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Intel

Intel Undercuts AMD 209

wopr writes "It's just a rumor, but c't is reporting that the PIII 600 will be released cheaper than AMD's K7 600. The article is in german, but the babelfish can take care of it. "
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Intel Undercuts AMD

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  • So you're saying MMX doesn't stand for Multi Media instruXions? I thought it didn't stand for Multi Media Xtensions.
  • Im not convinced that the K7 being more expensive than the PIII is totally a bad thing for AMD. I used to sell computers, and it was difficult trying to sell the "budget" amd to newbie computer buyers while saying "trust me...it's faster. Better for almost anything. AMD is a good brand...they're not like a generic chip..." Intel is like the Nabisco of processors, and trying to convince typical consumers to switch to a cheaper "knockoff" can be difficult. If AMD can position the K7 as a premium product that you pay a LITTLE more for, it may turn their image around.
  • Call it what you will but I think it was Microsofts flawed design of Windows 95 that did the PPro in. It was loudly advertised as a 32bit OS when it really wasn't/isn't. So legacy code didn't get a boost, neither did the brand spank'n code written to Win32c. Intel was designing the PP back in 1990 when a 32bit 486 was still very popular though it was running 16bit Dos/Windows and only OS/2 was 32bit in 1991 and viable on a desktop as opposed to the workstation (read NT). IBM beat Microsoft by almost 5 years with an advanced OS for the desktop and all they could do was produce marketing for a new shell on a 16bit OS.
    Did Intel make the mistake or was it Microsofts lack of innovation? I think it was more the former then the latter.
  • You stated: "Doesn't it make it obvious that their chips have had hugely inflated prices?"

    Yes, but inflated over what? Pay attention to all the costs to make chips, not just the cost to manufacture one more chip.

    You also stated: "Sure, AMD's Athlon probably has a hugely inflated price, too, but it was planned to be a lot cheaper than the slower competing chips from Intel."

    This makes no sense. Do you really think a chips costs can be planned? I think they are just making the best chips they can, and pricing them accordingly.

    Chips cost very little to actually make, but cost a lot to set up i.e. design and plant costs. As long as they don't sell below their cost to make, which I have heard is around $25, then the rest is margin. Pricing is complicated because of this. They price for the highest profit, of course, and this is nowhere near the price to make these chips.

    I think this is purely a competitive/predatory move meant to keep market share. It sucks for AMD, but they should have foreseen this. I don't see how they can make it in the long term unless they gain an advantage over Intel, and I don't think that will happen.
  • too bad intel *disabled* SMP for the celeron.
    i mean if they were after volumous sales, SMPed celerons would have done it.
  • Its because people are so 'open minded' they've made themselves closed minded. Its the same trash they're throwing at microsoft. AMD is the Linux of the CPU market. Intel is the Microsoft. People dont understand that both companies have their place in the world, but they want their favorite to crush the other and claim victory. (In the process swapping places with the original monopoly.) I stand by Intel. They have made quality chips forever and deserve everyone's support. Dont buy a Chip because its by AMD. Buy it because its a better value. If its not, then buy an Intel or erm, Cyrix... Its the same reason I use linux and FreeBSD for my servers. It is a much better server platform than windows. But I use windows for alot of things, like web browsing. Yes, I also use Internet Explorer.
    /me awaits the hate mail and comparisons to satan
  • finger johnc@idsoftware.com

    Does anyone think Quake timedemo scores are enough to shift entire markets? 3dfx and nVidia already think so.
  • Sure you do not work for Intel ?
    They did not recall the Pentium. They denied the bug, then claimed it only showed up under rare circumstances. And then they reluctantly offered to replace the defective chips. I believe the user had to do the actual switching.

    So they ship a computer that had a problem with multiplication/division then pulled an Iomega. A recall is when a company that worries about lawsuits pulls a defective product before some 'wise' person injures themselves.
  • Actually, in effect Intel did underclock the celerons, ridiculous as it may seem to you and your father. And ridiculous as it may sound to most of us. I'm guessing the reason you think it's so ridiculous, is that your father used to work in a fab. Because, up until about a year ago, the single-minded goal of every semiconductor fab was indeed to produce the highest yield of the fastest chips at the lowest cost. But then, in the case of Intel at least, this rosy picture was forever shattered by the nefarious forces of [cue dark clouds and threatening music]...marketing.

    You see (and it amazes me how many slashdotters seem not to know this--I suppose it's because most of you play with computers at work, where such things are a no-no, or perhaps because as Linux users you prize stability over flashy game performance), there was a period of time--about nine months or so IIRC, starting early last summer--when the most expensive consumer CPU money could buy was the PII 450, and the fastest consumer CPU money could buy was...the celeron 300A.

    Yup, I just said that. Huh? Well, suspiciously enough, it turned out that ~95% (maybe more; hard stats are of course impossible to come by, so most people just said 95% to emphasize that it wasn't guranteed or anything) of 300A's could be overclocked to 450, with completely perfect stability (well, since the overclocking community is mostly gamers, and gamers are generally stuck with Win9x, it's hard to know how stable the things really are;), and often no extra cooling required. Plus, since the jump from 300=>450 corresponds to changing the bus speed from 66 Mhz to 100, all your peripherals run fine and dandy as well (some PCI cards, RAM, etc, fare poorly when asked to run at unorthodox bus speeds like 82 Mhz).

    And, for many tasks, including just about the only comsumer-oriented programs these days that can use more computing power than, say, a K6-300 can offer--3D gaming--these celeron 300/450's and their full-speed 128k cache were actually faster than those PII 450's and their half-speed 512k cache...which cost around 8 times as much.

    Now, why, you may ask, did such a silly situation come about? And why, if all these celerons they were turning out could run just fine at 450, and they could sell 450 Mhz chips for ~$600, did Intel brand them at 300 Mhz and sell them for ~$80??

    Well, remember the ominous mention of marketing at the end of the first paragraph?? Well that was just foreshadowing for the part that comes here:

    See, around the middle of last year, Intel was running into a bit of a problem, alluded to above: namely, that Moore's law was churning along fine and dandy on the hardware side, but that the software corrolary to it--that, as fast as CPU's get faster, there will be applications developed that will seem to run slow--was falling worrisomely behind. Half of this was Microsoft's fault: their bloatware, which Intel had always been able to count on in the past to consume resources at an exponential rate, was now becoming so bloated that they couldn't cobble together new versions of it that would work--thus, the year-plus long delays on the products which have since been renamed Office2000 and Win2000. The other half, of course, was the internet's fault; or, more precisely, the phone wire's fault: when your connection is peaked out at its theoretical limit of 56k, adding processor speed ain't gonna do you much good, no matter what the funny dancing space people in the shiny suits tell you.

