The Intel Poll: Fat and Happy

About a month ago, we asked Intel users some questions. Here’s the answers we got:

1) Please list the type and default speed of the Intel processor you use (i.e. Celeron 566, PIII 866MHz, PIV Willamette 1.8, PIV Northwood 2.4C, etc.)

The response:

Northwood PIV: 79%
Tualatin: 4%
PIII: 4%
Others: 13%

This was rather surprising, especially when at least 75% of those who said they had Northwoods indicated they had the latest “C” model Northwoods.

Only about 2% of those answering indicated they had Prescotts.

The average Intel user has relatively modern equipment, and thus can afford to be patient/unconcerned about Intel’s current problems.

2) To what extent do you consider yourself an Intel fan?

a) Not much; I just go with what is better for me at the time I buy: 37%

b) I normally go Intel, but I wouldn’t have too much of a problem shifting to AMD if the situation called for it: 37%

c) I almost always or always go with Intel, and I would have a pretty big problem shifting to AMD: 22%

d) There is no way I buy AMD over Intel: 4%

Hardly a group of fanatics speaking.

3) Why do you prefer Intel over AMD?

a) I really don’t have any real preference: 30%
b) I bought AMD before and didn’t like what happened: 10%.

c) I find that you can overclock Intel chips more than AMD chips: 12%

d) I think Intel makes a better product than AMD: 15%

e) I think Intel is a more reliable, dependable company than AMD: 18%

f) I can’t put my finger on it, but I just feel more comfortable using Intel rather than AMD: 12%

g) I’ve never seriously considered buying from AMD: 3%.

What these percentages do not reveal are the typical comments made by people about AMD. On the whole, they aren’t too wound up against AMD. To the extent Intel users
got wound up about anything AMD-related; it wasn’t the CPU but the motherboards supporting them. Intel motherboard chipsets were generally perceived as being almost as good a reason to buy Intel as the CPU. In contrast, AMD motherboards were generally regarded as an anchor (though nVidia was rather less criticized than Via).

Results Continued…

Results Continued

4) Given Intel’s problems with Prescott and its cancellation of Tejas, what do you think will be your next computing upgrade?

a) I need a new system soon, and I don’t know what to do: 2%

b) I need a new system soon, and I guess I’ll end up with an old Northwood: 7%.
c) I need a new system soon, and I hope they fix up Prescott a bit, or introduce a Dothan desktop chip soon: 8%

d) I’ll probably end up with an AMD system: 13%
e) I can wait until 2005; I’ll compare Intel and AMD then: 55%
f) Dothan dual-core, baby!: 15%

With almost 70% indicating that they’ll wait a year or more before considering the next upgrade; this group is pretty stand-pat, and understandably so. AMD will benefit from some defection, but it won’t be anything major anytime soon.

5) How do you feel about Intel’s problems with Prescott and its cancellation of Tejas

a) Disgusted and angry: 4%
b) Pretty disappointed: 7%
c) Fairly neutral to a bit disappointed: 21%
d) At least they owned up to their problem, and did what had to be done: 49%
e) I like their new plans better than the old: 19%

Again, there’s no great angst here, more a calm acceptance than anything else.

In many ways, the mental climate is much the same among AMD and Intel users. Recent events on either side, so far, are not enough to make a significant percentage of users jump from one side to the other. This is probably due to both companies offering well-performing, mature platforms at prices considered reasonable by each camp.

Since most of neither camp finds compelling reason to upgrade from their established platforms, there’s little reason to consider upgrading, much less changing horses.

Your Comments…

Your Comments

“I Can Go Either Way”

My cpu has been overclocked to 3.33 ghz at

stock voltage and at a full-load temperature

of 40 deg. on air. Locked AGP and PCI ports

are what sold me on Intel at the time. Lower

temps at stock speeds and overclocked (along

with a heat spreader) were an added bonus.

Had AMD offered these features at the time

(April 2003) I would have readily gone with

them. In 2005, I will probably go AMD unless

Intel raises the bar by then.

