AMD Bridging the GHz Divide

AMD Bridging the GHz Divide AMD Bridging the GHz Divide

Performance based ratings or not AMD are beginning to realize that they are falling far behind their rivals in processor clock speed. Considering that the current P4 peaks at 2.53GHz and AMD's latest offering, the XP2200+, reaches the 1.8GHz mark, it is obvious that the company is on the verge of falling one whole GHz behind Intel.
Whether PR ratings are an accurate representation of what a processor will do for you or not AMD cannot be seen to fall so far behind Intel since they too were involved in the GHz wars and seemed to enjoy the attention that they received when they reached the 1GHz mark first.

In order to begin their clock speed comeback AMD have pushed forward the release of the XP2600+ to the end of this month, which will also see the introduction of the XP2400+. Based on the curerent GHz to PR rating ratio, it is expected that the 2400+ will clock at 2.06 GHz while the 2600+ at 2.2 GHz.
This move however, will only offer AMD a quick breather since Intel are expected to unleash their 2.8 GHz P4 offering this month.
AMD though, are also pinning their hopes on the price cuts which will follow the release of the new chips. AMD have always followed an aggressive IN YOUR FACE pricing policy and it doesn't seem likely that they will mend their ways now.
AMD also plan to release an XP2800+ chip by the end of the year.

AMD are also looking into other ways of pushing the performance of their processors. The next expected move is that of increasing the XP's Front Side Bus, the speed with which data is tranfered between the processor and PC memory. This would mean a move from the current 266MHz to 333MHz. Moving to 333MHz alone will probably buy AMD one or two clicks in model numbers say analysts.
Such an increase in FSB coupled with the increased, 512kb Level 2 cache of the upcoming XP version, codenamed Barton, would help AMD radically improve the performance of the XP chips.

In many ways the current AMD plans are really a prelude to the introduction of Clawhammer, the new chip which is expected to debut at a 3000+ rating early next year.