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Intel 45nm Processors Waiting to Clobber AMD's Barcelona? 302

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the surprise-processor-clobber dept.
DKC writes "Tech ARP's anonymous source claims that Intel is merely waiting for AMD to release their Barcelona processors before they clobber them with their 45nm die-shrinked processors. In fact, Intel is already producing these 45nm processors at one of their fabs in Arizona. AMD and Intel are in for a long and tough battle ahead. Should be an interesting one though."
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Intel 45nm Processors Waiting to Clobber AMD's Barcelona?

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  • Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:21PM (#20295937)
    I wish other markets were like this. They compete: I win
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770)
      I wish other markets were like this. They compete: I win

      Until it degenerates to one of two:
      They compete. You win. One wins. You lose.
      They compete. You win. They go "wtf, let's both make a killing". You lose.

      Granted the last decade has been great, but face it... in that time Intel has made two terrible strategic blunders, the Pentium 4 and the Itanium. AMD did great innovation with the Athlon and 64-bit processors, and yet AMD has barely passed 20% in market share, has lost the performance crown and is a ful
  • by imsabbel (611519) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:22PM (#20295963)
    Intel cannot switch their production completely to those parts in a few month. they have huge amounts of 65nm cpus in production, plus they dont have to fab capacity to replace that production at 45nm.

    Also, seeing that they already are > 3/4 of the (x86) cpu market, and AMD will only ramp up slowly, Intel would most of all hurt the sales of their own established product lines.
    • by RingDev (879105) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:40PM (#20296189) Homepage Journal
      Yes, but by switching to 45nm fabrication they are increasing the yield of their production facility, so they can produce more products for the same amount of raw material. Switching to 45nm chips is in Intel's best interests long term. Short term, selling down 65nm stock and spinning up production of 45nm tooling is in their best interest.

      That said, I want AMD to come out with some kick ass chips. If it weren't for AMD forcing innovation down Intel's throat we would still be stuck with that crap they called the Pentium 4. If AMD continues to lag behind in performance and sales, it will only lead to slower development tracks from Intel.

      -Rick
      • by imsabbel (611519)
        Of course it is, no questions asked.
        My argument was entirely concerning the immidiate response to AMDs release in a few weeks.

        And that the ASP drop of the current lines because of the 45nm release could cause more hurt than any barcelona pressure could.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099)

        Yes, but by switching to 45nm fabrication they are increasing the yield of their production facility, so they can produce more products for the same amount of raw material. Switching to 45nm chips is in Intel's best interests long term.

        Actually, yield is the percentage of manufactured chips that are functional. When you shrink the die, you tend to get poorer yields and have to use more expensive wafers. Essentially, small imperfections (and all chips have them) that don't matter to 90nm parts will rende

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dave420 (699308)
        We don't know for sure AMD's pressure on Intel is driving their innovation. After all, the Core/Core 2 Duo chips were essentially developed from an accidental boost in the performance of their mobile chips. It's a pretty big assumption to pin Intel's progress on AMD.
  • As long as it helps drive down prices so we can all benefit from the competition. Game on!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Bazar (778572)
      Its only short term, that lower prices are good.

      Long term, if AMD doesn't make a profit, and eventually liquidates, Intel will be the only remaining manufacturer of x86 CPUs (At least the only one able to meet demand, at cost effective prices)

