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End Of the Road for Duron 273

yorgasor writes: "AMD announced that their Duron processor will no longer be produced near the end of this year. They plan on focusing all of their CPU production energy on Athlons and Hammers. The Register has more about it."
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End Of the Road for Duron

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  • Duron (Score:4, Funny)

    by 56ker ( 566853 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:54PM (#3367483) Homepage Journal
    Seems Duron's not as durable as it's name would suggest.
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:54PM (#3367488) Homepage Journal
    For the cash strapped, making a linux server on lower end hardware is the way to go (my server is on a P1-120MHz box). Why must they push the envelope so hard?

    The lowest end CPU you can find now-a-days is like 800Mhz, unless you go to auctions...
    • Quit whining (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      An Athlon Tbird 950 is only $58
      The Athlon XP 1500 is only $93
      These prices are from
      By the time the Duron is canned that XP 1500
      will cost about $60.

      Are you really that strapped for cash? To quote Chris Rock, "I got two jobs, you can't get one?"
    • I imagine cash-strapped folks aren't the customer base they're looking for. People with lots of disposable income who are willing to spend $$$ for the 'top-of-the-line' CPU for their word-processing apps and CD-burning software are a much more attractive target I'm sure.
    • your wallet probably won't change much here. if not get better

      there are still lot's of p1's laying around. saved my parents a lot when I found a barely used gateway p1 at a garage sale for $50. monitor and all, including the boot disk and os unopened in their orig shrink wrap, and mint black and white boxes for it.

      Besides, athlons are $2 cheaper than durons on the pricewatch site.
    • Hehe... thats why Darwin evolved Ebay.

      The envelope exists, and must therefore be pushed. Its called progress and inovation.

      Besides if you can get away with a CPU that slow, maybe you just aren't pushing yourself hard enough. Do something that requires real computing power and you'll see the need for something that is faster than a P120, game console running Linux or a PDA.

      • Or alternatively, maybe some people are prepared to sacrifice some unused processing speed for real tangible benefits like lower power consumption, no fans, silent hard disks.

        My primary machine when at home is a P166 laptop with agressive power down on the hard disk. For the majority of tasks - e.g. email & web surfing the disk the disk is off and the machine is silent. It's also running on about 8W so it lasts a while on batteries.

        My question is, why can't I buy a silent desktop machine? I have to buy a noisy power hungry machine several times faster than I want.
    • And that is the way it should be. Pushing the envelope is the only way they are going to make great advances. Like when AMD started kicking butt, Intel did a 'whoa shit' and decided they have better wake up.

      You can't get caught up in the 'processor wars' too much. My home systems include:
      Athlon 900 (slot, Windows) Athlon 650 (slot, Windows - gf's) Duron 700 (Linux) P166 (Linux firewall) PII 266 - old firewall PII 300 - nothing yet P100 - nothing yet

      Do I need an AMD XP processor? Nope. But as long as they keep getting faster and faster, the used market will get better and better. Remember, Linux needs to be able to keep up with new hardware too, but as long as it remains backwards compatable, I'll be happy. I could run RedHat 7.2 on all of the above for one purpose or another. Try that with WinXP, NT, or 2K.

    • Cyrix C3 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Zo0ok ( 209803 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @04:52PM (#3368535) Homepage
      Since the slowest CPUs today cost less than $100 from a price perspective it does not matter very much they are way more powerful than needed for many tasks.

      What I find annoying is that is still hard/impossible to buy a SMALL, SILENT and CHEAP system. My iPod has probably enough hardware resources to replace my Dual P90 Firewall, if it had two network cards...

      There are small (5 1/4 inch) systems available, but they cost more than $1000, and they are not silent.

      Cyrix C3 runs at 700MHz+, costs less than $100 and fits in a standard Socket 370 MB. That is more or less the first i386 processor you can run without much cooling since the early pentiums. Why cant someone put such a processor, 256Mb of ram, a silent slow disk, vga, nic and ethernet into a small box (no extreme design, just something slightly smaller than a minitower).

