February 27, 2006 11:38 AM PST

Intel makes performance claims, AMD rebuffs them

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

As might be expected, Advanced Micro Devices doesn't think much of Intel's performance claims for its upcoming Conroe and Merom products.

"It's driven by the fact that they can't talk about their current products, because everybody knows their current products aren't very good," said Henri Richard, AMD's chief sales and marketing officer, in an interview with CNET News.com late Friday.

Richard was responding to a prediction from an Intel executive that the company's chips scheduled for the second half of the year will deliver a 20 percent improvement in performance over comparable AMD products scheduled for release in the same time frame.

Conroe and Merom are the first desktop and notebook processors to use Intel's next-generation microarchitecture, a new design philosophy that extends the Core Duo chip's emphasis on reduced power consumption. That design is almost a complete reversal from the high-speed Netburst architecture used to build Intel's Pentium D and Xeon processors. Netburst is on its way out, as it has excessive power consumption.

NGMA chips can process more instructions per clock cycle than their predecessors, take advantage of larger amounts of cache memory, and route instructions more intelligently through the central processing unit (CPU). This will allow Intel to retake the performance lead currently held by the AMD64 architecture without resorting to techonology similar to AMD's integrated memory controller or point-to-point interconnects, said Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's mobile platforms group.

Both executives are, of course, making claims about products that can't be verified, as their introduction is months away. Analysts and third-party reviewers are expected to deliver the final word on which processor design stays in front in the second half of 2006. AMD plans to reveal details about upcoming products at June's Computex trade show in Taiwan, Richard said. Intel will likewise share NGMA details at the Intel Developer Forum next week.

It's clear that NGMA chips will be much better than Netburst-based chips, AMD's Richard said. But he's not convinced that the improvements will be enough to overcome what he called a 15 percent performance advantage enjoyed by AMD's chips today.

AMD will introduce support for DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory along with a new socket technology called AM2 in the second half of the year. That will allow system builders to drop quad-core processors into the same chipsets for upcoming dual-core chips, he said.

The integrated memory controller is still AMD's greatest advantage, Richard said. Integrating the memory controller allows that key link between the processor and memory to run at the speed of the chip, moving data into the processor more quickly than the front-side bus used by Intel's chips. Analysts and reviewers have consistently given an edge to AMD because of this feature, which Intel is not expected to duplicate anytime soon.

"If you were to ask anybody at Intel with intellectual honesty, if they had a magic wand, would they go ahead and (integrate the controller)? They'd say 'yes,'" Richard said.

Intel executives, such as Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner, have talked about pursuing integrated memory controllers for chips toward the end of the decade, but the company has not shared any specific plans.

 
Correction: This story incorrectly described AMD's upcoming AM2 technology. It is a new socket.

See more CNET content tagged:
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26 comments

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Intel's desperate
Amd's next releases are going to smoke them further: between quad-core, higher ddr, +5000 speed......

And they'd better pray Cell/Niagare/et al-type processors never make it to desktops, or they're history......
Posted by charleslanger (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
XBox 360
If Microsoft decide to release a version of Vista for their new XBox, then in theory it could be compatible with a PC powered by a Cell processor.

Obviously there would be plenty of things that would need to happen to make this a reality - in terms of both hardware and software, but it would make sense for Microsoft to move in that direction.

A desktop powered by Cell processors would blow away any of the current technologies, as well as those about to be released in the fall.

This sort of development could be the sort of catalyst we haven't seen in the industry since the first home computers appeared on the market back in the 80s.

Most of the revolutionary systems designed back then were doomed due to their owning companies lack of vision, as well as Microsoft and Intel's marketing strategy, which it must be said was truly brilliant - how else could you explain how a computer with a cpm based, single tasking OS being chosen ahead of multitasking, multithread OS powered computers with multiprocessor chipsets, stereo sound (unhead of) and 12-bit graphics (also unheard of)?
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Link Flag
Intel's desperate
Amd's next releases are going to smoke them further: between quad-core, higher ddr, +5000 speed......

And they'd better pray Cell/Niagare/et al-type processors never make it to desktops, or they're history......
Posted by charleslanger (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
XBox 360
If Microsoft decide to release a version of Vista for their new XBox, then in theory it could be compatible with a PC powered by a Cell processor.

Obviously there would be plenty of things that would need to happen to make this a reality - in terms of both hardware and software, but it would make sense for Microsoft to move in that direction.

A desktop powered by Cell processors would blow away any of the current technologies, as well as those about to be released in the fall.

This sort of development could be the sort of catalyst we haven't seen in the industry since the first home computers appeared on the market back in the 80s.

