AMD are not bad processors, they are the perfect processors for any budget concious builder looking to maximise the performance to money ratio, but they certainly don’t dominate the desktop processor scene at the moment and havent since desktop motherboard manufacturers created the bridge between desktops and intels Centrino based CPUs.
The Rise of AMD
10 years ago, AMD revolutionised and dominated desktop processors for years, one of the many reasons was using short piplines in their cpus compared to the Pentium 4 which used long pipelines. The result was a processor that excelled in games but failed in the desktop workstation environments, any intensive video encoding would be painfully slow compared to its competitor who excelled due to using long pipeline architecture.
The Athlon XP processors offered 2 things;
- Considerably cheaper than Intel
Athlon XP CPUs were a hit in the overclocking world, they ticked all the right boxes and for those brave enough to get down and dirty with the chips pcb, there was a possibility of unlocking the chip, while it resulted in a lower overall rating reported in the bios, there was a real chance of overclocking the chip far far higher than it said on the box.
The overclocking world rejoiced!
The Birth of 64 Bit Computing
While Intel still retained big contracts with Dell, AMD still managed to dominate the market and went onto manufacturer the Althon 64 bit cpu, which was designed as an alternative to the IA-64 cpu architecture, which was developed in partnership by HP and Intel which they had intended it to be an alternative for 64 bit architecture.
AMD’s 64bit chip was another outstanding success and they dominated Intel once again, while they still did not out perform Intel alternatives in applications such as video editing, AMD64 chips were the processor of choice for a good majority of gamers and overclocking enthusiasts.
AMD64 CPUs out-performed Intel in practically everything except professional workstation applications.
The First Thorn in AMDs Side
I feel the first thorn in AMDs glory was Intel’s Mobile Centrino CPU which was an incredibly cool, energy efficient and incredibly overclockable alternative to the AMD64. Intel had adopted much of what made AMD so great except they did it better.
I don’t think Intel even realised what they had created, because if they had they certainly would not have been cramming them into laptops.
While this was not an immediate issue for AMD with the Centrino based chips only being rolled out in laptops, it was when desktop pc motherboard manufactures started to bridge the gap producing desktop based Centrino motherboards allowing overclockers to push these incredibly energy-efficient processors.
As we all know, cooler = faster overclocks.
Intel Clocks On
As benchmarks and overclock reports started rolling out on forums of what these chips were achieving in a desktop environment, I think Intel realised the potential these chips achieve and started developing new chips.
The Fall of AMD and the Rise of Intel
When people started getting their hands on Centrino Duo / Core2Duos, In my opinion there was no stopping Intel. They took over the market faster than you can say jack flash, dominating AMD at every turn.
I am by no means an Intel or AMD fanboy. My job requires me to simply use the best pc technology a reasonable budget can buy. unfortunately since Intel released the Core2Duo range, AMD have not provided what Intel can, as a result my every PC I have owned for the past 6 years has been an Intel.
The moment AMD can revolutionise CPU architecture and outperform Intel CPUs out of the box, I will be the first person to get my pre-order in. I love supporting the underdog and want AMD more than ever to make a huge comeback in the desktop CPU scene, but for the forseeable future I can’t see that happening, What do you think? for now it seems they are more focused on their APUs and GPUs.