Originally Posted by DocNo42
...And are a nightmare of registers and state changes. If it wasn't for their design group in Israel that came up with NetBurst AMD would have cleaned their clock. The original Pentium 4's were a disaster - hot and slow. A great combination!
That Intel has managed to keep the gawd-awful x86 architecture alive and competitive for as long as they have is the real marvel...
Well after the Pentium 4 fiasco they brought their A-game to the table. The first Core Duo onwards were all clear performance-per-watt leaders in the laptop and desktop space. And the first decent dual-core (hey, it was HUGE then!) laptop CPU. The first Core Duo MacBooks sure had some loud fan noise and heat was always a challenge, but it delivered enough power in a compact form factor.
Over time they pretty much destroyed anything AMD had to offer over the past several years, in terms of CPU performance-per-watt (but not cost). Quite a turnaround.
And just in time for Apple, with the PowerPC G5 a powerful but extremely hot chip that could never make it into a laptop.
Outside of that though, we see their weaknesses. Graphics never really took off, but luckily by the time Nvidia was shut out it became "good enough" for the average user. They got lucky again with Atom but that will be seen as short-lived.
Throw in some monopolistic practices, locking out Nvidia, and we have what we have.
But ARM is the real dark horse, because it looks like it can scale up a lot easier than Intel going any lower.