      They'll have an effective monopoly, which means without a doubt, Intel will raise their prices... Its not like a competitor can spring in to compete. The capital required, both in plant, and research, to enter such a manufacturing market is mammoth, how many billion ha
      • Of course, if AMD folds, and Intel becomes a monopoly, then grows complacent and stops innovating, then non-x86 chips are likely to be able to catch up in terms of price/performance (they are already better in terms of performance/watt in a lot of areas). As someone who uses Free Software, and isn't tied to x86, this isn't exactly something I'd object to.
  • by etymxris (121288) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:27PM (#20296021)
    When Intel doesn't have to even compete with the latest offerings, business logic rules and technical improvements play second fiddle. Here we have "Why should we release this chip now? The old chips are cheaper to produce and since AMD can't even compete with our current lineup we can keep selling them at the same price, ensuring more profit for us."
    • by hobbesmaster (592205) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:51PM (#20296347)
      So, is it better to release something while you're getting low yields and have it show up almost nowhere (the case for the first few months of the core 2 release) or to wait until you can actually have a good number on the shelves, and keep pumping them out?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shawnce (146129)
      Intel is only starting to pump out 45nm parts (ramping up production lines). They cannot fulfill the needs of their first tear customers yet, so they won't officially release them until they can. I however wouldn't be to surprised if Apple, who has lower unit volumes, picks up the 45nm parts ahead of the big guys as part of an off the price list deal (like Apple currently has with the 3.0 GHz quad core Xeons). Intel so far appears to be ahead of what they originally predicted timeframe wise for Penryn / 45n
      • They cannot fulfill the needs of their first tear customers yet...
        Tier.
        • by xs650 (741277)
          OP was correct, first tear customers are the ones on the bleeding edge of technology.

          Note: That's tear as in what drips out of eyes of an unhappy person, not tear, as in "tear him a new on"
    • The old chips are cheaper to produce...

      Wouldn't smaller dies = more per wafer = more cost effective solution?
      • by Orne (144925)
        New die technologies have a higher waste ratio than more established production lines. Sure, you can pack more per square inch, but think of the dimensions involved and how small a margin of error you must achieve... 1/3rd less area per chip = 50% more chips per same diameter plate, but your new fab. machines have to be that much more accurate. Some error is recoverable (sold to us with different "official" clock speeds) but sometimes the chip is a loss.

        If they can't be accurate you have to slow the proce
    • Here we have "Why should we release this chip now? The old chips are cheaper to produce and since AMD can't even compete with our current lineup we can keep selling them at the same price, ensuring more profit for us."

      Sounds exactly like what they should do. They are continuing to develop new products, insuring profits for their stockholders from some time to come. Them not selling us something because of market factors is just the name of the game. The fact that it(45nm) was made is the achievement, not necessarily when it gets to market. As long as the competition keeps Intel innovating, we all gain, even if new breakthroughs are held from the market for business reasons.

    • A friend of mine and myself both upgraded our desktop PCs. They chose an Intel Core 2 Duo because "Intel wins in all the benchmarks." I bought AMD instead.

      Their system is based around a E6600 ($270 at the time), mine is based around an X2 3600+ 65nm ($75 at the time). Their system has 2gb of RAM, mine has 4gb of RAM. My motherboard (with nVidia chipset) was $80 cheaper than their P5B Deluxe. Overall my system was $400 cheaper -- with double the RAM. I go into my Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe BIOS and change the
      • There's a hidden point in your words, which is that there are cases where the Core2Duo is a better buy. There are applications where the Intel architecture does beat up on AMD's (video and some rendering come to mind), and so it's a better purchase there. Some people run farms (even small ones of only a half-dozen systems), and a 10% performance difference may mean a 10% difference in their income for contract work.

        For most of us, it's not nearly as important, as you say. If my system runs my games 5fps
      • by samkass (174571)
        I don't think anyone is arguing that Intel beats AMD at every price point, product offering, and purpose. But by and large the Core 2 Duo tends to beat AMD across many areas of the curve for many tasks. Congrats for finding an area where your obvious support of AMD didn't mean you had to compromise your performance-- and you only had to void the warranty and reduce the lifetime by artificially boosting your system's clock by over 20% to match Intel!
      • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Monday August 20, 2007 @05:05PM (#20297225)
        Yeah, but performance is not the top concern anymore. The three big questions are
        (1) How much power does it draw?
        (2) How much heat does it make?
        (3) How loud is it?

        The market is worried about how "livable" computers are. That's why laptop sales have grown so much.

