2002: Double Trouble

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During the history of this website, we’ve been one thing or the other.

The site began as effectively an Intel-only website simply because that’s where the best action was.

In the summer of 2000, we did a 180-degree turn and pretty much became an AMD-only website for precisely the same reason. When the
initial Willamette came out, we flat out told you to ignore it until Northwood came out.

Well, 2002 will be here in a few days, and a few days after that, so will Northwood.

It’s time for another shift.

We see 2002 as the first year Intel and AMD will really have a year-long brawl. It will start off with Intel throwing the first punch with Northwood, and will
probably end with AMD pulling out first Hammers. In between, we’ll see a see-saw battle as both contestants first shift to .13 micron technology, then enhance it the second half of the year.

It’s just not going to be so clear-cut who’s on top and who’s not during 2002, so we’re going to have to cover both.

By the end of next month, we’ll probably have a Northwood and a few PIV DDR boards. Since we don’t see AMD doing a whole lot the first part of the year, we’ll probably look more at PIVs than Athlons as winter does it’s worst and slowly turns into spring.

Then in all likelihood, attention will shift back to AMD when they release Thoroughbreds. After that, we’ll probably ping-pong the rest of the year.

What Does That Mean To Me?

From a pure performance standard, it’s unclear how this will play out. We suspect that Intel will be lead dog from an overclocking standpoint most of 2002, though not usually by a whole lot. That’s a pretty shaky prediction, though.

Change the standard to price/performance, though, and it is difficult to see how AMD will not be competitive throughout 2002.

The most often asked question this audience will ask itself in 2002 when or if they compare AMD to Intel options will be something like, “Is it worth an extra $300 for an extra 10% in performance?” The exact numbers will vary, but that will be the question.

For many of you, much of the time, the answer will be “No,” and that will be a good answer for you and for many other people. It will be an even better answer at certain points in time when you add, “I’ll just wait a couple months until AMD makes their next improvement.”

It’s very unlikely there’s going to be one correct answer to that question anytime in 2002, especially when it comes down to real people in real situations with real money.

“There Can Only Be One”

We’ll hear a lot of that in 2002. The Intelverts will crawl out of the woodwork and do battle with the AMDroids, and they’ll both have that same rallying cry, just different flags.

Maybe we should all make a New Year’s Resolution that when we see this happening, to call such folks by their real name: morons. It would be foolish to expect an end to such squabbles, but if you called such folks morons more, they might do it a bit less.

The closer the two sides are in reality, the louder the morons will get.

Whether they know it or not, what the morons are saying is “my set of values are the only legitimate ones, period” (well, it probably will sound more like “You suck, I rule,” but that’s what that means).

Boil all the hollerings down to their essential scented core, and one side will favor performance over money, and the other money over performance.

Even the “we cannot let Intel be a monopoly again or we’ll be paying $1,000 for 286 processors again,” is really a money argument. It’s not a moral argument since these are not especially saintly companies, and it’s delusional to think AMD will go down (or destroy Intel) because of anything anybody says about it. Besides, if the day ever came when everybody bought AMD processors and AMD became a monopoly, they would act no differently than Intel.

Given the probable differences in performance and cost, neither buying AMD nor Intel will be insane for at least some people to take. At most, it might not be the best position for certain particular people in certain particular situations to take.

Again, one shoe will not even come close to fitting all in 2002, and insisting that it must just means that you’re a moron.

If the shoe fits you, great, but if you wear a size 11, would you go to the shoe store and demand that they only stock size 11s from now on? If you did, you’d be called a real jerk and idiot, and those calling you that would be right. That’s exactly the same as insisting that either AMD or Intel is the only possible choice for everyone.

You’re not a moron if you decisively determine one side is better than the other for you. You’re not a moron if you say, “This is better for me, here’s why, and I bet this would be just as true for a lot of people.” You’re only a moron if you say, “This is what works for me, and therefore, it’s the only solution for everybody.”

“You Have To Be On One Side Or The Other”

No, we don’t. That’s just saying, “You have to be a moron just like us.” No, thanks.

We have chosen sides, we’re just not playing your game because it’s against our (and your own) best interest. Remember, the word “fan” comes from the word “fanatic.”

Our side is “Who provides the best computer for the money?” It always has been. That makes a lot more sense to us than choosing either Twiddledum or Twiddledee and ignoring or even finding evil what the nonchosen one does.

In the past, the answers just happened to be pretty clear. We’re not going into a period where, at least at the moment, it’s not so clear.

Does our buying a Northwood in mid-January mean you should, too? No. We’re buying one sooner rather than later primarily to get ourselves familiarized with these systems. That’s because they might be a better choice for some once prices head downward. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Most likely, any answer will be arguable, and likely to change.

What “One” Really Means

What often happens when you choose sides? What it really means is that you don’t have to think as much, or even not think at all; let the group do your thinking for you. You seek safety in numbers, and rather irrationally think you’ve gained strength and power as a result.

Loyalty? There is no loyalty here; it’s unrequited love. Loyalty is reciprocal. Loyalty means both sides have to do things to benefit the other side even when it’s not in their best interest. Believe me, there is little if any of that kind of loyalty at Intel or AMD, they’re looking out for themselves and their shareholders, not you.

It would be nice if they thought otherwise, but they don’t, and have given you no reason to expect it by their actions. These are business transactions, not love affairs.

It seems to be a trend nowadays for companies to pretend that they love you. This is ludicrous. How can Intel or AMD love you when most of the time, they don’t even know who you are?

If you buy a CPU from a store, how is Intel or AMD even going to know you exist? Even assuming they got your name and email address, do you really think they pass around lists to all the Intel, etc. employees with instructions saying, “Love them?”

Many of you serve customers in one form or another. Do you sleep with any and all of them who ask you? Do you take off from work and nurse their sick children if any of them ask you? You don’t? Why not? Where is the love?

The most you are ever going to get are good products and services at a fair price, have them take reasonable actions to satisfy you, and treat you with respect so long as you deserve it. No more, no less.

Don’t expect “love” when the realities of such “love” would boggle the mind of a prostitute, much less the real thing.

You’re looking for love in all the wrong places. 🙂

Since they don’t love you, you don’t have to love them. Love yourself, and that means looking around for better partners when and if they come around.

If You’re Insulted

Maybe you’re too easily insulted.

If you’re doing something that only ends up hurting yourself, what’s better, being told you’re smart when you’re not, or being told you’re dumb when you need to be told that?

P.S.: If you don’t like the language, uhhh, where’s your name in this article? It’s not like I keep a list either. The language is just a 2X4 to get your attention. If you can’t hear that you’re wrong anonymously by someone who has no idea whether it applies to you or not, then when can you?

See if the shoe fits or not. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant for you. If it does, consider wearing it. I’ll never know unless you tell me.

Email Ed

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