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AMD's "Frantic Price Cuts" May Pressure Intel

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the chips-falling-where-they-may dept.

AMD 135

kog777 writes in with news of a Needham analyst report alerting their clients to a possible price war between AMD and Intel. Analyst Y. Edwin Mok notes that AMD has cut its prices three times in three weeks. He says that Dell has been playing off the two chipmakers against one another to drive costs down. He suggests that bargain-hunting clients avoid both AMD and Intel stock for now. As an aside, Mok notes that so far Vista is not causing a spike in demand for chips. This story hasn't been picked up very widely; other coverage is at Seeking Alpha.

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It seems the author is still using his P1 (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024640)

shares of AMD rose 3.17 percent, or 46 cents, to $3.17

Maybe he should check his math processor :P

Re:It seems the author is still using his P1 (1, Informative)

modemboy (233342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024722)

Yeah WTF? Shares of AMD are at $14.80. I thing they cut and pasted wrong...

Re:It seems the author is still using his P1 (2, Funny)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024726)

Maybe he should check his math processor :P

Wouldn't that be 3.1699999999999999999 then?

Re:It seems the author is still using his P1 (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026208)

shares of AMD rose 3.17 percent, or 46 cents, to $3.17

Maybe he should check his math processor :P


Haven't math co-processors been on the die since the 486 and original pentium (with the fdiv bu...)

Oh, wait. d'oh.

This must be a dell challenge...... (2, Interesting)

AMindLost (967567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024648)

to see how many suppliers they can drive out of business before they drive themselves out of business.

Re:This must be a dell challenge...... (1, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024820)

...to see how many suppliers they can drive out of business before they drive themselves out of business.

How would Dell drive people out of business by making two companies compete for their account? It is not like anyone will sell at under the cost for a prolonged time. Dell only has about 20% of the market. They are not vital to anyone's survival.

Re:This must be a dell challenge...... (1)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024966)

They are not vital to anyone's survival.

You are absolutely right, but 20% of the market is a big chunk of change to pass up.

Re:This must be a dell challenge...... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025060)

Well they could. Companies get sold or go out of business when they are still making a profit but profits are to slim for the owners comfort. So if Competition is too stiff and they are making a small amount of profit, then it would be easy for the competing company to go under costs for a little bit to force them out of the market then they raise their prices again. If say the margins are too small for Intel CPU chips then they will stop making them and go with better margin products. In general a company like getting around 20% profit for their products. Anything less they will normally rethink their business model, because if margins are too slim and they hit hard times it could kill them.

Shutdown Condition (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026916)

Just to expand on the point I think you're making, companies generally go out of business when the profit they generate is less than the amount of money that a similar amount of capital could make, if invested elsewhere.

I.e., if your semiconductor business, which has physical and cash assets of $1B USD, is generating less than $1B invested directly in the stock market, then it probably doesn't make sense to keep going, unless you expect that you can turn the company around and get it more profitable.

In real life, many companies shut down (or get shut down by their investors) when the price per share * shares outstanding is less than the net real assets of the corporation. That's basically saying that the stock value, which is sort of a prediction of the company's future performance and overall "market value," is worth less than the assets that it's using. Thus, it's liquidated. (However, there were some exceptions to this; there were companies in the 1980s that were basically ravaged by "raider" investors and sold off piecemeal, who probably could have been turned around under better management.)

Of course (1, Flamebait)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024650)

Vista aint creating any spikes in purchases since the people that usually upgrade are the Gamer and we all know that Nvidia has serious driver issues, not sure if that affects ATI as well but as far as i know i will not buy a new sata drive and install vista anytime soon just to get my framerate lowered.

--A great company said "framerate is life"--

ATI and Vista graphics in general (3, Informative)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025252)

ATI has not released its upcoming DX10 graphics card yet, so the only available DX10 card is the Nvidia 8800 with lousy drivers.
Vista drivers for older (DX9) cards also suck, both for Nvidia and ATI. But for DX9 you can stay with XP anyway ;-)

Re:ATI and Vista graphics in general (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026064)

You speak as if this is a suprise. Fisrt gen drivers are usually sub par. The gaming community is gearing up to buy the nVidia 8800 crads in anticipation of the first crop of DX10 games due out very soon. this means they will be either dual booting with Vista or diving into Vista completely. I have 2 systems so I for one will run Vista dual boot on my bleeding edge Gaming/Graphics Workstation rig and XP on my good enough gaming system. Only reason I'm dual booting the new system is for my 3D modleing applications. My 3D modeling/animation apps to not like the current crop of DX10 drivers.

Re:ATI and Vista graphics in general (1)

Nik13 (837926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026660)

I've been wondering what ATI is up to lately. I always liked their offerings, but for the last while it seems they hardly have anything worthwhile (at my usual shopping places, all the nvidia-based offerings are cheaper, faster, and have FAR more selection!). Perhaps they're working mostly on their chipsets instead, but they're REALLY falling behind on video cards right now.

And about AMD's price cuts, it's a good thing, but too little too late IMO. When a 200$ Core 2 Duo E6300 can easily be OC'ed to be faster than the EX6800 [tomshardware.com] (which is already faster than ALL of the Athlon64 offerings at any price AFAIK - including the pricey and power-hungry FX74), there's little incentive to buy AMD right now.

Vista Demand Strong, Says Dell (1)

Browzer (17971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025290)

Re:Vista Demand Strong, Says Dell (1)

Bugs42 (788576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026008)

In a related announcement, IBM disagreed saying there's only a market for maybe 5 copies of Vista in the world...
Oh wait, sorry, that's the market for PS3s.

Re:Vista Demand Strong, Says Dell (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026254)

How did we go from AMD/Intel price cuts, to Vista demand, to...

PS3 bashing? This must be one of the biggest stretches of topic I've seen lately.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18024654)

First post

Best bit in the article... (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024670)

...is totally OT, but it's where he says that a seasonal dip is occurring in PC sales in spite of the release of Vista, which is not causing a rise. In other words, people are either not buying Vista, or are successfully (?) running it on their existing computers. I suspect it's more the former, since Vista is reputed to run slowly on even the latest equipment.

Re:Best bit in the article... (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025180)

I suspect it is the former but for other reasons. Vista runs fine on even turn of the century equipment, as long as you don't use Aero. It runs more or less like XP. But DRMier. And with annoying installation popups.

