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What Went Wrong for AMD's AM2?

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the hindsight-is-perfect dept.

318

An anonymous reader writes "When AM2 was first announced it seemed like it was going to be a guaranteed hit. After all, this platform would be moving the tremendously successful socket 939 into the future with its use of DDR2 memory, a greatly increased memory bandwidth, hardware virtualization, and a number of exciting new CPUs. Despite everything AM2 had going for it, this includes a dedicated enthusiast base and a tremendous amount of pro-AMD spirit at the time, the new platform has largely been dismissed by consumers. The question now is, what happened? How did AMD go from record growth and being the darling of enthusiasts to having a new platform which failed to impress?"

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What went wrong? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242313)

What went wrong with AMD's AM2?

Core 2 Duo?

Re:What went wrong? (3, Interesting)

Tavor (845700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242325)

Ah, but it is more than Conroe Duo. But to make a very quick summary of the article, it is this: cost.
The cost of replacing a 939 system with AM2 doesn't justify the price point.

Re:What went wrong? (0, Troll)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242553)

What went wrong... with TFA? Perhaps they can't afford an editor? Some examples (emphasis mine in all):

"Despite everything AM2 had going for it, this includes a dedicated enthusiast base and a tremendous amount of pro-AMD spirit at the time, the new platform has largely been dismissed by consumers."

"Where did things go wrong for AMD, a company that was on a legendary upswing, during which it could seemingly do no wrong."

"They were clearly unable to do so (or did not intend to) so most 939 owners were never inclined to upgrade"

"This is just simple economics, as in it does not make sense to invest the money in going with AM2 when consumers can get a 939 computer for less."

And many others; I just ran out of patience. I apologize for my grammar nazism, and I am prone to making lots of mistakes myself, I admit; also, many of these aren't actual mistakes but just bad style. However, if you want your articles to be taken seriously, make sure they are polished beyond that of a high-school student's blog. Regardless of content, the writing here is so poor that I am surprised/disappointed that this was posted on Slashdot.

Re:What went wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242939)

I can't believe nobody's made an A2M joke yet.

Article reposted (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242319)

Before it gets slashdotted, or if you don't want 3 pages with ads -- here's most of the text.
--
Before we get started it should be made clearly that despite what people may say, AM2 does make for a capable computer. We took a look at an AM2 build based on an Asus M2N32 SLI motherboard not too long ago and were happy with the system. The disappointment in AM2 is not a result of its failure to perform, but rather the failure to match the performance gains seen in the move to the K8 platform. Our testing has confirmed what the industry at large has found to be true- the move to AM2 should bring performance gains of about 3-10% when compared to socket 939, with an average increase below 5%. This is what we would comfortably call an "incremental" performance boost, but nothing more.

So what happened to AM2? Where did things go wrong for AMD, a company that was on a legendary upswing, during which it could seemingly do no wrong. Even with reasonable pricing, a well-timed release date, and high availability AM2 was unable to take off in a way that was commensurate with its potential.

1. Conroe
An appreciably part of the success of sockets 754 and 939 were due to a colossal blunder on the part of Intel: Netburst. This architecture was kept around since 2001 and was always being improved in piecemeal, rather than simply being replaced. The whole episode was capped off by an unimpressive dual core architecture that was kept alive practically on price alone. During this time (754 came out in fall 2003 and 939 came in early summer 2004) AMD did their homework and put out the impressive but short-lived socket 754 and then 939.

But the landscape was changing by the time AM2's release date was announced. Intel had released its Core architecture and the word had begun to spread about Conroe, what would come to be known as Core 2 Duo. Early benchmarking by a number of hardware sites not only let consumers know that AM2 would be a slight performance increase, but that Conroe would be a dramatic one. By the time AM2 was available Core 2 Duo was one of the most highly anticipated processors of all time and AM2 was the "also ran". There was no way that AMD could compete with Intel's marketing clout, regardless of the performance or previous successes.

2. AM2 is setting up AMD for the future
As good as 939 was, it could only last for so long. AMD had to start to look towards the future, which meant moving to DDR2 memory, increasing the availability of memory bandwidth, launching a platform for improved chipsets and the like. Improvements must be done in stages: Socket 754 brought 64-bit, 939 brought dual core, dual channel memory, and mass acceptance of PCI Express video, and AM2 would bring us DDR2. AM2 may not be terribly exciting, but it is paving the way for K8L, AM3, and AMD's 4x4.

3. AM2 is confusing
Unless you follow the processor market closely, AM2 can be confusing. The naming convention "AM2" or "M2" is much different from 754 or 939 and a little investigation reveals that AM2's socket uses 940 pins. As you may recall AMD has already has a socket 940, it came out along with 754 and was used for Opteron and high-end FX systems. Despite the numerical similarity AM2 and 940 are extremely different and are not compatible with one another. Once consumers get past that they will have to figure out the processor they want, more than a few of which have the same name as their 939 counterpart.

4. 939 was too great
OK, a platform can't perform too well, but the success of 939 meant that in order to top it AMD would have to do bring something really innovative. They were clearly unable to do so (or did not intend to) so most 939 owners were never inclined to upgrade. The strong performance of 939, the availability of cheap processors and great motherboards, and the overclockability of most systems meant that convincing people to upgrade has been difficult. A new system would require a new motherboard, memory, and a CPU in the very least, possibly more if the user was upgrading from a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP. For much less money it would be possible just to move an existing 939 system to a dual core processor or add more memory to get a performance increase of a few percentage points.

5. The cost factor
This is just simple economics, as in it does not make sense to invest the money in going with AM2 when consumers can get a 939 computer for less. This is the case for consumer who are looking to upgrade from an older computer. While the price difference between AM2 and 939 is not huge, the introduction of a something new has inevitably caused a drop in the price of the older gear. DDR memory and 939 motherboards can be had quite cheaply, while quality DDR2 memory and AM2 motherboards have yet to see any significant discounts. The upside of AM2 is that it is more future-proof than 939, but given the current rate of CPU progress this is great a factor as it otherwise could be.

Conclusion

The AM2 situation can be seen from any number of different angles. While some people see it as a failure to step up when faced with a formidable new architecture from Intel, it would probably be more accurate to see it as an incremental performance increase. Like 754 before it, AM2 is best seen as a preparation, a step between one goal and another, not a failure.

What does this mean for consumers? AM2 remains a viable option for people who are looking to upgrade from an older platform, especially if performance is not a key area of concern. Intel's Core 2 Duo and upcoming Core 2 Quad have taken the hearts of performance seekers and grabbed most of the headlines in doing so. AMD is going to have to take a back seat for enthusiasts for the time being, at least until they have proven their performance in the quad core market.

For those among us looking for good value or a quality system that is a lot of fun to use AM2 is a solid choice. These computers overclock well, the dual core processors can finally be had for reasonable prices, and they should be able to hold their own for some time. It is speculated that AM3 processors will be compatible with AM2 motherboards, so when it is time to upgrade these computers should be able to change with the times.

So where did AMD go wrong? The fact of the matter is they did not do all that bad with AM2. When paired with a great chipset like the 590 SLI you can get a very capable computer and when paired with something cheaper the system has good bang-for-the-buck. The problem of course is that 939 is cheaper and Core 2 Duo performs better, so AM2 has largely fallen short of expectations. Perhaps people expected too much and in the future we will all be glad AM2 was what it ended up being, but for now Intel is making up a lot of lost ground. AMD has high hopes for the upcoming quarter, but the dominance they saw during the last two or so years may not return any time soon.
--

Re:Article reposted (2, Interesting)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242519)

how about the opteron ? X64 is where it's at, I'm running a whole bunch of them and nothing intel will sell you at a reasonable price comes even close.

they're cool running, very stable and debian etch runs like a charm on them (I had to fiddle a bit to get sarge running on them, especially mysql).

