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Intel

Pentium IV As A Budget Processor 190

nutbar writes: "Intel, seeing a slow uptake of its latest processor, the Pentium 4, are going to slash prices by as much as 50% this month. Full full story at ZDNet." The article mentions the goal of P4 systems, including monitors, for under a thousand dollars by the end of the year. Will these price cuts invert the price / performance ratio which has led people to scoff at the P4 in favor of AMD chips? Maybe it's best to wait for odd-numbered chip generations ... Pentium Pentium?
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Pentium IV As A Budget Processor

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    there is a piii/celeron core. renaming the native piii chip would be futile.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "In all intensive purposes"

    For all intents and purposes.
    My God, how many times have I seen such big mistake here? Oh, wait, is /. [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Celeron chips have half the L2 cache of the Pentium II/III chips. (The first Celerons had no L2 cache, but Intel changed this when it became clear the cacheless Celeron was a poor value even at the lower price.) The current Celerons already use the PIII core.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And lo, Intel brought forth the Pentium, and they said, "This is crap! My AMD '5'86 runs faster!" But the code was optimized for this strange new design, and it was good. Its clock scaled to new heights, and Intel made another pile of cash.

    And lo, Intel brought forth the Pentium Pro, and they said, "This is crap! I've seen better performance from a frickin' AMD K6" But the people began using 32 bits, and it was good. And the PPro begat the PII and the PIII and the humble Celeron, and Intel made another pile of cash.

    And lo, Intel brought forth the Pentium 4, and they said, "This is crap! A complete and total cock-up, not like my AMD Athlon "
  • by Anonymous Coward
    2) The Intel brand is one of the most valuable brands in the world, while AMD is comparatively unheard of. The Pentium 4 itself is a very good brand, because of the marketing campaign.

    That may have been true a few years ago, but you'd be surprised at how much brand recognition AMD has gotten lately, particulary after Intel's recent blunders (820 chipset, PIII 1.13GHz fiasco, push-RDRAM-at-all-costs-policy). As for the Pentium 4 "brand", well, if it's so good, then how come P4 sales are currently below Intel's expections?

    So, the P4 has an automatic price premium above Athlon. Thus AMD has to undercut the P4 price, or they won't sell any (except to zealous AMDroids who are willing to pay a premium for Athlons - and this is a miniscule percentage of the market).

    So you're saying that paying a premium for performance indictates that the person is some sort of zealous droid, but paying a premium for brand doesn't?
  • Well, with both the AMD and Intel Pentium Pro - you didn't have much choise - you could use the Pentium or the Pentium Pro. That what you had as an options...

    Today Intel and AMD are pushing to 64 bit. AMD goes a bit more "conservative" approach with their X86-64 bit, which will let your old 32 apps runs like they're running on an avrage Athlon, while Intel is pushing a completly new approach for 64 bit while running 32 bit apps on it will run like on an ancient Pentium II..

    Intel is aiming to release their McKinly processor (the next generation Itanium) this year and they want people to write apps for it. AMD will release their 64 next year. Both of them wants you to write your applications for their processors - AMD is hiring SuSE to port Linux to their SledgeHammer and Intel is with VA Linux, Rehdat, Turbo-Linux, SuSE (who now looks like they are the best company to port Linux to any processor on earth..), and other.. Windows XP has code for both 64 processors (AMD and Intel)

    So if I was a developer, I wouldn't optimize my code on a P4. Instead I would start learning about both AMD and Intels newer processors.
  • Couldn't you just put a few dabs of hot glue on the case underneath the processor to keep the motherboard from flexing too much?

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • Very, very unlikely. Much more likely, they were saying something to the effect that your system will take advantage of multiple processors even if your programs don't -- which it will, if your OS splits the applications between different CPUs. However, an individual single-threaded app using multiple CPUs? Just Not Gonna Happen.
  • Sharky is an Intel whore.

    Sharky recommends the AMD chips in their CPU price comparisons.

    And if you followed the link, you would see Sharky had the 256 MB 2100s listed at $103 each, not $206. I think the original poster just did the 2x multiply twice.
  • Case in point: My G3/400 has a UltraSCSI-2 HD. I boot Netscape[1] 4.61 faster than than my buddy with a PII/450 can boot IE5 on 98.

    Hell, buy two hard drives, a big 60 or 80 GB IDE monster for MP3s, ect, and a small (9 GB or so) fast-as-hell drive for your OS commonly-used apps.

    [1] When I'm not running OS X, which is never anymore, but I digress...

    Don Negro

  • Unfortunately, even if they gave away P4's for free, a P4 system will not be a budget system, at least not until it supports SDRAM.

    Agreed! P4 in a budget system is like a Yugo that only runs on aviation grade fuel.

  • This is the way P4 systems will get under $1000:

    Gateway [gateway.com]
    Dell [dell.com]

    They're selling P4s with 32MB TNT2 cards.... uhm... yeah.

  • When Intel released the first generation Pentium it also got a very bad rap.

    The Pentium 60 used a signifigant amount of power, generated a hell of a lot of heat, and the new 75 and 100 Mhz 486 chips from AMD ran just as fast in benchmarks at well under half the price.

    I suppose you could say they released too early then as well.

    Then even after the next generation 75/90 chips came out, they used less power and created less heat, but they had a floating point bug.

    But eventually Intel overcame the criticism.

    Remember... "Release Early, Release Often" :)

  • We're both wrong.

    I just verified, and the FDIV bug affected 60/66 and the 75/90/100 series of Pentium processors.

    I had forgotten than the 100Mhz was released at the same time with the 75/90, had thought it was released along with the 120.

    I never noticed this impacting us either, but it sure created a lot of bad press for Intel.

  • by slothbait ( 2922 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @10:07AM (#290307)
    All of the current code, including benchmarks, is tuned for the old architecture.
    That has always been the case for every new architecture! It is not an extenuating circumstance, it is the norm. Every new architecture has to overcome this hurdle. This excuses the Pentium IV's poor performance none at all.

    Intel increased their pipeline length so that they could more easily ramp frequency. That's fine -- that's an engineering tradeoff. However, it is only a good tradeoff if it allows them to ramp the frequency enough to overcome the performance lost to branch misprediction. However, current top of the line Pentium IV's are beaten by PIII's and Athlons, so obviously this didn't happen. It was not the correct time to make this change in architecture.

    The Pentium IV was ill-conceived and rushed to market. Pentium IV is Intel's half-baked, panicked reaction to AMD's continued dominance in benchmarks. Intel was banking that they could market it enough to sell the thing, but it isn't working. The price is too high, and the performance is too low. The market just isn't biting, and with damn good reason.

    And I'm really sick of hearing Intel apologists whine that current software is written for Pentium II/III's. AMD has never had software written towards their platform, but they are still winning in benchmarks. There are optimizations that people could do for Athlon that would make it look even better in the benchmarks. AMD has always dealt with running apps optimized for competitor's chips. So I don't exactly have sympathy for poor old Intel that broke their own optimizations with this generation.

