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Intel's Sales Down, Current Gen of Products Weak

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the ouch-indeed dept.

249

DoctorBit writes "According to an article in EETimes, Intel's processor sales dropped 52 percent this April as compared with April one year ago. Unit sales dropped 21 percent and prices dropped 40 percent. The article concludes with an industry analyst's assertion that 'Intel has obviously given up on making any money on their current generation of processors and has started a price war with AMD.' The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Intel has just put several of its money-losing communications businesses up for sale and notes that 'it remains to be seen what Intel will do with its other money-losing businesses, Itanium microprocessors and flash memory chips.' The article quotes an industry analyst saying 'If you look at Intel today, it's hard to find a trace of the technology or the people that they spent more than $10 billion on.' Ouch."

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249 comments

This will change (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481238)

When the 2 Core 2 Double Duo comes out.

Re:This will change (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481419)

This is all fine and dandy but does anyone know if AMD's sales changed in the opposite direction? If they gained, you can say something, but if they didn't -- what could be said might go something like ... consumers are bored of new computers.

Re:This will change (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481508)

Now if only there would be some place where you could find an answer to your question. Maybe even the linked article.

Re:This will change (-1, Redundant)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481434)

Possibly, but the consumer will be waiting for 2 Core 2 Double Duo SX. 16 cores, but only 2 working until you plug in the 2 Core 2 Double Duo DX2 coprocessor.

Falling for their own hype (4, Informative)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481275)

It's not just that their current gen is weaking, they are actively hyping a product that's coming in a few months. That marketing tactic might cause some buyers to delay in their AMD purchases, but it will surely hurt Intel sales more.

OTOH, if Conroe really performs well, we might actually see the first big step upwards in performance for any mainstream desktop CPU in the last year or so.

Re:Falling for their own hype (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481887)

Conroe does do so. I read an article that put up the AMD's next gen FX-62, against Intel's Conroe, and it scortched it in basically every field, and by a significant margin. Even price!

I was impressed with the study and hope that Conroe lives up to the hype it got through these trial runs. I'd love to see a souped up set of processors come back from Intel, and bring them back into the field of efficient processors.

Chi

Partially True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481891)

Yes, Conroe and Merom aren't due until July and August respectively, but Woodcrest server chips are due in just over two weeks.

Marketshare (5, Insightful)

3p1ph4ny (835701) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481277)

Although it's good that Intel has lost some of their marketshare, we'd better hope this Conroe thing turns out to be as good as promised. I hate to see AMD and Intel just switching places... competition is good for everyone.

Re:Marketshare (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481364)

That's like hoping Vista turns out as good as promised. Sure competition is good, but someone always has to be on the losing side... and it might as well be the side you don't like :-)

Re:Marketshare (4, Insightful)

Borland (123542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481564)

I doubt that they will simply "switch places". Even if they do switch marketplace positions then AMD has a long way to go in production capacity. Heh, I am a fan and a stockholder (very minor) of AMD, but it will take years to pull ahead of Intel in absolute terms.

Besides, useful competition simply means having someone nipping at your heels. One does not have to be neck and neck with a competitor to spur innovation.

Re:Marketshare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15482124)

Well, if the initial benchmarks are accurate, AMD may have something to worry about when Conroe launches. It looks like it's going to deliver.

Why April sales fell. (4, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481285)

Sells in April fell thru the floor because Intel stuffed the channel in Feb and March.

Question - when did Intel hire SpongeBob and Patrick to start naming their processors?

Re:Why April sales fell. (1)

miller701 (525024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481937)

Question - when did Intel hire SpongeBob and Patrick to start naming their processors

The Sesame Street group (286, 386, 486, Pentium one two three four) retired. After all they've both been at it about the same amount of time (intel 1968, SS 1969)

Naming (4, Insightful)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481287)

Their naming convention needs to be more user friendly. The average consumer has no idea what a Pentium D processor is but they could understand that a Pentium 4 was better than a Pentium III. It's all about marketing to the masses in this over-saturated market.

Re:Naming (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481375)

If pentium 4 was better than pentium III why are they going back?

Re:Naming (1)

deficite (977718) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481597)

Oh, it just gets on my nerves when people say stuff like that. They're NOT going back to the pentium III, the Core processors are based on Pentium M which is more similar to PIII than P4. It's because the whole point of NetBurst was to be able to have super high clock speeds. Reality did not match up with spec, so NetBurst was a failure. If power consumption didn't go through the roof so quicky, NetBurst would've been extremely fast. I'm writing this on an Athlon XP 2000+, so no, I'm not an Intel fanboi. I'm not anybody's fanboi. The truth in the matter was that I was planning on upgrading this year to an Socket 939 Athlon 64 3700+, but held off when I heard about AM2 coming out. I never looked into Intel because I had gotten so used to their crap. I then read THG's article on the Pentium D 805 overclocking and I got a little interested in Intel. While AMD's prices are shooting straight up now (I got this Athlon XP 2000+ because it was so darn cheap when it came out and was one of the fastest things on the mid-range market at the time), Intel is actually cutting their prices and there's so many examples of Intel having higher performance per dollar. I think Conroe is going to kick AMD in the butt, a kick AMD needs. I think AMD has gotten a little arrogant being on the top on the performance per price, but now are flip-flopping. I think this time it'll be different though, because AMD is going to work their butts off trying to beat Intel. AMD's 4x4 is evidence of that. But it seems like AMD's answer for everything now is buying fancy, shiny new hardware that makes your system more and more expensive. Their answer for EVERYTHING is buying high-end things just to compete with Intel. SLi memory is the only way to actually get full performance out of your RAM, you have to buy dual-core to get any performance anymore out of AMD (oh, and BTW, the Athlon 64-X2 3800+ is such a ripoff. I don't remember what Pentium D it was, but Intel had a dual-core chip that outperformed it for over $100 less), their new plan for performance is buying TWO outrageously prices X2 chips (same approach the graphics cards makers are taking) and a bunch of coprocessors, and I heard AMD is switching sockets AGAIN next year. If I'm not mistaken, Core 2 Duo is still going to use LGA 775. You can snag the cheapest Core 2 Duo for $160 as well, and it'll probably outperform most of AMD's Semprons.

