Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Why AMD Is Still In The Race 272

Posted by Hemos
from the chariots-of-fire-theme-song-cued dept.
Steve Kerrison writes "Despite a woeful inability to provide some of its most loyal customers with stock, and a range of CPUs that, currently, loses out to Intel's Core 2 processors in both price and performance (and who would I be not to mention the diminishing AMD fanboy numbers?), AMD's still got enough tricks up its sleeve to retaliate against Intel in due course. HEXUS.net has an opinion piece on why AMD isn't up the creek. From the article: AMD has been showing off its 65nm wafers for a few months now, which means the Rev G core is on its way. Even if the DDR2 memory controller which arrived with the Rev F only had a small performance benefit, Rev G has a few more improvements than just the die shrink. The latter will enable higher clock speeds and a lower price, plus allow AMD to compete on an equal playing field to Intel, which has been manufacturing 65nm processors since the Pentium XE 955 at the end of 2005."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why AMD Is Still In The Race

Comments Filter:
  • Sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joshetc (955226) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:38AM (#16451845)
    AMD is in the race to stay alive as a company but they are not in the race to have the top CPU of 2006/2007, which is what really matters.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by salad_fingers (908746)
      They will have a great opportunity at year's end when Intel gets hit with an antitrust lawsuit in Europe, which should take away some of their Kentsfield momentum. Hope AMD can capitalize.
      • In other words, since they can no longer compete with Intel on the merits of their chips, they need the European governments to give them a little push...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jake73 (306340)
          That's one way to look at it. However, the other way to look at it is that Intel had used its monopoly position to illegally damage AMD's position in the marketplace.

          We should all know by now that it isn't necessarily technical prowess that leads to market dominance. If Intel is shown to be a monopoly in this case, it would mean that AMD was somehow prevented (illegally) from competing in the marketplace.

          Consider this: You and your friend Timmy are trying out for the 7th-grade basketball team. You can ei
      • by Vr6dub (813447)
        Hope AMD can capitalize on what...getting away with an inferior product. Spoken like a true fanboy. Right now Intel has the better product and that won't change if a lawsuit is smacked down on them. Whether or not they had shady business deals is seperate from the fact that the consumer would be better in picking an Intel product. I may be a bit trollish here but your comment isn't insightful...it's the cry of a sad, sad AMD fanboy who doesn't want to see the big bad Intel back on top. AMD can capitali
    • Re:Sure... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by scottnews (237707) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:56AM (#16452045)
      It also depends on Intel. Can Intel get the Core2 mature enough for 2006/2007? That is the advantage AMD has now.

      The Athlon 64 is bullet proof in the server market.
    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Informative)

      by arivanov (12034) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:00AM (#16452093) Homepage
      While they are not top CPU for 2006/2007 their roadmap and strategy will bring them back end of 2007 towards 2008. There is not that much to be gained on the CPU front any more anyway. The differences are marginal and irrelevant for nearly all applications except heavy crypto. In the near future it will be IO, crypto and ASICs which will be the selling points on the higher end.

      There AMD is the clear winner. It has managed to bring IBM and possibly Sun onboard of the hypertransport bandwagon along with a list of smaller specialized players. Power7 is rumoured to be hypertransport (even pin compatible with future AMD CPUs). Sun is also looking at the tech. So are a few ASIC players. The comparable Intel effort is very late and is largely ignored by everyone. Nobody has said that they intend to use it at the last IDF and it looks like a dead duck anyway because it has too many hacks put in with the only purpose of compensating for design failures (no memory controller, etc). As a result porting an existing design to it is a nightmare.

      So in about 2 years from now Intel will be sitting and banging its drums about how good are its CPUs on general purpose tasks without shipping them. At the same time smiling ASIC vendors will be shipping in quantity specialised parts that go into Opteron slots. It will start with the high end, go down to the enterprise and database load and even further all the way down to "physics" CPUs for gaming platforms, "security applications" and the like.

      Intel may have won this years battle, but they are clearly losing the war through lack of long term thinking and loads of panic actions all around. Quite entertaining actually.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by DaveWick79 (939388)
        The only question come 2008 is if AMD's roadmap to bring them back will be ahead of Intel's roadmap in 2008. For the forseeable future Intel is one upping AMD at every phase at least until the end of 2007. Every time AMD has a scheduled release Intel is releasing their next generation. Apparently AMD is staking a good part of their future on the high end server market, where Intel has never been a huge player. However Intel does have something going for them in the small to midrange server market, as th
        • AMD is staking a good part of their future on the high end server market, where Intel has never been a huge player.

          Yes, despite providing a CPU designed by a high-end server maker (the Itanium was originally going to be the next generation of PA-RISC) and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars (and convincing [coercing?] others to throw in millions too) into marketing and development. It's not that Intel hasn't tried to score in the high-end server market, it's that it tried and failed miserably.

        • by PetiePooo (606423)
          Apparently AMD is staking a good part of their future on the high end server market, where Intel has never been a huge player.

          Its worth pointing out that Intel's not being a huge player in that space is not for lack of trying. I seem to recall a multi-billion dollar Intel blunder [wikipedia.org] affectionately known as the Itanic. How x86-64 subsequently vanquished IA64 is well known history.
      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``While they are not top CPU for 2006/2007 their roadmap and strategy will bring them back end of 2007 towards 2008.''

        Do you actually believe that? It may look like that now, but I doubt Intel is going to sit tight and let it happen. It wouldn't be the first time Intel shook the world by beating a competitor at that competitor's own game (Transmeta at low power CPUs, and now AMD at high-performance desktop CPUs).
        • No, didn't you know? Intel may have owned AMD this year, but AMD will win in some theoretical future in which Intel sits still, which means AMD is still better, goshdarn it!
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            No, didn't you know? Intel may have owned AMD this year, but AMD will win in some theoretical future in which Intel sits still, which means AMD is still better, goshdarn it!

