Intel faces stiff competition from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in the manufacture of Central Processing Units (CPUs) which are a key component in computers. AMD produces a significant percentage of the total number of CPUs sold annually. The two chipmakers have been constantly advancing the technology employed in their chipsets to retain proper market share.
The frequent refining of chipset technology by the two companies aims at realizing optimum performance in terms of graphics, speed and power consumption among other features. These chipsets differ in their clock speed, host-bus speed and cache memory among other aspects. For example, while Intel employs the hyper-threading technology in its processors, AMD uses the hyper-transport technology.
In this regard, the market has witnessed fast changes in chipset architecture and price wars between Intel and AMD. For example, AMD was the first company to introduce a 64-bit processor clocking the gigahertz speed. In response, Intel introduced the EMT64 CPU. In addition, when AMD introduced the NX processor technology, Intel responded by introducing the XDB technology in its processors.
Advantages of AMD64 chips
AMD chips are manufactured from pre-existing sockets until technological constrictions demand the upgrade to a new socket. This strategy considerably favours consumers regarding replacement and upgrading of chips. AMD processors support the backward-compatibility feature as seen with the introduction of the AMD64 processor that supports 32-bit software with optimum functionality. This provides a lot of flexibility for users unlike the equivalent Intel EMT64 CPU that has minimal 32-bit functionalities.
Furthermore, AMD bridge components are easy to mix and match unlike Intel chips whose design considers certain processor families. On the other hand, Intel chips releases occur too fast and consumers face difficulties associated with replacement or upgrading due to varying socket sizes accompanying new releases.
Regarding energy consumption, AMD CPUs operate at a low energy consumption of about 275 watts. An Intel processor with similar functionalities will operate a higher power consumption of about 400 watts. This variation in power consumption is crucial as it caters for the consumers economic aspects.
AMD chips support faster clocking and over-clocking while maintaining stability. The L3 cache memory located outside the CPU core supports this functionality. By varying the BIOS settings, a user can considerably increase the processor speed. This capability is essential in high-end graphics operations where a large L2 cache memory has minimal benefits. Such applications include gaming. Intel chips, on the other hand, demonstrate resistance to over-clocking.
Disadvantages over Intel
Intel L2 cache memory has a higher performance compared to the L3 AMD processors cache memory, as it is located inside the processor’s core. Since the cache memory is the fastest accessible memory, Intel EMT64 chipset has a generally faster speed compared to AMD64 Athlon especially regarding small data applications. Computers running on Intel chipsets exhibit effectiveness in extracting and analyzing data during a single program operation.
The architecture of Intel CPUs ensures the execution of tasks occurs with minimal heat generation. In addition, they have advanced cooling features. In this regard, Intel chipsets are likely to last longer than AMD chipsets with equivalent functions as they normally exhibit higher heat generation.
This is a major setback for AMD equipped machines when dealing with heavy applications. While Intel manufactures their own system boards to support their processors, AMD relies on third parties to build system boards for their CPUs. This has the effect of dragging new releases of chipsets.