      Of course the coolest thing would be if Apple put a G3 in such a box (like a budget cube), but that will of course never happen.
      • Cyrix C3 runs at 700MHz+, costs less than $100 and fits in a standard Socket 370 MB. That is more or less the first i386 processor you can run without much cooling since the early pentiums. Why cant someone put such a processor, 256Mb of ram, a silent slow disk, vga, nic and ethernet into a small box...
        Because they'd have to sell a lot of them to make any money, no matter how small the development costs are. That's true of any new system -- margins on PCs are paper-thin, and competition is fierce. And the initial marketing costs are there in any case. Until the noise issue starts expressing itself in buyer demand, quiet systems will remain a DIY project.
    • The lowest end CPU you can find now-a-days is like 800Mhz, unless you go to auctions...

      But when that 800MHz Duron costs $31 ( []), many people might be inclined to think that perhaps you should just quit your whining and buy one, rather than scrounging through auctions to try to find a 120MHz Pentium that costs a couple of bucks less.

  • by deggy ( 195861 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:55PM (#3367491) Homepage
    Has anyone noticed it's getting harder to upgrade pcs? I can't just get a new processor a year after my old one. because by then the processors seem to need new motherboards, faster memory etc...
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:05PM (#3367625) Homepage

      I bought my Dual system a while ago with a pair of P-III 800's in it.. and I just got a pair of P-III 1.2ghz's , the limit of the motherboard, for it. no problems, and 2 gig of SDRAM from my 1Gig was trivial. Geforce3 is still happily plugging away and the U160 SCSI bus still has room for another 10 drives. no problems at all upgrading over a year later..

      You gotta spend the money up front to be able to keep the upgrade path open.. a el-cheapo mobo will lock you down.
      • *slobber*
      • Actually, if you had spent the money on faster processors when you got the system, what upgrade could you do now?

        If you had gotten dual 1GHz P-IIIs rather than 800MHz, and you could now only upgrade to 1.2GHz, it wouldn't be worth the money in terms of performance increase, just to gain a 20% boost. You got a 50% boost only because you went cheap on the original CPUs. You would have been able to get a 100% boost if you had gone cheaper and gotten 600MHz originally.

        I'm more impressed with the fact that the board supports 2GB of RAM, which you have now, up from the original 1GB.
        • That was the trick... I spent as much as I could afford. and I cut back on ram and processor speeds to throw the extra money into the motherboard.

          the number one rule... spend as much as you can on the motherboard... if you have to drop back a level on the processor to afford it... that's fine.. as processors become dirt cheap within months. spend the most on that motherboard and you'll be happier in the long run AND I have seen expensive mobo+slow processor run faster/better than a fast processor+cheap mobo.

          and yes.... the 2GB ability (6 dimm slots is AWESOME... but not being able to use DDR is a pain.. oh welll sdram is still available) was the major selling point... My mobo is designed for server use, no way around it... but I find that I was able to avoid every pitfall with SMP and linux because of it.
      • Yes, you can make a 128 bitrate Mp3 sound awesome.. but only with the latest Lame encoder.

        But wouldn't it then sound lame?

    • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:45PM (#3367991) Homepage
      It really depends on how you obtain your computer.

      If you buy a pre-built one from Compaq, HP, Dell, Gateway, etc., then you have to accept the limitations they build into their computers. They want you to keep coming back for certain upgrades, but they really want you to come back for a whole new computer.

      If you build your own computer, you can choose a motherboard that guarantees a way up. I generally view the motherboard as the most important component to spend money on, and, then, I skimp on the other stuff, such as expensive CPUs, knowing I can upgrade cheaply later on. With the right motherboard, you will have many years of cost-effective upgrades and not be bound to Dell's or Gateway's business schedule.
      • Well, the problem is that the 'way up' is perhaps 50% more than you're using. Since my first PC (a 486 SX/33 about 7 years ago), I've consistently doubled clock speed on each upgrade (486/33 to P100 to P233 to Athlon 600 to Athlon XP 1800+ (@1533MHz)). Those kinds of jumps just don't fit on 90% of motherboards. Apart from the chipset not supporting those clock speeds, quite often the physical connections aren't compatible.

        Added to that, other parts have upgraded; my first AGP slot was on the Athlon 600 (it was never used though; I had a V3 2000 PCI), memory has changed from SIMMS to EDO to PC100 SDRAM to DDR SDRAM, none of which is compatible (OK, the 70ns SIMMS will work in an EDO chipset, I think). Finally, hard drives have gone from non-UDMA through UDMA 33, 66, 100 and now 133.