            Incidentally, AMD won in the non-theoretical past because intel did sit still. The quickest road to the #2 spot, when you're in the #1 spot, is to act like you're in the #1 spot. You can't quit trying hard simply because you're ahead; other people try harder when they're not #1, and they will eat your lunch.

      • Re:Sure... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mr_mischief (456295) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:38AM (#16453329) Journal
        Now, if I could just buy a system that takes full advantage of Opteron and Power7 or Opteron and UltraSparc on the same board. Imagine a system with one Opteron and one Power7, with the code that the Opteron is best suited to run running on that, and the sort of code that the Power7 is best suited for running on that. Imagine the same system but with an UltraSparc instead of a Power7.

        It wouldn't be so hard, theoretically, to have one proecessor load all the coee from disk into memory, and hand off execution of any code written for the other processor for it to execute. The big deal would be marking which bits of code are meant for which processor. At the ELF executable level, this is already done. So it'd be possible to have an OS and applications installed with each applicaiton compiled for the processor better suited to that application. On the downside, the optimization, installation, and adminsitration of that OS and its applications could be a logistical nightmare. On another downside, or maybe on the upside actually -- we'd have to have firmware that supported both kinds of chips and prepped the sytem for them to run side-by-side when it boots. Bye, bye PC BIOS. Hello OpenFirmware or some equivalent.

        If one platform came together that always used one socket for Opteron/Athlon64 and one for Power7, and someone writing to that platform could count on those two chips both being installed when someone referred to that platform, it'd be somewhat like the hardware of the Amiga with its semi-standard bevy of specialized processors. A high-end workstation that has two dual-core or quad-core Opterons, one Power7, and one really killer graphics adapter using a 4-socket board would be sweet. Maybe one of the Opterons and two Power7 chips? A base system of at least one Opteron and at least one Power7 processor with room to grow on either front would make either option feasible. And yes, it'd run Linux. In fact, Linux would probably be the first OS that could be made to run on it.

        After thinking about this, I really want one. Substitute UltraSparc anywhere you see Power7, and if I'd want that, too. The strengths of all three might be nice, but in the long run it's probably better if just two that are good at different things become a platform together. Now someone just has to figure out who can and would build it. I'm not a hardware design guru, so I can't do the nuts and bolts on it. IBM could. Sun probably could. AMD probably could given enough rescources. Surely AMD and one of the others together could get it done. I hope someone does. The secret would be to either have it be a platform spec, or to have enough boards like it shipped to kernel developers that it becomes a solid option that way.

        Opteron + Power7 + ATI GPU = killer workstation, and hopefully there's enough market for that to get it made.
    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cb95amc (99589) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:06AM (#16452155)
      What really matters is that there is more than one player in the market....The only reason you can buy a Core2 Duo for such a great price is because of the performance of AMD over the past few years.

      I haven't bought an Intel CPU since the Pentium75 back in 1995, have since bought K6-2, K6-3, Duron, AthlonXP and Athlon64, and will continue to buy AMD going forward (providing they don't suddenly become the dominant player) - OK, so I might loose out on a few FPS in some games, but then my GPU is probably the limiting factor in the majority of games I play - and I want to help ensure that competition continues.....

      If I were a large PC seller (Dell, HP etc) I would be thinking the same thing....being able to trade off two companies against each other gets me a better price. If Intel were the only CPU provider you probably wouldn't be able to buy a PC for less than $1500.
      • Re:Sure... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CentraSpike (947642) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:26AM (#16452339)

        I'm a little confused by your logic. It seems to me that always buying the products of the second largest supplier in a market does not really guarantee competition or at least not the benefits that should come from competition.

        Surely you should be buying the products that give you the best value, no matter which supplier that may be. If we assume for the puposes of discussion (and not claiming any facts) that the current Intel range offers the best value (which may well be independent of market position) then by refusing to switch from AMD to Intel, you are artificially inflating the value of AMD products. This should in effect result in the type of market that would be more akin to a monopoly or cartel, rather than real competition.

        Basically you could be shooting yourself in the foot, and you're definitely acting irrationally from an economics stand point (although maybe not from a marketing point of view).

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by cb95amc (99589)
          You make an interesting point - I agree that if I refuse to switch to Intel when it offers better value I risk inflating the value of AMD. However, the worst case scenario is that everyone switches to Intel and AMD eventually dies, at which point the market does become a monopoly, and value disappears.

          Perhaps when AMD are a little bit more established (i.e. lets see what their response to Core2 is) then I will feel more comfortable buying Intel....equally, if AMD's product was so uncompetitive vs Intel the
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Gospodin (547743)

            There's actually a difference between being a monopoly in terms of market share and being able to use monopoly pricing. Let's say a company has 100% market share, but knows that raising its price by 1% would cause competitors to enter. In this case, it cannot employ monopoly pricing because of the mere threat of competition. So the consumer gets the same efficient pricing as if there were competition.

            This is a fairly unusual scenario, granted (usually there are fixed costs that prevent competitors from en

        • by HuguesT (84078)
          The parent poster is not acting irrationally, he is reasoning that the CPU market needs competition and so he supports the second fiddle. By doing so he contiously loses some FPM today, but he helps maintain the competition which ensures that his future FPM will eventually become lower at some point.

          If everyone jumped ship on benchmarks alone, Intel would have died last year, we would not have Core Duo today and we would be stuck with A64 3800 forever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260)

        What really matters is that there is more than one player in the market....The only reason you can buy a Core2 Duo for such a great price is because of the performance of AMD over the past few years....

        If I were a large PC seller (Dell, HP etc) I would be thinking the same thing....being able to trade off two companies against each other gets me a better price. If Intel were the only CPU provider you probably wouldn't be able to buy a PC for less than $1500.