    AMD, heretofore the company-of-the-cheap-knockoff-486, was suddenly in a position to be a respectable CPU company--first off, because their new K6 was just as fast as the PII in integer computations, and secondly, because you suddenly didn't need the fastest CPU out there to have a computer that would run the latest software and do the latest cool thing--surf the net. Thus, the sub-$1000 market was born. And Intel's marketing departement, being the little monopolizers that they are, and realizing that the more people bought non-Intel PC's and found that the things still worked, the more likely they'd be to do it again, decided that they needed to mingle with the rabble and offer a chip for the sub-$1000 market themselves.

    Now we come to the point in our story where marketing and technology tragically collide. You see, the way fabs are run today, there simply is no "cheaper and less effective manufacturing process" to use, especially if, like Intel then, you didn't realize a couple years ago that you'd want to have one. That is, using a less effective manufacturing process would paradoxically have been more expensive.

    This is because, for one thing, semiconductor fabs basically only have one assembly line each; that is, if you already have a fab that you've upgraded to the state of the art, and now you for some odd reason want to have a process that's less than state of the art, you need to build a new fab. And, for another, the cost of building a fab that is state of the art compared to one that's a bit less lies mainly in R&D, which in this case had already been done.

    And--this is the kicker--the three things that determine the top speed a chip can run at stably are 1) core design; 2) manufacturing quality; and 3) process size. Now, obviously if Intel wants to make the cheapest chip they can, they don't want to come up with a new core design, so they didn't--they used the PII and just lopped off the L2 cache; and other than changing to a lower process size, manufacturing quality issues are mainly R&D things that got ironed out in the course of pushing the Mhz of their PII line. And besides, you save more money making chips the best you know how, so that absolutely none of them will not run at 300 Mhz, than you do making them purposely badly and having some that don't pass the test. Now, they may still have had some .35 micron fabs around when they decided to make the celeron...but using them to make a low cost chip would have been especially stupid, because higher process size means larger die size, means more silicon per chip, means higher cost per chip.

    Thus, the original celeron--a PII with no L2 cache, and SMP crippled. (This only involves grounding a single pin which otherwise is used to assign which chip is #1 and which is #2 in a dual-PII system, and is thus easily surmounted--until, as is rumored, Intel comes up with a trickier way to do it. My point in including this little tidbit is that it forms a parallel to underclocking the chips--that is, it's a change included not because it costs any more or less for Intel to manufacture--it's exactly the same--but because it disables a feature for the customer.) However, with no cache, they ran about as fast as a dead three-legged hippopotamus, and therefore sold about as well.

    So, realizing that it was even worse for customers to begin to associate them with horrible chips than to begin to associate AMD with decent ones, Intel took the plunge, added 128k of full speed on-die L2 cache to the celeron, thus creating the wonder that was (sadly, it's no longer manufactured) the 300A (A to differentiate it from the cacheless 300), and marking the first time in a hell of a long time that Intel had sold a chip for less than 20% more than it costs to make it (IIRC, it costs them ~$60 to fab a celeron, and ~$70 for a PII/III--the difference, as we should have learned by now, is not in getting higher clock speeds, but in the extra silicon required for the 512k cache, and, in the case of the socket-based celerons, in the extra packaging of a slot as opposed to a socket design).

    Now, we may ask--if these puppies could run at 450 Mhz (and in fact it proved much easier to get a chip + full-speed on-die cache to run at 450 than the chip + half-speed external cache of the PII), why only sell them at 300? The answer, of course, is that terrible marketing thing: the entire reason for the celeron line was because Intel needed something at the sub-$100/CPU price-point. Now, at the same time, they didn't want anyone stupid enough to pay them $600 for a (slower, remember) PII 450 to realize they were being royally ripped off. And same with the goofball (in my woeful ignorance, that'd be me) who spent $250 for a PII 350. And so on down the line.

    And, as we've seen, there was no good way to make chips that couldn't technically run at 450--in fact they discovered a better way to make chips run at high speeds, and that's why starting with Coppermine, all Intel chips will have on-die caches. But they could configure the chips to run at a much slower speed than they were capable of.

    And that's exactly what they did.

    And are still doing, although to a much lesser extent; nowadays, the .25 micron process is running out of room: that's why you can't expect to take a celeron 400 and clock it up to 600 and still, say, boot. Plus, the celeron is of course lacking the P!!!'s whoop-de-do SIMD instructions (so it can't browse the web worth a damn;).

    And, whew, this ended up being a lengthy post. What I've said can be backed up at pretty much any website for hardware enthusiasts ( ArsTechnica [arstechinca.com] has a particularly well-written explanation of the marvel that was the 300A here [arstechnica.com] and especially here [arstechnica.com].)

    Bottom line is, the x86 market is all about marketing and price points. And now that AMD has the technology to beat them in every segment of that market, Intel is gonna have to do a lot of the former and start giving in on the latter. And if you've read this whole thing, you must be bored.
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Saturday July 03, 1999 @12:46PM (#1819333) Journal
    Also, it has to be noted that Intel provides more of a 'package' to it's OEMs...

    Also, part of the package Intel has is long term contracts and marketing arrangements such as the Intel Inside campaign, which locks OEMs into using Intel chips in return for sponsored advertising.

    This pretty much consigns AMD to the home/consumer and white box market. The major vendors such as Dell and Compaq probably couldn't used AMD chips in their "Business Desktops" without some serious renegotiation.
    --
  • Man, My p75 kicked ass... it ran stable at 133MegaHerz. that was cool btw, network solutions was hacked, there www.netsol.com DNS entry was rerouted to CORE... they fixed it but it needs to propegate before it goes back to normal. I submited this, but...
    _
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    Um, amd *baught* MMX from intell, they licensed it, I don't see how they could be pissed.
    anyway the K7 is *way* a head of the pIII. but I doubt that it will be much beter then intels real "7th" generation chip.
    Intel's compitition always seems to jump the gun on version numbers, I mean, a k5 is really a faster 468. k6 was a faster pentum, and k7 will be a faster pII. but there "generation" numbers are always one ahead of what intel is doing.

    besides, AMD created 3dnow and had it out 9 months before intel's SSE. and the k7 is really cool
    _
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • And when AMD go down I'll be laughing at you paying $800 for a mid-range CPU.
  • It sounds like regular business to me. Consumers want the best bang for the buck, and Intel wants to give them that. It's competion, just like what occurs in all kinds of other businesses.
  • well, in theory, but they couldn't find any 200mhz ram, and they didn't think that it would be out in time.

    so now the *memory* bus is just 100 or 133 using regular sdram
    _
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Even stranger is that babelfish is completely correct, if a little archaic. "Brandnew" literally means "newly forged".
  • I'm shocked....simply shocked.
  • Ok, so first guy is blabbing on and on to second guy about this awesome new PC he just got. First guy is leading second guy through his house, and obviously can't wait to show him it. So, he's going on and on about the 6x DVD player, and the speaker set with the surround sound and the huge subwoofer, and the 19" monitor, etc, and how it is the ultimate PC available at any price.

    Now, we arrive at the computer, and switch to a point-of-view-shot of second guy, who is obviously meant to be the computer expert of the two, looking over the machine. His eyes finally come to rest on that little Intel Inside logo.

    Second guy: (stifles a chuckle) "Whoops."

