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UPDATE: Please see denial news-story titled "AMD Officials: No Changes with Model Numbering to Come"

Advanced Micro Devices, the company who used the so-called “performance rating” to mark its processors in the past and who utilizes it nowadays, has reportedly decided to end this practice and adopt model numbers that resemble those that are going to be used by its rival Intel Corporation.

According to a report at HardWare.fr citing a document that seems to be an internal memo from AMD, “since AMD processors P-Rating has always be a meant to position AMD Athlon products in comparison with Intel processors and since Intel has decided to give up their CPU branding based on frequency, AMD also has to move towards a new P-Rating system. It is mandatory in order to let AMD’s customers understand how AMD positions its processors. The P-ratings will be used from the third quarter 2004 and will concern only the Athlon 64 processors.”

AMD has always claimed officially that its “P-Rating”, also known as model number, corresponds with performance estimate for AMD Athlon “Thunderbird” processor at certain frequency with specified cache.

In case the information is correct and AMD’s new strategy will see the light of the day, the company’s desktop 64-bit processors will be branded as follows:

  • AMD Athlon 64 560+: AMD Athlon 64 3400+;
  • AMD Athlon 64 550+: AMD Athlon 64 3200+;
  • AMD Athlon 64 540+: AMD Athlon 64 3000+;
  • AMD Athlon 64 530+: AMD Athlon 64 2800+;

Starting from the late second quarter of 2004 Intel Corporation will mark its CPUs according to their position in its product family or series. The first digit in the model number reflects product positioning; another two digits reveal relative performance within a concrete family of chips. The rating will make pretty tough to compare microprocessors of different series by their working frequency, but is supposed to reveal clear processor’s place in its family. Intel will use its model numbers only on processors in LGA775 packaging. Intel’s supposed product line is likely to look as follows:

  • Pentium 4 570: actual clock-speed 3.80GHz;
  • Pentium 4 560: actual clock-speed 3.60GHz;
  • Pentium 4 550: actual clock-speed 3.40GHz;
  • Pentium 4 540: actual clock-speed 3.20GHz;
  • Pentium 4 530: actual clock-speed 3.00GHz;
  • Pentium 4 520: actual clock-speed 2.80GHz.

Intel will also use its model number approach with its mobile processors.

It is not clear how AMD plans to explain the change with its markings officially and how customers should distinguish between PGA939 and PGA754 chips.

AMD did not comment on the story at press time.

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