Tuesday, November 29th 2011

AMD To Give Up Competing With Intel On x86? CPU Prices Already Shooting Up

It looks like the Bulldozer disaster might have been too much of a setback for AMD to recover from. After 30 years of competing with Intel in the x86 processor market, AMD is about to give up, even with the 2009 1.25bn antitrust settlement they extracted from them. Mike Silverman, AMD company spokesman said, "We're at an inflection point. We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore." He was vague on the exact strategy that AMD intends to pursue from now on, though. However, the company is widely expected to make a concerted effort to break into the smartphones and tablets market. The big problem with this strategy unfortunately, is that this arena is currently dominated by many other competitors. On top of that, their arch enemy Intel is also trying to muscle in on this space, hence AMD could find themselves back at square one, or likely even further back. AMD's graphics cards are doing well at the moment though and are quite competitive, so it looks like their expensive purchase of ATI back in 2006, might yet save the company from extinction. If they become primarily a graphics card company, they will inevitably end up a lot smaller than they are now though and that's a lot of lost jobs and personal hardship, along with a monopoly x86 market remaining and all of its negative effects on the market.
The current predicament that AMD find themselves in can only be due to bad management, especially with that massive injection of over a billion dollars. Surely they must have seen the way Bulldozer performance was going years ago? Ultimately, it doesn't matter if they would have scrapped Bulldozer as a bad job and tweaked up the reasonable Phenom 2 instead and called it Phenom 3. It doesn't matter a jot what's actually under the hood, what clock speed it runs at and what you call it. Ultimately, it's comparative real-world performance and price that matters, nothing else. Nothing at all. Back in October, we reported on AMD's projection of a 50% CPU performance improvement by 2014. It was clear as day that this was a non-starter against the high performance competition from Intel, who's products are already 50% faster and more right now, so today's announcement that AMD is giving up isn't really all that surprising, although depressing.

AMD's move is bad news for PC enthusiasts everywhere as Intel will now be left with no competition in the x86 market and be an effective monopoly. We're already seeing the effects of this with Intel processors trending upwards in price and Intel's Sandy Bridge replacements, Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge, which essentially give the same per core performance as SB, with just a few tweaks to make them "new" products. With more and more computing power being crammed into an ever smaller space, could it be that high powered PCs will become a very small niche market, having been replaced by laptops, very small form factor, low power computers - and games consoles? And what will happen to AMD and NVIDIA when they can't sell high-powered graphics cards in sufficient quantities to be profitable any more? Doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

There's more info, analysis and quotes on this grim situation over at Mercury News.
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156 Comments on AMD To Give Up Competing With Intel On x86? CPU Prices Already Shooting Up

#51
Makaveli
bigboi86
I am disappointed in AMD's inability to compete with Intel, but that does not make AMD a crappy company.

I suppose noone remembers when AMD held the performance crown back in the Athlon XP/64 days. This made Intel completely change the way they designed processors. They realized that you can make a fast processor by making it more efficient instead of just ramping up clockspeed(p4).

Intel wouldn't be what it is today if AMD never stepped in.

I don't know why they're having such a hard time, a few years ago they were doing great.

However, I don't think that Intel will slow down their development of extremely fast processors with AMD gone.

I will personally miss having great processors for a good price.

I just unlocked an Athlon II x4's L3 cache and clocked it to 3.5ghz for 100 bucks. Wish I could get that kind of bang for buck with Intel.

I have nothing against either processor manufacterer, competition is good for the consumer. These companies kept each other in check for years.

I hope AMD bounces back but it looks like the company is being ran by pussies now. They are ready to give up. Sad, really.

Just because Intel wins in synthetic benchmarks doesn't mean that AMD processors are crappy. Most users wouldn't see a difference while using a high end AMD machine vs a high end Intel machine.
I remember those days fondly and I still have an opteron 170 in my HTPC.

However, I don't think this is accurate at all.

"Intel wouldn't be what it is today if AMD never stepped in."

AMD got ahead because intel screwed up and was trying to push megahurtz as king until physics slapped them in the face.

