back to article AMD, GlobalFoundries, and the Intel gap

When AMD spin-off GlobalFoundries broke ground on its fab in upstate New York last year, the chip manufacturer boasted it was "closing the gap" on Intel. "We were a year behind Intel at the 45nm node, and that difference will be cut significantly at the 32nm generation," said vice president of manufacturing systems technology …


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    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: amd chips

      "come on amd you can do it lets nock intel off the spot as there a money grabbing exspensive company" Yes, 'cos AMD is a charity, right? Both are comercial entities endevouring to make a profit by selling you products.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    A Massive Disappointment

    Nuff said!

  4. Robert E A Harvey

    oh dear

    This is all starting to sound a bit 'my cock is smaller than your cock'.

    processors are a squillion times faster than the old IBM AT, but I can still type faster than MSword can put the letters on the screen. Isn't about time the software types started doing their bit?

  5. Oscar

    Re: oh dear

    Really? My shitty surfing only laptop copes just fine. Perhaps you should try not running windows 7 on a 15 year old laptop?

    PS: According to "mavis beacon teaches typing" i can type at 140 words per minute. So don't even go "there" ;)

    1. Lionel Baden


      He could be using vista !!

      and anyway im using office 2010 on win 7 on 2 year old PC and office will happily lockup relativly often dicking about doing something or other !!

      1. The Original Steve


        Then get a fresh OEM-shite free image applied. Win7 and Office 2010 seem rock solid.

        Rock solid. (Using Win7 x64 Ent and Office 2010 x64 on a Dell Latutude E6400)

  6. zanto

    It's not just about size

    i wonder how their yields per slice compare even at the higher nodes like 40 and 65 nm.

  7. xj25vm


    Oh dear - so AMD are struggling a bit. I have to confess that, in spite of having bought mainly Intel for myself in the last few years - because I was after ultra low power and long battery life laptops, I am still a fan of AMD deep down in my heart. Please, no flame wars now. They just have that underdog, endearing quality about them. Still struggling along, still doing their best, at good value prices. And I have still bought many desktops for clients with AMD processors all this time. Their desktop processors are perfectly decent and good value.

    No matter if they manage to close the gap on Intel or not, I am still of the opinion that they are necessary. Along with VIA (and increasingly the ARM crowd, in a round-about way, if you will) - the only direct competition in the field to Intel. And as the Dell settlement of the other week showed - we certainly need some healthy competition in the industry.

    1. Lionel Baden


      Im a long time AMD fan

      I currently hold the following view

      That although Intel may be faster, you get more bang for your buck with AMD

      recently upgraded my home pc to X4 and spent a total off 200 odd quid on CPU, mainboard & Ram. if i had gone the intel route it would of cost me around £800-900 for basically the same hardware.

      After benchmarking in everest i only just came behind the i7, so felt very smug about my purchase. :D still do actually.

      Every time i hear somebody has a i7 i feel a little more smugger :D

      1. Daniel 22

        Fanboi much?

        No way in hell would an intel equivalent cost you £8-900 vs £200 of amd kit. I use AMD, and I'm not daft enough to think that. Take your propaganda elsewhere.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: ditto

        Perceptions based on emotional assuptions can be expensive. At home, when it's my money, I buy AMD chips for the PCs I build, mainly because I can get better performance at a lower price point, and I don't need the extreme end of the CPU performance range. However, at work, where it's not my money and I am required to provide the best performance from the servers we buy, we have bought only Xeons this year. I want AMD to keep on providing an alternative to Intel so that there is competiton, as competition breeds innovation which benefits us customers, but at the moment I would have to say that Intel's Nehalem range is superior to AMD's offerings for what we do. What we do is not going to be what everyone does, but I only have to provide a business case for our projects.

        Oh, and I have an ancient "Windsor" Athlon x2 6400+ in my fave games rig. It is far more CPU than I need for just about anything I do with it, and I laugh every time I hear about someone forking out for a quad-cored x4 or i7......

      3. Marcus Aurelius

        I like AMDs but ...

        ..the pricing quoted above was a complete whackjob.

        Unless you go for the highest level i7, I don't see an i7 upgrade costing £8-900 notes. Only the 3.33 Extreme version is up in the £600+ bracket, and a reasonable 2.8/2.9Ghz version can be had for round £200.

        i7 motherboard bundles with 6GB ram are £500 inc VAT, and that's only for a quick look....

