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ARC 2010: Processors And Platforms

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices have duking it out since the late 1960s, but the intervening four decades of their competition hasn't offered much suspense. Intel has mostly played the role of Rottweiler, while AMD has been more like a scrappy-but-overmatched Chihuahua. A similar dichotomy was seen in the 2010 CRN Annual Report Card survey, in which Intel emphatically trounced AMD in nearly every aspect of the Processors and Platforms category.

Intel scored 79.7 points overall and outpaced AMD by at least 8 points in all three ARC categories--Product Innovation, Support and Partnership. Intel also came out on top in 17 of the 18 subcategories included in this year's survey.

/**/ /**/Intel received some of its highest marks in Product Quality and Reliability. Intel executives often cite the predictability of the vendor's "tick-tock" model of product innovation as one of the keys to the chip maker's success.

Steve Dallman, vice president of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group, echoed that in an interview.

"One of the remarkable things about the tick-tock model is that we've continued to improve our products," Dallman said. "The real story behind the treadmill we've been on is that we've delivered products that haven't compromised on quality, and we've continued to hit the schedule."

Intel also enjoyed a 14.2-point advantage over AMD in Presales Support, and a 17.7-point margin in Training Support. Dallman attributes those two wins to the company's unwavering commitment to the channel during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009. "During that time, we didn't stop doing our training, we didn't stop launching products, and we continued to hold face-to-face events," Dallman said.

The lone criteria in which AMD beat Intel was Return On Investment, where it had a 0.8-point edge.

Intel, which unveiled its next-generation 32-nanometer Core architecture in September and plans to roll out its 22-nanometer "Ivy Bridge" processor in the second half of 2011, expects to hold its advantage.

"Next year is going to be a very exciting year," Dallman said.

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