    The thing that worries me about this is that AMD is not playing the game
    You mean AMD is not playing Intel's game. Intel's decision was a bad one. Lengthening the pipe will be required eventually to ramp clock speed, but you don't release non-competitive processor and say "we know it sucks, but future products will be better, so buy this one now". What do consumers care about the design? They just want the performance ramp, and maintaining that ramp is effectively AMD and Intel's mission in life. Intel failed in their mission.

    Intel shouldn't have fielded a chip in this new line until it was competitive. They released too early because they were scared. It wasn't a good engineering decision.


    --Lenny
  • The Berlin windowing system [berlin-consortium.org] fits the bill. Check it out. There's an X compatibility layer, so you can still run all your X stuff. (notice that I didn't use the word "legacy". I hate it when people do that :)

    Berlin isn't really ready for prime time, since it's fairly new and isn't even part of most distributions yet. It runs on top of GGI, and _everything_ is 3D. I haven't done much with it myself, yet, due to laziness and lack of spare time, but the main point of Berlin is that it divides the work between client and server (it is network-transparent, like X) in a way that is more appropriate to recent trends in app design. You put pretty much the whole "view" aspect of the toolkit in the server, so you can tab around the buttons, and even rotate the window (remember, it's all 3d:) after doing a kill -9 on the app that opened it. The server doesn't even notice that the client is dead until you do something like press return after entering a number in a text box. (typing the number doesn't make the server go to the client, unless the client asks to see keystrokes instead of the final value.)

    That's what I remember of Berlin from a while ago, so it may not be totally accurate, but it's something like that. The FAQ is here [berlin-consortium.org]. The most important point is that "At the moment Berlin in NOT useful to normal people". I think they have some kind of terminal emulator, and also an X compatibility layer, so it should be useable enough to play around with and have some fun, even if you don't use it as the primary GUI.
    #define X(x,y) x##y

  • AMD has been running banner ads on news.com for weeks now (at least), and they've run two page ads in Forbes ASAP. Best Buy, CompUSA, and all the other big-box retailers advertise AMD machines in their newspaper ads. Beyond that, AMD hasn't had any need for *expensive* TV ads that would whack their profit margins.

    Besides, while most people don't know squat about computers, they know that they don't know, and ask someone who does know (like me) for advice. Everyone who does know buys Athlons. I even got my employer to let me custom build the last PC we bought for our project team because Dell still hasn't undone their rectal-cranium inversion and started selling Athlons. AMD's going to be alright.
  • But I thought we just read that we didn't need faster processors?

    That's just Intel propaganda, as one would expect after P4 benchmarks started being published.

    Posted from an AMD processor in an Intel-free Windows-free household

    (Score: 0 - Obvious)

  • How this gets modded up to 2, Insightful I have no idea. Intel neither created the recession, nor single-handedly destroyed investor confidence in the tech sector, nor lied about flagging PC demand. Anyone who has been following the tech industry and economy in the last few months has witnessed the following:

    A) A brewing recession, the causes of which it is far too early to pick out. Nevertheless, it is extremely unlikely that Intel singlehandedly caused the slump, because the economy is so huge and there are so many factors outside of Intel (GE, Microsoft, Bush, Greenspan, consumer confidence, investory confidence, etc.)

    B) The collapse of the tech stocks began well before Intel began to warn that the overall PC market was softening. Moreover, a warning by Intel would not have triggered a selloff of other tech stocks unless either people were investing based on psychology (and not the numbers) or the other tech stocks were fundamentally weak too. I suspect a little of both. Either way, Intel didn't create the tech selloff - investors and other companies played the major part. After all, if Intel had a bad quarter, but 3Com and Cisco's sales were still flying high, Intel should have had no affect on 3Com and Cisco's stock values.

    C) PC demand has been flagging, this is not an Intel invention. Apple, Compaq, Gateway, and Dell have all had brutal quarters, the growth in worldwide PC shipments has been relatively dismal this quarter, and US demand has stayed flat. The US market is glutted, people are worried about a recession, and, as Slashdot recently had a story about, people are finding that they don't need anything better than a two year old 400 MHz PC. As evidence:

    AMD missed earnings estimates last quarter and predicted that "first-quarter sales on processors will be 'no better than flat' compared with the fourth-quarter." (source [cnet.com])

    "Market researcher Dataquest on Monday warned of continued slow PC sales, with worldwide sales growing 10.7 percent this year, or about four points lower than 2000. Sales in the United States are projected to be downright dismal with--at best--flat year-over-year growth.

    Dataquest analyst Martin Reynolds said the researcher's predictions are based on 'the assumption sales in the fourth quarter will be better than the rest of the year. If this doesn't happen, things could be much worse.'" (source [cnet.com])

    Dell posted its first quarter-to-quarter revenue decline in 17 years (source [cnet.com]. Apple got murdered last quarter. Gateway got murdered last quarter, had a round of layoffs, and is closing 10% of its Gateway Country stores. Compaq is predicting a bad quarter.

  • I don't really see people switching platforms from Mac to PC just because they think the CPU is better. Who would find it worthwhile? Graphic designers, but only because they can get the apps they need on a Mac, and anyway they already know the deal about CPUs if they're paying that level of attention to their hardware.


    --
  • d00d, do you mean to say that while you compile a kernel, you don't do anything else?!

    --
  • Or maybe an airplane.
    --
  • I think you misread me. I was responding to a post wherein someone said that if users knew that MHz didn't compare directly, they would all switch to the G4.

    --
  • I've never been a "Mac person", but I bought a Mac so I could run MOSX. No regrets so far, but I knew what I was getting into, since I've been using a NeXT for a few years.

    --
  • Duh, I meant to say "PC to Mac", not "Mac to PC" -- no wonder my point didn't get across.

    --
  • In this is day and age most programs run well on a 233 or less, the most processor intense thing we do is watch DvD's ripped to DiVX and this can be done on 350 or 400. My point is don't bother with any of the high end stuff, very likely anything faster than 600 M processor on a 100 M bus will be fine for the forseeable future. Spend your money instead on a large fast hard drive, a good Video Card, decent sound card/speakers and tons of memory. You will probably save yourself enough money take take your Sigificant Other out to dinner and a movie.

    AMEN.

    It feels like I am shouting at a bunch of non-believers when I've been espousing that getting a faster hard drive and a lot more system RAM is substantially cheaper and offers performance increases as much as 50 to 75 percent. Once the Intel Celeron went to the on-die L2 cache design running at CPU clock speed, that made the CPU extremely viable for 90% of computer users out there. :)

    A Celeron 400 MHz or faster is easily capable to decoding MPEG-2 video from a DVD completely in software. With a fast enough HD and enough RAM, the decoding actually goes pretty smoothly.
  • I agree! :-)

    One thing that is really killing Intel is their insistance on supporting that expensive RDRAM technology. Why pay US$140-$160 for 128 MB of PC800 RIMM when you only need to pay US$60-80 for 128 MB of PC2100 DDR-SDRAM DIMM? Or even less for PC-133 SDRAM DIMM?
  • If your computer supports 168-pin DIMM's, there's NO excuse to save money by not installing more system RAM in the computer and getting a modern, higher-capacity hard drive. Hard drives are dirt-cheap on a per-megabyte basis nowadays, and RAM is also extremely cheap even with the very recent slight rise in prices.

