Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

AMD takes a big hit & IDT exits x86 clone biz 98

About one billion of you wrote with the news that AMD took a operating loss this past quarter, and the COO and heir apparent to the CEO quit. In related news, IDT has declared that they quitting the x86 clone business. Wow-despite lower then expected earnings, Intel has to be pleased by this turn of events.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AMD takes a big hit & IDT exits x86 clone biz

Comments Filter:
  • I read somewhere that IDT is letting the x86 part of their company go off on its own. So it will no longer be an IDT winchip, but rather and Centaur Winchip XXX.

    "'s too much news today! IDT posted some really good quarterly numbers but spontaneously decided to give up on x86 and make Centaur (the x86 wing of IDT) total autonomy. It is now the Centaur WinChip 4..."

    he later reports that IDT has a buyer for their x86 division.
  • > incorporating 3DNow! instructions (K6-2) which have been a collosal flop for everything other than Quake2 on a 3dfx card

    FWIW, the CVS versions of Mesa and the G200/TNT driver both support 3dnow builds. It doesn't look like 3dnow is going to be a lost cause for Linuxers.

    Also, they may have felt like they didn't have any choice, after Intel came out w/ MMX.

    > on-chip L2 cache (K6-3) which pumped up their integer performance at the time when even casual users had come to learn about the FP issue.

    Just possibly there exist blighted souls who would rather have their kernel recompile faster than have Quake update the screen faster.

  • 1) 3DNow! is hardly a flop, at least on windows platforms. It is supported by many games and graphics accelerator drivers now. Check out the review on Tom's Hardware comparing the performance of various 3d cards with 3DNow! enhanced drivers. Granted, it took a while to get there, and on linux the options are limited (but all we can use is 3dfx, and play quake, so it goes to figure), but it's hardly a flop.

    2) most casual users don't know what FP performance is, much less associate AMD with a lack of it. Maybe most /. readers and gamers know, but I wouldn't describe either as 'casual'.
  • This all sorta points in the direction that I have thought intel was going in anyways. I pretty much figure that IF intel can kill off AMD then I'm pretty much sure that the celeron will be killed off for a repackaged PII/III in a socket370 config or something similar. By doing this they can continue to segment the market and elminate the celeron which is eating into PII/PIII sales.
  • 1) I don't know about Wall Street, but AMD stated that their losses for this quarter could be as high as $200M

    2) AMD has stated that they plan on releasing 1GH processors in the first half of '00, not the first quarter. This however doesn't mean that Kryotech won't come out with a K7 system that is able to go this fast before then ;).

    3) Agreed
    4) Don't forget the various issues Merced is having, and that it will be dirt slow on code that the compiler doesn't optimize right. In addition, old x86 code is supposedly dirt slow on it as well.

    Few other things of note:
    * AMD claims to be making their memory on the copper process, yeilding as well as their aluminum process
    * AMD claims to have produced K6's using the copper process, and is getting decent yields
  • Re: Performance of K7 -- we'll just have to wait until it's out to declair that :). I personally think they can charge more, if reports of it's FP performance are true. But I'm glad they're not :).

    Re: Intel able to win the Mhz race -- the K7 is shipping at 600mhz, and reports are that it doesn't run hot at this speed. It is rumoured that AMD will be releasing 700mhz/750mhz versions before the new year. On a .25um process. AMD doesn't NEED to shrink to a smaller immediately if this is true.

    Several sites are already projecting what the clockrate of the PIII would need to be, in order to beat the K7. Most of the figures say that the PIII needs to hit somewhere between 750-800mhz to beat a K7/600.

    Food for thought.
  • You can already do this with the BSD's... 'make world'. Although, this won't be as effective since for say FreeBSD since the current release version still uses GCC for stability reasons - you need to upgrade to current.

    Also, Mandrake is pre-compiled for either P5 or P6 march...

