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Intel: Unquestioned PC Leadership

Nov. 01, 2021 7:00 AM ETIntel Corporation (INTC)AAPL, AMD131 Comments
Arne Verheyde profile picture
Arne Verheyde


  • Early this year, I predicted that Intel's upcoming Alder Lake CPU would be game-changing and achieve leadership in all segments against AMD.
  • New benchmarks of Alder Lake for laptops confirm that the CPU even beats Apple M1 Max in both single and multi-threaded performance. AMD is far behind.
  • This means that Intel for the first time in years has achieved unquestioned leadership with a CPU. The AMD threat is finished.

Intel logo en campus gebouw, op M.A.T.A.M Tech compound.

liorpt/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Investment Thesis

Early this year, I identified Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) Alder Lake as the start of Intel's CPU comeback. Recently, real benchmarks have appeared and have confirmed this thesis. The CPU not only beat AMD (

This article was written by

Arne Verheyde profile picture
With an engineering background, looking for companies with expertise to be well-positioned for growth and leadership.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have a beneficial long position in the shares of INTC either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (122)

RyzenFan profile picture
@author what makes you think Intel is leader? At least IBM don't think so.

@RyzenFan So when they announce a new Intel instance AMD is done? This is not how cloud works. They offer a variety of instances for whatever the appropriate use case and pricing is... this will include both AMD and Intel.
wow&wow profile picture
“Intel: Unquestioned PC Leadership”

Intel: Unquestioned Patch Leadership

What happens when Using the software complexity to cover the hardware/process deficiency:
RyzenFan profile picture
This is what unquestioned leadership is.

claudedebertrand profile picture
Aaaand intel is now @$51.25(+.64%)....
Meanwhile Nvidia is @307.89(+3.49%), amd is @ 151.96 (+11.45%), Qualcomm is @166.12 (+1.90).

Though Apple is down to $150.67 (-0.40%), we're yet to see Mac Pro with ARM cores. And it has already been a year since M1 was released. M2 should be here soon with new the new Macbook air.

So 'unquestionable' leadership compared to older chips.. Intel had 'unquestionable' leadership. They just decided to milk the customers by not increasing the number of cores (for any segment), limiting the ipc increase per generation to as little as possible, not even caring about the known security flaws and released flawed chips.
The 14nm+++++++++++++++++++++++ era has come to an end and intel has taken back the performance crown at the expense of being 'hot' and inefficient, though they have the new 'efficient' cores..
In any competitive market, the performance crown should rotate between rivals. It's not a 'great achievement', especially when you are a much much bigger company than your rival.
I don't think investing in intel would make you lose money when it's down to $50, but you're definitely not going to earn big money.
The thing about amd, nvidia, Qualcomm and Apple is that, they are all in a position where they are valued so high right now, that you could lose some serious amount of money if you're unlucky. And 'Alderlake' isn't even a factor here.
Sighcopath profile picture
If I wanted to buy a new INTC desktop CPU (along with a new MB) I would first need to buy a much better AC unit, one that runs well even in winter too keep the computer room cooled all year long! This is probably the reason you ignored making any statements about the new INTC CPU in the server market going forward! Just saying!
stockroach profile picture
@Sighcopath Awe man that is a good one. You should be able to get by with just a window unit for your trailer.
" The full 12th Gen Intel Core family will include 60 processors, set to power more than 500 designs from a broad set of partners. As detailed during Intel Architecture Day 2021, the new performance hybrid architecture, the first built on Intel 7 process, delivers scalable performance from 9 to 125 watts to enable every PC segment from ultra-thin-and-light laptops to enthusiast desktops and out to the edge."

Maybe if you did a little research into the product you would have a clue. Just saying
Sighcopath profile picture
@stockroach The final nail in the INTC coffin was hammered home today and NONE of the analysts or talking heads even noticed. At the product release today AMD said that the new CPU is a drop in replacement. One of the major reasons "gamers" loved AMD was the ability to upgrade a system by buying a new AMD CPU and plugging it into the old MB. Then a Year later upgrade the new MB. When upgrading an INTC system the gamer had to buy a new MB and CPU at the same time. It was the basic reason that INTC had to bribe OEM suppliers to build and sell complete computer systems.