I tend to like Intel’s products from an

intellectual standpoint more
than I like AMD’s (Prescott is a notable

exception), but when it
time to buy something, I really don’t care

which company it’s from as
long as I get the best value I can find for

my money. Intel usually
the better products at the times I’m

upgrading, but I’ve bought from
before (Duron 1200, and an AthlonXP 2200+,

which I’ve been thinking
about replacing with a Duron 1800, so I can

use quieter cooling with

As far as Prescott and Tejas go… I don’t

really care much; I’ve got
pretty good system, and I’d have to upgrade
the video card (9700Pro)
before a faster processor would even be

worthwhile (I work and game
1600×1200, so unless I’m playing Quake 3,

which I rarely do anymore,
graphics limited).

I use Intel because I always have from the

start and have never
had a
major problem with them. I didn’t know

anything about AMD until 3
years ago.
More television advertising from them would

be a good idea.

Not the Chip, The Chipset!…

Not the Chip, The Chipset!

I wouldn’t call myself an Intel fan. I’ve

used AMD systems in the past. I take a look

at the whole package (speed, stability,

chipset features) before deciding what

platform to go.

In the early days of P4 the

choice was easy, I went AMD. Once the P4

northwoods were released and intel started

putting out DDR chipsets, the choice was easy

again, P4.

If both platforms performed

identically and had the same features, I’d

probably choose Intel, just because I trust

their chipsets a bit more than AMD and VIA

(I’ve had stability/compatibility issues in

the past with certain AMD/VIA platforms).

Right now the choice is very hard. Each

platform has so many negatives that we have

to decide which is the lesser of two evils.

This is a choice I’m not looking forward to

making, so I will hold off all upgrading

until there is a clear, positive path to

take. As for my pentium-M, it is the easy

choice for notebooks right now.

I have gone AMD in the past when Intel has

had problems but usually it is brief. AMD’s

biggest problem is usually 3rd party chipset

manufacturers (Via, Sis) and the

inconsistencies they build into their

products. If AMD has as good chipsets and

mobos available as Intel when I switch then I

may stay longer.

Mostly because the Intel CHIPSETS just work

… and darn well, too.
I will NEVER AGAIN use a VIA chipset.

I’m happy to O/C an AMD Socket 939, though I

having to go with 3rd party chipset

suppliers, especially given the
transition to the new PCI Express I/O. I’d

feel more comfortable, and
purchase sooner, if there were an all-AMD

solution available.
Currently I
feel that I must wait 2 months after

introduction before purchasing

My primary home machine is a C566A @ 875 MHz.

Hail Asus, and the P2B that Refuses To Die!
. . . I prefer Intel because they make the

best chipsets in the business. In addition, I

think Intel deserves some respect as an

innovator and industry “leader” (which

basically means wasting a lot of energy

trying to convince the world that a

particular improvement is worth the hassle).

I don’t think my attitude is accurately

described by any of your options. For my last

workplace I spec’d and ordered an XP1600

system which worked very nicely, so I have

nothing bad to say about AMD. . . . I

definitely need a new system soon, or I’ll go

crazy. Mostly from shame, but I’d also like

to be able to play Thief 3 in the foreseeable

future. . . .

I’m waiting to see if the

price of a bare-minimum overclockable S775

system is reasonable. At this point, I need

to trash everything but my monitor, speakers,

and input devices no matter what, so I’m not

afraid to start over. As a second choice,

I’ll look at S939, provided that decent PCIE

motherboards are available. But if. come

July, I’m still not happy with my “next

generation” options, screw it – I’ll pick up

a top of the line S478 or socket A system and

run it into the ground.

I’d rather buy Intel because I like their

chipsets better, not merely
the CPU alone.
When I compare Intel boards against AMD

boards I think that Intel
offer more.
I also have better experiences overclocking

Intel CPU’s then AMD’s.
But I suppose the next guy to take this poll

might claim the other way

. . . it’s the supporting CHIPSET that makes

the difference. AMD’s own chipsets often

have things broken on them (USB 2.0?, yeah

right!) and numerous compatibility problems.

And don’t get me started on third party

chipsets, especially VIA (never again,


Why Worry, Why Hurry?…

Why Worry, Why Hurry?

