AMD assaults the “Intel Tax” and its datacentre “designed-in bottlenecks”

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AMD EPYC platform

In an adversarial transfer, akin to a bloody US political contest, AMD has printed a freely accessible ‘white paper’ that focuses on detailing the “Intel Tax” and the way “Intel’s product line is filled with self-imposed, designed-in performance bottlenecks.” It’s brutal stuff, geared toward encouraging system engineers and companies to make the swap from Intel to AMD due to its superior worth/efficiency metrics.

And actually, it kinda feels a little bit distasteful. Maybe it’s a cultural factor; within the UK we’ve probably not gone in for that form of adversarial promoting or political advertising and marketing fisticuffs up to now so it’s a little bit alien to me. But there’s additionally the truth that calling it a ‘white paper’ appears somewhat excessive in that old-school, bring-in-the-man-in-a-white-coat-to-explain-to-the-simple-housewife-why-her-current-washing-powder-is-crap, type of approach. And in some way attempting to offer this printed vs. piece the air of scientific analysis by calling it such. Hell, the paper isn’t even white.

But for all its overly aggressive tones, AMD’s EPYC pamphlet makes a very good level about its less complicated, way more clear product stack, and that there aren’t any platform options AMD has withheld on the premise of its worth level alone.

The white paper is on the market on an AMD mini-site and also you simply must submit your particulars to get entry to the two-sided pamphlet. As we’ve already established, it’s not a white paper…

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The doc leads with an assault on Intel, pointing to the 19% compound annual progress price in pricing, and citing the truth that it hasn’t had any significant competitors within the server market because the underlying cause for the associated fee will increase and lack of innovation. We possibly shouldn’t point out that a part of the rationale it hasn’t had any significant competitors is all the way down to AMD missing the silicon cojones to compete till now.


There had been, after all, the nefarious practices of Intel passim, the place corporations had been ‘encouraged’ to keep away from AMD {hardware} within the datacentre. But even after Intel’s wrist was slapped on that entrance AMD didn’t actually have something aggressive till EPYC hit the server room.

Still, the doc spends all the first web page working down Intel’s server technique, likening it to a dodgy automobile salesman forcing you to purchase costly extraneous add-ons with the intention to get the factor that you just truly needed within the first place.

Details of AMD's price/performance superiority

“We call it the “Intel Tax.” It is the additional worth for Intel processors that you must pay to get the options and efficiency you want,” reads the doc. “Intel’s product line is filled with self-imposed, designed-in performance bottlenecks that affect real-world results. You are forced to buy a more expensive processor to get the performance that you need.”

And AMD’s proper. Intel has been sandbagging for years, and never solely within the datacentre both. But, on the server/HPC facet, the limiting of PCIe lanes and reminiscence bandwidth to solely sure SKUs of Intel CPU, and with 42 completely different chips on provide, makes it robust for companies to know precisely which platform and processor is correct for them. AMD’s strategy is cheaper, extra streamlined, simpler to know, and doesn’t cover any of EPYC’s options behind artificially obstructive pricing tiers.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su

So yeah, I don’t have any challenge with the knowledge AMD is presenting on this ‘white paper’ doc, however the best way it’s being introduced simply feels a little bit uncomfortable and overly aggressive to me.

Though possibly that’s what AMD must do proper now to proceed the momentum it’s been constructing because the Intel CPU supply shortage continues. Every week we’re listening to of extra corporations utilizing AMD as an choice in its datacentres. It’s even wanting like Google Stadia may very well be making the swap away from its present all-pervasive Intel loyalty – if everybody’s reticence to talk about the current Intel chips it’s utilizing proper now’s any indication.

Maybe AMD seems like now’s the time to actually go for Intel’s jugular, however with Zen 2 on the best way, personally I’d somewhat see it simply extolling the plain virtues of the spectacular EPYC platform, somewhat than presenting it as an assault on Intel like a political character contest. I half anticipated an image of AMD’s smiling CEO on the ultimate web page with “I’m Dr. Lisa Su, and I approve this message” written beneath it.