Published in Editorials

Is The AMD Centurion a Shot In The Arm... Or the Foot?

by on24 April 2013 2714 times
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Some of you might remember the days of the “P” rating CPUs. It was an interesting time when you never really knew what you were actually getting in terms of clock speed. Instead you were able to get a CPU named something like P333 or P500. This was an attempt by some manufacturers to show their “P”erformance rating in relation to Intel’s Pentium. Cyrix, AMD, and a couple of others used this to sell CPUs. Unfortunately everyone knew that the P did not really stand for performance it really meant Pentium equivalency. A Cyrix P667 was supposed to perform as well as an Intel Pentium 667 (at least on paper). Sadly this just confused the market more and we all had the fun of trying to figure out what our CPUs were really doing. Now we might be seeing the trend return, but perhaps in reverse as AMD has announced the Centurion CPU.

In the last couple of days there has been a lot of new about AMD releasing a new CPU clocked to 5GHz. This is the Centurion and according to some reports is intended to allow AMD to compete with Intel in the desktop market. Now if that line sounded somewhat odd to you, then you are not alone. When I first heard about Centurion a few days ago I found it interesting, but did not put too much thought into it. Now, things are a little different and I find myself wondering who in AMD’s marketing team allowed this idea to ever get to the public.

Basically the message that is being sent is that AMD needs to run 2GHz faster than an Intel CPU to perform as well. That is not a good thing to say about your processor. It shows serious issues with efficiency and performance. On top of the self-deprecating message there is the small issue of the $800 price tag that you will need to pay to get this new product. AMD’s message is not a good one here and this push is a mistake. I know AMD is finally getting that they have to compete with Intel in the desktop market, but this is very counterproductive.

With very little effort Intel could turn this around on AMD (and probably already has plans to). In much that same way that x86 CPUs used to show they were more powerful than their core clocks speeds indicated Intel could undermine any gain that the 5GHz Centurion might bring to AMD. At this point we have to wonder if AMD is regretting the big PR and Marketing purge they went through last year. I know the current crop is not doing so hot in presenting AMD as a serious option in desktop or mobile computing. We hope that someone sits them down and puts them back on the right path and soon…

Do you think AMD is hurting themselves with Centurion? Tell us in our Forum

Last modified on 02 May 2013
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