Weekend Open Forum: Is AMD CPU strategy working? Are they on a collision course?

By on December 12, 2008, 6:38 PM
Letís be honest for a second. We are not actually asking you whether you believe AMDís current CPU strategy is working or not. Itís a well known fact AMD is getting killed out there and at the pace Intel is going, 2009 could be an even bleaker year for the #2 CPU maker. Good thing the companyís graphics division (ATI) is not doing half as bad nowadays.

But if we are going to discuss a brighter future for AMD, we should probably forget about their current processor line-up. The first crop of Phenoms were a bit of a disaster and the second came to be too little too late. One could say that while it lasted it was the older Athlon products and the workstation-oriented Opterons that made the day for AMD, but thatís no longer enough. The company desperately needs a mainstream CPU that can truly compete with Intel Core products in both performance and pricing fronts.


What we know so far is that the Phenom II is coming sometime next year, hopefully during the first quarter. The revamped processors may get a process shrink to 45-nanometers, and thus faster clock speeds and run more efficiently. Add some cache to the equation and you end up with a product that could compete with the Core i7 if AMD times this thing right. Also in store for AMD are low-power processors based on older Athlon technology, and eventually dual and triple core versions of the Phenom II.

With all this in mind, do you believe AMD is on a collision course next year? Could the company be forced out of its main market to focus on things like graphics, embedded or mobile? Did you invest in an AMD platform over this past year? What would be your reaction if all of a sudden Intel was the lone player in the mainstream CPU market?

Discuss.




User Comments: 24

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captain828 said:
> Do you believe AMD is on a collision course next year? No. While they don't have anything competitive with Intel's offerings the Phenom line is good and cheap. Whoever, it will be even harder for them next year then the previous ones because of the economical downturn.> Could the company be forced out of its main market to focus on things like graphics, embedded or mobile? They still have great products in their Phenom line of CPUs and with Deneb (their 45nm refresh) coming soon they don't look like they're gonna exit the CPU market. Their Radeons are doing quite well, just passed the 2mil mark, so no reason why they aren't going to proceed with both.> Did you invest in an AMD platform over this past year? No. Intel all the way here. Why? because I want the best in performance. If I were to make an HTPC, then I would most definitely make an AMD based system because AMD in the lower end is a bit better (and because I would support the underdog).> What would be your reaction if all of a sudden Intel was the lone player in the mainstream CPU market? Let's be serious... we all know that's not going to happen because it mustn't happen. Intel is in a tight position about their past monopolist activity (and current market dominance). If AMD where to fill for Chapter 11, someone would buy them. [Edited by captain828 on 2008-12-12 09:40:10]
supersmashbrada said:
> Do you believe AMD is on a collision course next year? Of course they are, with the economy the way it is, along with the thing called "Phenom," the only people buying their products are lower tier machine builders and fan boys.> Could the company be forced out of its main market to focus on things like graphics, embedded or mobile? I'm just curious to know who's designing the architecture over there, I thought all of us with older brothers know that if you dont let the neighborhood people see that you're "little brother," you're not getting on the good dodgeball team.> Did you invest in an AMD platform over this past year? Retorical?> What would be your reaction if all of a sudden Intel was the lone player in the mainstream CPU market? Can you say Micro$oft?
apstorm said:
[b]Originally posted by captain828:[/b][quote]> Did you invest in an AMD platform over this past year? No. Intel all the way here. Why? because I want the best in performance. If I were to make an HTPC, then I would most definitely make an AMD based system because AMD in the lower end is a bit better (and because I would support the underdog).[/quote]I generally agree with this post, but... Honestly, I finally managed to get a new system this year, after having ancient hardware for years, and I bought all AMD when I did, and haven't regretted it all year. I've come to the conclusion that if I went Intel, I'd have ended up spending more for little noticable benefit in performance. The AMD system has handled everything I threw at it, so I just as soon assume there's nothing wrong with their designs and their potential power, and the lack of interest is merely a stigma just because they haven't had the absolute fastest hardware.At the very least, I've found a Phenom 9850 to be more than enough for a gamer like me... I bet it would run even better if I was using XP Pro instead of Vista Ultimate, but I'm not regretting that choice, either.Anyway, I do agree with everything else the good captain said, and find the other comment by brada seems... I dunno, it just bothers me.
aolish said:
if amd is on a collusion course then its the consumer that will lose.... lose really bad to extremely heavily overpriced cpus imo.
