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AMD Speculation on an April Fool - Poisson d'Avril!

Will AMD's model number nomenclature mirror Intel's?
Thu Apr 01 2004, 11:09
FRENCH HARDWARE Website Hardware.fr has revealed what appears on the face of it to be a confidential AMD slide that shows the following:

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+

Unfortunately, the AMD slide, which is in English, makes this an April Fool's joke. This is how the paragraph, which explains the above, reads:

"Since AMD Processors P-Rating has always be a meant for us to position our products in comparison with Intel processors and since Intel has decided to give up their CPU branding based on the frequency, we have also to move towards a new P-Rating system. It is mandatory in order to let our customers understand how we position our processors. These P-Ratings will be used from third quarter 2004 and will concern only the Athlon 64's processors."

It's clear that it wasn't written by AMD.

Anyway, let's speculate a little. Let's assume that it was true. AMD, no doubt, has given this some thought.

Intel's model number scheme has already been reported thus:

Intel Pentium 4 550: 3.40 GHz
Intel Pentium 4 540: 3.20 GHz
Intel Pentium 4 530: 3.00 GHz
Intel Pentium 4 520: 2.80 GHz

It's clear to see AMD's intent. This isn't the first time that this sort of thing has happened.

Back in the 386 and 486 processor era, Intel differentiated its product offerings by using a DX, SX, and SL nomenclature. Because these couldn't be registered as trademarks, the clone manufacturers that were competing against Intel just copied them.

So after spending over two years establishing its own model number system, why would AMD change it to fall in line with Intel?

Well, the chip giant will probably spend hundreds of millions of dollars informing the world about the change it will make to its branding. From AMD's perspective, it makes good economic sense to ride on the coattails of that campaign. Also, some of its OEM customers may have requested this nomenclature change.

I hope AMD doesn't totally go down this road. With all of the millions of dollars that Intel has spent over the years indoctrinating the world about the importance of frequency, I don't see how years of brain washing can be undone in a matter of months.

I think AMD should be riding two horses. It should continue to supply those customers who still want to sell its processors using the current scheme, and supply the others with the new nomenclature parts. That way, those customers that sell using the current nomenclature can continue with what they and their customers are happy with. If at some future date they decide it's time to change to the new nomenclature, they can do so.

The advantage of having this nomenclature change driven by the resellers is that if they decide to change, they will know the best time to do it. µ

L'INQ
Poisson d'Avril

 

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