Re:Naming (1)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 7 years ago | (#15482016)

It gets on my nerves when people refuse to use a simple f***ing paragraph break when they have something legitimate to say.

I think you might have had something legitimate to say, but the resulting migraine I got from trying to read your run-on comment caused me to quit reading...

Re:Naming (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#15482139)

It gets on my nerves when people refuse to use a simple f***ing paragraph break when they have something legitimate to say.

Blame slashdots UI for part it.

It drives me nuts. If the input gets set to html, and you don't explicitly put in <p> or <br> then it ignores paragraph breaks as whitespace and condenses everything into one paragraph. It drives me nuts... I've had a few of my posts get mangled by it; because I usually post in plain-text, but sometimes slashdot defaults to html for some reason. And once you submit there's no going back.

(yeah yeah... that's what preview is for... spare me :)

Re:Naming (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481396)

I say they go with an Apple-like naming scheme. The next processor will be the the Pentium 10 (marketed as Pentium X). After that will be the more popular Pentium XX and of course, the AMD-killer Pentium XXX.

Re:Naming (2, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481601)

"and of course, the AMD-killer Pentium XXX."

hmmm... wonder what those cores will be optimized for...

Re:Naming (3, Funny)

rcamera (517595) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481867)

they'll be optimized for your mother.
.
.
.
and by that, i mean that you'll be able to do word processing, internet browsing, solitaire & audio playback. they will not be optimized for gaming or 3d rendering.

Re:Naming (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481504)

I think they've already realized this and acted appropriately. Intel's new naming scheme seems to be Core Solo/Duo (or Centrino Duo) for the current Yonah chips and Core 2 Solo/Duo for the new Conroe chips. Pentium M is obsolete and Pentium D will be soon enough.

Re:Naming (1)

ystar (898731) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481589)

It's up to the users to educate themselves on what will be best for their needs and budget. If Intel releases a product billed as the Pentium 5000Xtreme, does that really provide any benefit to a prospective customer? A processor-based purchase deserves adequate research if you have specific tasks in mind; if not, the bargain PCs from Dell or Walmart will likely be more than enough unless you're concerned about future expansion. Furthermore, the P4 line has significant disadvantages to the PIII line, especially in power consumption, which is why Intel used the Pentium III architecture for their M(obile) line of processors.

No, the problem is marketing chips (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481599)

Their naming convention needs to be more user friendly. The average consumer has no idea what a Pentium D processor is but they could understand that a Pentium 4 was better than a Pentium III. It's all about marketing to the masses in this over-saturated market.

No, the real problem is that Intel is accustomed to a market where you sell specific processor brands direct to consumers, which is crazy. In a world where a $500 PC is going to be able to do 99.9 percent of anything that the average home user wants to do, that home user doesn't give a rat's ass what kind of processor is in there. Pentium M, Celeron M, Core 38 Double-D ... who cares? If their friend tells them AMD is a little better, then fine, they're going to buy AMD. Either way, all the same. All the shiny Intel Inside stickers in the world aren't going to make a bit of difference.

People see an Intel commercial on TV and they tune it out. A guy in a weird space suit? OK, whatever.

Gamers still care what kind of chip is in there, but gamers also have the option of consoles. Plus, the CPU matters a lot but the video card is the really sexy component for them. On the other hand, people who run servers might care about CPUs, but those kind of people are going to want to see real-world benchmarks.

Intel needs to get over it ... and it is getting over it. Notice how Apple Macs all have Intel chips in them now. Dumb luck? I doubt it. Intel made the kind of deal it needs to keep making to stay on target, deals that are based on a simple old-fashioned idea: You're a component manufacturer. Sell components to manufacturers of consumer goods and let the consumer-goods manufacturers do the selling to consumers. If your product delivers the performance the manufacturer needs with a good integrated suite of products around it (e.g. chipsets, drivers, compilers) at a price point that the manufacturer can afford, then the manufacturer will buy your components.

In a way, the last thing Intel needs is semi-informed consumers starting flamewars over this component vs. that component, Brand X versus Brand Y. A lot of the engineering decisions that get made in the CPU world aren't things that can be easily explained to consumers, so what you end up with is a bunch of FUD and name-calling. Intel's better off receding into the background and letting its engineering do the talking (if it's still got it).

Re:No, the problem is marketing chips (2, Insightful)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481685)

ask any car salesman. in america, horsepower sells. sure a 75HP Geo would get Mr. Guy to work just fine, but you see a lot more 340HP Chrysler 300C's on the road than your theory would account for.

