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Intel CPU Prices Stagnate As AMD Sales Decline

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the free-market-economics dept.

AMD 252

crookedvulture writes "Over the past few years, AMD's desktop processors have struggled to keep up with Intel's. AMD has slashed prices to make its chips more appealing, but Intel has largely held firm. Three years of historical data shows that Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena, and it's been great for Intel's gross margin. Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers."

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252 comments

AMD needs some high profile support (4, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41537781)

If I were them, I would be kissing Tim Cook's ass so hard that he couldn't turn around without slapping me with his junk. AMD needs some high profile names to adopt AMD processors. I mean, they've always been kind of fringe players, but in this tablet/notebook/smartphone age, they've become more fringe than ever. They could easily turn it around with serious support from just one big player like Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Google, etc. But it doesn't seem to be happening. And every time AMD has tried to court a big name [zdnet.com] or even merge with one [benzinga.com] , they seem to come up short.

Maybe they should try sending flowers.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537901)

>> I would be kissing Tim Cook's ass so hard that he couldn't turn around without slapping me with his junk

Yes, yes...go on...and then what?

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1, Funny)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41538377)

I laughed for all the right/wrong reasons.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#41537979)

Have AMD solved their capacity issues, because that was why Apple went with Intel originally - AMD couldn't supply the quantities Apple wanted guaranteed, while Intel could.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#41538335)

It's never really a capacity issue. With enough money you can always build new fabs or you can have someone else produce for you. AMD spun off its manufacturing business into GlobalFoundries now, which aims to sell foundry capacity to anyone, so that changes the situation a bit.

AMD processors aren't as good as intel ones. At least not right now. They're worse performance, performance per watt etc. Apple is big enough they don't need to deal with the #2 anything. For the same reason McDonalds doesn't sell presidents choice or pepsi. Apple, for all of its many, many faults thinks a lot about the user experience, and frankly Intel CPU's produce a better experience right now than AMD parts.

AMD kinda sorta has the right idea on combined CPU-GPU packages. Unfortunately nVidia cards are a bit better (support for PhysX) which AMD doesn't, and 'eyefinity' while cool isn't a product most people can manage, and Intel CPU's are better performance if you want performance, or better performance per watt if you just want battery life, overall leaving AMD a rough place in the market. For Apple, who are married now to portable devices, and don't care so much about windows gaming API's AMD just isn't making a good enough product. When Intels previous generation (sandy bridge) parts are still wiping the floor with new AMD stuff it's just not a good move to commit your business to the losing team.

*I'm talking about Apple adopting AMD processors across an entire product line. Not individual home use. For whatever problem a particular person has AMD setups can certainly be competitive. But Apple has a brand and a certain user experience it wants, and for them adopting AMD processors is not a good plan.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41538497)

Unfortunately nVidia cards are a bit better (support for PhysX) which AMD doesn't

Unless you really need PhysX (which is a niche feature), my opinion is that AMD video cards are better. The 7770 and 7870 have excellent price/performace ratios and no major weaknesses. In particular, thermals and power consumption are better than on corresponding nVidia cards.

You're right about AMD's uncompetitiveness against Intel in the CPU market, though.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1)

lengau (817416) | about 2 years ago | (#41538667)

IIRC, ATI/AMD GPUs tend to perform better on benchmarks (due to higher raw processing power), but fall short on actual graphics performance (due to different architectures) when compared to Nvidia ones. That's why a lot of people wound up with Nvidia graphics cards for gaming and AMD ones for bitcoin mining (back when that was big).

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (4, Insightful)

TeXMaster (593524) | about 2 years ago | (#41538703)

Unfortunately nVidia cards are a bit better (support for PhysX) which AMD doesn't

Unless you really need PhysX (which is a niche feature), my opinion is that AMD video cards are better. The 7770 and 7870 have excellent price/performace ratios and no major weaknesses. In particular, thermals and power consumption are better than on corresponding nVidia cards.

You're right about AMD's uncompetitiveness against Intel in the CPU market, though.

AMD video cards are significantly better than NVIDIA ones when it comes to raw computation power and when it comes to performance/watt and when it comes to performance/price; especially now that the 7xxx series has overcome the only weakness of the old series, the VLIW instruction set and architecture. Where AMD sucks big times is in software support. NVIDIA has pushed immensely CUDA, to the point that people now think that GPGPU = CUDA; and it has immensely pushed in creating a software environment around CUDA, including tons of external libraries that depend on CUDA. AMD has lost of a lot of ground with their CTM -> CAL -> OpenCL transitions, that have effectively prevented their technology to gain any significant traction, and they are just now starting to go back and getting some visibility. Their APU offering is probably the last chance they get in doing a significant breakthrough. Let's hope they don't bust it.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538833)

It's not just CUDA AMD's drivers are still worse and have been for a long time. That said, AMD drivers have been improving for a while and there far closer to parity now.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539045)

No they aren't. I just partially escaped three years of catalyst hell. God forbid if you want to keep your gpu for more than three years as well.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41538891)

Overall, Nvidia makes a better product. All AMD cards have a major weakness, they are supported by the AMD driver team.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#41538629)

Battery life, yes, but Apple isn't about performance. Both Intel and Nvidia GPUs perform worse on OSX than even on Linux, according to a plethora of benchmarks. That minute difference in performance, though, has never scared an Apple customer, so I don't think Apple would mind trading an i3 for an A10 in terms of x86 alacrity. Even considering their more demanding customers, like video editors, image manipulators and other stereotypical mac owners, those are areas AMD chips currently excel at, being threaded workloads. As for battery life, AMD currently uses a less juice than Intel when idle. The end result is that notebooks with Trinity chips are doing very well on battery life, last I heard. Makes sense, since most of the time a PC is idling.

