While ultra-high clock speeds may make gamers salivate, the need for ever-rising numbers in other applications is highly dubious.
AMD released two new chips today, the Athlon 64 FX-55 and the Athlon 64 4000+, which outperform any of its previous chips. The Athlon 64 FX-55 is geared toward gamers; the 4000+ is designed for more mainstream use. The company boasts that this puts it ahead of its rival, Intel.
“Now in our third release, the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor is simply the best and remains unmatched in the industry,” Marty Seyer, a vice president in AMD’s microprocessor business unit, said in a press release.
Although the FX-55 runs at 2.6 GHz, AMD claims its efficiency makes it a rival of the 4 GHz Pentium processor that Intel dropped from development last week.
Intel, the No. 1 chip maker, said clock speed was less important than memory. Added memory, it said, will boost its chip performance to higher levels than the planned 4 GHz version.
The FX-55 might give AMD bragging rights, but it is a “boutique” component far outside the mainstream, Mercury Group president Dean McCarron told the E-Commerce Times. It’s the 4000+ that will eventually trickle down into the business market, and that will take some time.
“Usually new, fast parts are the most expensive, so it takes a while for them to ‘waterfall’ down into price points where they are considered by major OEMs for volume PCs,” McCarron said.
Intel, AMD Head-to-Head
The escalating competition between Intel and AMD is not a matter of who’s winning the clock-speed war, he said.
“Both companies continue to compete very aggressively — ultimately they’re racing for dollars and profits,” said McCarron.
“Rather than say which one is winning, it’d be better to point out that both companies are competing to a degree they never have before, with both Intel and AMD offering parts for every segment and price; in the past AMD had been in a few areas, but not others. Now AMD and Intel are competing directly in every market, be it server, desktop or notebook, and this has never happened before.”
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