Intel is confident, with a few benchmark exceptions, that it will still have the fastest x86 processor in the market following today's launch of AMD's Barcelona Opteron processor. "We feel quite good about our performance," Kirk Skaugen, general manager for Intel's server platforms group, told vnunet.com in an interview on 5 September. AMD had claimed that its processor would outpace Intel's by 25 to 30 per cent on certain workloads.
The chipmaker has consistently highlighted Barcelona's performance on the SpecFP_rate2006 benchmark, which shows the performance of floating point calculations common in scientific modelling applications. But Skaugen argued that the benchmark represents only three per cent of the workloads in the enterprise, and that companies depend mostly on a chip's performance for Java, web, transaction and integer applications.