Intel is dooooomed

Blogger “Sharikou” is pretty obviously an AMD partisan. He wears his heart on his sleeve. That said, his blog, Journal of Pervasive 64-bit computing, is a solid resource for AMD-Intel horseracing, with an emphasis on the future that is 64-bit.

For example, he notes that Intel’s aggressive price-cutting has really put the squeeze on Dell. Low prices on Intel CPUs eat away at Dell’s volume-discount price advantage over its competitors, and lower PC prices overall – bad news given that Dell has always operated on razor-thin margins. If Dell goes to AMD, it will be a massive blow to Intel, but the price pressures on Intel from AMD are inexorable.

He also posts some initial benchmarks between Intel’s latest Conroe chip with the AMD Athlon FX62, and points out that despite the dual-core hype behind Conroe, the performance lags way behind Intel’s claims. Conroe isn’t even formally launched yet and the Athlons have been out for some time, so AMD has a head start and will probably maintain the price/performance lead on the desktop.

Where do all these predictions lead? That Intel will be out of business by 2008, of course. And that Dell’s days are numbered as well.

My take on all this is that the analysis is extremely biased towards the 64-bit picture, but aside from Linux it’s not clear to me that there’s really enough 64-bit software to matter. He makes much hay of the fact that AMD owns 100% of the 64-bit notebook market, but who cares? Who runs 64-bit on their laptops? The simple fact is that the Yonah/Core Duo processor launched this January by Intel has been a staggering success and variations of either Dothan (Yonah’s single-core predecessor) and Yonah are in the vast majority of noteboks sold today. True, AMD has the 64-bit laptop market soliid right now, but Windows isn’t ready for 64-bit anyway. Intel’s Merom chip, the 64-bit version of Yonah, is coming out at the end of the year. Micorosft Vista won’t even be ready until January. So any advantage that AMD has in the notebook market is both miniscule and premature.

And for all the talk of Athlon performance, the future is towards mobile-on-desktop computing. That’s a topic for another day.

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