Re:No, the problem is marketing chips (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481703)

ask any car salesman. in america, horsepower sells.
So why have all the chip manufacturers quit citing performance specs and begun renaming their product lines around meaningless numbers, rather than processor speed? Not just Intel is doing this.

AMD started it (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481790)

When they were trying to sell chips with a lower clock speed as equivalent to Intel chips with higher clock speeds. So, for instance, AMD claimed the 2800 was as fast as a Pentium running at 2.8 GHz. (Whether the claims were true or not is a different issue). Now Intel has a problem, because the clock speeds are less important on a dual-core chip. Or rather than less important, say not equivalent to a single-core chip.

If there were a way to claim duos had processor speed x 2 as their clock speed, Intel would do it and the chips would sell. They could be selling Pentium IV chips running at 4.8 GHz and a lot of people would be saying "Whoa, that's one fast CPU" because the number would be a straightforward comparison to older chips. Unfortunately for Intel, it's more complicated than speed x 2 and consumers are confused.

Re:No, the problem is marketing chips (1)

trentblase (717954) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481862)

In a world where a $500 PC is going to be able to do 99.9 percent of anything that the average home user wants to do, that home user doesn't give a rat's ass what kind of processor is in there.

On that note, I want to know when the promised System On A Chip computers will be hitting Walmart, etc.

Re:Naming (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481647)

I always wondered why the processor market hasn't adopted adding the year to the product name. Not that this would be easy to implement but it would add an impetus for Joe Sixpack to upgrade his "Celeron 2002". Kind of like the cachet of having the latest model in the car market.

Itanium (4, Insightful)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481288)

Itanium exemplifies the "modern" Intel; a processor that looks great on paper, but fails to perform in the real world. Marketing pushes it for all it's worth, but of course it's a cart with no wheels. Perhaps they just underestimated how rapidly multi-core processors would overtake Itanium in processing power? I realize that for certain scientific applications it's still the processor to beat, but there's no chance of it pushing down to the consumer market like the Pentium Pro's did back in their day...and that's what would have made the difference. There never was a critical mass that made people switch, and pushed operating systems to keep up.

Re:Itanium (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481515)

Strangely enought "modern intel" seems to own most of the laptop market - and not because of marketing, but because Centrino and Core Duo looked good, both on paper and on real-world performance a power consumption tests. Conroe also looks good on paper, and it pretty much seems to beat current AMD offerings in "real"-world (soon people will be able to benchmark Conroe everywhere). And without using (clever) tricks like integrating the memory in the CPU.

Just because Itanium was a failure and presscot was crappy it doesn't means that "modern intel" makes bad CPUs. The reason why Presscott existed at all was probably because something (my bet is x86-64) forced Intel to redo all their roadmap and forced them to get everything they could from their P4 architecture until their roadmap was on road again (that is, Conroe). Do you really think that Intel engineers didn't know that increasing P4 frequency wouldn't work forever and that Intel never planed a substitute for the netburst architecture? They got distracted with the Itanium, but they're not stupid.

Not so modern. (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481988)

First the Centrino is not a CPU. It is a chip set. You are thinking of the PentiumM. Don't feel too bad Intel's marketing monster caused more than one person to think that the Centrino was a CPU.
Second the PentiumM and the CoreDuo are a step back to the PentiumIII.
Yea the Core Duo may be a new winner for Intel but it all seems to point to one thing. Intel is a one trick pony. Every time they try and replace the X86 line it turns out to be a total failure. The 432 was supposed to be the next big thing way back when. Then came the i860 CPU which Intel pushed as a Cray on a chip. Now we have the Itanium. At some point the X86 will just run out of steam. At that point Intel will be in major trouble.

no (2, Interesting)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481565)

It's not a weakness in Itanium, it's the strength of Athlons/Opterons and now Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest. Intel wanted Pentium 4s to be good media processors (and they are), but they didn't want to compete against their own Itaniums, and that's what allowed AMD to steal their lunch. They have no choice but to respond with their own strong x86 processor.

It's not the weakness of Itanium that's the problem, it's apparently their ability to make any architechture fast and not just the one they want.

Re:Itanium (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481626)

Itanium exemplifies the "modern" Intel; a processor that looks great on paper, but fails to perform in the real world.

Some of us remember your "modern Intel" from the days of the iAPX-432 [wikipedia.org]. Has it really been 30 years? Tempus fidget.

Intel is a victim of success (5, Insightful)

tizzyD (577098) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481308)

They got fat, dumb, and happy on their profits and the ubiquity of the WinTel platform. OTOH, AMD has stepped up, innovated, and in places leapfrogged Intel in design, performance, and price.

Sadly, this effect happens to all large companies. They stop innovating. They instead focus on shoring up their stock and capital to keep investors happy, lowering risk, and start focusing on acquisitions to bring in new ideas and new blood. Intel is no different than any other company.

There is a solution: skunkworks new ideas. Throw time, effort, money, and brainpower at innovation, with NO guarantee of returns. Then, when new products are created, don't squash them under a controlling corporate culture. Let them grow internally, with support. Intrapreneurship does not look at org charts or worry about the bottom line as much as the next 5 years.

Welcome to commoditization.

Re:Intel is a victim of success (2)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481348)

Itanium was a 'new' idea at Intel - the problem was that if failed and cost them 5 - 10 billion dollars.

