With the introduction of Intel's latest and greatest Pentium 4 processor, the megahertz race has hit 2 GHz. Intel rejoiced that the 2 GHz "barrier" was broken. (When did 2 GHz ever appear as a "barrier" - I've certainly not been waiting for it to be broken.)
To counter Intel's hype surrounding their barrier smashing, AMD has decide to embrace a Hz-less marketing campaign. Citing the "devaluation of MHz", AMD will now brand their processors by model number and will go so far as to forbid advertisers from reporting the processor clock frequency.
There has been some data to suggest that AMD is right. Processor clock frequency is only part of the equation when determining performance. Cycles per instruction (CPI), the number of clock cycles necessary to perform an instruction is the other important measure and it is here, because of it's shallower pipeline, that the AMD processor has the advantage. However, when have you seen CPI reported in a marketing ad? You just might soon.
Others wonder if all this MHz chasing is worth while. TenLinks.com has posted an editorial calling for the end of the megahertz race and a focus on cheaper computing.
Being CFD enthusiasts, we crave more processor power (whether it comes from Hz or CPI) and will always be interested in the fastest processor available. However, at this time, I'd say it's unclear whether the Pentium 4 is the better choice. Time will tell.