eWeek recently posted an article about Dell’s decision to stick only with Intel chips. Everyone thought that they may wise up, but it looks like that’s not the case.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’d always choose an AMD based system over an Intel based system. And while that choice is somewhat biased (read about Intel’s past manufacturing tactics in regards to competition with AMD), I can say without a doubt that AMD performs better for me than similar Intel chips; I have a P4 at the office and an Athlon at home and use them both extensively. And from the article it would appear that I’m not alone in that assessment.
Intel has countered first by getting its manufacturing back in line and secondly by coming out with a whole new family of chips about as good as AMD
“About as good as AMD”? Why would Dell settle for that? There has to be something else to the story, but I won’t speculate out loud.
When it comes to competition, as long as the set standards are met I think we should have a choice of what we buy. What’s the problem with selling Coke and Pepsi? Having Firefox, Netscape, Opera and IE?
Anyway, back to AMD vs Intel…
On the future front (64-bit processors) Intel really shot themselves in the foot when they decided to NOT make their 64-bit processors backward-compatible with 32-bit applications. (The AMD 64-bit processors are backward-compatible with 32-bit applications.) Intel knows that they could come out with a chip that is backward-compatible, but they realize that it would be silly to compete with yourself in the 64-bit market.
Maybe they’re banking on people jumping with both feet into 64-bit, but in the desktop arena I just don’t see that happening unless Microsoft has something to do with it. The landscape is different these days from when the Pentiums came on the scene. People are doing more with their computers and are more knowledgeable. And every piece of software would require an new version even if the old one suits you just fine. And if you have to buy all new software anyway, I think it would be an excellent time for everyone to make the move to Linux. All we can do is wait and see, but in the meantime I’m going to start pricing AMD Athlon 64 systems.