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Is AMD Dead Yet?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the pining-for-the-fjords dept.

AMD 467

TheProcess writes "Back in February 2003, IBM predicted that AMD would be dead in 5 years (original article here), with IBM and Intel the only remaining players in the chip market. Well, 5 years have passed and AMD is still alive. However, its finances and stock price have taken a serious beating over the last year. AMD was once a darling in this community — the plucky, up-and-coming challenger to the Intel behemoth. Will AMD still be here in 5 years? Can they pose a credible competitive threat to Intel's dominance? Do they still have superior but unappreciated technology? Or are they finally old hat? Can they really recover?"

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467 comments

Apparently not (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543236)

At least tbat's what Timecop thinks. [nimp.org] He's usually right to be fair.

Re:Apparently not (4, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543290)

Warning: Link leads to a malicious website.

Re:Apparently not (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543534)

You lying troll. Let me guess. You're an Intel fanboi.

Paernt is the liar (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543772)

Site triggers my AV with this attack: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms05-013.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Apparently not (3, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543542)

Persistently trolling with malicious links: or, how to waste Slashdot's moderation system. One such link uses several -1, Troll and +1, Informative. How many useful comments got missed because of that?

Re:Apparently not (0)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544038)

Warning : telling people that a site is malicious will lead to increased traffic for that specific site

Why did they buy ATI? (4, Interesting)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543262)

I was wondering if anyone could explain to me why they purchased ATI. They spent oodles of money to R&D the new quad core architecture to really be a seamless 4 core proc that shared caches etc. Intel just slapped two dual cores together and shipped that. Turns out that in benchmarks for consumer programs, intel's stuff works quite well. AMD's cache sharing and topology of memory access that seems better for true multithreaded applications is irrelevant and occasionally a hinderance when you're running multiple single threaded programs. So they spend oodles on R&D and may not see that much of a return until apps can utilize it better. . .Then they go off and buy ATI? Wouldn't it make sense to hang onto money a bit more than just purchase another company? Could that move end up dragging ATI down too?

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (4, Insightful)

darien (180561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543372)

They think - or at least they claim to think - it's all about the platform. With ATi under their wing, they can now offer a complete PC ("Spider") or notebook ("Puma") without giving any sales to Intel on the CPU side or Nvidia on the chipset/graphics side. To be honest, I'm not convinced that's what they needed, but I can sort of see the appeal for them.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (5, Interesting)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543380)

What they originally wanted to do was merge with nVidia, it made sense at the time because nVidia was producing the best chipset for AMD CPUs. Anyway the communications between the 2 companies went sour, so AMD, still hot to do something picked the number 2 choice, ATI.

Now a merger between nVidia and AMD would have produced a powerful company. nVida has 3DFX tech, Telsa, chipsets and the 2 companies had already done a lot of joint work on the original X-BOX design (intel was a late entry). AMD brought CPU tech, flash and some other tech into the mix. However it was not meant to be.

So buying ATI was just a plan B, and not really optimal.

The Intel Core architechture is impressive. It's powerful enough over the Athlon that they can take shortcuts. Gives them more headroom for later, whereas the Athlon is reaching its maximum efficiency of instructions per clock so they have to be more thoughtful with their engineering.

For me, this story crossed a line. ATI excellence. (5, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544034)

FRAUD ALERT? First, for me this story crossed a line. It looks like stock manipulation. Was KDawson paid to post this story? Who at Slashdot or its parent company has recently sold AMD stock short, betting that the price will fall? Are any Intel employees involved?

I would like to see a statement added at the end of this Slashdot story that KDawson took no money for this story, and that no one at Slashdot or its parent company took money or will benefit from a drop in price of AMD stock. I'm not accusing anyone of anything; I am just concerned that this story is worded in a way that seems sleazy and possibly fraudulent to me.

Second, in response to the parent comment. ATI is the premier video CPU provider now. nVidia is so lame that there is an entire web site devoted to fixing nVidia driver issues: LaptopVideo2Go [laptopvideo2go.com] . I spent hours trying to get one of my laptops, which has an nVidia chip, to work correctly with an external monitor. It works well now, but I could never have done the work without the help of LaptopVideo2Go.

Third, Intel is suffering from very bad management. For example, see the comment [slashdot.org] I posted to an earlier Slashdot story, responding to someone saying, "Intel's behavior regarding the OLPC is reprehensible."

Fourth, AMD seems to be the more technologically dedicated company. Intel has a history of dumb mistakes. For example, see this December 2000 article about the Pentium 4, which calls Intel "Chipzilla": Pentium 4 Linux problem all Chipzilla's fault, apparently [theregister.co.uk] . Quote: "Intel... failed ... through dumbness rather than malice."

I seem to remember that the entire Pentium 4 architecture was abandoned in favor of the Pentium 4 Mobile architecture, which is what Intel is shipping now.

Both AMD and Intel make VERY sophisticated processors. It's amazing that a product that is so tiny it is affected by quantum physics is cheap enough for everyone to own. When one is temporarily ahead, it is simply silly to say that the other is dying.