        In short, motherboards don't last long unless you are willing to be crippled in some ways (e.g. memory technology) or willing to upgrade around the motherboard limitation (e.g. buying PCI IDE controllers to use faster hard drives).

        • by pmz ( 462998 )
          The Asus boards I've bought offer a number of bus speeds and multipliers that really span a wide range. For example, my older Pentium Asus board will easily handle 75MHz through 550MHz Pentiums/K6s. I recently bought an Athlon Asus board that will handle from 800MHz to 1470MHz.

          My point is to buy the Athlon Asus board, for example, with one of the slower CPUs in its range. This saves money up front, and saves money later when the 1.4GHz CPUs come down in price. To get the 1.4GHz CPU initially, buy a newer model of motherboard that handles 2GHz+.

          It is also important to fill less than half of the memory slots initially to leave room for more RAM later on.

          To take advantage of major jumps in hard disk sizes, Asus often releases BIOS updates that follow such increases. For example, my older Pentium motherboard has a 40GB drive connected to it.

          Any of the UDMA speeds are mostly hype, since the disk platter itself has a bandwidth of only 20 to 25 MB/sec. High bandwidth disk busses really shine only when a proper SCSI disk array is configured. Unfortunately, UDMA IDE doesn't support SCSI disk arrays.

          Following the scheme above will make for a computer that is good for at least six years allowing for one major CPU upgrade, one major memory upgrade, and one major disk upgrade.

          Granted, this plan doesn't build ultimate gaming machines, but it works well for getting the biggest "bang for the buck".
        • You're just going to have to accept that in order to make the kind of improvements that consumers demand, over the course of a couple years the entire system WILL need replacing, that's just the physical limit.
    • and less necessary. Hardware alone can't solve the problem. That's why Microsoft is pushing hard for 64 bit home CPUs -- the entire computer industry is one of planned obsolescence -- and its falling behind if you can still use a computer from 10 years ago. Bill Gates was saying how within a couple years everyone will need 64 bit CPUs. And then he said in 10 years that won't be enough. I guess he doesn't understand exponents.
    • I don't agree with you, I bought a Duron 750 and Gigabyte 7IXE4 motherboard two years ago. This was a the cheaper of the Gigabyte boards, I bought because it had two ISA slots. (A couple of old cards) I just popped in a an Athlon 1.4 mhz. Which is the limit of the board with only supports 100mhz. If I had sprung for a better board I might be able to jump up to the latest A-XP. I also had a Via 693/4 chipset board that started as a celeron 400@500mhz and upgraded all the way too PIII 1 ghz, no bios upgrades and running out of spec with a 133mhz bus. That computer served me well as a primary system in early 1999, later became backup and a file server and now got gifted to my sister.

      Actually if you are willing to replace motherboards you can go much further down the upgrade path. For instance the Celeron/P3 Started life as a P-166mmx, in 1996 I think, it is an early really really nice ATX case, bought a then huge 6.4 gb WD HD, and 64mb of ram. The case, and amazingly the powersupply, zip drive and floppy disk are all 1996 vintage. This is after a lightning strike that fried a modem, video card, powerstrip, and monitor.

      I also have an HP Kayak Dual PII 300 that is a dead end. Despite being far and away the most expensive system I ever bought, $6000 with my options in 1998. It does have an ATX case, but it is strangely arranged with a special(loud as hell even with panaflos) cooling system and special power/reset/speaker modules, likely requiring substantial surgery. This depite the fact that HP promises a good upgrade policy over the life the Kayaks.

      Moral: Build it Yourself, and pick out a really nice case and that will be the last thing you ever need to upgrade.

      PS. Back on subject with Athlon so close in price to the Durons of the smae clock speed it is hrd to justify buying a Duron for a self builder today. My new Athlon 1.4 was only 100 bucks with shipping.
  • by cdipierr ( 4045 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:57PM (#3367525) Homepage
    AMD did not officially announce that Duron is no more, they merely stated in their earnings conference call that by the end of the year they expect to be producing nothing but Hammer & Athlon.

    The Hammer will be the performance processor while the Athlon will be the value processor. They were also quick to point out that by that point it will actually be cheaper for them to make Athlons than it is for them to make the current Duron and that those Athlons will be available for equivilent to Duron prices now without the Duron limitations (in other words, full L2 cache, etc.)