    Cut to black; parade of benchmarks--SPECs, WinBench, etc. and just about every 3D game known to man, comparing the K7 to the PIII--after all, assuming Q3 [planetquake.com] is a good example, they should all have the K7 walloping the PIII--followed by quotations from every publication imaginable declaring the K7 "The fastest x86 chip on the planet," or words to that effect (and again, these should be quite forthcoming).

    The basic idea is, turn the Intel Inside logo from something to be proud of on a new computer into something to be embarrassed of. Of course, Apple tried to do this (with moderate success I suppose) with their early iMac and G3 ads--they were, of course, horribly misleading (they used the ancient Bytemark benchmark, which has almost no relevence to the way modern CPU's work), but I seriously doubt very many people found this out.

    Still, when comparing two x86 CPU's, the only thing that makes one better than the other is price/performance--with the G3, you're inherently comparing entire platforms. And if AMD can successfully convey the fact (and, barring huge supply problems, it will be a fact) that they have superior price/performance in every possible performance metric on every mid to high-end price point...well...perhaps Intel Inside will start to be interpreted as Ignorant Buyer Outside.

    Of course, this all assumes AMD still has enough money to make ads. And that they aren't written by the genius who picked the name Athlon...
  • Of ocurse it's cheaper -- AMD's is faster, more scalable, etc.

    And to add insult to injury, Intel's chip was delayed, so it'll also possibly be later as well.

    -Billy
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 03, 1999 @10:59AM (#1819351)

    (I'll let you clean up the English)

    Intel undercuts AMDs price

    In view of the forthcoming launching of a vessel of AMDs flagship K7 " Athlon " accesses Intel to the extreme one: For the first time the processor giant undercuts the price of the directly comparable competition product of competitor AMD. The Pentium III with 600 mc/s, which Intel wants to throw two weeks before the AMD Premierenfeier in running, will be clearly cheaper after c't information than the fire-new 600-MHz-Athlon. Its price determined AMD to 699 US Dollar, while Intel had advised a OEM price of 823 US Dollar (with acceptance of 1000 pieces) until recently for the 600-MHz-P III. Still before start of sales of the Athlon Intel thereby seems to recognize its advance in performance. An outline of the bench mark results published so far brings c't in output 14/99 (starting from Monday at the kiosk).

    Whether AMD can be pleased about this respect proof of the powerful competitor, is however questionable. The processor prozessorschmiede fights with high losses, all hopes rests with AMD


  • Hmmph. So you wanna play number games? Well this is only AMD's fourth or fifth generation (when did they launch, 486? 386?) while Intel x86 is on its eighth (going all the way back to the 4004).

    And Windows 98 is obviously better than outdated 70's technology Linux 2.2.

    Personally, I'm going to look at benchmarks, and I'm going to look at prices, and I'll leave the numerology to the charl^H^H^H^H^Hprofessionals.
  • This is just further proof that Intel isn't out to make quality chips anymore, they're just out to gain market share. Intel isn't about making quality products, they're a marketing company.

    AMD (who I don't particulary favor, but I respect the competition) introduced their 486 clone, and Intel pretty much kept the price of their 486 the same. AMD simply wasn't a threat to Intel. Now, however, more and more people are buying systems with the AMD processor in it, and Intel is starting to get worried. So they drop the price of their processors. That's how competition works. However while AMD is keeping their products up with their standards, Intel is lowering their standards, and introducing shoddy products that would be better given more development time.

    Windows 95 was shipped WAY before it was ready. Same thing happened with the Pentium, as well as the Pentium III.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Cutting the announced price of an unreleased product to undermine a struggling competitor sounds like risky behavior for a monopoly. Of course, they're not a monopoly until the courts say they're a monopoly.

    Is this just healthy competition or are they flirting with danger in the name of the DOJ?
  • Democracy can be so inconvenient, can't it?
  • Just a nitpick, but the original Pentium was a P5--it came after the 486, Intel's 4th generation chip. The first P6 chip was the PentiumPro [arstechnica.com], released way back in 96, which amazingly enough contained a full-speed L2 cache of up to 1MB--essentially, a Xeon years before the PII!

    And, no, CPU generation numbers aren't arbitrary at all--for a CPU to be a new generation, it needs an entirely new core, not just a little tack-on unit like MMX or KMI, or a change in packaging like socket to slot.

    Now, the PII was a generation above the Pentium and Pentium MMX, because it used, that's right, a completely different core--the PPro core. The slot packaging was required because they decided to have an external 512k L2 cache, and couldn't fit it on the processor die; but that is irrelevent with respect to generation number. Thus, the celeron, available in both slot and socket configs, is a P6, as will be the Coppermine PIIIs, also available in both slot and socket, as are the PII/III Xeon's, which have the enormously humongous Slot 2 packaging.

    Now, of course, in a sense generation numbers are arbitrary; if I personally design 7 different CPU cores, the 7th one won't be better than a PIII, because I don't know what the hell I'm doing. And furthermore, the K7 isn't actually AMD's seventh generation chip, AFAIK--I think their first chip core was a 386 clone.

    But still, the point remains that the K5 was essentially equal to a P5, and the K6 to a P6, so calling the K7 (which is indeed completely new compared to the K6) a seventh generation chip seems fair to me.

    On a related note, Intel's 7th generation IA-32 (as opposed to IA-64, the new 64-bit VLIW instruction set chips that will be inaugurated next year (perhaps!) with Merced) chip, Willamette, isn't expected until Q3 of next year. Rumor has it it will have a SPECint of ~40 at 1100Mhz when introduced--probably putting it slightly, although definitively, ahead of the K7 at the same Mhz. And, just as the K7 should scale to much greater clock speeds than the P6 core, Willamette will presumably (of course this is complete speculation) scale higher than the K7 core. Of course, if the laughingstock that Merced has become is any indication, Intel is having trouble designing new chips these days (to be fair, a chip based on an entirely new instruction set, and an entirely new philosophy (VLIW vs. CISC) presents a larger engineering challange than a new chip generation).

    Meanwhile, AMD took the K7 design from 0 to production in 17-months--and they're already started on the K8. Which means that if they finish that one as quickly as they did the K7, Willamette's stint at the top of the x86 performance heap could be very short indeed...
  • Posted by 2B||!2B:

    It's _very_ illegal to dump products on the market at a loss to eliminate the competition, as far as I know. I've always wondered if that's been the case with Celeron chips, and now it looks like Intel is pushing that edge with their PIII's (leaving, of course, the Xeon chips overpriced to make up for it). I definitely think it's about time for a full federal investigation of any (many) illegal activities by Intel. It's every bit as bad as Microsoft giving away browsers and email readers to kill off their competitors (yeah, sure, it didn't cost them a dime to create those, so they can just give them away; right...). In my opinion, the top quarter of Intel and Microsoft employees probably ought to be in the slammer for such activities. Hopefully the feds will keep dragging them into court to put the fear of God into them (or at least the fear of lost revenue, fines, and jailtime).
  • Intel is trying to run AMD out of cash before AMD
    makes it into the giant cash horde of server-class
    chips. If they succede, then AMD will be dead,
    dead, dead. If they don't, then they will never
    be able to destroy AMD, and they will never again
    be able to command the kinds of premiums that
    they do today on, e.g., Xeons.

