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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 vlm (69642) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:21AM (#41537935)

    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

    Whats unhealthy about that? Virtually no CPU purchasers are going to be CPU limited, if a 5 year old CPU currently does everything the average user needs, then a 6 month old one for half the price should be massive overkill. So your best economic move seems to buy a 6 month to 1 year old AMD processor for half price and spend the savings on something that actually matters to the user experience, like graphics card or high res (higher than clunky 1080) monitor, or a decent keyboard like my model M, or larger SSD, or ...

  • Changing World. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:21AM (#41537937)

    The PC landscape is changing.

    Your chips need to be fast, or they need to be small and mobile.

    Back in AMD good days, People bought PCs for different reasons, You had the Power User who got as big and fast as they can afford, you got the budget PC where you buy a PC not for its speed but because you need a cheap Computer. Laptop/Notbook computers were the ultra mobile devices, and they were much more expensive than a PC.

    That isn't as much the case anymore.
    If you are going to get a cheap Computer, you are going to get an iPad, or a netbook, that gives you mobility, you are going be less likely to buy a cheap Desktop. If you are going to power you are going to get it with the fastest chips. AMD has been lagging so they can't compete there either.

    Cheap Desktop CPU that under perform are not going to sell well, because the new Ultra Mobile Devices are at a price point where it competes with the cheap PC.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:32AM (#41538081) Journal

    Unfortunately, Apple might be about the last company that AMD has a decent shot with:

    Like it or loath it, Apple adores thin-'n-light, caters to a less cost-sensitive customer segment, and has a fairly tightly polished ARM+hardware decode device strategy when it comes to HTPC type applications...

    AMD has products that are quite cheap for the punch, but they tend to run a bit hot for the performance you get, and much of their virtue lies in comparatively strong IGPs, perfect for the light gaming and HTPC markets that Apple either doesn't much care about or would prefer you use an iOS device for.

    AMD's features, particularly the comparatively strong GPU showing on even cheap parts(Intel has gotten better; but, because they don't have to care, they still tend to tie their best IGPs to their best CPUs, so you need to order some damn expensive CPU silicon to get the full punch, which still is fairly tepid, though not downright laughable, as historically), are an excellent fit in cost-sensitive laptops, all-in-ones, and desktops that aren't likely to get a discrete GPU upgrade. Unfortunately, those are niches that command serious volume; but not much in the way of margins.

    Honestly, AMD might have much better luck cuddling up to Corporate IT. They don't, presently, have 'VPro'(but they could probably put a whole damn ARM SoC on their 'enterprise' motherboard reference model for half of what Intel charges for a CPU and chipset that doesn't have most or all of those management features lasered off, if the market demands it); but Team Corporate burns through generic good-enough beige boxes by the palletload, and pays somewhat better for them than does Joe Bestbuy. They'd have a hard time cracking CPU-intensive workstation applications; but the zillion desktop typenboxes, computationally unstressed servers that need huge slabs of RAM, and similar absolutely infest enterprise IT...

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

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:34AM (#41538107) Homepage Journal

    Nowadays? There's so little difference between the specs of processors that I might as well just buy Intel. There's no compelling reason to go AMD any more, so nobody's buying them.

    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. Or in my case, I win. When I built it, the intel chips had higher power requirements, too.

  • unhealthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:38AM (#41538149) Homepage Journal

    There's an "unhealthy competitive landscape" throughout our economy. It's because ineffective and insufficiently-enforced regulations have created an economy that is tilted toward the top.

    First we need a Justice Department that will bust some balls. The entire Fortune 500 should be facing anti-trust prosecution, and those cases could easily be made to stick. CEOs and entire boards of directors should be facing criminal prosecution.

    Ah, but none of that is going to happen as long as corporations are "super-citizens" that have unlimited ability to influence, not just elections, but legislation at every level of government. Now we have corporations sponsoring voter suppression laws ("This Law has been brought to you by the fine people at Massey Energy"). How clear can it be?

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

    by Trent Hawkins (1093109) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:39AM (#41538171)
    You can play most modern games these days because they were designed to run on six year old hardware.
    Namely the PS3 and XBox 360.

    When the new consoles start popping up you can bet that your old rig will need updating.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:45AM (#41538243)

    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.

    Surely that's the market working. You can pay more and go with a market leader or pay less for an alternative. This gives you a reasonable choice in the lower price market between a newer Intel budget design or an older AMD one that has decreased in price - or an AMD budget CPU and change for a flat-panel screen!

    Having read TFA I see that what happening is that AMD processors are not living up to expectation, which is why they reduce in price quickly. This means that Intel has little competition and has no incentive to reduce its prices, which is why it is bad for the consumer. I understand and would like to redact my previous comment!

  • Re:Changing World. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ambassador Kosh (18352) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @09:51AM (#41538323)

    I have a llano laptop and it has been working great for me. I have gone back to school to become an engineer and I run various engineering programs that are GPU accelerated. On battery power this thing stomps on the intel chips since it can do GPU acceleration on battery power. In some operations it is hundreds of times faster while still having good battery power.

    Also with web browsers and other office types apps getting gpu accelerated a decent igp is good for performance and battery life. Sure you can turn on a dedicated gpu while on battery power but your battery won't last long doing that.

  • by TeXMaster (593524) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:21AM (#41538703)

    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.