Most of the revolutionary systems designed back then were doomed due to their owning companies lack of vision, as well as Microsoft and Intel's marketing strategy, which it must be said was truly brilliant - how else could you explain how a computer with a cpm based, single tasking OS being chosen ahead of multitasking, multithread OS powered computers with multiprocessor chipsets, stereo sound (unhead of) and 12-bit graphics (also unheard of)?
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Link Flag
ya know
there's nothin' like a pissin' match to warm the air.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ya know
there's nothin' like a pissin' match to warm the air.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fanboys really are pathetic
We'll ignore the fact that AMD isn't anywhere NEAR coming out with
a quad core and that Intel will prob be close to rolling out their
second gen of dual core mobiles when AMD is just starting to roll
out their first gen. Fanboys on both sides are pathetic. Esp the AM
fanboys who are now running scared that maybe. Just maybe Intel
finally has something that can best AMDs desktop and mobile
wares. FUD rules in the realm of AMD vs. Intel.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fanboys really are pathetic
We'll ignore the fact that AMD isn't anywhere NEAR coming out with
a quad core and that Intel will prob be close to rolling out their
second gen of dual core mobiles when AMD is just starting to roll
out their first gen. Fanboys on both sides are pathetic. Esp the AM
fanboys who are now running scared that maybe. Just maybe Intel
finally has something that can best AMDs desktop and mobile
wares. FUD rules in the realm of AMD vs. Intel.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Israeli technolofy saves Intel.
At the 92 minute, Intel drops failing NetBurst technology designed by greedy marketing managers
and turning to the Banias concept pushed by Mooly,
and developed in Haifa, Israel. Slowly but surely,
US loosing it's technoly lead. Instead of in investing in fuel hungry SUV's you should return
to investing in education.
Posted by bar86 (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
cart before the horse
No one in US (especially students) is seriously going to invest money, time, and effort into education while US industry and government is cutting back on research funding (in real $) and off-shoring much of what is left.

Totally agree with the SUV bash, though.
Posted by dmm (336 comments )
Link Flag
Bleah
Real engineers design a core around what they know is going to be the up and coming main issue: power, and it performs better than the one designed by the "greedy marketing managers" and you conclude we are losing our edge?

Far too many important engineering decisions are made by people not qualified to do so in these large companies. That's the real problem here (or at least one of them).
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
AMD -- designed in the USA
The AMD chips that are eating Intel's lunch are designed in the U.S. IBM's Power chips and hot new Core chip that's powering the PS3 are designed in the US.

I think it's great that Intel's next-generation cores are coming from Israel. But that doesn't mean that Americans suddenly can't design microprocessors -- just that Americans aren't the only ones who can design microprocessors. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Posted by wanorris (226 comments )
Link Flag
Israeli technolofy saves Intel.
At the 92 minute, Intel drops failing NetBurst technology designed by greedy marketing managers
and turning to the Banias concept pushed by Mooly,
and developed in Haifa, Israel. Slowly but surely,
US loosing it's technoly lead. Instead of in investing in fuel hungry SUV's you should return
to investing in education.
Posted by bar86 (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
cart before the horse
No one in US (especially students) is seriously going to invest money, time, and effort into education while US industry and government is cutting back on research funding (in real $) and off-shoring much of what is left.

Totally agree with the SUV bash, though.
Posted by dmm (336 comments )
Link Flag
Bleah
Real engineers design a core around what they know is going to be the up and coming main issue: power, and it performs better than the one designed by the "greedy marketing managers" and you conclude we are losing our edge?

Far too many important engineering decisions are made by people not qualified to do so in these large companies. That's the real problem here (or at least one of them).
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
AMD -- designed in the USA
The AMD chips that are eating Intel's lunch are designed in the U.S. IBM's Power chips and hot new Core chip that's powering the PS3 are designed in the US.

I think it's great that Intel's next-generation cores are coming from Israel. But that doesn't mean that Americans suddenly can't design microprocessors -- just that Americans aren't the only ones who can design microprocessors. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Posted by wanorris (226 comments )
Link Flag
Pathetic?
Pathetic is believing what these companies press departments are spouting in an effort to save face.
Processor performance isn't nearly as important as it was 5 years ago, and these companies don't want to fall out public's eye. Bleeding edge components only matter ro a select few - the rest of us don't care, we only want cheap reliable PC's.
Posted by (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
embrace change
When they first are released, they are expensive, aren't they? But without the research these companies do, that price would never go down. You would never get your cheap PC without that.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Pathetic?
Pathetic is believing what these companies press departments are spouting in an effort to save face.
Processor performance isn't nearly as important as it was 5 years ago, and these companies don't want to fall out public's eye. Bleeding edge components only matter ro a select few - the rest of us don't care, we only want cheap reliable PC's.
Posted by (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
embrace change
When they first are released, they are expensive, aren't they? But without the research these companies do, that price would never go down. You would never get your cheap PC without that.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
 

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