        1. Lionel Baden

          Im sorry

          I guess you were looking over my shoulder when i was looking on the sites for parts !!

          I was quoting all parts for an i7 build Mobo, CPU & Ram (4Gig 1600) not just the CPU.

          It was also a while back when i upgraded and prices have also gone down since then.


          here we go !!! i7


          X4 3.3Ghz


          Similar specs but not quite as efficient


          X4 3.4Ghz

          That was 20 Secs googling

          NOW GTFO !!!! you fail.

          imo, intel is not worth 4X as much you dont get 4 times more power !!! you get maybe 3% advantage.

          when i clocked mine i closed the gap to 0.5% but the mainboard was a cheapo and traffic became unreliable

          So yes i will happily admit Intel make a faster chip is it worth it Fuck no ..

      4. No, I will not fix your computer

        AMD has been close in the past....

        I built a dual processor, quad core (8 cores) E5420 (clocked at 3Ghz), with 1Gb Gfx, 16Gb of quad channel fully buffered dimm, 2x 1Tb F3s all brand new except the ram, with a Win 7 ultimate licence for less than £800, it's faster than skulltrail with a pair of QX9775.

        You can't build anything based on AMD for anything like this price with asimilar performance, if fact you'd struggle to build anything faster AMD period, you'd need 12 and 16 core monsters, and the mobos are just too expensive.

        AMD still own the market for budget procs, you do get more bang for your (budget) buck, Intel don't really compete at the sub $100 chip, but that's because the quality of their chips is exceptional (kind of the point of the article), you find so many Intel chips that overclock really well because they are the same chip as the higher end one, identical dies, just clocked lower, the volume that they can knock out means that they have no problem repackaging a high end chip as an underclocked lower end chip, take my E5420s they clock identically to E5472s, no voltage change, no exotic cooling, 80w out of the box, video compression and non linear editing is a dream.

        There are however some "sweet spots", as Lionel points out, an AMD x4 965 is a very quick proc for the money, although the i5 760 costs 10% more and is 20% faster, I suspect that Lionel is smug because he got a better deal than someone paying old i7 prices, chips drop in price all the time, you have to shop around, I'm sure that someone who bought an i5 and is clocking it at 3Ghz is feeling smug compared to the AMD owners that can't overclock at all, for $200 you'd be looking at overclocking a six core AMD to get close (if the software takes advantage)

        I upgraded a system to i5 750 @3.4Ghz plus motherboard with 3Gb ram for £255, probably faster than Lionels upgrade, but almost certainly better "bang for your buck", a few weeks from now there'll be something faster and cheaper.

        1. Lionel Baden

          @No, I will not fix your computer

          Wow sweet build !!

          I spose if i had the money i probably would (not sure if the fan in me would allow it :D ) of got an Intel

          But heyho

          have to admit i dont think i would buy a sub $100 chip, cant see it be cost effective in the long run.

          Better to pay for top range and have it last longer.

          p.s. sorry for flaming a bit earlier i have been drinking to much red bull today !!!

          1. Marcus Aurelius

            Still Fail

            Yes, but like I said you don't have to spend £650 on an i7; you can come down to an i7-920/930 (1/3-1/4 the price of the high end i7quoted) and still show an AMD X4 a very clean pair of heels.


            Incidentally, I'm not saying you'll see 50% difference in a PC on these benchmarks, just that the performance is there if you can use it....

            1. Lionel Baden

              DOUBLE FAIL

              from your link

              Intel Core i7 940 @ 2.93GHz 6,157 $562.00**

              AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 6,081 $295.99*

              Intel Xeon W3565 @ 3.20GHz 5,982 $562.00**

              Doesnt even have the phenom X4 listed either :/ which would of been much cheaper !!

              If needed i can get everest up and running when i get home !!! and start pulling stats from that !!

              1. Marcus Aurelius

                Fail Redux

                Keep going down..nope further down...further than'll see the AMD Phenom II 965 benchmarked at 4261 compared to the Intel Core i7 940 @ 2.93GHz at 6000 and change. I accept that only someone with more money than sense will go for Intels top offering.

