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AMD's 8-core desktop chip puts it back in the race with Intel

Sharon Gaudin | Oct. 13, 2011
Advanced Micro Devices is looking to get back into The race with Intel with the introduction of its eight-core desktop chip and its new Bulldozer architecture.

Jim McGregor, an analyst with In-Stat, agrees that AMD's new chips aren't quite up to par with Intel's top-of-the-line i7 990X chips.

"It does offer great performance at a good price," McGregor said. "I think this keeps AMD in the market, but I don't think it will necessarily capture the hearts and minds of the uber gaming enthusiast. In addition, that high end of the market continues to shrink, so AMD is competing for a smaller piece of the pie against a strong competitor that still has a higher performance part in their back pocket."

But Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, noted that AMD is coming out with its lower-cost, high-end chip right before the holiday buying season and that should give AMD a revenue boost.

"How long that will last remains to be seen," noted King. "From what I've seen, AMD is promoting the new chips' performance as being somewhere between the Core i5 2500k and the Core i7 2600k, but with a price well below the i7."

That price difference, especially in a struggling economy where enterprises are trying to cut costs wherever they can, puts AMD's new FX chips on a much more equal footing with Intel than the company has enjoyed in some time, according to King.

"And I expect to see the new CPUs in a host of high-end gaming and visualization systems in time for the holidays," King said. "But the delivery timing also means Bulldozer is arriving shortly before the next "tock" in Intel's evolutionary upgrade clock, meaning that whatever benefits AMD enjoys could be relatively short-lived."


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