Um, no. (1)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481390)

Its their failed skunkworks projects they are selling right now! Intel does this, but have been losing alot lately. As DAldredge points out, Itanic is one of these failed projects.

Refocus on their core business, that is what they need to do.

Re:Intel is a victim of success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481429)

There is a solution: skunkworks new ideas. Throw time, effort, money, and brainpower at innovation, with NO guarantee of returns.

Which is how they got here. Itanium was supposed to be that blockbuster mold-breaker, to out RISC the PowerPC with VLIW architecture. And it might have worked, to, if only every application in the world had been recompiled to take advantage of it. They have suffered from several failed revolutions, the current P4 processors are really the work of the B-team at Intel, which is how AMD caught up (they focused on what they knew the market wanted, cheap & fast x86, they don't have teh resources for revolutions). But the market is changing again, and Core Duo/Quad/Octo will be ready to run. They just need to figure out how to sell them given their Mhz is King marketing team (who have made things worse by switching to "numbers" in lieu of Ghz...

Re:Intel is a victim of success (5, Informative)

Ancil (622971) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481464)

What world are you talking about, precisely?

Intel had profits last year of almost $8 billion versus a market cap of $106 billion.
AMD had profits of about $370 million on a market cap of about $15 billion.

That means Intel is giving about three times the return on investment.

Oh, and their newest chip pretty much squashes everything on the market, including their own current "Extreme Edition" offerings.

AMD has no viable laptop chips, while the Core Duo has been out for months. Did I mention that laptops account for the majority of new computers purchased? And that they're far more profitable that desktops?

Re:Intel is a victim of success (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481701)

AMD has no viable laptop chips, while the Core Duo has been out for months.

Turion? My dad got a Turion-based laptop, and it's great. It's fast, and unlike my Mom's Intel (Mobile P4) laptop, the fan is usually off because of the low power dissipation.

Re:Intel is a victim of success (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481795)

"AMD has no viable laptop chips"

Ever heard of the Turion 64 X2? So what if the Core Duo has been out for months? Does that mean that Nintendo and Sony should just pack it up because the Xbox 360 came out first?

Re:Intel is a victim of success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481885)

I have no idea regarding the consumer market, but I can tell you that in the datacenter, AMD is making huge inroads. When we looked at the bigger picture of power consumption and waste heat, it was clear that AMD's roadmap was closer to our own.
As for my personal choice, I couldn't care less what Intel's market share is. The technology and design behind AMD's products have legs. Intel has gotten used to telling us what we want, and unfortunately, getting it wrong.
I too, hope that Intel responds with better technology, because we, as consumers, can only benefit.

Re:Intel is a victim of success (2, Informative)

joshv (13017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481921)

Note to the financially illiterate: Profits/Market Cap != return on investment.

I could buy 100 shares of AMD at $30 for $3000 today. If the stock goes up to $40/share in a year and I sell, I've made $1000 for an investment of $3000. In the meantime, AMD might have actually lost money that year (yes, companies can lose money and still gain market cap). So in this scenario, even though AMD lost money, I as an owner of that stock, had a return on investment of 33% in one year.

The numbers I'd be more interested in would be their margins. How much profit are they making per dollar they spend?

Re:Intel is a victim of success (1)

digThisXL (252109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481942)

The OP you are replying to has an implied, good, simple point: **perception is reality.** Intel is no longer the market leader they once were.

Re:Intel is a victim of success (1)

miller701 (525024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481972)

Let's see how things end up at the end of the year. The article mentioned that intel's had to cut prices, that'll really cut into their profits.

Re:Intel is a victim of success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481505)

There is a solution: skunkworks new ideas. Throw time, effort, money, and brainpower at innovation, with NO guarantee of returns. Then, when new products are created, don't squash them under a controlling corporate culture. Let them grow internally, with support. Intrapreneurship does not look at org charts or worry about the bottom line as much as the next 5 years.

hmmm, I guess that's why you are a /.'er instead of a ceo somewhere with no time to bother responding to such inanities. Itanic was a R&D effort. i432 (remember that?!?) was an R&D effort, both of which they sunk large quantities of dollars into, both of which will prove to be net loses. While your statements sound nice, like everything else, things have to be taken in balance. You can't bet the farm on R&D and say "oh well" if nothing comes through before the money runs out, or you have to lay off half your workforce, or you have to file chapter 7 (or whatever). Sure it's easy to point to one or two successes, but the odds just don't work in your favour.

they also made their customer the enemy (2, Insightful)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481592)

There is no reason for including their "trusted computing" crap on their processors/platform.

Objects telling their OWNERS they refuse (this is more than just software suggesting that an action may be a violation of law) to do something because they think it might be illegal and secretly send private info to a mothership. What kind of BS is that? Clearly only fools would buy such a device unless they hadn't other options. And intel misbetted that customers had other options.

It's basically untrusted computing ..customers untrusted .. intel telling it's customers "we can't trust what you'll do with our products so we are going to cripple functionality".

Unfortunately AMD is buying into this BS too.

I really hope it was Microsoft that pressured them to do it. Not that it's a worthy excuse.

I'm not going to be surprised when all software has expiry dates and hardware plain refuses to run it after it's "expired". And software will of course demand that the latest newest hardware be installed. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. For safety reasons, of course.