Sounded like AMD is going to sell this new Server CPU with the X designation as a DROP IN REPLACEMENT. This should also remove the impediment of secondary item restraint as the new AMD CPU which do not require a new MB won't have to wait for use until the secondary parts to build the new MB are available. Maybe INTC needs to sell really HOT CPU because it looks like the INTC CPU sales to servers is entering a very long and cold winter as INTC waits for the chip shortage to ease and MB become available for the new CPU!

The problem with history is those who do not study it are doomed to repeat it. The benefit of studying history is that those things that worked in the past will probably work again!
stockroach profile picture
@Sighcopath -yep the final nail. LMAO.

"The problem with history is those who do not study it are doomed to repeat it. The benefit of studying history is that those things that worked in the past will probably work again!"

Don't you think your little proverb contradicts itself
Vandooman profile picture
Intel may have the product slate coming on but it has a credibility problem. No one likes to catch a falling knife and fund managers don't like explaining to clients why they bought into a turnaround that hasn't turned around. Probably Intel will have to post strong operations for several quarters and get some recommendations from respected analysts before the stock will take off. There also is the issue of the huge spending plan to become a global foundry. It may be a good strategy but it invites fear of the unknown. The bottom line could get whacked along the way. My best guess is the stock will go sideways for a couple of years. When I see real results instead of theories I should have plenty of time to get back in and get paid to wait.
@Vandooman Only has a credibility problem with people who are negative.
Rex Rode profile picture
Many of you Intel followers will find freedom one day once you realize the intended goal of investing is to make money, not to be right. These prejudices have cost you a lot of money. Any wise investor (after Covid) took positions in the leaders of this space. This included NVDA, AMD, TSM, and QCOM. Keep in mind 2 of them pay a dividend too. If you did not do this and had everything in INTEL just use this as a valuable lesson in diversification.
Vandooman profile picture
@Rex Rode So what is your point? I have shares in all of them. Basic rule of investing. Nothing to do with chips.
Rex Rode profile picture
I suppose if U keep saying the same thing INTC will eventually retrace to the level ($63) of when "The Mouth" Gelsinger took over. Will U call this a win? Just to break even while companies like NVDA and AMD are up 150-200%. All of you INTC people that said AMD was overvalued at $75 should be kicking themselves right now. (over and over)
Vandooman profile picture
@Rex Rode Rex, offer some salient arguments or give it a rest. This is investing, not a partisan dogfight. Who cares what happened last year? I made lots of money on NVDA. That doesn't mean I don't take the Intel CEO seriously. I will back him or I will not. I bought MSFT at $39 when folks like you were bad mouthing them. I don't think any advice you offer would influence my investment decisions. The jury is out on Intel.
Re "..the AMD threat is finished." No, the AMD threat is never "finished." It's maybe delayed, as nothing remains the same in this chip tech space. Long INTC & AMD.
Vandooman profile picture
@User 28897925 I agree but remember, AMD was supposed to kill Intel 20 years ago. It has always been a threat but never succeeded in displacing Intel which has always dominated in sales. AMD has good management but Intel has vast resources. One has been a dinosaur but once on the move, a dinosaur can prove hard to stop. I own AMD. I trimmed INTC and took a large profit before it descended into the abyss, but will probably reenter when the time seems right.
Further to my comments on Alder Lake prices putting pressure on Ryzen. Barely 2 days post launch we see the prices down.

C185 profile picture
It's over. Tweaktown summed it up.

The Bottom Line
Intel delivers with its new hybrid Alder Lake architecture, a CPU that beats down the best AMD has to offer and at a cheaper price.
Dr.X profile picture
04 Nov. 2021
@C185 Drinks all around! Now if you can just get that DDR5 and new Z690 motherboard pricing down about 66%, we can truly have some value, and money left to pay that new higher power bill !!!

C185 profile picture
You're just randomly posting links without reading/viewing them. Here's the title at your link.

"Ryzen Dethroned, Intel Core i9-12900K Review"

AMD fanboys are melting down today.
Dr.X profile picture
04 Nov. 2021
@C185 Of course - you have nailed it yet again - keep up the good work Kind Sir! Please do not view the final thoughts of that video - do not waste your time - entirely too depressing indeed.
Thomas Mazzarino profile picture
Where are all the AMD fanboys now? Tom's Hardware confirms Intel took back the performance crown, with better CPU performance for cheaper than the flagship Ryzen. www.tomshardware.com/...

