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Intel Core 2 Editorial
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Old 11th July 2006, 10:37   #1
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Intel Core 2 Editorial

It's no great mystery at this point that Intel has a clear performance leader in Core 2. Numbers are numbers, facts are facts, and results are results. When you get past Fear and Super PI benchmarks though, the situation becomes more complicated. I'm hoping for Intel's sake that what is occurring here are just a few minor stumbles, at least when I'm referring to the IDE and RAID issues. The point that seems to be missed here by some however is how important this really is to Intel. A lot hinges on Intel managing this transition successfully and I hope you see it's a bit more complicated than just having a great CPU. This is the most fundamental shift in direction for Intel in a very long time, perhaps its biggest one ever. A lot is at stake here, for all of Intel's market segments as well as for Intel's bottom line. Worse for them perhaps is the fact that AMD's had over a year to sit back and watch all of this unfold. Will AMD offer a respectable counter, and do it quickly enough? AMD's held its cards fairly close, so that remains to be seen. AMD's "4x4" seems to be little more than grandstanding (not to mention incredibly expensive and pointless). The ability of Socket AM2 x2 CPU's to support "Reverse HT", which is an approach to allow single threaded apps to be able to use both core's is still a bit of a mystery (note: at this point, it appears to be nothing but a rumor gone bad). Apparently the K8L is a long way off still. In the grander scheme of things however Intel can weather something like this far easier and far more successfully than it's much tinier competitor and cope with the occasional stumble.
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