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IBM Opts for AMD 195

ExE122 writes "Since the unveiling of the low-cost, low-energy AMD Operton in 2003, Intel has been struggling in the server-grade processor insdustry. Now, IBM has announced their decision to use the AMD Opteron processor in their new line of BladeCenter servers. System x3455, x3655 and x3755 rack-mount servers, two-way Bladecenter LS21, and four-way LS41 blade servers sporting the new AMD processors have already been announced. IBM will continue this transition over the next three months.

From the article:
"IBM's choice is by all means an important victory over rival Intel, which is struggling to sell the remaining deposit of server processors before the general acceptance of Woodcrest X5100 chips. Unfortunately for Intel, at the end of the second quarter, Advanced Micro had 26 per cent of the market for servers built on personal computer chips, more than double its share a year earlier, according to Mercury Research."

Could this be lights out for Intel?"
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IBM Opts for AMD

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  • by Jtoxification ( 678057 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:54PM (#15836944) Homepage Journal
    You just opened the floodgates, Mister. But yes, I love AMD - look at my sig for the sake of /.

    Intel is going nowhere, however - there are far too many consumer-oriented PC corps out there that adore Intel. And sheesh, AMD has been on the short end for so long, it's hard to imagine that a corp like Intel couldn't wait it out, too.
  • by fuzz6y ( 240555 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:54PM (#15836947)
    Could this be lights out for Intel?

    No. No it could not.
  • by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:55PM (#15836956) Journal
    Intel are still ahead in market share, and have just released some very competitive chips.

    I'm an AMD supporter, but the near future is them trying to hold the ground they've recently taken, not expanding further.

    (And Intel probably the reserves to stuff up again, be uncompetitive for a few years, and still make a comeback with the next generation of chips.)
  • by TerranFury ( 726743 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:58PM (#15836967)

    Better question: Is this lights out for the Power line?

    IBM seems to be giving up on their Power cores. That's what concerns me, because it looked like they had a big shot of gaining territory in the gaming-and-entertainment market.

  • Let's see... 100 minus 26... carry the 9... that leaves 74% share left for Intel, right? I'm going to have to go with "No, doesn't look like lights out."

    Please, quit it with the retarded questions at the end of the article summaries.

    Carnage Blender []: Meet interesting people. Kill them.
  • by gethoht ( 757871 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:12PM (#15837034)
    Core 2 Duo is posed to dominate the desktop market unless AMD comes back with a strong chip ASAP.
    It seems to me intel will gain back some lost market share with the Core 2 Duo.

    It's ridiculous to add the "end of intel" comment to the end of the article.
  • Re:Odd.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:12PM (#15837035) Journal
    (For instance, Dell finally jumping on board).

    When has Dell *not* been on board the Intel Train?
  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:21PM (#15837066) Homepage
    IBM offers x86 and Power5 based solutions for years. The PowerPC used in IBM servers and Workstations is very different from the ones Apple shipped in their desktop computers.

    Gaming territory is almost invaded by PowerPC RISC chips. Even XBox 360 uses sort of PowerPC and Cell processor in PS3 is also PowerPC.

    The chips used in servers are from same standard (PowerPC) and shares some stuff but completely different. We are speaking about some monsters here.

    Can check here for more info []

    Those things shows my Quad G5 as a toy :)

    "Power" is sort of standard in fact, check [] , it is very alive and well. In fact, it looks like taking over the World.
  • by Aadain2001 ( 684036 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:43PM (#15837166) Journal
    Time to build a new fab, from the ground up, is around 4 years (and 4billion dollors). Last time I looked, AMD wasn't expanding very quickly or had the assets to build many fabs in parallel. Intel's current generation sucks, even Intel people will admit that. But the current direction is much more efficent and has great performance, so I definatly think we'll see Intel regain market share.
  • by tetromino ( 807969 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:47PM (#15837187)
    Intel dead? Have you people been living in a cave for the past few months?

