The History Of AMD CPUs

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton

Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.

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  • wurkfur
    Quote:
    The eternal underdog will once more have his day.


    How can you say eternal? For a good while AMD was actually making faster and more innovative stuff than Intel.

    AMD launched dual cores for consumers
    AMD integrated memory controllers on die
    AMD created x64 versus Intel pushing the move to a new architecture that only they could make
    AMD also pushed APU's mainstream

    Intel adopted all these practices after the fact while engaging in illegal monopolistic behavior in an international stage that stifled innovation, cost jobs, and caused consumers to pay more.

    One could argue that if Intel had simply played by the rules locally and abroad, AMD would have had enough cash flow to maintain their position through better R&D instead of playing catch up.

    For that very reason I look forward to AMD's upcoming products to replace my 1090t that's clocked within an inch of its life.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • blackmagnum
    The eternal underdog will once more have his day.
    -1
  • wurkfur
    Quote:
    The eternal underdog will once more have his day.


    How can you say eternal? For a good while AMD was actually making faster and more innovative stuff than Intel.

    AMD launched dual cores for consumers
    AMD integrated memory controllers on die
    AMD created x64 versus Intel pushing the move to a new architecture that only they could make
    AMD also pushed APU's mainstream

    Intel adopted all these practices after the fact while engaging in illegal monopolistic behavior in an international stage that stifled innovation, cost jobs, and caused consumers to pay more.

    One could argue that if Intel had simply played by the rules locally and abroad, AMD would have had enough cash flow to maintain their position through better R&D instead of playing catch up.

    For that very reason I look forward to AMD's upcoming products to replace my 1090t that's clocked within an inch of its life.
    12
  • vern72
    Quote:

    AMD launched dual cores for consumers
    AMD integrated memory controllers on die
    AMD created x64 versus Intel pushing the move to a new architecture that only they could make
    AMD also pushed APU's mainstream


    And one more thing: AMD was the first to ship a 1Ghz x86 CPU to the masses.
    6
  • turkey3_scratch
    Old CPUs are so much... cooler than new ones.
    0
  • CaedenV
    Fantastic article! Especially loved seeing the early chips; I had no idea that they were in the game pre 286 generation. I was a kid at the time and my understanding was that the law suits at the time were what allowed AMD (and Via... don't forget the 'true underdog' lol) to ENTER the market, not remain in it.

    Also, I remember endless debates when I built my first PC for college ~2001. I wanted an AMD XP chip... but my video editing software had issues with it (some sort of audio processing bug. Then it was between the Pentium 4 which had great burst performance, but terrible sustained performance due to RDRAM that could not keep up; and the Pentium 3 which looked terrible on paper and was 'old', but had fantastic sustained performance (and much healthier thermals!). In the end I decided on the Pentium 3, but (noob build mistake) because I bought a crap PSU it died within a year and I moved to my one and only AMD build which was a 2GHz Barton. That was a great PC that lasted a solid 3 years.

    I was really sad to watch Bulldozer fall apart. After the Core2Duo AMD was falling behind and bulldozer was supposed to bring them back into relevance. But then the marketing department thought that nobody would buy a high-end $500+ CPU, so they slashed the cache to make it more affordable. Sadly that cache was needed to prevent the CPU from constantly going back to the system memory for instructions and it literally killed the product. And Intel happily sold several $400-1000 i7 chips while AMD could not even hold onto the budget market. Sad times. It is a shame that they were not able to sell the full chip as originally designed, and then cut down a cheap version for 'consumers'.

    But now it looks like AMD is starting to play ball again. Next 3 years will be interesting to watch, and if they make a winner then I might throw my hat in their ring again when I do a rebuild 2-4 years from now. I would love to see something blow my 4.2GHz Sandy Bridge out of the water!
    0
  • CaedenV
    Quote:
    Old CPUs are so much... cooler than new ones.

    you kidding? Those old chips ran meltingly hot! And with tons of power! when those old chips were OC'd they could drink down nearly 200W and easily heat a dorm room on cold winter nights!
    1
  • turkey3_scratch
    Anonymous said:
    Quote:
    Old CPUs are so much... cooler than new ones.

    you kidding? Those old chips ran meltingly hot! And with tons of power! when those old chips were OC'd they could drink down nearly 200W and easily heat a dorm room on cold winter nights!


