I can certainly appreciate many of the Intel
But that performance crown is a fleeting glory that trades back and forth between the companies on a regular basis. The AMD camp believes that the quad-core Barcelona chip -- set to release in August -- will take back the crown, though Intel's Penryn also looks like a worthy challenger.
And when it comes right down to it, flat-out performance isn't the end of the story. IT managers with overheated data centers care more about performance per watt of power consumed, which is a metric that puts AMD in a far more appealing light. The average consumer likes to go by bang for the buck, where the price war has forced plenty of excellent choices on both sides of the divide. So, going by clock cycles and benchmarks alone won't help you decide this conflict.
As I said yesterday when reporting Intel's earnings, the downtown showdown hasn't happened yet, but will start this fall and unfold over the next year or so. I obviously believe that AMD can and will pull through based on the available information about Penryn and Barcelona, the underdog's lengthy experience dealing with high-pressure market conditions, and some fresh financing through $2 billion of senior convertible notes.
That's a low-risk cash source where the only downside is potential dilution, if and when the debtors do convert their notes to stock. But they won't do that unless the share price has advanced far enough to make the switch worthwhile.
So, Katie, bar the kitchen door and batten up the hatches -- we have to wait a bit to find the real winner here. But I think AMD has got the right stuff and will come up roses. That's bad news for Intel, its market share, and its shareholders.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, aside from his AMD holdings. He likes his metaphors shaken, not stirred. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure will make your day, every day.