        Now if only things would also work like that on th

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kijori (897770)
        Always buying AMD no matter how much better value for money Intel represents isn't encouraging competition, it's destroying it. There's no motivation for Intel to improve their price/performance if the reason you don't buy from them is that they're too good. Do you really want the companies to compete for last place?
      • by urlgrey (798089) *

        ...being able to trade off two companies against each other gets me a better price.

        Indeed. From the OEMs on down to consumers, the competition is the important thing here. The real story here is the competition going on here. What isn't really being mentioned is that there are great market forces at work here, AND those forces are producing better products and lowering prices for consumers.

        And considering how teeny AMD was compared to Intel just a few short years ago it doesn't really seem to matter

        • Running 'Nix is like owning a Lightsaber. It's "a more elegant weapon for a more civilized time."

          Plus you're more of a stud using a tool that's likely to lop off one of your limbs if you mishandle it. ;-)

          (p.s. I use OSX, SUSE and Windows, so I know what of I speak.)

      • by ocbwilg (259828)
        If I were a large PC seller (Dell, HP etc) I would be thinking the same thing....being able to trade off two companies against each other gets me a better price. If Intel were the only CPU provider you probably wouldn't be able to buy a PC for less than $1500.

        I remember about 11 years ago when I bought a 486DX2 desktop PC that cost (with 15" monitor) about $2500. I'm sure that competition in the CPU space (as well as others) is probably one of the biggest factors in the reduction in CPU prices.
    • by ocbwilg (259828)
      AMD is in the race to stay alive as a company but they are not in the race to have the top CPU of 2006/2007, which is what really matters.

      Matters to whom? Fanboys?

      AMD is a business, not a sports team. Making money is the goal, not winning everything. AMD is still making money, gaining market share, and keeping average selling prices high. To me, that sounds like success.

      And what's this business about 2007? Judging by my calendar, they have 14 months from now to come out on top for 2007. And fro
    • Intel chips, and their chip sets are nice; But AMD lets me get in the door easier than Intel. That is why I use Linux instead of OS-X, or that other OS that my grandmother angerly mutters about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      AMD is in the race to stay alive as a company but they are not in the race to have the top CPU of 2006/2007, which is what really matters.

      No, what really matters is that there are now two stable, reliable providers of X86 parts throughout pretty much all market segments that should be around for the forseeable future.

      In the past, K6 days, AMD competed only in the desktop space, and survived only because their parts were very cheap and had good price/performance -- maybe not the best, but good price/perf wit
  • Chipsets.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xtal (49134) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:40AM (#16451891)
    With their aquisition of ATI, I am much more worried about chipset instability. Anyone else remember the bad old days with the horrible via chipsets and mystery conflicts with nvidia hardware?

    Then the finger pointing starts, and we're stuck in the middle. I'm upgrading for the first time in 3 years, hopefully I can wait all this mess out. It'll be an AMD chip though. If I had to pick, I'd go with whatever platform Nvidia supports in the future. Their commitment to driver quality deserves to be rewarded and won my loyalty - and interestingly enough, I have never purchased another ATI product after their little opengl driver fiasco.

    Why doesn't AMD have a chipset, anyway?
    • Re:Chipsets.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by laffer1 (701823) <luke&foolishgames,com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:06AM (#16452157) Homepage Journal
      VIA chipsets have had problems for years regardless of video card. My second home built pc was an AMD k6-2 300mhz with a FIC VIA based motherboard. Not only did I have agp issues (as most did who chose not to use intel), but my USB ports didn't work. In fact, the first computer I ever had with working USB was a Mac.

      As for NVIDIA driver quality, I'd have to disagree. I think ATI is currently better off on the driver front. Look at vista. NVIDIA's drivers only work for 2d and business applications. I can't even run ET or WoW. Day of Defeat Source runs at 30fps with the stock driver and is unplayable with the latest beta driver. ATI users are reporting working games online. The ATI All in wonder series still has software issues, but the basic video card driver works fine. I think NVIDIA doesn't know what to do right now. Many ATI motherboard chipsets were taken off the roadmap as were new card releases. Its possible ATI will play the NVIDIA game and not sell any cards themselves anymore. Its possible ATI will be exclusive to AMD systems. Its hard to say.

      My personal preference has always been for ATI video cards and intel chipsets. Intel has slow chipsets, but they are stable. For AMD systems, I always buy nforce chipsets.

      I just built a new system last weekend with an Intel DP965LT motherboard, Pentium D 805 (yes its hot but i had a small budget), and an NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GS PCIe. My old system was a Dell Precision 650 dual 2.0ghz Xeon with an ATI AIW 9600xt. So far, my new system is much faster with disk io and cpu bound tasks. (expected with sata and faster processor) The video framerate is poor with the NVIDIA card. I expected to do about the same (60fps in ET and 30-45fps WoW). I did buy a budget card, but I find it interesting the latest generation can't even keep up with ATI's 9000 series. With ATI gaining AMD's fabrication facilities, this could be a final blow to NVIDIA. I bought the NVIDIA card because there are FreeBSD/MidnightBSD drivers.

      On a side note, anyone looking at that intel motherboard should google it first. There are some serious bios issues intel is working on and its very picky about memory chips.

      I was under the impression AMD and NVIDIA collaborated on the first nforce chipset.
      • Your experience with NVidia goes against mine. I've had nothing but excellent results with my EVGA 7800GT NVidia board. I keep the drivers up to date and haven't had a problem yet. This is the problem with anecdotal evidence, it is just that.

        FYI, Epox EP-9NPA+ MB (NVidia NForce4) with AMD 3800+ X2.
        • by laffer1 (701823)
          Well remember I'm using vista. XP might work better. I'll know in a few days when newegg ships my copy. You also have a high end card whereas I bought a lowend EVGA 7300 GS. I'm a bit jealous of your AMD setup. Intel had the cheapest dual core setup.

