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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 crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:10AM (#41537781)

    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. I mean, they've always been kind of fringe players, but in this tablet/notebook/smartphone age, they've become more fringe than ever. They could easily turn it around with serious support from just one big player like Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Google, etc. But it doesn't seem to be happening. And every time AMD has tried to court a big name [zdnet.com] or even merge with one [benzinga.com], they seem to come up short.

    Maybe they should try sending flowers.

    • Have AMD solved their capacity issues, because that was why Apple went with Intel originally - AMD couldn't supply the quantities Apple wanted guaranteed, while Intel could.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:52AM (#41538335)

        It's never really a capacity issue. With enough money you can always build new fabs or you can have someone else produce for you. AMD spun off its manufacturing business into GlobalFoundries now, which aims to sell foundry capacity to anyone, so that changes the situation a bit.

        AMD processors aren't as good as intel ones. At least not right now. They're worse performance, performance per watt etc. Apple is big enough they don't need to deal with the #2 anything. For the same reason McDonalds doesn't sell presidents choice or pepsi. Apple, for all of its many, many faults thinks a lot about the user experience, and frankly Intel CPU's produce a better experience right now than AMD parts.

        AMD kinda sorta has the right idea on combined CPU-GPU packages. Unfortunately nVidia cards are a bit better (support for PhysX) which AMD doesn't, and 'eyefinity' while cool isn't a product most people can manage, and Intel CPU's are better performance if you want performance, or better performance per watt if you just want battery life, overall leaving AMD a rough place in the market. For Apple, who are married now to portable devices, and don't care so much about windows gaming API's AMD just isn't making a good enough product. When Intels previous generation (sandy bridge) parts are still wiping the floor with new AMD stuff it's just not a good move to commit your business to the losing team.

        *I'm talking about Apple adopting AMD processors across an entire product line. Not individual home use. For whatever problem a particular person has AMD setups can certainly be competitive. But Apple has a brand and a certain user experience it wants, and for them adopting AMD processors is not a good plan.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by JDG1980 (2438906)

          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.

          • by TeXMaster (593524) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @11:21AM (#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.

          • by ifrag (984323)

            Unless you really need PhysX (which is a niche feature)

            I'm not aware of any game in the market that actually *needs* PhysX to run (although perhaps one exists?) And until a game absolutely mandates support as a minimum requirement all PhysX gets used for is making more crap happen on the screen that doesn't have any direct impact on gameplay. On Borderlands 2 setting PhysX to high will result in tons of shrapnel being thrown all over the ground from explosions, but those objects are all non-clipping, so it doesn't matter beyond the fact that sometimes you hav

        • Battery life, yes, but Apple isn't about performance. Both Intel and Nvidia GPUs perform worse on OSX than even on Linux, according to a plethora of benchmarks. That minute difference in performance, though, has never scared an Apple customer, so I don't think Apple would mind trading an i3 for an A10 in terms of x86 alacrity. Even considering their more demanding customers, like video editors, image manipulators and other stereotypical mac owners, those are areas AMD chips currently excel at, being threade

        • by gr8_phk (621180)

          It's never really a capacity issue. With enough money you can always build new fabs or you can have someone else produce for you. AMD spun off its manufacturing business into GlobalFoundries now, which aims to sell foundry capacity to anyone, so that changes the situation a bit.

          That is half the problem actually. The other half is inferior designs. AMD had the shit when the 64 came out. The only way Intel could compete in benchmarks was to stick with 32bit software. Hector the Sector Director (as they alleg

          • I think it's worth noting that in server environments, where virtual machine and highly parallel computing needs are king AMD does very well... Not the highest raw cpu power per compute node, but much better parallel scale.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:32AM (#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...

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      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.

      Geez, dude, that's a hell of an analogy (at least you didn't suggest they give him a rusty trombone). :P

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot AT worf DOT 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).

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:04PM (#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.

      • AMD has a long history of poor managment decisions.

        Back in the late 1990s AMD's CPU busines was a money pit, and the company was kept afloat by their profitable NOR flash joint-venture, but they spent way too much money on their CPU business (for example, those two huge fabs in Dresden that they just divested), and there was nothing left to foster new flash technologies. In the 2000s, NAND became the flash architecture of choice, and since AMD was caught without spare cash, they couldn't afford a crash-cou

  • Well, DUH. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:13AM (#41537819) Homepage Journal

    Ten years ago if your PC was more than 2 years old, new software wouldn't run. Now? I'm running five year old boxes that run everything fine... as long as they have enough memory.

    The fact is, you no longer have to replace that PC and its CPU every other year.

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

      by ledow (319597) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:26AM (#41538019) Homepage

      More like, AMD haven't been making enough of a difference for long enough to justify buying them over Intel.