    Regardless of operating system, installing more RAM and installing a fast ATA-66/100 7200 RPM hard drive makes a huge difference in performance, sometimes as much as 50 to 75 percent faster; this is due to substantially reduced need to use the hard drive as virtual memory and faster hard disk access.
  • The P4 philosophy was that it wasn't going to be cost competitive at 1-2 GHz speeds, but will be
    at 3-5 GHz speeds, due to better clock scaling.
    But if Intel keeps on losing high-end market share,
    this hope will be academic.
  • You're missing something, though. Right now, the P4's are priced at levels where people do actually look at the performance of the chip (power users & gamers, mostly). Dropping the price put's it in line for joe consumer, and joe consumer doens't look at benchmarks, so much as he looks at price. So long as a P4 system is within a couple hundred dollars of an Athlon system, most will end up with P4's, simply because they know the name intel, all the P4's have faster clocks than AMD's chips (i know clocks not the same as performance, but it's awefully hard sometimes to explain to that non nerd type people)
  • What the fuck are you talking about? Memory has little to do with the integer or floating point performance of a fucking processor. Apple already has a bit of alliance with IBM as partners in development of the POWER series processors. Your god box sounds like a sad joke. Dual CPUs adds more pressure on your memory bus as it now needs to feed two processors instead of just one. Besides that alot of programs (especially windows ones but a large percentage of GNU apps) aren't really designed to take advantage of multiple processors. Instead of trying to jam two processors in pick something that you're going to get the most operations per second with good memory bandwidth. Along with bandwidth you need macho amounts of RAM.
  • This is a lesson I have learned, painfully, over the course of 20 years that I have been buying personal computers. Learn this lesson, and learn it well.

    HARDWARE IS NOTHING. SOFTWARE IS EVERYTHING.

    Say this 1000 times. Understand it. Grok it. Then it will all make sense.

    If you could buy computers tomorrow for $12 that had 16 G4s each, but could only be used if you wrote all the software yourself in assembly language, they still wouldn't attract spit's worth of market share. (Come to think of it, this almost perfectly describes the state of the personal computer market around 1980.)

    I like Macs. A lot. There are 4 of them with me in this room right now. The reason I like Macs is because of their software. I know full well that a $1000 Athlon will give generally better performance than a $1500 G4, but I use the Mac anyway. But I'm different. Most people will never even consider a Mac at any price, just because they can't take home CDs from work and install the software on them.

    Software is everything.

  • For all that people criticize Apple for how "little" (superficially) MacOS seems to have advanced in the last 15 years, no other company has created a UI that's significantly better, or even really all that different.

    And, really, MacOS has advanced a lot more than detractors give it credit for. But the improvements are mostly not the kind you can highlight in a screenshot.

    However, among all these essentially-the-same computing platforms, the one by Apple is the most pleasant to use. By far.

    All X systems are plagued by interface inconsistencies -- rather than learn the platform, you have to learn the interface of every single application separately. As far as I can tell, this is as true today as when I first noticed it 10+ years ago.

    Windows is better because, if there is one thing Microsoft is good at, it's learning from success (in this case, Apple's). However, if you use both MacOS and Windows for a few months, it becomes clear that, compared to Apple, Microsoft does not sweat the details. Apple tries hard to get the product just right, and MS stops at "good enough to sell".

    I haven't used Windows 2000, but I'll give some examples from NT4.

    Open Explorer. Pick a text file and open it. Make a little change and save the file. Go back to Explorer. Where's the file? It's gone! No, it's not gone, it just jumped down to the last row in your window. WTF?

    In Windows, create a letter in Word and save it to a file named "Mom 4/16/01". Dang, no good. Okay, try "Mom 4-16-01". Hey! What's this stupid .doc doing on your file name? You didn't put that there. Rename the file the way you wanted it. Oops, broke it. Now it won't open it Word when you double-click it.

    Don't even get me started on the stupidness of drive letters. Those things are a major abomination.

    Here's one that is broke in NT4, but fixed in 2000: Change the TCP/IP address of your computer. Reboot time! No Mac would make you do that.

    Applications that make you reboot before you can use them? What's up with that? This has become a serious problem on the Mac as well, but it never happened until after Win95 popularized this disgusting practice. Most Mac apps can still be installed and uninstalled by dragging a folder -- no registry or Start menu needed! The system immediately knows where it is.

    Multiple monitor support - Windows(98) got it 10 years after Mac. Maybe in another 10 years, it'll get color calibration. Speaking of colors, open up the color picker tool on a Mac. There's the familiar RGB pie (also present in Windows), a CMYK color picker, a box of crayons, and a couple of others. Cool!

    Apple sweats the details. MacOS just plain works. That's why I keep buying Macs. (And they make great Linux machines, too. Linux+MOL is extremely cool.)
  • Linux is good, but for maximum enjoyment you really need to run it on a PowerPC, with MacOnLinux (MOL) in a big X window. ;-)

    I've been using Linux (on a Mac) on and off for about 4+ years. It's okay; I'd happily use it if I didn't have anything better.

    I won't say what MacOS can do that Linux desktops can't, but I'll mention some features I haven't seen yet that I'd like to see. If you know what to do in Linux to make it work, please enlighten me.

    I already know about TkDesk. Last time I used it, it was pretty good but not good enough.

    • I want a graphical 'find' frontend.
    • I want a NeXT-style browser AND a Finder-style iconic file manager.
    • I want to be able to drag files from one to the other to copy or move.
    • I want move or copy to be smart enough that if there isn't enough room on the destination partition for the whole move, it won't even start.
    • I want a Finder-style list view, where clicking on the column headers changes the sort order.
    • I want filesystem views to update themselves automatically when files are created, moved, renamed, deleted, etc. 'ls' is an abomination.
    • When I move a file, I want symbolic links to it to update automatically.
    • I want my window to always inform me of my current working directory. 'pwd' is an abomination.
    • When I double-click an icon or filename, I want it to open in the correct app automatically.
    • When I drag a document onto the icon of an app, I want it to open in that app automatically.
    • I want to be able to rename a file by single-clicking its name and typing.
    • I want multiple monitor support. The Matrox way is all right, but not great.
    • I want to be able to add monitors (assuming video cards already installed) without quitting or restarting my apps. Okay, I don't insist on this one, but the Mac supports it.
    • I want energy-saving modes.
    • I want plug-and-play support for USB and FireWire peripherals. I don't mind giving a root password to mount a drive, but I want it to be recognized as soon as I plug it in.
    • I want applications that don't care where they're installed. That can be moved to another location by dragging.
    • I want never to have to worry about whether something I might need is in my path.
    • I want all common key commands to be the same across all applications: alt-C is copy, alt-X is cut, alt-V is paste, alt-Z is undo, alt-F is find, alt-G is find again, alt-Q is quit, etc. It doesn't have to be Mac key bindings; EMACS is just as good. vi sux ;-) But I want the SAME key bindings to work across ALL APPS.

