AMD versus Intel: Successes and pitfalls of their processor architectures – (3) Related Work and Conclusion

III. Related work

This paper is a summary of facts about different processors. Wikipedia has collected many individual concepts of computer architecture and various concepts of Intel and AMD processors can be found. For example, AMD timeline, Intel processor microarchitecture, etc.

There are a lot of articles talk about different model of Intel and AMD. For example, Kanter[8, 9] illustrated AMD’s Bulldozer microarchitecture and Intel’s Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and explains instruction fetch, out-of-order execution, memory subsystem, etc. In those articles, He demonstrates the architectures and compares the Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge with their according ancestors.

Jason Robert and Carey Patterson[15] did a 90 minutes guide on modern microprocessors. The topics covered in their work include pipelining, multi-core & simultaneous multithreading, SIMD vector instructions, and memory hierarchy. They put a lot of example processor under each technique, which is helpful to get a taste how real processors use the technique.

IV. Conclusion

In this short paper, I collected the features for AMD and Intel processors. As from the comparison, we can conclude that both of them use similar design concepts. Those concepts have been proved to be more efficient. For example, they both translate CISC-like code to micro-op code which is RISC-like, they both have multiple level caches, they both use dynamic scheduling approach with speculation, they both use snooping and directory based approach in multi-threading.

It is obvious that the reason why AMD price is lower is that its performance is not as good as Intel. From benchmarks online, we know that Sandy Bridge outperforms Bulldozer. By comparing their specifications, we can not conclude which specific factor(s) cause(s) the performance, but those specifications indicate that having more cores and more pipeline stages does not necessarily bring better performance. The reason Bulldozer has more cores may be because its individual core is not as good as i7’s. We could say the difference possibly relies on the following perspectives: scheduling techniques, synchronization and manufacturing.


1. John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, Computer architecture: a quantitative approach, Morgan Kaufmann
2. Product spedifications,
3. Product spedifications,
5. Sundar Srinivasan, Intel x86 Processors – CISC or RISC? or both??
6. Peter Glaskowsky, AMD’s SSE5 ends the old RISC vs. CISC debate,
7. x86,
8. David Kanter, AMD’s Bulldozer Microarchitecture,, August 2010
9. David Kanter, Intel’s Sandy Bridge Microarchitecture,, September 2010
10. Colin Donahue and Jason Lowden, AMD Bulldozer slides,, 2011
11. Anand Lal Shimpi, The Bulldozer review: AMD FX-8150 Tested,, 2011
12. Gabriel Torres, Core i7-3770K vs. AMD FX-8150 and Core i7-2600K CPU Review,, April 2012
13. Agner Fog, The microarchitecture of Intel, AMD and VIA CPUs,, February 2012
14. Software Optimization Guide for AMD Family 15h Processors. AMD,, January 2012.
15. Jason Robert and Carey Patterson, Modern Microprocessors,, August 2012
16. Bullcozer(Microarchitecture),
17. List of Intel CPU microarchitectures,

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