  • You DO know the story of the Osborne computer don't you? ....and how that company's failure was caused by blabbing too much about a future, yet-to-be-released product that it caused all sales of it's current products to come to a halt, therefore ending their ability to even produce their new product.

    I wonder though, whether the computer world has changed enough from those days for this not to happen. IIRC, Osborne produced *the* "portable" computer, there really wasn't any serious competition to them (well, Compaq had its models, but they were pretty far behindin terms of sales and future technology weren't they?). The market for sub $1k (hell, sub $.5K) computers looks to be picking up (this is off the top of my head, so corrections with backing joyfully accepted), and AMD could easily sell any backlog of K6-2 and -3's it might have to keep in business until the K7 sales pick up.

    I suppose that with Intel being the market leader and producing chips that aren't that much more expensive than AMD's offerings, things could actually be worse for AMD than they were for Osborne, too.

    OK, so I'm no market analyst.

  • by HiroProtagonist ( 56728 ) on Thursday July 15, 1999 @06:21AM (#1801478) Homepage
    I don't think that Intel is too happy about AMD's losses. For a couple of reasons:

    1) Wall Street expected losses of 250 Million, AMD only lost 162 Million.

    2) AMD's copper plant, a facility capable of producing .18 micron grade chips, is now online & AMD reports that they are on track to produce 1 GHz chips by first quarter of 2000.

    3) AMD's biggest problem has always been trying to get their average chip price above $100.00. With the new Athlon processor made to compete with the Pentium III, at same (or lower) prices with better performance, they will reach this goal, and also have the fastest processor on the market.

    4) All of this doesn't even take into account that the Intel Merced has been delayed AGAIN, and is now not even slated to be a large production processor, its predecessor will be, but its not scheduled to come out until 2001.

  • Humm... I wouldn't be suprised if Acer wanted their own CPU company. They already make almost everything else. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 1999 @06:31AM (#1801482)
    Umm ... no. Actually, AMD is working on the following (and says as much, unofficially):

    1. The K6-2s will be dropped as the K6-3s get cheaper, go .18, and then move to copper. They will be positioned at the embedded market and anywhere that low power is key. AMD already has portable and "embedded" K6-2s and K6-3s. The improvements to the K6-3 will include making the cache optional, cutting the speed way back to save power if needed, and then freezing the design so that Intel's little market for embedded 486s dies, as Socket 7 stuff is dirt cheap now. So, the K6-3 will stick around for a long time to come. Also, the K6-3/500 isn't a no-show, just not out in larger yeilds yet. It will be generally available in normal quantities for about $150 by Christmas, with 450s for $100 and 400s for $65-70. The only slower K6s will be the portable ones, and only the portable K6-3s will be in production by end of the year. There will continue to be a lot of slower K6s around (including the portables) because of overproduction -- AMD hasn't sold them as fast as they should have, but if they can dump these on the secondary market they will make Celerons less attractive, especially if Intel kills that market by locking down overclocking and preventing SMP. So the K6 is doing fine, really.

    2. The issue with the K6 inventory is that most of the chips are at lower speeds. AMD doesn't want to remark for all the obvious reasons (they are getting too close to problem speeds as it is as a lot of K6s are still failing within the first 90 days of use because they are leaving no margin for later minor failures), but the issue was not the potential of faster chips, but that they were actually out there (and the Celerons).

    3. The K7 is very nice. Yes, I have friends with samples. Yes, it beats the PIII, and yes, by more than the unofficial benchmarks suggest and there is room to improve. I would suspect that it will do very well, especially with faster cache at .18.

    4. I am buying AMD stock. Everyone I know who works there is too. This is the first time in a long time for all of us, and we are a pretty cynical bunch.

    When the problems with the K6 are ironed out (packaging, mostly, and this will be solved soon), when it goes .18 and smaller and with copper (possibly SOI, but I am told that this is still in negotiation), when the tweaks to make it modular (no cache, 128k, 256k; 133MHz at 1-1.5 watt to 500MHz at 6 watts), when the design is frozen as is forever and the tooling is paid for, you will be able to get a K6 core for about $25. Intel still makes a lot on 486s. This will make AMD a lot of cash. I think that this will do fine long run.