Re:Best bit in the article... (2, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025438)

This is after Christmas is the big slump in pretty much every industry due to holiday spending hangover - computers are certainly no exception to this. If MS wanted better Vista sales, they should have gotten the OS out before the gift PCs were purchased at years end. I think more than anything this is probably proof that people just use what comes with their computer (whatever it may be), and very few would actually bother to change the OS - Microsoft or otherwise.

Re:Best bit in the article... (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027692)

Not only that... They would have given all the retail sales people a copy... Many who get a copy go build thier machine right after just for the latest version of windows... But Microsoft built Vista around the idea of just updating your current machine rather than building up a new machine. To make the PC vendors out during the fall happy... Then they had thier tech garruantee which really killed them.. Thier marketing is unfocussed. It needs a big push at retail... Huge!!! Thier best bet now is to just play along until summer around july or so when the stock hits the summer low. Then release it out to all the rsps along with Service pack 1. Help develop a massive lineup of compatable direct x 10 cards and games to release around then. Do a price drop on the xbox hardware lineup of no less than 50 bucks. Push out the Zunephone. Another Push of office 2007. This would make them the king of retail through holiday 2007 and well into 2008.

Re:Best bit in the article... (1)

GreenEnvy22 (1046790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026550)

On current computers Vista runs fine, people rightly said it was slow while still in Beta, but both my systems run it fine, Desktop is an athlon x2 4200, 2gb, x1800, and laptop is c2d 2.0ghz, 1gb, nvidia go 7600.

Re:Best bit in the article... (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027154)

...is totally OT, but it's where he says that a seasonal dip is occurring in PC sales in spite of the release of Vista, which is not causing a rise. In other words, people are either not buying Vista, or are successfully (?) running it on their existing computers. I suspect it's more the former, since Vista is reputed to run slowly on even the latest equipment.

I think you're reading too much into that. I read it just as "people aren't in a hurry to move off XP". There's nothing to say there's a drop because Vista sucks or anything - it just says people keep buying PCs at a regular pace based on *their* demand. The last time around, XP Home was a huge upgrade over Windows 98SE, and a reason to upgrade in itself. Vista over XP? For all the Windows bashing here, XP works quite well, supports everything except Dx10 and has uptime in the range of weeks for most people I know. I see no reason to rush things just to get on Vista, and neither does anyone else it seems. Personally I'm more waiting for Debian stable, but they're over two months overdue and haven't even gotten RC2 of the installer out yet...

LitePC? (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027952)

I wonder when the Vista version of LitePC http://www.litepc.com/ [litepc.com] will be available. Once one can successfully remove DRM and other cruft from Vista at the click of a button, it should become more popular.

It is not the CPU for Vista (0, Offtopic)

linzeal (197905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024710)

It is the utterly lackluster performance of older hard drives and less than 2 gigs of memory that is killing most of the Vista installs I have seen. 5400 rpm drives are constantly seeking even for the most mundane tasks in Vista. A clean install of XP x64 pro on my old AMD 3000 1 gig ran gloriously for 2 years. Tried the Ultimate [amazon.com] version last weekend on the same machine. Besides the Nvidia driver problem [msdn.com] in Vista I have come up against a brick wall trying to get my old PCI IDE card working.

Re:It is not the CPU for Vista (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024898)

5400 rpm drives are constantly seeking even for the most mundane tasks in Vista.
As if that's new....I wish I had a nickle for every time I sat there wondering what the hell Win2000 or XP was doing with all my CPU cycles and disk I/O when all I did was right-click on something in Explorer or try to copy a 2kB file.

Honestly, what does Vista offer that should make me want to buy a new machine with >= 2GB of RAM just to run the damn OS?

Re:It is not the CPU for Vista (0)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025444)

You should check out the sysinternals tools for monitoring registry and disk access. I was floored by just how much explorer was doing in the background for the simplest operations.

As far as your Vista upgrade question goes, as someone who uses it, not much. It has a prettier GUI. It's more responsive on my computer at home than XP, mainly due to the fact that it uses my video card and dual core better. The UAC stuff (defaulting admin accounts to lower priveledge levels and requiring them to specifically raise priveldges a la sudo) is actually a good idea, despite what Apple and Slashdot want you to think. But most of these are marginal improvements for an already-experienced computer user, and certainly not worth hundreds of dollars in upgrades.

Re:It is not the CPU for Vista (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026162)

What gave you the idea that Apple thinks using sudoer accounts for admins is a bad idea?

Re:It is not the CPU for Vista (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026468)

Their over-the-top commercials making fun of, and completely misrepresenting, UAC? But then again, its marketing, which is usually just a couple steps away from lying.

Re:It is not the CPU for Vista (2, Funny)

sBox (512691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028124)

At my company we are waiting to see which executive demands Vista first on his laptop because "it runs fine at home." Imagine running Vista on a laptop bound by 512MB-1GB RAM, a 2.xGhz proc, a 5400RPM harddrive with Pointsec encryption and SAV real-time virus protection. Why not just paint an image of a desktop on the LCD--you'll see the same results with the OS.

Fab prices (2, Insightful)

modemboy (233342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024788)

I wonder how much of the price cuts have to do with the fab costs. Intel has pretty much completely transitioned to 65nm fabs for their new chips, while AMD is still in the middle of the transition and just launched retail 65nm chips at the beginning of the year. Perhaps AMD is dropping their prices to get rid of all of their 90nm chips, and/or they are getting good deals from the 90nm fabs as they drop prices to compete with the 65nm fabs (I believe AMD outsources a lot of their fab work.)

Re:Fab prices (5, Interesting)

bindo (82607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024936)

or they are getting good deals from the 90nm fabs as they drop prices to compete with the 65nm fabs (I believe AMD outsources a lot of their fab work.)

you believe wrong.

Intel, amd and IBM are the three last big behemoths of bleeding edge chip fabrication. And to keep up IBM and AMD signed a deep alliance at the beginning of the decade.

First outsourcing for chips from AMD was last year and it took 5 years and a failed deal to arrange.
Normally in these conditions partners are NOT fungible. As in THERE ARE NO 65nm merchant fabs in the world who can compete with Intel or AMD ...