      • NVIDIA's drivers only work for 2d and business applications. I can't even run ET or WoW. Day of Defeat Source runs at 30fps with the stock driver and is unplayable with the latest beta driver.
        [...]
        I just built a new system last weekend with an Intel DP965LT motherboard, Pentium D 805 (yes its hot but i had a small budget), and an NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GS PCIe. My old system was a Dell Precision 650 dual 2.0ghz Xeon with an ATI AIW 9600xt. So far, my new system is much faster with disk io and cpu bound tasks.

        • by laffer1 (701823)
          Yes, it was with the nvidia card. Take in mind that measurement was from Windows Vista. The framerate might be better in Windows XP. Microsoft has claimed vista is faster with directx though. I am waiting on newegg to send my copy of windows so I went with vista until it arrives.

      • Re:Chipsets.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Slack3r78 (596506) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:59AM (#16452791) Homepage
        I just built a new system last weekend with an Intel DP965LT motherboard, Pentium D 805 (yes its hot but i had a small budget), and an NVIDIA Geforce 7300 GS PCIe. My old system was a Dell Precision 650 dual 2.0ghz Xeon with an ATI AIW 9600xt. So far, my new system is much faster with disk io and cpu bound tasks. (expected with sata and faster processor) The video framerate is poor with the NVIDIA card. I expected to do about the same (60fps in ET and 30-45fps WoW). I did buy a budget card, but I find it interesting the latest generation can't even keep up with ATI's 9000 series. With ATI gaining AMD's fabrication facilities, this could be a final blow to NVIDIA. I bought the NVIDIA card because there are FreeBSD/MidnightBSD drivers.

        Protip: The 9600XT was an upper midrange card in its day. The 7300GS was *never* meant to be more than a minimum-cost budget solution. ATI's current budget solutions are more or less comparable to a 9600, as well. Really, you're choosing a poor psuedo-comparison to prefer one brand over another.

        The last several years, NVidia's offered a better price-to-performance ratio in the midrange of the market and been very competitive in the upper range. Compare a 6600GT to the X700 Pro that was its direct competition in terms of both performance and cost. With product offerings like that, NVidia won't be going away for a long time.

        I was under the impression AMD and NVIDIA collaborated on the first nforce chipset.

        They have on every NForce chipset. AMD's already very much gone out of their way to say that that won't be changing because of the ATI buyout.
      • by Inoshiro (71693)
        "I did buy a budget card, but I find it interesting the latest generation can't even keep up with ATI's 9000 series."

        A GeForce 7300 GS has 6.5GB/s of memory bandwidth onboard. That is your main bottle neck on modern cards. My GeForce 6800, which has 12 hungry pipelines, has 22.3GB/s of bandwidth onboard. The only time I run into issues with it is when I run out of RAM onboard for textures (forcing me down to AGP's much slower speed), or when rendering complex scenes (the GF 7 series executes some shaders
      • NVIDIA is still superior in Linux over ATI in terms of drivers.
    • Re:Chipsets.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Deathlizard (115856) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:16AM (#16452245) Homepage Journal
      I do. I had to deal with the KT133 back then as a tech. Absolute nightmare.

      I don't know why AMD chose ATI outside of being cheaper. Nvidia practically saved AMD with NForce, especially in the corporate sector, where most companies wouldn't touch AMD with a ten foot pole because of os stability problems the other chipsets would cause. I don't think ATI is even close to making a chipset remotely competitive to Nforce Stability wise. At least their current graphic drivers don't suck as bad as they did in 99.

      I remember having my K7N420 and nothing could compare to it in stability wise during it's day. it blew my older KT7A completely away when it came to uptime, in fact it's still is used as my secondary today. It needed a capacitor replacement at one point but MSI took care of that out of warranty a few months ago. Both My Shuttle sn41g2's have been rock solid as well.

      If I had to make an honest guess what is keeping the AMD fanboys away, it's the sockets. I know it's my big reason. One thing I could trust about AMD is that they would support a socket until the cows come home. Look at Socket A, or even Socket 7 for example. the only time before AMD64 that they stopped supporting a socket prematurely was when they did Slot-A. and they definitely made up that mistake with Socket A.

      In the Socket A Athlon Period, Intel had socket 370, 423, 478 and LGA 755. Now with AMD64, you got 740, 939, 940, AM2, and the upcoming 1207 pin socket, with talks about yet another socket revision for AM2. in the AMD64 period, Intel was phasing out 478 and was moving towards 755, and hasn't changed since.

      When I used to upgrade my Athlon systems, I would start motherboard first, then processor a few months later. you could do this with no problem outside of going PC133 to DDR, now, the next architecture could be completely pin incompatible with what you buy today, that coupled with shifting RAM technologies make it a very hard sell to go AMD outside of opteron.

      Hopefully, 4x4 will change this, but time will tell.
      • by ocbwilg (259828)
        If I had to make an honest guess what is keeping the AMD fanboys away, it's the sockets.

        I'm not so sure about that. I've heard other people say it, but it never made much sense to me. Sure, they kept Socket 7 rolling for a long time, even after Intel went with a SECC instead. But there were architectural reasons for Intel's switch away from sockets, and AMD didn't have those same reasons and so they kept them. With Socket A, it's techinically true that the Socket A form factor lasted many years, but
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheMeuge (645043)
      AMD did actually have a chipset. If was called the 761 (if I remember correctly) and it was for the Athlon chips.

      Paired with an Athlon 1.4, and filled with the Gainward Geforce2 (and then 3) as well as miscellanneous stuff, it was the most reliable computer I've ever had. As a matter of fact, it's still humming with no issues whatsoever in my ex-gf's machine. ...
      P.S. Actually gotta give credit where it's due, it's tied with my old P3 733 on a Tyan board for reliability. That one is still powering my parents
    • by ocbwilg (259828)
      Why doesn't AMD have a chipset, anyway?

