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June 21, 2002 05:03 PM PDT

AMD vs. Intel Editorial

Author: JimAdkins. 5854 Reads
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I was an AMD fan. I had nothing but respect for AMD, but lately I am starting to lose some of my respect for AMD. They make great processors and I currently have a 1700+ in my main rig. However I am beginning to warp over to the dark side. I am no longer an AMD fan, but I am also not an Intel fan. Well what does that leave me with you might ask? You are probably thinking Via C3 what are you nuts! Yet that is not what I'm getting at. So I'm going to try explain what I am getting at. I'm going to start off with a short analogy.

Ok so there are two women on the other side of the room. Now they are both good looking girls. Girl one is called 1.6A and girl two is called 1900+. Now 1900+ has a little bit of experience in bed and is a little more adventurous. Yet when you are starting to explore 1900+'s possibilities you soon reach her limits. On the other hand 1.6A is shy and not experienced, she has so much potential if you can just give her a few pointers. In fact 1.6A has so much potential that she is not the limiting factor anymore. Its the bed and you that is holding her back (Oh what an animal she is)! Now which girl are you gunna chose. I think its rather obvious ;)

So when you are choosing your processor which are you gunna chose? A quick glance at prices at my local hardware store and pricewatch for prices on the Intel 1.6A and the AMD 1900+ shows that they are fairly equal in price. Also the clock speed is the same at 1600 Mhz. Now at default speeds you would be getting better value with the AMD processor, but with a little overclocking (and some good components) the 1.6A will beat almost anything AMD can throw at it including overclocked AMD processors. So Intel currently has the best budget overclocker. If I was on a budget right now and not so poor as to go the Duron/Celeron path, I would definitely buy the 1.6A. Now this is the first time since I have been into computers that Intel has had a processor I wanted to buy more then I wanted to buy an AMD processor.

As if that wasn't' enough Intel also currently holds the performance crown in the high end desktop processor segment of the market even without taking overclocking into account. So the only processor AMD has that is beating the competition from Intel is the Duron, and I will personally never buy a Duron (at least not if anyone would find out :p ). So while I liked AMD more in the past and used to consider myself a fan, I realized that I never was an AMD fan. I like to think that I am what you would call an informed customer. I try not to buy my processors based on brand name but rather on price.

If I were to build a system today I would probably outfit it with a Pentium IV 1.6A. If you would have asked me a few months ago I would have said Athlon XP of course! So I'm not loyal to AMD, so what. I do like to root for the underdog, for the struggling company that saves you money and makes a decent product, but I will switch over in an instant if the price/performance ratio changes in favor of another company. I think the 1.6A is a better bargain for your money then an equivalently priced Athlon XP (with overclocking of course). Its just getting harder and harder for me to root for AMD these days.

So I'm not an AMD fan and I was only ever an AMD fan because they had a better deal. What about Intel fans? Are they Intel fans because they are well informed? Well for the most part no. Most people who buy Intel just buy it because of Intel's reputation or because they have only ever used Intel. Maybe they don't even know AMD exists. Don't get me wrong there are and were legitimate reasons besides price to buy Intel. These reasons include the heat spreader and a better heat sink mounting mechanism. But in the next few months before Opteron comes out anyone who says AMD is better is just being stubborn or probably doesn't know what they're talking about.

I am inclined to think that most of the previous AMD supporters are just like me. I also think that a lot of the pro AMD sites are just sites with people who like bargains, and I can see some of them switching over to a pro Intel approach now that Intel has the pricing advantage in a few cases. I know I have not been alone in observing the changing stance of writers on many various sites. Even a few of the people at MHW are straddling the fence and about to jump. And the situation will probably remain like this at least until Opteron comes out, but that is for another article.

Well a lot of people have been asking me for benchmarks to prove some of what I said about the 1.6A. So for people who haven't seen them already you can find some 1.6A benchmarks here. I have received way more emails about this then I expected so if you sent me a mail I will get back to you, it just may take time. This is the first time I have gotten more real email then spam since I got my email account!


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