They are clearing inventory. The point is: what will the price of the new parts be??
In the chip industry this is the way price wars erupt. You make MORE space than necessary in your listings and the new parts start lower than where the older parts started.

Re:Fab prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026902)

Additionally, they make 65nm and 90nm chips at the same facility. Most likely at IBM's newest fab in East Fishkill, NY. It would entirely too expensive to create a new fab for each new process size.

AMD's chips are made in Dresden (1)

warrior (15708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027026)

Info here [amd.com] .

Umm Yea... So... (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024794)

Isn't that what competing companies supposed to do? This has been happening for a long time. During the 1990s AMD was selling their chips for cheaper prices then Intel. Then around the Early 2000s AMD finally got a good reputation and better then Intel's so Its prices went up (Increase in demand). Now with Intel Core Chips which perform very good and are relatively inexpensive Intel Chips are getting more demand. So in order to keeps AMDs line selling they will Lower the prices on their chips. Now Intel will choose wether the demand for their chips at there prices will still work with the market or they will need to lower the chip prices. Now a word of waning about Price Wars, The consumer usually wins at first then they they slowly get screwed as the war lingers. Lower Price Chips means less R&D and Less Good Improvements and More Quick Patches and Fixes. So quality will drop. I know people want to think of a perfect world where we get Top Quality Products at Discount Products, But in reality that is not the case, I am sorry but the $400 Dell Laptop is Lower Quality then the $2500 MacBook Pro. There may be a feature that is better but overall you are getting less.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024956)

Isn't that what competing companies supposed to do?

Yup.

Now a word of waning about Price Wars, The consumer usually wins at first then they they slowly get screwed as the war lingers. Lower Price Chips means less R&D and Less Good Improvements and More Quick Patches and Fixes. So quality will drop.

I'm not sure I agree with this. No company with any sense ties their R&D budget directly to their incoming revenue. R&D is an investment and the amount should be based upon a risk/reward/intitial cost assessment. Just because I lower prices by 20% does not necessarily mean my investment in some new tech has any less potential for profit in the future. The real danger is not lower quality, but the possibility that one company might "win" and monopolize the market, then use that monopoly to entrench their position and ruin other markets. For example, suppose Intel drives AMD out of business, then introduces some patented feature to the "standard x86" chipset. Or suppose they dominate the market, but ship integrated graphics chips with all CPUs, thus forcing consumers to either use theirs or buy a second one as well, that works better.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025116)

Well it could. Lets say some research is based on using more expensive materials to make a performance exponentially faster. Now the company needs to be more cost competitive the R&D is changed from making Faster Chips to more affordable ones. So more effort will be towards making chips that run at the same speeds but are cheaper to produce.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028102)

Lets say some research is based on using more expensive materials to make a performance exponentially faster.

Taking 'exponentially' non-literally, do you mean something like a brand-new fabrication plant with state-of-the-art technology for a smaller silicon node, which costs billions of dollars that cannot be recouped until well after the plant is finished and producing production parts? Developing and re-tooling for silicon on insulator or strained silicon?

I don't think you realize just how competitive these companies are, and just what kind of technological realm they are competing in. Throwing billions of dollars into R&D for advanced tech is run-of-the-mill for them, because if they ever stopped doing so they would fall behind on the Moore's Law curve very quickly and then the incoming cash would stop and they'd be out of business. At least the CPU business.

If any of these companies saw a way to increase performance -- by a lot less than "exponentially" -- they would immediately jump on it.

Now the company needs to be more cost competitive the R&D is changed from making Faster Chips to more affordable ones. So more effort will be towards making chips that run at the same speeds but are cheaper to produce.

It doesn't really work that way. Remember that multi-billion-dollar fab I was talking about these companies building as a matter of course? Well, not only does it allow them to make faster circuits, to simplify things they are faster because they are smaller. Smaller means cheaper -- most of the cost is per-silicon-wafer, so more chips per-wafer means less cost per-chip. So to get your chips that run at the same speeds but are cheaper to produce, you take your same chip from before in the new smaller tech and (glossing over the technical issues) you're done -- smaller cheaper chip, same performance. But they can also use this new tech to make a chip that was the same size as ones before, but has more transistors (hopefully translating to more performance). Even a technology that didn't reduce the size directly but increased performance would also have the same effect -- you can either use the same tech to get a faster version of the same chip, or get an equal-speed version of the chip that is simpler and hopefully thus smaller and cheaper.

This all feeds back into why in their quest for low prices they will not give up R&D for fast tech. Because if one company stops researching tech to make chips go fast and focuses on cheap, and the other focuses on tech for speed, then the one that focused on speed will soon not only have chips that out-perform anything the competition has, they will also have chips that are the same or greater speed than competitors but also cheaper. At that point it is no longer a price war but a slaughter.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025286)

I'm not sure I agree with this. No company with any sense ties their R&D budget directly to their incoming revenue. R&D is an investment and the amount should be based upon a risk/reward/intitial cost assessment. Just because I lower prices by 20% does not necessarily mean my investment in some new tech has any less potential for profit in the future. The real danger is not lower quality, but the possibility that one company might "win" and monopolize the market, then use that monopoly to entrench their position and ruin other markets.blockquote>

Though there is a certain point where this happens. Competition to the bottom works great, until you hit a certain point where it's really detrimental to the consumer. Take for example cellphones. Ever notice that Europe and Asia get a lot more cellphones that do everything or nothing, while we get 3-generations behind phones here in North America? I'm talking about the phone handsets, not the network (which has good reasons for being behind). I'm fairly certain this drive towards the "free phone" has led to this, as manufacturers make innovative products for the more lucrative European/Asian market (and charge accordingly), then when the phone's so old that manufacturing's fairly trivial, they bring it over and sell it for cheap. (There are a few exceptions, like the Blackberry, which doesn't really exist much outside of North America...).

I believe this has happened in other markets as well where the almighty dollar has led to innovation being withheld - ever notice places like Japan and Asia tend to get the latest in technology first? Now it could just be that it's easiest to recoup costs in places where having expensive high-tech toys is a status symbol moreso than cheap products, or even live alongside them, and people still buy expensive stuff.

At least with AMD and Intel, they haven't reached this stage yet where people aren't willing to pay and will go for the cheaper competitor. Though, given that the performance of those processors aren't as great, people aren't willing to pay for them. Transmeta, anyone?