Stock prices are often affected by hysteria. This is especially true of prices of technical stocks, which are often owned by people who don't really understand the technology of the company they partly own.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (4, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543434)

I'm hoping that their new interest in opening up documentation and APIs is along term winner and they follow that through properly. OSS really needs a top hardware vendor on board that is open. If ATI is a secondary income stream then "we're protecting our IP" *should* be heard less and less. If the open model is right then a vendor that makes solid open hardware should be a winner over closed locked down stuff.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543454)

They spent oodles of money to R&D the new quad core architecture to really be a seamless 4 core proc that shared caches etc. Intel just slapped two dual cores together and shipped that. Turns out that in benchmarks for consumer programs, intel's stuff works quite well. AMD's cache sharing and topology of memory access that seems better for true multithreaded applications is irrelevant and occasionally a hinderance when you're running multiple single threaded programs.

When you are designing architectures for 7 or so years out, you need a powerful crystal ball, but no such thing exists. AMD just guessed wrong about the nature of future applications. Intel guessed wrong with the Itanium also. Maybe the common thread is you have to fit existing apps instead of the other way around. But, betting against app change has risk also.

Perhaps AMD should focus on the low end rather than guess what the high-end app technology of the future will look like. This may be a better bet for them because they cannot absorb the kinds of gambles that Intel can, being a smaller company. Thus, if they focus on the low-end, they don't have to predict the future of the high-end apps, reducing their risk. They just have to make existing apps run faster and/or cheaper. This would essentially force Intel to be the pioneer (of app change guessing) and take the arrows so that AMD doesn't have to. Of course there are the arrows of internal technology changes, but at least having to guess what *apps* of the future will be like is out of their court.
     

The problem is (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543722)

That good high end technology often gives you a good low end too. That is the current case with Intel's Core technology. You take a Core 2, but instead just make a single core version with less cache and clock it way down. You then have a chip with extremely good performance per watt, and good yields (and thus low price) to boot. The Core Solos, as Intel calls them, are extremely competitive on the low end. They've got ones with a TDP as low as 5.5watts.

So it can be hard to try and just compete on the low end of things, since you can't charge as much, and often the people doing the high end things get killer low end products as a side effect.

This is something companies have found out with graphics cards. There have been a number of companies who have tried to compete with nVidia and ATi in the lower end market. Their idea is that while they don't have the R&D to produce a top flight graphics card, that's ok because most people don't buy one of those anyhow. They'll make midrange and lower end cards and sell those.

Great idea, it seems, until you consider that ATi and nVidia get great midrange cards as a side effect of their high end cards. Graphics cards are highly parallel beasts so all they do to make a lower end card is cut some of the units off, put on less memory, maybe clock it down a bit to improve yields and they are good to go. An 8800 GTX and an 8600 GT are the same beast at heart. The 8600 basically just has 25% the number of shader units the 8800 does, and other things like a smaller memory bus. End result is nVidia has and extremely fast $100 card that cost them very little in terms of R&D that wasn't already done for their high end card.

So the companies that have tried have thus far met with little success. Their offerings just haven't been able to compete with the big boys and it is no surprise. You can pour a lot more in to R&D when you are going to sell graphics cards at $500+ and then make use of that very same technology in midrange and low end cards.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (4, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543968)

When you are designing architectures for 7 or so years out, you need a powerful crystal ball, but no such thing exists. AMD just guessed wrong about the nature of future applications. Intel guessed wrong with the Itanium also. Maybe the common thread is you have to fit existing apps instead of the other way around. But, betting against app change has risk also.

The problem is that the low end is probablly only a couple of years behind the high end. So if you try and stick to the low end you still have to design architectures 5 years or so out and each low end CPU makes far less profit than each high end CPU so you find it even harder to cover those R&D costs.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (5, Interesting)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543468)

Then they go off and buy ATI? Wouldn't it make sense to hang onto money a bit more than just purchase another company? Could that move end up dragging ATI down too?
That's because their plan is to merge the CPU and GPU into one unit [computerworld.com] . This is an advance that even Intel does not appear to be planning

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543528)

That's because their plan is to merge the CPU and GPU into one unit. This is an advance that even Intel does not appear to be planning
Is it? Don't gamerz upgrade their $1500 gaphics card every three months or so?

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (5, Funny)

Beliskner (566513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543546)

Is it? Don't gamerz upgrade their $1500 gaphics card every three months or so?
Exactly! Imagine how much money AMD would make if everyone upgraded their CPU every three months!!! It's their master plan!

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (2, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543756)

Personally I'm looking forward to the nVidia GPU+PhysX product.

That will finally be enough of a change to make me retire my 6200 with 512Mb ram.

Back on topic though, AMD profited mightily from the years when Microsoft's power was at its height, and the Wintel partnership was despised by many. I personally refused to buy an Intel chip for a long time because of the whole Wintel thing, and quite liked the faster and cheaper AMD products.