    If you can tell me how to accomplish any of the above, I'd be very grateful. I'm really looking to find a way to do everything I like about MacOS on my Linux machines.

  • People who compile kernels?

  • I'm wondering if Intel's dogged pursuit of MHz above all else isn't going to come back and bite them. Eventually, they might actually try to start shipping Itanium systems to the general public. Right now, Intel's FAQ on the Itanium state that it will start shipping at 733MHz and 800MHz. On one hand, their marketing department is saying that you need to pay big bucks for a P4, and look how fast it is! 1.6GHz! Then marketing has to turn around and tell another group of people that they should pay even more money for an Itanium running at half the clock speed! Maybe they just figure that the unwashed consumer masses will buy the "more MHz is better" line, and the people who will buy Itanium's are smart enough to realize that Intel marketing is full of it when they sell to the masses.
  • Only the Pentium 60 and the 66 had the floating point bug -- this was fixed in the 75/90Mhz chips.

    Course it was all hype anyway -- I dont think the FDIV bug affected a single home user who shelled out bucks for those new fangled "Pentium"s at the time. At least it didnt affect anything I did...

    ~dlb
  • The pentium 4 offers no new ingenuity into the buisness///

    It's just another marketing hike onto the world of no where.

    Kind of what is exactly hitting the business as a whole is lack of real ingenuity.

    Come on, revive the whole industry with real foresight like we saw in the early nineties.

    I doubt it....

    lamers....

  • No one ever wants to be the first to say that we're in a "recession".... just for marketing reasons.... but the fact is....

    we all know we are really/B?
  • Actually, the majority of your articles are years old.... amazing what you can find on the internet, isn't it.

    I would like to belive you, but the timestamps just don't figure...
  • blooody hell

    karma to kill...

    bully for you...

  • As long as AMD remains profitable and remains competitive, I don't give one of my Black & White ape's poos about which company makes the most money. I don't care about whether they're "winning" or not. I don't care who sells more processors. I think it's GREAT that AMD's brand is so "weak" that they can sell insane fast processors for small amounts of money. I'd just as soon have my processor dollars funneled into R&D, not another goddamn commercial with people in bunny suits.

    (and I'm really annoyed that Blue Man Group sold out and is now doing the Intel commercials. I LOVE BMG and I'm sad to see them shilling for these Intel jerks. However, if Intel brought me a wheelbarrow full of money, I'd have probably done the same thing. : )
  • Yep. I am aware. I saw 'em in Boston, and they were friggin' brilliant.

    However, I bet you a dollar that the whole distributed troupe agreed to the marketing deal.
  • ...what exactly led you to believe that I was unaware of AMD's recent successes? I think they're doing FINE. I was pointing out that making stockholders happy is not the same thing as making good processors.
  • by allanc ( 25681 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @07:29AM (#290337) Homepage
    I'm just waiting for Intel to abandon the Pentium line altogether and move on to the Sexium. They have a great slogan ready-made for them: "The Intel Sexium processor--Turn it on."

    Then later they can introduce the Septium and, for a greatly reduced price, lower quality versions called 'Deviated Septiums'.
  • >> Find a bug in the kernal and fix it!

    i totally agree with you that linux _could_ take out M$, and that time and effort spent on it would be a _good thing_.

    however, linux already has one of the best kernels around. the most broken element of linux is the UI. it's basically - unless you are a command line freak in which case this point will be lost on you - complete crap. unuseable. unintuitive. competing standards.
    a nightmare. your average non-geek will never look at it twice.

    there is a good reason: linux is written by people who care more about the kernel than anything else. which is fine with me - linux can not lose the platform war because it's not even competing. it was always conceived as a system by hackers for hackers, and at this it's unrivaled.

    if you want to go mass-market, you have to fix the UI first and foremost. eazel is trying to do this, but i think the linux community in general doesn't think of the UI as a problem that needs to be taken seriously.

    the superior product will indeed win. lunix' kernel is already superior. usability, however, has a long way to go.
  • You've been living in a cave for the last two years, right? AMD's been thrashing Intel on price and performance for about 18 months now and there's no sign this will turn around in the foreseeable future (1-2 years). Intel's in trouble, and has been ever since their marketing schemers wrested control of corporate strategy away from their engineers.

    Intel has made many missteps:

    * Buggy, late, and missing chipsets (one that supports DDR SDRAM for the P4 won't be out for months yet).

    * Devil's bargain with RAMBUS attempting to force ISVs and consumers to expensive, high-latency RDRAM in return for a $40M stock option kickback.

    * Releasing then recalling unstable overclocked P3 chips in a desperate failed attempt to stay ahead of AMD.

    * The unbalanced P4 chip design that: buys high Mhz at the expense of a 20-step pipeline imposing a huge branch mispredict penalty; includes a 128-bit cache line that performs on a par with AMD's 32-bit cache line but overworks memory bandwidth; uses a new instruction architecture requiring new compilers and recompiling all software in order to realize even decent performance let alone better performance; needs a new 2 lb. heatsink/fan, power supply, and case; is clock-limited to 750 Mhz when its power drain exceeds 54 Watts (1.5 Mhz, except when you need it). The P4 is a major strategic mistake for Intel.

    Not to mention the uninspiring Itanium server chip (deservedly nicknamed "Itanic" - rhymes with "Titanic" - by The Register).

  • From the current SPEC [spec.org] CPU2000 [spec.org] listing. The numbers for each proc are integer base, int peak, fp base, and fp peak.

    P4 1.5GHz
    524 536 549 558

    Athlon 1.33GHz
    482 539 414 445

    Alpha 833MHz (Compaq AlphaServer ES40)
    518 544 590 658

    As you can see, the Alpha has a slight lead in peak int, a very close base int, and, of course, is far ahead in fp. The Athlon is all over the place, managing to beat the P4 in peak integer speed. The really important lesson, though, is that benchmarks are crap. The P4 is no where near 20% faster (or whatever, math is the first thing to go when my brain shuts off for the night) than an Athlon on any other benchmarks I've seen, nor in the experience of anyone I've heard from. In the "real world" benchmarks -- that is, games for the most part -- the P4 has been closer to 20% slower (except in Quake III, for whatever reason). Those results are probably crap too.

    My own uninformed belief is that the relationship is more like P4 > Athlon > Alpha in integer, and Alpha > P4 == Athlon in fp, and that somewhere out there are chips that beat all of them, from manufacturers that have better things to do than make up numbers about their products.


  • I talked to a guy from AMD at CeBIT last month. Their chipset supporting multiple CPU's should be out june.

    I've been told that their new chipset can run programs not specifically developed for SMP on multiple processors - anyone have some details on this?

