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AMD Announces New Low-End Processor Line 332

beaverbrother points out these articles at CoolTechZone and PC Magazine, writing "AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is slated to launch a new Sempron line of processors this summer, to compete with Intel's Celeron line. The processors are designed to perform basic tasks, such as word processing, and more advanced tasks, like playing video, with ease."
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AMD Announces New Low-End Processor Line

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  • by Moonpie Madness ( 764217 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:11PM (#9371781)
    or are they just filling in a perceived niche? id buy these for sure if they are really cheaper than older durons are (really cheap)...
  • so... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:11PM (#9371789) Homepage Journal
    Big numbers on box with little actual performance, for people who want big numbers but don't really need a powerful computer(or have a clue, of course, if you're without a clue you don't really need a powerful computer so..)...

    if it's a celeron competitor that is..

    hopefully it'll be at least very affordable..
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by psyco484 ( 555249 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:11PM (#9371791)
    All tasks not requiring screaming fast processors. This is not for servers or gamers, it's for the other 75% of the PC market.
  • by reality-bytes ( 119275 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:14PM (#9371819) Homepage
    What they're getting at is that its designed for basic functionality like your word-process and your basic video decoding.

    What this processor is probably not aimed at is high end video encoding/transcoding - 3D (openGL or DirectX) gaming or high-load server processing.
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:14PM (#9371824)
    Unfortunately, it seems that consumers are only able to keep track of one or two processor family names per manufacturer. Intel: Pentium/Celeron, Apple/Motorola: G4/G5, AMD: Athlon/Duron. Though the marketing people try hard, the Centrinos and Semperons are destined to become forgotten, no matter what their architectural/price advantages.
  • You've gotta admit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slycer9 ( 264565 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:16PM (#9371844) Journal
    That as much as we like to rip on 'choked' CPU's, Joe 6Pack doesn't NEED 1/2 the processing power that most of US use in our routers!

    Jesus Christ, my router/firewall alone is a 333PII, which, for the average luser is WAY more than enough.

    That said, I'm all for a new low-end CPU from AMD, let's me keep my overhead low and profits high. Good stuff, have some.
  • Why this new line? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:16PM (#9371851) Homepage
    The article says it's a 32-bit replacemnent for Duron to compete with Intel's Celeron at around 2.8GHz.

    So why don't they just lower Athlon's price enough to compete with Celeron? Or is this Sempron simply a rebranded Athlon, while Duron is a crippled Ahtlon?

    At first I thought AMD is introducing a dumped down 64-bit Athlon, that might be something, as the price of Athlon64 is still too expensive.
  • I don't get this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by batkid ( 448363 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:16PM (#9371855)
    The Athlon XP line is actually very competitively priced against the celeron. For example the XP2500+ is $125.00 Canadian compared to the Celeron 2.6Ghz which is $120.00 Canadian. The only difference between the XP and the Celeron is that the XP is WAY faster in many areas (e.g. gaming). So is this new budget line going to decrease performance in order to "compete" with the celeron?
  • Re:Yes but... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:24PM (#9371916)
    "Will they overhead and melt down like the Celeron processors? Without this feature I doubt they will be able to effectively compete with the Celeron."

    Given that, unlike AMD processors, Intel CPUs have a thermal regulator in them, I dont get the joke. I've seen Athlon chips barf their guts out across a motherboard when the heatsink fell off (plastic clip broke off in a tower), but a Celeron should just crash in that case or a P4 will just reduce its clock speed. In fact even the newer 64 bit AMD chips lack a thermal cut out on the chip, but at least (at LONG last) they have it on the motherboard.

    Note to the Jihad, I am not anti AMD or pro Intel. I like and use both, I just wish that AMD would spend more time on things like this and clock locking rather then pushing for higher speeds. Both platforms are "fast enough" for now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:25PM (#9371928)
    "are these really cheaper to produce?"

    Yes because of higher yeilds and lower yeilds of highend processors. Less transistors than flagship products. More CPU's per sheet compared to flagship chips. The list goes on.

    "... are they just filling in a perceived niche?"

    Yes that too. AMD is not making hand over fist profits on their 64 bit chips.