Then again, even if they fare well versus the i3, AMD probably won't have anything to compete with cores i5 and i7. Piledriver is around the corner, but those listed 125W TDPs are a major sign that they aren't about to redeem Bulldozer. And Apple currently has a huge line of i5 and i7 PCs. Plus, there would be drivers to consider. A theoretical AMD OSX driver would probably be derived from Catalyst, which isn't all that great, to put it mildly. Nvidia isn't on performance parity with Windows on Macs, but they work very well.

So I agree with your disbelief that Apple would use AMD, but for slightly different reasons.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538009)

it is amd's fault but you do need a history lesson kid.

oracle and apple both fucked AMD with some arguably arbitrary decisions. when sun was exclusively AMD on x86, linux 64 bit intel is considered "amd64" because amd took forward strides with porting, dell started selling amd servers and workstations, and the price performance ratio was in AMD's favor things looked like they were going in the right direction.

then AMD focused on GPU's and APU's too early, where the price per performance and the performance per watt for most market segments that they compete with intel on wasnt competitive, nor did they have a top end line up to compete with intel at all. bulldozer? for real? they should have called it tiller.

on the other hand they are fighting an epic battle with nvidia at the same time, with good success all things considered.

that said, intel has too much of a lead and they are about to go apeshit with their GPU's in the next 2 years.

the gpu market is getting good for consumers, the cpu market was lost to intel a few years ago.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538771)

on the other hand they are fighting an epic battle with nvidia at the same time, with good success all things considered.

That's an incredibly good point that I had never thought of until you brought it up. While AMD is the underdog in the Intel v. AMD fight, they're fighting tooth and nail with another vertical market giant (nV) and doing quite well -- So was AMDs acquisition of ATI what took most of the focus away from the CPU market? Probably heavily influenced it...

I mean, AMD has /always/ been nipping at Intel's heels... Ever since my 486DX4, the only reason I've picked up an AMD proc was because my budget didn't allow for an Intel. As the TLP stated, they really do need some high profile support in order to make their comeback...

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539125)

linux 64 bit intel is considered "amd64" because...

You need a lesson in not making shit up.

"amd64" is called that because that's what AMD branded their implementation of x86_64. You know what Intel calls their x86_64 implementation? "Intel 64"

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#41538011)

Apple had a very good reason for ignoring AMD, which had nothing to do with the quality of their CPUs: AMD did not have the supply chain in place for that kind of volume. Apple's market share was around half of AMD's, meaning that they would have been buying half as many chips as AMD was producing in total. Part of the point of AMD spinning out Global Foundries was to make it possible for them to easily ramp up capacity by getting other companies to fab their chips. Unfortunately, they've been quite slow to build the relationships needed to do this. Without that, AMD can maybe get a high-profile customer (although they have a few of those in the form of supercomputers) but they can't get a new high-volume customer. Apple is one of Intel's biggest customers, but there are others of a similar magnitude, and it's nothing like even 50% of Intel's total sales, so it was relatively easy for Intel to absorb the increased demand: scaling up production by 5-10% is a lot easer than scaling up by 50%.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41538079)

it wouldn't have been unthinkable for Apple to buy 100%. that's the apple way with many production runs(be it initial ipod hd's or whatever).

after all, they were pretty much buying all desktop chips produced in g3/g4/g5 form since pretty much nobody else was buying them.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538089)

History lesson:
all they had to do with respect to manufacturing capacity issues was investment. steve jobs was like a spoiled kid with how he dealt with IBM over power, and they ran to intel last minute because they wanted to meet deadlines after procrastination. everyone was fucking pissed at apple ditching the superior, cheaper underdog (AMD) to compensate for mismanagement in their supply chain (IBM is good at a few things, supply chain is definately one of them).

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#41538211)

What you say is probably correct, but there were more reasons. At the time when rumors of Apple moving to x86 started, Intel sold the monstrosity named P4 while AMD had rather better chips. But Apple would have known about the Core Duo already, which was basically Intel going back to rational chip design and getting ahead of AMD again.

And another rational reason: By going with Intel, Apple knew that at most 10% of competitors would have better chips than the Macs. By going with AMD, Apple risked having 90% of the competition using better chips.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0, Redundant)

Gilmoure (18428) | about 2 years ago | (#41538713)

But, but, Apple's a beleaguered liche player whose only customers are Pennyfarthing riding hipsters with handlebar mustaches who are too stupid to realize that Apple doesn't even ship anything in their pretty boxes but straw and dirt, 'cause hipsters never open the boxes but just leave them lying orotund their loft apartments with 20' ceilings that are painted all white and there's no place to eat down a bottle of cheap red wine because it'll clash with their Gucci polar bear fur bean bag chairs.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41538081)

Unfortunately, Apple might be about the last company that AMD has a decent shot with:

Like it or loath it, Apple adores thin-'n-light, caters to a less cost-sensitive customer segment, and has a fairly tightly polished ARM+hardware decode device strategy when it comes to HTPC type applications...