  • Actually, as a whole, the European economy (in GNP) is slightly higher than the US, and hence the world's biggest economy (depending if you treat it as a meta-country or just country by country). And the US trade balance is way way negative, while Europe one is positive. US is just surviving because of the huge debt it can build. You can't live forever with a negative trade balance. Airbus vs Boing is just the perfect example of this : an old US company, surviving with a decaying catalog of planes designed in the 70s, fighting a 20 yo company with brand new designs and concepts.
  • Unless there's a leak somewhere in a pipe or something get stuck.

    Well you are probably commuting on a horse, as you wouldn't trust your life to a car that suddently won't have any breaks. Face it, you can't go against progress, so like it or not fly-by-wire is here to stay, they use on modern jet fighters too (and even Boing is retiring the old hydraulic system on its civil planes).
  • ... and everybody knows by now that PIV sucks at floating point so it can't be.
  • Oops, the p4 has a "400MHz" FSB.

    - - - - -
  • by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @07:02AM (#290347) Homepage
    (Courtesy of Pricewatch):

    $460 - P4 1.5GHz, 100MHz FSB
    $216 - Athlon 1.33GHz, 266MHz FSB

    With alleged price reduction:

    $230 - P4 1.5GHz, 100MHz FSB
    $216 - Athlon 1.33GHz, 266MHz FSB

    Hmmm... Athlon is still cheaper, and faster. I think I'll stick with AMD.

    - - - - -
  • AMD processors are sooo good, and P4's are sooo expensive, that I don't think even half price is going to shift the balance in favor of the P4.

    Although I am surprised to see such a radical move. Maybe the arsenal of benchmarks showing how crappy the P4 is finally got through to upper management.

  • I own a Pentium III and a genuine intel motherboard. This motherboard supports only SDRAM, not rambus.

    http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/ea2/ea2_ds. ht m

    Read about it.

  • The IA-64 will be able to emulate x86 code. It's problem is that it's dog slow doing so.
    treke
    Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.
  • My mistake. I was looking at something else the poster had said.
    treke
    Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.
  • The Athlon core is not an Intel clone.
    It's not based off any Intel designs.
    Being x86 hardly qualifies it to be called Intel clone.
  • And the Intel 400 Mhz FSB is QDR and the actual frequency is 100 Mhz.

    Your point?
  • by doormat ( 63648 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @08:31AM (#290354) Homepage Journal
    With the release of the 1.4GHz Athlon around the bend, and the fact that a 1.5Ghz palomino + MP will be out this summer makes me think that AMDs market surge will continue. The biggest thing that hurt the P4 is that it is not SMP capable. By doing that, they just prevented it from entering the market share where people need the fastest processors (2p workstations for CAD, graphics, etc). The AMD Palomino can hit intel hard, especially with the news that the P4 cuts its clock speed by 50% when power consumption is above 55W. See

    http://www.inqst.com/articles/p4bandwidth/p4band wi dthmain.htm

    for info now how the P4 reduces its duty cycle during the time when peak performance is needed the most.
  • Um, that mught just be because Intel requires P4 cases to have special backplates for the heatsinks to screw into. Of course, I could be wrong...

    -----------------------

  • First off, I am an AMD owner and user and I'm way happy with it. Right now the price performance of AMD is killing Intel. That said I don't exactly agree with all of these assessments of the p4. Everyone is talking about how slow P4 is in benchmarks, well doh it's a new architecture change. All of the current code, including benchmarks, is tuned for the old architecture. Now when (if?) the software industry embraces the new achitecture, recompiles everything, then we might see the exact opposite of the scenario we have now.

    Now I know that sounds like a bunch of crap, but keep in mind that we had almost this exact same scenario when Intel introduced the original Pentium. When the Pentium 60mhz came out it was -slower- clock for clock than then current 486 systems on most benchmarks. The reason is that most software was very closely tuned to the 486 cpu. The benchmarks where the P60 shined were in the ones that took advantage of it's faster system bus. That is the thing Intel was pushing then, a new architecture that would make it easier for them to ramp up clock speeds and have a faster bus because those were becoming the limiting factors. Now here we are at the same point we were back then!

    The thing that worries me about this is that AMD is not playing the game, they are continuing the current achitecture where they are beating Intel, but what if we need to make this change? AMD might be able to ramp up speeds more than the P3 now, but will they continue to or will they hit a wall like Intel did and have to make core architecture changes also? What happens when we get to that point and neither architecture is winning? Where do consumers go? What do software engineers optimize for?

    Oh well, I guess it's not a big worry really, there might be a bit of confusion but in all likelyhood the consumers are going to win either way.
  • Unfortunately, even if they gave away P4's for free, a P4 system will not be a budget system, at least not until it supports SDRAM.

    1) Motherboards for P4 are almost $100 more expensive than for P3's or Athlons. The cheapest P4 motherboard on Pricewatch is $175. This will go down somewhat as volumes get better, but not much. A P4 motherboard has two strikes against it: It's hard to lay out because it has to support the 400MHz Rambus clocks (dual channel, even), and because the Intel chipset that supports the P4 is more expensive than the Via chipsets you can get for P3 or Athlon

    2) RAM is way more expensive. You need 2 sticks of RDRAM. A single 64Meg stick of rdram costs $60 ($120 for 2). You can get 128Meg of PC133 for $30. I put 256MB in the last budget PC I put together, so that makes things even worse.

    3) You need a special case. Add a few more dollars.

    4) You need a good power supply. Well, so does the Athlon. A 1.333GHz Athlon and a 1.5GHz P4 both have about the same max power (73Watts). (comparing apples to apples). But the P3 and the Via C3 (now that's a budget processor) both can get by with cheap power supplies.

    In total, you have to add about $200 to the price of that P4. You can get a high end Athlon for about $200. Kind of makes it hard for Intel to compete, doesn't it?

    Bryan
  • You have to figure that the Athlon 1.33GHz will be dropping at the very least $15 in response.

    $230 - P4 1.5GHz (400MHz FSB)
    $201 - Athlon 1.33GHz (266MHz FSB)

    The 1.2GHz Athlon (266FSB) performs pretty even with the 1.5GHz P4. The 1.33 GHz Athlon (266FSB) outperforms the 1.5GHz P4 by a bit so it still makes sense to buy the Athlon. The difference is it is now not totally unreasonable to go with the 1.5GHz P4, especially if you are doing one of the few tasks that the P4 really does well at.
  • I think this is a good question. The current Celerons are P-III's with half of the cache disabled and a 100MHz FSB. The Durons really kick their ass in performance at the same clock speed. With the move of the P4 to the mainstream and the P-III to the lowerend space now sort of occupied by the Celeron, what becomes of the Celeron. One would hope that Intel would just ditch the Celeron totally soon and sell P-III's with both the 100 and 133 FSB's. I am not sure that Intel is going to do this though. Intel might change things around a little and modify the Celeron again or simply call P-III's new Celerons and stop most P-III production. For example, Intel could stop selligng the current Celerons and rename the 100MHz FSB P-III's Celerons and continue to call the 133MHz FSB P-III's P-III.