    Look at some [] benchmarks []. The new 5100 series Xeons with the Woodcrest core have been out since June, and a dual Woodcrests crush dual Opterons in almost every test. AMD's only hope at the moment is HyperTransport, with which they rule the market for 4-socket servers (Intel's old-fashioned FSB doesn't really scale to 4 sockets). But thanks to Core2 (Conroe and Woodcrest), Intel has taken over the 1-socket and 2-socket market. Prepare to see AMD's market share take a nosedive.

    I am generally an AMD fanboy, but my next system will use Intel chips. Now that Core2 is here, I am simply not interested in an antiquated AMD chip which can only complete an SSE2 operation once every two cycles. Until the K8L comes out, it's Intel Inside for me.
  • by stevesliva ( 648202 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:49PM (#15837197) Journal
    IBM is most definitely not giving up on Power6 or Cell just because they're announcing Opteron blades. You have to remember this is IBM. They'll still sell you a System Z mainframe to run your COBOL code from 1972 on VM. Or you could run linux on it, if you'd like.

    The next Power processor will be the Power6 [], and is supposed to come out next year. It's still be dual core, but meant to run at 4-5GHz. They also continue with PowerPC products [], even without Apple.

  • DOOM AND GLOOM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @12:00AM (#15837254)
    Could this be lights out for Intel?

    Do the editors really think that adding stupid little phrases like this to every article enhance the experience? Why do we need to read this every time that something happens that gives an avatage to Intel or AMD? Sheesh, give us a break.

    Minnesota twins batters hit 2 home runs in yesterdays game. Could this spell apocalptic doom and drawn out painful deaths for the New York Yankees?
  • by Rotten168 ( 104565 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @12:03AM (#15837269) Homepage
    AMD needs competition just as Intel does. More competition = good.
  • by BigFootApe ( 264256 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @12:25AM (#15837346)
    Everyone keeps talking about K8L. If they can deliver it in the short term (hah!), great, but what they really need is K8 Rev. G.

    A current AM2 K8 dual core with 512k+512k cache is similar in size to Conroe with a 15% (roughly) disadvantage in performance (at common price brackets). Moving to 65nm will drastically reduce die sizes, allowing AMD to squeeze more chips on each silicon wafer, even compared to Conroe.

    Consequently, AMD will be able to sell their chips to us at really cheap prices while still making a good profit, building a war-chest for when K8L faces off against CxQ. Then we repeat the whole process again when Intel moves to 45nm.

    I think having a 4m L2 cache might be a bit of a boat anchor around Intel's neck when it comes to manufacturing. Time will tell.
  • by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:33AM (#15837585) Homepage Journal
    Its not about the processor, its the whole package, including the deal. For example even after wanting an AMD 64, I went for Intel Duo laptop because the kind of 30% deals which exist for Dell dont exist for other manufacturers! Once Dell comes out with AMD based laptops, Intel is going in for a real shocker.
  • by kscguru ( 551278 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:39AM (#15837599)
    Crap benchmarks. Seriously, those reek to high heaven.
    • Comparing FB-DIMM to DDR. FB-DIMM has something like 4x the bandwidth, and isn't even available outside Intel OEM samples. AMD is moving to DDR2 real soon. Comparing pre-production Intel parts to half-year-old AMD parts isn't benchmarking. It's PR.
    • The benchmark list is mostly home-brewed. A hacked-together transaction processor (when there are industry standard ones out there for comparison - TPC numbers would be ideal), and RSA crypto optimized for the Intel processor.
    • Their SAMP benchmark and portgresSQL benchmark are worthless (they dropped to single-socket for them). The only common ones on the list are specInt and specFP - both single-processor benchmarks that don't show scalability.
    • The second link is a well-known example of Anand running a benchmark and discovering severe performance problems (i.e. mysql scales very poorly with more Opteron processors due to a mysql bug) - then still proclaiming Intel's huge victory.
    Woodcrest is faster in single processor configurations. Duh - it's a preproduction model compared to AMD's 3-year-old design. These benchmarks ultimately say NOTHING about multiprocessor configurations - I have yet to see any useful 2-socket benchmarks.
  • by Alaria Phrozen ( 975601 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:58AM (#15837644)
    Really? Thanks for the stock tip. AMD, Intel, Nvidia, and ATI are four companies I don't expect to be going anywhere bad anytime soon. This similar plummeting of ATI stock happened back in 2002, and I bought a whole bunch. It fell even more, so guess what? I bought even more. Six months later I sold and made 40% on my investment. Optimally I could have made over 100% in under 6 months. I'll definately go check out AMD's stock. As for the secondary market stock price reflecting the actual quality of the product - let's just say I don't think it's a good indicator. "What is right is not always popular. What is popular is not always right."
  • by ndykman ( 659315 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:08AM (#15837685)
    Actually, caches are easy to lay out on chip and manufacture. In fact, it's much harder to lay out complex logic. In fact, it is interesting to speculate on how having the HT controller on the die, compared to plain cache, could affect yields for AMD compared to Intel. Of course, speculation is all you can do, because there's no way you can get those numbers from either company.