AMD has products that are quite cheap for the punch, but they tend to run a bit hot for the performance you get, and much of their virtue lies in comparatively strong IGPs, perfect for the light gaming and HTPC markets that Apple either doesn't much care about or would prefer you use an iOS device for.

AMD's features, particularly the comparatively strong GPU showing on even cheap parts(Intel has gotten better; but, because they don't have to care, they still tend to tie their best IGPs to their best CPUs, so you need to order some damn expensive CPU silicon to get the full punch, which still is fairly tepid, though not downright laughable, as historically), are an excellent fit in cost-sensitive laptops, all-in-ones, and desktops that aren't likely to get a discrete GPU upgrade. Unfortunately, those are niches that command serious volume; but not much in the way of margins.

Honestly, AMD might have much better luck cuddling up to Corporate IT. They don't, presently, have 'VPro'(but they could probably put a whole damn ARM SoC on their 'enterprise' motherboard reference model for half of what Intel charges for a CPU and chipset that doesn't have most or all of those management features lasered off, if the market demands it); but Team Corporate burns through generic good-enough beige boxes by the palletload, and pays somewhat better for them than does Joe Bestbuy. They'd have a hard time cracking CPU-intensive workstation applications; but the zillion desktop typenboxes, computationally unstressed servers that need huge slabs of RAM, and similar absolutely infest enterprise IT...

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538095)

Maybe they should try sending flowers.
Maybe they should make digital fucking delays? hmm

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538113)

Not going to work, I'm afraid. Intel's notebook/desktop CPUs have much, much lower power draw, which turns into a much higher performance-per-watt ratio. I don't see Apple going that route.

Re:AMD needs some high profile support (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41538523)

If I were them, I would be kissing Tim Cook's ass so hard that he couldn't turn around without slapping me with his junk.

Geez, dude, that's a hell of an analogy (at least you didn't suggest they give him a rusty trombone). :P

Give me Free Shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537807)

Nothing else matters.
Captcha is thrash
Is this a Haiku?

Re:Give me Free Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538111)

Who the hell taught you
To write a haiku, you need
Seven syllables.

[Clarification: Seven syllables in the second line, that is.]

Re:Give me Free Shit (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41538251)

Five are in the first
Seven are in the second
Five are in the third

Well, DUH. (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41537819)

Ten years ago if your PC was more than 2 years old, new software wouldn't run. Now? I'm running five year old boxes that run everything fine... as long as they have enough memory.

The fact is, you no longer have to replace that PC and its CPU every other year.

Re:Well, DUH. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537891)

You are so right it's every seven years. Now reply to mine and get full circle. http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3160927&op=Reply&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&pid=41537807

Ten years ago if your PC was more than 2 years old, new software wouldn't run. Now? I'm running five year old boxes that run everything fine... as long as they have enough memory.

The fact is, you no longer have to replace that PC and its CPU every other year.

Re:Well, DUH. (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#41538019)

More like, AMD haven't been making enough of a difference for long enough to justify buying them over Intel.

Back in the 486/Pentium days I saved a LOT of money by buying AMD - I got better performance for less money, and virtually perfect compatibility.

Nowadays? There's so little difference between the specs of processors that I might as well just buy Intel. There's no compelling reason to go AMD any more, so nobody's buying them.

Sure, they get an "advantage" for a few months on their top-of-the-line gaming processors of a few percent, but by the time those chips are available in any pre-fab computer you might pick up in a shop, that difference means nothing at all and the price difference isn't worth straying.

Not to mention that since buying ATI (which was an absolute DOG for hardware compatibility and drivers), AMD seemed to have followed suit and there are problems reported with certain games and AMD processors / chipsets / ATI cards that aren't present in similar Intel / nVidia setups.

Honestly, it's nothing to do with people lacking upgrades. It's everything to do with there just being no compelling reason to go with one or the other, except that everyone's HEARD of Intel and they've been making x86 chips before AMD even existed.

Re:Well, DUH. (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41538107)

Nowadays? There's so little difference between the specs of processors that I might as well just buy Intel. There's no compelling reason to go AMD any more, so nobody's buying them.

An Athlon 64 X6 may have half the performance of the most expensive i7, but it's a quarter the price and the motherboard is half the price. If it'll run everything you want to run, you win. Or in my case, I win. When I built it, the intel chips had higher power requirements, too.

Re:Well, DUH. (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#41538515)

An Athlon 64 X6 may have half the performance of the most expensive i7, but it's a quarter the price and the motherboard is half the price. If it'll run everything you want to run, you win.

The problem is that a Phenom II X6 (I assume that's what you meant as that's the only X6 CPU AMD make, and even that's a generation old now), costs the same as an i5 3450, and is significantly slower than it. This is why Intel is winning now –same price, higher performance. Comparing everything to an i7 is dumb when the i5 and i3 are faster than what you're comparing.

Re:Well, DUH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538795)

If by "costs the same" you mean "is about $80 cheaper", sure. You might be able to get an open box, no warranty i5 at the price point of a new and unopened X6, but that's apples/oranges again.

Re:Well, DUH. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41538889)

No an x6 is cheaper and has 6 cores. Not everyone is only interested in single threaded performance.