Personally, I am quite happy with Intel

processors after the P4Bs…. I see no reason

to upgrade now, or for awhile… Clearly AMD

has the advantage at the moment, but, in my

opinion, it is plain stupid to upgrade

now…. PCI express is right around the

corner…. following that logic, it doesn’t

matter who is in the lead right now…. I am

actually glad AMD has a slight lead in

speed(excluding the horendously overpriced

P4EEs) at the moment… maybe it will push

Intel to try harder or something….

I was looking at either getting a Socket 939

A64 or a Northwood system and overclocking it

as much as I possibly could. I basically

planned on getting a Socket 939 somehow

whenever they’re out, though – as soon as I
heard about their coming existence almost a

year ago, something about that platform just
‘felt’ right. I’m also sitting on an unlocked

2500+ I grabbed when they first became rare.

So if AMD gets stupid with 939 and offers a

3500+ or something as the lowest speed

rating, I will just use the Barton,
overclock it, and sit out the year.

I’d like to add that the situation really

hasn’t called for it until Prescott sucked,

but even then Hammers aren’t THAT compelling

right now either.

I sure as

hell wasn’t planning on buying a preshott (I

live in a tropical climate and heat is a

major consideration in my purchases), and I

was very worried about Tejas.

The current AMD

situation isn’t much better though, so it was

a very dreary outlook for enthusiasts… but

with Intel’s announcement of scrapping Tejas

and focusing on multi-core/pentium-m

technologies, well I am hopeful Intel will

get ahold of their heat and power issues.

It’s too early to tell, of course, so I will

wait until these chips have made the review

rounds before making up my mind. I worry that

it will be quite a long time though, as Intel

hasn’t done so hot with meeting deadlines


Waiting till 2005 to upgrade seems to

be the right decision anyway, with so many

other changes on the horizon (pci-express,

ddr2, btx, sata cd-roms), putting together a

new system now would seriously limit your

upgrade path.

I wouldn’t rule AMD out with the Hammers, but

it doesn’t seem feasible right now. I’m not

going to pay for a feature I’m not going to

use (ie 64 bitness) and software isn’t

available to exploit the feature. By then, a

new version would be out anyway that would be

better than what’s out there now.

I’m considering buying a new processor, but

It just doesn’t seem worth the $$$. $150 for

a marginal improvement? I don’t think so.

My 1.6a has been a great investment. It’s 2

years old now, but it still runs all my aps

and games great.

I did upgrade late last

year to a dual channel Asus p4p800 deluxe

Newegg refurb, but I don’t think I’ll see a

big jump in performance if I put a new

processor in at 3.X ghz with hyperthreading.

I should amend that—I don’t think I’d see a

performance jump that justifies $150 to me.

Looking Towards The Dothan Way…

Looking Towards The Dothan Way

A future desktop Pentium-M class
chip would be ideal for those of us that have

become interested in a
decently powerful computer that is both cool

and quiet. Once Intel
releases a desktop Pentium-M class processor

I’ll look at AMD’s
offering and then decide which company has

the CPU that meets my
needs. Prescott and 130nm Hammers don’t

interest me. . . .

I’ve been drooling over

the idea of a Pentium-M desktop machine for a
long time. Intel’s stubborn insistence that

only megahertz matters
had prevented that from happening. It appears

that, for once,
engineering has succeeded over marketing.

Good for Intel and good for
its talented Pentium-M design team.

I’m reminded how nVidia tried to force the

GeForceFX 5800 into production and proclaim

its greatness while most everyone sat back

and marvelled at their delusions. Had they

stopped and thought about its direction when

things when off track, they may have been

able to introduce the NV35 as the NV30 and

not been put in such an embarassing situation

where they were selling a product that they

knew wasn’t as good as their competitor’s

product, and they couldn’t exactly say “Uh,

sorry. We’ll do better next time.”