    In any case AMD may be put into a more difficult situation because a P-III will outperform clock for clock a Duron.
  • One more thing ... I don't care if you say that P4 has a 100 MHz bus, but be consistent: either say that P4 has 100 MHz and Athlon has 133 MHz, or say that P4 has 400 MHz and Athlon has 266 MHz. WHen you say that P4 has 100 MHz and Athlon has 266 MHz, you are grossly misrepresenting the products.
  • If you think AMD has anything remotely close to 30% of the market, you are high on some seriously bad crack. In '00 AMD had $4.6 billion in revenue, and Intel had $33.7 billion in revenue. AMD had $1 billion in profit, and Intel had $10.5 billion. Last I heard, Intel had 84% of the market, and AMD had 14%. Remember, AMD has all but relinquished the sub-$1000 market to Intel (Celeron currently has 95% of this market), where most of the volume is. Not to menton mobile, corporate desktop, workstation, and server. AMD's mainstay is mid-range retail, which has a lot of visibilty, but little real impact.

    As analyst Ashok Kumar said a couple of weeks ago, "I wouldn't buy AMD stock at any price." I concur. (Though I wouldn't buy Intel at its current price either).
  • Hey AMD fans....wake up: AMD would dearly love to charge as much (or more) per Mhz, but their brand value, distribution channels and other market factors dictate what they CAN charge for them. They would very happy to "gouge" you like Intel does. Welcome to the free market.

    Indeed. The Celeron is priced at more than double the price of the Duron, and has lower performance (I forget how much exactly - perhaps 50% or 25%). But yet, the Celeron was a whopping 95% of the budget PC market.

    Anybody who thinks that a company who makes a substantially superior product, and sells it for less than half the price, but still fails to capture more than 5% of the market, is a company who appears to be winning, or whose stock looks like a good buy, is living in some kind of alternate universe.

    A lot of people forget that in business, the winner is not who makes the best product, or who has the lowest prices, but who makes the most money. In '00, Intel made over 10x as much profit as AMD, and we'll see next week if Q1'01 was any different.
  • If Intel was smart, they would go to year-based naming. A Pentium '97 would like a lot more outdated today now that the Pentium 2001 is out, motivating people to upgrade, while the difference between Pentium II and Pentium 4 seems negligible (in name). I guess they depend on the clock speed to plan obsolescence.
  • The P4 beats every processor in the world (including Alpha) at integer, and outperforms every processor except for the fastest grade Alpha at FP. P3/Athlon are similar at integer, and signficantly worse at FP. The P4 also outperforms every processor (including RISC) at memory bandwidth (P3/Athlon do not come close). I suspect that Alpha might catch up to P4's memory bandwidth in 2003, when EV7 is released (which uses, I believe, quad-channel Rambus). AMD won't ever catch up unless they switch to Rambus (unlikely).
  • If AMD marketed themselves on performance-per-clock versus Intel, and priced their processors accordingly, most consumers would react similarly to if Hyundai marketed miles-per-gallon (instead of horsepower) against BMW, and priced their cars accordingly. AMD simply does not have the credibility among most consumers to change the tide of processor marketing. I doubt even Intel would be able to pull it off. Fortunately for Intel, they only need to stand back and let the gigahertz speak for themselves, whereas AMD has to put out all of these benchmarks to prove performance. This is more costly, and less credible, for AMD.
  • First of all, don't look at peak, look at base. Anybody can get a high peak score, and they are not representative of the performance you can get.

    The P4 is definitely faster than Athlon. On Tom's Hardware, P4 beat Athlon on 3 out of 4 benchmarks. P4 beats Athlon so easily on SPEC (especially FP). The only benchmarks which Athlon beats P4 on is old sysmark type benchmarks which contain lots of P6 optimized code, which have long been retired by their authors. AMDroids see one benchmark where AMD wins, and declare P4 a failure. Whatever.

    As you can see from the scores you posted, P4 absolutely wipes the floor with Athlon on FP. Athlon FP performance is so dismal, it's not even funny. What _is_ funny though, is that Athlon has three FP units, and P4 has one, but P4 still beats Athlon clock-for-clock with its hands tied behind its back. In the spirit of AMD mangling benchmarks, I'd like to propose a new benchmark: performance vs. clock * execution units. At this benchmark, P4 is way over triple as efficient as Athlon.

    The 1.7 GHz P4, scheduled for release in a week (?), will put P4 as the fastest CPU in the world at both FP and INT assuming it gets at least a 10% performanced boost (unless Compaq pulls a fast one and releases the 1 GHz EV68 in the next week). Athlon is not even close to a contender for fastest CPU.
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @10:20AM (#290376)
    There are several problems with this:

    1) As the article stated, AMD has to price the Athlon frequency for frequency. They are going to have to price the 1.3 GHz Athlon below the 1.3 GHz Pentium, not the 1.5 GHz Pentium 4. 99% of consumers look at frequency for performance, not some other benchmark. This is good for Intel, and bad for AMD; AMD has higher performance per frequency, but they don't know how to market this. Unless AMD educates consumers, gigahertz will continue to be the benchmark. IMHO, they cannot change this since they don't have the credibilty of Intel.

    2) The Intel brand is one of the most valuable brands in the world, while AMD is comparatively unheard of. The Pentium 4 itself is a very good brand, because of the marketing campaign. So, the P4 has an automatic price premium above Athlon. Thus AMD has to undercut the P4 price, or they won't sell any (except to zealous AMDroids who are willing to pay a premium for Athlons - and this is a miniscule percentage of the market).

    I think this is good for Intel; but it probably hurts AMD a lot more than it helps Intel. This will continue to put enormous price pressure on their ASP, which they cannot afford to lose (they have lots of debt and little cash, while Intel has something like $15 billion in cash and almost no debt).
  • by mbadolato ( 105588 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @08:58AM (#290381)
    Heh, "Sex Inside" posters will probably do wonders for attracting customers into retail outlets. :)
  • Sure the price will be cut in half, but it will still be more money for less performance.

    This would be a great time for AMD to get some advertising in. Everyone's heard of a Pentium, many people don't even know who AMD is.

    If AMD started running a couple ads showing how much better their chips are than Intels, I'm sure they'd sell quite a few more...

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • . . .

    Forgive for answering directly to the story but I think your question "invert the price / performance ratio which has led people to scoff at the P4 in favor of AMD chips" is badly qualified.

    It seems from these price cuts that Intel is more concerned with instruction set deployment / share than direct competition.

    If AMD - and they rightly deserve this - gain a stronghold in volume machines, they will continue to have the upper hand in the extension to x86-64, whereas Intel actually have a fight on their hand to get developers actively retargeting code at new ISAs (IA64/ Itanium).

    If I also understand correctly, games - that omnipresent cunsumer "killer app" are historically, and may remain, heavily optimised. You can't just unroll loops in IA64, no way. You have to use modulus voodoo and preferably live higher in the compiler algorithms to eek out performance.