Re:Well, DUH. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41538975)

Er yes, I meant the Phenom II. I actually started with an X3 720 at $110 and upgraded when I could get an X6 used for cheap ($110) to replace my X3. The motherboard was $100 as well, as opposed to $200 and up for comparably-featured intel boards, which also required more exotic power connectors, for which I would have had to buy a new power supply.

Re:Well, DUH. (1)

bastafidli (820263) | about 2 years ago | (#41539121)

If by "cost the same" means you can get Intel with motherboard for $90 as you can get the AMD

http://www.microcenter.com/site/products/amd_bundles.aspx [microcenter.com]

then I would love to know where you source your components. Microcenter lists the i5 3450 at $145

http://www.microcenter.com/product/388579/Core_i5_3450_31GHz_LGA_1155_Processor [microcenter.com]

which is whooping $500 more than the AMD and doesn't even include the motherbord. Newegg has it $100 more.

Re:Well, DUH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538229)

In case you haven't noticed, AMD has been getting the kudos for GPU software and drivers, while nvidia is the big bitch. don't bring ATI up, and confuse gaming company architecture preference in their QA process with shortcommings on AMD's part. that said, nvidia does have an easier to manage ecosystem and since they have more momentum they do get to set industry trends first. that'll change soon though. between HPC/GPGPU stuff and intels new gpu initiatives nvidia wont be able to hang long. they are not diversified like AMD and intel, so they cant take long sustained hits and absorb the shock with other revenue sources. being lean doesnt always give you an advantage. this is why companies like toshiba, sony, ibm, fujitsu, etc are such beasts.

Re:Well, DUH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538467)

The reason ATI tended to be crash-prone is that most game makers tended to write their code on nVidia hardware, only testing on ATI just to see if it works. So, bugs that are caught early on in the development stage with nVidia based graphic cards are likely caught in late beta, if that on the ATI side.

Re:Well, DUH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538581)

The compelling reason is and has always been price. Even in the years when AMD chips outperform Intel offerings, the former is still half the price of the latter. Intel quite simply overcharges for their product, and true to the Apple effect, people attribute an exclusivity of performance to that premium: it costs more, so it must be better. Consumers are stupid, as evidenced by this and every person who avoids AMD because of some chipset problems experienced in the 1990s... you will only hurt yourself by trying to inject rationality into this discussion.

Re:as long as they have enough memory. (2)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 years ago | (#41538061)

I work at a non-profit charity and many of our machines are donations from various companies. Many of these machines are 10 years old! (Granted 10 year old machines are at least 1.8GHz P4's now days) As long as I can get 512MB ram on XP or 1GB for Win 7, these machines perform common tasks such as web browsing and document writing just fine, though extra ram helps a lot if running antivirus.

Re:as long as they have enough memory. (1, Informative)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 2 years ago | (#41539065)

I work at a non-profit charity and many of our machines are donations from various companies. Many of these machines are 10 years old! (Granted 10 year old machines are at least 1.8GHz P4's now days) As long as I can get 512MB ram on XP or 1GB for Win 7, these machines perform common tasks such as web browsing and document writing just fine, though extra ram helps a lot if running antivirus.

I understand that capital availability is a tough spot in non-for-profits but please consider buying a Kill-A-Watt and evaluating whether this strategy is costing you more money in power bills than it would be to buy a more modern efficient machine.

For light-duty machines that you can ensure are put to sleep when not in use, this almost never helps. On the other hand, for labs that run 10 hours a day, saving 200W by switching from a old 300W desktop to a modern 100W one saves you 1KWH = $.50 a day and so a $300 investment pays off in 2 years.

Re:Well, DUH. (-1, Flamebait)

outsider007 (115534) | about 2 years ago | (#41538139)

Horseshit. If 2x cpu doesn't amount to an extra $500 of productivity for you then you're more like my grandmother than the average slashdot poster. Upgrading your hardware every 2 years is a no-brainer for anybody who actually makes a living from being productive on a computer.

Re:Well, DUH. (4, Insightful)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | about 2 years ago | (#41538171)

You can play most modern games these days because they were designed to run on six year old hardware.
Namely the PS3 and XBox 360.

When the new consoles start popping up you can bet that your old rig will need updating.

Re:Well, DUH. (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41538687)

Bingo. Though considering developers are still fleeing the console market, and PC's are the new golden egg again. This might be changing all for the better. 10 years ago, 12 years ago, 14 years ago, it was gaming that drove PC hardware sales. Remember the near constant CPU wars over speed, scaling, battle to reach 1ghz with air cooling? Yeah. The near constant battle for 3d accelerators, slap a couple of pci voodoo 2's in SLI mode with your matrox card and awayyyyy we go! Then it got dirty, ugly, and really interesting with nVidia and ATI getting into the all in one 3d accelerator market.

But alot developers saw the cash cow or thought they did, and believed that consoles would that selling their souls out, would save them at the end of would make it all work out. Yeah...worked for...uh ID right? Who are they owned by now anyway? Bethesda. If EPIC wasn't making engines they'd be toast as well. I could mention a few other studio's too.

Re:Well, DUH. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#41538567)

Depends on the software.

Games right now are mostly pegged to the consoles, so if you have a reasonable capable Dx9 machine or anything upgraded after that (Dx10 or 11) you can run pretty much anything. Next year or so when we start seeing new consoles we'll see if the next major upgrade cycle needs Directx 12 class hardware (not yet in existence) or if the current crop of dx11 will be good enough.