Re:Article reposted (5, Interesting)

evanjfraser (1007315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242585)

Well, the Woodcrest is spanking the opterons at present, I just got done benchmarking the new AMD chip vs the Intel woodcrest for PRMAN and Shake rendering and the AM2 is between 20% slower and 50% slower for what we want to do and the Opteron 280's are about as fast (core for core) as our aging 2.8GHz Xeons

To add to that, our reliability record for AMD systems is mindblowingly shocking. Having purchased 65 Dual 280 Opterons, we've had problems with ~60% of them.

Re:Article reposted (2, Interesting)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242623)

our reliability record for AMD systems is mindblowingly shocking

I'll agree with that, a lot of the early opteron boxes we bought at $JOB-1 had problems - I think that Tyan rushed out the motherboards in the Black Box Servers and they were not very robust. That said, Black Box Server's build was quite poor too.

Re:Article reposted (3, Informative)

jean-guy69 (445459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242627)

From which manufacturer these systems came from ?

Here we have 8 dual-processor server with two opteron 265 each, 2 dual-processor servers with opteron 244. Everything was built by a local integrator using good "made-for-servers" components like tyan motherboards..

These servers are used in different sites, often under suboptimal conditions, some of them had to run with a 35+ C ambient temperature for several days.

We haven't seen the beginning of a hardware problem with any of these servers.

Yes sample is small compared to yours, but i'm impressed. I must be terribly lucky if you had a 60% problem rate and I had 0%.

Re:Article reposted (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243147)

I've been running a dual opteron server for around a year now, doing web, database and middleware stuff. All components were bought and assembled in house, running a Tyan Thunder motherboard. Not so much as a hiccup. Not exactly a grid, I know, but just thought I'd throw in my 2c.

Re:Article reposted (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243291)

Huh, sounds like the whole thing can be summed up with "Intel was better and cheaper."

Nothing went wrong. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242327)

Why should anything be wrong with the AM2 platform?
Nothing.
It is just an evolutionary step for the AMD.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (2, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242635)

Indeed. I really dont get the point. AM2 is simply a platform change; basically just a couple of lines drawn differently on the motherboard. And a new memory standard that's just not that big a deal (and, iirc, the reason it was a big deal at the Socket A introduction was that ordinary SDRAM performance really sucked and nobody wanted to touch RDRAM with a ten foot pole even if they could afford it, creating a huge up market demand for that specific change).

The only consumers who have a reason to care at all about AM2 are people who look to standardize on a single platform for multiple upgrades, with the advantages of interchangeable components that brings. Separated platforms like 754/939 stink for that as you cant mix cheap and higher performance components, which makes AM2 a much better choice. But really, it's not that'll amount to that many.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (4, Interesting)

dc29A (636871) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242709)

Indeed. I really dont get the point. AM2 is simply a platform change; basically just a couple of lines drawn differently on the motherboard. And a new memory standard that's just not that big a deal (and, iirc, the reason it was a big deal at the Socket A introduction was that ordinary SDRAM performance really sucked and nobody wanted to touch RDRAM with a ten foot pole even if they could afford it, creating a huge up market demand for that specific change).

I am not sure if the memory standard isn't a big deal. It probably helped Dell adopt AMD, since they need same memory (DDR2) for Intel boxes, so Dell won't have to have 2 suppliers for memory.

This new memory might help also with quad cores and beyond. Right now the single/dual core AM2 is not bandwith starved (tests give DDR2 an edge of 3-5%), but that might change with quad cores and beyond where HT and faster memory could supply the cores where Intel CPUs might starve with a shared bandwith of 1033 or 1333 MHZ.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243007)

"This new memory might help also with quad cores and beyond."

True, and if AMD had waited with the platform upgrade until memory starvation did become an issue, the newer motherboards would have had a greater advantage compared to the old ones. So, complaining about the incremental nature of the change and lackluster performance increase means complaining about AMD being proactive and adressing the potential problem before it becomes serious.

I suspect some reviewers are a bit bored and are just fishing for hits, because as far as I can tell, if AM2 isnt living up to expectations in some particular fashion, it's the expectations that are off, not the actual hardware.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242725)

Well, it might have been a let-down for AMD, but for my new box I did pick a socket AM2 motherboard, for the reason that apparently socket 939 wasn't going anywhere, which meant I would be stuck with a 3800+(?) processor until I changed motherboards.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (1)

maubp (303462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242823)

I'm running a dual core 4600+ in an socket 939, and you could also buy the 4800+ today as well. So no, you wouldn't be stuck with a 3800+ processor if you had stayed with your 939 mobo.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (1)

Cctoide (923843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243041)

The thing is my previous motherboard wasn't Socket 939, it was a Socket A VIA KT400. 939 was a possible choice for the new box, which ended up being AM2.

Re:Nothing went wrong. (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243255)

The memory standard is not a big deal yet, because the old DDR standard with 2 channels (Socket 939) is good enough for the current dual cores. But as TFA says, it is an investment in the future because with quad cores the demand for more bandwidth will come.
I think introducing AM2 would have become necessary anyway, and it was smart of AMD to do it a few months ago while they still had the lead in performance. Pushing such a change to market would be more difficult now, because people have better alternatives (hello Core 2 Duo).

What went wrong? (1, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242331)

The same that is wrong with Linux. You can have /. full of fan boys but if it doesn't delivers, it just is ignored by those who have a life.

2 things: price / speed, speed / power consumption (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242335)

Which leads us to intel core duo or whatever it's named (their naming scheme confuses like hell).

Re:2 things: price / speed, speed / power consumpt (2, Insightful)

ggy (773554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242527)

(their [Intel] naming scheme confuses like hell).
And AMDs doesn't? "AM2", "4x4", "x.xGhz+" ? (Okay, so the last one had a point, but still!)

Re:2 things: price / speed, speed / power consumpt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242813)

The last one didn't even exist, you just made it up.

Re:2 things: price / speed, speed / power consumpt (2, Informative)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243149)

Admittedly, 4x4 is dumb. I would consider that to be a quad-processor machine with 4 cores each. But they consider it a dual-core dual-processor machine.
AM2 is, I believe, the socket type. You know, instead of A,754,939,LGA775 (Intel).
x.xGHz+ is something you made up. They had xx00+, which was used for marketing so people knew what it compared to in an Intel processor, since their processors ran at lower clockspeeds than the Intel competition.

Re:2 things: price / speed, speed / power consumpt (2, Insightful)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243277)

4x4 is a direct loan from car industry. You have a jeep that uses 4 wheels to crawl around, it has 4x4 written on it, do you assume it has 16 pulling wheels ? It doesnt say 4 times 4 cores, it says 4x4, it's an expression, not math, it's time to get over it :)

  Anyway, i'd like to know where this article author lives, he claims that he can get DDR rams cheaper than DDR2, while in most places where i'm checking out, it's pretty much the other way around. Whatever x86 i will acquire as next will have at least DDR2 in it, there is no point to go for DDR & S939 anymore, the memory price just undermines it's cheapness.