Re:they also made their customer the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481695)

Dear idiot:
        Unfortunately AMD is buying into this BS too.
        Well you just shot your whole argument out from under yourself didn't you? See real comments have internal logic. Flamebaiters & Trolls (like yourself) have self-contradictory arguments.

        Also we all know that it was the RIAA/MPAA and their paid shills in Congress (see Fritz) that told the electronics industry to either put this crap in or Congress would legislate it down their throats.
        "Oh, what was that electronics industry? You're bigger then the RIAA/MPAA. Well I haven't seen any of your lobbyists around here and I have seen theirs for the last 75+ years. So, I think we know who Congress feels is more important."

        You'll remember that Intel filled a brief to the Supreme Court in Eldridge stating that the copyright extensions should be overturned. That went no where too.

        But of course nothing like FACTS matter to a Troll like you. Only spewing your own bile and hatred, convinced in your own self-righteousness and prepubescent narcissism.

Re:they also made their customer the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481873)

Your post makes you exactly what you are labeling the other person as, FYI.

Re:they also made their customer the enemy (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481893)

Calm down anonymous.

What's contradictory? .. I didnt say AMD was the other option. Other options = anything without "DRM" intitiatives, including older stuff. Second, it's IRRELEVANT that intel or the "electronics industry" negotiated such deal with RIAA/MPAA (do you know of when that happened?). Let Congress legislate it. The DRM stuff is so that content providers will create content for their platform, the brief they filed was to cover their ass. And finally my main point that should have been obvious is taht it's plain bad philosophy to waste time/resources pursuing something that works against customers. Instead of developing this and causing negative publicity among techs they could have improved processor speed and reduced their pricing.

I like competition above anything else (1, Redundant)

seniorcoder (586717) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481324)

It is bad for consumers when this happens. We need a healthy competition between AMD and Intel to keep prices down and performance up. When either side becomes dominant, the consumers are the only ones to suffer. Let's hope the Core Duo redresses the balance.

Re:I like competition above anything else (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481416)

It is bad for consumers when this happens. We need a healthy competition between AMD and Intel to keep prices down and performance up.

Though there wasn't much to the article, and it repeated itself. However, it gave indications that we have very healthy competition: "The average price of a PC processor in April was less than half what it was in March[...]". Intel, last I heard, still has a commanding majority of the processor market. Even if they falter a bit for a product generation or two, they have billions of dollars in cash [yahoo.com] to use to finance the next round of chips.

This article described a price war between Intel and AMD for the current product generation. Definitely good for consumers in the short term, but we'll have to wait and see how it looks for consumers in the long run.

Waiting to pull the rug out? (5, Insightful)

Sparagmei (877929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481342)

I've been thinking recently: what if Intel, realizing it had made serious errors in architecture and pricing from which it could not readily recover, decided to effectively feign death and allow its competitors to get hazardously cocky?

AMD overextending itself in an attempt to grab lots of market-share from Intel could prove very damaging when Intel 'gets it right again', such as with the Conroe exploding all expectations. An Intel offering that relies on sheer quality, rather than extortionate market dealing, could wreck AMD's edge and turn all their forward-thinking investment into a Sisyphean debt load.

Re:Waiting to pull the rug out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481546)

since when does intel have quality ? their cpus are no more reliable than amds and the only minimal advantage they had with in house board designs is gradually eroding. drunk too much intel kool aid lately ?

Re:Waiting to pull the rug out? (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481617)

You're right!

So, is AMD overextending itself and getting cocky?

Re:Waiting to pull the rug out? (1)

Sparagmei (877929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481716)

Who knows? I've heard about a big new fab in Germany, but you'd need to know a lot more about AMD's overhead/holdings/cash/stock to really say they're being fiscally cocky. My thought was more in response to people who want to say that AMD will replace Intel; I think the sheer difference in scale between the two companies makes that very unlikely. Intel's share is so much larger than AMD's, it affords interesting methods of competition, hence my idea.

Wha? (1)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481344)

Wasn't there just an article on /. yesterday that said that the next gen chips kick AMD's ass? Didn't that same article say that AMD's worst nightmare was coming true? I'm all confused now.

x86 will hopefully go the same way (-1, Troll)

ooze (307871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481350)

But I fear it won't for a long time to come. Too many companies still cranking out that shit and still buying that shit. But I just hope the current bad run of intel processors and the deadbirth of longhorn will put a death to that unholy alliance of an architecure.

Any RISC (ARM/POWER/SPARC/MIPS) Architecture, OpenFirmware (OpenBios), and any Open OS will do. And actually provide platform for competition.

Actually just openfirmware as the link between all hardware and OS ses will do.

If you look at Intel today... (4, Insightful)

frankie (91710) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481361)

...and I mean literally TODAY, you'll notice that they are presenting their brand new Core2 CPUs at Computex. I suppose it's true that you "won't find a trace" of them in the current retail channel, becuase Core2 starts shipping in 3 weeks.

That's where Intel is focusing, and that's where Intel wants their customers to focus. I bet 80486 sales dried up pretty badly right before the Pentium launched too.

Re:If you look at Intel today... (2, Insightful)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481489)

Very good point. Anyone who has seen the Core2 benchmarks wouldn't think of buying a new computer in the last 3-6 months. Core2 will quite simply blow everything away. Besides an overclocked Pentium D at 4GHZ (see tomshardware), the Core2 will provide the biggest jump in performance released by anyone since the original Pentium.

