Trends of 12: High-Performance PC: Intel Platform Remains Unchallenged

AMD Unable to Offer Viable Solution for High-End Gaming PCs

by Anton Shilov
04/29/2012 | 10:17 AM

We continue to publish family of news-stories called "Trends of 12" with some of the things that we expect to come alive this year. In many cases, stories in the series rather emphasize trends, but not exactly predict something. In other, we try to tell you something new.


From 2003 to 2006 the world's second largest maker of central processing units - Advanced Micro Devices - was an indisputable leader in high-performance desktop personal computer as its processors offered something that Intel-based systems simply could not. In 2012, the situation is entirely different: Intel Corp. is not only the indisputable leader on high-end desktop market, but is the only player on this market as its arch-rival simply has no offerings to seriously compete against it.

Advanced Micro Devices intends to release its second-generation accelerated processing units code-named Trinity in mid-May. The chips will feature new x86 general-purpose cores code-named Piledriver. Even AMD itself does not expect a breakthrough of general-purpose x86 performance from Piledriver micro-architecture, which evident from the official AMD ads. With the release of Intel's Ivy Bridge, the only choice for performance enthusiasts - both regular and "no compromise" - is an Intel processor.

Based on a recent review conducted by X-bit labs, quad-core Intel Core i7-3770K outperforms eight-core AMD FX-8150 by almost two times in many cases. The problem will hardly be solved by increase of micro-architecture efficiency as well as clock-speed of Trinity and Vishera chips by AMD.

The gap between AMD FX "Bulldozer" and Intel Core "Ivy Bridge" is just too significant at the moment on the desktop level. Essentially, if you want really high performance in x86-bound apps,  you really do not have a lot of choice, unfortunately.