        AMD x2's are good chips (I have one and like it fine), but the market will turn on efficiency questions not performance.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        So you overclocked and they didn't? Somehow you think you can compare the systems?
      • by MojoStan (776183) on Monday August 20, 2007 @07:23PM (#20298467)

        A friend of mine and myself both upgraded our desktop PCs. They chose an Intel Core 2 Duo because "Intel wins in all the benchmarks." I bought AMD instead.

        I knew right away, from your tone and your friend's quote, that you would buy for price/performance and your friend would buy for performance only. An unfair, biased comparison would follow. Did your friend know he or she was competing in a price/performance contest?

        Their system is based around a E6600 ($270 at the time), mine is based around an X2 3600+ 65nm ($75 at the time).

        "At the time" is not the "current lineup," which the GP [slashdot.org] was referring to. Way to go there, comparing a mid-range (at the time) Intel CPU to a low-end (at the time) AMD CPU. Don't mention that $270 currently gets you Intel's E6850 (3GHz, 1333MHz, 4MB) and almost gets you Intel's Quad Q6600 ($280). $75 currently gets you Intel's (Core 2 based) Pentium Dual-Core E2140.

        Their system has 2gb of RAM, mine has 4gb of RAM.

        RAM costs the same for both platforms.

        My motherboard (with nVidia chipset) was $80 cheaper than their P5B Deluxe.

        I'm sure "they" could have bought a significantly cheaper motherboard. Currently, an ASUS P5NSLI motherboard (with nForce 570 SLI Intel Edition chipset) is $45 cheaper (at Newegg) than your ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe (with nForce 570 SLI AMD Edition chipset).

        Overall my system was $400 cheaper -- with double the RAM.

        You bought a low-end CPU and a mid-range motherboard. Your friend bought a mid-range CPU and a high-end motherboard. You also bought at a time when AMD drastically slashed prices in response to Intel kicking their arse in the mid-range and high-end. At the time, AMD was only competitive in the low-end (where Intel still only offered Netburst CPUs).

        I go into my Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe BIOS and change the clock rate of my CPU from 1.9Ghz to 2.4Ghz with no ill effects and get the same # of 3D Marks as them because I have the same kind of video card (8600 GTS PCI-E).

        Yeah, that's a fair comparison. Overclock your low-end AMD CPU and compare it to a mid-range Intel CPU at stock speeds.

        They're happy because they bought "performance" (as sold to them via Intel marketing), and I'm happy because I bought the same performance (as proved by benchmarks) for a lot less.

        If they're happy, then they probably didn't know they were competing in a price/performance contest with you.

        For my workstation use in Linux compiling and rendering and working with large images, 4gb of RAM that run at the same speed as L2 cache (thanks to AMD's integrated memory controller) beats the piss out of that Intel setup (which has much lower memory bw and also half the RAM). For gaming use, I get the same # of 3D Marks and similar performance because an Intel 2.4Ghz CPU and an AMD 2.4Ghz CPU happen to be within a few % of each other on the same video card (which is the true bottleneck; don't lie to yourself and say it's that CPU that's 14-18x faster than RAM).

        Today, a $280 Quad Q6600 on a $130 ASUS P5N-E (nForce 650i SLI) beats the piss out of an equivalently priced AMD workstation in compiling, rendering, and large images. If you're willing to risk stability and reliability by overclocking (like you did), then a $90 Pentium Dual-Core E2160 can be overclocked to 3.4GHz (according to X-bit Labs [xbitlabs.com]) and beat the piss out of any Athlon 64 X2 system with the same RAM, GPU, and class of motherboard.

        I got the same performance for $400, but with more RAM. My CPU was $190 cheaper. My motherboard was also cheaper.