Rage_3k_Moiz said:
Their lower-end offerings are still far superior to Intel's offerings in the same price range, and if OEMs like HP take good advantage of this, then AMD's sales will pick up. In any case, AMD has always been about innovation and I believe they will come out of this low phase soon.
moneymaker said:
Who is really going to build a new chip fab plant in upstate NY?With all the overcapacity in the industry, currently operating at 50%?.....All AMD has done is introduced a new player who will want to make money too....and when they put pencil to paper...they're not going to put 6 billion $ into a new plant...or new equipment required to shrink die size....AMD is screwed....
blind dragon said:
I think they are doing good, and with the global economy the way it is, I think they stand to have an excellent 2009. At least from what I see locally here in Florida, people are not looking to buy the best of the best (which usually equals the highest price tag), they are looking to get the best product within their budget. In my opinion 2009 will be full of budget builds. I did invest with them at the beginning of the year, but sold after a small profit. I think I may do the same again as their stock appears undervalued.
hellokitty[hk] said:
AMD is not doing terrible (but yes phenom honestly sucks and AMD is not in a good position compared to intel), their Turion and Athlon laptop processors are selling well, laptops are much less common to build, so people buy manufacture sold laptops which contain a good amount of AMD processors. I have seen MANY AMD triple cores in stores over the past while, I assume the majority of people do NOT know core 2 duo with its two cores is actually faster than AMD triple cores, so, they put those into computers and charge extra for the "better" processor. Though we may know Intel > AMD, "they" do not have a clue. AMD is cheeper than Core 2, manufactures know many people cannot tell the difference between them except the price, something most people actually do know. AMD beats Intel price wise, not price / performance, just price, which is why I am a sad owner of a AMD Sempron based Emachine purchased before I had significantly more knowlage than the average person.I would say a 45nm AMD mobile would actually be quite good market wise until at least Nehalem based mobile chips come out. The power draw will be better than it is now, which would probably only be beat by Intel Atom, a processor which is slow enough than an average consumer may notice the speed difference. I want AMD alive and fighting so Intel doesn't start overpricing processors for lack of competition, I highly doubt AMD will be going out of business, even if Phenom II is an epic failure again.I do not think we want Intel being the only company selling processors, the heart of the computer (more the brain but nothing else takes the place of the heart, I think).Those are my uneducated guesses, I have never actually done any economics studies.[Edited by hellokitty[hk] on 2008-12-12 19:26:25]
fullmetalvegan said:
I dunno about AMD being value for money... I was curiously looking into Phenom's for a new system build, and found that after observing several benchmarks, that, the most expensive, top of the Phenom line was around $300 at the time. Intel's equivalent priced Core 2 Quad was 20% faster so for the same price it destroyed AMD in performance. And it was mid-range, so I had many cheaper Quadcore's to look at from Intel that would still blow the Phenom out of the water. The model down was $220 and was on par of performance with the $300 Phenom. Only a fanboy would choose the Phenom in this scenario.As for Core 2 Duo, I can get them for as cheap as $100 and they destroy the Athlon of the equivalent price. So it's not value for money when you factor in you are spending less for a much less performance. It was something like $80 for Athlon, $100 for Intel. An extra $20 is nothing to invest in for a reasonable performance gap.New Intel CPU's are coming out in 32nm now, so AMD is one step behind again.
captain828 said:
[b]Originally posted by apstorm:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by captain828:[/b][quote]> Did you invest in an AMD platform over this past year? No. Intel all the way here. Why? because I want the best in performance. If I were to make an HTPC, then I would most definitely make an AMD based system because AMD in the lower end is a bit better (and because I would support the underdog).[/quote]I generally agree with this post, but... Honestly, I finally managed to get a new system this year, after having ancient hardware for years, and I bought all AMD when I did, and haven't regretted it all year. I've come to the conclusion that if I went Intel, I'd have ended up spending more for little noticable benefit in performance. The AMD system has handled everything I threw at it, so I just as soon assume there's nothing wrong with their designs and their potential power, and the lack of interest is merely a stigma just because they haven't had the absolute fastest hardware.At the very least, I've found a Phenom 9850 to be more than enough for a gamer like me... I bet it would run even better if I was using XP Pro instead of Vista Ultimate, but I'm not regretting that choice, either.Anyway, I do agree with everything else the good captain said, and find the other comment by brada seems... I dunno, it just bothers me.[/quote]I also agree with your post. A Phenom 9850 is more than sufficient at gaming.However I was referring to the overclocking potential here. I have a 2.4GHz E6600 OCed at 3.6GHz on air... do that with a Phenom. Let's hope the 45nm processors will do better for AMD.