    I'm rooting for AMD and will be buying an Althon
    on principle. Competition rules, monopolies suck,
    and competitors trying to bust up monopolies
    deserve consumers' support.
  • Something everyone seems to forget is Intel makes
    the Compaq/DEC Alpha chips. Intel bought the old DEC Chip Fab and now makes the Alphas as well as making the ARM chip.

    Intel is also in the midst of building one of ( if not THE) first chip fabs that will use 300mm ( 12in) wafers - and produce chips down to .13u. the fab will cost billions , but will allow Intel to lower the per chip cost.

    I expect AMD will have real problems trying to match Intel for yield and overall chip cost
  • but saying that AMD is everything and Intel must die is dumb.

    If you read my comment a bit more carefully, you'd see I don't care too much for AMD. :P

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • I suspect AMD will have no problem sellig every K7 they can Fab. People have been waiting for a truly viable non-Intel chip for quite a while; also most of the OEMs are quite aware of the need for an alterative CPU supplier.
  • Of course Intel is cutting their prices. They need to provide some motivation for people to buy the P-III. Don't forget, AMD did the exact same thing with the K6. If you have an inferior product, you need to make it cheap to get people to buy it.

    But i wouldn't expect AMD to follow suit. Athlon was not designed to be cheap. It was designed to set the performance standard for all other market contenders. I wouldn't expect them to lower their prices for the simple reason that people will pay the premium for a superior product. Intel proved that with the P-II, always more expensive than AMD but overall a better product.
  • Intel did a decent job with the PPro with its 32bit optimizations but Micros~1 kept Windows a Dos-based operating environment. This forced Intel to start spewwing out junk to keep the buyers thinking things were moving forward and not backward. MMX and double the cache helped it sell more lagging Pentiums while a hacked up P6 was being developed, the PII.
    I think we can thank Micros~1 for AMD's ability to compete today. Intel was knocked back about 2+ years just because Windows 9x is very much a 16bit OS and this allowed the K6 to step in and give AMD a name more were willing to accept.
    This is why I feel Wintel has had such a rocky partnership since 1995 and that Intel is pushing for OS's like BeOS and GNU/Linux. IMHO
  • Just in case some of you don't read c't ;-)

    - here are the benchmarks for Athlon
    (It's always in percent of the Pentium III):

    SPECfp95

    Athlon 600 MHz 153% (21,1)
    Athlon 550 MHz 146% (20,1)
    PIII-Xeon 550 MHz 109% (15,1)
    PIII 550 MHz 100% (13,8)

    SPECint95

    Athlon 600 MHz 118% (26,3)
    Athlon 550 MHz 109% (24,3)
    PIII-Xeon 550 MHz 106% (23,6)
    PIII 550 MHz 100% (22,3)

    3D-Winbench

    Athlon 600 MHz 148%
    Athlon 550 MHz 140%
    PIII 550 MHz 100%

    The numbers are taken from AMD [amd.com] with some values recalculated and added from Intel and Spec sources (published in c't 14/99)

  • The PPro's fatal flaw was that it could not execute 16-bit legacy code without being crippled. Intel fscked up by assuming that this would force *everyone*, including Microsoft, to develop and purchase software that no longer used that legacy code. It did not work out that way.

    The flawed design was only purchased for the small segment of the market which was 32-bit, such as NT and *nix, so it became Intel's biggest flop since the iAPX432 (it was in desperation after that previous debacle that Intel as quickly as they could hacked together a strange, asymmetrical, segmented design out of their 8080/8085 CPU called the 8086).

    So, Intel resorted to incremental changes while they fixed the problems with the PPro, the Pentium MMX processors. And AMD gained market share by using the opportunity. Microsoft traded off making Windows 95 compatable with legacy applications for what they might have gained by going all 32-bit and making Intel happy. They are not partners, each company has to respect what the market share of the other means to their own profits but it is each companies' duty to maximize their own for their stockholders.

    So AMD managed to build market share and compete when Intel was knocked back, and all the other observations in the rest of your comment. :-)
  • Let me get this straight: Intel makes much more profit on their chips than AMD does, so Intel is at a disadvantage. :-)

    This is interesting logic. By extension, any company which is highly profitable should fail as a result of their success.

    Sorry, you are imagining things. AMD is crippled by their small market share which must support their whole R&D and facilities cost. Intel maximizes their profits by minimizing expenses as well as charging what the market will bear for their processors, and produces them for much less cost per processor as a result.

    "Intel start to treat it's friend badly"? I have no idea what you mean by this. Companies deal with each other in the real world for their own benefit, not to help "friends". Are you imagining that it is ethical, desirable, or even legal for public companies to cut other companies out of their market share? Maybe this works in some third-world countries where corruption is rampant, but not in the market Intel works in.
  • office already saves as xml. pity IE is the onlybrowser to fully support xml.
  • Thanks for the reiview for those of us not keeping up with the cpu wars.

    Jonathan
  • Office does indeed save in XML, but if you were to look at the XML in the document, I believe you would see that it is just a bunch of, ummm, "Proprietary" tags.

    In other words, M$ is trying ONCE AGAIN to change the standard by flooding the market with polluted stuff.

    Pity, most people won't ever know the difference, as they are shang-hai'd by M$ from the start and never see anything different.

    As always,
  • I find it funny that a performance quote from a manufactor /. likes is always taken as truth. Whereas a performance quote made by a competior (ie. Microsoft, Intel) is always subject to intense controversy (ie Mindcraft Linux vs. NT tests). I'll believe it when I see the numbers on Tom's Hardware or Sharky Extreme.
  • I have a Pentium 75 on a secondary machine. You mean to say that I could overclock my P75 and have it run like a 133? And it won't cook itself?
    That would be like getting a new machine.
  • Apparently you were in a cave somewhere when Intel had a huge recall on first generation Pentium Chips.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Hey, actually /. is a place for the kind of computer enthusiasts who brag about keeping their 386s in service with Linux!

    Actually, the problem that both Intel and AMD face is the declining returns of faster CPU speeds. I run a P5-133 at home and a PII-350? at work, and other than than booting NT, there's almost no perceptual difference between the two. Of course the home machine has SCSI, better video, and more memory, but by spec, the CPU in the PII should be 3-4x faster. (Other than MAME, I don't really play any games however.)

    The real problem here is that Intel is squeezing the OEMs by the balls. The "Intel Inside" marketing lock-in ensures that the big vendors have their offerings up to Intel's latest clock speeds, but the market demands a $1200 PC. Well, if you're Compaq or Dell, how are you going to to build a $1200 PC with a $700 CPU and still try to make any money? Cut corners, that's how. Hence, crappy video and disk subsystems, and a bunch of crap components ready to die and get thrown away in 2 years.

