AMD: The Rise, Fall and Future of an Industry Giant

By Julio Franco ยท 83 replies
Nov 21, 2012
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  1. Morally and perhaps technically, AMD is the clear winner .. however Financially they are arse end up over a barrel
  2. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 455   +21

    Well that is crap. NVIDIA and AMD play tag with each other every time one of them releases new architecture. If it is not one of them beating the clock speeds of the other is it a crippling round of crappy drivers from one side or power consumption, or anything else really. It has always been a back and forth and who ever is on top will change three or four times before another twelve months is through.

    That last line about the GPUs just killed the credibility of your comment...
  3. Great article and very realistic with constructive criticism, compared to the one on tom's with the usual BS like the future is fusion/vision, etc.

    The recent "bold strategic move" of AMD to ARM suggests that something is very wrong. Looks like they want to enter the ARM business but only 2nd to everyone since their license doesn't allow modification of the design like the other half dozen competitors'.
    As you say, Graham, it's "own mismanagement, some bad predictions" and I would add that they lack good common sense, since this is the second time AMD shift focus, the last time was 6 years ago announcing fusion/vision after burning $ 5.4 bn for ATI, and in the meantime producing a spectacular failure in their main business like Bulldozer which is more like a modern Netburst. At least they are competitive in PC graphics but they don't excel financially and have superior competitors in HPC with Tesla, and now Xeon Phi.

    I didn't know what to think back in 2006 when AMD bought ATI but now I'm sure it was a huge mistake and it is the main reason why the company is in that mess.

    1st, the whole idea of the merger was a vision of fusion only on paper as the future for AMD.
    Fusion was not even technically feasible until 32nm. Anyway there is at least the TDP as a limiting factor to a SoC so massive and complex which means that performance can never match the high end range nor can be the most efficient.
    As for the real application, most software is not ready for such parallelism, in fact only a fraction can run on so many cores like rendering and decoders/encoders.

    2nd, it was an expensive acquisition by a company that has barely made a profit and the alternatives were plenty to say the least.
    It has puzzled me for a long time why AMD wanted nVidia or ATI so badly. I guess easy-come easy-go: after 2-3 years of fat profit common sense was gone.
    The cheap alternatives make more sense when realizing that AMD needed only a platform to compete with Intel. And I don't mean VIA as it is best left in its niche x86 position.
    The first candidate would have been SiS as it offered a full chipset with graphics, sound and networking while being quite cheap and stable. Now SiS has vanished from the PC marked.
    Other candidates (better than ATI chipsets) were Broadcom, a server chipset and network chip maker, or ALI/ULI, a chipset maker, which was bought by nVidia. As for graphics chips (good enough to be integrated) there were PowerVR, now only in ARM SoCs, or Matrox Graphics. For network and sound chips there were quite a few companies to choose from.

    But history has been made and AMD needs to focus on the future. I hope they learn from the mistakes and know what to do with some good common sense.
  4. I never used AMD and I never will.
  5. I just bought an FX8150. After trawling through countless online benchmarking and comparison websites I observed that the i7 2xxx series was the main competitor to this chip.

    In some benchmarks the i7 2600 chip yields a 10% to 15% performance advantage; but this advantage involves swallowing a ~200% price hike; and those numbers just don't add up. I use Cubase and do some gaming and other stuff; and this AMD processor rocks. There's no other way to say it. I'm now running Big Mixes with plenty of complex software instruments and processor-hungry effects and the thing barely gets past 10% utilization. It is more than adequate, even without overclocking. It's very well suited indeed to parallel-optimized tasks and the Intel just ain't worth the extra dollar for me.

    It's like people are held in some kind of weird mind grip by Intel's secret coven of sorcerers.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, people. It is what it is; which is a chip manufacturer offering great value for money.
  6. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Posts: 143   +18

    I'm still sticking with AMD... :)
  7. Doug Rees

    Doug Rees TS Rookie

    I confess to having a soft spot in my heart (and maybe my head) for AMD. Jerry Sanders was sort of the joker in the computer deck--you never quite knew what the guy would come up with next. I think it's a miracle that AMD was able to compete as well as it did against Intel, and keep CPU prices down for the rest of us. Without AMD and Jerry Sanders we'd all be paying $1000 or more for a chip.

    I also think that most people are sold on the idea that they need more of a CPU than they really need. I do more with my computer than anyone else I know, and I get by quite nicely with a $400 machine running a cheap AMD chip. Maybe the benchmark scores aren't quite as high, but it does the job, and the graphics and sound are fantastic. AMD-based notebooks usually run about $30-$50 cheaper than comparable Intel-based systems, and have better graphics. I hope AMD stays around.
  8. ...aaaand one year later they did. useless to say SONY and MS recognized APU as the best way to go, since they sold 2 millions of them in the fist day of their console launch. Also is a clear bias on this article, nicely masked, but still....
    and, yeah, it's amusing how everyone compares a 80$ amd cpu with a 200$ intel, or a 2yo amd cpu with brand new intel and still intel barely goes 20% higher (and if we talk about mobile cpus, intel is missing some "non-essential parts" like virtualization, SSE4 and a few others, making it useless in linux/vbox).
    everyone is hysterical about I7 3930 how powerful it is vs AMD 8350 (25%+ if you believe passmark)..... no one says that intel is 600$ (now, used to be 1000$ few months ago) and AMD is less than 200$ (250$ a few weeks after the launch)
    ... but as someone said... amd is the smart choice... take that and what Murphy said about the intelligence in the world, and you get the picture.
  9. Gone are the golden days of CPU.
    The names like Cyrix, NexGen, PowerPC, DEC Alpha, who remembers these players?
    Now all that's left are Intel and AMD.

    Man I feel old, having lived and watched these CPU players come and go...

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