That's all old news now though. No-one really views the Wintel partnership as the PC market controlling giant it once was. AMD never got that essential buy in from the OEMs, so now the knee jerk anti Wintel thing is over, people are once again following the age old habit of following the winner. That's Intel, always has been really, even though they don't own the entire market.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (4, Informative)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543544)

O RLY? [tech.co.uk]

Internet memes aside, Nehalem has been confirmed to have GPU cores glued together in the same package as the CPU. That means you could have a Nehalem chip with an Intel X4500 (or even the memory controller) in one package. Considering Intel is currently the largest producer of graphics processors and seems to be more capable of developing and launching such technologies than relatively-small AMD, I would not be surprised in the least if Intel's technology beats out AMDs Fusion technology to the market.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543830)

Oh, did you think GMA 950 was just a part time hobby for Intel?
It's a sleeping beard mind you. Their newer graphics cores are in fact made of many parallel pipes much like x1000 series radeons.

It's nvidia I would be worried about in the long term. If IBM doesn't need their FPU/parallel/3D knowledge, they are going to die making high-end 3D cards. Maybe they move to game consoles where traditional cpu processing is less needed.

Not quite correct (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543736)

Intel did stick two chips together initially, whilst AMD put two cores on a single die. Later on Intel released the Core 2 Duo and implemented two cores on a single die.

Re:Not quite correct (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544016)

GP was referring to quad core CPUs. Maybe I missed recent news, but AFAIK all quad core CPUs Intel has released so far are dual-die.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (1)

Tsagadai (922574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543822)

You're thinking on entirely the wrong level. The ATi AMD merger has more to do with servers than you think. They were after the floating point and vector speed that graphics chips have been offering for a while now. Floating point processors are huge yield things. The second reason is the same as why intel has a graphics chip making division. It's not for "1337 Gamzors", it's for integration and selling 3 chips to an OEM instead of one.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (4, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543894)

AMD's opening of the ATI graphics card specs is what reinterested me in both companies. I had been buying Intel for quite some time now, but I'm going back to AMD because of the openness. Yes, Intel is open as well, but I've had much better results pushing AMD chips to the limits of temperature and I found them much more reliable when overheated than Intel. The fact that they are slightly less expensive is nice, too.

Re:Why did they buy ATI? (1, Insightful)

gVibe (997166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544136)

"Could that move end up dragging ATI down too?"

I sure hope so...ATI graphics suck and have always sucked. Every ATI card I have bought I ended up bringing back and paying the extra money for an NVIDIA. ATI never produces decent Linux drivers, probably never will. I would hate to see the AMD chip go, but ATI should burn in hell.

Yes. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543272)

Yes.

AMD did it to thsemelf (5, Insightful)

vxvxvxvx (745287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543284)

When AMD came out with low priced CPUs that were highly overclockable and great performance at stock they became *the* CPU for any serious geek. When they changed their mind and decided to price-match Intel causing massive price increases they alienated their primary sales force. Geeks selling to family & friends was a great system and without that AMD has been hurting. It's possible they would have died anyway sticking to the cheap, but they've never made a sufficient argument to their customers of why they can't keep the prices low like in the past without letting it on that they like all big business care more about short term cash than long term relationships.

Re:AMD did it to themselves (5, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543304)

And they went with trusted computing. That was the last straw for me. I would have continued to buy from them despite the flaws listed in parent post, if they just continued to build computers that I could trust.

Re:AMD did it to themselves (4, Informative)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543432)

So who would you buy instead? Considering that these are the founders of the Trusted Computing Group:

AMD
Hewlett-Packard
IBM
Infineon
Intel Corporation
Lenovo Holdings Limited
Microsoft
Sun Microsystems, Inc
That doesn't leave you an awful lot of choice, does it?

Re:AMD did it to themselves (5, Funny)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543610)

How about Zilog or Motorola? Last time I checked, they had some great procesors.

For full disclosure, I should add that last I checked was twenty years ago.

Re:AMD did it to themselves (0)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543678)

How about DEC or SGI? Or Texas Instruments? I believe the transputer might be the wave of the future too.

Re:AMD did it to themselves (4, Interesting)

shtarker (621355) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543808)

Or for processors that can still run x86 instructions, how about VIA?

OpenCores (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543938)

Personally, I'd rather by from ANY of those vendors. The sooner they stop being designers of proprietary tech, and start building from/contributing to open CPU designs, the better.

Re:AMD did it to thsemelf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543436)

Not only that,but the became full of themselfs when both linux devs and MS jumped on the AMD64 bandwagon over ia64. They seemed to stop development untill intel came out with core 2 duo that was not only faster then AMDs top chip but 1/3 of the price. Sence then AMDs been in a tail spin droping prices and recently the quad core mess and still behind in both specs and price.

Re:AMD did it to thsemelf (1)

Jarik_Tentsu (1065748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543812)

For a time their top end CPUs, liked the FX52, beat the Intel CPUs too.

But as soon as the Core 2 lineup came out, Intel beat them in both power and price. And Intel kept dropping their prices.

`Jarik

I thought Core2 did them in (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543818)

AMD decided to price match Intel? I thought it was the other way around. Here in the UK at least you can get a quad core 6600 for £164.99 [ebuyer.com] . That's the CPU I use and I reckon that it's the total sweet spot for price/performance, plus you can overclock it about 40% using stock cooling. AMD have had to slash prices to compete on price/performance, leading to their current woes.