Man, it took so long for their technology to catch up!! They were YEARS behind! :P
BogdanGechi profile picture
@Thomas Mazzarino I've seen on other sites that Intel's benchmark methodology was kind of misleading given that they tested on an early Windows 11 version that was known to affect performance on AMD CPUs. Also Intel was running at 241W vs 105W for AMD, both on PL1. (www.notebookcheck.net/... )
Thomas Mazzarino profile picture
@BogdanGechi This is not an Intel benchmark, it was through Tom's Hardware, an independent and reliable third party that evaluates computer components of all kinds. Go to tomshardware.com, you'll see it on the front page.
@Thomas Mazzarino
Intel took what? Needs 130-150W more to reach the same performance. That's not an advance. And can't be said cheaper too, because motherboards are crazy expensive, because redesigned power draw needed. But let's see it from another viewpoint. Atfer Q3 results Intel stock dropped 10%, while Amd (and NV), surged high. I made a nice money with that too, and that's why we are here. Not to arguing about tech fanboys from both side, but catch good stocks, and make money. If someone feels about arguing tech products, there are plenty of IT forums, where Intel and Amd fanboys can roast each other.
trader_xx profile picture
Untel really "changed the game alright. To no ones surprise.

Notebookcheck.net: Intel was rather misleading in its comparisons between the Core i9-12900K and Ryzen 9 5950X.
C185 profile picture
I'm seeing a lot of AMD fanboys grasping at that for salvation.

Can you explain what the author means by 5950X being "restricted" to 105W when that's the TDP?

His other complaint is that Intel didn't use a Windows build that's still in Beta and didn't even exist in the beginning of October when Intel did the performance analysis. However Tom's Hardware tested the patch in Beta and found overall there was no change in the results. On some games the patch results in improvement, but other games saw a performance regression.

The underlying problem is because of AMD's chiplet architecture, latencies seen by a core are much different when accesses go off-chiplet to another chiplet. There's no way Windows can fix that, they can only attempt to mitigate the behavior, so as TH found whether or not you're going to see a performance hit is very much dependent upon the application and how the cache accesses occur.
trader_xx profile picture
@C185 no need to explain any more. It is what it is and my salvation is $130 a share now. With a looong runway ahead thanks to Untel.
C185 profile picture
In other words you don't understand any more than that blogger.

105W is the TDP that's fixed by AMD. Intel didn't restrict the 5950X. He also doesn't understand how TDP relates to peak power consumption - they're not the same.
stockroach profile picture
Another day and another new win for Intel

omdguy profile picture

LOL, did you actually post a link to Intel's marketing site and called it a "win for Intel".

Gee, what will happen next, every company will start posting positive things about their products!

Thanks for the chuckle, this was great!
RyzenFan profile picture
What leadership?
Notebookcheck.net: Intel was rather misleading in its comparisons between the Core i9-12900K and Ryzen 9 5950X.
trader_xx profile picture
@RyzenFan you beat me to this post. Untel really has no shame.
RyzenFan profile picture
@trader_xx Intel cheated years ago on the Pentium 4 benchmark,
few years cheat on the demo using a fridge size cooler, now using
totally different TDP and crippled software to show the benchmark to
its advantage. So I wouldn't believe any benchmarks Intel put out.
claudedebertrand profile picture
Patrick Moorhead #MSIgnite #OracleLive

If legit, (have no reason to think it's not) ..

Well. Intel has given me plenty of reasons not to.
But it's not a bad idea to buy something less than $50 just before they sell lies as usual and the stock price rises and then sell if when we see the real performance and the security issues as usual, right before the stock price crashes.
Should've bought amd when Mark Hibben was dissing amd. There has been like 120x increase in stock price......
Nvidia too had a tremendous increase though the price crashed recently.

Now would be a good time to invest in some crypto or some company that makes RISC-V processors like SiFive.
Or wait for intel to acquire SiFive.
But the window between Alderlake release and Zen 4 'leaks and hype', would be a good time to hold on to your intel stocks. I guess.
Dr.X profile picture
02 Nov. 2021
@C185 perhaps you might want to address those many unhappy observations of Alder-Lake at Semi-Accurate here:

C185 profile picture
Already did earlier.


Do you not know of NeverAccurate's history? The irony here is if even only a few of his idiotic predictions had come true AMD would no longer exist.

