Re: Eye off the ball
Innovation was the main thing they had going for them years back, I was quite a fan boy of theirs from around the K6 onwards, and each upgrade/rebuild always meant a new AMD, as they were so close to Intel performance (occasionally better) at the time, but so, so much cheaper. Which usually meant I could fit a better GPU than I'd have been able to afford if I'd gone the Intel route, and the GPU was normally the bottle neck, not the CPU.
I think they were the only company ever to force Intel into backing a rivals instruction set (x86-64). basically having to adopt AMDs way of doing 64bit, as it was obvious they'd had the better idea, and of course AMDs method allowed backwards compatibility with 32bit, which meant you didn't really need 32bit CPUs anymore.
Unfortunately that time seems to be over, such as shame.
My last rebuild about 3 years back had me jump ship from AMD to an i7 3770K, as a gamer, single thread performance was, and still is key* and the i7 just thrashed the AMD processors at that time (and presumably still do?), and 15 years on from my K6/K7s days, budget wasn't really the issue it had been.
* This is starting to change, but for now, a faster clocked 4 core, still beats a slower clocked 8 core for gaming.
So far, 3 years on, I've yet to find a single game that can use all 4 cores flat out in the i7 (it's also overclocked to 4.3Ghz), so whilst the GPU has been upgraded since then, I've seen no reason to switch away from my now old model i7. (The only tool I have that does use all 4 cores at 100%, is a video encoder).