        Your friend did not need to spend so much on his/her motherboard. Your friend did not overclock. Today, a cheaper system built around an overclocked Pentium Dual-Core E2160 and an nForce 570 SLI moth

  • by Dr Kool, PhD (173800) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:30PM (#20296065) Homepage Journal
    Why is AMD holding back Barcelona? We're less than a month from launch and there are still no benchmarks. Intel allowed its 45nm chips to be benchmarked and they aren't coming out until November... why is AMD holding back?

    IMO this does not look good for AMD.
  • Why wait? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) * on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:35PM (#20296121) Journal
    If this article is true, it proves my theory that Intel sits on technology, milking every last dollar from the consumer before releasing something better. This is why I don't buy Intel.

    Yes, I know, it's good business and makes the stockholders happy. But as a geek, I'm not into the business side of it. I am into the technology and performance aspect. What if AMD never releases Barcelona? Does Intel never release these new 45nm monsters (or only release them in the quantities already produced, at extremely inflated prices)?

    It reminds me of the days of the AMD K6. Intel was "stuck" at 266 Mhz. Reaching beyond that was "impossible". Then, suddenly AMD released a K6 at 300Mhz. Within a week, Intel released the 300 and 333Mhz Pentiums (P-IIs I think). That kind of pissed me off. How much sooner could Intel have released the 300? How much further could they have gone? How many people were forced to pay top dollar while Intel sat back and quietly raked in the cash, knowing that they were selling an inferior product marketed as "the best we can do", when, quite frankly, it wasn't.

    This is the action of a monopoly, plain and simple.
    • Re:Why wait? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:57PM (#20296413) Homepage Journal
      Nothing unusual for Intel. Transmeta's work on efficiency was bettered by Intel suspiciously quickly and easily. More than a few developments have "appeared" shortly after the competition bettered them in something. There are only two exceptions that I know of. The first was maths co-processing, in which Intel lagged the competition on both price AND performance until they eliminated the entire niche by producing the 486DX. The second was the 32/64 processor architecture. In both cases, it took Intel many years to do anything.

      Based on those examples, I would say that genuine progress by Intel is slow, and that any sudden shifts are really the result of having already produced the technology and holding it back.

    • Re:Why wait? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rhartness (993048) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:59PM (#20296421)
      Be careful what you wish for. There is a slim chance that Intel could be holding onto this technology because they don't want to be 'anti-competitive'. Let's assume Intel could hypothetically release chips that are twice as fast as anything that is out there right now. What would happen? It could kill AMD if Intel can keep up that technological growth at a much superior rate than AMD. Anti-trust lawsuits would follow.

      But, before you call the anti-trust lawyers a bunch of SOB's stifeling technological growth, consider this. If Intel did run AMD out of existance. Intel would no longer have a reason to sink as much money in R&D. They could slack off with only moderate growth and nobody could do anything about it.

      I dare say Intel understands very well and they are going to do all that they can to remain #1 in the industry while at the same time avoiding all possible litigation that could be brought against them by the competition.
      • by ArcherB (796902) *
        Be careful what you wish for. There is a slim chance that Intel could be holding onto this technology because they don't want to be 'anti-competitive'. Let's assume Intel could hypothetically release chips that are twice as fast as anything that is out there right now. What would happen? It could kill AMD if Intel can keep up that technological growth at a much superior rate than AMD. Anti-trust lawsuits would follow.

        But, before you call the anti-trust lawyers a bunch of SOB's stifeling technological growth
        • by 2nd Post! (213333)
          Then you would complain that Intel was 'milking' the market by pricing the Penryn's at a 'monopolist' premium.
    • by nobodyman (90587) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:59PM (#20296423) Homepage
      AMD would do exactly the same thing if the situation were reversed. In fact, they did just that back in the Pentium 4 days. This underscores why competition is such a good thing.
    • by 2nd Post! (213333)
      Intel really has no choice you know.