In fact looking at the AMD page on ebuyer they have great cheap AMD dual core chips. If I were building a nice but cheap system for friends/family I'd probably go with one of those AMD's unless they wanted to play the latest games. Then it'd be Core2 all the way.

I think you've got it exactly the wrong way round. Intel moved in on AMD's market, not the other way around.

Will they make it? (2, Informative)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543292)

For the sake of competition, let's hope so, but it doesn't seem like it. The first Radeon card to support Direct3D 10 took way too long and their processors (both CPU and GPU) are all but impressive these days. Also, their CPUs' cost:performance ratio aren't what they used to be in the glory days which makes them less attractive.

The FX-60 was in my opinion the last exceptional AMD processor to hit the market, both quality and innovation wise. After Core 2 Duo, AMD kind of hit the ground burning.

Re:Will they make it? (3, Insightful)

darien (180561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543402)

their processors (both CPU and GPU) are all but impressive these days

The Phenom's a bit of a disappointment, and will probably remain so until/unless people start writing much more parallelisable code (until then, Intel's bigger L2 cache more than makes up for Phenom's "true" quad-core design). But AMD are fighting back on the GPU side - the HD 3870 X2 has had some great reviews, and in many games it's faster than an 8800 Ultra for sixty quid less.

Of course, since Nvidia have just launched the 9600GT, we may presume there's a 9800GT on the way soon that'll blow both of them away; but while AMD's GPUs were, frankly, laughable all through 2007, the new cards definitely put them back in the game. I think they'll be with us for a while yet.

Re:Will they make it? (2, Insightful)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543754)

the price:performance ratios look pretty good still, according to tom's hardware's charts at least.

http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=946&model2=882&chart=444 [tomshardware.com]

There are still plenty of reasons to buy AMD. We all seem to forget that these things just execute binaries and seem to be ascribing all sorts of personal identification with a friggen CPU brand, as if it were a shirt we wear every day. When I bought my way into dual cores kinda recently (you can probably figure out the type of user I am -- pragmatic?) I looked at their chart, looked around in my price range, and realized that AMD was as fine of a bet as Intel. I could have easily bought an Intel processor, but the products I found fitting my mainboard and processor needs aligned quite evenly over AMD, so after putting aside the market perception, that's what I got.

And my computer does its job of being a computer very nicely.

Re:Will they make it? (2, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543840)

Me too, just bought a dual core AMD 64. The price of same type of system from Intel would be about $100 more, which isn't much when spending $1500, but I trust AMD more and I believe them when they say there will be an upgrade path from the AM2+ I bought to newer CPU's. (Assuming they stay afloat long enough). Intel however have no such guarantee and I had a very tough time figuring out what CPU went with which boards.

No. (1, Flamebait)

thebsdguy (1050952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543318)

Wait for Phenom to unleash its fury.

Godot would be faster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543422)

By the time the "Phenom"inal failure's able to "unleash the fury", it'll have to compete with Nehelem, which it will never be able to do, as it's Intel's approach to Barcelona (and all things being equal, which they aren't, Intel will win due to the sheer capabilities of its manufacturing process department). Add to this that Conroe's IPC is already better than Barcelona's and you can pretty much kiss AMD's shot at regaining the lead in the near term goodbye.

Don't think so. (3, Funny)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543336)

Although AMD is not that advertised as Intel is, it continues to remain a solid product company.
For instance the AMD Athlon X2 64-bit dual core chip i use, is quieter, less power hungry and more powerful than its intel-equivalent.

I have always thought of Intel chips as a short, well-built sprinter, whose ting pegs can carry him over a short distance quickly but in the longer haul (marathon), it can keep up only by downing copious amounts of glucose fluids and sweats a lot.

AMD is a picture of a tall (6.5 feet), lean, kenyan man, whose stamina, endurance make him take the 15 mile marathon easily without breaking a sweat.

AMD would be either bought over by IBM or even by Microsoft.

Re:Don't think so. (5, Interesting)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543450)

In the past, AMD had an architecture advantage over Intel and Intel had a slight process technology advantage.

Now the situation is different:

-Since the introduction of the Core 2 Duo Intel has the better architecture (minus memory controller though).
-Intel is smoking the rest of the industry with 45nm high-k/metal gate in therms of process technology. Compared to what has been published by IBM about their hkmg technology IBM/AMD has a long way to go to catch up.

And let me say this: Intels technology is extremely clever, they did one fundamentally different thing (gate first) against conventional wisdom which took them onto an entirely different path. Getting the fundamental flaws out of this approach enables a flurry of additional optimizations that IBM/AMD will not be able to apply in their technology. (full metal gates, not using any exotic materials for the gate)

The only disadvantage for intel could be higher cost/lower yield associated with the hkmg process. However they have the benefit of scale (in therms of volume) on their side. In addition they went go through the painful hkmg transition two years earlier and hence things will be much easier for them at the 32nm node. IBM/AMD will be in even more trouble than they are now. I predict that Intel will have a very quick 32nm ramp around the time IBM/AMD managed to get their 45nm hkmg process to manufacturable yield.