    Even for the price difference between a PIII-450 and a PIII-550, they could more than double the memory or get a better video accelerator. Hell, even Windows 98 is going to work better and play better with 128MB of RAM instead of the standard 64MB.

    Compaq, Dell, et al have been sucking at Intel's teet for so long that they haven't been serving their customers, and they haven't realized that they've consigned themselves for making a 2% profit margin screwing hard drives into essentially Intel-manfuactured systems. If it hadn't been the rise of big high-profit x86 servers (thank NT for that!), all of these clowns would be out of business. (And watch while Intel destroys the server profit center by driving commodity machines into that market.)

    Hopefully, people will get past these magic megahertz numbers and realize that the only difference between this year's K7 or PIII and a Pentium Pro from three years ago is an barely perceptable increase in Quake frame rate or RC5 or kernel complies or whatever. I know everyone on slashdot loves the latest and greatest, but we're way beyond the point where any of this stuff makes any real difference.

    (End of rant - too much coffee consumed already.)
    --
  • What's democratic about capitalism?

    demo-kratia
    governming-bythepeople

    Of course the Canadian democractic template in which I live is more based on the Mohawk structure than the Greek one, but you get the point.

    Down with intel! (And cyrix...yucky CPUs (media_gx 233MHz has i120MHz benchmark))

  • The high end gaming market is a pretty signifcant profit center for all these companies, so Quake numbers will certainly help AMD a little.

    However, the real money and market share in the PC business is volume, and that means business desktops and low-end home machines. These machines ususally ship with really cheap video systems such as S3 or the Intel one.
    --
  • I'm really not suprised, because Intel did this when the K6 came out also.
  • IF (and ONLY if) I was a Gamer... I'm sure I would have
    bought more intel chips up till now.
    The truth of the matter is that I've not purchased
    an Intel cpu since AMD came out with their K6 line
    of processors.
    Celery/P-II/P-III ??? wtf?
    Why the hell would I buy a chip that is made to be
    incompatible with all my existing MB's?
    Screw that... Intel only went to the Slot 1 tech because they have a freakin patent on it.

    I admire AMD for choosing the Alpha bus chipset.
    For one.. it's superior to intel's. Two, it may
    provide cross compatibility with Alpha cpu's in the
    future. Three? As far as I know.. anyone can liscence
    the specs and create their own processor for it...
    I.E. Cyrix winchip etc...

    How many other non-intel brands of chips can you put into a Slot I or Slot 2 MB?

    My savings have already started towards a 4-way
    AMD K7.
    AMD..... Works for me.


  • By the same token if youstack a bunch of 486/100MHz chips together togehter (perhaps linux's limit of 20, I think it is) you could have a 2000 MHz computer for about $400.00. :-)

  • > Something everyone seems to forget is Intel makes
    > the Compaq/DEC Alpha chips. Intel bought the old DEC Chip Fab and now makes the Alphas
    > as well as making the ARM chip.

    Samsung was a second source for Alpha chips, and still is (if they aren't in fact the primary source for them now...).
  • Apparently, many users aren't aware of the huge problem the early Pentium processors had, so I'll clarify. The original Pentium chips were recalled due to a bug in the FPU (Floating Point Unit). The bug misreported mathematical solutions in rare instances, and affected Pentium Chips, including the 60, 66, 75, 90 mhz lines. Intel originally denied the problem existed, then finally admitted it.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • Apparently, many users aren't aware of the huge problem the early Pentium processors had, so I'll clarify. The original Pentium chips were recalled due to a bug in the FPU (Floating Point Unit). The bug misreported mathematical solutions in rare instances, and affected Pentium Chips, including the 60, 66, 75, 90 mhz lines. Intel originally denied the problem existed, then finally admitted it.

    (I copied this from one of my posts later in the thread, and moved it up.)

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • How you can compare a test like Mindcraft's to those Spec tests is beyond me.
    No-one really takes spec tests too seriously, for starters. At least not if they know anything. The clueful people on Slashdot will take AMD's figures with the same pinch of salt they take Intel's figures I am sure. Midcraft test? Well that's for operating systems which are a totally different beat and there the scope for fissling is greater.
    It's true that some people do seem to blindly follow whatever makes their favourite processor or operating system look good though.
    Shame.
  • But how the hell does a 200MHz bus help when
    a) The RAM is running slower
    b) The system PCI bus is running slower

    only external cache would be helped
    now thats a fucking stupid idea if you ask me
    its all there for marketting to people who don't bother to ask why something is done that way
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't think of it as Intel undercutting AMD; think of it as the first step towards competitive rather than monopolistic pricing of processors.
  • I think we're all missing the real problem with the story:

    Intel is releasing the p3/600 at a lower price than AMDs Athlon/600. But the athlon is a 7th generation chip, while the p3 is a lowly 6th generation. We're comparing apples to oranges, and giving Intel more credit than they deserve. Now, if AMD were selling a k6-3/600 for more than an intel p3/600 this would be news, but otherwise I can only say that this is to be expected!

    -ehfisher
  • Intel can afford to cut the prices on their chips because of the huge markups on the Xeon line of processors. Yes, the PIII's might end up cheaper than a K7 (oops...Athlon), but performance-wise the AMD is comparing more to a Xeon. And based on this, it is still a much better deal.
  • Why not make them all out of gold? Quite simple, gold is NOT the best conductor. Silver is the best conductor, followed by copper. The real question is why not make them out of silver?
  • I've got a P75 running at 133 with Linux. It only ran at 120 with Win95. (It's not my main machine, but works quite nicely)

    --

  • I'd really be shocked if they weren't cutting a profit on the celerons. There wasn't a lot of R&D for it, they really just watered down the P2. Most of the really hard work was already done, they just packaged it, down clocked it and started producing them (all of what, a dime a shot to produce?)


    I think this is just great news, chips are getting cheaper because of competition, it's about time. Intel hasn't been pushed before, or at least not seriously. AMD is scaring them a little which should mean better and cheaper chips for all.


    I also expect the coppermine to probably match or out perform the athalon, it only makes sense and intel has pulled off those silent style stunners before. (I think it might have been the ppro that performed better than they had let on during design and the released it early) While the pentim iii is an utter disappointment the coppermine will probably perform decently, if they stick with their trends.

  • And don't forget f00f! That's still a hardcoded problem on my dual p200 and the only workaround is in the OS software. There are more errata, of course, but this one was/is highly exploitable.

    -kabloie
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Or you could get a WinChip C2 at 200MHz and it would run you $35 for roughly Pentium performance. I have done this with some older boxes and I have been pretty happy. Can't beat the price, runs Linux and FreeBSD like a top.
  • Lately their prices have been creeping up to the point where (at least in Oz) there is little or no cost saving in using AMD over Intel

    I don't know about Oz, but here near the real world (Dayton, OH), AMD prices have been dropping pretty significantly. I work in a computer store, and we can get K6-2 400s in single unit quantities for $80/pc. Intel has finally decided that they have to compete with AMD dollar for dollar after all.