    With that all conference calls of this nature, it was forward looking and merely states their plans, not necessarily fact.
  • by sanermind ( 512885 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:57PM (#3367543)
    A good thing really. It was always kind of pointless and a little insulting to sell the same K7 design with a cripplingly small cache at a discount. I don't think the difference in die size really accounted for so significant a savings; it was a form of tiered pricing to get more out of the market.

    Not that there's anything wrong with capitalism, but it always irked me and reminded me overmuch of intels old celeron/pentium3/xeon tiered caching, where you had to pay rediculously more for the same chip with different cache, which was especially insulting when the cache was off die, and the price would pentuple for a xeon over a "consumer" pentium3, which was certainly a *cough*
    little bit more than the cost of the extra cache chips they stuck in the sloted model.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The Slot 1 Pentium 2 and 3 had off chip SRAM
      caches that ran at half the speed of the CPU.
      The Slot 2 Xeons had full speed cache that
      intel had to manufacture themselves because the
      normal SRAM vendors didn't sell 400MHz and
      faster SRAMs. That's one of the reasons that
      the cost was much higher. The second was of
      course that they could rip off businesses who
      both a) could afford it and b) compared it to
      sun and it was still cheaper than an UltraSPARC
    • While I'm ill-equipped to evaluate the veracity of the technical elements of your post, I am confident I can shed light on the economic point.

      Spreading a single product over a wide range of market demands and pricepoints allows companies like Intel and AMD to spread the cost of making the chips over a wider range of customers. If they didn't sell a crippled chip for slightly more than it cost to make, and a normal chip for way more, then they'd have to make up the profit somewhere else. They'd have to average the profit over their un-crippled products, which means the cheapest part they made would be more expensive than a certain market segment would be willing to pay. That means they'd not get that market segment's money at all, so they'd have to increase their profit margins even more to bring in the same return on investment.

      (Venturing into off-topic here...)

      It's a little like insurance. Insurance companies will charge everyone as much as they can so they can insure as many people as they can. Own an expensive car? You can probably afford expensive insurance. Nevermind that you may statistically cost the insurance company less (or not, as the case may be).

      Much of what we identify with capitalism, religion and government is really just ways of spreading our challenges out so that the pain of any one member of the group is well below his or her threshold of intollerance. This helps the social organism and the individual survive traumas which would otherwise threaten the survival of the individuals and the group.

      Now, that's not to say that any of these particular systems is best. Nature adapts, and as long as we exist we will keep improving on what we know. I'm just saying that what looks from first glance to be simple greed actually serves a greater purpose in a bigger context....sometimes.

      • In the case of insurance, it's that the rich man is more likely to collect from them, not necessarily more likely to get in an accident. They're not insuring cars or people, they're insuring their investments.
  • For the Optimists (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Indras ( 515472 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:58PM (#3367544)
    This will mean a price drop on Durons still on the shelf, and used Duron processors will become really abundant and cheap.

    Plus, once the Hammers are released, the price of Athlons should take a cut.
    • Re:For the Optimists (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zathrus ( 232140 )
      Plus, once the Hammers are released, the price of Athlons should take a cut.

      Questionable... AMD hasn't been dropping prices recently. Because they're not making money.

      The Hammer series is likely to debut at a considerably higher price than the most expensive Athlon now - a lot of pundits are saying the $500-$750 range, and a few believe $750-$1000 is more likely. After all, it was under 2 years ago that the first gigahertz CPU's came out, and they were priced at >$1000 ea.

      There will be some price cuts, as there always is, but probably not the freefall that we've seen in the past few years.
      • AMD hasn't been dropping prices recently

        Ahem. Read near the bottom half. AMD announced big price cuts yesterday... net&tag=lthd []

    • How much frigging cheaper than $40 do these cheap bastards need a processor to be before they buy one?

      Hell, at some point, shipping is gonna cost more than the chip.

