AMD Publishes White Paper on Avoiding the 'Intel Tax'

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Spring is supposed to be about cleaning things up. But it seems like tech companies decided this is the season to start flinging mud, as demonstrated by AMD publishing a new white paper titled "Avoid the 'Intel Tax' With AMD EPYC Processors" earlier this week.

AMD described the so-called "Intel Tax" as the "extra price for Intel processors that you have to pay to get the features and performance you need" because Intel's server line "is filled with self-imposed, designed-in performance bottlenecks that affect real-world results."

That's pretty much all there is to the paper--it's only two pages long--and AMD has made many of these points before. This isn't so much a white paper as it is a thinly veiled excuse for AMD to trash talk Intel so more data centers are tempted by its own EPYC processors.

Lately, it's kind of felt like most companies aren't willing to call out their competitors directly. They'll compare their products to those from other companies, of course, but otherwise it seems like everyone's decided to present a facade of respectful competition.

That facade is starting to slip. AMD published even more direct attacks on Intel's Xeon products in July 2018, when it put up ad materials that said things like "Xeon isn't EPYC" and "Xeon ruled. So did dinosaurs" around the San Jose International Airport.

AMD isn't alone in this mud-flinging. Just this week Intel published a blog post by Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua in which he repeatedly said that Nvidia's Safety Force Field autonomous driving tech imitates his company's Responsbility-Sensitive Safety system.

Nvidia has gotten in on the fun, too, with chief executive Jensen Huang saying at CES 2019 that AMD's Radeon VII graphics card is "underwhelming" because "the performance is lousy and there's nothing new." He also said that AMD's FreeSync doesn't work.

None of these attacks have been as purposely aggressive as, say, those conducted on Twitter by Wendy's. But at least we're reaching a point where these companies don't feel the need to sterilize their comments in an effort to keep their fights "clean." 

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.