One potential future advantage of AMD's technology (3, Interesting)

this great guy (922511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544090)

In terms of manufacturing technology, Intel and AMD are indeed taking different roads. One of the biggest advantage that AMD has yet to realize with their technology (SOI) is to implement Z-RAM [wikipedia.org] for their processor caches. Z-RAM is a type of memory so dense it requires only 1 transistor per bit instead of 6 transistors for traditional SRAM, potentially allowing AMD to have caches about 6 times the size of Intel's caches on the same die area. Of course nobody knows yet for sure if/when Z-RAM will turn out to be doable. But if it is, Intel would have to way to implement the technology without massively reconverting their fabs to the SOI process.

Re:Don't think so. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543590)

I find your post vaguely homo-erotic and a bit disturbing. Please don't do that again.

Re:Don't think so. (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543614)

AMD would be either bought over by IBM or even by Microsoft.

Please dear $DEITY NO

Put a CPU company in the hands of Microsoft and Windows Vista will seem like the most free software in the world compared to the horrors that will be...

Imagine if the next version of Windows, you can only run application written for .Net. People don't care, because it'll be easy to port their apps anyway. So now Microsoft can change the CPU to something else than intel. Companies will have to build the new CPU into computers, because people will still demand to run Windows. Now, they can patent the hell out of both the CPU, and also .Net, and by magic alone, no one will be able to run any software on their computer legally in the US unless they have a license from Microsoft.

Re:Don't think so. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544052)

People don't care, because it'll be easy to port their apps anyway.
Afaict it is pretty hard to port an app to pure .net (with no calls at all into custom native code), certainly much more trouble than porting to a new CPU architecture.

Besides look how long win16 has hung arround, killing off win32 will be suicidal for a long time even if porting an app you have the source for is trivial. MS lives on the fact that binaries for the most part just keep working.

Re:Don't think so. (5, Interesting)

steevc (54110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543760)

For instance the AMD Athlon X2 64-bit dual core chip i use, is quieter, less power hungry and more powerful than its intel-equivalent.
I thought all chips were pretty much silent. It tends to be the cooling fan that makes the noise, but using less power should allow for a quieter fan.

I've used several AMD processors (couple of Durons and now an Athlon X2). I chose them on a value for money basis. I never buy the fastest chips that command a heavy price premium, so the arguments over who has the top chip of the moment are irrelevant to me. I considered an Intel for my current PC, but the price difference was minimal and I know the AMD-based chipsets a bit better so I knew it should work for me. I do like to support the underdog, but not if it exceeds my budget.

Even in the last few years I have met people who consider AMD to be inferior or less reliable than Intel chips. Intel's marketing millions must be doing something for them, but I find their jingle intensely annoying when it crops up in the middle of an ad.

Re:Don't think so. (2, Interesting)

miknix (1047580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543900)

IMHO AMD Athlon/Turion 64 X2 chips are still very great chips, although they are not the *fastest* in the market. It is too bad that most of people only look at benchmarks for evaluating CPUs, specially when most of the major benchmarks out there are *owned* by the market itself.

Looking at most of my friends who have core 2 duo laptops mostly with Vista, I'm still impressed how buggy the Centrino technology is. They get BSOD and cold reboots when turning on the wireless card or even when they are actually doing nothing! I'm sure most of you will say: "-Hey dude, it's windows!". But, might it be windows fault?

I own a Turion64 X2 + nForce + Geforce laptop. This hardware combination is awesome, the system is always smooth even under heavy cpu or hdd I/O. I never had a machine hardware exception, no overheat nor compatibility problems. What I would want more? Nothing. I would not trade this laptop by any superior Core 2 Duo solution.

And why average Joe cares having a fast multi-core CPU when all his applications are word, excel, mostly single threaded programs?

Re:Don't think so. (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544000)

I'm still impressed how buggy the Centrino technology is

Turion64 X2 + nForce + Geforce laptop. This hardware combination is awesome
Exactly !
I own a M2Ne-SLI motherboard with dual 8600 GT powered by an Athlon X2 dual-core running at 3.8 Ghz.
I had an Athlon XP 1800+ before for about 4 years.

Never once have i had/have a BSOD in XP.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of my wife's Dell XP Centrino Laptop which crashes suddenly when Bluetooth is switched on, or etc.

AMD's support is also awesome especially when it comes to high-powered systems, compared to Intel which treats all customers as Microsofties.
AMD on the other hand is patient enough to listen, and then help me out.

Why not? (2, Interesting)

schnoid (834307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543342)

They've done it before. Beat all odds and started developing better chips than Intel for awhile. There's always a chance they could do it again, but I don't foresee that happening in the near future.