      - A.P.
  • by Snuffub ( 173401 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @02:58PM (#3367551) Homepage
    It seems that all this means is that theyre going to shift the athlons into the low end position of their market and use the hammer class chips to fill the high end void. It's just a matter of naming convention and of course getting an extra $5 per low end chip for name value.
  • AMD pricing [] for Athlons is much higher than Durons. All the Durons are under $100, and all the Athlons are higher. Presumably AMD will drop the price on Athlons when the Durons go away. I can't see them abandoning the low end.
    • Ok why do I find it disturbing that I can buy AMD processors from my favorite dealer mwave []
      for less than the price AMD is saying it sells them to direct AMD customers in 1000-unit trays of course I'm assuming there, that the price is per processor not per thousand! :)
    • Street pricing and AMD pricing seem to be loosely coupled, today (18 April 2002) shows Athlon XP 1500s starting at $87, XP 1600s at $80 (no, that's not a typo), and XP 1700s at $89. (Admittedly, Duron 1.3 GHz can be had starting at $63, so there is definitely still a difference...)
  • No biggie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jht ( 5006 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:01PM (#3367581) Homepage Journal
    When processors cost $300 and up on average, having a budget processor line was important. Now that a lower-end Athlon processor (the Socket A 950) is all the way down around $70, it's more worth while for AMD to just produce Athlon series chips in the 32-bit world. Heck, the top-of-the-line processors are generally right around the $300 that used to be an average selling price!

    Fewer chip lines=more efficient production=lower costs=lower prices on balance.

    Intel's pretty much done the same thing, except they've all but killed the P3 in favor of the Celeron at the low end.
  • by roguerez ( 319598 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:01PM (#3367583) Homepage
    On the other hand, AMD's pricing hardly justifies a value processor, since compared to Intel processors they are already pretty cheap.

    If they widen the XP line just a little bit by extending the slower models lifetime a little, they can fill the gap the Duron leaves behind with the XP itself.

    Also: when the Hammers arrive, the XP will fade away and presumably act as a value processor for a while. A Duron as an even cheaper CPU wouldn't make sense in such a scenario.

    Another reason I can think of, is that it doesn't make so much sense to make a CPU with a 100 MHz FSB. With today's materials this will probably not be cheaper to procuce than 133 MHz parts. So you're actually producing less than you can for the same cost, just to create a difference between models. Essentially the smaller L2 cache is the probably the only difference in cost of production between the Duron and the XP.
  • Hammer.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So will they call the chip that implements DRM in hardware the 'Screw driver' ?
  • When you look at pricewatch there's no question the AMD chips offer lower prices for comparable chips. Now it looks like they're going to dip to even lower prices. When they dedicate the Duron production lines to producing Athlons its going to make an impact on their prices. As for public perception let me ask this... Didn't it always seem that AMD Athlons got better exposure than Durons? Duron budget systems were always rare in big name systems when compared to Celerons. Which is a shame. I'd love to see AMD develop a healthy market demand across the board from econobox to server. Given the choice though I'd like better cheaper server processors though than a cheaper low end PC. The community's thoughts?
  • Looks like AMD will only be producing flash memory within the united states now. I have some friends who work at the Austin FAB and I know that their future is uncertain. RIP Duron, long live the Hammers!
  • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:05PM (#3367632) Homepage
    I'm actually surprised that AMD came out with a lower-end chip at all, when its high-end chips are cheaper than their competitors low-end chips. It's weird, it came into a market where people were expecting to pay a few hundred bucks for a decent chip and offered decent chips for under $100.

    Reminds me of a story: A woman wanted to sell jewelry in a kiosk. The jewelry was cheap to make so she priced it accordingly. She could conceivably sell her earrings for 5$ and make a profit. She was doing lousy. One day someone with a little business sense told her to arbitrarily mark it up to 25$ for the cheapest-looking ones, and even more expensive for the others. After doing this, she sold out her stock like lightning and had to take more orders.

    Funny how the human mind works, isn't it? The Duron chip is cheap, gets little negative press that I know of, and is being produced by a company held in high esteem in the home PC market. So, naturally, it must fail.

    I think the Duron should have been held as an ace in the hole -- although there's nothing stopping them from keeping it in mind, I guess. IBM's major response to AMD was to lower the cost of their high-end chips. If they'd responded instead with a bigger push for the Celerons, maybe the Duron would have had a better chance...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:07PM (#3367638)
    Do we hate AMD today?
  • by Masa ( 74401 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:10PM (#3367663) Journal
    First I decided to get a VLB mother board. Just after the purchase PCI won the market. Then I chose to buy an Aureal sound card. And just after that, the Aureal died. Then I got a Voodoo3 video card and that also died a horrible death. And now... just after purchasing an AMD Duron and a new motherboard, they claim that there will be Duron no more. Damned... Either I'm a bad decision maker or then I'm an angel of death. Too bad there is no place to bet for the loser because I'm going to buy a new monitor...
    • by tkrabec ( 84267 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:26PM (#3367809) Homepage
      buy some m$ software Pease

      -- Tim
    • I so could have told you about VLB and and Voodoo3, but dude, duron and athlons use the same MB, and its not like you'll be missing the newest drivers for the duron. Hell best you can hope for is the duron dying under warrenty, and they have to end up giving you an athlon to replace it when because they have no more durons. HEHEHE
    • Short (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rupert ( 28001 )
      Next time you buy something, short the stock of the company that makes it.