  • by j1m+5n0w ( 749199 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:29PM (#9371954) Homepage Journal

    Looks like frys [frys-electronics-ads.com] is selling an xp2500+ with motherboard for $65 US (If you happen to live in the Dallas area which I don't). Is there a market for processors cheaper than that?


  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:31PM (#9371970) Journal
    The average "luser", as you like to refer to the overwhelming majority of PC users, wants to run an OS that they are familiar with and that's current. I'd like to see you run something more powerful/recent than, say, Windows 98 on a 333MHz Pentium II and see how much time you'd waste just looking at the hourglass.

    Oh, and newsflash for you: Joe Sixpack wants to do more on his PC nowadays than just word process and play solitaire.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:35PM (#9372012)
    Isn't gaming more GPU bound?

    (I agree with you on the other two though)
  • Re:Yes but... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:37PM (#9372035)
    "fast enough"?

    You apparently don't do CAD or rendering or animation or FEA..... Processors today are far from "fast enough". People in these industries and several others will always want and need faster processors. Even when we hit something equivalent to a 10GHz processor will you not hear one of us proclaiming my computer is "too fast". I'll be able to get my job done faster, but I'll still be able to bring it to a crawl.
  • Re:soundalike (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jlp2097 ( 223651 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @07:40PM (#9372066) Homepage Journal
    "semper" is latin for "always", "everytime", "ever".
    "durus" means "enduring", "hard".

    So the name suggests this being the successor of the Duron.
  • by reality-bytes ( 119275 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:09PM (#9372344) Homepage
    If you take online multiplayer games as an example the GPU is probably only 50% of the equation.

    All the prettiness is handled by the GPU but the CPU is still responsible for generating the OpenGL/DX stream and handling player (and other player) location, physics etc. A good example of this is UT2004 Onslaught which requires as much CPU as GPU power.
  • Re:fuck! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:40PM (#9372638) Homepage Journal
    I still use a 433MHz and a 466Mhz Mendocino Celeron. Not in one box, of course. But the two machines are still in working order. Hell, I have a ThinkPad 600E 400MHz PIIm that is still kicking ass under both Linux and Windows 2K. Don't count the old machines out.
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nolife ( 233813 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:51PM (#9372715) Homepage Journal
    Modded as funny but I have two computers with 1.4 Durons from Walmart ($199 a piece) and they work great. Mandrake and W2K. Both play full screen dixv and xvid videos with no problems and the gaming is not too bad (thats what the consoles and MY computer are for).
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fweeky ( 41046 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @08:54PM (#9372727) Homepage
    it seems that consumers are only able to keep track of one or two processor family names per manufacturer.

    I suspect most consumers really don't have a clue about processor names, and will just go for whatever a salesperson points in their direction. Any ideas as to performance probably comes more from noticing the general naffness of a name than any actual understanding. Really, which would you rather have in the absence of any other knowledge, an Athlon or a Sempron? That, of course, is precisely why low end processors get names like this :)

    BTW, I'm under the impression Centrino is just a name for a mobile Celeron and on-board Intel WiFi NIC -- not quite a "processor family name".
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck ( 704397 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @09:41PM (#9373082) Homepage Journal
    Don't you mean "other 95%"? While I don't have any statistics, one out of four PCs being for serving or gaming sounds awfully high. That is unless you consider sharing folders to be serving, and fiddling with solitaire to be gaming. The vast majority of "PCs" are going to be workstations and desktops in business, which won't be servers and game boxes.
  • by mdrejhon ( 203654 ) * on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @10:56PM (#9373592) Homepage
    When I first heard about Sempron, I immediately thought it was a new brand of tampons.

    A CPU called a Sempron? No wonder we're running out of trademark namespace!
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Tuesday June 08, 2004 @11:17PM (#9373708)
    You're right... but by most people's standards, these will be screaming fast processors! My Athlon 2500 is almost a year old and still feels screaming fast to me. It is fast compared to any of the other computers I am around.

    I think it's weird that when a budget processor comes out, people write it off as something that's OK if all you do is email and surf the net. Those very same snobs would be slobbering to have that processor just 18 months earlier. Have their needs really changed that much in those 18 months? Do they resign themselves only to email and web surfing once their computer is 18 months old?

