AMD processors have a long, and fantastic history. You're a little confused however, in the late 90's the intel platforms were still top tier. The problem came with Rambus, the only reason their platforms remained ontop was thanks to that. It cost an absolute fortune however, so most people skipped it. When using standard memory (PC100/PC133) AMD was starting to come out ontop of Intel with their Thunderbird chips. Come the release of the P4 and the release of the Athlon XP, AMD gained more. Price and performance was fantastic, they were beating out Intel consistantly and to top it off, offered more overclocking ability. Even AMD's Durons at the time were beating out low tier P4's. With the release of the A64 AMD was outright trashing everything Intel had to offer. It wasn't until the mid 2000's that Intel started to come back with its Core series. AMD was the top dog for a long, long time in terms of raw performance. Lets hope that happens again eventually.