    But, they won't win. All of my machines are powered by AMD K6-2s. Except for my Linux server, a PPro 180. It was given to me. I refuse to buy Intel chips, although I think that the PPro is extrememly powerful for the prices it still sells for. :)
  • > And that they aren't written by the genius who picked the name Athlon...

    ??? I thought it was a pretty good choice, myself, if perhaps relying a bit too much on a geek-oriented pun.
  • This makes no sense. Do you really think a chips costs can be planned? I think they are just making the best chips they can, and pricing them accordingly.

    He's referring to the end price to the consumer, which CAN and is predicted. AMD was hoping to beat Intel's pricing on comperable performance... they didn't go as low on pricing as they probably could because they desperately need money to fund their R&D.

    drudd
  • This is what I mean, these prices are in AUD$$$ from one local online dealer:

    Celeron 400P Cache Socket 370 $193
    AMD K6-2-400-3D $169

    Pentium II 400 $362
    AMD K6-3-400-3D $330

    Pentium III 450 $529
    AMD K7 (Not Available yet) ????

    As you can see, AMD is still a little cheaper for now, but believe me, that margin is ever decreasing...

    As I said before, I am a happy AMD user, but I will buy whatever chip offers the best value for money, there's nothing wrong with Intel stuff, it would be foolish to be so dogmatic as to buy only "Brand X" simply to spite "Brand Y", without any financial or performance benefit gain.
  • Posted by Napalm4u:

    okay AMD has fast Level 1 and level 2 cache. Okay up to a meg i think that runs at 200mhz in the K7. Then the Level 3 cache which is another meg runs at 100mhz or 200 i forget which.

    Now the FSB runs at 100(but i bet you could get it up to 133 without any problem). I'm a serious overclocker and can't wait to get my hands on this. The memory will run at 100mhz. The on board Cache will run at 200mhz. It won't be any problem for the memory.

    btw there is 200mhz memory. That's what the voodoo 3500 is gonna have on it. I think it runs at 5ns. 133mhz memory runs at 7.5ns
  • Where are these numbers coming from? Intel is selling less than 10% in new $1000 computers! That is the price level that most people buy. (Maybe not /.'ers, but everyday Joes.) Remember that the K7 is not even at the same level as a P3. It OUTPERFORMS Intel's Xeon processors, and has as much or more cache for less than half or even 1/3 the going price for a Xeon.
    Competition RULES!!!
  • Shelrem wrote:

    I like my life free and my economy regulated.


    Huh?!

    How can "the economy" be regulated be regulated without regulating individual lives?

    All choices in life are (that is, can be seen as, whatever ever else they might be) economic choices. If you are free to be idle, that is an economic choice because it limits the amount you earn or learn. If you are *not* free to be idle, it sounds like an economic regulation: does this mean you're in favor of it? How about the right to dispose of your property as you see fit? To invest in someone else's company? To lend money? To take a new job or quit an old one?

    What if you come up with a new product, one that you think people would trade their dollars for? If you believe in freedom of the individual, you ought to; if you believe in economic regulation you ought first consider how your regulators view the thing.

    Your summary of the left / right / libertarian positions I think misses the attitude of many libertarians (cannot speak for all, of course) which is that libertarians do not believe that personal and economic freedoms can be separated, that they are part of the same thing.

    If you like your economy regulated, you can at least take comfort in the way that rent control ensures the availability of low-cost, high-quality housing in every city it's been introduced to.

    timothy
  • I want an Alpha.

    Can anyone explain to me why are those so expensive? Wouldn't we all be a lot better if we didn't have to live in a world where there is no crappy x86 architecture? Oh, well.

  • Apparently you're a victim of the Intel marketing machine. Microsoft optimized Direct X for AMD's 'special instructions' just like Intel's MMX. What's that, AMD did their own research? AMD's cloning involves finding out -exactly- what each instruction does, not how it's done. That would be a blatant breach of patent laws, etc. They just want to make sure their processors do all the same quirky things Intel's do. (See http://www.x86.org). At any rate, AMD's core has been superior to Intel's for some things for a long time (since the K6). Floating point isn't one of them, unfortunately for 3D gamers. Their caching code is better on their newer chips and their RISC core is more advanced (better for building on than Intel's which keeps getting overhauled). Maybe you should follow the industry to make a comment?

    MMX is licensed, Intel was pissed because AMD used the term MMX in their advertising literature and Intel wanted them to pay to be able to use their trademark. This, incidentally, came down to whether MMX stands for MultiMedia instruXions ;) or just MMX. The law now stands that it's just MMX and it doesn't stand for anything (or Intel wouldn't be allowed to mark it as a trademark).

    Enjoy your wierd world. AMD's not better than Intel or vice-versa. They both pay engineers to develop chips from the ground up. They both design innovations and new subsystems. Think Super-7. Think of the fact that the K7 uses an Alpha bus (far superior to Intel's).

    Have a nice day.
  • AMD sold more processors than Intel in desktop machines in the first quarter of this year. Intel does not have 90%, it's more like 43% (desktop market).
  • the alpha has compatibility with it. eventually ram will get faster. pci will get faster. thats all that counts.
  • Considering the fact that they've been under the FTC's eye for the last 3 or 4 years pretty heavily, it's very dangerous. They can probably only afford it (politically) because AMD outsold them on the desktop this year so far. The problem is that if they both up their prices (to pay for their increasing costs), they'll get collusion ... FTC again :).
  • I hate to break it to you, but Intel sells their breaking CPUs for over $2000 a part. AMD tops out at ~$600. Have a nice day (Intel's taxing you, not AMD).
  • I don't really think that you are totally correct. Although intel has shot themselves in the foot with the pricing on the Celerons, they can still make money promoting SMP. I think that soon enough it will be common for computers with multi-head displays, and dual or quad processors.
    I'm waiting for the day when I can buy a dual processor system for $899.00. Intel's slash and burn pricing will only encourage this behovior. I only hope that AMD will survive long enough to prove what they are worth.
  • There is no way that they are dumping. The chips themselves are dirt cheap to produce, there is a tremendous amount of R&D and support costs (fabs are't so cheap) but really the fact of the matter is that Intel has essentially had a monopoly for a very long time and they dramatically over charge for their chips. Who can blame them?


    They can probably produce chips much cheaper than AMD and still cut a profit on them, they've been doing it a long time and have very talented people. Intel could probably sell the coppermine for half of what the k7 is going to be selling for and still make a decent profit (probably a huge profit when they sell 100million coppermines because they are so cheap) and stay legal.

  • Microsoft may do some naughty things (need good evidence, not just competitors moaning that they're at an unfair diadvantage), but the fact that they're so widely accepted is certainly not due to a lack of competition.

    There's no way that you can say that they have no competition, because in any market segment you can name (no fair saying 'Products sold by Microsoft') ;), MS does face competition, even in some cases excellent free / Free products, like apache.