    Anyway, relax about AMD. Yes, they can still pull defeat from the jaws of victory, but it would be hard.

    The WinChip deal is a pity, though. I have rechipped a lot of old Pentiums with those and they were always an improvement and ran very cool.
  • Nor does it take into account the fact that Intel has chained itself to Rambus RAM for their upcoming Camino chipset, despite the fact that no one has thus far been able to manufacture it with any sort of decent yield, it's hideously expensive, and it's no faster than PC100 anyways.

    Nor the fact that, while the Athlon should hit 1 GHz by early 1Q 00 or even before the end of this year, Intel's roadmap doesn't have the (slower at equiavalent MHz) P3 hitting 800 until 2Q 00.

    Nor the fact that the Athlon's point to point SMP, eventually supporting upwards of 16 processors and up to 8 MB L2 cache, should cream the bus-limited SMP performance of the Xeon for servers and high end workstations.

    Nor that Intel is stuck with the darn-good-for-its-time but already 3 year old (remember the Pentium Pro?) P6 core until Willamette debuts in (hopefully) Q3 next year.

    Nor that Intel will have to deal with the considerable difficulties of moving to copper for Willamette (AMD got around it by liscensing their copper process from Motorola, who has spent a year working out the kinks).

    Bottom line: if I were Intel, I wouldn't be too happy about anything to do with AMD.
  • Historically AMDs management have put their sel interest before anything else. Atiq Raza was an exception. My guess is that he quit because of frustration with the others.

    AMD can design good chips but it takes solid management to ship a successful product. I would never buy an AMD chip. I don't believe in their ideology(or the lack of it).
  • Of course, "lower than expected" means "slightly less than a 50% increase over last year's profits".


  • I really like my cheap winchips. despite the name they run linux just fine. It's ashame so much hype is put on what should just be another piece of silicon. Ah well...
  • by hedgehog_uk ( 66749 ) on Thursday July 15, 1999 @04:00AM (#1801495) Homepage
    AMD need to survive this. One by one, Intels
    rivals are dropping out, first Cyrix, now IDT. If AMD can't survive the price war with Intel, then Intel will be under far less pressure to reduce prices (and may raise them), and chip development will no longer be pushed forward by competition. This will be very Bad Thing for all x86 users.

    First post? Probably not. Who cares anyway?
  • There's a broken link (to IDT) in the standfirst
  • Intel has tried to keep the Celeron's performance a secret -- except at the "low end" where it has been pitted against AMD chips. I was a little surprised at how far they were willing to go to prevent cannibalizing sales of the PII when I first read the benchmarks on their site and found that they measured performance of the Celerons and the PII's using different benchmarks! They have since added several other benchmarks including SPECint 95, allowing comparisons. I guess with all the articles about Celeron performance they just gave up. However, my C366 came in a box clearly labeled "For basic computing" with no bragging about performance whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, in many niches the Celeron is eating away at the PII/III market share now. If AMD loses their competitiveness, I fear that the days of cheapo, high performance processors will be over.

    AMD's only chance is quality of manufacturing and Yield, Yield, Yield!
  • I've not tried them but they seemed a perfectly valid option - when I was looking at building my PC I considered them.

    The problem is that by the time I had factored in all of the other items I wanted another £20 for an AMD K6-II 300 was nothing... I think for the Winchips to make any kind of impression they needed a few other entry level components to be available.

    cheap motherboard (2PCI,2ISA)
    cheap memory (about current price would have done me as my absolute min was 32Mb)
    cheap CD-ROM (pref 8 speed for about £10)

    Put all of that together and you should have been able to assemble a useful base unit for about £150. This is the sort of market WinChip could have claimed - very cheap useful machines.