    Of course, Intel will have the same challenge when CSI is supposed to be on line in the higher-end models in 2008. Also, it will be interesting to see how well the 65nm to 45nm transition goes for Intel.

    But, Intel has a real advantage in that it has a great new architecture to improve on. While there is lots of talk and wonder about the next new architecture from AMD, Intel doesn't have to wait for AMD to catch up.

    All in all, I think Intel will lose some ground on the high-end server space for this year and next, but I think Intel will maintain it's share in the lower-end space and may gain in the enthusiast market, as the new Core 2 models look extremely strong, and I don't think 4x4 will really impact that as much as AMD would like.

    One thing is for sure. We need Intel and AMD; we benefit from the competition. I remember how great it was to have a Dual Xeon workstation at work in 2002, and how expensive it was. Now, I can more power at home for much, much less.
  • Re:Apple Curse? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mochan_s ( 536939 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:14AM (#15837696)

    That's because windows supports both AMD and Intel architechtures in windows. They may both be x86 but all the enchancements they've done for optimizations are really different - like multimedia instructions, pipelining stuff are probably all different. So there is probably a little bit more involved in supporting AMD CPUs.

  • by Don_dumb ( 927108 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @02:47AM (#15837788)
    I thought IBM were chucking the new Uber-chip the Cell into blades and this was going to revolutionise the world [/hype], did it not work? Or haven't they actually put these on sale yet?
    I would have though that this would at least muddy the waters a bit with the whole Intel vs AMD war on IBM servers.
  • by styrotech ( 136124 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:20AM (#15838119)
    One thing that seems apparent to me is how AMD comes out with better technology than Intel, and it takes literally many years of hard slog for AMD before the rest of the (non tech geek) world finally seems to grudgingly accept this.

    Then when Intel comes out with better technology after all those years, suddenly before the hardware is even released the whole world has seemingly swung back to Intel in the space of a few days.

    The marketing guys at AMD must be wondering just what it takes to overcome the massive gravity of Intels mindshare.
  • by eshefer ( 12336 ) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:08AM (#15838572) Homepage Journal
    when a slashdot editor writes "could this be lights out for companyX" when companyY is a sponsering vendor [].. I have a feeling you guys are heading twards shark-jumping waters fast.

    this is a design win for AMD, yes. and an important one at that. but this is a far cry from lights out for intel. jeezz.
  • by nessus42 ( 230320 ) < minus bsd> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:43AM (#15838743) Homepage Journal
    You're underestimating traders.
    I think not. Wall Street has shown time and time again that they are generally sheep with absolutely no ability to predict the future.

    This criticism, however, applies just as much to the average Slashdot participant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @11:07AM (#15839831)
    Yeah, but at that $2 a share, the market cap for SCOX is $48 MILLION dollars. Which is to say... almost nothing compared to what they once were. SCO was once a pretty big player, and I can bet that they do have IP (real IP, not the shiat they are suing over), real estate, and other assets that are somewhere near that valuation. If another company bought SCO, they would certainly pay more than $48 million for it.

    Perhaps you don't understand this whole finance thing very well?

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright