honcho and head of the Digital Enterprise Group Pat Gelsinger made some promises or at least bold statements (with mentioning rival AMD by name) at IDF this week. He said that Intel would "unquestionably be the performance per watt leader in 2006." He also said, "We [Intel] will have absolute leadership in the market next year."

I asked Nathan Brookwood of Insight 64 whether Gelsinger's prediction was on the mark. "It's a bit early to say whether Intel will close the gap with AMD. Today Intel is at a disadvantage in performance per watt, but it could surpass AMD at the end of next with the new generation of processors (see the chart below from Intel)."

idfspecInt.jpg

It's not clear how Gelsinger and Intel will measure "absolute leadership." It can't be just revenue or overall share. That's already a no contest. How about technical leadership and momentum?

On the performance front, AMD's Opterons have an advantage that Intel can't easily overcome. Unlike AMD's dual core processors, Intel's forthcoming processors don't have an integrated, on-board memory controller, which increases performance. With memory closer to the processor, speeds can increase by around 10 percent for a uniprocessor system and up to 50 percent on a two-processor system. Users who need the maximum performance will still look to AMD, despite a massive marketing campaigns that Intel will launch as the chip roll out in the second half of next year. At some point, Intel will have a new system interface with on board memory for each processor or some other technology innovation, but the company isn't talking about it.

For the foreseeable dual-core future, you might have a choice between saving a bit more on energy costs and battery life via Intel vs. maximized performance from AMD. But it's never really that simple. Intel hasn't shown all its cards, and AMD won't be standing still while Intel does its x86 course corrections...

More IDF coverage

Topic: Intel

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

62 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • INTEL is still 3 years behind AMD

    The Yonah and Sossaman performance is a disappointment. see tinyurl.com/737fa

    The next generation Yonah dual core chip at 2.0GHZ with 2MB cache, is slower than the entry level Athlon 64 x2 3800+ with 512KB cache by 20%.
    X2 3800+ got a score of 638, Yonah got a score of 521 and won't be available until 2006. Limited by FSB architecture, it takes 4 Sossaman cores to match the Athlon 64 X2 4800.

    AMD is set to release Opteron 880 dual core server chip soon. INTEL will be further behind.

    On the power consumption front, AMD is selling the Opteron 865HE dual core processors at 55 watts.

    IDF shows us that INTEL is no threat to AMD superemacy.

    In fact, INTEL is following AMD's foot steps on every aspect: shorter pipelines, 64 bit, low power, NX bit, multi-core....
    sharikou
  • Reality check is needed!

    The days of speed advantage is gone. So this will give AMD (and possibly other players) time to catch up. Eventually, it will be the price that gives winning position.
    Wagadonga
    • you got it backwards

      amd has been faster and cheaper for such a long time ( i started selling computers in '98 and have been taking them apart and building since '92 and was a computer science major in college in '83) i wonder what you're talking about. this confused my bro-in-law too when he bought his first amd. he couldn't figure out why a 2400 runs at 1700 and was ~$50 cheaper (if i remember correctly) than the 2200 intel. may you actuall meant that it will give intel a chance to catch up.
      inertman@...
  • AMD Inside not Intel

    All AMD needs to do is put some ADD's on TV so the normal people that see their here to stay. You still have the big guy's halking Intel and when i talk to some of them in the OEM computer store most do not no much or anythang about AMD because Intell still pays well.
    loydc1@...
    • My kingdom for an online spell checker!

      [b]All AMD needs to do is put some ADD's on TV so the normal people that see their here to stay. You still have the big guy's halking Intel and when i talk to some of them in the OEM computer store most do not no much or anythang about AMD because Intell still pays well.[/b]

      AMD has been putting ADS on TV.
      Wolfie2K3
      • Not sure if spell check would work

        I think grammar check would be better with "ADD's" and "their"
        maybe slipping by spell check. But then again, we should not be
        too critical. Many people write in to forums from other countries
        who do not speak English as their first language. I would have
        one hell of a time writing in to a forum in French, German or
        Spanish. Then again some people just didn't pay much attention
        to English Grammar in elementary school.
        MacGeek2121
        • Correct spelling = Foreigner

          Those with correct grammar and spelling are from other countries with English as their third, fourth or fifth language!
          Spelling by phonetics - definitely North-American in English speaking education system from pre- to graduate school.
          olngrumpy
          • That's not how GW says it...

            You must be a ferener...
            No_Ax_to_Grind
          • What about us that just can't type?

            Give us a brewak. Every now snd then we miss a key or ywo...
            John Zern
        • ???

          what? do you people take no interest in the story or the posting because of bad spelling or grammar? what a waste of billboard space.
          inertman@...
      • Online spell-checker

        Actually, the Google ToolBar will do just that ....
        JackPastor
  • Why can't InHell learn?

    InHell has THREE (3) advanced chip architectures to "copy" from to come up with a better P4 (for the record that's AMD, ARM and DEC Alpha). Not only that, but their own Itanium has an advanced architecture. WHY don't they leverage what THEY ALREADY HAVE AND/OR KNOW? But Nooooo, they have to keep tweaking the documented as crappy P4 core. The P4 design was a nightmare from the beginning, and now they are simplifying it (to the point that its REALLY a P3!). Its seems pretty farfetched that InHell will "crush" ANYONE, ANYTIME soon.
    Roger Ramjet
    • InHell's education..

      [b]WHY don't they leverage what THEY ALREADY HAVE AND/OR KNOW? But Nooooo, they have to keep tweaking the documented as crappy P4 core. The P4 design was a nightmare from the beginning, and now they are simplifying it (to the point that its REALLY a P3!).[/b]

      1.) I read this past week that some dude from Intel has announced that the Netburst (P4) architecture is toast. They realized they screwed up and now, they're backpedalling like crazy to fix the situation.

      2.) The Pentium M chip that everyone's oohing and ahhhing about came to be the other way around. It WAS a P3 chip that got hopped up to accomodate the P4 instruction set.

      [b]Its seems pretty farfetched that InHell will "crush" ANYONE, ANYTIME soon.[/b]

      3.) ...Except perhaps, themselves.
      Wolfie2K3
  • Will Intel crush AMD next year?

    I see a parallel here as with another well know software company.
    AMD has quietly but efficiently been making strides in their products, their manufacturing ability and their market penetration. Intel is behind in the technology and is not the rock solid kingpin it used to be. Now they make statements that they will crush AMD? They see and feel the threat of a company that has met the challenge head on and is making a better product.
    This is so like an unmentioned software company that feels the same threat from an upstart. Don't improve on product and reliability, just spread FUD and more vapor.
    Intel? Buy a dog, name him clue, then you'll have one!
    SysAdmin202
  • NO NO NO NO!

    Simply put NO, HP, IBM and Sun have spoken!
    Pyrotech_z
    • Who speaks Loudly

      Sun is shouting from the rooftops, HP is speaking boldly, and IBM is begrudgingly whimpering because it NEEDS Opteron to keep from melting down like the wicked witch.

      Dell is quietly losing every benchmark known to man, and losing share at the same time.

      Look at IDC's latest server figures and see who is gaining the most from having a price/performance leadership (complements of AMD.) Hint .. It is not coming from Solaris 86 sales ...
      JackPastor
  • Intel Needs AMD

    Like the US needed Sputnik to goad us regain our leadership role in space, Intel needs AMD to challenge it every day.

    This is a win/win situation for all concerned. Corporate users with deep pockets wind up with faster machines every year with "Intel inside", while home users get faster, affordable hardware with AMD cpu's - often at rock bottom prices.

    If only Microsoft faced as heated a competition from LINUX!
    1ceman_z
    • Except...

      [b]Like the US needed Sputnik to goad us regain our leadership role in space, Intel needs AMD to challenge it every day.[/b]

      ... There WAS no "leadership role" prior to Sputnik. There was no serious space program until the USSR sent Sputnik up. Sputnik IS the first satellite sent into orbit.

      Granted, it WAS a rude awakening. The powers that be in the U.S. no doubt soiled their britches with the news.

      [b]This is a win/win situation for all concerned. Corporate users with deep pockets wind up with faster machines every year with "Intel inside", while home users get faster, affordable hardware with AMD cpu's - often at rock bottom prices.[/b]

      ... the speed race has kinda stalled at the moment. InHell cancelled their 4 GHz P4 chip entirely. If anything chips are getting slower - but if anything, they're getting more productive. The trick AMD has brought to the table is getting more done in fewer clock cycles.

      ... you obviously haven't priced AMD CPUs of late. Many of them are more expensive than their InHell equivalents. If anything though, AMD's chips ARE still the better value for the buck. They run cooler, suck down less juice, all the while get more work done at the same time.
      Wolfie2K3
      • It's not just about "numbers" unless...

        you're also talking production and or yeilds.
        If Dell, who's numbers continue to grow, says they need 250,000 processors, Intel says "Sure, you'll have them in a week" and AMD says "Sure, you'll have them in a month", who gets the PO?

        Alot of people talk numbers, but you're thinking on an individual level. AMD can sell a less expensive chip in low volume, yet the price break is less as you get into higher volumes with them as they have not the capacity to produce chips at the output levels Intel does. The only way to maintain a good price break is to have AMD ship smaller quantities over a longer length of time.

        I've been in the electronic industry for many years and we have dealt with all the major chip manufactures over the years, and Intel does deliver.

        As for performance? Benchmarks are a joke. Like anybody here can really notice the differnce while working in a spread sheet or any other program of that nature. 2.2GHz vs 2.4GHz? 20 miliseconds vs 80 milliseconds?

        It's like a car in the city: 500 HP vs 150 HP. Is there really a difference going block to block, stop light to stop light...
        John Zern
  • Hummmm...

    So, while the statement that...... "Users who need the maximum performance will still look to AMD", may be true, the question that comes to mind mind is, how big is that market? When I look around at my family and friends, I can count the number that fit that description on 1 hand.

    I think that intel is realizing that many many..... many users, are not interested in "maximum performance", these days, simply so that they can play the latest version of "Doom". No, when I look around at the people I know, their main concerns seem to be, ease of use, portability, and long usage time. I rarely hear a desire for maximum performance, anymore, what I hear is most computers are "good enough".

    make it lighter, make it work longer, and make it easier to use. That's what I'm hearing, and it appears to me, that is the direction intel appears to be going.
    SemiconEng