Over the past few years Intel and AMD have been fiercely competing to outperform one another and gain market share by constantly introducing new "faster" processors. This competition has resulted in a fast and steady rate of innovation and has also kept prices down; no one manufacturer can monopolize the market.
Today we will be looking at processors from these two firms designed for the server market. Intel's server line processors go by the name of: Xeon, while AMD has named theirs Opteron. AMD's Opterons have enjoyed a lead in performance in the server market for the past few years due to their superior architecture resulting in better performance and lower power consumption (higher performance per watt). Learning from its mistakes and realizing that the current design could not compete with the mighty Opteron, Intel has introduced a completely new Xeon processor, based on its Core 2 microarchitecture.