      If they released now, instead of waiting, they will essentially put AMD out of business; no one would buy Barcelonas and then Intel is "stuck" as a monopoly. Instead they are hobbled by having to wait for AMD before they can release their superior products.
    • by CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) on Monday August 20, 2007 @04:01PM (#20296461)
      or in otherwords:
      But mommy!! I want it *NOW*
    • This is nonsense. First, moving to 45nm would save money. They're not going to hold back on that. Second, releasing a chip at 300/300 (back in the day) took a lot of validation and work, it's not something "free" that they can just sit on.

      This whole article is just FUD. Producing new chips in a fab doesn't mean they're "ready". They need to be exhaustively validated and tested for as long as possible. The longer the better, so we don't have e.g. another FDIV. A more likely reason, if they were dela

      • Not to mention that there is are huge pipelines feeding/receiving from the fab. It's not like switching channels on a television.
      • moving to 45nm would save money
        Not necessarily. It would have a sudden negative impact on the price of their stockpiles of 65nm chips, for example. If they can't get the quantities up fast enough, then it will devalue their existing lines without them making enough on the new fast models to offset this. If they could move everything to 45nm overnight, then it would save them money, but in the real world there are other factors to consider.
    • If Intel did run away from the rest of the field, and they all went out of business, then there'd be even less open market pressure on them. They'd have a monopoly, and probably eventually after a few decades of stagnation and customer abuse would get broken up by the government a la Ma Bell. So if they have to slow down the pace of progress in order to have viable competition to prevent this, isn't that good?
    • by leathered (780018)
      Nvidia used to play a similar game. ATi would launch a new card, then Nvidia would immediately release a new set of Detonator drivers giving anything up to a whopping 30% increase in performance. Now that sort of boost in performance can only mean that the previous drivers were intentionally crippled. Intel largely did the same thing with the late PIIs and early PIIIs, releasing them just to keep ahead of AMD, instead of releasing the highest performing processors that their process tech would allow.

      Thing i
  • by DrDitto (962751) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:36PM (#20296145)
    I really hope AMD survives because then we are effectively down to a single commodity processor company. But AMD is struggling to survive. I don't care what the fanboys say, just look at their financial numbers. Third quarter in a row with massive losses. Intel opened the door a bit when they faltered with their Pentium4/Itanium strategy. But the door is swinging back shut. Nobody can keep pace with Intel on process technology...they will be ahead of the curve for the forseeable future. AMD is on such a tight-rope that they cannot afford a single mistake or major delay. Since acquiring ATI, nVidia has nearly all of the laptop chipset sales. You wonder if AMD overpaid for ATI. The "wow" factor that came with Opteron is not there with Barcelona. I'm skeptical...
    • by Knara (9377) on Monday August 20, 2007 @04:10PM (#20296561)
      Actually if you really look close, cash flow for 3rd quarter was positive. They're not making money hand over fist (actually net profit is down, though down less than 2nd quarter), but they're not going anywhere any time soon (their assets exceed their liabilities by ~5billion dollars, and their cash/cash equivalents + short term investments are around 1.5billion dollars as of end of third quarter). Obviously they won't replace Intel anytime soon, but they're not in dire straits, either.
  • Is getting away from the almost 30 year old x86 architecture.
    Don't get me wrong, I love x86, it has been great, and has adapted amazingly into the most powerful computing the world has ever seen.
    But, since most software is tied to x86, we are holding ourselves back from hardware advancements. x86 is loaded with archaic instruction sets for compatibility with Windows code that is based on 16bit DOS code.
    I'm not laying out flame bait, this is what I read in an article about the future of processors, an
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by durdur (252098)
      Well, there were a lot of new architectures for a while that did exactly that. Intel had their own .. it was called Itanium.