  • by NodeZero ( 49835 )
    I love AMD chips, lately they have been great (k6-3 and from what I hear about the k7). I am one of the firm believers that competition is good, it will force intel and amd to drop prices, develope better chips and what not.

    A small problem that I see with intel vs. amd is that intel doesnt just sell chips. So if they were smart, they could lower chip prices and raise the price on a different product. Until amd couldnt stay with them.

    I do not want to see this happen, but you never know these days. Business is war. Anyway, I have said my $00.02, now time to go get coffee.

  • how many are there?

    i can only think of three x86 clones that still exist (and only one of them is in production)


    am i missing anyone here?

  • click here []
  • But they beat the estimates wallstreet had for them. In that respect they are a little strong then what everyone thinks. Never count a company with a loss out.. look at Amazon... Barnes& or basically and .com stock except ebay and yahoo.

  • That, and also there are probably many of us waiting for the K7 to push the K6 prices down even further, before we buy them :)

  • Let alone all the bull that Intel pushed through with the software retrievable serial numbers on the PIIIs. Another case of a corporation getting too big for thier proverbial britches? Competition is GOOD. Really good. It's what encourages manufacturers to make better products. My current chip, and likely the next few I buy as well, is an AMD.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sorry to hear that IDT is getting out of the x86 business. Their Winchips were really swell. They were the coolest running and had the smallest die for any chip in its class. It only used about 1/4 the power of an equivalent Pentium. And the IDT runs cooler despite its 3.3-3.5 volt operating point.

    I had an IDT math coprocessor for the 386 in my first Linux box. That was a good chip too.

    I think that IDT faced the same problem that Cyrix did with its MII processor. That was the problem of upping the clock speed above the 250 Mhz neighborhood.

  • >IIRC, Osborne produced *the* "portable" computer,
    >there really wasn't any serious competition to

    Try Kaypro. It stacke the drives on one side rather than one on each side of the screen, allowing a 9" (?) monitor that displayed a full 80 columns at a time rather than Osborne's 5" with 52(?) columns that scrolled with the cursor to cover 80 columns. ANd it's been a few years, but it seems to me that they had the same price.


  • I work at Intel so obviously I like Intel chips better. I've never had any problems with them and they are very well made. I know several people that have celeron 300's overclocked to 500 Mhz. The reason that AMD has trouble taking on Intel is because they don't have the ability to mass produce what they make. Intel can refit their fabs while they are still running, so there is no downtime between different processors. I think AMD is good though. Its a love hate relationship. Without them there is no competition. If they were not around the government would be all over Intel because of such a high market share. Anything that keeps us engineers on our toes is good.
  • Intel is threatening to remove the SMP capabilities from their Celerons.

    Hmmm... I wonder why, could it be becasue they don't want people building power system with their, 'low-end' processor for pennies.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It seems like alot of originizations are putting a freeze on both software and *hardware* purchases. Even if companies offer an Year 2000 warrenty/readiness statement, several companies only trust what they have certified themselves. A warrenty is nice but it still eats employee hours to arrange a RMA. I wouldn't be surprised if sales in spring 2000 is higher than normal. There also might be people holding out to see if the release of K7 or Merced will result in a price drops.

    Btw, for those that have taken an interest in Microworkz from reading Slashdot, be sure to read the warrenty (anti-warrenty?) [] VERY CAREFULLY. The Microworkz sales staff will explain up and down that their machines are Y2k Compliant but when it comes to providing things in writting they state that they do NOT COVER "damages occurring to hardware and software as a result of the manufacturer's failure to comply with 'Year 2000' requirements." I am sure there are plenty of Comtrade customers [] that will testify to the fact that it doesn't matter what a sales person says over the phone, it is what is in writting that matters. Companies like Penguin Computing do have a customer friendly Year 2000 statement []. But there is always the issue of if you have the time to deal with getting RMAs. And if you think that just because a company says they have tested their systems as being Y2K compliant that means it is a non-issue, think again. Gateway 2000 sales has made several promises yet several computers they shipped May of 1999 tested postive for the Crouch-Echlin Effect [] (and it effects Linux). GW2k still has yet to get back to us with the BIOS upgrade they promised over a *MONTH* ago! Over 12 employee hours lost sitting on the phone (mostly on hold) with GW2k just so they could save a couple cents by using an unbuffered real time clock on the motherboard. Unfortantly, several of the AMD resellers aren't making wise choices in what motherboards to use either.