  However, what i'd would like to see (and to what amd will say "in your wildest wet dreams") , would be AMD Geode , running on DDR2 memory and consuming 15W power for the cpu and 60W for the whole machine. Fanless ofcourse :)

The very short summary... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242337)

...is that Athlon64 performed suberbly on DDR memory. Hence, the move to DDR2 is a lackluster. Now that DDR2 no longer has the price premium it did, AMD needs to come up with a new CPU architecture to take advantage of it. Or maybe more or less skip to DDR3 anyway.

Re:The very short summary... (2, Interesting)

slaida1 (412260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242483)

For me AM2/DDR2 is disappointment because it eats into the one thing Athlon64 was and is still, despite DDR2, superior over Intel's offers: low memory latency. DDR can't be run as high clocks than DDR2 but has lower latency, DDR2 feels like oldschool "MHz is everything" piece and AMD dumped DDR for it? Intel changed their game with huge caches and suddenly inegrated memory controllers don't matter anymore because there's so much cache. AMD is going to be left in the dust again unless they can offer something that's faster than what Intel has. And no, multiple cores aren't right kind of faster, that trick didn't save 3dfx and it won't save AMD.

Asked, answered. (5, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242347)

How did AMD go from record growth and being the darling of enthusiasts to having a new platform which failed to impress?"

Question asked, question answered. It failed to impress, and they let Intel jump ahead.

One only has to look at the seesaw video card wars between ATI and NVIDIA to realize the truth. The people who care about such things are a fickle lot. Let one or the other realize a huge gain in performance and odds are that most people--even "loyal" customers--will jump ship in a second.

And if you don't care about such things, then... well, you don't care. So there's no demand, and you might as well have a hamster cage inside the box.

Re:Asked, answered. (4, Insightful)

Jekler (626699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242629)

When I was younger, I had (misplaced) loyalties to certain brands. Now that I've matured, I realize that AMD, Intel, ATI, NVIDIA, Microsoft... none of them have actually done me any favors. In the past I was loyal to AMD, ATI, and 3DFX - it was like I had some kind of "underdog" complex. I have come to understand that these companies are the technology equivilant of Nike and Reebok. They want us to be fanatical and pick sides like they're our friends, but they're not friends, they just want cash. With that in mind, I no longer pick my processors or video cards based on brand loyalty. I study some benchmarks, examine some price comparisons, and go with the winner. There are other companies, like many GNU/Linux developers, GNU/Linux distributors, and Google, that HAVE done favors for me and that actually warrants loyalty. But for all those companies I'm paying for a product, they've got me only as long as theirs is the best.

Re:Asked, answered. (3, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243313)

It depends on why you have brand loyalty. Personally, I prefer nVidia stuff because all the ATI gear I've bought has had annoying driver/software problems. I have loyalty to nVidia, not because I think they are better in some abstract sense, but because based on past experience, their products have delivered more of what I'm looking for. Same for AMD; I used to buy AMD because, again, based on past experience, I could get a similar performance from a cheap AMD cheap as an Intel. All other things being equal (cost, price, performance, etc), I am more likely to go with a brand to whom I'm loyal - but they've got to have earned that loyalty by having a history of quality products. The important thing is to realize why you have loyalty to a certain brand, and be willing to re-evaluate your position when the quality of the brand you favour starts dropping.

Re:Asked, answered. (1)

henriquemaia (733518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242897)

Let one or the other realize a huge gain in performance and odds are that most people--even "loyal" customers--will jump ship in a second.

Except if it is A certain hardware/computer brand.

Three words (4, Insightful)

oskard (715652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242355)

CORE 2 DUO.

It just did, really, really, unexpectedly well. It is a good processor and has changed a lot of peoples opinions about the processor market and AMD's (and Intel's) competitiveness. I appreciate the fact that Intel, the top dog, is still willing to put up a fight and compete in price, performance, and power in a market that they already dominate.

Re:Three words (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242431)

CORE 2 DUO.

Actually, that's only two words (and a number).

Re:Three words (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242869)

Core 2 Duo > incremental change. Seriously, that's pretty much it. AMD got caught with a platform change that added little benefit to the consumer and Intel came out with a big whooping stick. Now, everyone's waiting for 4x4, etc.

THREE LETTERS (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243131)

A M 3

So, what's gunna happen to your motherboard when you want to upgrade?

Dug

What Went Wrong for AMD's AM2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242373)

Nothing, (yet).

Slashdot starts bitching about it with Intel ads surrounding it... But who cares...

Core 2 Duo Happened (5, Interesting)

Alereon (660683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242381)

AM2 really is an excellent platform, it consolidated AMD's Value, Mid-Range, and High-End market segments into a single platform. The reason it's not viable in the larger market-wide Enthusiast, Performance, and High-End segments is simply that Core 2 Duo rapes it. If you're already considering spending the money for a higher-end Athlon 64 X2 or FX processor, you can move to a Core 2 Duo-based platform that will destroy the AMD options performance-wise by a margin that is nearly unprecedented while still providing good power and heat usage. Basically, if the market was perfectly rational and had no transition times, all systems would be AMD AM2-based until you reached high enough prices that it was cost-effective to use a Core 2 Duo, and the P4 and Celerons would be merely a bad memory. AMD's aquisition of ATI helps it in this regard, as ATI has been making some chipsets that are very reliable, very fast, and rather inexpensive. ATI definitely has the best integrated graphics solution in the laptop market, and AMD's Turion 64 X2 is more competitive here than the Athlon 64 X2 is in the desktop arena.

Re:Core 2 Duo Happened (3, Informative)

gnuber (605327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242583)

ATI definitely has the best integrated graphics solution in the laptop market
Not if you, like many Slashdotters, run Linux. In that case, Intel's open source graphics drivers are a no brainer [com.com] .

Re:Core 2 Duo Happened (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243057)

Unfortunately you then have to put up with Intel's binary and proprietary Regulatory Enforcement Daemon.

Re:Core 2 Duo Happened (1)

trynis (208765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243329)

What does that daemon have to do with integrated graphics? I thought it was wireless networking that needed that daemon.

Re:Core 2 Duo Happened (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242711)

ATI definitely has the best integrated graphics solution in the laptop market

ATI can't write drivers, not to mention their almost complete lack of support for anything not Windows.

Oh Woe is AMD! (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242385)

I found the article a bit desperate to be honest in trying to portray some sort of honeymoon period being over for AMD. So AMD have released a product that wasn't in itself bad, but just didn't have enough gains about it over what had gone before for people to really go for it. So what? This just means that what went before was pretty damn good, isn't goint to be improved on much and is going to be hard to beat. For Intel, of course, beating what had gone before wasn't hard at all ;-).

The only major gains AMD are going to make is when they shift to a new 65nm process and then kick off a newer architecture from there.

It's because Vista, 2007, and HD video (5, Insightful)

A Wise Guy (1006169) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242389)

Currently, my pc runs fast, i can do everything I want on it and easily. Plus I am running an amd 3200. I have not been willing to update anything because my pc runs just fine. If I upgrade now, vista is around the corner and also unreal 2007. I want to make sure I can run the game when I get it. I also have not forked out for a new video card since I am running AGP. The last card I can use to upgrade my rig to play at least the current flock of games nicely is the 7800gs+ agp. This pc is going to become a Linux box to run unreal 2007 and I have no intention of updating until i see some benchmarks. at the moment, it runs just fine just like every person I know who owns a pc and does not wish to update. There is also HD video playback, HD video editing, currently, people are asking me about this and I keep telling them the technology is coming and there is no reason to update because your pc needs to be hdmi ready which current new brands and video cards are just barely getting into it. Current flock of technology is no reason to upgrade and most people I know are still making rediculous payments for the current pc's to lowsy dell and circuit city.