Lets have a quick glance at the system requirements for borderlands 2:
OS: Windows XP SP3
Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor
Memory: 2 GB(XP)/ 2 GB(Vista)
Hard Disk Space: 13 GB free
Video Memory: 256 MB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 /ATI Radeon HD 2600
Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible

In other words an 8800 series card from Nov 2006 can run the game, probably reasonably well (the 8800 is about 8x faster than the 8500). That will even run black ops 2, which has made press for requiring dx10.

For every other piece of not exceptionally high performance software computers reached good enough with Windows Xp SP1 and it's a matter of convenience, and what versions of things you're most familiar with rather than hardware. SSD's, and hardware that takes full advantage of an SSD is awesome, but it doesn't completely transform what you can do on a computer.

Not enough price difference between AMD and Intel (-1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41537883)

Except for the brand-new high profile chips, there's not enough of a price difference between AMD and Intel prices to justify using anything but the real thing. None of us wants to roll out a whole floor of machines only to find out that the AMD machines we spec'd have some incompatibility or another, not when for $50/machine wholesale we could get Intel chips instead.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537911)

I've been using AMD for well over a decade and I've never once seen a program that would work fine on an Intel CPU but malfunction on an AMD. I call FUD.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

MarioMax (907837) | about 2 years ago | (#41537965)

I've been using AMD for well over a decade and I've never once seen a program that would work fine on an Intel CPU but malfunction on an AMD. I call FUD.

It happens (and vice versa), but it's so few and far between it's not even worth noting.

Re:I call FUD. (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 years ago | (#41538109)

I have bad history with AMD from way back in the day when they had poor motherboard chipsets. Perhaps that is no longer the case, but why even risk it? I've also been bitten by the big Intel Sandy-Bridge chipset bug, but at least Intel recalled all of those and replaced the motherboards for free.

Re:I call FUD. (2)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 2 years ago | (#41538343)

Because the risk you speak of doesn't exist any more. The manufacturers of those excruciating old chipsets aren't in the running: as best I recall VIA only manufactures chipsets for its own products, and SiS got out of the motherboard racket altogether. AMD's chipsets are good, reliable, and feature-competitive.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538573)

1- ok so you just got your drivers license and you feel old?
2- just because it was more of a problem before you were old enough to type, doesnt mean that in modern day industry you constitute a simple random comprehensive study in hardware science with your angry birds computing habits
3- if i am wrong about your age or your computing habits that just makes you more lame

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538697)

What the fuck are you rambling on about?

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 years ago | (#41538835)

I can give you an easy example. On Lego Star Wars II for PC, in coop mode, if you are using an AMD CPU and both players change screens at the same time, it will lock up the entire game. This does not happen on Intel chips.

I have a lot of friends that work as game testers at gaming companies and they HATE AMD chips. In fact, they don't even test the AMD until the Intel work perfectly and then they only fix about half the AMD-specific bugs.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 2 years ago | (#41539113)

Citations beyond a single allegation would be helpful, here.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (5, Interesting)

Alioth (221270) | about 2 years ago | (#41537973)

For 64 bit you have it the wrong way around - it's Intel who are AMD-compatible (that's why many operating systems still call the architecture amd64, since the x86-64 architecture was from AMD, and not from Intel - Intel being forced to follow AMD when their bet on Itanium failed). So if you want the genuine article for 64-bit, then you ought to be buying AMD.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41538279)

when their bet on Itanium failed.

But ... my HP rep tells me it is a fine architecture with a long future!

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538931)

I remember working at an arbitrary job back in 2004 and having an Intel rep actually show up out of the blue for 3mo straight trying to promote us into Itanium arch. At the time I didn't think anything of it, but looking back on it, I feel that that was the marketing strategy.

"Quick! Get the sales force on the road! Stop at every business you can and sell them these chips that are filling up our warehouses!"

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41537977)

Well, this is another reason: FUD.

In 64 bit world, AMD *are* the real thing.

There are no AMD compatibilities that I've ever heard of, except perhaps for the lack of a F00F bug.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538017)

I was trying to figure out some logic here, if I pay you $50 dollars, and I legally counterfeit a fiat monetary unit and print 30:1 dollars I would have 30* $50 = 1500 * 50 = $75,000 profit for every dollar the fuckig muppets flobber over.

Intel is my #1 favorite. AMD is not to be kicked out of bed. I also like nano, and arm (well not the spying part) Hell I still have a fucking plastic 4004!

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 2 years ago | (#41538029)

FUD.

I can't think of ANY time when an AMD chip could not run any x86 software. Nice try, Intel Shill.

Re:Not enough price difference between AMD and Int (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41538097)

Seriously? Is this really a problem anymore? I know in the 80's you could experience issues like that, I'm not sure I even had problems in the 90's. I am asking honestly and without sarcasm, are compatability issues still an issue today?

Buy AMD (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#41538167)

Sorry, but your CPU lore is outdated. AMD CPUs are compatible nowdays. Further, since AMD invented x86-64bit, Intel has even played catchup in many areas. The new and current AMD Trinity APU is a really good value, it beats Intel in bang per $ gaming performance (CPU+GPU) for example.

Gigapros (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41537927)

Anyone else having problems with GigaPros hosting? All servers are down. Anyone have a Linux hosting vendor they'd recommend?

