AMD embellish clock speeds

PR tactics could lead to confusion

Source - Tom's Hardware

Back in the old days, when x86 processors from Intel led the way in terms of performance, honest AMD and crafty Cyrix used artificial rating systems to try and explain the difference in speed between their processors and those from Chipzilla. Since then, Cyrix have all but disappeared from the desktop processor market place, and AMD have been successfully battling Intel clock for clock. Now it appears AMD have plans to reintroduce the artificial rating system, perhaps concealing the actual speeds of the processors during the boot process of future PCs. Tom's Hardware is reporting that AMD may announce the Palomino 1.4GHz as a 'speed equivalent' to the Pentium IV 1.6GHz, called MODEL 1600. This is actually quite an honest comparison, but we doubt that the press and public will see it that way. Marketing hardware is difficult. Particularly if you're fighting a battle for clockspeeds. It's hard for instance, for Imagination Technologies to explain that the Kyro II graphics card is actually slower clock for clock than a GeForce MX, but somewhat faster in real terms. Trying to persuade punters that an AMD Athlon 1.4GHz can do a better job than an Intel Pentium IV 1.4Ghz is very difficult indeed. After all, the numbers are the same. It would seem that comparing a MODEL 1600 to a 1.6GHz P4 would be slightly less exciting than comparing a 1.4GHz Athlon - the same chip - to a 1.4GHz P4. The difference in performance deficits will be quite large, and will make marketing of the Athlon more difficult. That said, AMD are fighting against the promise of clockspeeds of 2.2GHz by the start of next year. The pressure of growing numbers is obviously playing on their minds.

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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