Darling of the community! (5, Interesting)

kingmetal (1245586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543346)

I hope that AMD soon becomes the darling of the community once again, it's because of them that I recently got back into PC gaming. I had totally given up on gaming on the PC, I had bought a gen1 X2 4200 and AM2 motherboard right before the Core 2 Duos came out and I was cursing my bad luck ever since - until I realized that the real holdup in my system wasn't the processor, but my aging 6600GT. In fact, even though I had bought my AM2-based system almost 2 years ago (or longer! I can't remember when the platform launched) I still had a fairly recent system that could actually support even the newest AMD chips. The real kicker came when I bought my Ati Radeon HD3850. This thing, in my oppinion, should be getting just as much press as the 8800GT. For someone like me, spending $180 on a graphics card is a whole lot more reasonable than spending $250+ on an 8800GT just for performance gains in games like Crysis. My housemate dropped over $1000 on a new Intel Quad-core based rig with an 8800GT in it and my system keeps pace with his very well under almost all scenarios. There is a difference, sure, but considering my entire rig probably cost less than $500 (exluding monitor), I'd say I'm doing pretty well. AMD is doing a great job at catering to people like me who were about to be console-only gamers because keeping up to date on the PC side was getting expensive. AMD offers an affordable upgrade path at a lower performance point - but it's good enough to make my Xbox 360 jealous! I'm proud to say that I'm still an AMD fan. Will an X2 5000+ Black Edition beat a comparably clocked Core 2 Duo? No! But look at the price! I'd say the price to performance ratio is way up there!

Re:Darling of the community! (2, Interesting)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544004)

I've been wondering where all the AMD fanboys went off to lately. I used to see a lot of people railing against Intel and hailing AMD as the greatest company ever. But now it seems the only time I ever hear about AMD is when folks talk about ATI graphics cards.

Slow/quick end.... (3, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543352)

Well, I am sorry to say it, but AMD is dying at this moment. Their purchase of ATI was disastrous for them and probably the worst move they have ever made. While "good on paper", the reality of it was that AMD was over-sold on the merits of ATI's then just about to be in production GPU from 2 years ago, and its in development (the current generation GPUs that they have now 3870/3850). As we still see today, even this current generation of GPU's from AMD can not outperform Nvidia's last generation 8800 series, even with 1.5 years time to reach that level of performance. This have seriously damaged their ability to be profitable in the video card segment as they have had to price their cards much lower than Nvidia to be even considered from a prospective customer. This is the same battle they are fighting on their CPU side as well ever since Intel released the Core Duo (and the subsequent Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Duo Extreme, Quad Core, and Quad Extreme processors). Basically, on the mid and high end desktop market, AMD has had no real competing product for about 1-2 years, and again, have to settle on pricing against the comparable performance Intel CPU. Intel gets to use the production line chips that fail to meet full speed for slower binned parts which in many cases still outperform AMD's fastest performing part. This is allowing Intel to keep their costs lower, and forcing AMD to slowly bleed to death because they can not afford to price their chips that low. And the high debt AMD incurred on the ATI purchase has been keeping them from doing what they have done in the past when they had a poorer performing chip, i.e. cut costs, bunker down, and increase development dollars on the next gen that was in progress to push up the release date of the new architecture. However, the lack of cash on hand is making that last part impossible to do. And early indications are not looking good even for this current line of quad cores and tri-cores. Basically, these chips still can not get near the performance of the current high end Intel chips.

Re:Slow/quick end.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543494)

The thing is, 3870 and especially 3850 still beats the nVidia's 8800 series by price/performance ratio.

Re:Slow/quick end.... (5, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543558)

Excellent points sir.
I should like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a friend of mine. ... ...
The Paragraph break.

Re:Slow/quick end.... (1)

Ghaan (1103023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543594)

I wouldn't be so pesimistic. How many times I heard, "oh, M$ is dying!", "they do open source now, they must be dying!"
And see? M$ is still here and it's doing well. The stock price goes up and down, that's a normal cycle. Why they bought ATI? Because Intel is doing graphic cards, too. AMD wants to see AMD motherboards with integrated AMD-ATI on it. That's business. Maybe they will die, but it will be not so easy as Intel would be only one mass-CPU manufacturer, so other players would jump in and pump/take over AMD, risk-capital investment games are funny...

It is official; Fallen Kell now confirms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543628)

It is official; Fallen Kell now confirms: AMD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered AMD community when IDC confirmed that AMD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that AMD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. AMD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict AMD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: AMD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for AMD because AMD is dying. Things are looking very bad for AMD. As many of us are already aware, AMD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

All major surveys show that AMD has steadily declined in market share. AMD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If AMD is to survive at all it will be among CPU dilettante dabblers. AMD continues to decay. Nothing short of a cockeyed miracle could save AMD from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, AMD is dead.

Fact: AMD is dying

Re:Slow/quick end.... (2, Insightful)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543630)

Everyone looks at the high end market to get the temperature of a video card company. It's really the worst place to look, as the embedded video and cards packaged with desktop sales seem to be the real force behind the company's profit. ATI losing ground to the nforce and intel embedded video market (cutting into their Rage cards and similar) are probably what made ATI affordable for AMD in the first place. Unfortunately this also meant that they were still on the downslope and AMD would be taking losses for some time to follow the purchase.

It's hardly the end though. The only people who bother "predicting" the end of a company are fearful shareholders or people who have nothing better to do. Everyone else is just wondering just WHEN the benefits of the ATI purchase will show, not if.

Re:Slow/quick end.... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543672)

Well, I am sorry to say it, but AMD is dying at this moment.

Dang, and I was so looking forward to building that Opteron-based BSD box - guess that's really not happening now.

