When you buy your fancy top-end CPU, you expect stuff to run faster. Only it hasn’t been that simple since before the 386. Your new CPU isn’t really going to kick into gear until you get software that uses the shiny new features of your CPU.
In the case of Intel, they are very guarded about how their new features work. Probably because – as it happens – Intel also sells compilers: the software that programmers use to turn their text into machine instructions.
So your Intel CPU isn’t going to run anything at top whack until software companies have forked out for Intel’s compiler. Now, that’s a pretty nice deal for Intel, isn’t it? They sell the hardware that runs your software, which makes your user think your software isn’t running very well, because it doesn’t run very fast on the guys new hardware, unless you buy the software that Intel sells to make the hardware run the software properly. Ugh.
Their compilers are really good at optimizing code. We got a sizeable FPS increase in WWII Online just from switching to the Intel compiler.
But in just about every other aspect it’s a real pile of crap…