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026154)

Competition to the bottom works great, until you hit a certain point where it's really detrimental to the consumer. Take for example cellphones. Ever notice that Europe and Asia get a lot more cellphones that do everything or nothing, while we get 3-generations behind phones here in North America?

You attribute this to too much competition instead of not enough? The difference between the US and Europe is not that there is less competition among cell phone providers in Europe. The difference is that in Europe Cell phone providers are not allowed to tie cell phones to services and if they did it would not work because they have many cell phone service providers, while in a common location in the US you might have 2 or 3 and there are significant barriers to adding more. The problem in the US is that we don't have enough competition and cell phone service providers are allowed to bypass the competition in the phone market using the service market.

I believe this has happened in other markets as well where the almighty dollar has led to innovation being withheld - ever notice places like Japan and Asia tend to get the latest in technology first? Now it could just be that it's easiest to recoup costs in places where having expensive high-tech toys is a status symbol moreso than cheap products, or even live alongside them, and people still buy expensive stuff.

I think you're failing to show the link between the level of competition and the lack of innovation. Historically and according almost all economic models increased competition drives increased innovation.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027112)

There's a difference between increased competition and increased commoditization. Having a larger number of competitors increases innovation. Increasing the price-oriented competition between the existing players increases commoditization, which progressively decreases innovation until a new player enters the field or until one of them realizes that they've made a mistake. You do not want processors to be purchased based primarily on cost.

Of course, one could legitimately argue that it is the lack of any new, innovative ways to improve the product that leads to the commoditization rather than the other way around. I suspect that either one could be the cause, or a third, distinct cause could exist. Either way, they tend to go hand in hand.

I do agree with you, though, that for the reasons you cited, the cell phone market is a bad example. A better example might be the pocket calculator market.... Apart from the occasional super-high-end precursor to the PDA like the TI-81, there hasn't been a lot of innovation in your typical pocket calculator in years, and those rare exceptions that provide innovation have generally not resulted in innovation that trickles down into the price range of a typical calculator.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

Robert The Coward (21406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027076)

Or it could be that that small county's have Just one Phone Network and only a small number of tower to update to make changes to there network to support things like 3G and other advanced Features were in the USA we have the opposite effect Large Area Lots of Towers and slow upgrade cycles. Plus the existing Networks of Verizon and Cell One Plus the Newer GSM networks that phones have to be setup to work with. It was less then 1 Year ago when Verzion phones droped the analog network and just support 3 Differnet Digital systems now. Not to mention the 2 or 3 Different Data Standard that have came up over the years as well.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025122)

I know people want to think of a perfect world where we get Top Quality Products at Discount Products, But in reality that is not the case.
You're saying that value to the customer is a constant, and the only thing that changes is the tradeoff between price and quality. I completely disagree. Until about 4 years ago, Intel had screwed customers for 20 years because they had no real peer. Quality was (mostly) good, but Intel's prices were extremely high, and didn't start to fall until about 1999. For all those years, Intel had a huge profit margin, allowing them to live high on the hog, expanding into lots of business where they failed, waste *billions* on the failed Itanium, and grow top heavy. The war chest to survive all this and come out none the worse, came from consumers' wallets.

Re:Umm Yea... So... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025608)

Well I am sorry but the value to the customer is less variable then Cost vs. Quality. Competition is good, it keeps the company honest. Competitive Wars are not, to many resources are towards fighting the war. There is usually a degree if a company has a large enough lead, where both Price and Quality can both go in positive direction. But in a situation of a Competitive War sacrifices are needed to be made.

A plea to Dell (5, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024830)

Please, mr dell, start a price war between RAM manufacturers next! I live in perpetual obsolescence thanks to the dramatic cost of DDR and DDR2! Won't someone think of the child processes!

Re:A plea to Dell (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027012)

Please, mr dell, start a price war between RAM manufacturers next! I live in perpetual obsolescence thanks to the dramatic cost of DDR and DDR2! Won't someone think of the child processes!

Memory prices are already down to about where they were last July (2006). That's about 30-40% less then prices were in Nov/Dec 2006.

Re:A plea to Dell (1)

Envy Life (993972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027776)

Last I checked, Dual Channel DDR2 667 is cheaper than PC100 SDRAM. Apparently obsolescence comes at a premium!

"frantic" ?? (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024848)

What are pre-prepared , planned advertisements, allowed?
This is MORE than hollow ...

Re:"frantic" ?? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025014)

What are pre-prepared , planned advertisements, allowed? This is MORE than hollow ...

Are you always this dumb, or is your brain at the cleaner's?

An article about how AMD can't sell processors so they are forced to drop prices ain't an advertisement for AMD. It's also not an Intel advert, because it suggests that AMD processors are getting damned cheap.

Most geeks use PC clones because they feature the best price:performance ratio. So this is news for nerds. And you are just whinging.

Re:"frantic" ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18025818)

And you are just whinging.

The word you want is whining [reference.com] .

Re:"frantic" ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026992)

I believe the word this individual wanted was whinging and I believe the poster is from Australia. So stop your whinging.

Re:"frantic" ?? (1)

MrPeach (43671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027278)

No, actually the word IS "whinging", except they use it over in "Jolly-Olde-England" - you know, the cradle of our language?

http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/whinging [freesearch.co.uk]

Don't be so provincial.

Re:"frantic" ?? (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026364)

To be honest, my first thought when I read this was: "Did someone just spam slashdot?"

Imagine:
1. Sell short on Intel and AMD shares.
2. Post Slashdot story about price war between Intel and AMD.
3. Watch as the share prices fall and your profit goes up!

AMD has hit the Bottom, the only way is up (1)

noddyxoi (1001532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027050)

Amd is at it's lowest for like 6 months, it had reached a $42 maximum and plunged to $14.40 three days ago. Now is floating around $15... The only way is up ? I guess so.

Price War (4, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024876)

There has been a "possible price war" for the better part of a year with these two companies. AMD has cut prices [slashdot.org] a couple times now and Intel has responded similar moves and with new chip technology that proved to be a large, significant advancement. I am not sure what we are looking for to confirm a price war, but as far as I can tell, these companies have been going at it for some time now. With the industry changing every year it seems, it might be difficult to classify this as a price war. Is this simply strong competition in a large market that effects both business and individual consumers?