  • I keep missing where the FP is so horrible in AMD chips. I've used AMD's since a 486 DX4/120; I have yet to find a game that doesn't work or works so horribly on my AMD CPUs that I rush out for an Intel stickered CPU.

    If it's FP benchmark performance that everyone relies on, then consult the recent stories on the performance of Linux vs NT. NT may be faster on the quad-Xeon machines, but it would take many, many T3s and millions of hits a second for 24 hours every day for it to be too much for lowly Linux to handle. I don't care how fast a Quake demo runs, just how the game plays. With a 3d card, K6's play Quake, etc just fine. I have issues with the dull game style of all these 3d FPS games, but not with the drawing/calculating of graphics or anything.

    Come to think of it, when I got my DX4/120 was about the time the huge 60MB Diablo demo came out. It put up a warning that it required an Intel Pentium to run, but worked just fine without. I just consider these sort of games, pushing for a one-vendor world evil and dislike them even more.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It would be really cool if Sony bought the rights to the WinChip. Incorporating Playstation II technologies into the next generation of x86 chips. And doing what the Japanese have done in
    the past, mass produce and dump it below cost to gain market share, that would definitely benefit
    the consumers and at the same time jab at Intel.
    A Korean chipmaker buying the WinChip would be good too. I doubt the Taiwanese would step up to the plate again this time, as they already have
    Rise and Via/Cyrix. What about to Mainland China?
    Thousands of cheap (free) prison laborer.
  • Just to give you an idea of what Intel does with this extra money ... they pay companies like mine (we do web sites often with heavy Java content) to add extra bloat and unnecessary features to our code that we tweak to run better on Intel processors, then Intel gives us money to put a "runs better on a Pentium II" logo or somesuch on the site.

    There are alot of small companies who are in a situation like ours who can't afford not to do this, when Intel will give us so much money to do it.

    BTW if I was the one making the business decisions I probably wouldn't go along with it, but I'm just a coder ...
  • I don't have any MHz numbers handy, but it's a Sony-designed, Toshiba-fabbed chip with a MIPS core. (No, I don't know how an ostensibly Sony-designed chip can have a MIPS core, but that's what I hear.)
  • From what I have read and seen about the K6-3 is that for int operations is was faster than the PIII, but that the FP calculations weren't quite up to par with the PIII.
    Now, we all know that benchmarks aren't everything so don't go raving at me about this but the one benchmark that I have seen for a BETA K7 was that the FP calculations weren't as fast as the PIII, nor as fast as a supercooled K6-3. That was over a month ago though and it was a BETA chip on a BETA motherboard.
    My guess is that in August when some 3rd party benchmarks and reviews come out that the K7 will show itself to be the top dog. I say guess because I have read some articles discussing how the PIII FP calculations were set up in such a way to be more robust, not faster, but more robust then that of the K7.
    Before anyone starts spewing out how the K7 has three FPU pipelines, and how it kicks the living ?hi? out of the PIII, please take these points into consideration.
    1) We are all working on speculation. Unless you somehow have your own personal K7 to play with we are all relying on what other people have said, and posted.
    2) A lot of the articles I read compairing the K7 to the PIII with actual performance data are now at least a month old, some up to three months old. If anyone has information from a NEUTRAL 3rd party with some actual performance data, please post a url to it.
    3) I am planning on buying a K6-2 within a week. I am a supporter of AMD, but I also understand that Intel is starting to head down other roads. We don't hear about AMD starting to design a 64 bit processor, althought considering they are working with the Alpha group... . Intel has split its resources into several projects. With them working on upgrading the PIII, the Merced, etc etc etc, of course they won't be able to fight AMD in the 32 bit market as effectively.