hellokitty[hk] said:
[b]Originally posted by fullmetalvegan:[/b][quote]I dunno about AMD being value for money... I was curiously looking into Phenom's for a new system build, and found that after observing several benchmarks, that, the most expensive, top of the Phenom line was around $300 at the time. Intel's equivalent priced Core 2 Quad was 20% faster so for the same price it destroyed AMD in performance. And it was mid-range, so I had many cheaper Quadcore's to look at from Intel that would still blow the Phenom out of the water. The model down was $220 and was on par of performance with the $300 Phenom. Only a fanboy would choose the Phenom in this scenario.As for Core 2 Duo, I can get them for as cheap as $100 and they destroy the Athlon of the equivalent price. So it's not value for money when you factor in you are spending less for a much less performance. It was something like $80 for Athlon, $100 for Intel. An extra $20 is nothing to invest in for a reasonable performance gap.New Intel CPU's are coming out in 32nm now, so AMD is one step behind again.[/quote]Intel is NOT manufacturing 32nm now. I didn't say that AMD was better for the money, i said AMD was first of all, not slow enough for average people to notice a difference, and second AMD is CHEEPER, not a better value for the money, their simply CHEEPER. The only way average uneducated people compare computers is via a. graphics card, and b. processor. AMD triple cores and dual cores can be had for less money than Intel dual cores and at higher clock speeds.Example:A potential customer see's two computers, one is AMD, one is Intel, and of course, the majority of them will not know the difference.Lets assume they both have the exact same parts aside from a processor and supporting motherboard so it all comes down to the processor. What does the consumer see?A great dual core value is the E5200 at 2.5ghz and ≈ $80.00.A close equivalent is the AMD Athlon 64 x2 Windsor 6000+ at 3.0ghz and ≈ $75.00.The consumer knows (probably with technology as important as it is) the higher ghz is faster, and the average consumer sees that the faster dual core is even cheeper than the slower dual core. If you did NOT know which brand was which, I assume you would pick the AMD. Perhaps there was even an AMD 8650 2.4ghz triple core for ≈$100.00, the consumer notices s/he gets and extra "processor" for only 20% more!Most consumers are uneducated and will chose the AMD option.[Edited by hellokitty[hk] on 2008-12-13 11:30:50]
DarkCobra said:
I'll never again in this lifetime purchase another AMD processor or graphic card. Just too many problems especially in software.
WALGYS said:
I think there's something missing here, nobody is talking about motherboards chipsets and the difference between building an AMD and an Intel based PC.AMD based Systems always offer more stuff in entry and mainstream while you must purchase a High End Motherboard to get the same when building based on Intel, specially in Poor Countries like Latin-Americans. Basically:AMD for entry Systems with a lot of actual technology support.(cheap!!)Intel For the Best High End System Available today.(no budget problems!!) It's only my Humble Opinion.
supersmashbrada said:
[b]Originally posted by blind dragon:[/b][quote]I think they are doing good, and with the global economy the way it is, I think they stand to have an excellent 2009. At least from what I see locally here in Florida, people are not looking to buy the best of the best (which usually equals the highest price tag), they are looking to get the best product within their budget. In my opinion 2009 will be full of budget builds. I did invest with them at the beginning of the year, but sold after a small profit. I think I may do the same again as their stock appears undervalued. [/quote]How can you compare the state of amd's market to anything based on what's being purchased in one area.People jumping in and building amd setups are planning on spending 300-400 usd at most for hardware. Which in fact is a very small portion of people buying to build. I'd say 3-400 is being generous. Most of us builders arent moving from a 939 socket to an am2 socket. we jumped from 939 to 775 or better.Amd is currently holding on because of retail consumer markets with the low end overpriced notebooks that are so "great," AMD's market share was under valued in 2004, but definately not now.
