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Intel snatches X-Box victory, eats AMD Athlon's lunch

Historically, we'd just like to point out, AMD is always Wintel roadkill

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As was eminently predictable (we can say this, because we predicted it), Intel snatched AMD's lunch at the final fence of the X-Box drama today. And what a tacky, tawdry affair it was. Compulsive readers (who should really see a doctor about it) will have noted we pointed up the lack of an AMD reference in Microsoft's original X-Box spec, published this morning Japanese time. Not only that, but the spec said that the chip was 600MHz x86 compatible. But as Microsoft got its act together on the way to this morning Seattle time, it had become, variously, a 600MHz Intel processor and "Intel Pentium III processor technology with Streaming SIMD Extensions." So it's a 600MHz PIII - or more properly, it's derived from this chip. For numerous and fairly obvious reasons, by the Q3 2001 ship date it's going to be vital to have this technology honed on both price and performance. Microsoft's incredible rotating spec sheet makes it abundantly clear that AMD only got the bullet within the past couple of days, but Intel's own performance today makes it even clearer. The Great Satan of Silicon is indeed at the scene of the X-Box launch, the San Jose Game Developers Conference, and is indeed strutting its stuff. The trouble is, the announcement we prepared earlier turns out to about how great PIII at 1GHz is for games, with added noise about OpenGL support. OpenGL on an X-Box? Right... But watch this space for a retrospectively edited Chipzilla announcement. How come AMD lost it? As we said earlier, Microsoft is going to need a lot of backup on hardware design. Intel can deliver this, while AMD can only promise. Intel can also - and here's a nasty bit - spec and quite possibly build large quantities of the boards the X-Box is going to be based on. If, as Microsoft spun to the WSJ this morning, the plan really is for Microsoft to badge the hardware itself, then Wintel is quite clearly moving a notch further. Intel has been cornering more and more of the internals of the PC for some years now, and as we've repeatedly noted here, is really a PC manufacturer as well. Microsoft's percentage of the total price of a PC has been rising over the same period. But now, Wintel is going to be taking it all - you can trust these guys with industry standards, can't you? ® See also: X-Box unleashed

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