  • I am in a position to choose what computers we will buy at work and I would love to buy some boxes with AMD chips. Unfortunately all the amd machines I see are "home/game" computers. I need machines from a reputable dealer that are certified for/bundled with Win NT, MS Office SBE/Pro, etc. Until then I'm stuck with Intel by default.
  • I have read more info from "neutral" sources lately, but this is the only one I know offhand (I don't bookmark every cool tidbit I find about the K7 :)

    The interesting quote is (by "Tim"):

    The AMD Athlon Rocks!

    My new 550 MHz AMD Athlon (K7) just clocked a jaw-dropping 68.5 Unreal timedemo at 1024x768,
    running on a Voodoo3 3000 card. Even more telling, at no point did the frame rate ever drop below 38.0 fps. That's astounding, considering the intense lightmap and geometry usage in the timedemo level. Even while playing Unreal Tournament's most texture and polygon intensive level (Shane Caudle's DmGothic), the frame rate hardly ever went below 60 fps.

    The Athlon's 128K L1 cache is awesome for memory-intensive games like Unreal. Operations like visibility determination, which thrash on the Pentium III's 32K cache, now run at full speed on the Athlon. This CPU truly shows a generational performance improvement, like going from my old 486 to my first Pentium.

    When I saw AMD's K7 spec, I was pretty skeptical. The K6 had been hyped up, but in reality it was
    slower for Unreal than a Pentium II of comparable clock rate, due to its poor non-SIMD floating point performance. The K7 claimed to fix all of that, and debut a new architecture with 3 execution pipelines. I decided to wait and see, without getting my hopes up.

    Bottom line: I waited, and now I have seen! The Athlon is clearly the fastest x86 CPU at any clock

    Congratulations go to AMD.
  • K7 isn't competing with Xenon processors. Where I work quad xenon servers power a database engine with serves/updates/does stuff with a database which requires an 80gig raid to serve (One freeking server is as big as my desk...yipes).

    This is just one of the BO servers. :)

    Those IS managers couldn't give a crap about what runs in their servers. They do care about what company they buy from. Sears buys ALL of their stuff from IBM. Sears doesn't care what's in the machine, just as long as it's from IBM. Hell, most of their machines still run OS/2 (not even OS/2 warp)... (the other biggie I notice is HP; they make some nice server boxes worth drooling over...).

    K7 is targetted and the mid to high end of the consumer market. If it were targetted for high end business use, AMD wouldn't have bothered with FP performance (hello, most businesses don't care about FP -- that's why BUSINESS benchess stress the int performance of a processor). On top of that, if AMD were really targetting the high end server market, they would NOT lauch it without an SMP motherboard/chipset.

    Celeron for you, is probably better. But you'll have to buy something new next year to play the new games. Don't play games? Then why did you even bother with the Celery? Get a $50 k6. Hell, my k6/233 does everything well except play the new games (and it isn't THAT bad either, if you like average framerates of 15fps (in Q3), which some people around here claim near the max the human eye can see ... [which is also bs but I digress]).

    In addition, last time I checked, intel was making a profit by dumping the Celerons and charging $600/pop for the 450+ PII/PIII's.

    ...some people... I mean come on! Do you HONESTLY think that the rest of the world's opinion is confined to what YOU see? If that's true, we're all in trouble... then again, I have been noticing an increasing number of complete dolts during my morning commute lately... ;)
  • I'm sorry, I just couldn't take it any longer.