AMD currently has a lot of momentum though, when the Core2 is a huge success, it will take some time for people to realize it, and perhaps give enough time for AMD to come back with a better chip.

Re:If you look at Intel today... (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481521)


Why would a user buy a Core2 machine when you can get a Pentium D for far less money?

They're both dual core, and the D is older slower and puts out far more heat. But for most people, paying several hundred dollars isn't worth getting the Core 2.

I'm amused that Intel is now competing with their old kludges.

Did you read the article? Do you see how much sales are down in the US? It's huge.

The whole market is hurting, it mentions that AMD won't see much of a change in their income.

Re:If you look at Intel today... (1)

mycall (802802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481684)

If the D puts out far more heat, then after a few years of heavy usage, the power bill might be greater than the savings they initially kept.

Re:If you look at Intel today... (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481813)


And you seriously believe this is a selling point? Several dollars a month over several years vs. a few hundred dollars now?

Re:If you look at Intel today... (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481643)

Are you saying we can't forecast Microsoft's doom in December because December 2006 OS sales will be considerably down (to the point of almost non-existant) compared to December 2005 given that Vista launches the next month?

Next you'll crazily suggest auto retailers should drop their prices right before a new model year comes out in order to clear old stock and maintain sales.

Crazy talk.

Where would sensationalist journalism be if people like you were allowed to keep throwing the cold water of basic reason upon their arguments?

Re:If you look at Intel today... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481962)

The 486DX (and the SX at the very low end) continued to sell well for a couple years after the Pentium was introduced. It occupied the "Celeron" area of the market, and same for the 386 when the 486 appeared, and for the 286, and so on.

Intel had it coming (2, Informative)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481363)

They've been screwing over their customers for 15 years. With stuff like the spying serial number, tpa, etc, they've had an attitude of buy what we tell you or get lost. Not to mention price manipulation. They hold back each new iteration until prices slack off on the current product. AMD beat them to the 1 GHz punch because intel was holding back their own 1GHz chip to squeeze more profit. After AMD beat them, they released theirs 2 days later.

Now that it's coming back to bite them on the ass, I think it's wonderful.

Hope it turns around. . . (2)

treeves (963993) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481380)

The company I work for has Intel as its biggest customer. BTW, you guys should use Intel's new logo - it's been out since January.

New Intel Logo? Not on Slashdot! (2, Informative)

Quince alPillan (677281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481682)

Slashdot has been using the old Gnome logo for so long its becoming a running joke. They changed their logo in 2002. See the response from the Gnome foundation here. [slashdot.org]

Re:Hope it turns around. . . (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481699)

BTW, you guys should use Intel's new logo - it's been out since January.

Gnome updated their logo in 2003, and Slashdot still does not use it. Slashdot does not cater to corporate or marketing whim when choosing its logos - Slashdot liked the old one better, so that's the one it's gonna use!

After all, it's been years since Microsoft used the "Bill Gates is the Borg" logo for the company, since Star Trek is so out of vogue. And yet, Slashdot flat-out refuses to move to the new "Steve Ballmer is Darth Vader" logo that would reflect the company's modern marketing strategems.

Well Duh? (4, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481542)

Actually, I am surprised it has taken this long for people to realize that the P4 generation of products suck. I mean, for the last 3 years it has been reported that Intel hit a brick wall with the Netburst architecture and they needed to revamp their architecture before they could become competitive again. Each new revision of the P4 architecture simply prove that point, where even the P4EE CPU's with their $1000+ price tags fail to outperform $300 CPU's from AMD. New chips based on the Pentium 3/M architecture proved only to be able to offer decent performance per watt, but still failed to outperform AMD in most benchmarks.

I am also surprised that it has taken Intel so long to realize this. Even today, they are still flogging the P4 architecture. With the Duo Core CPU's out, you can't even buy this as a desktop system yet, and they are set to release the Duo Core 2 CPU's later this year. Intel should have scrubbed ALL products with the P4 architecture and simply moved forward to their Core architecture.

Anyways, I will once again be an interesting time in the CPU market as Intel releases their next generation products. Initial reviews seem positive that Intel has something that can compete against AMD, and this will only motivate AMD to produce new technology (AMD has been stuck in a rut as of late). A price war is necessary as CPU prices are staying far to high these days as neither company has really been in competitive form. AMD has locked the gaming market and Intel has the business market locked, these are two non-competing markets, and both companies have pretty much set their price lists accordingly.

I don't care who makes the next best CPU, I am neither an Intel nor AMD fanboy, I want a system that performs well for the money. Its been AMD for the last 5 years and if Intel finally puts their money where their mouth is and actually delivers a product that offers good price/performance/power features, I will switch back to the Intel platform. Just, its about time Intel started focusing on RELEASING their next generation architecture to the masses and stop talking about it.

Re:Well Duh? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481768)

"With the Duo Core CPU's out, you can't even buy this as a desktop system yet,"

Hmmm. The Intel iMac sitting on my desk seems to prove you wrong.

