Originally posted by chbin
Why did they make such a quite step into the 64 bit world. Is it because they are ashamed that it took them so much longer than amd.
In short, yes. Intel was caught with their pants down. Their direction with 64-bit processing was Itanium (called the Itanic by the media). Unfortunately, the high cost and lack of useful backward compatibility of the Itanium left a large opening in the market. AMD stepped in with an X86 chip with 64-bit extensions, more registers and useful functions (like NX). The chip allowed a seamless transition to full 64-bit computing, in an affordable manner. The market loved it to the point where the relatively small AMD was outselling Intel briefly.
Intel realized the error of its ways, and 18 months later the EM64T is available. The EM64T costs more (for a given performance level), uses more power, and runs hotter than the equivalent AMD64. However, it allows those with business ties to Intel (Dell) to continue using Intel components. If you are building your own machine, AMD64 is the way to go. If you are buying only Dell equipment, AMD64 is not an option for your company, so you will continue to pay a premium for the "Intel Inside" advertising.
That "Intel Inside" logo is a good thing to look for - it tells you that the manufacturer is not selecting the best components currently on the market. Not that there is anything wrong with Intel's EM64T - it works. It's just that Intel has lost it's development leadership, and so you are paying more for less. They can't even claim the additional costs are due to R&D, since they are just reacting to other manufacturer's innovations. Remember when Transmeta came out with their low power chips, and Intel scrambled to develop the "Centrino" component package? They haven't been doing to well technically for years, but they have very strong marketing.