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Intel vs. AMD - The Road Ahead (Page 2)

By Asher Moses on Apr 20, 2002 11:00 pm CDT
Manufacturer: none

Does Megahertz Matter?

This has been something that has plagued AMD for some time now. Clock for clock, AMD's flagship processor, the AthlonXP outperforms Intel's flagship processor, the Pentium 4, by quite a significant margin. This is because the Pentium 4's pipeline is significantly longer than the AthlonXP's pipeline, and the Pentium 4 thus has to accomplish more per clock.

While hardware enthusiasts may realize this, the average consumer most probably will not, and end up purchasing a processor just because it boasts a higher megahertz rating. Intel have used this as a marketing tool for quite some time now, however, with the relatively recent release of the AthlonXP processor, AMD has attempted to wipe out this confusion by introducing a PR rating system called "Quantispeed".

The Quantispeed rating system is an estimation of real-world performance based on benchmarks that AMD has run themselves. It is NOT a comparison to a similarly clocked Intel Pentium 4 processor. For example, their 1800+ AthlonXP does not run at 1.8GHz, but rather 1.53GHz. It is arguable whether or not this was a morally correct move for AMD to make, however, it will hopefully eliminate confusion amongst consumers, and as long as AMD does not exaggerate their ratings and thus lie to consumers, I do not see anything wrong with it.

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