    I hate to tell you but intel is not the first manufacturer to put serial numbers on thier chips, the high end workstation chip makers have been doing it for a while, and in a market where people were smart enough to understand the reasons. Granted, saying it was for privacy or crypto or whatever thier line was is BS, but a chip with a retrievable serial number does have some valid uses.
    Everyone is talking like it will be the end of the world and how they are going to boycott intel because of this, well shit, if thats why you are going to boycott intel then you have really not been paying attention recently.
    I don't buy intel for the simple reason that I can get better performance else where (ie the alpha). They may cost a little more, but probably no where near as much as people think they cost.

  • by Enry ( 630 )
    Naah. Then Intel has a monopoly, and they wind up in the same boat as MS, especially after repeatedly cutting costs to beat the competitors. Intel isn't stupid; they'll keep AMD struggling for years - at least till AMD wakes up, smells the coffee, and kicks Intel in the *cough*.

    AMD user for 10 years.
  • I sure hope AMD makes it through ...

    They are the Pepsi to Intel's Coca-Cola
    They are the Compaq to early IBM
    They are the Linux to Microsoft's Windows

    They are the alternate choice for those unwilling to put up with Intel's deceptions regarding their low end processors.

    Computers @ The Manor, our retail store features AMD and Intel products, yet 75-80% of the systems we sell are AMD based.

    AMD has forced Intel to speed up development, and drop prices, they are operating on record low profit margins, barely paying for their upgraded fabs before they have to drop prices ... yah for AMD!
  • It was to my understanding that the K6-3 was actually faster than the pIII, and that the k7 was sufficiently faster than the pIII.

    I could be wrong here, but from what I have heard the k7 blows the pIII away in performance.

    Flames sent to /dev/null

  • You mean "last year's earnings". AMD only [...]

    Read the header again, it's Intel whose "lower than expected earnings" were still quite juicy. Damn, I was an idiot to sell my Intel...
  • This reminds me of a scenerio a few years ago with Apple who made quite a comeback. All I know is that if AMD leaves the market, I'm going back to Macs. I refuse to buy an intel based PC. Hopefully the K7 will kick enough ass to being AMD back to its full glory


  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have some questions. Had AMD done as much as intel has for Linux? Has AMD donated compiler technology? Had AMD donated machines and know-how to kernel dvelopers? Have AMD invested in Linux startups? I beleive Intel has done all that and they keep getting panned, but I have never heard any news about AMD doing anything for Linux...
  • Hard drives will return a serial number upon request
    I believe there are certain video cards (high end ones albeit, but nontheless...) which do this too.

    Get over it. Serial #s on processors are nothing. Nothing at ALL.

  • Please take a moment to check out this URL []. AMD is in production at the Dresden FAB (ahead of schedule by a couple of months) with copper K6s. I may very well have been wrong abou the PIII cache, but I DO know that Xeons have been used in some of these performance comparisions, and got beat. Second: Thrash was using a performance impaired beta release of the processor on a performance impaired beta board. I'd take any all numbers from that test with a pound of salt.

    re: Intel beating AMD to 1Ghz.
    Only if Intel is putting them in the fabs by Thanksgiving. The Dresden FAB staff seem to have gotten it into their heads that 1Ghz will be rolling off their lines before 1/1/00, putting them in the market EARLY in 1Q/2000. This is a potentially devestating blow to Intel's server market, particluarly since AMD should also be running 8-way SMP about the same time. It'll be a VERY interest 1H 2k, that's for sure. Oh, and I think the Athlon is going to sell fairly well for one, and only one, reason: it's faster than any other x86 processor currently on the market. If AMD plays it right, in 5 years people will be saying "Intel used to do WHAT??"
  • > Everything you are currently running isn't going to optimized for the Athlon, and AMD is going to face an uphill battle to get people to optimize for the Athlon just like they did with 3DNow!

    Yet another reason to run Linux -- though unfortunately most of my binaries are still compiled for the 386.