Re:Gigapros (1, Offtopic)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#41537953)

Anyone else having problems with GigaPros hosting? All servers are down.

So they were using AMD processors?

Whats unhealthy about that? (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41537935)

AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena

Whats unhealthy about that? Virtually no CPU purchasers are going to be CPU limited, if a 5 year old CPU currently does everything the average user needs, then a 6 month old one for half the price should be massive overkill. So your best economic move seems to buy a 6 month to 1 year old AMD processor for half price and spend the savings on something that actually matters to the user experience, like graphics card or high res (higher than clunky 1080) monitor, or a decent keyboard like my model M, or larger SSD, or ...

Re:Whats unhealthy about that? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 2 years ago | (#41538133)

Until you bump into an unoptimized game that barely can use two cores. Yap, they are still out there. SC2, Total War series, WoW, ......

Re:Whats unhealthy about that? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538353)

Until you bump into an unoptimized game that barely can use two cores.

Yap, they are still out there. SC2, Total War series, WoW, ......

To be fair, Star Control 2 is pretty old and back then dual CPU setups were mostly limited to server situations. I think the fan recompile [sourceforge.net] might be better about threading.

Re:Whats unhealthy about that? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41538163)

Whats unhealthy about that?

Not unhealthy for you .. unhealthy for AMD. Those fancy 6 month old CPUs don't design and build themselves - well at least not until after the singularity.

Re:Whats unhealthy about that? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538205)

It's unhealthy that AMD is forced to do so while Intel is not under such pressure.

Re:Whats unhealthy about that? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#41538751)

I think you're putting the cart before the horse here, AMD isn't lowering prices to give you a great deal they're lowering prices because consumers don't think it's worth the price AMD is asking for. Right now AMD doesn't have a CPU they can charge $200+ for except their server line Opterons. That's not good for AMD and in the long run it's not good for the consumers either. Their APUs are quite okay but I think AMD is setting themselves up for a squeeze as Intel and ARM clash in battle for domination of the new mobile devices, the competition there is going to be intense.

Changing World. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41537937)

The PC landscape is changing.

Your chips need to be fast, or they need to be small and mobile.

Back in AMD good days, People bought PCs for different reasons, You had the Power User who got as big and fast as they can afford, you got the budget PC where you buy a PC not for its speed but because you need a cheap Computer. Laptop/Notbook computers were the ultra mobile devices, and they were much more expensive than a PC.

That isn't as much the case anymore.
If you are going to get a cheap Computer, you are going to get an iPad, or a netbook, that gives you mobility, you are going be less likely to buy a cheap Desktop. If you are going to power you are going to get it with the fastest chips. AMD has been lagging so they can't compete there either.

Cheap Desktop CPU that under perform are not going to sell well, because the new Ultra Mobile Devices are at a price point where it competes with the cheap PC.

And power consumption, (1)

Robert Frazier (17363) | about 2 years ago | (#41538165)

Desktop CPUs towards the low end work fine for what I do. However, I now take power management into account in a way I never did before. For example, my main desktop uses a core i3. The CPU speed and built-in graphics are fine. What sold me on it was the power use profile. Similarly for a router/nas/etc that I recently built using the DN2800MT motherboard. What finally sold me on on it was the low power use. When I was looking at components, it seemed to me that Intel was much better than AMD when it came to computing power vs power consumption.

Best wishes,
Bob

Re:And power consumption, (1)

paraax (126484) | about 2 years ago | (#41538447)

I've been an AMD purchaser for years. As mentioned previously when you look at cost of processor + cost of motherboard the best performance per dollar is almost always in AMDs favor for low-mid range systems. At this point, however, the difference in the power used between comparable systems is getting harder to ignore. For a system that is on all the time there is a big difference between an Ivy Bridge 65 watt and a Phenom II 125 watt. And while that is the max, the idle states have a similar gap.

I really would like to buy AMD if anything to avoid the above situation where Intel has no true competitor. That is good for no one. But unless intel gets arrogant and raises its prices before its done driving AMD out of the desktop chip arena, I don't see a way for them to recover.

Re:And power consumption, (1)

Life2Death (801594) | about 2 years ago | (#41538793)

Its a shame too. Around the AMD Athlon X2 era they were ahead of intel in every way. My dual-core Athlon X2 was faster and power sipping at 45W where intel was at 95W for their crappy Pentium D's. AMD lost its way somewhere, heres hoping they get it back.

Re:And power consumption, (1)

Gravatron (716477) | about 2 years ago | (#41538941)

The problem was Intel throw their massive fortune into the mix, and created the Core cpu series. AMD never really had an answer, and quickly lost the performance crown. They never regained it after that.

Re:Changing World. (3, Insightful)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about 2 years ago | (#41538323)

I have a llano laptop and it has been working great for me. I have gone back to school to become an engineer and I run various engineering programs that are GPU accelerated. On battery power this thing stomps on the intel chips since it can do GPU acceleration on battery power. In some operations it is hundreds of times faster while still having good battery power.

Also with web browsers and other office types apps getting gpu accelerated a decent igp is good for performance and battery life. Sure you can turn on a dedicated gpu while on battery power but your battery won't last long doing that.

Depends on the consumer. (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#41537941)

Bad for some consumers, but not others. The others being those who can figure out to buy AMD machines.