    So why is Word / Office everywhere? Because businesses past a certain size --usually! -- don't have the flexibility or creativity to see beyond the status quo, because the cancer of middle management spread and MBAhood has spread into all things. MS benefits from business inertia: to preserve file-compatibility, seems that many businesses think they have to keep an MS-only computing environment. In a sense they're right, because to do otherwise requires installing work-arounds at every turn.

    In my place of employ, for example, we frequently receive information from clients in the form of Word, Oulook or Excel files. Hopefully by this time next year they could all be XML data, eh?

    In the meantime, management says 'it's safe to buy more MS products, and we'd better get the newest ones because the other people we deal with will get it and we'll need to read their files ...' Circular reasoning, self-fulfilling prophecies. Microsoft cannily exploits what amounts to widespread management dysfunction. That's MS being smart ... sort of like office supply stores that sell the paper that the lawyers fill with obfuscation and pre-emptions.

    But all the vindictive stuff about MS (claims that MS executives should all be in jail, or allegations of corruption, etc) would sound strange if it were applied so casually to other companies or groups of programmers. IBM in the 60s arguably had closer to a true monopoly than MS does at present, and that was for both hardware and software. Maybe, then, in 20 years people can think of MS as an amazing company that still makes good products despite having gone through tough times (ala today's IBM), and then again maybe MS will be a scorned, scoffed-at name, a name synonomous with hubris and failure. We'll see.

    I am no fan of MS products, but the fact that MS products dominate the workplace is because people buy them!

    timothy
  • intel has *always* known, and said publicly, that their most profitable times are when they are alone in the market.

    they work hard for an advantage in *time*, which lets them compete on price when others enter a market.. and have little opportunity for profit.
  • Isn't it interesting how active competition actually reduces prices while diversifying offerings? Amazing. Imagine if Microsoft had to face that.

    - Scott
    ------
    Scott Stevenson
  • The problem with copper and silver in ICs is electromigration ( the metel diffuses into the silicon after a while and screws up the chip). The big breakthru recently was a new non-silicon insulating layer that can seperate the copper from the rest of the chip.
  • The point is that they could have called the P-III a seventh generation processor, but the point is its not. There is little to no change from the P-II to the P-III they both are classified as P6's (damn if I didn't know better those numbers would confused the hell outta me) sorta in the same way as the 486 DX wasn't much different from the 486SX (ok ok it did have that weird thing they tried to pass off as a FPU). Though accually if Intel had contested they could have easily got away with calling the P-II a 7th generation processor, as it went from socket 7 to slot 1. but they chose not to. To late! (the Pentium I was a P6 right?..)
  • I'm sorry, but my dad used to work in a waffer fab, and I know for a fact that thay cost WAY more than a dime to produce. They in fact do cost about $50 to $75 per chip, not per waffer. FYI CPUs are made on waffers, with the best quality ones most commonly in the middle. As for the celeron, yes, most of the R&D was done, but "underclocking" them is a ridiculous prospect. The mearly used a cheaper and less effective manufaturing process. That, and as an important note, no internal l2 cache like the PII. Thats where they really saved money.
  • This is just further proof that Intel isn't out to make quality chips anymore, they're just out to gain market share. Intel isn't about making quality products, they're a marketing company.

    Anymore? Intel has always produced chips that were "good enough", not great. It probably makes sense from a financial point of view, even if it sucks for the engineer/programmer who has to make them work in a system.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. You don't Intel makes a profit on Celeron chips. I'm sure that Intel is screwing consumers on every other Intel process.

    2. Why would one believe in competition and still buy AMD Athlon on principle? Because competition like anything can breakdown. OS competition has broken down. So has processors. Wintel are at a point that they can and will kill any competition to stay on top as long as they want now. Better products can not succeed now because Wintel is too big and too nasty. Imagine what impossible situation would it take to replace windows. Multiply that by $20 billion or should that be $100 billion.

    3. All these "pre-announcements" should be illegial. It is too damaging to companies and too easy to commit. It seems to only be used in a very negative way. Harm is done since vendors no longer get compared on actual products, but on
    the best lie of the future. How do you really think CEOs operate?

    4. Competing is fine. But if you're beat, you're beat. Do better next time. Don't put your competitors out of business because you're mad they had a faster processor. This should be payday for AMD. Instead Intel is screwing us all long term again. Do NOT buy overpriced Intel processors anymore. We should choose not to live in a world where processors are all $500. We want COMPUTERS that cost $500. We don't need or want PIII, PIV, PV, etc. Screw that. We have enough power. We need a break on the pricing. More healthy competition. Show Intel they can no longer pull us around by our collective noses anymore.

    This is not healthy competition by Intel.
    It is called FUD.
    It is also UNACCEPTABLE!
  • by Fizgig ( 16368 ) on Saturday July 03, 1999 @11:27AM (#1819449)
    Yeah, but that's really hard to establish in this case. Take the Celeron example. They aren't selling them below cost, teechically. They're probably making a decent per-unit profit. But that doesn't take into account R&D. They'll still living off of the PPro R&D, and almost no research went into creating the Celeron (relative to other chips). A good portion of the cost of the chip is the research that went into it, and in this case, they might actually get away with "dumping" (I doubt it, though). You can't say, "Hey, it cost you more to develop that than you're selling it for!" because they might be able to milk it for another 5 years (PPro), though I doubt it. The only way they'd get caught for dumping is if they sold below the per-unit cost.
  • The Celeron is actually somewhat profitable because of it's good yields (which is pretty amazing since it's got 18 million transistors or so because of the cache.) And all of the R&D was paid for quite a while ago. And there's NO WAY they're not making money hand over fist with the P3, even at the 'reduced' pricing. They typically sell a chipset along with the new chips, too. :)

    I'd bet the profit margin is MUCH lower on all those K6-2 2 million excess units last quarter didn't help.

    So it's rather ambiguous... Intel IS running AMD into the ground with the Celeron, but is playing fair just enough to dodge antitrust issues. Their R&D and production resources allow this.

    Also, it has to be noted that Intel provides more of a 'package' to it's OEMs... the 440BX is a tough chipset to compete with, and Intel will happily sell OEMs a variety of motherboards around their chipsets as well. (Including a model with Riva TNT's and SB64PCIs on 'em.) AMD can't provide a whole solution to it's OEMs. (VIA, in theory, will once they absorb Cyrix.)

    AMD's best hopes are that the EV6-based motherboards wind up being very good, and that Intel continues to stick with Rambus (which could be the biggest screwup by an industry leader since IBM bungled the marketing of Micro Channel!)

    Because... by the end of the year Intel might just have an improved 800mhz Coppermine P3 ready... if the K7 takes off. And AMD can't afford to be foiled again.

  • I agree.. It's just in this game of chicken on one side there is a motorcycle and on the other side a semitrailer..

    Intel have done this price busting game with amd for a long time. Thats, BTW, is why the Xeons are so expensive. I don't know if there is any (large - intel profits on every chip they sell) profit in the celeron range. The Xeons have been offsetting this for the past year.