    AMD video cards are significantly better than NVIDIA ones when it comes to raw computation power and when it comes to performance/watt and when it comes to performance/price; especially now that the 7xxx series has overcome the only weakness of the old series, the VLIW instruction set and architecture. Where AMD sucks big times is in software support. NVIDIA has pushed immensely CUDA, to the point that people now think that GPGPU = CUDA; and it has immensely pushed in creating a software environment around CUDA, including tons of external libraries that depend on CUDA. AMD has lost of a lot of ground with their CTM -> CAL -> OpenCL transitions, that have effectively prevented their technology to gain any significant traction, and they are just now starting to go back and getting some visibility. Their APU offering is probably the last chance they get in doing a significant breakthrough. Let's hope they don't bust it.

  • Re:Well, DUH. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by firesyde424 (1127527) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:36AM (#41539703)

    SSD's, and hardware that takes full advantage of an SSD is awesome, but it doesn't completely transform what you can do on a computer.

    It may not change what you can do, but a SSD definitely changes how much you can do and how quickly you can do it. In better than 21 years of being a computer nerd, I can't remember another single hardware upgrade that could change the perfomance of an average computer by so much as even a budget SSD can.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:04PM (#41540803) Journal

    That ain't the problem friend, as someone who builds AMD exclusively I'll be HAPPY to tell you what the problem is, the problem is they FIRED all their engineers for computer layouts and tried to push a server chip onto the consumer market!

    Here are some facts, FACT.-1- The AMD Bobcat was selling as fast as they could crank them suckers out, they were great for netbooks and even average user laptops and the OEMs were all ready to slap the new quad bobcats into tons of units, what happened? they canceled it. FACT.-2- The morons at AMD didn't bother to actually tell MSFT what they were doing so now ALL versions of Windows except for Windows 8 will tie a boat anchor to any Faildozer "half core" design" because the OS doesn't realize each module only has one FP unit so it'll slap two FP heavy threads on one module, just killing performance. FACT.-3- They KNEW before it came out that Faildozer was too hot, too power sucking, and didn't have the performance of the Thuban and Zosma chips, what did they do? they priced it against the fricking Core i5 2500K, a fricking monster of a chip, and to add insult to injury canceled the Thubans! They were getting damned near 100% yields on the Thubans, because one or two bad cores? Make it a Zosma quad. 3 bad cores? Phenom Triple. Bad cache? Athlon. And because they were having near 100% yields they could sell them cheap and still make good money, whereas the BD/PD design is expensive to make, hard to get decent yields on, and to make a profit they have to price them against chips that curbstomp them, what idiots!

    Hell I could go on all day but why bother? AMD's biggest problem is NOT Intel, its frankly piss poor management. their only real hope now is the head chip designer they lured away from Apple recently, if he can come up with a design that replaces faildozer and puts them back in the game they'll have a shot. Hell let ME run that company and they'd be doing better! I'd kill the socket mess they are in now, settle on just two LGA sockets, one for server and one for desktop, I'd keep the integer heavy BD/PD design for servers ONLY and I'd be pushing $120 Thubans unlocked and $100 Lianos while I'd be riding the shit out of the engineers to give me a quad core Bobcat yesterday. Finally I'd tell my new Apple guy he had free reign, just make me a damned good low power chip, whatever you gotta do to make it happen? DO IT.

    They HAD a damned good niche carved out. To steal a line from Steve Jobs "Intel doesn't have to lose for AMD to win" as there is a LOT of money that could be made by owning the low end to midrange market, but AMD has been pissing it away with bad designs, chips like Faildozer that cost too damned much to make while giving the consumer too little performance, and not cranking out sequels to the excellent low power Bobcats. Picture a next gen Bobcat Transformer style tablet, all your windows apps and all day battery life when hooked into the keyboard cradle and all for less than $550, who wouldn't want that? Hell with the price they were able to get the C series Bobcats cranked out for they could have the tablets start at $299 and make good money and again ALL your Windows programs would run...easy sale.

  • Re:Well, DUH. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:17PM (#41540957)

    You're either a liar or stupid; possibly both.

    For raw computational power leveraging multiple cores, AMD CPUs and GPUs win hands-down. The only people for whom Intel's per-core speed advantage really pays off is gamers. If you are relying on Intel/NVidia to provide a raw computational advantage "doing research", then you're a fool.

  • by default luser (529332) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:11PM (#41542263) Journal

    AMD is also the king of Multicore. Try finding a sub-$200 six or even 8 core processor from Intel. For those of use who care about multiprocessing and parallelism over single core performance, AMD is pretty much the only game in town.

    And benhmark after benchmark shows the reason for that: the AMD quad-core is nowhere near powerful enough to compete with the Intel quad core (this goes for both Stars AND 'dozer). Just see here where the A10-5800K (their best quad core right this second) gets bested by the Intel 2500 (priced at around $200) in their best test [anandtech.com]. It just goes downhill from there.

    AMD is offering 8 cores at $200 not because they're nice guys and want to share the love - they're offering them because they can't compete wth just 4 cores at the same price point. If they did have that ability, you can bet they would be charging a premium price for that.

    So, what is the result of the $200 showdown? Pit the 2500 versus the 8150 (their best 8-core chip)! In this one test the 2500 wins the first pass by 30%, and the 8150 wins the second pass by 25%. Now, the second pass takes much longer, so the 8150 still wins (by about 15%), but it's a small win in a sea of disappointment.

    h.264 video transcoding is AMD's BEST BENCHMARK, and they barely scrape by with twice the cores. Add Hyperthreading to the mix (i7 3770K), and they get blown away once again.

    People wonder idly why Intel charges so much money for their quad-core parts, but the reason is obvious if you see the test results - they're almost twice as fast in single-threaded tasks!

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