The Giga Battle


The Giga Performance Battle is ending with interesting results. Intel's Giga-Pentium III is leading in front of AMD's Giga-Athlon in the majority of benchmarks. However, Intel will still not like those benchmark numbers too much. It must be horrible for Intel's platform division to see how badly the old 440BX-chipset destroys i820. Even if we forget about the incredibly high scores of BX for a moment, there's still the excellent results of VIA's Apollo Pro 133A platform in all 3D games and office applications. It is certainly a shame that i840 was not included in those benchmark numbers, since it could have saved Intel's face. The reason for this however is Intel itself. In its paranoia against overclocking Intel's OR840 motherboard with the i840 chipset comes equipped with a BIOS that wouldn't allow CPUs to run faster than 800 MHz. Intel could not send me a fix until now and the answer was "Giga Hertz systems are supposed to ship on i820 platforms. So far there is no plan to use Pentium III 1000 on the OR840 motherboard. " Isn't that a typical Intel-answer? The fastest processor build by Intel is not supposed to run on the fastest platform that's officially available! Somebody understand Intel's logic!

AMD has no reason to feel bad though. It's not only nice to see that Giga-Athlon performs best in the majority of the SPECviewperf and FPU benchmarks. In the rest of the tests Giga-Athlon is certainly not exactly far behind Giga-Pentium III as well. Keep this in mind when you realize that Intel can hardly ship any gigahertz Pentium III processors. While Intel has not even got enough processors in the area between 800 and 1000 MHz to release Pentium III 866 and 933, and Europe is bar of any 1 GHz PIII sample altogether, AMD is equipping the press as well as its OEMs with gigahertz Athlons. If you really think that you need a Giga-System, the decision will be very easy. Athlon Gigas are actually available, Pentium III Gigas are a simple phantom. You cannot buy what isn't there, can you? Let's see if Intel has successfully impacted AMD's business by releasing the Pentium III at 1 GHz prematurely. Intel's plan might have been to damage AMD's sales by releasing a phantom product at a very low price. If this phantom product doesn't soon become reality however, Intel's plan might backfire. I wonder if Craig Barret (or was it Kyle after all?) will succeed with this boasting policy.

Follow-up by reading the article 'The Giga-Battle Part 2 '.