A senior AMD executive this week complained that he was 'sick and tired' of unfair performance comparisons between AMD and Intel processors based on outdated benchmarks. But Intel is perhaps being cute about other things besides chip speed.
The voltage ratings for Intel chips for example, marketed as a crucial indicator for any organisation trying to assess the impact of energy costs in large scale server deployments, always seem to put AMD in the shade as well. Intel's highest performance dual core chips have performance per watt (PPW) ratings of 80W, with its mid range processors 65W and low end boards 40W, for example.
Bear in mind that the less watts the chips use, the cheaper they are supposed to be to run. So AMD's 95W rating for its mid range processors (equivalent top of the range dual core chips from AMD are not yet available) and 68W for its low end processors make them look like gas guzzling off-roaders in comparison.
But of course, that is not the whole picture. Experts say that whereas AMD systems are usually coupled with double data rate (DDR2) SDRAM, Intel is using fully buffered DIMM modules that provide an extra security layer on top, but which also use more power.
So in fact when it comes to overall server power consumption, any advantage that the Intel CPU PPW delivers is actually negated because the chip addresses more power hungry memory.
AMD appears to have genuine cause for complaint, though a bit of focussed marketing and the odd choreographed public outburst might help redress the balance.
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