    My point is that this thing will be cheap and screaming fast, and do everything effortlessly except for playing games that don't yet exist. Yet I'm sure that slimy salesmen at CompUSA will say that you shouldn't buy one unless what you do is just email and internet. Bah! I bet you when this comes out, it will be faster than what 90% of CompUSA employees run at home!

  • Re:Sempron... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pknoll ( 215959 ) <slashdot.pk@LISP ... g minus language> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @12:11AM (#9374013)
    Very true, but consider - the CPU spec depends on what your servers are doing. I have one that runs my firewall; it's a K6 266. Another runs DNS/DHCP and et cetera for my local LAN; it's a P-III 500, and that's likely overkill in both cases.

    Not all servers need screaming fast processors, either. So, AMD's market could be even larger than just -gamer.

  • Re:Sempron... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:29AM (#9375745) Journal
    "Do they resign themselves only to email and web surfing once their computer is 18 months old?"

    Absolutely not. We buy a new CPU and graphics card long before those 18 months have passed.

    Now if only ATI would get off their asses and actually bring the X800 XT Platinum Edition to the market, I wouldn't have to make do with this 7 month old 9800 XT. Lemme tell you, this thing _crawls_ in 1600x1200x32 with 6x FSAA and 16x Aniso in some games. Not "games which don't even exxist", but actual games available here and now. It sometimes even dips lower than 60 fps ;)

    And don't even get me started on AMD's 939 pin socket. They've been talking and talking about it for months. Why can't I buy a 939 pin CPU and mobo already? I already have the paired Crucial RAM and Zalman copper heatsink for it. Geesh, I mean, this socket 754 AMD 64 3200+ is, what? Almost 8 months old ;)

    Well, sort of "ha ha, only serious." I _will_ buy a new A64 and an X800 XT, but I'm not really _that_ angry and impatient as the above paragraphs sound. I can wait another month, if needed :)

    Does it make economic sense? Absolutely not. Is it what 90% of the PC market is all about? Absolutely not. Is it stupid? Absolutely.

    But, hey, it doesn't make it any less real.
  • You're wrong. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Penguinoflight ( 517245 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:50AM (#9375879) Homepage Journal
    Playing games that don't exist is not the only problem for a budget system. In addition to these processors being slated as "budget", the manufacturers will add junk to either use outdated, or unreliable, or undated and unreliable for video (I still remember the awe when I saw brand new top of the line P4's with that cheap stuff). Put that together with a standard 48x cdrw and you have a system that is totally void of anything worthwhile.

    This is not to diss AMD, I'm sure the Sempron will kill the celeron, and likely compete with the p4 on an even clock speed, but the big manufacturers will treat it like a Cyrix (They see: P4, Athlon, Celeron, then Sempron). I cannot feel strongly enough about my friends who go out and buy a "cheap" celeron for $500. Just imagine all the people who would sell them their 3 year old gaming system, a system to totally blow away the modern "Screaming fast" PC.
  • Re:Sempron... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @11:15AM (#9377337)
    Whoever convinced people that being a "server" meant that it needed to be big, fast, and expensive was a marketing genius. In reality though, most servers don't need to be big, fast, or expensive. Sure, there are people with multi-terabyte databases with thousands of users, or file servers for 10,000 employee companies, but for every one of those there are 100 machines that serve a low traffic website, or handle e-mail for less than 1000 people. Why run an 80 watt $600 processor at 90% idle for those tasks? If you ask me, these low end processors are *perfect* for that kind of stuff.

    I just finished swapping out 3 dual P3 Xeon machines that were running 4 websites and e-mail for 6 domains with an Athlon XP-M (yes, the mobile version) 2400+ with a PowerNow compliant chipset. Not only is it sufficient, but since it's still not under heavy load it spends most of the time at 800mhz, and total power usage is down from 620 watts to 130 watts. The whole system was less than $500 (not including the SCSI adapter and DLT drive I scavenged from the other servers).

    I'm the sysadmin for one company that is running their corporate network (file, mail and web servers) off a pair of Duron 700s. Their 100Mb network and 1.5Mb net connection are more of a bottleneck than the CPUs.

    Low end processors exceeded the performance requirements for the majority of servers years ago. It's really unfortunate that the prevailing attitude that servers need to be powerful causes people to waste money on the latest and greatest CPUs when it could be better spent on faster storage, or something else entirely.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.