Re:It's because Vista, 2007, and HD video (1)

bloodredsun (826017) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242559)

Great comment. Lucid, full of common sense and a fine reality check for all those companies who tell us we HAVE to upgrade, when actually our current systems can easily run 99% of what we do.

But seriously, you must be new to post something like this on /.!

writeup? wtf? (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242409)

Despite everything AM2 had going for it, this includes a dedicated enthusiast base and a tremendous amount of pro-AMD spirit at the time, the new platform has largely been dismissed by consumers. The question now is, what happened? How did AMD go from record growth and being the darling of enthusiasts to having a new platform which failed to impress?

well, the article itself answers this question in the first paragraph:

The disappointment in AM2 is not a result of its failure to perform, but rather the failure to match the performance gains seen in the move to the K8 platform. Our testing has confirmed what the industry at large has found to be true- the move to AM2 should bring performance gains of about 3-10% when compared to socket 939, with an average increase below 5%. This is what we would comfortably call an "incremental" performance boost, but nothing more.

By design? (1)

lightyear4 (852813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243135)

Seems to me that the article was written this way by design. It is (in somewhat silly fashion) regarded as the "upside down pyramid" style of composition. Via [technocrat.net] :

Write in an "inverted pyramid" style. That means that the most important fact goes in the first sentence, then the second most important fact, and so on followed by facts of progressively diminishing importance. This allows the reader to get the most from any story without necessarily reading the entire story. When the facts reach a level that isn't important for that particular reader, that reader will click the "next" button.

By this measure, it seems the style worked.

hmm (2, Interesting)

Alfius (886617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242411)

Intel could sell super computers at half the price of AMDs budget range and I'd still never run my main gaming machine on an intel. I don't care how good conroe looks its still supported by old chipsets (NF4 usually) and as far as I know has issues with SLI due to dodgy old chipsets. AM2 is the future, as a platform its superior in all but the processor front and as mentioned in the article I believe that AMD have many more tricks up their sleeves with the AM2 before they move to another socket. Intel seems to have all or most of its cards on the table already. Truth be told it will be interesting to see what happens but my money is metaphorically and literally (since I bought an AM2) on AMD

Unfortunately, AMD is now hooked up with ATI (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242677)

I'd still never run my main gaming machine on an intel.

Those of us keen on running mainly open-source software (and hence OpenGL graphics) were quite neutral on the AMD vs Intel debate, because both manufacturers gave us the same amount of (neutral) support for graphics, but sadly this will now be changing against AMD.

Using OpenGL *FULLY* is pretty much impossible with ATI, since they only implement a popular subset of it, and even that is done badly so that there's quite a bit of glitching. Many OpenGL game devs have complained about it in forums and made representations direct to ATI, but ATI just don't care, as OpenGL is for them only a minority interest.

And now, AMD has effectively merged with ATI as far as development is concened. It would seem that this pretty much puts paid to use of AMD hardware for intensive OpenGL games in the future (although simple games will probably continue to work). ATI's very strong links with Microsoft for Xbox 360 means that ATI will continue to keep their OpenGL vastly inferior to nVidia's, and it's likely that AMD hardware will work much better with ATI graphics hardware because of their joint design.

In summary, AMD doesn't seem to have much future at all for intensive OpenGL users (the Second Life client comes to mind). This opposite conclusion contrasts strongly with yours.

Re:Unfortunately, AMD is now hooked up with ATI (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242821)

One can always hope that this will change with AMD's influence.

memory bandwidth? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242413)

I remember reading that the reason for the slight performance increase is memory bandwidth: the current DDR2 simply isn't muchfaster than top of the line dual channel DDR. I forgot where I read it, as well as whether the problem was intrinsic to the RAM or whether it was a bus limit problem (seems to be unlikely ...).

<AMD fanboy mode on>
Of course, any and all of these 'problems' will disappear once AMD gets their 65nm process on track, and starts ramping up clockspeed
</>

VHS vs Beta (4, Interesting)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242427)

Conroe (VHS) gives you more for less than AMD(Beta)'s superior Hypertransport and on-cpu memory controller. Conroe entirely stole the thunder of AM2, and consequently AM3.

When you can get a Core 2 Duo E6600 and have it crush an FX-62 and at a fraction of a FX-62's price... It's the same formula as always, price to bang. You get more bang with 939, or go straight to Core 2 Duo.

You could always argue time. AMD folks are used to living a long time on a socket type. 939 was only around about a year before AM2 came, whereas 754 and the previous socket 7 were very, very long lived. In another couple years, maybe AM2/3 will pick up steam, but it's too early.

Re:VHS vs Beta (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242523)

``When you can get a Core 2 Duo E6600 and have it crush an FX-62 and at a fraction of a FX-62's price... It's the same formula as always, price to bang.''

Does Intel actually win there? I mean, it's not just the CPU, you need a motherboard that supports it, too. How do the prices of complete systems based on E6600 and a comparable FX stack up?

Re:VHS vs Beta (5, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242913)

Motherboards vary by about $10 for comparable features. Seems like the AMD fanboy is just grasping for straws here...

Core 2 motherboards start at $46 (Newegg; VIA chipset) and Athlon 64 FX AM2 motherboards start at $47 (Newegg; SiS chipset).

A motherboard with an Intel chipset can be found at $66, while a AM2 motherboard with the nForce 410 can be found for $57.

The cheapest SLI board for Intel costs $78 (rebate). The cheapest SLI board for AMD costs $85 (sale). Their original prices were $97 and $95 resepectively.

LGA775-compatible CPUs start at $45 (Celeron D 326). Dual core CPUs start at $90 (Pentium D 805). Core 2 Duo CPUs start at $180 (Core 2 Duo E6300).

AMD AM2 compatible CPUs start at $41 (Semprom 64 2800+). Dual core CPUs start at $153.

Summary -- Intel motherboards are usually within a few dollars of an AMD equivalent. Budget CPUs start within a few dollars of each other. Intel dual core is cheaper. Core 2 Duo is $27 more expensive than the cheapest AM2 Athlon 64 X2, but faster.

Meaning that that Core 2 Duo E6600 still crushes that FX-62.

Re:VHS vs Beta (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243071)

Thanks for the info. By the way, I hope you weren't calling me an AMD fanboy...the reason I asked is that I didn't know, because I don't keep up to date with hardware prices.

Re:VHS vs Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16243213)

I was referring to any AMD fanboy in general.

Re:VHS vs Beta (1)

Snover (469130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242689)

You're thinking of Socket A, not Socket 754. 754 was actually the shortest lived of the sockets.

Has it? (4, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242433)

It would have been nice if they could have started by showing some hard sales numbers to back up their statement that it is "being dismissed by consumers". I don't have any special love for either company, next time I'm going to upgrade I'll just pick whatever gives me the biggest bang for the buck, but when you write a whole article about "where did they go wrong", it helps your credibility if you can just quickly show some evidence that they HAVE gone wrong.

Especially since many online hardware sites tend to be pretty low journalistic standards, and pretty high on drooling fanboyism.

A few main reasons: (2)

Brane2 (608748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242447)

- no real need for update. S939 and S940 were quite adequate.

- no real performance gain with DDR-2. A simple CPU socket change can't help here.

- CPU core itself hasn't chhanged much. Latest dual core model, like 285 are not that differrent from plain old 240. It has two cores, but cores per se aren't much faster or lower power than old ones...

