AMD taking a page from Intel’s marketing

AMD’s new Phenom processor comes with a new instruction set called SSE4a. For a while I’ve been running under the assumption that this also meant they caught up and added support for SSSE3, and that SSE4a was simply SSE4 with a few new instructions added on. This was pretty cool to me, because SSE4 has some nice instructions like DPPS that I was looking forward to using.

Turns out it’s not so – SSE4a doesn’t include any of the 54 new instructions in SSE4. What it does add is 8 new instructions, one of which is similar to but incompatible with a SSE4 instruction. SSE4 aside, the Phenom still doesn’t even have support for SSSE3.

Although they have improved quite a bit recently, Intel is well known for using anti–consumer tactics in marketing in the past. The "GHz myth" they started will undoubtedly be fresh in the minds of weary techies for years to come. I never expected AMD to sink to such underhanded marketing, but it appears they have: SSE4a is named to be nothing more than confusing to potential consumers.

Posted on November 28, 2007 in AMD, Instruction sets, Intel, Marketing