Tag Archives: Intel

Die Intel!

My first PC came with an Intel Celeron 400 processor. Back then, I had no idea what I was getting; I was not aware of various PC parts & technologies. All I knew was that a friend of mine had a Pentium III computer and it was better than mine.

Dominance/Monopoly of Intel

Slowly, as I started to explore the world of PCs (with help from Chip and Digit magazines), I became aware of various components inside PCs and different technologies & brands. The market leader for computer processors even back then was Intel. AMD, Via and Cyrix were alternative brands. Over time, I began to hate Intel. I started looking at Intel as a company which made technically good but overpriced processors & indulged in false/misleading advertising.

Intel is Evil
Evil Inside, PC: LogoDix

AMD processors always fascinated me. When the Athlon series launched, I read about its performance with awe. However, AMD, VIA or Cyrix processors were very rarely seen in the real world, outside reviews. Cyrix & Via soon died completely and AMD remained elusive, plagued by overheating issues and solely in the realm of gamers & enthusiasts. When I did my first major PC upgrade, I had to get a Pentium IV because no one would assemble an AMD for me.

In the laptop space, AMD was even rarer. In fact, the first time I saw an AMD laptop was during my college days when Nihit (technically his girlfriend) bought a laptop with an AMD Turion processor.

I remember inheriting a Compaq laptop (which I still have today) from my father and it had an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. When Windows Vista came out, Intel released a beta WDDM driver for the GPU on this laptop, but later discontinued it. Consequently, the laptop couldn’t use Vista’s Aero Glass effect for themes even though the hardware was compatible. My hatred intensified and I swore never to use Intel again.

In 2000, Intel was forced to abandon its IA-64 platform for 64-bit computing and forced to license AMD’s AMD64 technology. They called it x86-64 and had to pay licensing fee to AMD for every processor sold.

My First AMD

In 2006, briefly, for the first time, Intel and AMD both had nearly equal market shares for Desktop CPU shipments. AMD would maintain the neck-neck competition till date, Intel was no more a monopoly. In fact, in 2021, AMD is arguably ahead of Intel.

When I moved to Gurgaon, I decided to assemble a new gaming PC myself, from scratch. I got the AMD FX 6300 and a Radeon GPU, shunning Intel completely. It cost me half of what an equivalent Intel platform would have cost and performed better. There were no heat issues to speak of.

Eventually I bought an Xbox and sold my gaming PC, never to buy a PC again.

Last Tryst with Intel – Surface Pro 3

I was re-introduced to the world of Intel, when my fiend gifted me a Surface Pro 3. To me, the Surface Pro 3 showcased the very worst of Intel. The external hardware, touch screen, keyboard and OS were all amazing. It was the Intel innards which sucked balls.

The Core i7 processor always ran hot, no matter how light the workload. Consequently the fan was always whirring loudly. It was so loud, you couldn’t sleep in the same room with the Surface if it was doing something. Still, the fan was not enough to efficiently cool the Surface and the CPU was throttled <50% most of the time. I had to install an external USB fan to keep it cool; which was ridiculous.

On top of that, it had issues with Sleep which remained unresolved even after many firmware updates over many years. You closed the Surface and put it in your bag expecting it to sleep. It, however kept on running at full throttle and when you got it out to use it later, you saw that the battery was dead. Microsoft blamed Intel drivers and they twiddled their thumbs, as usual.

Eventually, I sold it and got myself an iPad.

ARM and Apple M1

For those who haven’t been keeping track, Apple transitioned their MacBooks from Intel CPUs to in-house ARM based processors in 2020. We (technically, my wife) bought a MacBook with an M1 chip. After using sluggish/hot/battery sucking laptops over the years, the MacBook blew my mind away.

It is as snappy as an iPad, the battery lasts all day (My wife uses it 8-9 hours off the charger) and there’s no fan and no heat to speak of. On top of all this, existing apps made for x86 work flawlessly and with minimum performance penalty. On the other hand, my work laptop (Intel Core i5) doesn’t last more than 2 hours off the charger and any computational effort make its fans sound like a jet plane.

I would not be wrong to say that the M1 is a generational leap ahead in computing from the old/shitty X86 laptops.

