Feeds

AMD reportedly revising CPU performance ratings

New numbering scheme for 'star' processors?

The Power of One Infographic

Is AMD about to ditch or radically revise its relative-performance related processor number schemes? That's what some sources cited by a Far Eastern website claim, stating the chip maker will move to an alternative approach when it ships its 65nm quad-core chips mid-2007.

As yet there's nothing whatsoever to corroborate the Chinese-language HKEPC story which doesn't offer any details as to how AMD may alter its numbering scheme.

Certainly some changes will eventually be necessary. Where does it go after releasing the Athlon 9999+, for instance? Up to 10,000 or on some other, unrelated number? But whatever it does, we have say there's a certain attractive simplicity about a 'the higher the number, the more powerful the processor' approach that would be a shame to lose.

Intel eventually followed AMD's lead and took a similar approach, but neither chip maker has adopted the scheme as logically as they might. Both have muddied the waters by introducing parallel numbering schemes for different processor families, for example. Neither companies' naming schemes are consistent across notebook, desktop and server lines, or between high-end, mainstream and budget desktop chips, for instance.

Contrary to HKEPC's argument, the numbering scheme can be multi-core friendly, as AMD's Opteron 1/2/8xxx nomenclature, where the second digit is the number of cores, shows. But we'd argue that that's irrelevant. One, two, four, eight or more cores, the CPU is a box that delivers performance. How it delivers that performance is irrelevant so long as compatibility is maintained. By all means brand processors according to their core complement, but also provide a metric that allows ordinary consumers a simple way to gauge relative performance.

In an ideal world, there would a universal numbering scheme, ideally with an energy consumption rating included, but the pulls of rivalry and competitiveness will ensure chip companies will probably never come together and agree to such a scheme.

That leaves us looking forward to what AMD may or may not come up with when 'Antares', 'Arcturus', 'Spica', 'Kuma' and co. ship. ®

Related reviews

Intel vs AMD - integrated graphics shoot-out
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 quad-core CPU

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.