For those looking for a "price war" you do not need a confirmation. It has been going on for over 7 years now. This [my-esm.com] article dated Feb 28, 2000 details price cuts by AMD in response to Intel cuts. Then, look who is still at it 6 years later - Price Wars Intensify as Intel Slashes Chip Prices [pcworld.com] . It is a seesaw game that, hopefully, will not end any time soon. The more they go at it, the more the consumer stands to gain.

Now a related question... Do you think consumer demand or competition with each other is causing the rapid advancement in chip design and architecture.

Re:Price War (2, Insightful)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025026)

At least in my case, I see no reason to change CPU as my xp2400 does well enough by me. I would need to replace my ram, mobo and CPU and possibly video card to move to a newer generation. That's at least $300 with even a cheap CPU and getting a mobo that supports AGP It also wouldn't cover replacing the 2.5gb of ram I currently run.

I'm sure most people don't need as much horsepower as they are pitching now.

Re:Price War (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025464)

I agree. I have the same urge to have the best this-or-that like many people but after pushing my emotions aside my current system (AMD 64 x2 3800, 2gb ram, NForce4, etc) runs like a champ. I wouldn't upgrade until new software starts to grind or I have to run at annoyingly low settings at games. Even then it would have to be at a point where it wasn't just the CPU but the MB, RAM, and video that needed replacing too.

My last upgrade was a complete rebuild of every single component. I went from a 486 VLB system to my current PCI-E one. I think I skipped about 4-5 generations.

Re:Price War (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026500)

My last upgrade was a complete rebuild of every single component. I went from a 486 VLB system to my current PCI-E one. I think I skipped about 4-5 generations.

Umm, is this a joke?

I have a Compaq LTE Elite laptop I got in 1994 for like $4,000. It has a 486 DX2/50, 16 megs of ram, and an ungodly slow 340 meg hard drive. It has Windows 95 installed it. They made computers solid back in those days. This thing still works incredibly.

I powered it up a few weeks ago and was amazed at how slow it was. Netscape 3.0 was installed on the machine, as well as Opera 5. I remember installing Opera on it years ago as it worked so well in low-memory setups.

Needless to say, the thing is useless. I would lose my mind if I had to use such a laptop on a daily basis.

Are you a masochist?

Re:Price War (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026966)

This was well over a year ago but no, this isn't a joke and yes, barely anything ran on it towards the end. I was using it mostly for email and web browsing but some apps, like MAME, would actually run reasonably well on it. It was so old the CPU heatsink didn't even need a fan. My current video card (Nvida 7800gt) has more memory on it than all the ram in my old machine. I put off upgrading since it seemed I always had another cash priority at the time. The thing NEVER failed amazingly enough (for the record it was a Micron PC). I built my current rig.

And yes, I'm a masochist AND a cheapskate.

Re:Price War (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025696)

Now a related question... Do you think consumer demand or competition with each other is causing the rapid advancement in chip design and architecture.

My Girl is just finished selling Girl Scout Cookies. It's competition with other girls and not demand for the cookies. There isn't any demand until you start deliverying and then some one wants a box right then. The GSC are all the same product though troops sell boxs at different prices. If you want cookies, it's cheaper to go to Walmart and buy almost anyother cookie other than GSC. (The GSC cost .8 a box to make and the rest is "profit" for the GS organization.)

Although there are alots of niches that would love increased CPU speed, your average consumer isn't "demanding" it. That average guy wants Vista to run fast on their new Dell and his tech guy friend has told him that Vista will run slowly on a $3-4K computer so that consumer is holding off until a $.5-$1.5K computer can comfortably run Vista. However long that may be. What I'd like is 4GB of ram standard in bottom tier $500 Walmart HP desktops and soon not just in 2017.

analysts produce news like cows produce methane (5, Insightful)

markhahn (122033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024900)

the analyst industry is quite amazing - all you have to do is repackage common knowlege as something special and people will pay you for it!

seriously - AMD and Intel are normally out-of-phase in product intros. it's been this way for many years, so we have to assume it's deliberate. Intel made a major improvement by souping up the Pentium-M line into Core2, and has gained a nice lead in some, even most, benchmarks. mainly due to some fairly narrow improvements that AMD hasn't yet answered, like 1-cycle throughput SIMD operations. AMD's current offerings are largely unchanged since the original Opteron intro (2003?), except for smallish tweaks like bigger caches, faster memory, doubled cores. AMD still does well for applications which are sensitive to memory bandwidth, for instance - part of the original technological jump of the K8.

AMD is about to introduce their response to Core2, and it seems quite promising based on the hints AMD has provided. Intel's not in a position to respond immediately, since 45nm production is some way off, and it (Penryn) will apparently be just a shrink of the current Core2 design.

in short, it's only sensible, sound business practice for AMD to drop the prices of their mature, high-yielding, partly-outsourced half-gen-old products. performance is still competitive with Intel's products - at a time when Intel's yields are probably not yet mature. in a way, this sets the stage for AMD to introduce its next-gen parts at a more comfortable margin.

Re:analysts produce news like cows produce methane (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025368)

seriously - AMD and Intel are normally out-of-phase in product intros. it's been this way for many years, so we have to assume it's deliberate.

Why is that? I cannot disagree strongly enough. As long as there's demand for your chip, you can sit fat, dumb, and happy, selling processors. When there isn't, you'd better get that next chip our the door, or your ass is grass. You don't want to bring out the new chip too early, though, or else either you will not be able to price it competitively, or it will cannibalize sales of a product which is already selling quite nicely. The longer you sell a product, the less amount of money per unit goes into recouping R&D, so you want to sell the same product as long as possible, hence you don't release the new one until sales get soft. Pretty elementary stuff here.

in short, it's only sensible, sound business practice for AMD to drop the prices of their mature, high-yielding, partly-outsourced half-gen-old products. performance is still competitive with Intel's products - at a time when Intel's yields are probably not yet mature. in a way, this sets the stage for AMD to introduce its next-gen parts at a more comfortable margin.

This part of your comment, however, is entirely correct. AMD is doing the smart thing here. If they can dump these old products they can get ready for the new ones that will be more competitive, and in the process take away some of intel's revenue by either decreasing their sales or forcing them to lower their prices to compete. Either way, it's good for the consumer.