Intel has been #2 for a long, long time. (4, Interesting)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481543)

For the last 5-10 years, (Really since the Athlon was released) AMD was indisputably the price/performance king. Hands down, no competition. During most of that time, they had the fastest chip on the market, and they were consistently cheaper than Intel at every price point. Intel only kept its market share high using artificial means, by exclusivity contracts (*cough* Dell *cough*) and by spreading inaccurate FUD about AMD's potential compatibility issues. I personally NEVER had a SINGLE compatibility during that time, and I used AMD's on dozens, if not hundreds, of computers. Finally, after 10 years, Intel's complacency has finally caught up with them. AMD has always had a strong connection with the geek community, but after all this time, the word has finally gotten out to the mainstream, and Intel is losing market share FAST. If the largest PC manufacturer didn't have an exclusive contract with them, they would be a distant second (or third) in the chip race right now.

Ironically, if their roadmap is to be believed, Intel may have just begun a genuine turnaround. They already have 65mn fabs running at higher capacity than AMD, and they are near to bringing 45nm fabs online, which AMD has not done. Also, for the first time in a number of years, Intel actually has a production chip that looks to be genuinely faster than AMD's best offering. (Although it costs an arm and a leg.)

The question really is, is it too little, too late? One thing's for sure, the competition is great for the consumers. :)

To the wholesalers? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481563)

I haven't seen much of a change in the retail market. http://www.pricewatch.com/cpu/ [pricewatch.com] I do think it is ironic that AMD is beating Intel to the market with new processors. Considering just before the K8 came out Intel made the statement to the effect "AMD has never done anything but copy our designs".

http://www.pricewatch.com/cpu/992016-1.htm [pricewatch.com] vs. http://www.pricewatch.com/cpu/992208-1.htm [pricewatch.com]

Re:To the wholesalers? (1)

caldaan (583572) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481875)

And guess what, back then Intel correct. The chips even had Intel's watermark in them still, AMD didn't even bother to take it out. AMD certainly deserves credit for x64 and much better processors since, but back then AMD quite literally copied Intel.

Competition and Concurrent Programming (2, Informative)

rabun_bike (905430) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481715)

Intel designed the "ultimate" microprocessor - on paper. They might have been successfully in forcing every software company on the x86 instruction set to recompile but AMD saw the weakness in their strategy. Yes, x86 is weird, arcane, backwards, and messy. The instruction set is rooted in late 1960s and early 1970s computing. But, it would cost millions if not billions of dollars for the companies dependent on x86 designs to completely ditch the x86 architecture. AMD exploited this lack of foresight by Intel by offering a competing, well performing, backwards compatible chip to the Itanium.

All this is great news for the consumer except that there is an economic law of 3's. We need a third competitor in the space to truly get good competition. We used to have Cirrus but they died several years ago. A couple of other companies that had a license to the x86 instruction set also did not make the transition. The PowerPC and dead DEC Alpha are not options either. Ideally, if we had a third chip manufacturer I think, based on economic theory, we would see some really interesting and innovate things take place in the chip market - beyond what we currently have. And, it would be much more likely to be sustainable.

Using a backward compatible (and I mean x86 compatible) chip design is an easy decision for most technology companies. Option (a) spend millions migrating off the x86 to an even more proprietary Intel chip set or option (b) use AMD and operate on x86 as usual. Without a monopoly forcing option (a), option (b) was the clear winner. Intel has been forced to refocus their efforts and play "catch up" with AMD's new chip architecture and multi-core strategy. To make Intel's situation worse, AMD did some wonderful innovating on their. This helps no only AMD but all the programmers in the world that rely on the x86 architecture. Industry insiders are predicting the end of Moore's law. If you believe them then the free lunch is over. Chips are not going to operate at faster speeds. So, the only way to get more horsepower out of a machine would be to add more processors. But, most applications are written to run on single processor architecture. Most programmers know next to nothing about concurrent software design, testing, and development. AMDs chip pretends to be a single-processor machine while dividing tasks with multiple cores. Coding to true multi-processor systems is not only difficult but it is also not supported well in any language. For those that think C# and Java is the answer to concurrent programming, you might want to read what Herb Sutter has to say on the issue.

http://www.gotw.ca/publications/concurrency-ddj.ht m [www.gotw.ca]

Re:Competition and Concurrent Programming (1)

indigodotnu (980236) | more than 7 years ago | (#15482092)

>Most programmers know next to nothing about concurrent software >design, testing, and development.

Huh? You mean bad programmers know nothing about the above.

>AMDs chip pretends to be a single-processor machine while dividing >tasks with multiple cores.

Umm no, AMD doesnt pretend it IS a symmetric processor with multiple cores. The way the operating system handles these cores does not differ on the hardware. You have have the same behaviors of threads and processes on a dual core opteron as you do a dual Pentium-Pro.

>Coding to true multi-processor systems is not only difficult but it is >also not supported well in any language.

And you obviously havent done either as a basic understanding of how an operating system handles processes might make you change your mind on all you wrote here.

Go AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481748)

my stocks will be happy.

What Intel, AMD & co Fear the Most (1, Interesting)

MOBE2001 (263700) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481800)

Intel, AMD, TI, Sun and the rest have all been banking on a technology that has not changed in a fundamental way in more than 150 years. Computing has been based on the algorithm ever since Lady Ada wrote the first "table of instructions" for Babbage's analytical engine, a computer built out gears and rotating shafts! The fear among the big processor vendors and IP holders is that some unknown entity may come out of nowhere and surpass them with a superior software/hardware technology, one which is not based on the algorithm. Indeed, a non-algorithmic, signal-based synchronous computing model would solve the biggest problem in the industry: unreliability. The first company to take advantage of this new paradigm by securing the necessary IP, will leave everyone else in the dust and be in a position to dictate the future course of industry for decades to come. There are still a few big surprises waiting to happen in this business. The revolution is not over yet.

