Personal use :
2008 autumn bought a Gigabyte GA-MA78GM (AM2+) mobo & paired it with a AMD Sempron Le1250 single core & a cube case. Had 4GB DDR2 mem laying around as well as a Seasonic 380w & sata hds. TC was approx £120.
2009 autumn bought an AMD quad core 900e Phenom II X4 65w energy efficient. Slotted it into same mobo added 4GB mem. TCof U £130.
2010 summer, thinking of six core Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8GHz 95W £160 will slot into same mobo. I don't need it but I think I can sell the 900e 65W II X4 approx £70-£80. TCof U to six core approx £80-£90.
2008-2010 with AMD has given me
1. Long term peace of mind to just concentrate on music, creativity, enjoyment.
No concern about selling current pc, buying a whole new pc. No recurring questions about which motherboard, which cpu, which memory.
If i upgrade to AMD 6 cores i will have peace of mind for another two years.
Thats 4 years peace.
I.e. i looked beyond the end of my nose ...
2. Understanding that should i need more processing power all i need do is upgrade the cpu.
AMD keeping the same socket and the low cost of upgrade has been excellent. No different sockets (intel quad 775> i 1366/1156/1155). No shelling £££ each time for a different socket & whole system.
3. Memory controller on Phenom II cpu, no fsb bottleneck, independent L2 cache for each core & shared L3 cache. All of which Intel realised they need for their i7 and implemented.
Until i5 came along about 9 months after Phenom II AM3, AMD Phenom II AM3 was the better choice outside of i7 as an overall music system that needed sample playback as well as plugins softsynths.
i5 doesn't have qpi nee hypertransport, rather dmi rather like fsb of old intels (i7 1156 doesnt have qpi either) but intel hides this deficiency by having turbo boost and large L3 cache.
AMD's "long in the tooth" Hypertransport 3 of Phenom II X2 X3 X4 X6 4.0GT/s matches up pretty well with Intels "new" qpi 4.8GT/s i7 920 960 and eats i5 680 750, i7 860 875, all of which have dmi of 2.5GT/s.
Server, Workstation :
AMD kept same socket F : Quad core (Barcelona, Shanghai) to Six core Istanbul.
Again the upgrade path and low cost of upgrade has been excellent ... fair amount better than intel.
AMDs Magny-Cours Opteron 8, 12 cores per cpu (two Istanbul's in each cpu) with Direct Connect 2.0 and two NUMA nodes per Opetron (two memory controllers on each Opteron giving four memory channels per cpu) eats up anything intel Nehalem EP westmere xeon 6 core has to offer. Also Nehalem EP is only two socket, Magny Cours is four and more.
This is the start of the fabled Bulldozer platform. Will take 16 cores per cpu on the G34 socket sometime next year ... thats 64 cores in a four way system, currently takes max 48 cores.
Having actual cores instead of intel hyper threaded cores is still preferable as any program that makes proper use of actual cores will see less benefit form virtual cores.
Magny - Cours will compete with intels Nehalem EX X7 8 core (& 8 virtual cores), which takes 4 sockets or more. Nehalem EX X6 is only 2 socket.
Magny Cours HyperTransport has max 6.4GT/s. Nehalem EX has max qpi 6.4GT/s,
Again it is at the price performance that AMD will take Intel in the server workstation ....
8 core Magny Cours Opteron 6124HE $550 is approx 1/5 of $2400 8 core X6550 Nehalem EX (lowest priced) , which is just two way, not four like the Opteron.
This Nehalem EX's 130W TDP is twice the consumption of the 65W Opteron.
4way Nelahem EX 8 core X7550 130W lowest priced $2729.
4 way 95W Nehalem EX 8 core L7555 lowest priced $3157 ... 6 times that of Magny Cours.
And Intels' TDP is still higher.
12 core Magny Cours Opteron 6164HE 65W lowest price $900 almost 1/3 of lowest priced 8 core Nehalem EX.
This Magny Cours 12 is cheaper by $$$ than even the 6 core intel westmere and some 4 core westmere !
In the upgrade path AMD Magny Cours Opteron will also take Intel Nehalem Xeon.
Intel is like Chelski ... spend the wonga, take the best players, buy way to the title.
AMD is like Arsenal ... spend little, lovely smooth style, technically superb, just doesn't have the power of Chelski nor funds.
Intel is like Tesco, buy and pressure to number one. Massive ad campaign to ingrain itself in the minds of people.
AMD is like the independent trader. The little guy who doesn't have the clout of Tesco nor funds, yet provides excellent products.
Intel is like a flash harry with the big house and fast cars. Hang out with flash harry we can speed about town have a dip in harry's jacuzzi, then get chucked out for a new "friend".
AMD is like a best buddy with a small house and self engineered beautiful car. Hang out with our best buddy and he will show us the sites, invite us back to his pad time and again for a bevvy. And keep us as a buddy