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Thursday, September 10, 2009

AMD Touts Phenom II X4 Over Intel's New Core i5

Advanced Micro Devices says its Phenom II X4 quad-core processors deliver better price and performance results on desktop PCs than Intel's new i5 processor and P55 chipset. AMD's Matt Davis said Intel users will need a new motherboard and possibly a new GPU, unlike AMD platforms. Davis also pointed to AMD software for its chips.

Intel introduced a new Core i5 750 processor and a single-chip P55 Express chipset on Tuesday that represent the latest challenges to rival Advanced Micro Devices. Priced at $196, Intel's new quad-core chip appears to present a good enough price/performance match to inspire adoption by mainstream desktop PC enthusiasts, beginning this autumn.

But AMD spokesperson Matt Davis said the Intel rival offers Phenom II X4 quad-core processors in the $200 price range that are also performance-oriented. "AMD platforms deliver impressive price/performance and the infrastructure Relevant Products/Servicescompatibility that allows users' PC experience to grow with their changing needs, all at an affordable price," he said.

Several Challenges

Davis admitted Intel's 2.66-GHz Core i5 is an "impressive processor," but said CPU performance alone does not ensure the best PC experience. Intel's new quad-core chip also presents several challenges for end users, he said.

"Consumers are forced to absorb the added cost of a new motherboard, and potentially a new graphics processor unit, in addition to the new processor," Davis said. "Conversely, the AMD desktop infrastructure is backward compatible and can easily help end users minimize the overall cost when upgrading to new AMD processors."

According to Davis, AMD platforms combine CPU, GPU and chipset technologies in a balanced configuration capable of delivering a superior PC experience that meets consumers' needs at an affordable price.

"For example, mainstream users can get an affordable platform that leverages AMD's motherboard graphics technology for a balanced platform that meets their needs," Davis said. "Core i5 PCs require a discrete GPU that adds cost and doesn't guarantee a balanced experience with the best value."

Software Considerations

Intel said its latest Core i5 and i7 processors integrate several key design enhancements, such as the placement of the memory and PCI controllers on the CPU. "As well, we've gone from a two-chip chipset to a one-chip chipset," said Intel spokesperson George Alfs. "This same chipset will be used for our forthcoming Westmere processor, which integrates graphics right on to the processor."

On the other hand, Davis said hardware advancements aren't the only criteria that desktop PC users should consider. Several software applications have been designed to take advantage of all-AMD platforms, such as AMD OverDrive and AMD Fusion Utility for gaming, which enable users to tweak and tune settings to maximize control and harness the performance of their hardware, Davis said.

By Mark Long

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