      Back in the 486/Pentium days I saved a LOT of money by buying AMD - I got better performance for less money, and virtually perfect compatibility.

      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.

      Sure, they get an "advantage" for a few months on their top-of-the-line gaming processors of a few percent, but by the time those chips are available in any pre-fab computer you might pick up in a shop, that difference means nothing at all and the price difference isn't worth straying.

      Not to mention that since buying ATI (which was an absolute DOG for hardware compatibility and drivers), AMD seemed to have followed suit and there are problems reported with certain games and AMD processors / chipsets / ATI cards that aren't present in similar Intel / nVidia setups.

      Honestly, it's nothing to do with people lacking upgrades. It's everything to do with there just being no compelling reason to go with one or the other, except that everyone's HEARD of Intel and they've been making x86 chips before AMD even existed.

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

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:34AM (#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.

        • 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 h4rr4r (612664)

            No an x6 is cheaper and has 6 cores. Not everyone is only interested in single threaded performance.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Er yes, I meant the Phenom II. I actually started with an X3 720 at $110 and upgraded when I could get an X6 used for cheap ($110) to replace my X3. The motherboard was $100 as well, as opposed to $200 and up for comparably-featured intel boards, which also required more exotic power connectors, for which I would have had to buy a new power supply.

            • by beelsebob (529313)

              Hmm? Even Z77 overclocking boards cost all of $130-150. Standard H77 boards with all the features under the sun cost $100, cheepies cost $50-60... This is constant with AMD and Intel. Neither of them use exotic power connectors, they both use 20+4 ATX power and 4+4 ATX CPU power.

          • 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: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!

            • by beelsebob (529313)

              The problem is, Intel's 4 core chips are faster at very parallel workloads than the X6, and even AMD's "8 core" (really also 4 core + hyperthreading, just with int/int instead of int/fp) bulldozers.

              Multiple VMs will run better on an i5 3450 than on an X6 1100T or an FX-8150, in the same way as single threaded tasks would work better on an Athlon XP 2.5Ghz than on a Pentium 4 3.6Ghz (because core count, just like clock speed is just a number, and doesn't directly reflect performance, even at parallel tasks).

      • 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.

        Depends on the market. For example, when I built my NAS I was originally looking at Atom. Intel, however, cripples the chipsets and so the only way of getting a decent number of SATA connections on a mini-ITX system was to go with an AMD Fusion board.

    • 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.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Wrath0fb0b (302444)

        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

        • 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.

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

      by Trent Hawkins (1093109) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:39AM (#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 Mashiki (184564)

        Bingo. Though considering developers are still fleeing the console market, and PC's are the new golden egg again. This might be changing all for the better. 10 years ago, 12 years ago, 14 years ago, it was gaming that drove PC hardware sales. Remember the near constant CPU wars over speed, scaling, battle to reach 1ghz with air cooling? Yeah. The near constant battle for 3d accelerators, slap a couple of pci voodoo 2's in SLI mode with your matrox card and awayyyyy we go! Then it got dirty, ugly, and

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Depends on the software.

      Games right now are mostly pegged to the consoles, so if you have a reasonable capable Dx9 machine or anything upgraded after that (Dx10 or 11) you can run pretty much anything. Next year or so when we start seeing new consoles we'll see if the next major upgrade cycle needs Directx 12 class hardware (not yet in existence) or if the current crop of dx11 will be good enough.

      Lets have a quick glance at the system requirements for borderlands 2:
      OS: Windows XP SP3
      Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by firesyde424 (1127527)

        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 Githaron (2462596)

      The fact is, you no longer have to replace that PC and its CPU every other year.

      Now you have to replace your smartphones instead.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:21AM (#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 ...

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      Until you bump into an unoptimized game that barely can use two cores. Yap, they are still out there. SC2, Total War series, WoW, ......
    • by OzPeter (195038)

      Whats unhealthy about that?

      Not unhealthy for you .. unhealthy for AMD. Those fancy 6 month old CPUs don't design and build themselves - well at least not until after the singularity.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's unhealthy that AMD is forced to do so while Intel is not under such pressure.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I think you're putting the cart before the horse here, AMD isn't lowering prices to give you a great deal they're lowering prices because consumers don't think it's worth the price AMD is asking for. Right now AMD doesn't have a CPU they can charge $200+ for except their server line Opterons. That's not good for AMD and in the long run it's not good for the consumers either. Their APUs are quite okay but I think AMD is setting themselves up for a squeeze as Intel and ARM clash in battle for domination of th

  • Changing World. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:21AM (#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.

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

      by Ambassador Kosh (18352) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:51AM (#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 serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:21AM (#41537941) Journal

    Bad for some consumers, but not others. The others being those who can figure out to buy AMD machines.

    You can get cheap, high peforming AMD machines which is great.