      While Itanium has a niche market, and SPARC and others are still viable, continued bumps in performance on the x86 stack has caused it to continue to be very competitive for many applications. And compatibility is a wonderful thing. It gets more important, not less, as the number of existing x86 systems continues to grow.
      • The difference between x86 and Itanium is that x86 can blame its baroque, convoluted nature on legacy compatibility. SPARC, POWER and ARM are all still doing well. SPARC is widely deployed in telecoms, POWER in a lot of embedded systems (the average BMW has a couple of dozen of them), and ARM is everywhere. There's a lot more to the CPU market than the desktop market, and the desktop market isn't even among the fastest growing segments.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_humeister (922869)
      Ha! x86 compatibility is almost nothing compared with the almost 40 years of legacy code that new IBM mainframes have to put up with.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by frieko (855745)
      Somebody always makes this comment whenever a CPU story shows up on Slashdot. But it's just not true. As painful as x86 code looks to an engineer, it doesn't really affect processor speed. By the time the code hits the instruction window, it's been mutated into RISC microcode, complete with the huge register bank, ortohogonality, everything. x86 has basically turned into a 'compression algorithm' for the actual machine code.

      I think a better optimization would be to replace English with Interlingua. And I th
      • by imbaczek (690596)
        Not only that, it can actually *help* performance, since CISC instructions convey more information and thus make better use of cache.
    • This should be marked 'redundant', because it pops up in every CPU article since /. began.
      Karma whoring at it's best.
  • by MOBE2001 (263700) on Monday August 20, 2007 @03:55PM (#20296397) Homepage Journal

    AMD and Intel are in for a long and tough battle ahead. Should be an interesting one though.

    While these two Goliaths are locking horns and fighting over soon-to-be-obsolete technology, a third player will sneak behind them and steal the pot of gold. Let's face it. CPU architecture is due for a radical change. The computer world is going parallel and the old algorithm/thread paradigm is showing its age. There's a sweet scent of revolution in the air. Who will be the leader of the next revolution? Sun, IBM, Tilera? We'll see.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jrwr00 (1035020)
      I see IBM taking the lead on this one, every looked at what processors the gaming consoles are using? IBM PowerPCs

      CELL Processors FTW
  • ...anonymous source claims that BrandX is merely waiting for BrandY to release their ProductX before they clobber them with ProductY.

    Classic marketing FUD broadcast by Slashdot: it warms my business-school-educated heart!

    AMD and Intel are in for a long and tough battle ahead.

    Wow, you're saying that two close competitors in a competitive industry are wading into a bruising battle? I would have never guessed. Yes, please, keep me posted with more insights like this!

  • If this is true, then it would show exactly why having more than one CPU source is so important. Intel is screwing its customers over even now. Imagine what they would do if AMD went bankrupt.

    Also take into account that Intel os slow on innovation. They would be even slower if AMD was not pushing them. The memory controller in the chipset architecture that Intel still uses is ancient, slow and unreliable. Their dual-core architecture sucks badly compared to AMD. Thier Itanium is a dead end, as is the P4. Re
  • by Glasswire (302197) <glasswire@gm a i l.com> on Monday August 20, 2007 @04:43PM (#20296951) Homepage
    There seems to be a conspritorial thread running though alot of these comments which seems to assume that Intel already HAS 45nm processing up and running in volume and is deliberately holding it back just to make AMD looks bad. This is ridiculous for several reasons:

    1) If Intel could produce volume 45nm right now it would - better chips, cheaper to make, higher performance, higher margin on the best ones - why would they hold back?
    2) Even if Intel just cared about humiliating AMD, it would do it much more thoughly if Intel could bring out the 45nm stuff BEFORE Barcelona even ships. Believe me, if Intel could do that, it would.
    3) Anyone who has any idea what's going on in the industry knows Intel is putting massive effort behind getting out the 45nm technology as soon as possible. There is NO financial upside in living with older process technology any longer than you have to. (Unless you're AMD and you don't have the latest process technology and have to bring out your flagship quad core on old 65nm process)

    So, in summary, 45nm stuff may well give Barcelona a run for it's money, but there's no way Intel is holding it back for dramatic effect.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smellsofbikes (890263)
      Maybe the CPU business is different than what I do (design analog power chips.) But I see clear reasons to believe, not in conspiracy, but in profit.