You can get cheap, high peforming AMD machines which is great.

Have you seen the price of a Quad socket 6100 or 6200? You can get 48 or 64 decently performing cored and 1/t TB of ram for about £8000, with top end cores. Backing off a bit, you can get one for aroung 5 06 6k.

The value is astonishingly good.

Maybe marketing could help some (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 2 years ago | (#41538015)

Most of my friends and relatives are non-techie people. A lot of non-techie people have the perception that AMD is cheap junk. Amongst my techie friends, a lot of us use AMD. It's all I buy because I feel very strongly that somebody should support it and I'm willing to be that somebody. I've been able to convince my brother (non-techie) that AMD is OK to buy, but I also know non-techie people who will pay more for Intel merely in the perception that it's "better" somehow. Intel used to advertise on TV and AMD never did. Maybe AMD could use some ads to at least give the perception that they are a player. And some wins where a big player uses them would really help.

AMD is now a GPU company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538021)

Theit x86 processors are now a sideline. Yes they helped with 64-bit adoption but now it is standard in Intel as well.

Re:AMD is now a GPU company (1)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | about 2 years ago | (#41538257)

yes and they did not really do well with the 7xxx roll out of the video cards,
they are really good on integer GPU programming but Nvidia beat them with FP GPU programming.
if you want games perforce then it's down to NVidia
if you want bitcoin then it's down to ATI video - though this is going be be hit BIG time by asic mining in the next 6 months - AMD need to take note on this as they will not get more sales on this unless someone can come up with a good Multiscaler general GPU programming solutions [and tasks]

down at the bottom end it's all ARM chips [arm all the way down?] and they are moving up to take the middle ground...

I suggest AMD look at making a CPU / GPU / RAM / single board very small form factor computer in a plug type thing.

my work here is done

unhealthy (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#41538149)

There's an "unhealthy competitive landscape" throughout our economy. It's because ineffective and insufficiently-enforced regulations have created an economy that is tilted toward the top.

First we need a Justice Department that will bust some balls. The entire Fortune 500 should be facing anti-trust prosecution, and those cases could easily be made to stick. CEOs and entire boards of directors should be facing criminal prosecution.

Ah, but none of that is going to happen as long as corporations are "super-citizens" that have unlimited ability to influence, not just elections, but legislation at every level of government. Now we have corporations sponsoring voter suppression laws ("This Law has been brought to you by the fine people at Massey Energy"). How clear can it be?

Why isn't it good for consumers? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41538197)

Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year.

Surely that's the market working. You can pay more and go with a market leader or pay less for an alternative. This gives you a reasonable choice in the lower price market between a newer Intel budget design or an older AMD one that has decreased in price - or an AMD budget CPU and change for a flat-panel screen!

OK - I understand now (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41538243)

Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year.

Surely that's the market working. You can pay more and go with a market leader or pay less for an alternative. This gives you a reasonable choice in the lower price market between a newer Intel budget design or an older AMD one that has decreased in price - or an AMD budget CPU and change for a flat-panel screen!

Having read TFA I see that what happening is that AMD processors are not living up to expectation, which is why they reduce in price quickly. This means that Intel has little competition and has no incentive to reduce its prices, which is why it is bad for the consumer. I understand and would like to redact my previous comment!

Re:Why isn't it good for consumers? (2)

jandrese (485) | about 2 years ago | (#41538607)

The reason Intel's prices have not moved much is because AMD is failing as a competitor. Bulldozer has problems, and the Core iN models are just kicking their butt. Intel can afford to charge more because they've got a better product.

Re:Why isn't it good for consumers? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41539035)

Even Intel's OLD processors are holding value. I have a Core 2 duo system I was considering upgrading to Core 2 quad, but their cost - new or used - is almost the same as it was when they were released 4 years ago.

For example the Q9550s released at $369 [anandtech.com] and now sells for around $300 [google.com] .

I guess you could argue the high resale value makes it very cheap to own so long as you remember to sell it a few years later.

is Apple the largest CPU maker now? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#41538381)

Their iPads and iPhones together outsell every other brand of computer. Apple uses its custom A4/5/6 brand of chips for this.

Even if Intel still beats Apple, it is not growing as fast as Apple. Intels anemic Atomic chips arent that great.

I never write Intel off. Like Apple both have immensely clever hardware engineers.

Re:is Apple the largest CPU maker now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538559)

Not really. They make the most profit, so in one sense "outsell".. but don't sell the most units. Android machines, for example, eclipse Apple machines if you consider quantity alone.

Re:is Apple the largest CPU maker now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538705)

You can't grow forever. Growing speed is a very poor metric.

You're right to not write Intel off. They handle themselves extremely well when they've got the motivation to do so.

AMD is the best value (2)

bastafidli (820263) | about 2 years ago | (#41538565)

I buy and use AMD simply because it is the best value for the money

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_value_available.html [cpubenchmark.net]

Microcenter or Fry's throws is also cheap motherboard. For $90 you can get top performing AMD CPU and motherboard. My 4 core AMD supports 3 way multiseat and runnning 4 X11 sessions on Ubuntu 12.04 just fine. Match that Intel.

Re:AMD is the best value (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | about 2 years ago | (#41538755)

Don't confuse them with the facts!
I agree, AMD still holds a price to performance lead - though there are lots of aspects that are concerning. Just not concerning enough to me. Or... you can buy Intel and support their comfy profit margins, market segmentation of features and vPro technologies.