Re:analysts produce news like cows produce methane (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028210)

AMD still does well for applications which are sensitive to memory bandwidth, for instance - part of the original technological jump of the K8.

Latency, actually. The on-die memory controller puts RAM closer to the chip and is thus faster to access. K8 does do well in the bandwidth category in multi-socket situations, since the on-die controller means the amount of bandwidth scales with the number of sockets (memory controllers).

Just a nit to pick for those who are interested. :)

Re:analysts produce news like cows produce methane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18029066)

No, bandwidth if the CFD crowd are to be believed.

Vista (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18024992)

There's no sudden demand for CPUS for Vista for 2 reasons. 1) people aren't rushing to buy vista, and 2) if you can run w2k or xp on a system you'll almost certainly be able to run Vista on it with no changes. If you need a change, it's probably a slightly more recent graphics card, or another 512mb of ram.

Re:Vista (2, Informative)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025940)

2) if you can run w2k or xp on a system you'll almost certainly be able to run Vista on it with no changes.

in a word... no.

vista likes dual core (or 64 bit capable) cpus. It can run on single core but you will not like how it runs. I think vista was supposed to be only 64 bit. During the testing on beta all the 64 bit capable machine ran it a lot better. And the 1 GB of RAM. I think ms has a deal with the RAM people, putting in 2 GB makes xp, 2k, and vista much happier.

remember that 2k runs fine on a PIII 800. Even with 2 GB of RAM the PIII 800 has a hard time with vista, so our tests showed.
I have installed 2k and XP on a PII 350 machine with 512 MB RAM. It ran, i wouldn't want to do anything demanding on the machine but it does work.

Nowadays just working it not enough. It has to work, and owrk well, and work in a reasonable amount of time (the faster the batter)

Re:Vista (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026718)

I played games on a 700 MHz Athlon PC back in the day. I used 2k as my OS, so yeah Vista is definately more resource intensive.

Re:Vista (2, Interesting)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027298)

I'm happily running Vista on a single core cpu right now, without any performance problems... Care to give any sources on that claim?

90nm Fabs aren't going anywhere fast. (3, Insightful)

basicguy (1063914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025076)

Price wars (or marginal return on investment) are always going on for the products of fabs still producing older technology. It is just more noticeable when the old technology is still highly desirable. From a business view point, it is desirable to get every last dollar return for the multi-billion dollar investment made in the original technology as long as the marginal cost of production is less than the revenue obtained. When the curve inverts then the fabs get taken off line, or upgraded. AMD has next to nothing to lose on the price drop of outsourced fab product except cannibalized sales from the new 65nm. Since supplies are limited and selling, cannibalized sales has to be a zero quantity at present.

Bargain Hunters Avoid? (1)

beerdini (1051422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025200)

He suggests that bargain-hunting clients avoid both AMD and Intel stock for now.
First of all, where in either article was this even eluded to...I did not pick up on it at all. Secondly, is there any alternative to AMD or Intel for an average PC technician?

Re:Bargain Hunters Avoid? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025434)

He suggests that bargain-hunting clients avoid both AMD and Intel stock for now. First of all, where in either article was this even eluded to...I did not pick up on it at all.

It must have eluded [reference.com] you. (The word you want is "Alluded". If you don't want to look like a total idiot, try not to use words you don't understand.)

Here is the bit of the article in question: "Intel will likely feel pressured to respond with cuts of its own," Mok contends, driving down profits for both firms. "We would avoid both names here, as believe lower prices and higher capital spending may continue to limit margins." This was the fourth paragraph. They did not hide it.

Secondly, is there any alternative to AMD or Intel for an average PC technician?

Uh, this is a business analysis, not a technical one. Avoid the STOCK. Not the products. Perhaps one day you will learn to read.

With that said, there are alternatives only for SFF PCs. But they are slow. If all you need is your basic computing functionality, or to use them for a thin client, they are fine, otherwise they are just not acceptable. VIA produces most of them.

Re:Bargain Hunters Avoid? (1)

beerdini (1051422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025770)

Thanks for the clarification, I'm not much of a stocks person so that just flew over my head. I'll make sure to double check my spelling next time...even though that won't stop me from looking like a total idiot

Re:Bargain Hunters Avoid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18028104)

I love how much of a fucking prick you are. Bravo sir.

Re:Bargain Hunters Avoid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026502)

additionally, the logic doesn't make any sense. AMD stock is at the lowest it's been in months. Now is the time to buy, not avoid the stock. It's obviously going back up once their new architecture is released.

Price war and competition (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025266)

Yes Intel and AMD are competing with one another. Prices are dropping. When there is true competion in the OS market, OS prices also will drop. When there is true competition in the Office market, Office prices will also drop. Office prices will drop only when the consumers, (mainly the corporate consumers, we retail customers dont have much weight) stop confusing interoperability with windows compatibility there will be true competition in that market.

Why keep bashing Microsoft, calling it evil etc? It is the consumers who should wake up. Let us say I give these companies big discount so that they can "make the numbers" for this quarter. But that would force them to give all their data to me and they have to pay me every quarter to access their own data. In a rational world, I would be laughed out of the business meeting in no time. But that is precisely what is happening in sales meetings between MS and the fortune 500 companies.

When it comes to the chips Dell is able to play AMD against Intel. It is in Dell's own interest to have a competition in OS/Office market so that it can play one against another and reduce the cost of computing to its customers so that it can sell more. But Dell buries alternatives deep, makes it difficult to buy the alternatives. Why? Why? Isn't there anyone who can break through the non-disclosure agreements and the secrecy and shed light on why corporations are acting seemingly irrationally? Sunlight is the best disinfectent.

Re:Price war and competition (1)

PoconoPCDoctor (912001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026390)

When it comes to the chips Dell is able to play AMD against Intel. It is in Dell's own interest to have a competition in OS/Office market so that it can play one against another and reduce the cost of computing to its customers so that it can sell more. But Dell buries alternatives deep, makes it difficult to buy the alternatives.

I don't think they are being buried - this link was only one click away [dell.com] from the main www.dell.com page.