    I was reading yesterday an interview with an AMD honcho (I think on Toms') and when asked about SSE/2 support for Palomino there was a decidely vague / no comment response.

    If I understand correctly, SSE is far closer to VLIW in form aka Altivec than usual x86 "core" ISA.

    P4 is a big developent for SSE instructions and maintaining developers' optimisation attentions is a key issue for them. AMD x86-64 could otherwise become too attractive.

    I cannot think how Intel could consider price cuts unless they had volume. They've enjoyed enormous gross margins for years, and AMD seems to still be volume constrained, German and M'sia plants notwithstanding.

    If AMD is forced to cut margins - further - as well as compete on fab capacity, they will have difficulty *notwithstanding* actual processor performance.

    For my part, I just cannot understand P4 in a budget context otherwise. My main machine is a PIII w/ i840 (a nice server targetted mo'bo and Rambus and dual capable for upgrade). As it goes, I do feel proc constrained, but for even simpler graphics apps I use I wouldn't even be feeding the processor with less IO - and I don't believe regular consumers will be any different given the growth in MPEG4 and DVD sware processing.

    So, as a result, I don't believe this will invert price / performance perceptions at all.

    Oh, and believe me, consumer word will travel fast in response to the ridiculously demanding (compared with Word, anyhow) media apps already mentioned.

    [pray that I'm right at least for consumers' sake in the awful event such a scenario goes ahead, but curse me that it might kill off some cpu dev and make slashdot a place where posting about SCSI chipsets becomes *the* thing]

    However, if AMD shipped *all* its CPUs with chip speed, not bus speed, decent sized caches aka the worthy PPro, then they might KILL Intel across all these cheapo IO constrained systems.

    Ah, but then they'd be not so such cheap CPUs. Darn Pity.

    =====================

    Took me long enough to write I'm probably just repeating what you already thought, already said.

    ====================

  • 50% will not be enough when I can buy a 1.33Ghz Thunderbird for $216, and a 1.5Ghz P4 for $460 (www.pricewatch.com). $230 is still more expensive for less overall performance. You also have the issue of being forced to use RDRAM, which is still a good deal more expensive than SDRAM or even DDR SDRAM. The only possible way I would ever buy a P4 is if they started ramping up the clock speed substantially (3Ghz or so) without gouging the consumer on pricing.
  • by NumberSyx ( 130129 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @08:11AM (#290395) Journal

    I currently am running a Duron 850, would buying a Pentium IV, along with a new motherboard and memory gain me any real world speed ? If benchmarks are to be trusted, the answer is no, I wouldn't see much of a performance gain. This is especially true when you consider we must seperate benchmark differences and precievable differences. Meaning, just because the Pentium IV or even an Athlon scores higher on any given benchmark, does not neccessarliy mean I will notice any difference in my day to day usage. I will go out on a limb here and say most people, even power users, would be hard put to tell the difference between a 1.5 G Pentium, a 1.3 G Athlon and a 1 G Pentium III or for that matter a Duron 850, when using the systems for basic tasks, such as web browsing, email, word processing etc. Even when considering 3D gaming, the Video card has a bigger impact on the FPS then the processor.

    In this is day and age most programs run well on a 233 or less, the most processor intense thing we do is watch DvD's ripped to DiVX and this can be done on 350 or 400. My point is don't bother with any of the high end stuff, very likely anything faster than 600 M processor on a 100 M bus will be fine for the forseeable future. Spend your money instead on a large fast hard drive, a good Video Card, decent sound card/speakers and tons of memory. You will probably save yourself enough money take take your Sigificant Other out to dinner and a movie.


    Jesus died for sombodies sins, but not mine.

  • "You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means..."

    Seriously though... if everything went faster on my computer - things would just be better...

    Moe: Oh, boy! The deep fryer's here. Heh heh, I got it used from the navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in forty seconds.
    Homer: Forty seconds? But I want it now!
  • Perhaps you should find your bottle-neck...

    If my dual celeron can do it in 3 minutes... you have an issue.
  • Just because some killer game doesn't force you to upgrade your hardware doesn't mean you don't need a faster CPU.

    Just think about kernel compile times - I've only got a dual celeron 500 system... it compiles kernels in under 3 minutes... now if I had a quad Xeon system... I could be compiling kernels in under 30 seconds... or faster. (IO depending of course).

    That's 2.5 minutes I get back in a given day (that I happen to compile a kernel in). Wow!

    Now just think about when someone work related sends me a word document - and I have to open up star office to view/edit it... if I had a faster set of CPUs (and more ram, and faster IO) StarOffice would come in in a few seconds - rather than say 20 seconds... again - I've raked back valuable seconds in my day...

    That doesn't sound like a lot does it? Well, let's say that I have to do a kernel compile every day - and open a staroffice document everyday - and it takes 3 minutes total each day. Expand that to 365 days - that's 1095 minutes (or 18.25 hours) a year...

    Okay, so all things considered - fat people use more soap --- a valuable statement meaning that I probably would just fritter away that extra time each day (say typing up some gibberish in a /. post, or maybe checking /. an additional time that day for new news...) but it would also be very cool to have a system that compiled a kernel in the time it takes to say "I'm compiling a kernel!".... doncha think?

    As the Tick has said "Always remember: less is less, more is more. More is better, and twice as much is good too... Not enough is bad, and too much is never enough except when it's just about right." That pretty much sums it up right there...
  • The CAD folks will get their SMP workstations in Q3, along with a ServerWorks DDR chipset with PCI-X and 6.4 GB/s of memory bandwidth. It'll cost an arm and a leg, but they'll get it.

    But if you don't want to pay > $5K for an SMP system, AMD looks like the way to go.
  • Intel told the world "the market is softening" and was a prime trigger for our current recession. With that one statement, Intel destroyed investor confidence in the tech sector. Most of us know that what was really happening was AMD was single handedly destroying Intel's mononopoly. AMD went from less than 10% market share to a firm 30% market share in less than a year. Current speculation puts AMD as high as 50% of the market.

    Let's see if Linux can do the same to Microsoft. One of the engineers who worked on the alpha EV6 bus is now working fror AMD and gave the Athalon the same bus. 5 year old Alphas are still faster than Intel's Itanium. What I am really trying to say is AMD has broken Intel's monopoly with a superior product at a superior price. We must do the same! Linux could take out MS even if the DOJ can't. Vote with your time. Find a bug in the kernal and fix it!

  • Yeah, thought so.here [digitimes.com] here [cnet.com] here [taipeitimes.com] here [electronicnews.com] here [foxmarketwire.com] here [cnet.com]

    Responding to trolls... Just backing up my argument.

  • I really hope they slash the price by 50%, however, I don't think this will increase the likelihood of me buying a P4...I do hope that this sets a precedent for the other brands to lower their prices to stay competititive with intel...if this happens, and a P4 system costs less than 1k...I can certainly see an AMD or celeron and other lesser intel processor systems being sold for under 500$. That would be nice.

