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Intel admits rushing dual-core Pentiums

Intel admits rushing dual-core Pentiums

A fascinating story popped up on this morning, reporting on an item that originally appeared on IDG's news service. At the recent Hot Chips conference in Palo Alto, California, Intel engineer Jonathan Douglas admitted that Intel's first batch of dual-core chips was rushed to the marketplace in order to compete with AMD.

"We needed a competitive response. We were behind," was part of Douglas's explanation. As to what Intel needed to respond, Douglas presumably meant AMD's impending release of its own dual-core CPU's. Intel technically ended up beating AMD to market by two weeks when its Pentium Extreme Edition 840 desktop CPU hit OEMs ahead of AMD's dual-core Opteron server chips. The difference in quality for desktop chips became apparent when we tested AMD's dual-core Athlon X2 4800+ desktop processor upon its release in May. Because Intel scrambled to beat AMD to market, its single core-designed packaging simply couldn't power the Pentium D chips efficiently enough to compete with AMD's X2 series. The result: AMD's dual-core chip beat Intel's across the board on our benchmarks.

It remains to be seen whether Intel's forthcoming Presler dual-core chip (due in Q1 2006) and accompanying chipset will overtake AMD. We can say now, though, that if you'd like to purchase a dual-core CPU-based PC in the next six months, by Intel's own admission, you're better off choosing AMD.