Microprocessor Report slams Intel P4

The times, they are a'changing...

Updated The latest issue of influential industry rag The Microprocessor Report says that AMD's Athlon at 1.2GHz outperforms Intel's Pentium 4 at 1.5GHz.

According to a piece written by senior analyst Peter Glaskowsky, hands-on tests show that despite the AMD clock speed being less than Intel's P4, typical systems perform up to 12 per cent faster* even given the fact that Chipzilla's systems are armed with fast Rambus memory.

The analyst burnishes this statement by saying that AMD's Athlon at 1.2GHz is generally faster than a Pentium 4 running at 1.5GHz, "but this is not a very strong statement".

Seems pretty strong to us, but Glaskowsky points to the fact that over time the Pentium 4 is bound to have the edge on AMD's Athlon, as programmers adapt themselves to what he describes as its "unusual characteristics".

He also warns that Intel has to price the chip according to the value it delivers to its customers. And he reminds us, as if we needed reminding, that when Intel introduced its MMX design five years back, that needed special optimisation too. Many applications, he adds, still don't take advantage of those. ®

* A reader points out that the article says between
5.3 per cent to 12 per cent faster, and says the entire piece is now up at Silicon Investor.

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You can find The Microprocessor Report here but it's by subscription only.