- People have realised that all technological breakthroughs are aimed at AMD's gain, not customer's benefit. Take HT channels, for example. AMD has been showing them as the next technowonder that will change computing world and bring us cheap, high performance multiCPU systems. In reality, on 2-CPU boards it can hardly show any advantage and on 4 and 8-way systems where it does mean something prices are so high that they practically don't exist for mere mortals.

AMD is not focussing on the consumer market (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242449)

AMD has, pretty much, wrapped up the high-end market with its Opterons. All the noise about Itanium - it's turned into Opteron sales.

So now Intel has made a strong come-back on the desktop... and AMD calculates, do we make slices of silicon that sell for $100, or that sell for $1,000 and the answer is pretty clear. AMD does not have the capacity that Intel has, so it's making the most out its fabs by aiming at the server market.

define: consumers (0, Troll)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242475)

Are we talking people who went out and upgraded their processors here, or people who bought amd equipped machines?

if the latter, then it's down to manufacturers not favoring the chip, not consumers as such.

most of the people I know who regulerly upgrade bits in the box (ah yes, bask in the technical terms...) have only recently (last year or so) purchased AMD XP 64 chips, at some considerable cost. It's not like buying candy you know, people generally like to get some use out of stuff before upgrading, not just buying because new stuff is out.

It takes a while for new tech to drop in price, and then there's mindshare, how well aware are people of the product in question?

If your mates have a particuler chip, chances are you will get that one, and not everyone's flush with money, so it won't be top of the range that gets bought.

the chip I bought, an AMD64 4000 jobbie, will do me for a few years now. probably longer, since the machine will be relegated to server duty while I buy spiffy new bits for my next desktop.

No (0, Flamebait)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242481)

When AM2 was first announced it seemed like it was going to be a guaranteed hit.

No. In order to get the funding to prevent the company from being starved out of business, someone had to be told it would be a "guaranteed hit" because

a) Businesses cannot understand failure and why it is important any more
b) Businesses cannot understand moderate success and why it is important any more
c) Middle managers need someone to blame for their own fuckups

this platform would be moving the tremendously successful socket 939 into the future with its use of DDR2 memory, a greatly increased memory bandwidth, hardware virtualization, and a number of exciting new CPUs.

Oops. Powerpoint slides can't have four points. Only three allowed. Someone must be fired now. In fact, just fire the whole department.

The question now is, what happened?

Office politics. Treachery. Lying. Cheating. Irrational requirements. Unworkable schedules. Insufficient capital. Constant meetings. Constant distractions. Insistence on unnecessary documentation. All the smart people who said it wouldn't work were fired for not being team players. Brands instead of products. Concepts instead of ideas. Buzzwords instead of knowledge. Management was unavailable for explanations of why it wouldn't work because they were too busy stuffing their fat asses at the salad bar or talking about golf on the phone.

How did AMD go from record growth and being the darling of enthusiasts to having a new platform which failed to impress?"

Greed.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242603)

You're an idiot.

Re:No (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242683)

ahh... A Fine, Fine Rant!

I have no idea of it's veracity but that's never got in the way of a good rant.

Easy, two things... (4, Interesting)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242511)

1) While virtualization is immensely useful to a small number of people, it is virtually useless to most end-users.
2) While DDR2 offers greatly increased bandwidth, it does so at the expense of latency, and in many common applications, doesn't really perform much (if any) better than the 128-bit DDR memory of the socket 939 Opterons did.

When you look at it that way, other than being more "future-compatible", there aren't really any benefits to *most* end users, and if there aren't any benefits, why would they upgrade?

The Athlon64/Opteron chips were popular because they were innovative in useful ways, which gave the end user something more for his money. The AM2 hasn't kept with that tradition.

steve

Re:Easy, two things... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242707)

When you look at it that way, other than being more "future-compatible",

Which is majorly overrated. What am I missing in my fairly current machine?

1) No Dual-core. Motherboard just won't support it, no matter if you tweak the BIOS.
2) No PCI Express. Last generation AGP port.
3) No DDR2 support (not important unless I could upgrade my CPU to a memory hungrier CPU)
4) Too few SATA ports
5) Too few SATA power connectors
6) No PCI Express slots for expansion cards
7) No eSATA port
8) No SATA II support
9) No RAID5 support

The best future-proofing you can get is the money to buy a machine in the future. Chances are that by the time you're ready to upgrade, all the standards have changed. Unless there's a *very* compelling game that requires a better GFX card than I got coming out in 2007, I expect I'll get a new one in 2008. By then I expect it will have already skipped one generation and go straight for DDR3, DirectX 10 card etc etc.

Conroe (0)

snafu109 (852770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242533)

Everyone was shouting Conroe before AM2 had even been released. Budget processors? Intel are unloading NetBurst by the truckload. High performance? Conroe it is.

Platform change? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242539)

My company is based on using AMD Opteron servers. Our primary web hosting is done on a dual proc Opteron - and it's done very, very well. It, and the Linux (CentOS) OS has performed very, very nicely for us, while our company's growth has mushroomed - more than 2x growth annual. Combine Opterons and SCSI 10k drives, and the performance is nothing to sneeze at.

However, we're about to begin clustering, since load average on the primary application server is approaching 35% (with our growth rate that gives us about 6 months before customers start complaining) and we need high availability!

So the question is: should we stick with Opterons because of binary compatibility (yes, Opterons and Core Duo are binary compatible - but there's less likely a problem between Opterons than between AMD/64 and IA/64)

So, should I seriously consider jumping ship, or should I stick with it, and go with a cluster of rack-mount quad-core Opterons?

Re:Platform change? (1)

TheScienceKid (611371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242619)

I think you'll find that's AMD64 and x86_64 - IA64 is the Itanium RISC architecture.

Re:Platform change? (1)

osee (944334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242649)

IA64 isn't what Conroe is using.
That's EMT64 or sth like that. IA64 is Itanium's instruction set.

EMT and x86-64 (by AMD) are largely compatible. Not fully, but enough to make all OSes I know about to run on both without problems.

As for the platform change... We still use Intel Xeons and P4s because we are stocked to high heavens with them... around 60 servers alltogether. I just didn't want to add a 3rd and 4rth and nth platform to the mix. Once the parts we use become unavailable we will move to sth else. I'll take look then what's on the market that looks like staying around for a long time. Until that point part interchangeability is very handy when sth dies on you.

Similarly we try to use the same mainboard and memory and storage controllers all over the place.

Re:Platform change? (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242899)

So the question is: should we stick with Opterons because of binary compatibility (yes, Opterons and Core Duo are binary compatible - but there's less likely a problem between Opterons than between AMD/64 and IA/64)

Okay. Either I'm totally confused or you're totally confused.

Unless you're going to do something totally insane and buy an Itanium based system, why does IA/64 come into the equation?

Unless I've totally missed the boat (it's been known to happen), Opteron and Core Duo (and, outside of Itanium, you could basically say "any AMD chip and any Intel chip with 64 bit support" - qualifying it because AFAIK Intel still fabs 32 bit only chips) would both support x64 based OS's. AMD64 == Intel EM64T == "x64" these days (unless, like I said, I totally missed something).

So the answer is:

If a cluster of rack mount Core 2 Duos will out perform a cluster of Opterons, and you've got no other reason to pick one or the other (stabiliy, power usage, etc), they will both run "AMD/64" operating systems (I guess it's possible that a distro producer/company might compile something that would run on AMD/64 but not Intel EM64T - but that would be a bit stupid I think).

