That used to be a phrase used to describe butter when everyone was using margarine.

Now, it is used anytime something of high price with no equal is spoken of, and many times it is used in computing speaking of the latest and greatest CPU developed by a manufacturer.

Lately that manufacturer has been Intel, an overwhelming amount of the time, and that is a big problem for many who want to partake of that ultimate performance, but are not willing to spend for the privilege. ( I count myself among those, as I have never owned a top-of-the-line Intel processor when it actually was at the top. I have always waited until it was bumped from the top spot and then pounced.) Once the manufacturers took turns, with Intel, AMD, IBM (with its Power chips), and even for a short time, upstart Cyrix, holding sway at the top.

But I yearn for the resurgence of AMD, like the days when the original Opterons were soundly trouncing P4-EEs, even given that they were clocked a full 1000 MHz slower.

Those were truly the days; the power and the glory, all for a great price.

I am hoping this morning, with the release of new pricing on some of the AMD Magny-Cours chips, we are seeing the signal of new performance from the upcoming AMD Bulldozer parts, which will take the Intel parts down a peg or two, and those who want Intel performance don’t have to hock the children and the family dog to purchase one, while the AMD faithful will have something to cheer for.

The tradition continues though, with the i7 990 Intel six-core part commanding a cool grand for the privilege of close up drooling.

Intel has now added a new, Extreme Edition processor to its offer, the Core i7-990X hexa-core which is manufactured on 32nm process technology, has all its cores clocked at 3.46 GHz (3.33 GHz for the 980X), and comes with an unlocked multiplier. This chip has a $999 price tag.

[above from TechConnect]

Of course, the good news is that the 990X pricing at $1K puts the older 960 parts in the reach of many, at under $300, and the 970X is only a tad over $500 (so the family dog can be left out of the deal!).

Now, if we could get some AMD competition in there, to really force the Intel hand, for even a short time….

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