English: CPU AMD Opteron 846 Sledgehammer
Image via Wikipedia

It’s extremely depressing to hear about AMD‘s new Bulldozer CPU. For one, I’m running an aged Pentium4, and AMD systems are virtually non-existent here in Sri Lanka.  Actually, very few computer users here are actually aware of AMD – saying “I have an AMD Opteron” would immediately be met with a blank stare and “uh…is that a Pentium?”

But this is a country that measures VGA power in GB – people say “I have a 1 GB VGA, why can’t I play Crysis on full?” Ask them what their VGA is and the ysay “uh…Nvidia.” Nvidia what? “Uh….Nvidia Radeon”.
Such is the nature of life here.

I ramble. My apologies. The real tragedy is the Bulldozer. On paper, the Bulldozer is epic. It’s a radical step forward by AMD, and the recent Guinness record for overclocking [8.4 Ghz] is held by an 8-core Bulldozer CPU.

The sad fact is that it will be a long, LONG time before Bulldozer gets within a stone’s throw of Core’s popularity, and the recent benchmarks hurt Bulldozer a LOT. The casual user will look at the Bulldozer benchmark and see that it performs sadly below standard when compared with a Core i7. Few people see beyond the dotted line, which is that Windows 7 cannot take advantage of the Bulldozer CPU. Apparently we’re to wait for Windows 8.

Meanwhile everybody knows Intel is working on Ivy Bridge, their successor the Sandy Bridge CPUs. Who’s betting that Windows 8 will also be optimized for Ivy? Thus, AMD loses the edge [again] to Intel. Microsoft is partners with AMD, so there’s no telling whether we’ll start seeing better AMD support on Windows; but MS is unlikely to irk the biggest CPU manufacturer of the planet – Intel – over AMD. It’s called business.

AMD is pushing Bulldozer all the way; they’ve publicly admitted plans for third and fourth generations of the CPU.  A pity, since we’ll probably never see it here. AMD knows how to innovate, but Intel knows how to market their products.