      1. You spend, let's say, $10-100M to design a chip and its test systems, get it through quality and reliability testing, and into production. That's a one-time investment. From then on, every chip you make costs a few pennies of silicon, and a few dollars of testing, offsetting that enormous initial investment. You'd really like to, y'know, profit. The mo
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday August 20, 2007 @04:50PM (#20297049)
    AMD still has hyper transport and build in ram controller and in mulit cpu setups it is better intel haveing 1FSB per cpu is better then the past for them but is still not as good.

    Also AMD has more and better chipsets for there mulit cpu system with more pci-e lanes and DDR2 or DDR2 ECC ram.

    And on the desktop side you can get a High end Nforce 590 board for the same price as a lower end intel board that does not even have TCP/IP Acceleration like the 590 and few other lower end nforce chips do have.
  • Score per buck (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Monday August 20, 2007 @05:26PM (#20297437) Journal
    I don't quite understand why people link AMD's demise with benchmarks all the time. That's just a small part of the whole truth.

    Fact is, there are several types of clients in the computer market. Some are early adopters/hardcore users. They buy whatever earns them the highest benchmark scores. They are willing to pay 5 grand plus for a system just to have one sick fucker of a computer under their desk. I'd say they're a minority.
    Then there's those who listen to the commercials. I don't know how it is in America but in Switzerland I have yet to see a tv commercial for AMD CPUs. So who's wondering why people still think there's only one CPU manufacturer?
    A lot of people who know AMD isn't just a cheap chinese copy that will probably have trouble adding two and two in calc.exe will want to build a somewhat up to date system they can rely on to do its job for the next two or three years. They use some graphics tools, they run a few games, they browse the web, the skype from time to time and they watch their porn. Those people don't need the V12 1000 hp equivalents in the computer world. They need a midrange machine with reliable hardware. Overclocking? What for?
    People like that, which includes me, buy what gives them a balance of most bang and reliability for the buck. I'll admit, I deviated from that path with my current system. I am running a Core2Duo. Why? Because AMD couldn't sell me a CPU when I needed one. And I am actually happy with my Intel. Do I see more power? Hell no. My stuff runs. Command and Conquer Tiberium Wars runs. World of Warcraft ran... until I got fed up with it.

    I don't care for labels. I'll select the third or fourth newest chip unless it's only like ten bucks to the next faster one. I'll select like two gigs of memory upwards. I'll select a board that will work with my watercooling and be of agreeable quality. I'll select a somewhat actual but cheap video card. Somewhere in the middle of the range of available cards from my vendor of choice.

    The point where about any PC made of parts from the last two years would run everything I need has been crossed years ago. Today reliability, noise, power consumption and such are factors... and the price. And I don't see Intel beating AMD in that regard anytime soon.
  • by adisakp (705706) on Monday August 20, 2007 @06:34PM (#20298053) Journal
    From the article:

    Until AMD launches the Barcelona, Intel have no reason to start selling 45 nm processors.

    Umm, that's not true at all. Here are some reasons:

    1) Lower cost - you get more 45nm CPU's per wafer than 65nm CPU's so they cost less if you have similar yield ratios.

    2) Lower power systems are attractive now to large purchasers. On a system level, AMD is very competitive with Intel (and sometimes ahead of Intel) on performance per watt. This is very important to companies with huge server farms.

    3) Higher single-threaded performance per core. The 45 nm shrink will allow them to run cooler and at higher clock speeds thus producing high-end high-margin CPU's that gamers and performance junkies crave.

    4) The way to crush your opponents isn't to let them catch up before you move forward. Have you ever seen someone in a relay race wait for their opponent simply because they know the next runner on their own team is fast? You have to get ahead and stay ahead as far as possible. If you even let them have the appearance of catching up, you won't maintain your image of indomitable superiority.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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