fullmetalvegan said:
[b]Originally posted by hellokitty[hk]:[/b]Intel ***IS*** going to be manufacturing on 32nm. Likely by the time, or soon after, AMD finally switch to 45nm. "Now" didn't literally mean tomorrow morning 32nm is out, I said NEW CPU's are going to be 32nm. That implies when Intel releases their NEW Nehalem Core i7 lineup, they'll likely be 32nm due to Intel's announcement of the new manufacturing size."In another world's first, Intel has demonstrated its 32nm logic process with a functional SRAM packing more than 1.9 billion second generation high-k metal gate transistors. ***It's a monumental step towards delivering 32nm microprocessors in 2009***óand a great leap towards developing significant density, performance, and power improvements beyond today's 45nm technology."You're also forgetting brand name value. Many people I build cheap computers for, I tell them AMD is a tiny bit cheaper, etc and tell them the specs. I state the performance won't be as high as Intel per se, but you won't notice on a standard home PC. They don't want it, cause they've heard very little or none of at all of AMD and want Intel because it's well known.[Edited by fullmetalvegan on 2008-12-14 02:55:16]
yukka said:
> do you believe AMD is on a collision course next year?I think they will still be around at least until the next version of their desktop cpu is released. It needs to be relatively successful at this point or I can't see them continuing too long - they need to make some money somewhere. Laptops and servers are okay but how long can they invest in faster and faster chips to compete with Intel if they dont sell vast quantitues once they are made.>Could the company be forced out of its main market to focus on things like graphics, embedded or mobile?Possibly if they dont sell alot of the next generation they release - they could be forced to concentrate on server based chips and laptop chips. The graphics cards are successful so maybe the cpu division can get some money from there to stay in business. It all depends on the next gen from AMD, if its good people will buy it. The Phenoms had a bad release and I havent seen much of a recovery from that.>Did you invest in an AMD platform over this past year? What would be your reaction if all of a sudden Intel was the lone player in the mainstream CPU market?I bought a 6400X2 about a year ago and I was happy with its speed. It is in a Asrock AGP mobo which I meant to replace. Unfortunately for AMD, I got a job upgrade and bought a Intel i7 XPS Studio desktop with all the trimmings which I am waiting to arrive. So it appears right now, if I have the money, I don't choose AMD, and I haven't had Intel since my P3-500 in 2000ish.
buttus said:
Last year right about this time I decided to put togethor a new machine. I have been a long time supporter of AMD (my first PC was a K6-500) but I could not ignore the dramatic speed advantage of the Core 2 and Quads from Intel.However, I still went forward with AMD. I purchased a Gigabyte board with a 790fx chipset, a Athlon 6000 CPU (which is now a triple core Phenom) and even 2x 3870 Cards. The basis for my decision was simple. I wanted an upgrade path.See...here we are a year later and AMD is now releasing their 45nm Denab CPU's which will be over 3Ghz and considerably faster then the previous crop of Phenoms. At least with AMD I have a more cost effective solution that also has an upgrade path. Had I gone with Intel last year I wouldn't have been able to upgrade considering their 2 year churn and burn release cycle.Intel will be fastest...but do we ever really actually see that difference or is that differential more about benchmarks? Intel is also the earliest adopter of tech (ie DDR3 RAM)...but because they adopt so early, there is a huge cost premium that users incur just to keep up with the Robinsons. AMD will also be releasing a new socket AM3 chipset which will use DDR3, but at least at this time the prices have come down so adoption will be considerably easier and more realistic.
supersmashbrada said:
[b]Originally posted by buttus:[/b][quote]Last year right about this time I decided to put togethor a new machine. I have been a long time supporter of AMD (my first PC was a K6-500) but I could not ignore the dramatic speed advantage of the Core 2 and Quads from Intel.However, I still went forward with AMD. I purchased a Gigabyte board with a 790fx chipset, a Athlon 6000 CPU (which is now a triple core Phenom) and even 2x 3870 Cards. The basis for my decision was simple. I wanted an upgrade path.See...here we are a year later and AMD is now releasing their 45nm Denab CPU's which will be over 3Ghz and considerably faster then the previous crop of Phenoms. At least with AMD I have a more cost effective solution that also has an upgrade path. Had I gone with Intel last year I wouldn't have been able to upgrade considering their 2 year churn and burn release cycle.Intel will be fastest...but do we ever really actually see that difference or is that differential more about benchmarks? Intel is also the earliest adopter of tech (ie DDR3 RAM)...but because they adopt so early, there is a huge cost premium that users incur just to keep up with the Robinsons. AMD will also be releasing a new socket AM3 chipset which will use DDR3, but at least at this time the prices have come down so adoption will be considerably easier and more realistic.[/quote]you consider the ability to upgrade next year a good thing with amd's new cpus? even then the new 3ghz cpus will be compared to what? newer 1336 intel cpus. Atill 2-3 steps behind. yeah the setup you have will be fine for most things. but even with your upgradability you'll still perform 30-50% less than even mid ranged intel cpu setups.I think the article above was written just to show us "a" path that amd could possibly take, rather its good or bad. I think intel is making the phrase "you get what you pay for," a tride and true statement for the most partIt seems to me that amd "fanboys," try to find reasons for buying the product at time of purchase even though its clear through benchmarks that even most intel cpus perform better in the same price range. Which makes the whole thought of "oh at least I can upgrade to a better amd cpu in 2 years with my current mobo," seem pointless. If you can upgrade your cpu in 2 years on the same chipset in a year or two you should probably ask yourself. "What is this company doing wrong that they can't make change to actually compete?"When it all boils down if amd cant get a cpu that's on par with intel's cpus around the time of release then their marketshare will be of less value. Who wants a loser platform?