      Because they didn't have to. AMD has less fab capacity than Intel, and since their core business was making CPUs instead of core logic chipsets, why would they want to devote precious space and resources to making chipsets? Also, why would they to get into the business of competing with other chipset providers? Sure, Intel does it, but it causes Intel a certain amount of grief and requires a certain degree of careful dancing in order to do it without causing all
  • you mean (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:40AM (#16451893)
    You mean that just because they haven't been King of the Hill for a few months now that they're still in the game? Wow! Who'da thunkit?
  • One Generation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mattwolf7 (633112) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:42AM (#16451903)
    AMD is only behind this one generation, a company doesn't just throw in the towel after their competitor comes up with a better product... AMD is working right now to come up with their own response. Plus I don't think the stock holders would be happy if AMD came out with a press release "Good Game Intel, you win, we are dissolving the company"
  • ebb and tide. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bananatree3 (872975) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:42AM (#16451905)
    As any race like that between AMD and Intel goes, there is an ebb and tide that goes on between them. It wasn't until just recently that AMD's opteron, X2 and FX lines of chips were top of the class when it came to their prospective markets. However now with Core 2 Duo out, and Core Quadro just coming down the chute, Intel has gained significant ground on AMD. That's the way this industry works, one comes out ahead for a while, and then the competitor surges ahead. I wouldn't be surprised to see AMD back in the lead in a year or two with their new 65nm process and 4-way chip
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Borland (123542)
      That's the way this industry works, one comes out ahead for a while, and then the competitor surges ahead.

      Good point. I'd also like to add that the Opteron is the first time AMD has forged ahead in both price and performance in my memory. The fact that the current generation has slipped in performance does not erase AMD's newfound ability to compete as more than an x86 knockoff company.

      Opteron didn't kill Intel and Core Duo won't kill AMD. Intel will have to be much better and AMD screw up much worse to
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Precisely. I see all the articles shocked by Intel climbing ahead and forecasting AMD's doom and all I can think is:

      "NEWS FLASH - True competition in the market place forces competitors to actually innovate! Capitalism works! Consumers seeing the benefit! Story at 11!"

      This is exactly what we've been asking for all along guys. A company came along that's managed to nearly topple Intel, and Intel has actually responded by realizing just marketing AMD in to the ground won't work. So instead, they went back and
  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:43AM (#16451907)
    "A woeful inability to provide some of its most loyal customers with stock" can only mean that demand for AMD chips still exceeds supply. Otherwise, they would be happy to deliver.

    Otherwise, yes, Core 2 Duo is superior at the moment. I wonder if this will last when AMD goes to 65 nm.
    • by udderly (890305) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:53AM (#16452009)
      "A woeful inability to provide some of its most loyal customers with stock" can only mean that demand for AMD chips still exceeds supply. Otherwise, they would be happy to deliver.

      True. But very frustrating as a VAR. To paraphrase Barabara Mandrell, we were AMD when AMD wasn't cool. We used to take a beating from customers who were Intel brainwashed, and now, now that AMD has begun to enter the mainstream consciousness, I can't get them.

      Ingram Micro is the largest distributor, and they are almost always out of stock on nearly every AMD processor. So, I either have to buy them retail or use Intel.

      I'm glad for AMD, but sad for me (sorry about the cheesy rhyme).
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        To paraphrase Barabara Mandrell,

        I thought that was forbidden on this site.
        It should be.
      • Being a VAR myself, and having used Ingram Micro for years, I can say that a lot of that isn't AMD's fault. Ingram Micro is a fairweather friend to manufacturers. They were caught with their pants down when demand started to increase, and they never, ever stick their necks out on an order. My theory is that they they would let people backorder till they felt comfortable ordering a batch. Then, other people would order, and by the time the processors got to Ingram, they were already taken. We experience
        • by udderly (890305) *
          ...My theory is that they they would let people backorder till they felt comfortable ordering a batch. Then, other people would order, and by the time the processors got to Ingram, they were already taken. ...But we were able to source them from other distributors, and even from retailers who ended up getting us a better price than Ingram (who pretty much rips us off).

          I wondered about that too. Ditto my experience. I hate to say it, but I haven't found Synnex, TechData or any of the larger wholesalers t
          • Thanks for the heads up on Synnex. We already knew about TechData (useless company, in my mind). We have used Newegg, PageComputers, techonweb, and others to fulfill orders and get lower prices. Two of those companies (Page and Techonweb) use Ingram, and we have mentioned to Ingram the fact that we are ordering from them, and asked them why they would give up margin just so they don't have to sell to us at the same price (they lose the direct sale, and instead basically pay an intermediary to sell it to
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:55AM (#16452035)
      "A woeful inability to provide some of its most loyal customers with stock" can only mean that demand for AMD chips still exceeds supply. Otherwise, they would be happy to deliver.

      Yes but buyers can only wait so long, and if enough buyers are forced to go elsewhere then the demand will vanish too.

      Having something in demand is desirable but in the long term you have to eventually meet demand for a majority of customers or perish.

      I don't think AMD is anywhere near perishing of course, but the supply of these chips seems tight enough that it's not a healthy level of demand at the moment.
    • by swb (14022)
      Demand may exceed supply, but you're assuming that it's because demand is great and not that they can't make supplies in a timely fashion (yield or other production problems) or that they have misallocated their production capacity (too many laptop chips, not enough desktop chips).

      Either way, failure to meet demand is only good if you're selling luxury goods (unsatisfied demand enhances exclusivity) or you're the weed guy. If you're a mass manufacturer, it hurts.