    To be fair we have current GPUs on the market above 300W.

    But by "cool" I just meant "cool" as in "vintage".
    2
  • gondor
    Nice stroll down the memory lane!
    1
  • SinxarKnights
    It is amazing to think that my old 433Mhz Intel processor was pretty good at the time. With 256MB of RAM the OS (Win98SE) was very responsive. The motherboard didn't have an AGP slot so I had to settle for a Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 from Wal-mart. Still have lots of fond memories of Diablo and Ultima Online.

    I built a PC with an Athlon 64 X2 5600+. Due to the larger cache, it gave a significant performance increase over the other lower tiered CPUs. This was right at the time Intel came out with the Core architecture. While the top end 64 X2 series (6000+ and up) outperformed the first Core CPUs that were released, everything went downhill from there for AMD.

    15 years ago my awesome 433mhz CPU was awesome, today it cannot perform the most basic of task in a timely manner. I imagine 15 years from now my current 4790k will be in the same boat.
    2
  • Zachary Singer-Englar
    I still brag about my Athlon II x250 Regor. That was a great processor for an underfunded enthusiast, It shipped at 3.0 and i had it clocked to 3.5 for about 2 years on a stock cooler before I replaced the whole set-up because my motherboard gave out (probably unrelated to my overclocking). That was 5 years after I had purchased the processor. My FX-6350 is not holding up quite as well.
    0
  • Zachary Singer-Englar
    Anonymous said:


    Holy crap that's one detailed article!
    1
  • TheDraac
    I thought Apple invented EVERYTHING first.... LOL
    0
  • Leus__
    Love these deep look at technology....thanks ...looking forward to seeing more article like these
    0
  • Time_flys_
    AMD is the eternal underdog, even when amd was on top of performance (p3 vs Athlon p4 vs Athlon xp people) people still shit on AMD saying they were not reliable chips. Still hoping for the day amd will take back performance crown. Love amd, not holding my breath though.
    0
  • Vorador2
    My first computer was bought with the money from my summer job. It was an Athlon XP that i put together myself on an extremely tight budget and ran beautifully.

    Man, the times when AMD was able to compete and surpass Intel. If Intel hadn't play dirty, things might have been very different.
    0
  • nycalex
    AMD, please comeback to life!

    i'll still buy intel, but i want to make sure intel is on edge and start releasing some REAL upgrades
    2
  • Clariska
    I worked with Intel directly during 2004-2008 and even there representative admitted that Intel used a scaly move to get in front of AMD.They released about 12 cpu's in 3 quarters(speaking under correction as i can't exactly remember the facts)that gave them the edge they needed.

    I am still sitting with a 4170k as i hardly use my pc for gaming cept for some mmo's that i can crank up a bit and the price to performance here are way better than what Intel has as i will never pay 12k for a cpu and i never saw the need to go 83xx cpu i am rather waiting for there next gen cpu to be released.

    I still have my 4400+ amd as well.A friend gave me the rig and told me its blown.Stupid him for not knowing how to setup the memory correctly via bios huehuehue and that still like a 11y old cpu and still running stuff like borderlands 2 with a small nvidia 530 card.Miss the old cpu's
    0
  • turkey3_scratch
    Anonymous said:
    I worked with Intel directly during 2004-2008


    A lot of people say that.
    0
  • Gam3r01
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    I worked with Intel directly during 2004-2008


    A lot of people say that.


    Example:
    My dad worked for Intel for a short period of time (hes a heavy equipment operator by trade). He was 19 packing 8086 chips (or similar) into the foam they shipped in.
    Not exactly working with intel.
    0