    Have you seen the price of a Quad socket 6100 or 6200? You can get 48 or 64 decently performing cored and 1/t TB of ram for about £8000, with top end cores. Backing off a bit, you can get one for aroung 5 06 6k.

    The value is astonishingly good.

  • Most of my friends and relatives are non-techie people. A lot of non-techie people have the perception that AMD is cheap junk. Amongst my techie friends, a lot of us use AMD. It's all I buy because I feel very strongly that somebody should support it and I'm willing to be that somebody. I've been able to convince my brother (non-techie) that AMD is OK to buy, but I also know non-techie people who will pay more for Intel merely in the perception that it's "better" somehow. Intel used to advertise on TV
  • unhealthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:38AM (#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?

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:42AM (#41538197)

    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!

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @10:45AM (#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!

    • by jandrese (485)
      The reason Intel's prices have not moved much is because AMD is failing as a competitor. Bulldozer has problems, and the Core iN models are just kicking their butt. Intel can afford to charge more because they've got a better product.
      • by timeOday (582209)
        Even Intel's OLD processors are holding value. I have a Core 2 duo system I was considering upgrading to Core 2 quad, but their cost - new or used - is almost the same as it was when they were released 4 years ago.

        For example the Q9550s released at $369 [anandtech.com] and now sells for around $300 [google.com].

        I guess you could argue the high resale value makes it very cheap to own so long as you remember to sell it a few years later.

  • Their iPads and iPhones together outsell every other brand of computer. Apple uses its custom A4/5/6 brand of chips for this.

    Even if Intel still beats Apple, it is not growing as fast as Apple. Intels anemic Atomic chips arent that great.

    I never write Intel off. Like Apple both have immensely clever hardware engineers.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      "Their iPads and iPhones together outsell every other brand of computer"
      And you don't see why that's a false comparison?

  • I buy and use AMD simply because it is the best value for the money

    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_value_available.html [cpubenchmark.net]

    Microcenter or Fry's throws is also cheap motherboard. For $90 you can get top performing AMD CPU and motherboard. My 4 core AMD supports 3 way multiseat and runnning 4 X11 sessions on Ubuntu 12.04 just fine. Match that Intel.

    • Now go look at your power meter and try to keep that same smugness. AMD makes fine products, but they run hot and consume almost double the power of intel equivalents. Heat and power are a big deal to me.
      • by rubycodez (864176)

        I do look at power, my CPU isn't the big eater of it. everything else is.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I don't mind paying more to a company that puts so much money into RnD, uses less power, and supports so many of the sciences.

      People talk about RnD and Science, but talk is cheap.

  • Hardcore AMD fans like to point out that Intel hardly ever reduces prices on chips, and they always conveniently ignore the fact that Intel is constantly increasing the performance-per-dollar at every price point. For example, the desktop "around $200" price point has seen the following since 2007:

    2007 - Core 2 Duo E6300 - 1.87 GHz
    2008 - Core 2 Duo E8400 - 3.0 GHz
    2009 - Core i5 750 2.6 GHz - upgrade to quad core and turbo boost!
    2010 - Core i5 760 2.8 GHz
    2011 - Core i5 2500 3.3 GHz - major increase, also ge

    • by captjc (453680)

      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.

      • by default luser (529332) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:11PM (#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!

  • I have an old, first-gen Mac Pro (and no, I didn't pay for it - it was free, secondhand; I made it an explicit goal to get it back up and running without giving a cent to Apple, and I succeeded).

    I recently looked into upgrading it. Xeon processors seem to *plummet* in price after a few years. Processors that once cost upward of $2000 now cost $40 on Newegg, with free shipping. Some go down to $20 if you count dodgy-looking Amazon prices.

    Now yes, Xeons are only "desktop processors" for myself and a few other

  • They can get AMD for chump change right now. Fits well with their model of being vertically integrated. They could pump some money into AMD and get them to improve their x86 processors, and then dump Intel. They could get the GPU division of AMD to make a mobile GPU for their mobile products. And AMD's CPU engineers would come in very handy for custom ARM CPU design for mobile.

  • Intel does a lot more RnD, and spends a lot more on cutting edge fabs.
    Also, the cost per transistor per sqr. cent. isn't really declining like it used to.

  • The biggest issue for AMD is that consumers don't understand the market, and there's little AMD can do to change the opinion at this point. Are Intel processors, as a whole, faster than AMD? You bet. They're also pretty efficient as well. People know this, they're not dumb. But what they don't understand is that when they're buying that low end $400-500 laptop, it's not all about processor power. AMD's line of APUs are a phenominal value to the consumer. It gives the low end buyer all the CPU they need and

  • And Windows 8 won't lift either of their boats. Do you personally know anyone looking forward to Win 8?.

    "Waiter, three Dead Cat Bounces, please."

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