      • It is probably a question of "how fast can you ramp up production". I'm assuming that their established manufacturing lines do not suddenly decrease their output (accidents to that effect can happen but I don't consider it very likely).
        More likely, their recent acquisition of Dell as customer has increased demand to a point where production has difficulties to keep up.
  • Need to up the ante (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Salvance (1014001) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:43AM (#16451909) Homepage Journal
    AMD is only in the race if they can continue to innovate like they did with the AMD64 dual cores, while also increasing production. Seriously, can anyone get their top processors? I've read that even reviewers have been unable to get their top FX64 chips.
    Even if AMD goes back to their old copy-Intel ways, the value they have brought to the average is immeasurable. Intel would still be stuck on their old single core processor, instead of making plans for 80 core chips that top out at 1 TeraFlop in 5 years. AMD pushed them to get there. AMD needs to focus on creating something far better, and they need to do so quickly ... 5 years isn't that far away in chip manufacturing terms.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450)
      The Core 2 Duo is pretty impressive, but I still see the 80 core chips that top out at 1 TeraFlop as vaporware. Intel has made big promises before, remember the 5 GHz Pentium 4?
      All you can (somewhat) rely on in this business are the things that are already close to rollout. For instance, I'm pretty sure that AMD will get their quad-core released in 2007, Intel maybe sooner. Anything beyond that is speculation.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:44AM (#16451923) Journal
    Ever since news started filtering out about Conroe, the AMD fanboys have been deserting their old object of worship faster than it takes to cook an Athlon XP. It was a 'no-brainer': Conroe was turning the tables on the Athlon 64, and 'ass mastering' it at lower clock speeds -- with faster versions already on the way.
    Did you just use the phrase 'ass mastering' in an opinion piece that is supposed to be newsworthy? Ok, I would like you to submit to me some examples of AMD fanboys deserting and some hard evidence about Conroe and its 'ass mastery.' The hyperlinks in your article are nothing but damn advertisements.

    And please include a 'value' analysis in your report on 'ass mastering' because the lower range Athlon 64's are much closer to my price range [newegg.com] than the lowest priced Conroe [newegg.com]. You know, there's a vast market out there for people who just want CPUs that run a word processor and connect them to the internet. Vast.

    Intel has clearly made a huge comeback, and intends to drive home its advantage still further with the Kentsfield quad-core part.
    No way. Intel made a comeback? You mean that whenever one side comes out with a newer chip, they are beating the other side? This completely blows my mind. Completely.

    Look, give AMD time to react. I don't think many people have considered them out of the running even for a second. And don't forget about the AMD/IBM alliance [edn.com]. IBM's research (and that is a lot of $$$ & research) backs AMD.

    I find your opinion article to be largely unecessary and fear mongering -- who said AMD was in trouble in the first place?
    • by udderly (890305)
      You know, there's a vast market out there for people who just want CPUs that run a word processor and connect them to the internet. Vast.

      True indeed. My wife's computer has a 2400 Sempron. All that is installed is FF and MS Office. And she rarely uses Office. Shopping on the net and Yahoo mail is all that she does. Because it is running so lean and mean, it boots faster than my 4200+ 64 X2.

      I don't know the stats, but I would bet that most adult non-gamers are the same way. Heck, I have a garage f
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hoi Polloi (522990)
        Give those old machines to churches or other non-profits if you never touch them. Any chance to save money is always welcome by them and they don't need powerful systems.
        • by udderly (890305) *
          Give those old machines to churches or other non-profits if you never touch them. Any chance to save money is always welcome by them and they don't need powerful systems.

          I have given them to NPs in the past and still do. But there's the problem with that now.

          Most NPs have Windows XP and Office through the MS Software Donation Program and thus need somewhat more memory than most of these older machines have. Unfortunately, PC100 and PC133 memory is obsolete and is hard-to-find/expensive. Often, the
          • "...And tons of 64MB and 128MB memory mods."

            Someone should invent (I'm no electrical engineer or I would) an external sata box that can handle a range of old DIMMs and allow you to use them as a RAM drive. Just imagine the delight you'd give your inner penny-pincher as you give all those old DIMMs new life.
    • No way. Intel made a comeback? You mean that whenever one side comes out with a newer chip, they are beating the other side? This completely blows my mind. Completely. Look, give AMD time to react. I don't think many people have considered them out of the running even for a second.

      AMD is certainly not out of the running, but this not one of those times where the product release schedule allows one party to leapfrog the other for a short time. Realistically, AMD has had time to react to some degree, and i

  • Performance/price (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ihlosi (895663) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:46AM (#16451941)
    loses out to Intel's Core 2 processors in both price and performance



    Last I heard they regained the lead in performance/price in the low-end segment with their latest price cuts.



    It might not be where the glory is, but it certainly is where the (OEM) money is.

  • by JamesD_UK (721413) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:49AM (#16451959) Homepage
    (and who would I be not the mention the diminishing AMD fanboy numbers?)
    Perhaps the someone who be not the read the dictionary?
    • by Tim C (15259)
      Not to mention that it's a completely irrelevant comment anyway - what bearing does the number of fanboys have on the worth of AMD's current or upcoming line of chips?
      • by unts (754160)
        Does it not signify how at least a segment of the market perceives the company and its products?
        • by Tim C (15259)
          I'd agree with you if we weren't talking about fanboys - I generally find that their perceptions are based purely on an almost fanatical personal preference, rather than anything based in reality. Fanboyism, in other words...
    • Don't you love that? You can smack two tech "editors" with one stone (mixed idioms what?). The submitter is the "news editor" of Hexus, while Hemos is some sort of "editor" here at Slashdot. I think this helps to show where journalistic professionalism falls in the online tech news world.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:56AM (#16452057)
    I got a new system right after Core 2 Duo came out. I really liked what the Core 2 Duo offerred, but compatible motherboards and ram are more expensive than going with (Socket 939) AMD. Go anywhere and price:
    A. mid-range Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and a decent motherboard
    B. mid-range AMD Athlon X64, 1GB DDR RAM, and a decent motherboard
    Odds are very good that you will save $50+ going with AMD. That may not seem like much, but if you skimp just a little across a whole system you can save $200+. If you want to go SLI then it gets a little trickier. I have had bad experiences with ATI, so I go with nVidia. There are VERY FEW Intel nVidia SLI boards (in fact, maybe like 5 at the max), so there is not much choice there. There are a lot of ATI SLI boards, though. AMD has nothing but nVidia SLI, so there is a large range of options. Also, the increased bandwidth of DDR2 vs DDR doesn't get you any performance boost at all right now; maybe it will in the future. I would have loved to go with Core 2 Duo, but I felt that AMD's platform just had more options.
  • Self-adjusting? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:03AM (#16452135)
    If AMD falls too far behind, Intel gets greedy and jacks up its prices and/or slows its performance curve. Then AMD becomes a challenger again.