                Thats a damn site more that a few percent difference, although like I said I grant there will be much less difference in a normal pc environment. My original contention was simply that you didn't have to go to £900 to make a system.

                Also if a little cheating is allowed, i7s are very overclocking friendly you can take a "cheap" 920 (£180) at 2.6gHz and overclock to 4 - the days when AMD were the only overclocking cpu in town are gone.

                1. Lionel Baden


                  oh i will fully agree that Intel will clock just as well as an AMD chip nowadays

                  But you seem to be fully missing my point by a Mile !!!!

                  Two similar specced CPU

                  3.4 Ghz AMD & 3.4Ghz Intel ....

                  the intel wil perform a little better BUT !!!! cost twice as much !!!!!

                  again another exert loko at the specs and performance in relation to the Price !!!

                  Intel Core i7 940 @ 2.93GHz 6,157 $562.00**

                  AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 6,074 $295.99*

                  Intel Xeon W3565 @ 3.20GHz 5,982 $562.00**

                  The Perfomance of those Chips is almost identical !!!!!

                  the price is not

                  you get my point now ?????

                  When i was speccing a system intel did not have a chip that had enough power in my price range, i am sorry i didnt video document the entire saga of speccing and calculating costs for a new system but the only realistic contender for the AMD X4 i bought at the time was the i7 stupid expensive. therefore I stuck with AMD and probably will do in future as well.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                    RE: OC

                    Gents, stop droolling over high clock CPUs! Most Wintel (or Lintel) PC apps are bogged down by lack of fast memory, slow access to disk or thrashed video. Get a medium speed dual-core (quad-core only if you insist on running LOTS of apps concurrently or want to do serious crypto) and spend the saved money on a top-notch vid card and the biggest modules of the fastest RAM you can afford, you'll get much better return on your money. By the time things develop to the point where you need more CPU grunt you'll probably need an upgrade to the next gen of mobo so you can run new types of RAM and the next type of PCI-whatever cards.

                  2. Marcus Aurelius

                    Return to server

                    The performance of the chips is not identical; taking the benchmark to be reasonably correct (a large assumption but...), the i7 delivers about 50% more grunt. The simple reason it does this is because its a 6 core processor to the AMD's 4.

                    A realistic comparison of your Phenom II is to a top end i5; both are 4 cores, and surprise, both deliver similar benchmarks. The price difference? about $20. You seem to want to go purely on clock speed, and that's rarely been a good comparison.

                    As I've said there are reasons why a machine won't show a 50%+ difference between an i7 and a Phenom II; not all processes will be optimised to run on a 6 core system in one way or another, and the system will still depend on the surrounding I/O.

                    Your original contention was that you had to pay £8-900 smackeroonies to get an Intel machine of similar performance to yours. I am pointing out that I agree you have to pay more for an Intel system, but the price performance gap is not as big as you suggest. If you had said an extra £1-200 for a similar spec Intel machine, I would not have disagreed.

                    P.S. All my home systems are AMD :-)

                    1. Lionel Baden
                      Thumb Up

                      dammit !!

                      marcus all this time we were arguing the same point :D .... to or a degree :)

                      i will get my everest benchmarks done tomorrow though because i know the difference wasnt that much, although my memory can be pretty shaky at times.

                      I fully agree with matt regarding the cpu not being the most important factor in a gaming rig.

                      run stripey raid and dread the day it dies !!!!

                      would love to get a Ram drive though *drools ......

  8. something

    How much does it matter

    I dont think that anyone at this moment of time, can beat Intel on the manufacturing side of things. Simply, with such a high cost associated with the R&D and the facilities, machinery and tools for a process node, a company 10 times smaller cannot run the process race with Intel.

    That means that AMD will have to get smarter. Which means a couple of things:

    1. do better on the architectural level so that you wont be so dependent on the performance of the lower levels of the designs. This is what IBM does on the high end and what ARM does on the low/power-sensitive level. Currently IBM is a process node behind but its Power7 is proven faster than Intel and ARM is one or two nodes behind and yet its processors are more power efficient.

    2. get the best of the process you are on. Being kinda late, could potentially offer a number of advantages, such as more stable tools, more developed equipment, safer. Yes there are a lot of disadvantages as well (the cost per IC being the most important) but at least you have more chances to make the most of the process you are working on.

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