  • Running "old" code is neat. But the real trick for AMD-64 will be to find some new 64-bit code to run.
  • There's no way AMD has 50% of the market.

    According to this post [slashdot.org], which looks informed enough, AMD has a 14% marketshare.

    Simple Logic: Intel has 3x the fab capacity of AMD. As of last year, AMD was running at 100% production to get 20% of the market. In order to for AMD to raise that at all, Intel would have to be shutting down fabs.

    I think that's one key point that you fanboys miss: AMD is not in the financial position to "beat" Intel in marketshare, because expanding production takes lots of ca$h, not to mention time. Instead, they are cherry-picking certain profitable segments of the market, and just staying the hell out of every other segement.

    This is a winning strategy because on average they make more money per sale than Intel does (source: last AMD /. article, take it for what you will). But it has also allowed Intel to LOCK UP certain important segments of the market, including corporate desktops and tier-1 servers.
  • One of the nice thing about getting past 1 Ghz is that CPU speeds have less marketing impact.

    A 1.7 Ghz chip doesn't really sound that much faster than a 1.4 Ghz chip. Compared to the visual impact of 900Mhz versus 600Mhz. Stupid, yes, but so is Mhz-based marketing. (Now, if Intel scaled quickly up to 2.5 Ghz, then it would sound like a lot versus 1.7 Ghz...)

    Although Slashdotters overstate the marketing value of Mhz, I think. Most buyers don't care that much, whether they be home users or big MIS purchacing managers. Only when you get into the game/home power user crowd do you see the dicksizing going on, and those folks are generally informed enough to understand that AMD benches faster.
  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @07:07AM (#290423) Homepage
    We scoffed at the price because you paid more for less. Now you pay a little more for less. Even with a 44% price cut, the chip is worthless for non-SSE2 optimized software. Combine this with the fact that AMD is cutting their prices tomorrow, and RAMBUS memory is still... RAMBUS memory, I still don't see how the current P4's could have an edge.

    Now, if the second generation P4's (the "real" P4's) come out around these price levels, and with support for DDR memory, we may have some good competition.
  • This price cut made the news during the day Friday over on the Register (here [theregister.co.uk]), and was even commented on here [slashdot.org] (Intel cutting prices soon) CNet also had a comment of this here [cnet.com].

    Probably got submitted a few times - The weekend crew must not read up on things during the week. although I can't blame them.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • it's so easy to pull the 'new architecture' card and expect that to clear up all of the problems, but this isn't just a matter of programs not being p4 optimized. this is a problem with intel mangling a processor design, rushing it to market, essentially abandoning it, and still expecting us to buy it. if you'll notice, intel has no intention of supporting socket 423 after the current generation of p4. that means that all of the early adopters are going to be pretty royally fucked if they ever want to upgrade. their options will be a) new motherboard or b) sketchy hack (of the slocket variety, perhaps). looks like it's being abandoned to me. if you read that article that was on slashdot a couple days ago (there's links floating around here, or you could just go to older stuff) about the pentium 4 study. if nothing else, it provides some insight into why we're quick to jump on the p4. i personally think that intel has been sucking since it's marketing department became more valuable to them than r&d. i mean come on, did the p3 really deserve distinction from the p2? do we still need to cling to the 8 year old pentium name? do we really need to name the successor to the p6 the same thing we named the successor to the 486? no. intel's just getting batty.


    "I hope I don't make a mistake and manage to remain a virgin." - Britney Spears
  • I'm liking AMD... There's still nothing as fast on the market, esp. with 1.4 GHz Thunderbirds hitting the channel this month. And even with half-price P4, the price/performance ratio is still in favor of AMD.


    What I'm liking even better, though, is all of the hammer stuff coming down the pipe. If I remember right, AMD's line will go be 64-bit as well but will be backward compatible with x86.

    IA-64 will not.

    Yeah, yeah, I know... "Kill X86!"

    Well... why? If AMD's 64-bit series turns out to outperform IA-64 and it will still old x86 software faster than IA-64 as well and it's cheaper than the same generation Intel CPU (once again), then why in the hell should I buy Intel?

    Add to that the fact that AMD is entering the SMP world with superior bus technology borrowed from Alpha and I think AMD has it won for a while, memory bandwidth not withstanding.

  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear.pacbell@net> on Sunday April 15, 2001 @12:07PM (#290435) Homepage
    That's the problem Apple faces squarely, except they don't have the option of faster processors.

    They have machines that can do DVD burning, mp3 ripping, movie making, and game playing. Is the GHz issue hurting them? I dunno, they seem to be marketing their other strengths, such as wireless networking, style and fashion, and plain useability.

    I hope it works out, I happen to enjoy my Titanium PowerBook :)

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • I'd like to see your source of info. Is that just the cost of printing, etching, and packaging, or does it count the R&D, equipment, obsolence and so on? I think if all these factors were added up for an older process like the Pentium II, we could get a good idea of the true cost. A certain amount of money was spent on all these factors and a quanity of chips were made. It should be easy to figure out the true cost per unit.

    It can not be figured out for the Pentium 4 yet because we don't know how many units are going to be made and what price they will be sold. The R & D and construction costs could be gleaned from the financial statements on line. (chech the stockholder info)

  • He said that it would be able to run old code...
    Well... why? If AMD's 64-bit series turns out to outperform IA-64 and it will still [b]run[/b]old x86 software faster than IA-64
    (I added the "run" myself).
  • by abumarie ( 306669 ) on Sunday April 15, 2001 @07:03AM (#290459) Homepage
    I just speced a 1.33 AMD system for a friend at roughly $900 in parts. 64 MB video card, 512 meg of memory 60 gig disk, dvd, sound card, etc. This system sitting on my dining room table today (not later) benches better than a 1.7 Ghz P4 on the Sandra 2001 CPU benchmark. AMD has Intel's nuts in the cracker today.

    Intel's cost structure is such that they have to get better than $200 asps. The coin money at $400. AMD has a much better structure and can do the smae thing at 1/2 the asp that Intel can. By my recon, Via sold 12.5 million sock-a chipsets in the first quarter. During the same period, Tiawan shipped only 80,000 Pentium 4 mobos.

    Go ahead and commit Intel-inside. Underpowered, overpriced and Michael Delled.

  • My point is don't bother with any of the high end stuff, very likely anything faster than 600 M processor on a 100 M bus will be fine for the forseeable future.

    I don't think that's true. Developers will be moving to the faster machines. They will be using tools that trade performance for faster time to market, and they will be putting in more features. Experimental UIs in research labs right now do a lot more than what Gnome, KDE, or Windows do, and they are using tools that do eat up lots of CPU time. Maybe there is a very temporary lull because Microsoft hasn't released anything new in a few years, but sooner or later, Microsoft will copy someone else's nifty but slow GUI again and that will drive the next generation hardware purchases.

  • We are not in a recession, just a stock market slump. More like a "correction."

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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