It’s no secret that AMD has dropped the ball rather badly on desktop and laptop processors. They’re so far behind the curve on processor technology we stopped selling them altogether. Well, AMD has decided to take another crack at it. Unfortunately it seems they haven’t learned from their mistakes. Intel rolls out new designs for every new series of processor. Especially in the desktop processor space AMD has resigned to merely rehashing what already didn’t work. This time around it’s the Centurion FX-9000 based on the notoriously poor performing “Bulldozer” or “Vishera” architecture. The Bulldozer, AMD’s aim at competing with Intel’s top I7, in most cases got humiliated by the lower powered I5 making it an unviable competitor.
What’s interesting about the “new” Centurion is two things. First off, they’ve managed to push this aging technology to a ridiculously insane 4.8GHz clock (now do remember it was AMD who kicked and screamed when they were decimated in the clock speed race stating the now infamous “it’s not all about clock speed”).
The second thing is the amount of heat this thing belts out. The Centurion TDP (Thermal Design Power) is a whopping 220W, almost double their previous processors and nearing the threshold of a personal space heater. TDP is the maximum amount of heat a cooling solution must be designed to deal with and can be used as a measure of lost energy and heat dissipation. The higher the TDP, the more waste lost to heat rather than doing work (a fundamental law of energy) and the more power it consumes to do its rated job. In other words, this processor is like an athlete that runs as fast as they can, breaks into a huge sweat and only moves five feet. Of course it becomes a vicious circle. The more heat it belts out, the harder it has to work, so the more power it consumes, the more heat it belts out, and so on.
AMD’s failure to deliver any significant innovation (rehashing old technology and squeezing every last ounce out of it isn’t innovation, it’s desperation) will only serve to further solidify Intel’s lead in the space. Unfortunately AMD’s laptop chips aren’t much better, also known for how much heat they generate, lousy performance and poor battery life.
We are keeping a close eye on the marketplace in order to bring you the most innovative products that give you the best value for your money. This next time around it looks like that will continue to be Intel-powered products.