Last year in April AMD was able to offer the fastest Windows x86 CPU for a very short period until Intel released the Pentium II processor. Today, many people have already forgotten about this, simply being used to Intel as the all-time high end CPU supplier. Not only are Pentium II processors ruling the high end market but drops in prices have enabled the Pentium II to becoming more and more affordable. Intel decided to also get into the low end market and released the Celeron CPU, which is nothing other than a Pentium II without L2 cache. At the same time, the Pentium II at 100 MHz front side bus was also launched, assuring Intel's lead in the upper class systems sector. It won't be long before Intel comes out with the Pentium II Xeon CPU, which will also use the Pentium II core but with a second level cache that is running at the processor clock speed. Today you can look into almost any PC market segment and Intel is pretty much dominant. The alternative CPUs are becoming less and less popular.
Office Application Performance Becoming less Significant in Favor of 3D Performance
Times are not only changing in terms of Intel's dominance. The way of how the performance of a processor has to be evaluated has changed a lot too. Whilst everyone was used to using office applications for system performance measuring in the last 5 years, nowadays there is a trend to veer away from these old trails. It's not that people wouldn't use office applications anymore, in the business sector as well as in SOHO people are still using a lot of or even mainly office apps. However, system performance has today reached a level where the user isn't waiting for Winword or Excel anymore, but Winword or Excel are most of the time waiting for the user instead. This lead to the funny expression of 'Winstone is today measuring how fast the system is waiting for the user'.
Office application performance is still measurable and there are certainly still differences, but it's really questionable how important office application performance is nowadays. Particularly in the lower end SOHO sector, people don't really care about how fast their Winword is running. What is of prime importance today is getting more and more important today are the eye candy joys brought about by 3D gaming. A lot of the old fashioned computer journalists are going on about how bad the Celeron processor is, completely missing the point that nobody cares how fast it runs Winword, as long as it runs it as fast as a Pentium MMX 233. What matters instead is its 3D gaming performance and ,surprise surprise, it's performing very well in this field, making this CPU a lot better than what many publications have cited.