      ** Big Disclaimer **
      I am not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. Although anyone who gets their financial advice from Slashdot probably gets what they deserve, you should bear in mind that the value of stocks can go up as well as down, and if you short a stock your maximum potential gain is 100% while your potential loss is unlimited
      ** End Big Disclaimer **
    • by gblues ( 90260 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @04:06PM (#3368221)
      If you are the angel of death, you may as well put it to some good use! :)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    thats right kiddies, it's time for dual processing the cheap way. get yourself a cheap-o Tyan Tiger MPX motherboard (, and wait for those duron prices to rocket downward; then get yourself two 1.3GHz Morgans and some nice CPU heatsink/fans (i think the Thermaltake Volcano 7+ should do nicely - and a case that's compatible with this dual mobo (most 300W+ power supply-enables cases, but might need to get specific). then load all the crap from your older system into this one and you've got yourself a kicking cheap dual processor system. i think the last quote on the heatsinks, processors, and case together was below $400, but will fall even further down with this news. and dont even get me started with overclocking....
  • by 1nt3lx ( 124618 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:12PM (#3367688) Homepage Journal
    I don't know why this made me think of the Radio Shack Color Computer, but it did.

    Seems like the Duron and the Celeron (DX/SX, etc) are just crippled versions of the "better" Athlon and Pentium x.

    Much like back in the late 70s when Radio Shack was designing their more affordable Color Computer they anticipated it to have 32k of ram using 16k RAM chips and designed the board for those chips. The chips didn't actually exist when the board was designed, but they *knew* as it was rolling down the assembly line the 16k RAM chips would be available.

    Murphy has taught us well and true to form 16k RAM chips were not available. The chip manufacturers skipped 16k to 32k! So instead of
    their "low end" computer being built with 32k total it had 64k total. Which was 16k more than their "high end" model!

    Solution: break the most significant address line.

    For the same cost to the company they produced a bit less than they marketed and sold. (yes, pun intended.) For the sole intent of keeping the price of the high end model inflated.

    This is exactly what intel did with the 486's. They made DX processors and applied too many volts to the FPU and blew it out. (blown out as in destroyed not to be confused blown out as in programmed with PLA).

    I guess now the trend is going to be low-end 32-bit, high end 64-bit. This is considerably less less transparent to the programmer. And I am not quite sure how this is going to benefit AMD's venture into the 64-bit arena.
  • Not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @03:16PM (#3367728) Homepage
    One of AMD's critical weaknesses is a lack of fab space. They have very few fabs available to them, and they need to very carefully select which fab will produce which silicon. (This is actually a common issue with silicon fabs, since a new fab runs $3B or so nowadays, but AMD has a really bad space shortage problem for the size they are)

    If you look at the AMD roadmap the future is the Hammer series - which incorporates the x86-64 instruction set - and Barton, which is allegedly a hyped up Athlon on a smaller core (0.13 micron) with no x86-64. Barton is being poised as the low end processor, while the Hammers are high-end.

    With that in mind, where would a Duron fit? Realize that AMD is currently losing money. Ridding themselves of Duron not only frees up fab space, but also allows them to move the entire processor cost structure up a notch or two.

    The current bottom end of the market is probably going to disappear, since the Celeron doesn't have much life in it either. But since they're already unpopular in the retail market, it's not a huge loss. If you want to build a cheap system, you're better off buying components that aren't brand new anyway. Swaps, ebay, and so forth are dirt cheap on those kinds of things.
  • I can see why, with the pricing of lower-speed Athlons, but I thought the Duron was a nice foil to Intel's Celeron. My last purchased box had a Duron in it -- never a hiccup. .... sniff .... Duron, we barely knew ye'
  • Where Duron's gone or how it fares
    Nobody knows, and nobody cares
  • How about Transmeta? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Beliskner ( 566513 )
    I hate to ask this, how is Transmeta going to survive if Duron isn't powerful enough? Is the Transmeta truly banished to embedded applications? Do Transmeta have any aces up their sleeves?