I did find a little interesting the big AMD sticker pasted on the outside of the familiar standard shiiping Dell box. I saw this AMD marked Dell box in the trash as I walked to my train the other day. You don't see an Intel sticker on non-AMD boxes.

Methinks these stickers cost AMD more than a few shekels to Mikey Dell.

Re:Price war and competition (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026818)

Dell could care less about alternative OSs. In fact, they could care less about primary ones too; the only reason that Dell cares what operating system comes on their machines is because their customers do. Specifically "everyone" (vocal minority aside, they do) wants Windows on both personal and business machines.

The reason that Dell offers blank PCs "intended for Linux" at all has nothing to do with actual customer demand for them: if it did, they wouldn't make them so hard to find on their site. The real reason is that they are a direct threat to Microsoft, and Dell is too big for Microsoft to call their bluff. Essentially, Dell is using "Linux ready" commodity computers as a bargaining chip to get deeper discounts for Windows and Office so that they can get a bigger edge on their competition for the 99% of customers who do, in fact, want them.

If there were serious demand for OSs other than Windows, it would actually hurt Dell, because they would lose one of their biggest advantages. Sure, they could still compete on volume, and they certainly have a great deal of hard capital, but they've sunk a lot of time and money into getting a REALLY juicy Microsoft contract, and if it is suddenly worthless, they're back to squeezing water from stone on hardware.

Good. (2, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025364)

I'm sick of seeing these chips at outrageous prices. Who other than the most rabid gamer is going to be willing to fork over $500 - $1000 (US) for the latest processor? The worst part of it is, the processors are starting out so overpriced, that when they start to drop, it takes over two YEARS before they become reasonable. I don't know about the rest of Slashdot, but I'd like to be able to get something less than 4 generations old at a decent price point.

It used to be that you would spend, AT MOST, about $100 - $200 (US) for the latest AMD offering (usually much less, under $75.00 US). Intel was never considered for gamers or home-builders because they were overpriced and underpowered. Lately AMD has been pulling the same crap that Intel was pulling back in the 90's. End result? We now have two chip makers, both with overpriced CPU's, trying to compete. It's about time there was a price war! They are using smaller and smaller die sizes, and are thusly getting more and more out of each silicon wafer. The damn things should be getting CHEAPER not exorbitantly more expensive!

Bring back the sub-$200.00 bleeding edge CPU. It's well past time.

Re:Good. (4, Informative)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025628)

Ummm, no. Only the very TOP of the line chips cost that much. You can still buy "slightly less than uber" processors for a great bargain. Your essentially bitching because their product offerings are more varied then they used to be. Cry some more, your tears cool my CPU down.

Re:Good. (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028580)

Seriously. I just bought an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor for $221 at Newegg. It'll overclock EASILY to 3.0 or more Ghz (base speed is 2.13 Ghz). If you know what you're looking for, you can get great deals on seriously kickass processors. Bleeding edge? No. Bleeding edge minus 1? Absolutely. Yes, the new Intel quad core just came out at something ridiculous like $900 or something like that. IMO, that is NOT a consumer CPU. Is some gamer with more money than brains going to buy one to play WoW with? Of course. But for the most part, that bleeding edge stuff is best left to companies with renderfarms or virtual earth simulators or things like that. Joe Sixpack shouldn't feel like they're being "left behind" just because AMD and Intel debut crazy processors at $1000. Those AREN'T for you, trust me.

This cheap and uber enough for you? (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025930)

Holy jebus! What do you want. - On sale today, Canadian dollars!! so it is actually well under $200

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 Brisbane 2.3GHZ 2X512KB 65NM 65W Retail Box $198.98

Re:Good. (1)

bhalter80 (916317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027844)

Yes dual core chips are > $100 in price but there are a lot of AMD AM2 chips out there that are significantly less than $100. If you want cutting edge stuff you have to pay for it. Back when the latest and greatest AMDs were $75 was back when AMD was eating Intel's dust and had to buy market share through cost. Now they have products which can compete on performance and features as a result they charge accordingly. This is capitalism if you don't like the price don't buy it. Charging what the market will bare is the fundamental of the system we live in.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027856)

---- ACs are modded -6. I don't read you, I don't mod you, I don't see you. Don't like it? Don't be a coward.

I'm invisible! My nefarious plan is working! Ha ha!

Re:Good. (1)

WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028512)

For single core, just get a Socket 754 Sempron (Palermo core) and OC it up the wazoo. Mainly games performance suffers (not by that much) due to the halved L2 cache. Word of caution - don't even bother buying the 128KB L2 cache models - you can OC it till it melts its socket and you won't gain much performance (seems that for the K8, 512KB is the sweet spot, 256KB is nice, 1MB is skeet skeet skeet and 128KB just sucks). For less that 200 bones, you can get an E6400 (or E4300 if you like the higher multiplier) and easily get at least 2.9GHz (sometimes on stock, no less). Isn't that a top end CPU? ;)

I'll care when AMD catches up to the Core 2 Duo. (1)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025404)

I was really rooting for the latest Athlon/Turion 64 X2's, but my recent laptop has a Core 2 Duo. AMD was ahead for a while, but they're playing catch-up again, and I'm not really surprised if their prices reflect this. Intel has been 65nm for over a year now, and it shows in power usage at the very least. I'll admit this is an interesting war to witness, however.

Re:I'll care when AMD catches up to the Core 2 Duo (4, Informative)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025716)

Careful with the "power usage" statement. While Intel certainly has lower power consumption in their Core2Duo processors, that's only in relation to the power-hungry Prescott-based processors. Intel's PR department has made a lot of hay out of their decreased power consumption. The fact of the matter, however, is that Core 2 Duo processors at 65nm now have about the same power consumption as their Athlon 64 X2 counterparts at 90nm--about 65W.

I highly recommend taking a look at processor electrical specifications [erols.com] . And keep in mind that Intel's power figures are more optimistic ("typical") than AMD's ("max").

Re:I'll care when AMD catches up to the Core 2 Duo (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026192)

Core2Duo may have lower power use but chipsets still use more.
Intel's new exons may use less power for the cpus but when you add the chip set and the FB-Dimms it is about the same as amd cpus + chipset + ddr ecc ram.