    I'd like to see a disto that shipped a binary kernel and development kit (autoconf, compiler, etc.) and source for everything, so that your installation kit booted up, prompted you for what you wanted to install, and then compiled everything (including replacements for the kernel and development kit) while you took a day or so away from the terminal (or went on vacation, if you're running a slow processor).

  • You don't call differences as high as 45-50% blowing away PIII performance? Can I ask who your dealer is so I can buy some of what you're smoking?

    Seriously dude. Intel is the one lagging. AMD's Dresden fab is ALREADY producing copper K6-series processors (not on the market YET), and are looking at putting 1Ghz processors through by late 99, VERY early 00. Intel's roadmap has 1Ghz in 2/3Q IIRC. AMD is beating them to the punch, and Intel supporters can't stand it. Oh, and considering that the Athlon w/HALF speed cache is doing these kind of benchmarks against PIII's with full-speed, I consider _ANY_ win on AMD's part "blowing away" the PIIIs. THe full speed benchmarks could very well be embarrassing to Intel (read: 100% or more difference).

    AMD is forcing innovation by all parties, they're the first to successfully bring the EV-6 bus to the consumer market, and they're pre-empting the whole RAMBUS/DDRRAM argument by supporting the latter, rather then the former because the latter is simply a BETTER RAM process. Intel needs to seriously reconsider the resources they're spending on Willamette and Merced (Merced especially) if they don't want to spend a year or more as No. 2 in the high performance x86 market.

    Oh, and I see AMD at .18u in 1 or 2Q of next year, so Intel really does have their work cut out for them. They're getting beat down by .25u processors, and even though they WILL see a ramp up with .18u, it may not be enough to overcome the statistical 75-150Mhz performance differences they're lagging behind right now with the Athlon, particularly with the addition of copper parts in all lines by early 1Q of 00 from AMD.
  • We're not talking about high end workstations here. Or at least I'm not. I'm talking about my home machine. Honestly I don't care if anything I use at work is subject to anyone's prying. But would you want anyone to be able to retrieve the serial number of your stereo, and then determine where you bought it? Admitedly, if my PC was ever stolen, then the serial number could be used to trace it, but that's the only use as a consumer I can see for it other than to tailor advertisements towards me. You're right; on a high end workstation that's not going to be the goal, but it IS the eventual goal of the same technology on a home PC. And I want none of it.

    And for what it's worth, though that's what gave me a bad taste in my mouth for Intel, that's not why I chose an AMD. I chose an AMD because every spec I'd read showed it outperforming equal or higher clock speed pentiums. And I'm happy with mine :-) That's the important bit, right?
  • most buyers have already come to associate AMD with low end processors.

    You got that wrong. Most buyers dont even know they have a choice!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You wonder why the K6-3 500MHz is a no-show? I think that probably the entire K6 production has been ceased so that any and all chip fabrication resources that AMD has at it's disposal are being concentrated to the effort to crank out full production of K7 Athlons only right now. We'll probably not ever see a K6-3/500. If the K7 is a flop, either technological or marketing flop, then AMD surely has pulled an "Osborne" and will be in unsurvivable trouble. You DO know the story of the Osborne computer don't you? ....and how that company's failure was caused by blabbing too much about a future, yet-to-be-released product that it caused all sales of it's current products to come to a halt, therefore ending their ability to even produce their new product.
  • If/when Linux and free software on it gets more dominant, we would be less dependent on the x86 architecture, and Intel wouldn't be so powerful. Open source allows easy porting, after all.

    The only thing that doesn't suck about the x86 architecture is that it's mass produced and cheap. Imagine a world where you could choose between using an x86, Alpha, MIPS, PPC, ARM, etc., solely on the basis of price/performance. The demise of clone makers such as Cyrix or IDT would not then carry the risk of Intel re-taking its stranglehold on the market.

    That would be cool, in more ways than one: CPUs wouldn't get as hot, because there would be no more need to be backwards compatible with some crappy 20 year old instruction set.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde