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AMD Hardware

AMD Launches New Processor Socket Despite Poor Economy 215

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead dept.
arcticstoat writes to tell us that despite a poor economic climate, AMD is moving forward with a new processor socket launch, although they are trying to make it as upgrade-friendly as possible. "As you probably already know from the AM3 motherboards that have already been announced, AM3 is AMD's first foray into DDR3 memory support. As Phenom CPUs have integrated memory controllers, it's more accurate to say that it's the new range of Phenom II CPUs (see below) that are DDR3-compatible. However, the new DDR3-compatible Phenom II range is also compatible with DDR2 memory. As the new CPUs and the new AM3 socket are pin-compatible with the current AM2+ socket, you can put a new AM3-compatible CPU into an existing AM2+ motherboard. This means that you can upgrade your CPU now without needing to change your motherboard or buy pricey new DDR3 memory."
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AMD Launches New Processor Socket Despite Poor Economy

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  • by von_rick (944421) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:09PM (#26790815) Homepage
    If your competitor has a better marketshare and also a better line of processors, it would be a suicide to not release a competitive product when the economy is staggering. Withholding the technology while waiting for the economy to improve can make the gap between them and Intel even wider.
  • strange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:12PM (#26790865) Homepage

    This means that you can upgrade your CPU now without needing to change your motherboard or buy pricey new DDR3 memory.

    Other than starving CIS majors, who barely earn enough money from their university's computer lab to pay for Ramen Noodles, who does that? IT professionals would just buy all the hardware together because their time is worth more than their money, and everybody else just buys entire new computers. This could only appeal to a handful of small-budget kids.

  • by faloi (738831) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:13PM (#26790887)
    Not to mention that the money has already been spent for R&D. Spending the money for R&D, then sitting on it because the time isn't perfect is, as you mentioned, the best way to increase the gap. And have the added bonus of being out cash on something that won't sell.
  • Re:strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewshi_nya (1394329) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:13PM (#26790889)

    Or a lot of small-budget husbands :P

  • Re:strange (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:15PM (#26790925)
    Gamers. Sure, most would rather go out and buy a totally new box, but if someone just wanted to upgrade a CPU, AMD would let them do it. It may seem illogical for hardware vendors to target a small portion of the hardware buying community, but both AMD and Intel are trying their best to get the gamer's money.
  • by Toonol (1057698) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:19PM (#26791003)
    This is the sort of thing that gets us out of a poor economy.
  • Not strange at all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:23PM (#26791051) Homepage

    Other than starving CIS majors, who barely earn enough money from their university's computer lab to pay for Ramen Noodles, who does that? IT professionals would just buy all the hardware together because their time is worth more than their money, and everybody else just buys entire new computers. This could only appeal to a handful of small-budget kids.

    If you don't think in terms of upgrading the processor of the computer sitting on your desk, but instead think of HP updating the processor in their line of AM2-based computers, then you should be able to see that the appeal is basically universal. This way the OEMs can offer refreshed versions of their lines without having to incur the extra expense of DDR3. Obviously they will also make a DDR3 AM3-based line, but the DDR2-based line will be cheaper.

    Backward compatibility and in-place upgrades appeals to far more than a handful of poor hobbyists.

  • Re:strange (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:24PM (#26791061)

    Might AMD want to sell fewer different types of CPUs? They can stop selling all their AM2 CPUs sooner without issues from OEMs who perhaps transition slower, might want to continue using DDR2 due to cost or latency, etc.

  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:31PM (#26791153) Homepage

    For notebooks I have no idea how total system power usage looks, AMDs chipsets provide better integrated graphics than Intel do however. And I guess I would go for someone better though still crappy graphics when somewhat faster / more power efficient CPU (if Intel really is.)

    Afaik AMD don't have an alternative to Atom, I may be wrong though.

    Also Intel notebook with Nvidia chipset may compare better to AMD.

  • by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:32PM (#26791173) Journal
    Not that I expect any different from /. most days, but who cares if its the middle of a recession? The R&D work on this has been in place for quite a while, and this is actually MORE attractive than an i7 platform right now because you don't need to move up to the new socket for the new chips - they are backwards compatible.

    "Despite a poor economic climate, farmers still harvest crops they planted last year...." - come on....

  • Re:strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:37PM (#26791229)

    So my advice to the married chumps out there is to keep a separate bank account for discretionary purchases which your wives have neither control of nor access to. Life without self-respect (and gadgets) is not worth living.

    Seconded. One of the best things you can do is establish the idea of a slush fund for both sides of the relationship; fighting over money is one of the more common reasons for divorce.

  • Re:strange (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:37PM (#26791235)

    So my advice to the married chumps out there is to keep a separate bank account for discretionary purchases which your wives have neither control of nor access to. Life without self-respect (and gadgets) is not worth living.

    Or... marry someone who isn't a total shite and respects your interests.
    -Taylor

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich AT aol DOT com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @06:53PM (#26791457) Journal

    The 3-fold clocking scheme will only really help on interleaved burst reads. The memory cells don't charge the output buffers any faster just because you clock them at a higher rate. This is why the nCLK latencies scale with the number of folds in DDR scheme. The only things that will make the cells charge faster are a) higher voltage or b) smaller process or c) a more conductive semiconductor chemistry that lowers resistances and increases currents on the wafer.

    If you can have 3 banks of DDR3 interleaved by 1 clock then you can probably see some significant gains on sequential (aka burst) reads. In real life, this doesn't happen very much, especially in a multithreaded environment where almost all s/w is written using high-level foundation classes with very little machine optimization.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday February 09, 2009 @07:03PM (#26791579) Journal

    In addition the fact that it's cheaper for them to make this than the previous version as well, they have every reason to stay competitive.

    Who writes this "poor economy" crap?

    Many companies are doing just fine through this downturn, it's just a mental state of consumers that has changed, and probably not for the long run either as consumers tend to have about the memory of a goldfish when it comes to taking corrective action financially.

    We're just slowly deflating back to where we were before this hyperinflation the last few years has brought.

  • Re:It's a myth (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @07:05PM (#26791593)
    >92% of the population still has a job. think about that for a second. we are doing quite well. stop listening to the mass media idiots.
  • Re:It's a myth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The End Of Days (1243248) on Monday February 09, 2009 @07:18PM (#26791745)

    And presumably all those auto industry and manufacturing workers getting fired were cheating when they took classes in high school right?

    No, they were busy getting drunk and ignoring the adults who told them they'd end up with shitty jobs later on in life if they didn't take school more seriously.

  • Re:strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onkelonkel (560274) on Monday February 09, 2009 @07:33PM (#26791895)
    Works both ways. You come home with a new CPU & MOBO and install it in the old case when she's not looking; she sneaks a new pair of shoes into the closet and tells you she bought them last christmas on sale when she busts them out.

    Or, you can be adults, and maybe agree on an amount for discretionary spending that doesn't require the others approval.
  • Re:strange (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cozminsky (452030) on Monday February 09, 2009 @07:35PM (#26791925) Homepage

    Virtualization doesn't help your performance if you're already using all of a particular resource. It has overheads that mean you're getting less out of your hardware in terms of raw performance. The fact that you can put 5 boxes that would otherwise be sitting idle on the same hardware is what makes virtualization attractive.

  • Re:strange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Monday February 09, 2009 @08:15PM (#26792275)
    It's still cheaper to buy $5k in processors than a new $40K+ server, and even with virtualization it's not like racking, configuring, and SAN and network connecting a server is free. Plus with per CPU licensed applications where you are performance constrained it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to lose some percentage of performance when a license upgrade is even more expensive than the time invested. I'm not saying everyone looking for better performance should run out today and buy a drop in CPU upgrade, but there has always been a market for such products because there are always situations where it makes economic sense to do so.
  • Re:strange (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Namlak (850746) on Monday February 09, 2009 @08:31PM (#26792431)
    How do you know the guy isn't a total loser who's run up $20,000 in credit card debt with all the things he "had to have", essentially forcing his wife to become the authority that keeps him in check? I know of at least three other guys in this situation, two of whom are on their way to their *second* bankruptcies.
  • Re:strange (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Abreu (173023) on Monday February 09, 2009 @08:55PM (#26792659)

    Or... marry someone who isn't a total shite and respects your interests.
    -Taylor

    This.