The Future

All mobile phones already used ARM processors. Same for all embedded devices and IOT devices. Apple would probably transition their Macs to ARM completely within the next few years. Many custom-made servers operated by the likes of Facebook/Amazon/Google use ARM already, too. In fact, the current world’s most powerful supercomputer also runs on ARM.

Once Microsoft get their x86-64 on ARM emulation to work properly, we should see a significant chunk of Windows ultraportables and laptops move to ARM. I hope AMD embraces the ARM architecture soon, too.

That being said, x86-64 isn’t going away anytime soon. Gaming PCs, Enterprise workstations, legacy applications requiring native x86-64 and most servers would continue to be x86-64 based for the foreseeable future and Intel would probably continue to dominate this space. I just hope they are reduced to shells of their former selves soon and then eventually die.

Shittiest television ads..

  1. Clinic All Clear:Bipasha is sitting in some seaside house and John Abraham comes from somewhere on his bike. Firstly, the sound that’s coming from the 100cc yamaha bike is that of a v-twin engine. Also, if you notice behind the scene, you’ll see that John seems to be coming from the pier and there’s nothing behind that except sea/lake and a boat. So is either the extraordinary bike can travel over water or he has carried his bike on the boat. Really disgusting.
  2. HDFC Life Insurance:There are three main characters in this ad. A guy A, his son and his dad. The dad gets off the train. The son offers his hand but he rejects it and gets down himself as he won’t sacrifice his self respect. Next, as they are leaving, the small child trips over and falls hard on the platform floor. His granpa tries to pick him up but his son(child’s father) stops him from doing so as he won’t allow his dad to sacrifice his self respect. What the hell??? If a child has fallen down and is hurt, how does bending down to help him sacrifice your self respect? I hate this ad and it’s on TV on all the channels all the time.
  3. INTEL Pentium IV: Quite frankly, I feel that Intel processors are overpriced compared to their AMD counterparts. But reputation makes it the leading manufacturer in India. Anyways, remember the first Pentium 4 ads? They show people scanning photos, printing them and mailing them. And don’t forget.. You can also store them and also get a “richer internet experience”. This clearly shows how companies like Intel are maiing use of the largely computer illeterate population of India to promote their products. Can’t you scan and print photos on some other processor? How the hell can a processor affect the internet experience?? Does the Pentium 4 have html decoding on-chip? How can a processor affect the internet speed even unless it’s in the Gbps area??
  4. Royal Stag: Saif Ali khan sees a roadside musician playing guitar to earn money. So what does he do? Takes off his shirt, flexes his muscles and starts playing metal. Now, the guitar is a f-cut acoustic. But since saif’s a hindi movie hero, he can change laws of physics and do whatever he wants. The guitar isn’t plugged in anywhere but still manages to stream out loud music. Also, the sound is distorted without a distortion kit anywhere in sight. Distorted sound on an acoustic f-cut which ain’t plugged in? Really magic. Also, a female cop gets out of her car to arrest saif but instead seduced by his biceps and music instead loosens her hair and starts taking of her clothes. Really funny and childish.
  5. Slimming Belts: These products appear on numerous TV channels. What they claim is you just put the belt on for an hour each day and you will lose an inch every sitting. These are american ads translated in Hindi. The people(always 1 guy and 1 girl) always wear a stuoid expressions and fake smiles on their face. The before and after photos are clearly visible as doctored in photoshop. No diets necessary, you just put on the belt and lose fat and gain muscles doing nothing. Wake up people, if this was possible, people won’t be going to gyms working their asses off.
  6. Thums Up: This ad features Akshay Kumar wearing fake long hair. He’s standing on a beach holding a bottle of Thums Up but is unable to find an opener or any other way to open the bottle. So what he does is, climbs up a lighthouse. (Not inside, but the outside and goes right to the top without ropes or harnesses). He holds his bottle high up in the air and allows lightning to strike it. Magically, the cap blows off leaving the bottle intact. He then drinks it holding his head high unharmed by the lightning. This feat will put Benjamin Franklin and his kite experiment to shame for sure and make him cry out from his grave.

These are the most ridiculous ads on Televison these days and reflects the standards of the viewers. There are many more and would post them if I remember them.