    I remember the Archimedes processor ran BASIC 100 times faster than calculated, then they found that their refactoring of the BASIC interpreter decreased its size so much that the whole interpreter fit in the CPU's L1 cache. ARM processors I think it is - RISC.

    Can Transmeta pull off any miracles like this, such as using a JIT compiler to translate the entire executable app instead of just doing it in the background like they're doing now?

  • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @04:15PM (#3368282)
    I think the primary reason why AMD is phasing out the Duron is the fact that outside of the do-it-yourself crowd, there was almost NO demand for the Duron CPU here in the USA, despite its technical merits.

    Besides, for low-end computing Intel's Celeron had such a hammerlock on the market that there was no real incentive to use an alternative. Note that most of the major computer manufacturers still offer machines that use the Tualatin Celerons (1,100 to 1,300 MHz speeds). Indeed, the 1,300 MHz Celeron is actually a pretty nice CPU, especially with 256 KB of L2 cache on the CPU die.
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Thursday April 18, 2002 @04:18PM (#3368302) Homepage Journal
    ... AMD has announced that it will focus it's production on high-end processors. In other news, scientists predict a record year for global warming...
    • HAHAHAHA I get it... CAUSE AMDS RUN SO HOT!! HAHAHAHA That's so original!!!!

      • "CAUSE AMDS RUN SO HOT!! HAHAHAHA That's so original!!!"

        Umm okay...

        I missed your joke about this article, could you paste me a link to it?

  • Athlons are so cheap, I never understood the point of having a "value" processor. Heading over to Pricewatch, I see that you can get a 950 mhz, 200 FSB Athlon for $53. Durons slower than 950 mhz sell for about $30. Who on earth is building a computer so cheap that spending an extra $23 on a cpu really matters?

    When I was upgrading my P3 600 mhz, I thought about getting myself a new P3 chip to stick in the same mobo, but looking at the prices I found that it was the same price to get an Athlon XP 1700+ (that's about 1.4 ghz) with a new motherboard as it was to get a 1.2 ghz p3. It looks like Intel prices may have fallen a bit since then, but still, AMD chips are just absurdly cheap.

    • Durons run a little cooler than Athlons. Suppose you're building a box where even an 800mhz Duron has more performance than you need... such as a word processing box, web-surfing box for Mom, mp3 server for the living room, whatever.

      For boxes like that, the extra horsepower of the Athlon is overkill, so it can be nice to pick a Duron because and run a quieter fan since they produce less heat. Most of the time though, yeah... i'd say spend the extra 20 bucks and get the performance of an Athlon!
  • Hammertime! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Joe U ( 443617 )
    M.C. or just Mike?

    Ok, bad joke, but someone had to say it.

    No, wait they didn't...
  • C'mon I'm sure you can find some !!
  • the duron... (Score:2, Informative)

    by AA0 ( 458703 )
    What most people don't know is that the Duron was created for a couple reasons. The first was to beat the celeron down, which is does nicely. But the other reason is that it was a way for AMD to improve yields. Thunderbird chips which couldn't pass the full cache test could have most of its cache disabled, and used fine as a Duron, this made AMDs yields make intel's down right embarassing.
    I'm guessing now AMD runs the durons on its own process, since AMD has a large marketshare. I wonder if they'll introduce a cheap OEM chip version to help their yields again, or still offer the Duron in limited quantities to certain suppliers.
  • Joe Sixpack will not care, nor notice. His machine is slow because cheap computers come without sufficient amounts of RAM. Had the manufacturers included more RAM in their lower end systems, people would realize that the high end systems did perform so much faster that the higher price was justified.

    I'm using a P3 533 mhz with 512 MB of RAM. I run VMWare to be able to access company email, otherwise I'm all linux. According to hype, this should be obsoleted and unacceptable. It isn't. Even the VMWare solution is acceptable (though not ideal). You have to wonder if there are "conspiracies" within the hardware industry that makes Microsoft appear angelic.

    So, for the end user, more RAM from the manufactorers side would be much more cost effective than a slightly faster processor.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.