Re:What Intel, AMD & co Fear the Most (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481896)

I call bullshit!

Your post made me laugh, though.

Probably not a price war, more likely fire sale (2, Insightful)

MoJoJoeJoe (892212) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481808)

If sales were unexpectedly slack in April, Intel would have built up excess inventory. With Core2 impending, they would need to bleed excessive previous generation parts off in hurry. Excluding coercive tactics, the one of the best ways to get sales quick is price cuts.

The price cuts probably have little to do with competitve reasons and are more likely operational.

Oops, just relized the pun. Funny anyway.

Dropping sales means customers are better educated (1)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481818)

Just as BJZQ8 stated, just because Intel touts their processors as power CPUs, doesn't mean that when put under the microscope they're performers. Customers have websites like Tom's Hardware, and hundreds more to watch the reviews of new products. I personally don't believe the hype. For example, back in the days, I purchased one of those 486 processors that had the math error. Intel knew about the problem before shipping, but decided to sell them anyways knowing it wasn't likely to be an issue with the hope customers wouldn't find out or care if they did. Boy, did they ever take a beating for that.

Since then, I haven't bought a Intel and been using AMD because I can get similiar performance for around a hundred-two hundred dollars less than an Intel. I always read the reviews, and watch the performance charts, then decide which is the better product for the $.

Besides, when was the last time you saw an ad from AMD on TV touting their products? Do blue-painted guys really make your computer run faster? How about funky-envirosuited dudes with disco backgrounds? A cute bell-sounding jingle with a flashy-swirly logo? How about a solid performing product that sells itself? Intel has something to learn from AMD.

Intel processors are cheaper (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15481991)

Since then, I haven't bought a Intel and been using AMD because I can get similiar performance for around a hundred-two hundred dollars less than an Intel. I always read the reviews, and watch the performance charts, then decide which is the better product for the $.
Intel's processors these days are MUCH cheaper than an equivalent performance AMD chip. And the power consumption of the new C1 stepping 65nm Pentium Ds (900 series) is actually quite good. The past couple months have brought a lot of change to the price/performance landscape. The next generation of Intel chips is going to change the landscape even more. When Conroe is released, AnandTech is saying [anandtech.com] that you will be able to get a dual core Pentium D 805 for just $93.

What's Dual Core? Does Joe Public know? (3, Informative)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481848)

Working in a computer shop, I rarely get people asking for a specific processor. If anyone actually comes with a definite spec they'll say how much memory they want, how much hard disk and so forth. The actual CPU rarely comes up unless they're seriously into gaming. And everyone I've had come in looking for a Pentium doesn't know the difference between Pentium and Pentium D. They just know that Pentium is apparently a good thing to have, but don't know more than the word Pentium. If we had any Pentium 2s still kicking about I could probably sell them that and they'd nod 'Ooh, Pentium, yep, that's good' without being aware of the distinctions between the chips.

Flash will never go (3, Informative)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481868)

Intel will always make flash memory. Flash provides an ideal platform for verifying a fab process and/or facility. The reason is that it consists of huge arrays of identical transistors in a grid, with a relatively small amount of additional circuitry. This makes it very easy to find and diagnose bad ones. It may not be a big business for them, and they may always lose money on it, but it remains an important part of keeping a handle on the process.

A bad transistor (or contact or whatever) on a microprocessor can be very difficult to track down. Pass/fail testing is pretty good on them, but actually identifying the source of the failure can be really tricky and time consuming.

Why Buy Now (3, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481876)

Intel's processor sales dropped 52 percent this April as compared with April one year ago.

And seriously folks, why would you buy a 32-bit only, non-VT enabled, hot running, substantially slower Intel chip today if you can possibly delay until Conroe comes out?

Heck, even if you don't want a Conroe Core 2 Duo 64-bit VT chip, the prices on the old stuff are going to drop through the floor. Golly, they're already through the floor. How about drop to the center of the Earth.

An Intel PC -- including all Macs -- is just not a good buy today with the next generation so close at hand.

Current Gen of Products Weak... (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15481910)

It's not a current gen, it's a filler between last gen and next gen.

And their marketing and branding sucks. I still have no clue which Core Duo chip is supposed to be fastest or whatever. So I just don't buy.

Way to go Intel.

Core Duo = Duo Price (2, Interesting)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#15482086)

When my server supplier switched to the Duo format from HT, the cost of my servers went up 250 dollars (Double the CPU cost). Consequently, I moved manufacturers.

I still stick with Intel procs in my servers (AMD X2 at home) for stability reasons (Troll me if you must) but NFORCE (IMO the only really stable AMD system)support for a 1U rack mount server using Linux has been a bitch for me to find.

I'm out buying up P4HT procs as fast as I can get them.

As Intel keeps jacking prices, I keep looking at AMD to be my saviour from price gouging.

Offtopic (3, Informative)

tetabiate (55848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15482098)

Reading Slashdot news has become a pain in the *ss after somebody decided to use the ugliest and smallest fonts available.
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