Re:I'll care when AMD catches up to the Core 2 Duo (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026740)

AMD market's a typical "optimistic" spec. Where have you been? AMD's marketing trickery w.r.t. power numbers has been exposed on /. for some time. Both sides have their own "optimal" conditions.

I refer you to this thread to see how AMD markets power. They use barrels of hype.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=210098&cid=171 20864 [slashdot.org]

Re:I'll care when AMD catches up to the Core 2 Duo (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028542)

And your proof is a link to your own post which makes the same unsupported accusation? Sweet, I'm convinced.

Anyway, we're not talking about marketing about which uses less power in a common day's usage and will cost you less on your electric bill. We're talking about how their chips are rated for power consumption. This is the TDP, Total Design Power, the number that computer makers will need to use to design their cooling solutions. You can't market your way around TDP; if you try then the cooling solution will be inadequate and the computer will overheat.

The difference in TDP between Intel and AMD is that AMD gives MAX power, which isn't actually achievable in real software, while Intel gives TYPICAL power, which is a number that is around a standard deviation or so away from the average in the bell curve of power consumption for various programs. They use clock throttling to guarantee that no app will ever use more power than that. Both are equally valid as measures of TDP, since in either case it is simply a promise to the HSF designer that the chip will not use more than the stated power. The catch is that Intel's number comes with a caveat that some software may not run at maximum speed because clock throttling is required to keep the power down. This was noticeable with Pentium 4; I haven't heard of Core 2 having this problem, which makes sense because it is in general less power hungry than P4 and probably has a much nicer looking power curve.

ITs great! (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18025834)

Us gutter IT guys can grab up Sempron 64 3000+ chips for absolute dirt right now. I built my daughter a computer to play Quake4 on for less than $150.00 and she can play it at high detail settings with that low end Geforce 6800GT on that cheap motherboard and really slow processor like that.

Hell that setup has the power to record 4 NTSC tv channels and 1 HD channel at the same time. Makes a great cheap MythTV backend recorder.

Re:ITs great! (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026392)

aye, the sempron 64 3000's can have the dickens overclocked out of them -- it's a great bargain. I'd like to hear about what else you built the system with -- you re-used a lot of older stuff, right? I thought 6800GT's were still way over 100 bucks!

Re:ITs great! (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026442)

Remind us where you found a 6800GT for less than $150.00? The cheapest for that card on newegg IS $150.00. Unless the case, powersupply, ram, hardrives, optical drives, processor, and whatever all were free, then I call bullshit.

Re:ITs great! (2, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026732)

"I had $5000 worth of computer stuff laying around, and for only $150 more, I made a fast computer. Therefore, fast computers only cost $150!"

Re:ITs great! (1)

Umbrel (1040414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026812)

Uhm... no

Re:ITs great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026814)

Um eeeeeee bay.

I got my last AGP 6800GT for $50.00 on eeeeeeeeebay. Because nobody wants aGP anymore
Or he might have had one laying around, but asshats like you like to ASSume.

meebe if you were not an asshole he might have answered you.

just looking on my fav sites... 30000+ $29.99 mobo for it $28.00 512 meg ram $25.99 40 gig hard drive $25.00 Case+PS $12.00 Oh yeah, add in even a cheapie 6600 and you got a Doom3/Quake4 high quality setting playable game machine well within his price point.

Re:ITs great! (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027480)

It's great that you got a good deal on eBay, but that's not what we're talking about here. The whole point of this article was price cuts and how old chips are a great deal. Getting used discounted gear on eBay is beside the point.

As for that cheap PC you put together, maybe you'd like to give me a compilation of your "fav sites". Firstly, he said he threw in a 6800GT, which is a big difference from a cheap vanilla 6600. Hence the card costing $150 alone. As far as I can tell the cheapest I've found a Sempron 3000+ is for $44, but whatever, even if it was $10 it would still be over $150 adding in the cost of the video card alone. I'm not saying that it isn't possible to build a cheap machine for under $150 that would serve some needs, just not with a 6800GT in it. Not to mention that $12 case you're getting with the powersupply is in no way going to provide you with sufficient power to drive the 6800GT even if you did get it for cheap on "eeeeee bay".

Re:ITs great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18028866)

I dunno about that.

I picked up a 7800 GTX for $175 - 3 months ago.

It was used, granted, but if I can pick up a 7800 GTX for $175 that long ago, I definitely see the situation as plausible.

How was Vista's expected role calculated? (2, Informative)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026474)

Both articles linked mentioned that Vista just wasn't pushing PC sales as anticpated, but neither article shed much light on what set of numbers were used to determine what this push should be.

Is this a forecast that MS puts out for each release, or is it determined by historical data? Since there's nothing really historical about Vista's CPU demands for the average user (well, not much really), how the heck did they come up with any kind of number?

This would (I guess) have to be MS saying "This is what we expect people to do with it, this is what we expect businesses to do with it, and this is what we expect CPU demands will be in both cases, hence here's the data to forecast what you'll be selling, we expect to push xxxx copies per day .." (well maybe not that simple, but you get the point).

Another way of looking at this would then be (speaking as Intel or AMD):

"Microsoft sold us a load of fud, we need to keep focused on attacking the virtualization and server market, and the other guy already has a strong foot hold there." (as either could say that about the other).

So in short, it looks like both AMD and Intel learned nothing from Enron's "virtual asset" mindset, which was counting on money that wasn't in the bank yet, but you were *pretty* sure would be there. Typical, I'd say unless I'm way off on how these predictions come into play?

I also saw no data in either article about growth either company made which they now need to find another way of paying for, but I guess that's not going to be availble to sift through for a while.

If I were either company, I'd be treating Vista like Bob [wikipedia.org] until some longer range (real) predictions could be made. But hey, cheap servers .. I'm not a stock holder of either, or complaining :)

and the price is .... (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026964)

Yea, I did RTFA, but I still have no idea what these 3 price cuts written about are or what I should now expect to pay for various AMD cpus. So much hype, so little information.

RAM not CPU for Vista (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027272)

Most people considering Vista on their existing machine will be considering a RAM upgrade not a CPU one as their first priority. It is reassuring that after Xmas 2006 RAM prices have been dropping (as I and other predicted). This is for two main reasons: 1) There was a spurt in RAM buying my PC makers to fulfil holiday new PC orders which is now quiet 2) Vista adoption has not been very high so far.
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