    Of course, that requires AMD to stay in business...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)
      Intel didn't die when it was #2 so why should AMD? They have the smarts and $ to stay in the game. When you are #1 you can only go down so give AMD a year or two.

      I'm glad Intel has start pushing ahead again. Competition keeps the fire lit under their butts and is good for the consumer.
  • Dude, dell now sells AMD, they must be the best!!!

    seriously whats up? I was looking to get a nice top of the line Dell system with Red Hat for our work server for months, but they offered nothing with the (then) top performing Athlon 64.
    Only after Intel surpasses the best offerings from AMD, does Dell finally open up to AMD.
    basically once I (most?) didn't care if they offer AMD anymore do they then cave in.
    (Bought the Intel server from DELL finally, but it was only when it surpassed the AMD's in Performance
    • by melonman (608440)

      Only after Intel surpasses the best offerings from AMD, does Dell finally open up to AMD.

      I suspect that a company the size of Dell takes a while to change direction, and, more importantly, that the decision to use AMD processors in some machines was not primarily about who had the most MIPS on the day of the announcement. AMD is now respectable, so Dell can sell AMD, and having both Intel and AMD know that Dell can choose from either processor range can't do any harm when it comes to negotiating prices.

  • Flamebait Submission (Score:5, Informative)

    by bestinshow (985111) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:15AM (#16452241)
    a range of CPUs that, currently, loses out to Intel's Core 2 processors in both price and performance

    No, AMD have a range of CPUs that lose in terms of performance only, however AMD's prices have been adjusted so they aren't losing in terms of performance/price. Barely, admittedly.

    And in terms of price only, AMD are winning there. The cheapest Core 2 Duo, the E6300, is $180. The X2 3800+ is $150. Beneath that are tonnes of single core Athlon 64s and Semprons that make Intel's cheap P4 offerings look lame. If you are spending under $150 on the CPU on your system, then AMD is your best choice still. That probably accounts for the vast majority of computer sales.

    Intel win out when it comes to the high end, because AMD don't have a competitor there. Of course, if you like buying >$500 CPUs then I'm very happy for you, and you will enjoy the vast performance of an E6800 and know it beats everything else out there. Personally I think it is a poor investment to buy cutting edge.

    Kentsfield vs. 4x4 will be six of one, half a dozen of the other. We'll find out halfway through November.

    It's amusing how people think that AMD are going to die because for a year Intel finally will have a better product. For these people AMD has been dying for years and years, yet AMD has only got better and stronger, in markets that matter such as servers. AMD have a superior platform, and that matters here. Who cares about a slightly faster FPU when you can plug in a SIMD co-processor that is 10 - 100x faster? The future? No, they're already available.
    • My AMD X2 3800+ is trash because it doesn't crank through Folding at Home work units. Nothing else matters!
  • 65 nm is key (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:24AM (#16452315) Homepage Journal
    I think the 65 nm process is key here. It doesn't really surprise me that Intel can create faster and cooler CPUs on 65 nm than AMD can on 90 nm.

    Just the decrease in size alone will give AMD's processors a boost, and might well propell them past Intel again; at least from what I've seen, the FX (90 nm) already consumes less than the Core 2 Duo (65 nm) in power save mode, whereas the advantage that the Core 2 Duo has in performance mode is nothing that a die shrink wouldn't overcome.

    And that's at the high end. At the low end, I see Intel still selling 32-bit CPUs, where AMD's offerings are 64-bit enabled. I recently helped somebody pick a laptop, and I noticed the biggest differences between Intel-based and AMD-based systems in the applicable price range were slightly better game performance for Intel and 64-bit support for AMD. I recommended AMD, because (1) the laptop wasn't for gaming anyway, and (2) I expect AMD64 (especially the extra registers that come with it) to eventually offer better performance; and at least you can run 64-bit software on it. These benefits aren't so obvious now, but I expect they will be.
  • by eebra82 (907996) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:28AM (#16452359) Homepage
    For tech firms like Intel, AMD, Nvidia and ATI, there are two main ways of promoting your products:

    #1 To create the fastest product. It makes people talk about it and therefore a lot of people end up buying that particular product, just lower-end.

    #2 Media exposure. It's simple and we all know it works, but it's also expensive.

    Some of you may disagree about #1, but think about it for a second. A majority of all reviews online and offline first and foremost cover the high-end products even though only a few of us can afford it. This is why the market offers products like Crossfire, SLI, FX and Extreme.
    • by Shados (741919)
      You are correct. #1 is the only reason that companies like Nvidia or whatsnot always try to have the fastest product. They probably barely make any profit on it (if you include R&D, though i guess the research is always useful down the road), but its simply that if they don't have the fastest product, people will associate the mid range products with that. The money is in the mid range stuff. High end is to be in the spotlight, and low end is to get a user base that hopefully will eventualy upgrade... T
  • by adam.skinner (721432) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:29AM (#16452369) Journal
    I recently had to make some hardware recommendations for some friends. While I realise that Intel has better bang for the buck processor-wise, it's not true when you start to consider the motherboard. Intel motherboards are wicked expensive, and less stable than their AMD counterpart.

