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AMD's Athlon 64 Has Arrived: the Athlon 64 FX and Athlon 64 (and Intel's P4 Extreme)

A New World Order: The Athlon 64 FX And Athlon 64 Vs. The P4 Extreme, Continued

AMD swung back with the "Hammer" and has its old archenemy Intel with its P4 (Extreme) in its sights. After all, for x86 CPUs, the market leader stole an important share of the market from the former upstart AMD, especially in the past two quarters. At the moment, the standings are 15.7 percent (AMD) to 82.5 percent (Intel), with the remaining 1.8 percent divided among the marginal actors VIA and Transmeta.

x86 CPUsMarket ShareProfit Margin
Intel82.5%51 bis 54%
AMD15.7%loss
VIA1%no information
Transmeta0.8%loss

The most important facts about the Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX-51 have been known for a long time from the workstation/server version of the Opteron (see article: Duel of the Elephants: AMD Hammer vs. Intel Xeon). The actual chief attraction of the Athlon 64 is that it was able to smooth out the bumps in the conversion from 32 bit to 64 bit software in this mass market of millions.

At the same time, Apple laid claim that with the G5 model, it would offer the world's most powerful desktop system. Apparently there are users who will believe these kinds of claims. Whatever - at least the G5 also has 64 bit support with regard to the software. Nevertheless, there is still no final operating system available for it.

Other 64 bitters worth mentioning are the Alpha 21364 (1150 MHz), IBM's PowerPC (1700 MHz), Intel's Itanium 2 (1500 MHz) and, last but not least, Sun's UltraSparc III Cu (1200 MHz). Compared to the CPUs mentioned, which are only used in professional 64 bit environments, the Athlon 64 is the first CPU that could revolutionize the desktop market and thereby the mass market as well.