Tell me what Joe Biden thinks of asymmetric core architectures. Joe would have a more coherent and well-founded opinion.
trader_xx profile picture
@C185 Charlie D's pinky finger has more sense than you. Good thing though, winter is coming, one of those Alder Lakes will keep you warm and make a nice griddle.
"The AMD threat is finished." That's funny, AMD has been hitting a new all-time high almost daily for the last three weeks. INTC? Near its 52-week low. I guess the market is clueless.
@JB199 price is what you pay.
Value is what you get.
Value is high at $INTC at the moment.
trader_xx profile picture
@IceMan1910 20 years ago intc was 70. Today its 50. Some value there.
@trader_xx So, you undestood 0 from my comment.
Price is irrelevant for a long term investor. Price is only relevant if you want liquidity, obviously it is better for the investor that Mr. Market recognizes Intrinsic Value = Market Value. But if that were true, there would be no ineficiencies and no opportunities in the market :)

If you go to the supermarket to buy meat, and you are willing to pay 70 for that meat, and now it is on sale, at 50... what do you say? Perfect. You are getting 70 of value by paying 50.
I couldn't care less of Intel value 20 years ago. First of all, Intel pays dividends, and so, you cant look at price return, you need to look at total return. Secondly, Intel bought millions of shares from then, to now, the operational cash flow is x3 higher than it was. This is the same situation as with $C. Just need to be patient, and it will take off.
The pile of cash always shows up in the end, even for people with less sight.
And, you can quote me on that later, we will see the return of companies with x100 multiples in the next 5 years, with all the inflation and bloated valuations vs value.
"I have previously detailed Intel's upcoming Alder Lake CPU along with its implications for investors."

I remain unconvinced that a Big.Little architecture copied from ARM-based mobile processors is going to be a winner in the desktop space. Intel has made architectural errors before (e.g., Itanium). An example on the memory side is Optane, which was supposed be a shining star in Intel's technology portfolio. In the end, it was a commercial failure. Someone did a nice write-up of the losses today:

Intel Optane losses laid bare in SEC report

C185 profile picture
Intel was publishing papers on big.Little long before you knew it existed, or saw it in a smartphone. AMD is going to copy this, they'll just be much later to market than Intel.


Intel announced back in January that Optane (3D Xpoint) was already being deployed in over a third of Fortune 500 companies. It's going to continue to ramp to a multi-billion business that AMD is locked out of.


• The market for both discrete and embedded emerging memory technologies should reach $44 billion in revenues by 2031.
• The bulk of the market is expected to be in SoCs and 3D XPoint memory.
• Growth will come from the displacement of embedded NOR and SRAM in SoCs, and of DRAM in servers.
• Emerging memory processing equipment should grow to 100 times its 2020 total to reach $1.1 billion by 2031.
C185 profile picture
The irony is Blocks and Files published this yesterday on Optane.

Thanks for bringing yet another example of the remarkable performance benefits of Intel Optane to our attention.


STAC recently performed STAC-M3 Benchmarks on the first stack to hold five years of data (57TiB) in Optane Persistent Memory (PMem). The stack under test (SUT) was KX’s kdb+ 4.0 database system configured to run in sharded mode on a 10-node cluster of 2-socket DELL PowerEdge R640 servers, each with 2x Intel Xeon Gold 6240L (Cascade Lake) 18-core CPUS @ 2.6GHz and 6TiB Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory 100 Series. The PMem was configured in Storage over App Direct Mode with Filesystem-DAX namespaces. The SUT used Compatibility Revision H of the kdb+ STAC Packs. Intel chose to highlight that this system:

• Outperformed all publicly disclosed results in 16 of 24 STAC-M3 Kanaga benchmarks and seven of the benchmarks had speed-ups exceeding 2.2x compared to the previous best result.

• Was faster in 20 of 24 Kanaga benchmarks than a solution involving a parallel filesystem with 14 database servers and 18 storage servers, with 57x to 60x speed-up in the four 10-user market snapshot benchmarks, 3.9x to 7.0x speed-up in the five single-user 12-day VWAB benchmarks and 4.8x speed-up in the 50-user year-one 12-day benchmark.
RyzenFan profile picture
@author you forgot to mention this Intel leadership.

Blocks and Files: Intel Optane losses laid bare in SEC report – Blocks and Files.
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