For folks who love reading about the intricate details of CPU microarchitectures, David Kanter of Real World Technologies probably needs no introduction. In his latest treatise, Kanter tackles Intel's Sandy Bridge, systematically comparing and contrasting Intel's new baby to both Nehalem, which it will supplant, and AMD's Bulldozer, with which it will compete.
If the charts and in-depth architectural commentary fly too high over your head, the last page of the article has something everyone should enjoy: performance predictions. Kanter admits these are merely educated estimates, but hey, those are always fun.
In Kanter's view, Sandy Bridge is "first and foremost a client microprocessor," while AMD's Bulldozer is "firmly aimed at the server market," and thus will prioritize multi-threaded performance above all. Kanter expects Intel to get the upper hand on the desktop thanks to AVX, which he says developers will use considerably more than AMD's FMA4 instruction set. The performance delta between the two designs should be "minimal" in today's SSE apps, though.