It’s Intel vs. AMD all over again. And it’s 2006! When will it end?
Intel just released its latest Core 2 Duo microprocessors, and it has beaten AMD at its own game, namely in the sheer processing performance of its chips. AMD traditionally holds the lead position in raw processing power, hence it is the preferred processor brand for hardcore gamers and enthusiasts. However, with the favorable reviews and benchmarks of the “Conroe” Intel chips (“better than AMD”), the high end market might just switch preferences.
AMD just announced its planned acquisition of graphics chipmaker ATI, which would signal that AMD is not about to bow down to its fiercest rival. True, it would probably be impossible for AMD to overtake Intel in the overall microprocessor market, but it can sure try to beat intel in at least one niche market. The enthusiast market was easy to capture since AMD was good at beating Intel in the Megahertz wars, and even going ahead of Intel with an improved 64-bit architecture. However, in the mobile/laptop market, AMD lagged simply because Intel’s marketing miracle, the Centrino platform, delivered a good balance between performance and power efficiency, with its combination of the processor, graphics chip and wireless chipset.
AMD’s acquisition of ATI could be the saving grace for the number two chipmaker, in the face of its newfound disadvantage in the high-end market. Better central processing + graphics chipset engineering could result in a platform that can outperform the Centrino. This is just one of the things AMD promises with the ATI acquisition.
Let the processor wars begin (again).