1Ghz: Mountain or Molehill?

How important is this? From a practical, how fast does it run perspective, it’s nothing earthshaking.

Symbolically, though, it means a lot. Those of us who follow computers closely have known that AMD has done as well or better than Intel for at least the last six months. Today, the rest of the world is put on notice.

1Ghz is a simple number that gets attention. It may be a silly milestone, but then, so was the millenium. It will be perceived as something important, and for the first time in the average person’s memory, Intel didn’t do it.

For the first time, many people will notice AMD for the first time and ask, “Who are these people?” For the first time, they will realize the best doesn’t have to have Intel Inside. They’ll see David giving Goliath a good whack, the computer McCain .

Because of this, some of them as the result of today will buy their next computer or buy some stock in this company. AMD’s good work these past months will be finally recognized, and Intel can’t ding-dong this one away no matter how hard they try.

AMD has a long way to go before they can stand toe-to-toe with Intel on equal ground, but today marks the day many realize there’s a real fight going on. Intel has figuratively portrayed AMD as the crazy aunt in the backroom, but that’s not going to work anymore. This recognition that Intel is not alone is long overdue, but better late than never. And it’s going to get a lot worse, because Intel’s only answer to Thunderbird and Mustang and Spitfire and copper interconnects and Athlon is Willamette bluff and vapor, and vapor eventually dissipates.

The rules for overclockers are often different from that of the average computer buyer, and the Coppermine is still a better buy than the Athlon, but for the average non-overclocker, AMD looks awfully good now, and will only look better as we head into spring and summer.

A big part of Intel’s mystique is that there was no real competition to it. No more. The Empire may strike back later, even win, but the world knows now there are rebels out there.

Congratulations, AMD.

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