I would be amazed if your only Intel based option for clustering required Itanium based hardware. In fact, call Dell - I'm sure they'll give you something that's Xeon based that can cover x64 (which is Intel EM64T, which is bascially equivalent to AMD/64) based operating systems. Trust me, I know - I'm running two of my systems with "Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (v. 4 for 64-bit AMD64/Intel EM64T)" (copy and pasted straight from my RHN account).

Summary: AMD/64 is not strictly for AMD chips. AMD/64 is the original term for the now more generic "x64" instruction set supported by both AMD and Intel 64 bit capable chips; Intel terms their instruction set as "Intel EM64T" - but it's basically the same thing. It's the reason that there aren't two versions of Windows XP 64 bit (unless there's an XP version for Itanium, in which case I missed something). IA/64 refers only to OS/software that runs on Itanium chips - which I think the Slashdot crowd mostly agrees was a dismal failure and is dying too slow a death ... but also has absolutely nothing to do with Core 2 Duo (beyond being manufactured by the same company).

I think people missed the point a bit. (4, Insightful)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242549)

It wasn't AMD doing anything wrong, it was intel doing something right. AM2 was a natural progression from the 939. But intel came out with conroe, a low-power, low-heat-output and blisteringly fast that made AM2 look lacklaster and even worse comparing the bang per buch factor. 939 was so popular because of things like prescott (a cpu that had such a huge heat output a new case spec was required), add to that power consumption and lackluster performance (while trying to maintain the same price-point) and the 939 was hot (figuratively speaking). So where too from now? AMD have already hinted at multi-core cpu's that "look" like single core cpu's and i suspect that will be a killer feature that will rocket AMD back into the lead again, consider a cpu that has the power of 4 cpu's while allowing a single threaded application to take full advantage of it... that would be dam impressive. On a side note, anyone else find it very amusing the evolution of computing since the PC? We've swung from serial to parallel since the dawn and hopefully we will continue to.

Sick of pointless upgrading. (5, Insightful)

Conor Turton (639827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242561)

People are becoming increasingly sick of having to upgrade a large proportion of their hardware for a minimal increase in performance.

I have a AMD X2 4800 Socket 939 with 2GB of RAM. It does what I want. For me to upgrade to the next level, it's not only a new CPU but new motherboard and new RAM too and that DDR2 stuff ain't cheap if you go for the higher speed stuff to try and futureproof.

Many, including myself, are starting to see the introduction of a new CPU socket type as nothing more than a vain attempt to try and keep revenue flowing by trying to persuade us of all the benefits that these new sockets can offer which apparently the old ones can't. Two downsides to this. The first is ASROCK who have proven that the chipsets are more than up to running new sockets with the help of a low cost adapter to allow you to use the different RAM and CPU. The second is Intel who have come along with the undeniably impressive Core 2 processors that not only run on the existing 775 socket but also the i965 chipset with many boards requiring nothing more than a BIOS update to recognise the new range of processors.

So my message to you, AMD, is simple. We're sick of CPU sockets changing every 18 months. For christ sake, Socket 754 had about 6 months before it was superceeded. Slot A, Socket A, Socket 754, Socket 939, AM2 in less than 6 years with the last three having no real benefit over each other..WE'VE HAD ENOUGH.

Re:Sick of pointless upgrading. (1)

Sathias (884801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242779)

Bingo, you posted exactly the way I feel about AM2. I bought a 3200+ Athlon a year or so ago, with the intention that sometime after upgrading my Graphics card (which I have done) I would upgrade my CPU. Now that AM2 has been released, and moreso that the 939 chips have been ceremonially dumped, I do not feel as inclined to upgrade a machine which I now know is a dead-end architecture. I would prefer to save my money and upgrade to a Core 2 Duo system being that

a) Either way I will have to buy DDR2 ram and a new motherboard
b) The Core 2 Duo performs better
c) 939 chips are no longer being made
d) As a bit of a fuck you to AMD for cutting short an upgrade path I thought would be longer than it is

Point d might be petty and cynical but fuck it, thats the way you vote in a capitalist society.

Re:Sick of pointless upgrading. (1)

freddieb (537771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242901)

I have almost the exact same system. I am still blown away by the speed at times.
As far as AMD missing the mark? I don't think so except the marketing hype.
The average comsumer has no idea what an AM2 socket is, for that matter, Intel has
changed sockets as rapidly as AMD.

Personally I enjoy upgrading but it's mostly based on value. Right now like the
previous post said, to upgrade my 939,S2-4800+ and 2G ram would cost around $600.
I would gain very little from the AM2 upgrade. If I went to an Intel Core Duo..it
would be more like $700 (because of the expense of the motherboards). Just not
worth it for me.

This is like the old NASCAR Ford/Chevy/Dodge discussions. Truth be known, it takes
a really good hardware person to match up all the parts necessary to acheive the
benchmarks you see posted. If your the Roush or Hendrick equilivant, then
money is no object. All this hype is for the geeks. The average Joe goes to Best Buy
and buys the cheapest deal.

Re:Sick of pointless upgrading. (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243171)

Pfft, are AMD really peddling AM2 as an upgrade for you? It seems pretty clear to me that it's been presented as what it is; S939 with DDR2 and a few tweaks, not a must-have for every current S939 user. Using the same memory as Intel, and a memory type that has a decent future is nice, and something that's going to happen sooner or later.

By the time there's a CPU that makes an upgrade for S939 users worthwhile, I dare say DDR2 (and AMD's use of it; I dare say Quad Core will like the extra bandwidth) will have progressed to a point at which upgrading to that is also worthwhile. In the mean time it's not really a step back for new systems, and S939's still available if you want it, so.. what's worth whinging about?

AM2 vs 939 (2, Informative)

Deanodriver (962608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242615)

I think there are two reasons why AM2 isn't enjoying the same popularity as 939 systems. 1) It doesn't offer a large performance increase over 939, so those with decent 939 setups aren't encouraged to upgrade (and those that are are prepared to spend the extra for C2D). However, I do believe that will be changed a little once AMD release their 65nm core (I think it's called Brisbane), and I do believe they'll tweak the memory controller for extra performance (advantage of having it on the die). 2) Conroe. Let's face it, for a high end system, it's virtually a no-brainer. I do think that for the low end machines, the AMD product is still superior to Netburst (I built an AM2 system for my parents a couple of months back), but Conroe has pretty much wrapped up the medium-high end desktop market. Will AMD get it back? I think it depends on whether AMD can release their 65nm product before Intel releases budget Conroe-based CPUs. Once Intel release Core-based CPUs for the low end, AMD will be in a bit more trouble, IMO.

Quad core processors (2, Insightful)

mikaelhg (47691) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242625)

I know that my reticience to invest in AM2 equipment has had nothing to do with the current market situation or AMD's competitors, I'm simply waiting for the upcoming quad-core processors before I'm investing anything at all into hardware.

Re:Quad core processors (1)

Bjrn (4836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243137)

Here are some new pictures [theinquirer.net] of AMD's 65nm quad core processors.

WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242681)

Most people just read advertising, hype and Slashdot, and so maybe they deserve what they buy.

I run my own benchmarks. The AMD Turion 64 X2 runs my stuff more than FOUR times as fast as the current Intel Core Duo 2.16 GHz flagship processor (0.2 seconds rather than over 0.9 seconds, with fast being better; array floating point stuff).