Rage_3k_Moiz said:
[quote]Had I gone with Intel last year I wouldn't have been able to upgrade considering their 2 year churn and burn release cycle.[/quote]Not completely true. Some older chipsets like the P35 and P965 only needed a simple BIOS upgrade to run a Wolfdale CPU.[quote]Intel will be fastest...but do we ever really actually see that difference or is that differential more about benchmarks? Intel is also the earliest adopter of tech (ie DDR3 RAM)...but because they adopt so early, there is a huge cost premium that users incur just to keep up with the Robinsons.[/quote]It's purely personal choice if you want the latest hardware or not. So that's a moot point. And as for seeing the difference, it is very noticeable for gaming and the like, mainly due to the larger cache memory available on most of the Intel CPUs and of course, their better architecture.[Edited by Rage_3k_Moiz on 2008-12-15 06:05:09]
buttus said:
I simply find it amazing at how irrated some people can be just because you don't agree with them. What ever happened to agreeing to dissargree.I personally believed that AMD would give me more value for the money and that is why I made my decision. Yes, absolutely, Intel is way faster and likely always will be way faster. But pure speed isn't the only deciding factor when one chooses a platform. Intel has always made people pay a premium for their products and for those that do "good for you". However, I still believe that AMD offered me more flexabilty going forward and one can even hope that they will close some of that performance gap (look what they have done on the video card side of things with both the 3870 and 4870) with the new CPU's.
supersmashbrada said:
[b]Originally posted by buttus:[/b][quote]I simply find it amazing at how irrated some people can be just because you don't agree with them. What ever happened to agreeing to dissargree.I personally believed that AMD would give me more value for the money and that is why I made my decision. Yes, absolutely, Intel is way faster and likely always will be way faster. But pure speed isn't the only deciding factor when one chooses a platform. Intel has always made people pay a premium for their products and for those that do "good for you". However, I still believe that AMD offered me more flexabilty going forward and one can even hope that they will close some of that performance gap (look what they have done on the video card side of things with both the 3870 and 4870) with the new CPU's.[/quote]I can agree that some people look at price over performance. Yes they have done well with their cpus, but nvidia isnt intel, but if they were, well lets just keep that in thought and try not to put it on paper.
Rage_3k_Moiz said:
[quote]But pure speed isn't the only deciding factor when one chooses a platform. Intel has always made people pay a premium for their products and for those that do "good for you".[/quote]What kind of premium? The E8400 soundly whips all the competing X4 chips from AMD while being cheaper than or on par with all of them. And both companies have released "high-end" products such as Intel's Extreme series and AMD's FX series that are priced obscenely high. So I don't think you pay a premium for Intel.And pure speed may not be THE only deciding factor, but it definitely is among the main ones.
supersmashbrada said:
[b]Originally posted by Rage_3k_Moiz:[/b][quote][quote]But pure speed isn't the only deciding factor when one chooses a platform. Intel has always made people pay a premium for their products and for those that do "good for you".[/quote]What kind of premium? The E8400 soundly whips all the competing X4 chips from AMD while being cheaper than or on par with all of them. And both companies have released "high-end" products such as Intel's Extreme series and AMD's FX series that are priced obscenely high. So I don't think you pay a premium for Intel.And pure speed may not be THE only deciding factor, but it definitely is among the main ones. [/quote]not to mention when the x2's came out in 06, 800 dollars for the x2 6000 or w/e it was.
fullmetalvegan said:
[b]Originally posted by buttus:[/b][quote]I personally believed that AMD would give me more value for the money and that is why I made my decision.[/quote]Well, they didn't give you value for money. You could have spent the same amount of money on your AMD CPU for an Intel one that would have been 20-50% faster. So you actually got ripped off in terms of price vs performance.The reason I didn't choose the Phenom for my latest gaming PC is because of that. A $300 Phenom performed as well as a $200 Intel, so I'm paying $100 more for an AMD CPU that performs worse than the cheaper Intel, based on the belief that AMD offer me more value for money? =SAMD really aren't value for money nowadays. Unless you spend under the $100 mark, in which case, don't expect your PC to be able to do much. Better off spending that extra $30 or so to have an Intel CPU at least 3x better and likely to last longer in terms of technological advancements.
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