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AMD Intel Hardware

Intel CPU Prices Stagnate As AMD Sales Decline 252

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the free-market-economics dept.
crookedvulture writes "Over the past few years, AMD's desktop processors have struggled to keep up with Intel's. AMD has slashed prices to make its chips more appealing, but Intel has largely held firm. Three years of historical data shows that Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena, and it's been great for Intel's gross margin. Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers."
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Intel CPU Prices Stagnate As AMD Sales Decline

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:19AM (#41537911)

    I've been using AMD for well over a decade and I've never once seen a program that would work fine on an Intel CPU but malfunction on an AMD. I call FUD.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:06AM (#41538497)

    Unfortunately nVidia cards are a bit better (support for PhysX) which AMD doesn't

    Unless you really need PhysX (which is a niche feature), my opinion is that AMD video cards are better. The 7770 and 7870 have excellent price/performace ratios and no major weaknesses. In particular, thermals and power consumption are better than on corresponding nVidia cards.

    You're right about AMD's uncompetitiveness against Intel in the CPU market, though.

  • Re:Well, DUH. (Score:5, Informative)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:07AM (#41538515)

    An Athlon 64 X6 may have half the performance of the most expensive i7, but it's a quarter the price and the motherboard is half the price. If it'll run everything you want to run, you win.

    The problem is that a Phenom II X6 (I assume that's what you meant as that's the only X6 CPU AMD make, and even that's a generation old now), costs the same as an i5 3450, and is significantly slower than it. This is why Intel is winning now –same price, higher performance. Comparing everything to an i7 is dumb when the i5 and i3 are faster than what you're comparing.

  • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:51AM (#41539065)

    I work at a non-profit charity and many of our machines are donations from various companies. Many of these machines are 10 years old! (Granted 10 year old machines are at least 1.8GHz P4's now days) As long as I can get 512MB ram on XP or 1GB for Win 7, these machines perform common tasks such as web browsing and document writing just fine, though extra ram helps a lot if running antivirus.

    I understand that capital availability is a tough spot in non-for-profits but please consider buying a Kill-A-Watt and evaluating whether this strategy is costing you more money in power bills than it would be to buy a more modern efficient machine.

    For light-duty machines that you can ensure are put to sleep when not in use, this almost never helps. On the other hand, for labs that run 10 hours a day, saving 200W by switching from a old 300W desktop to a modern 100W one saves you 1KWH = $.50 a day and so a $300 investment pays off in 2 years.

  • Re:Well, DUH. (Score:4, Informative)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:01PM (#41539187)

    no, that intel chip will not run the multiple VMs I use, core count and memory not clock speed are the big considerations for me. For an average desktop user, maybe one or two core is all they *can* use, but for me buying an AMD chip and motherboard is a no brainer and saves hundreds of bucks

  • Re:Well, DUH. (Score:5, Informative)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:02PM (#41539199)

    The problem is, the i5 is faster for multithreaded performance too [anandtech.com] (and that's even an older, slower i5 than the one I asserted)...

    If you cared only about the single threaded performance, an i3 would do [anandtech.com], and be half the price.

  • by danomac (1032160) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:15PM (#41539391)

    Another IT guy working at a nonprofit (we have over 100 staff) - we did get the Kill-A-Watt. Most of our machines are asleep when not in use via Faronics Powersave, which actually tracks the times when the computers are on and off on a server, and you can set policies, and if you input what you pay for power it will generate a report for you.

    We also have machines that are around ten years old. We just replaced one last week that was from 1998. All staff here do are email and writing reports. Things that need more power (like accounting packages) have newer machines.

    Last I checked we are saving over $1000 in power costs due to this power management software. We aren't going to replace 100+ machines to save $2 in power per machine per year. Governments might, as they can't seem to do math or ROI, but we won't. We'll let them live out their useful life.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@ w o r f.net> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @12:24PM (#41539541)

    If I were them, I would be kissing Tim Cook's ass so hard that he couldn't turn around without slapping me with his junk. AMD needs some high profile names to adopt AMD processors.

    Problem is I think AMD would be in even more dire straits if Apple adopted them.

    One thing that Intel has that AMD doesn't is fab headroom. When Apple chooses the processor for their next computer, Apple will buy it in the millions. If Apple wants it customized to do X (e.g., in the early days, Apple insisted on having CPUs with VT-x in them, even though Intel didn't make any in that class), Intel can happily oblige.

    For AMD, it could easily be a struggle, especially if demand for a top end low-yield processor surprises Apple.

    You also have to remember that AMD has always had supply issues. Apple had problems with its G5 supplier, IBM, not being able to provide enough top-end G5s that its customers kept ordering (likewise, Motorola kept ignoring Apple to focus more on the military and commercial networking sectors for its PowerPC chips). So Apple was looking for a supplier who wouldn't be under such constraints, and would be able to ramp up production quickly.

    AMD at the time was struggling to supply CPUs for the enthusiast sector - they probably had tons of the low end CPUs but likely Apple wasn't too keen on that - they wanted a range, and if they wanted high-end, it would mean the top end chips would end up with Apple, and everyone else gets the dregs.

    AMD may be in trouble, but Intel will be in more trouble if AMD folds (think anti-trust and monopoly accusations, and possibly scrutiny and breakup). Intel's probably doing what it can to shore up AMD without directly investing in it. By keeping the price of Intel's chips high, they're letting AMD take the niche on the low end stuff to at least move product (Intel could easily lower prices and still make a profit).

    Hell, Intel's probably got a AMD rescue plan in case AMD should really get into a bad spot (but not directly - through piles of third party investment companies).

  • Re:Well, DUH. (Score:4, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:34PM (#41540423) Homepage Journal

    yeah, same here - phenom II x6 is a great sweet spot for scaling horizontally.

    As a bonus, the AMD chip has a HT bus to the memory and in theory should be able to handle ECC memory directly, even on the low-end chips.

    But, finding a BIOS to support it is all of the battle. If AMD wanted to take that market, they'd work with motherboard vendors to get their chips' features supported by the BIOS. With EFI BIOS'es becoming prevalent, this shouldn't be as hard a task as it used to be. I'm using ASRock currently, but just because it's well-priced and stable, not because it's all-that in terms of features.

    As to why they're not doing this already? - hey, they're AMD!

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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