So still, people think something is wrong with AMD? It sure ain't the processor. Something's wrong with their brains, that's what's wrong.

nobody really mentioned this, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242753)

I honestly think that a HUGE chunk of the people were looking at moving to a m-ATX board, and saw no advantage with the poor board designs. There are quite a few solid 939 m-ATX boards out there, so why give up what you know and love just to get DDR2 ram and some other seemingly spiffy stuff?

Now most of you will say "omg nobody buys sff motherboards" but in this case you'd be wrong. Some of the m-ATX AM2 mobos actually supported DDR ram, but, once again, they were horribly designed. They would have been the perfect AM2 upgrade, but board manufacturers failed to deliver.

Oh, and the Core 2 Duo pretty much pwned everyone with it's benchmarks and OC stats...lol

Simply annoyed with the constant socket changes (3, Interesting)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242757)

Customers and motherboard vendors alike are simply annoyed by the permanent socket changes. Sockets are hardware APIs which these days shouldn't change for a decade and not within a year or so. Besides the performance increase from 939 to AM2 is so insignificant there's no reason to switch.

IMO the best what AMD could do is scrap AM2 and replace it with a socket which is able to plug in 939 (DDR) processors and possible DDR2/DDR4/DDRx processors. Since this will take some time AMD should release any AM2 processor parallel as 939 processors, else AMD will possibly loose some market share.

O. Wyss

AM2 inside? (2, Interesting)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242879)

Intel had bit of an advertising coup in that any advert on TV for a company selling PCs (at least in the UK) seemed to have an "Intel inside" logo and jingle played during each ad.

I never saw an "AM2 inside" equivalent.

Re:AM2 inside? (1)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243175)

Perhaps it's just me, but it seems in my world they have had those advertisments all through the battles between AMD and Intel, and it's never been an issue. No, I think I'll stick with the fact that Core 2 benchmarks and hype were starting to surface right around the time that AM2 was sliding into the market. The processor being trounced by Intel in each of the "show us what core 2 can do" reviews? Yep. AM2 AMD chips. Nobody is going to bother spending money on a processor and motherboard upgrade that is pretty much functionally equivalent to their current 939 rig, which really isn't that much different from a 754 rig (close to the diffrence between the Intel LGA 775 5xx series vs the 6xx series). If they wanted AM2 to solidify a new market, they should have waited a couple of months, shrunk the fab and added enough cache to each chip to put them in the same league with the Intel folks. The reason I stopped buying AMD? I got tired of having to dig into the specs to find the chip with more cache. There is NO WAY anybody in their right mind would choose a chip that's clocked 200 mhz higher, but with 512k of cache over one with 1024k, but clocked 200 mhz lower. Can you tell the diffrence between a chip thats 2.4 ghz and one thats 2.6? Probably not. Can you tell the diffrence between a chip with 512k cache and one with 1024k? Uh, yeah.

It is just the fab process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242907)

IMHO it is simply the fact that Intel used 65nm for the core 2 duo and AMD used 90nm for the AM2....

let AMD switch to 65nm and watch the fireworks...[hopefully]....

Hands Down They Got Beat (1)

nberardi (199555) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242931)

Hand down, Intel beat AMD like AMD beat Intel back in late 1999. I really think AMD didn't push the envelope as much as they could and they put out a product that just doesn't impress when compared to the Core 2 or even the Core.

Too little, too late. (1)

mrcpu (132057) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242957)

Too little, too late.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with AMD, some of my AMD systems have been great, then I seem to have a run of bad luck, switch to Intel, then AMD comes out with something great, I switch, works good for a while, then start having problems on new systems, switch back to Intel, and the cycle continues...

But now I've finally settled, 3800, 4GB of RAM, does everything I need and more, and I don't see a reason to switch to AM2, nor to core 2, for a long, long time. About the only thing I expect to upgrade for a couple years minimum is the graphics card... This will give AMD a chance to be up to AM4 by then, and Intel with about 20 cores/chip, and then I can upgrade to something that just kicks butt...

AMD's mis-steps (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242961)

The enthusiast market.

AMD AM2
Can I use my DDR memory on AM2 - NO
Can I use my AGP video card - Yes (Asrock do have an AM2 board with AGP bit still needs DDR II)

INTEL P4 805 Dualcore 2.66GHz with Asrock Dual-VSTA (Cheap board circa £45)
Can I use my DDR memory - YES
Can I use my AGP video card - YES
Can I switch to DDR2 later without changing the motherboard - YES
Can I switch to a PCIE video card without changing the motherboard - YES
Can I run both DDR and DDR II at the same time - NO
Can I run both PCIE and AGP at the same time - YES (With supported cards)

Worse for AMD the Intel solution is CHEAPER and overclocks like a mad beast..

Go on try and find an X2 AMD processor for less than £70 inculding tax and delivery.
You have (miracle) well find a board that will take that processor and my 1Gb of DDR and my AGP Radeon 9550 for less than £45 will you ?

They had the oppourtinity when deciding on the spec of the AM2 interface to include a more flexible memory controller setup and allow the motherboard manufaturers decide what style of memory to equip their boards with but they didn't.

Way to loose the enthusiast market - make things too expensive AND FORCE you to upgrade your memory at the same time.

WAY TO GO AMD

There 939 is good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16242965)

AM2 will probably take off more so within the next year or so, I and alot of people would have just upgraded to a 939 64 processor, and its running great.
even gets a 4.5 on vista rc1 32bit.
I did look at the AM2 chip, but the lack of mobo's that are avaiable stop me from getting one.

They lost their "cool" factor (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242985)

when Dell started shipping systems with AMD...

Intel finally did something.... (2, Insightful)

TechnoBunny (991156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16242995)

The AMD chips that went up against most recent Pentiums won their contests hands down. But now that Intel has finally got its act together with the Core 2 Duos, its obvious that AMD's market share will suffer, for simple reason that it has real competition for the first time in 3 years.....regardless of subtleties in the relative merits of the 2 platforms.

I have an AM2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16243029)

I actually bought myself an AM2 4200, after deciding I needed a new system (I used to have a 2.4 XP) - and seeing it was going to be the new thing, and that it wasn't much price difference. Perhaps at least I can offer some thoughts on actually having used it everyday and built it myself.

Its a wonderful system imho. So what if it's not 5% faster than the previous model? Its not any more expensive. At the very least the thought and design gone into the CPU Mounting is great, no more fiddling with stupid heat-sink clips, its a nice clamping system that feels solid.

It runs Windows XP, Vista and Gentoo fantastically smoothly (Yep, I've tried all three! I use Gentoo normally.) - and seems to do it better than my Intel 939 at work, which is meant to be faster.

It also overclocks like an absolute dream! I can squeeze 8% overclocking on it without a problem.

Not just that, but my nice AM2 Motherboard will support an AM3 processor. Hows that for upgrading?

C'mon guys, just cos its the new thing - and especially after all the chipset problems with 64 bit systems, this is a nice system. I'd never go back to Intel after using it, personally I can't stand the 'Duo Core', even if it is 1% faster or whatever. Whats going to happen when Intel bring out the next big thing?

Dug

Why does it matter? (1)

infofc (979172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243033)

I stopped caring about high end CPU performance. The only reason I will have to upgrade is that my current PC is getting flakey. Random crashed when it's pushed beyond ordinary workload. Sure my new system will be spec'd to cope with gaming, but it will probably be with last years technology anyway.

No more bang for buck (2, Interesting)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243047)

Gone are the days when you can buy something (an Athlon XP) that delivers 95% of the intel equivalent for half the price (saving hundreds of dollars), or offering a value processor (The good'ol Duron) that kicked the living crap out of a faster Intel mainstream CPU for a tad more than nothing.