Re:Slow/quick end.... (1)

mahlerfan999 (1077021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544134)

If you look more carefully at AMD's stocks you'll see that it only dropped just over the past few months (starting in October). Despite your amazing ability to eulogize, that's really not enough evidence of amd's demise. Every successful company has had falling stock prices over short terms. We need to actually wait and see longer before announcing the company's death.

And I really doubt that Intel outperforms amd on every level. Honestly, for every benchmark test on the web that says that Intel beats amd, you can find another benchmark test that declares amd the winner. The actual truth of the matter is that ranking cpus is a complex task with performance depending on what you are doing with the cpu. For some things Intel will outperform amd, but in others it will be reversed. So enough already with the sweeping generalizations.

The have only a few more shots (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543358)

I wish the Phenom turned out better than it did (like came out sooner and was faster and cheaper). I think AMD has a few more shots at recovering from Intel's brutal one-two-three punch of Core series and 65nm (AMD didn't get this until way late) and affordable Quads (phenom took way too long).

Now AMD will always be around, but maybe not in a big way in the future. VIA releases new x86 chips every one in a while. And they actually make money on what they do. But there is little mainstream interest in VIA's work. And I suspect that unless AMD can hit it big in the mainstream processor market they will have to reconsider their strategy and go after less competitive market segments with specialized products.

Of course AMD will survive. (3, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543360)

They have shown that they can make Intel jump to their tune (64 bit CPUs anyone?), they just bought ATI and are thus in a position to better integrate CPUs and GPUs (for better performance), which is something that I'm sure a few hard core gamers might be interested in. They still have a strong research arm. And if nothing else, they can always go back to building cheaper Intel knock-offs which is (I believe) where they started.

Re:Of course AMD will survive. (4, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543470)

they just bought ATI and are thus in a position to better integrate CPUs and GPUs (for lower price), which is something that I'm sure the mass market might be interested in.

Fixed that for you. Anyway, the mass market is where the money is. Pandering to gamers is more of a prestige thing, 90-something percent of the PC buyers don't care about that.

Re:Of course AMD will survive. (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543854)

A fair share of gamers doesn't either. Unless you are overly concerned about playing the latest game on highest graphics settings you can usually get away with a fairly modest system, and not all games are memory-hogging monsters that require beefed up hardware. After all, why would game publishers set their system requirements out of reach of 90% of the PC owners? Blizzard has quite a tradition of making their games playable on modest hardware ( albeit with lower graphics settings ) to mention an example. This is going to continue since quite a lot of the processing power needed for modern games is in the graphics, and in many games it is often easy to make the most high-end eye-candy optional.

AMD has too many assets to just disappear (2, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543366)

AMD could survive, albeit much diminished, as a foundry - they have a huge fab in Germany, and there are always companies willing to have their designs produced somewhere. Fabs really have no problem getting contracts.
AMD makes a ton of FLASH memory.
And then there's the GPU division (ATI). It's a bit hard to imagine that both CPU, GPU and Flash RAM will all tank at once.

Could it happen? Yeah. Everything is possible. I would not bet my apartement on it, though.

Re:AMD has too many assets to just disappear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543442)

Actually, AMD spun off it's NOR flash business some time ago:
http://www.spansion.com [spansion.com]
Intel is in the midst of doing the same with its NOR flash, but keeping it's NAND flash going.

I think AMD will continue to be around -- but I think they will seriously consider going fabless. It's just too expensive to keep up with Intel and IBM. They already use TSMC for the ATI portion of their business. Certainly going there for the microprocessor wouldn't be a stretch.

Re:AMD has too many assets to just disappear (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543484)

It's a bit hard to imagine that both CPU, GPU and Flash RAM will all tank at once.

It would be called a "core dump" :-)
     

Re:AMD has too many assets to just disappear (1)

Fenice (1156725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543744)

Your comment is right, and it makes me wonder if they did not bought ATI in order to survive de storm they saw coming when Intel announced its Core2 and their price drop...

Just ordered an AMD 4800+ yesterday (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543376)

with a nforce chipset mobo to go with it. i bought my first amd in 2001, and bought nothing else since. happy to say that with the amd+nforce chipset combo, i had done well with even mediocre graphic cards in the period. no sir, amd is not out.

x86 history report... (2, Insightful)

twitchingbug (701187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543424)

It's a basic business cycle here.

large company make billions of dollars, sits on it's laurels. Young upstart company makes a decent product and begins to eat at the large company's business. In this case, intel was nimble and humble enough to realize how to respond to that (make lower power chips and adopt x86-64 from AMD) So now, AMD is back to being a scrappy company. Just wait until Intel makes another bazillion and sits on it's laurels again. AMD (or someone) will come to push Intel again.

(The major difference now however, is that fabs are freakin' expensive and AMD might not have enough capital to keep upgrading fabs, which will run them out of business.)

Re:x86 history report... (2, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22544116)

I remember back in the 486/pentium era there were at least three smaller vendors competing with intel for the low end PC market (IDT, cyrix and AMD). AMD are still competitive, IDT and cyrix essentially failed in the general purpose PC cpu market and thier PC processor related stuff ended up owned by VIA who use thier IP to produce low performance low power PC compatible processors for embedded and thin client markets but they don't even try to compete on price/performance even at the low end of the market.