    There's no way you are going to be able to successfully "hide" income from your partner.

    You need to be able to sit down and talk about priorities and expenses without it devolving into a shouting match or having one of the parties become an unhappy invertebrate...

  • Basically Intel is giving AMD a righteous spanking when it comes to performance. Now that they have tossed Netburst for core(which while there wasn't anything wrong with Netburst speed wise they were space heaters) the performance has shot WAY up, which leaves AMD having to constantly lowball on price to make up the difference. After all, who wants to pay more for a slower chip?

    It actually reminds me of the old days /breaks out rocking chair/ when AMD and Cyrix were the "good enough" CPUs that you bought when you couldn't afford Intel. Problem is that unlike then when the difference could be several hundred dollars(Remember the Celeron 300a which would OC faster than the Pentium? Man those days were exciting to be into PCs) the difference between the AMD chips and the Intel chips are usually more like $20-50. So unless you already have an AMD motherboard why would you get the slower chips just to save $20?

    And I know that I will probably be flamed by the AMD fanboys for saying this, but in all my years working PC repair I just don't trust AMD chips. Now I don't know if they fixed it with Phenom, but we used to keep a bucket for dead chips in my old shop and it was nearly completely full of AMD chips, mostly Athlons. Compare that to the Intel chips where the two we had in the bucket was from a lightning strike and a blown circuit breaker. I have even gone into local businesses to do a service call and found the CPU fan so clogged with smoke and dust that it was obvious that it hadn't turned in years and the Intel chip just kept on humping, albeit running slower than it should. I have seen Intel chips take some horrible abuse and the AMD chips always seemed easier to blow. So for me at least there would have to be a considerable advantage in speed or price to make me switch to building AMD chips for my customers. The only exception is graphic artwork where my customers swear that AMD chips render faster than Intel for the types of graphics work that they do. And don't even get me started on Sempron. That slow ass POS makes the Celeron look like a quad core Xeon by comparison. They should be ashamed of selling that POS with the AMD label on it.

    But to answer your question AMD is getting spanked and thanks to buying ATI they are bleeding cash. They also don't have a product in the hottest market ATM(Netbooks) and they have never been big in the mobile space which seems to be the direction everyone is headed. I just hope they survive because Intel without competition equals crazy prices.

  • by icepick72 (834363) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:47PM (#26793307)

    TITLE: AMD Launches New Processor Socket **Despite Poor Economy**

    So we're not supposed to do anything because the economy is bad?! So let's never a thing again because we're ignorant of larger pictures and contexts and variableness in life. What kind of f***ed-up sh** IS THAT! Start tagging sentences with pessimistic endings and implying stuff because we're ignorant a**holes. Let's see ....

    Today I drove to work in the winter despite road salt runoff will affect the lake. I bought a new dog despite the existence of puppy mills. I washed my hands after peeing despite the fact antibacterial soap kills good germs. I sat on a wooden chair despite my ginger ass getting chapped.

    You know what ... I think the title actually had an effect on me despite the fact I found it totally ignorant. What do you think?

  • by Spit (23158) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @02:30AM (#26794199)

    Do you think a current i7 would compare to what you will buy for $300 in two years' time? In three years a laptop would be faster.

  • Lots of cores (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:44AM (#26795303) Homepage

    Information may be slightly outdated but all of it is probably true, Intel may have catched up in memory bandwidth performance with their latest CPUs since they have put the memory controller within the CPU themself to.

    AMD's Hypertransport has interesting extensions to help cache coherency and currently scales very well with lots of cores and lots of physical CPUs.
    (Opteron can be used in motherboard with 4 or 8 slots).

    Intel's Quickpath is currently more a generation 1 interconnect. That's probably why they have only announced platforms with lots of cores and cpu packages only for later on.
    (The first CPUs announced, as far as I've read, are only to be used in 2 socket configurations).

    Thus if you want to run a server which needs a lot cores (a node in a cluster, or a server that has to answer lots of requests in parallel), it's currently better to go with an 8 socketed-opteron.

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