It was the fact that they used to deliver the substance without the bull and charge accordingly that made AMD so dear to us back then. Not so now - they realized that if people are willing to pay Intel big bucks for fast CPUs, they'd be willing to pay them too. Unlike then - if you want High-end performance today, you gotta cough up some hard cash.

Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't see Cure 2 Duo coming, or perhaps underestimated it, or perhaps yet again just couldn't do any better, as it seems to have caught them pants down.

I just looked up some CPUs for my near upgrade.
For the uber-value dual-core, Intel is practically giving away Pentium D 805's for free - as cheap as the good'ol Athlon XP's, only double the cores.
For the value dual-core game box, The 6400 tears the X2's a new one no matter how you line them up. The price difference - 40$ more expensive than the lowest AMD (AM2 X2 3800). HUGE performance difference. And if it ain't worth the extra 40$, see the first clause above.
For the performance and extreme markets, the 6600 and 6800 tear the X2 an even bigger new one.

This isn't rocket science. It's second-grade math. This round, AMD lose, no matter which side you're looking at (Save maybe the server side, and I'm not sure there too).

Unless AMD either bites the bullet and does some competitive (additional!) price slashing to bring their products in line with the corresponding Intel alternatives, or comes out with something just as kickass to counter the Core 2 Duo, you have to be a certified idiot to be buying their products for anything.

My 2 cents.

Re:No more bang for buck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16243183)

>Save maybe the server side, and I'm not sure there too)

Definitely less clear cut. AMD infrastructure (on die memory controllers etc) is much better for the time being for servers, where overall throughput rather than raw calculation power is often more desirable.

Re:No more bang for buck (2, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243253)

Gone are the days when you can buy something (an Athlon XP) that delivers 95% of the intel equivalent for half the price (saving hundreds of dollars), or offering a value processor (The good'ol Duron) that kicked the living crap out of a faster Intel mainstream CPU for a tad more than nothing.

True - Instead, you can now get an AMD chip that delivers almost twice the performance on half the power for the same price as the "comparable" Intel offering.

And I write that not as an AMD fanboy, but someone who really did have high hopes for the core 2 duo. Boy did Intel screw that pooch... Poor overall performance (for a supposedly whole new chip gen, compared to its predecessors), abysmal memory performance, and while it has okay peak power use (just okay), it still comes in several times that of the X2s when idle (ie, 90% of most systems' uptime).



Now, to address the FP issue - I can summarize why AM2 hasn't taken off in one number - "939". About a year ago, I bought a few 939 boards with the first gen of 90nm Athlon 64s 3000s, and they still perform admirably. Now that the X2 parts have dropped, I plan to upgrade in the next month or two, without needing to swap anything except the CPU out, to almost 4x the horsepower with a socket 939 X2 4800+. And I don't even need that, I would consider it a luxury (CPU speeds just don't jump ahead like they used to, so my current PCs may well remain useful long enough to actually wear out and die, rather than going to an early grave due to technology making them less powerful than a typical calculator).

One and only one feature might get me to upgrade to an AM2 board - The ADD partnumbered chips (35W max) which AFAIK only run on AM2. But since those currently don't seem to exist as anything but samples (despite their official release), my itch to upgrade to the 4800 just for the hell of it may win out.

I love my AM2! Shuddup! (2, Informative)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243113)

I actually bought myself an AM2 4200, after deciding I needed a new system (I used to have a 2.4 XP) - and seeing it was going to be the new thing, and that it wasn't much price difference. Perhaps at least I can offer some thoughts on actually having used it everyday and built it myself. Its a wonderful system imho. So what if it's not 5% faster than the previous model? Its not any more expensive. At the very least the thought and design gone into the CPU Mounting is great, no more fiddling with stupid heat-sink clips, its a nice clamping system that feels solid. It runs Windows XP, Vista and Gentoo fantastically smoothly (Yep, I've tried all three! I use Gentoo normally.) - and seems to do it better than my Intel 939 at work, which is meant to be faster. It also overclocks like an absolute dream! I can squeeze 8% overclocking on it without a problem. Not just that, but my nice AM2 Motherboard will support an AM3 processor. Hows that for upgrading? C'mon guys, just cos its the new thing - and especially after all the chipset problems with 64 bit systems, this is a nice system. I'd never go back to Intel after using it, personally I can't stand the 'Duo Core', even if it is 1% faster or whatever. Whats going to happen when Intel bring out the next big thing? Dug

Problem is AM2 is nothing new (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243125)

I remember a few months ago when AM2 came out, I briefly contemplated selling my 939 setup to get an AM2 setup. Briefly! The boards cost about the same, the CPUs cost about the same, the ram cost about the same. So I would have sold my old gear for about 2/3rd's the price of the new stuff, to get a synthetic 3-6% improvement I'll never notice. I passed.

The biggest problem with AM2 is that it's nothing new. All it is, is 939 with DDR2 memory. It could have been a bit better, if the new architecture had maximized DDR2's performance like 939 did for DDR1, but it didn't. So why would people pay 100-200$ more for the same mhz, the same features, and a lackluster memory controller ? They didn't. We're all waiting for the next big thing. I even had a look at Core2Duo, even though I have less-than-fond thoughts about Intel and their exploitive pricing schemes. I'm not so much an AMD fanboi, I've just had unpleasant experiences with Intel chipsets in the past and that is a strong stigma to purge.

Right now my gaming rig is a very respectable AMD X2 2.7ghz, 4gig ram on an Nforce4 Ultra board. If I were to upgrade, I need all-new ram, a new CPU that won't give me any more speed as I'm already overclocked beyond the fastest stock AMD processor, and I even have to sacrifice some chipset features as the Nforce5 has less builtins than my NF4 Ultra. It's just not worth it for me, and a lot of people are in the same boat.

If/when AM3 comes around, if they give us a significant jump in speed that justifies the investment, then I'll dive in. I would love to see a 3ghz quad-core AMD, priced at the crucial 299$ point just like the pivotal X2 3800 was at first.. the one that brought dual-core to the dirty smelly unwashed welfare-mongering masses. This means AMD has some homework cut out for them, as they have to research performance improvements, manufacturing efficiencies and design tradeoffs in order to reach that performance/price target.

The CPU industry is much like the graphics card industry, the big players constantly leapfrog each other and stimulate innovation and competition. In theory this is good news for the customers as we have both companies working hard to deliver the best bang for the buck and win our hearts. On the backhand it also means we end up replacing hardware very often if we want to have the best gear, jumping back and forth and relearning each company's products and software every time.

The Eternal Emperor (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16243155)

Fools, only the Eternal Emperor is the source of AM2!

How is Duo Coro faster? (2, Interesting)

Lightjumper (532700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16243315)

I have a AMD 64 3000 with 1 gig memory and a Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz . The Core 2 seems a lot slower on a lot of things, required me to get a bigger power supply and seems to need a hell of a lot more cooling.. I also spent a hell of a lot more money on the stupid intel cpu ($300+) then I did for my $150 (at the time) AMD 64 cpu.. I also have a Laptop with a Core 2 Duo in it. Its ok. But still use my AMD for everything. Yes I am more of a AMD fan boy, But I do have both and always have, just like I have Linux, XP , Solaris and a MAc at home.. This if anyting is not making be upgrade my system to the latest AMD, Its because I have not needed to upgrade! Nothing has required me too.

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