    Intel are very smart at changing the price model to accomidate these changes in the industry based on competition. this is really no big suprise.
    --------------------------------
    ( my music [mp3.com])
  • And it was even cheaper. Isn't it a little strange that Intel can drop the price of a chipset that much simply because of a competitor? Doesn't it make it obvious that their chips have had hugely inflated prices?

    Sure, AMD's Athlon probably has a hugely inflated price, too, but it was planned to be a lot cheaper than the slower competing chips from Intel.
  • By offering a worse product, and then CONFIRMING that it's worse by making it cheaper than the competition, Intel is giving away the perception that their chips are the 'genuine article' and the choice for 'serious' users running workstations and servers.

    AMD's problem has always been their second-fiddle market status. They can't make any money because no one wants to buy a knock-off processor unless they can get it cheap.

    If Intel does this, then it will be clear to everyone that the K7 is the new standard in x86-compatible chips.

    If Intel doesn't get it's act together, maybe in a year or two we'll be calling them Athlon-compatible.
  • I just want to add some information I picked up regarding the Merced. I heard that the chip is extremely near tape-out. The person who said this was NOT specific regarding the exact time, but the implication was within the next two months or so. The validity of rumors are, as always, dependent on who supplies them, and I heard this at a lecture given by Frank Baetke (Manager of High-Performance Computing Technologies, Hewlett-Packard Gremany/USA) at the HiPer'99 conference. He should have access to the correct information from Intel, since Intel and HP are more or less bedmates when it comes to the IA-64 technology and implementation.

    When it comes to the sucess/faliure of the Merced, keep in mind that the Merced has to/should implement the new all-cool speed increasing stuff that Intel shoves into the PIII (and beyond), and not only the entierly new stuff as the Merced must show off. Also getting VLIW to work is very much a matter of getting the compilers 'in tune' with the chip. Much more so with VLIW than ordinary RISC/CISC CPU's.

    Secondly, keep in mind that IA-64 isn't a pure VLIW implemetation, it is also possible to run normal/sequential code on it as well (although it will probably be optimised for parallel code, duh). In the lecture that followed Yale Patt decribed the IA-64 as VLIW-when-you-need-it, more or less the best of both worlds, if done right. (If you don't know who Yale Patt is then you had better freshen up on your prosessor architecture knowledge!) He also seemed quite enthusiastic about the IA-64, or as enthusiastic as a guru can become of a commecial design. :)

  • The K-7 is MUCH faster at FP, and somewhat faster with integer stuff compared to the Katmai-based P3/600. I wouldn't be suprised to see the Coppermine P3/600 w/256K on-die cache match the K7 on integer though, especially if Intel picks up PC133 SDRAM.

    (I wonder how many ppl who screamed 'Cyrix/AMD's FPUs suck!' will scream 'Intel's FPU sux!' after the K7 hits the street... :)

  • True. But capitalism thrives best in limited democracies, and democracies that do not allow sufficient capitalism tend to do poorly. Or not exist.

    It irritates voters forbidden to enrich themselves. Pure democracies let a bare majority impose and are unviable, and elected officials must respect opinions of significant minorities.

    They get voted out when minorities use decisions as litmus tests that change votes, and less affected majorities don't.
  • Ah yes, but you also have to figure in how much it is worth to you to keep chip prices reasonable. If AMD goes under, or is even not a contender anymore, Intel will have no reason to make their chips so cheap. Competition keeps prices low on both sides. If a company has no supporters it can't compete.
  • [F]urthermore, the K7 isn't actually AMD's seventh generation chip, AFAIK--I think their first chip core was a 386 clone.

    AMD was a licensed producer of the Intel-designed 8086/88, 286, and 386 (the 40 MHz 386 was a fairly simple hack of the Intel 386). AMD has developed 3 cores entirely in-house (486, K5, K7 -- the K6 stared out as the NexGen Nx686). All have used microcode developed outside of AMD -- the 486/K5 were based on Intel 386 microcode, and the K7 is based on the RISC86 microcode developed by NexGen for the Nx586.

    NexGen made really cool chips -- and, ever since AMD bought NexGen, AMD has too.
  • pretty sure that was dana carvey

  • How does this affect the price of a "vessel of AMD's"?
  • Carmack has posted some Timedemo benchmarks for the K7.. VERY interesting reading.

    Check out the full plan here: http://finger.planetqu ake.com/plan.asp?userid=johnc&id=12549 [planetquake.com]

    "AMD K7 cpus are very fast."

  • Nope... although Intel delayed Coppermine, it's going to make a Katmai based P3/600 sooner. The Coppermine P3/600 will be a lot nicer though (it'll run much cooler, faster, etc.)
  • by conform ( 55925 ) on Saturday July 03, 1999 @12:01PM (#1819495)
    1. Intel makes a profit on all of their chips. With the possible exception of the bottom of the Celeron line, which may come in right at cost. So accusations of dumping are unlikely to fly in the courts.

    2. If you really believed in competition, why would you announce that you are going to buy an Athlon "on principle"? If you said, "well, it costs more, but it performs better" then I could see that as supporting competition, but the nature of competition is to reward success to the best product on the market, and price will always be a factor in determining the 'best product'.

    3. There is a lot of complaining about Intel 'announcing price cuts for an unreleased product', but this is just a rumor, not an announcement. However, AMD *has* announced prices for chips unlikely to make it to market in the next several months, so that customers could see how much cheaper a -2 month old 550 MHz Athlon is in comparison to a current PIII-550.

    4. How else can Intel compete in the short term other than through determining their schedule of pricing? I'm sure that the R&D bosses are under the gun to deliver something to beat Athlon in the desktop market, but you can only design VLSI chips so rapidly.

    I'm excited about Athlon (despite the name). I love the prospect of real cometition. I would love to own one. Or several. But I'm not going to blame Intel for reacting to AMD as if they were actually competing. And I'm positive that if the tables were reversed that AMD would be pushing aggressively on Intel.

    seamus
  • I know /. is a place for computer enthusiasts, but lets be real. If the PIII 600 serves your needs and it costs less than the Athlon, you'll buy the PIII. If you need more power (that is speculation--no independent tests yet), and you don't mind spending a few dollars more (again, speculation--I don't know what the chips will cost consumers), you'll buy the Athlon.

    Me? I'm plugging away on a P5 150. All I do is HTML editing, usually with a little old text editor, some word processing, a few small spreadsheets, some coding, and websurfing. What the hell do I need a PIII or an Athlon for? (Umm, oh yeah, so I can get SETI@home blocks done in under 24 hours[snicker]) It'd be like buying a Ferrari to haul trash to the dump. The vehicle just doesn't fit the task.

    Once in a while I catch myself saying, "Man, you've got to get a new machine." But then I remember that for a few seconds longer on boot and load of applications, I save myself a couple of hundred dollars. I just can't bring myself to spend the $ on a machine that'll do my text editing 10 times faster.

    I may not get a new machine until the one I have just plain dies.

    Is that cheap, or is it just sensible?

    -When the world is running down
    you make the best of what's still around.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer

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