    The last Intel processor I had was a Celeron 700, years ago. I've been an AMD man for a while now. I was considering advocating, if you will, the new Intel chips until I got motherboard sticker shock.

    In then end, I'd go with an AM2 motherboard and whatever processor you can afford. You're still going to need DDR2 ram, but AM2 looks to have some staying power and it accomidates the whole gambit of processor options.
  • by T-Ranger (10520) <jeffw@chebuct o . n s .ca> on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:33AM (#16452455) Homepage
    No one is buying AMD processors any more. There too popular to find!
  • Who's a Fanboy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FreonTrip (694097) <freontrip@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:34AM (#16452461)
    If I were in the mood (and financial position) to dash out and purchase a new system right now, I'd consider both offerings carefully but probably still go with AMD. The difference between the performance offered by a new AM2 and an Intel Core Duo would still not make that big a difference given that I'm upgrading from a midrange Athlon XP. More to the point, a certain amount of consumer loyalty isn't fanboyism. AMD's treated me very well since the original Athlons came out, and I have no intention of turning my back on that - particularly since a growing body of evidence suggests that their platform is more forward-thinking and less prone to regurgitation of the same product with minor tweaks, more cores, and mounds of expensive cache being thrown at an inefficient design just to make it performance-competitive. Time will tell, but Intel hasn't done anything to persuade me yet; after living through the last seven years seeing AMD upstage the Pentium III with the Athlon, the Pentium 4 with the Athlon XP, and the Prescotts with the Athlon64, you'll understand my skepticism if I don't immediately believe that the Core 2 Duo is manifestly superior in every way, and always will be, forever and ever, amen.
  • It all sounds a bit desperate. Translation of the whole piece is probably "AMD won't give us any more samples unless we say something nice about them and this is the best we can manage at this stage".
  • Show me the Money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Admin_Jason (1004461) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:41AM (#16452567) Homepage
    The opinion piece compares the cost of the Athlon proc to the Core 2:

    Let's take Dell for example - one of AMD's big wins of the last year, and the one everyone is saying looks stupid now Intel is back. As a business customer, you can either buy the Dimension E521 for £499 + VAT (with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+), or the E520 for £50 more (with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300). They're both dual-core, and the performance difference is essentially irrelevant to a business customer. But if you're buying 100 of them, you'd save £5,000 by going for the E521. That's a fairly easy decision for a financial director to make.

    It's not always about the power, but rather the sock to the wallet, and when finances factor into decisions, a cheaper previous generation proc for a competitor will always win out over the current generation of the leading vendor. I would tend to agree with this assessment. Business decisions are most often made based on cost, not performance, and in IT, it seems more the case that long term consequences are not the predominant factor considered prior to making final decisions. it's always about the money...
  • Brand names hardly matter anymore.

    Industrial parts are bought by specification, not by brand name. A product design engineer might call for an M8x50 bolt, a 4.7K ohm 0.25 watt resistor, a quarter-turn ball valve with 22mm. compression fittings, an NPN transistor with a gain of 50 in a TO3 package or a 15x40mm. ball-bearing. Several manufacturers may make items that fit the specifications the engineer requires. Only the purchasing department really care where a part actually comes from. When required i
  • If someone was a "fanboy" up until the point that the competition got better, I don't think they qualify as a Fanboy. Right now if I were to build a system I'd use a Core2Duo no doubt. I always go for the best price/performance ratio that's still reasonably fast. Right now that's Intel, so I would go with them. If AMD edges ahead again with some (as far as I can tell unannounced) new technology, then I'll use AMD again. I think people are too quick to label other people "fanboys".

    On the other hand,
  • by John Jamieson (890438) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:53AM (#16453519)
    Indirectly Intel helped create this AMD shortage.

    Here are the causes
    1. By hyping Core 2 so early, it eroded confidence in Netburst, now no one wants a P4. (so the choice is Core 2 or Athlon x2)
    2. Intel cannot produce enough Conroe's. So those who cannot get Core 2 look at Athlons.
    3. AMD had to cut prices in half to match Core 2 (because Intel actually priced Core 2 a little too cheap*) it created more demand than AMD could handle until 65nm and all the Chartered product comes into the channel.
    4. Intel started kissing up to Apple instead of Dell, forcing Dell into the AMD camp.

    Yes, maybe AMD should have turned Dell away, but the real truth is that there is a shortage of everything but the netburst chips! Because Intel made/makes so many P4's the market will be this way for a few more months.

    * if Intel had priced Core 2 duo's 25% higher, it would have helped them clear out the netburst chips. It seems they were more interesed in stopping AMD than they were in making a profit.
  • Intel is still using a single shared memory controller. Opterons have a memory controller in every cpu. 2+ cpu (physical, not dual core) configs are still faster with Opteron due to the higher memory bandwidth.

    Sure, 1 dual core Conroe has more memory bandwidth than 1 dual core Athlon64. But when you go to 2 sockets, the AMD numbers double while the Intel numbers stay the same. It only goes more and more in AMD's favor the more cpus you add.
  • Intel is currently using their manufacturing process(es) to increase/extend their performance (and performance per watt) lead. Currently Intel is using 65nm and have been for a year or so, with plans to move to 45nm sometime in late 2007/early 2008. AMD is still on 90nm, with 65nm starting late 2006, with mass production in 2007.

    AMD's 90nm chips are *PRETTY CLOSE* in performance/heat dissipation to Intel's 65nm chips, and they completely destroy Intel's 90nm chips in both performance and performance per

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequilla. -- Mitch Ratcliffe

Working...