Since then afaict there has been on new entry (transmeta) in the PC processor market which was a miserable failure.

So we are down from three to one serious competitors for intel. If AMD fall I wonder if anyone else will ever manage to break in.

IBM habitually declares competion dead (4, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543472)

Long ago, FUD was the bread and butter of the IBM consultant, what's new?

Free Software friendly (5, Interesting)

that_itch_kid (1155313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543482)

I'll admit I don't know much about the matter, but they seem to be fairly Free Software friendly, in terms of their releasing of documentation for both their CPUs and the ATI GPUs.

Does anyone have any detailed information on this? Perhaps the Free Software community can support AMD's openness by buying AMD hardware, *and letting them know this is the reason*.

Re:Free Software friendly (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543602)

AMD has started open-sourcing their documentation which is great, but don't forget about the competition:

Intel has built some great tools and is becoming more open-source friendly all the time. Think PowerTop [lesswatts.org] and their whole LessWatts stuff, think their linux drivers [intel.com] .

nVidia hasn't produced any open source drivers. However, their blob drivers have always worked like a charm for me. This may be somewhat of a clash between ideology and practicability here, but I prefer the nVidia/Linus/"DO STUFF" approach to the AMD/RMS/"Ideology is important" one. While not being completely open, nVidia graphics hardware has enjoyed great linux support for quite some time and that's what counts to me.

Prediction made 2 months bef. the Opteron release (5, Informative)

this great guy (922511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543524)

It is interesting to note that this article is dated February 17, 2003. In other words IBM made this prediction literally 2 months before AMD introduced their first 64-bit processors, the Opteron, in April 2003. Little did they know the impact the AMD64 architecture would have on the industry (Intel cloned the architecture) and on AMD itself (it helped them stay afloat for the past 5 years).

Perverted Arse-Fucking Lechery Jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543566)

Says NO WAY!!!

AMD shall live forever!!

I inadvertently switched to Intel... (4, Interesting)

vistic (556838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543580)

... when I deliberately switched to Mac.

Before I switched to using Macs, I would always build my own PC's from components, and I always chose an AMD processor (starting with the 450 MHz AMD K6-III).

Until Macs start coming with AMD chips, I doubt I'll buy another one any time soon.

Re:I inadvertently switched to Intel... (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543726)

Until Macs start coming with AMD chips, I doubt I'll buy another one any time soon.

AMD is in no position to keep up with the number of chips that Apple requires.

Re:I inadvertently switched to Intel... (2, Insightful)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543824)

Uh, erm, what?

Did apple's market share explode just recently?
AMD seems to be fairly capable of supplying various server-
and desktop-vendors. Dell, HP and Sun come to mind.

I don't think that the "number of chips that apple requires"
would be such a big deal for AMD.

Re:I inadvertently switched to Intel... (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543866)

There is a difference between supplying a variety of random chips and a single line in LARGE quantities.

There's also a difference between market share and the number of computers a company ships.

Not if I can help it... (4, Interesting)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543642)

I've built a very good number of machines for people lately with Abit micro-ATX boards, with built-in graphics (d-sub and DVI). Throw in a 2.4 GHz X2 and 4 gigs of memory, a hard drive, and a burner, and the hardware comes to something like $300. Good, fast, and CHEAP.

    One of the offices was broken into lately, and the thieves bypassed the "wimpy" micro-ATX cases and stole big, heavy machines... which happened to be older, slower stuff.

AMD didn't do good, Intel messed up (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543680)

When AMD had a good streak, it was more because Intel got lazy and fumbled the ball rather than AMD doing anything particularly well. During this time they kept churning out increasingly cheap yet powerful processors that gave great value for money compared to Intel. There was no particularly clever technology being deployed, it was just cheaper for the same power. I built loads of PC's during this time and they all had AMD CPU's because they gave by far the best value for money and ease of overclocking. The X2 was a bit of a coup but by then Intel were playing catch up with a vengence so any lead was soon lost.

Let's hope they don't die! (5, Insightful)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543696)

Let us all hope they don't die, I'm almost an Intel fanboy but my god if AMD dies! Intel would rape us all. Competition is always healthy. I think AMD has good low priced CPUs though and they sure do the job.

Token competitor (4, Insightful)

benesch (747215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543708)

What's better for Intel: to be charged for being a monopolist by the competition authorities or having an ineffective token competitor? Thus: Intel will keep AMD in business.

AMD, next sunday on Fox !!! (3, Funny)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543712)

Will AMD still be here in 5 years?
Can they pose a credible competitive threat to Intel's dominance?
Do they still have superior but unappreciated technology?
Or are they finally old hat? Can they really recover?


You will get the answers to these question and plenty of others in the next episode, released starting from 2013.

Do you want to be any more inflammatory? (2, Insightful)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22543862)

If headlines are allowed in slashdot articles with this tone, I fear for the future: Can we expect such gems in the coming months: Torvalds leaves mangled corpse in Linux debate Minor power outage in Guam, world doomed! Copyright violators: You're screwed! Microsoft says, 'Fark off' Lets get a little sense of perspective in here please?

what AMD really needs to do... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22543904)

...is to create the 128 bit architecture upgrade for their processors.
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