Someone at Intel finally stepped up and said

“Wait a minute, is the Pentium processor

heading in the right direction, or have we

blinded ourselves into believing that

consumers want mhz above performance?”. I

was impressed with the Pentium M’s

performance when I first saw its gaming

benchmarks, and I’m curious to see what Intel

can do with the Pentium M when not hampered

by the shackles of notebook power consuption


I am far more concerned how this sea change

in the industry signals a
likely stratification of the market into

(far) more expensive
server-class offerings and desktop-class

offerings that require more
work from ISV’s to realize continued

performance gains from the
expected multi-core processors. (Witness the

fact that most high-end
games *still* can’t effectively leverage a

dual-processor or HT

It has always taken software developers a

much longer time to
leverage new hardware features (SMP/HT, MMX,

SSE, SSE2, 3DNow!, etc.)
in a pervasive way than it does for the chip

makers to add them.

It’s been one hell of a ride for the past 5

or 6 years. I knew the gravy train had to end

sooner than later. It’s going to get

expensive for some decent hardware pretty

quick. If the next paradigm is going to be

multi-processors I think were going to see

more improvement coming from the software

side of life. I could see Microsoft charging

lots more for multiprocessor support in their

next release of Windows especially if they

could get a substantial performance boost

from it.

Getting Burned and Getting Proper Perspective…

Getting Burned

The only 2 CPUs I ever burned up were AMD,

and I
hated patching games for 3DNow, plus I got

burned on
the T-Bird Slot-A fiasco.

Basically, It’s a principle thing. I was

turned off to AMD, mostly due to the Big

Mouth dissing Jerry Sanders did, and now

Hector Ruiz seems to following in those

footsteps. My basic philosphy of life does

not include trash talking, for I believe the

more you say how great you are, the less you

really are. And the more you spit on people,

the more likely it is that those people are

better then you. I don’t like trash talk,

and I don’t associate myself with it, nor

support those that do it, regardless of what

they’re offering.

Getting The Proper Perspective

If intel made a solid, 64-bit product at near

current prices, you’d have a hard time

convincing me to buy AMD. Frankly, I’ve been

getting kind of bored by the current slowness

of progress. If Via came out with something

as silent and small as their current

products, 64-bit, and it could perform on par

with a 1ghz t-bird, then both of the big

companies would have something to look out

for. I’d have one in every room.

It’s been one hell of a ride for the past 5

or 6 years. I knew the gravy train had to end

sooner than later. It’s going to get

expensive for some decent hardware pretty

quick. If the next paradigm is going to be

multi-processors I think were going to see

more improvement coming from the software

side of life. I could see Microsoft charging

lots more for multiprocessor support in their

next release of Windows especially if they

could get a substantial performance boost

from it.



I like Intel’s problems with making
faster chips because it slows down the
process of making my system
obsolete 😉

They haven’t done anything to me personally,

why should I feel hurt or angry?

eh…. shit happens. its not the end of the


The Unenthusiasts…

The Unenthusiasts

Our recent polling indicates one simple big fact, no matter which side of the Great Divide you’re on.

The enthusiasts aren’t enthusiastic.

The issue is not one of defection to another side. The issue is defecting to the sidelines and waiting anything happening now out.

This isn’t the best of news for Intel, but they have much bigger problems to worry about.

It is worse news for AMD, a company that relies more heavily upon this audience for sales. If they’re counting on big-ticket sales from their fans, they’re going to be disappointed.

It is worst for the computer hardware sites. After all, if the enthusiasts aren’t enthusiastic, what can they say, and more importantly, who is going to listen?

Frankly, the only traces of enthusiasm I’ve seen lately from people have been for video cards, and not all that much of that, either.

The general PC market is falling into a “replace the old ones and replace it with a cheap one” mode. Much of the hype about heavy-duty gaming boxes is really a search for fatter profits in what is becoming a commodity industry.

But not even we lunatics are buying into this. They are sounding more and more like the general PC audience. Those who aren’t supposed to ask “Why,” are, and they’re asking for good reason.

It’s not a lack of enthusiasm per se; it’s more a lack of anything available now to get enthusiastic about, or any time terribly soon.

Those who need an upgrade will get one during these times. Those products that will maximize the potential of current equipment ought to do well.

But if the CPUers are expecting us all to see anything soon and say, “OMG, I must have this!” it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Right now, dual-core seems to be only OMG prospect on the horizon.


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