Re:AMD is the best value (1)

bastafidli (820263) | about 2 years ago | (#41538913)

Dont even get me started on upgrade path where Intel changes the socket so often that it is hard to keep up and you not only have to change the CPU but also the motherboard. My latest Intel (yes I have both :-) used LGA 1156 which was replaced with incompatible socket LGA 1155 soo after. That means that I cannot reap benefits of decreasing prices (if any such decrease would happen) without incurring additional cost of upgrading motherboard.

With AMD and AM2/AM3/AM3+ socket evolution I am able to purchase better motherboard and lower cost processor and then upgrade as prices decrease.

My experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41538615)

AMD is fine for games, so I never worried too much about sticking with Intel.

However, their purchase of ATI is....disappointing because I've always hated ATI video cards. They never work as well as NVidia because the drivers are absolute suck.

Newer AMD motherboards aren't supporting SLI anymore for obvious reasons.

So I'm back to Intel because I use NVidia GPUs exclusively. However, my i5-2500K is not noticeably better than my Phenom II X4 955 despite costing more.

Bottom line: If you care about maximum performance, go Intel. If you care about price, go AMD. If you're a gamer go AMD. If you're a gamer that prefers NVidia go Intel.

Re:My experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539001)

FUD or uninformed?
There's *plenty* 9xx chipset AM3+ boards that support SLI.
No FM1 or FM2. Reason? Nvidia refuses to license SLI on anything with integrated ATI/AMD graphics.

Intel increases performance-per-dollar (1)

default luser (529332) | about 2 years ago | (#41538617)

Hardcore AMD fans like to point out that Intel hardly ever reduces prices on chips, and they always conveniently ignore the fact that Intel is constantly increasing the performance-per-dollar at every price point. For example, the desktop "around $200" price point has seen the following since 2007:

2007 - Core 2 Duo E6300 - 1.87 GHz
2008 - Core 2 Duo E8400 - 3.0 GHz
2009 - Core i5 750 2.6 GHz - upgrade to quad core and turbo boost!
2010 - Core i5 760 2.8 GHz
2011 - Core i5 2500 3.3 GHz - major increase, also gets integrated graphics for the first time
2012 - Core i5 3570 3.4 GHz

So the prices are set when they are launched and stay that way, but this is because Intel has a complete planned lineup and does not need one chip to step on all the others. Instead, Intel replaces their entire lineup every year ot two, and each replacement bumps the performance-per-dollar up.

Even without AMD around to push things, Intel is forced to do this because the PC market is saturated, so they can't sell the same-old-thing on the low-end and expect people to upgrade before their computer breaks. And since Intel has a comprehensive lineup of processors, today you can buy a CPU with TWICE the processing power of that 2007 Core 2 Duo E6300 plus integrated graphics for under $50! [newegg.com]

I don't really see a problem here. AMD served their purpose keeping the market moving forward a decade ago, but now they are not needed.

Re:Intel increases performance-per-dollar (1)

gooner666 (2612117) | about 2 years ago | (#41538741)

Really?? See what happens to Intel prices the minute AMD goes out of business. Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.

intel too expensive (0)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about 2 years ago | (#41538643)

AMD is still a great company. The FX-8150 beats intel i5 and i7 cores to some test's and vice versa. Last chip was a core2duo and it ran fine but my phenom ii x6 runs a lot more apps on my machine plus virtual box without my system coming to a crawl. Sorry, don't want to piss $200-$400+ on an intel cpu than can beat an amd in compression by 1 or 2 minutes or run games 10-20 fps faster.

My phenom ii x6, in heavy use such as gaming during summers i get 49celcius total chip and 32c each core. Now, i get 40c total and 25c each core, for gaming. The lowest total core temp i had was 25c when it get's a little chilly outside. It's not that bad when it comes to temperatures. Plus I'm using a big ass heatsynk and fan.

I will no longer be buying intel chips, too damn expensive.

I just saw the opposite (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41538711)

I have an old, first-gen Mac Pro (and no, I didn't pay for it - it was free, secondhand; I made it an explicit goal to get it back up and running without giving a cent to Apple, and I succeeded).

I recently looked into upgrading it. Xeon processors seem to *plummet* in price after a few years. Processors that once cost upward of $2000 now cost $40 on Newegg, with free shipping. Some go down to $20 if you count dodgy-looking Amazon prices.

Now yes, Xeons are only "desktop processors" for myself and a few others who use Mac Pros to browse Slashdot and play Minecraft.

Add FPU Units to Bulldozer/PileDriver (1)

BrendaEM (871664) | about 2 years ago | (#41538917)

AMD's Integer core idea was novel, but perhaps adding another FPU core to each unit would have made a difference in Cinebench. They need work of their scheduler as well.

Apple should buy AMD (2)

mkaushik (1431203) | about 2 years ago | (#41539089)

They can get AMD for chump change right now. Fits well with their model of being vertically integrated. They could pump some money into AMD and get them to improve their x86 processors, and then dump Intel. They could get the GPU division of AMD to make a mobile GPU for their mobile products. And AMD's CPU engineers would come in very handy for custom ARM CPU design for mobile.

The solution is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41539091)

Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers of Intel's CPU's.

TFTFY.

So stop buying Intel CPU's, already.

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