Intel always has been and always will be bigger than AMD, and they recovered from the P4 with conroe. When you have deep pockets you can screw up and recover with ease AMD on the other hand doesn't have this luxury. I'd give them credit for fighting this David vs Goliath battle we have enjoyed for this many years but they were always fighting a the war they could never win! AMD just won a single battle with A64.

There would be no AMD without intel not the other way around.
Posted on Reply
#52
Wile E
Power User
I'm sorry, but this is just a load of FUD.

AMD is not leaving the market.
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#53
hv43082
MarcusTaz
I own a FX-6100 and an Intel Core i7 950 and with the same cards XFX 6970 and the same hard drive setups the only difference is the memory the Intel has 12Gb and the AMD has 8Gb and I play BF3 with NO differences. I do not have to OC the 6100 and the gameplay is smooth. Buy AMD even if you think BD is a failure... Maybe in the overclocking/power consumption dept it is a failure but who give s a rats arse.. Buy AMD and keep the competition... Then you will see Intel prices drop...

I know we all love to OC stuff and bench at times but in the end for me if the rig is snappy and the framerates rock who gives 2 cents... Just pwn n00bs!!!Now everyone go out and buy an FX chip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :toast:
Why would the consumer pay more for a lesser product?
Posted on Reply
#54
Makaveli
hv43082
Why would the consumer pay more for a lesser product?
I'm waiting for this answer also....
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#55
Disparia
"Intel wouldn't be what it is today if AMD never stepped in."

On the flip side of that, Intel could have been much more if AMD hadn't stepped in :)

Intel had a ~5 year top-down plan for introducing IA64 to the industry, from specialty applications to mobile. But after the first phase, who comes in and c-blocks them? AMD with x86-64. We got short-term gratification, but at what expense? Could theorize over several paragraphs, but I'll sum it up that could be have been driving flying cars by now.
Posted on Reply
#56
entropy13
Wile E
I'm sorry, but this is just a load of FUD.

AMD is not leaving the market.
There aren't that many Burger King's or Wendy's here compared to KFC and McDonalds. Essentially they "gave up competing" and just kept what they already have but never expanded. But that doesn't mean they left the fastfood market here.
Posted on Reply
#57
Wile E
Power User
entropy13
There aren't that many Burger King's or Wendy's here compared to KFC and McDonalds. Essentially the "gave up competing" and just kept what they already have but never expanded. But that doesn't mean they left the fastfood market here.
That's what I mean. People are screaming like it's the cpu apocalypse, but the fact of the matter is, they are just admitting the position they have already been in for decades.

Nothing will really change.
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#58
TRWOV
qubit
@cadaveca

So Intel own the market because they own the fabs to meet the demand, regardless of what happens? Yeah, I'll go with that. :toast:
It's very simple. Let's say that there's a market for five computers. Intel steps in an says, "hey, I can make 4 of those" and AMD says "I could make only one and I'm not so sure". Of course Intel will get more business.




About the article, the "We're at an inflection point. We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore." quote doesn't mean that AMD will throw the towel with x86 CPUs. They're just saying "Don't expect out next CPU to be a Sandy Bridge killer".
Posted on Reply
#59
Efraim
TRWOV
It's very simple. Let's say that there's a market for five computers. Intel steps in an says, "hey, I can make 4 of those" and AMD says "I could make only one and I'm not so sure". Of course Intel will get more business.




About the article, the "We're at an inflection point. We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore." quote doesn't mean that AMD will throw the towel with x86 CPUs. They're just saying "Don't expect out next CPU to be a Sandy Bridge killer".
Think the post above is indeed the fact.AMD will be always be there in cpu market unless they fuck up again*should the change the marketing, this wont happen(most likely).

and if this is also part of their marketing, showing that they even 'throw the towel with x86 CPUs' and next time, they come up with something not so bad, the market trust may change again in their favor.At least they'll gain the share they had before the SB era.
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#61
MarcusTaz
hv43082
Why would the consumer pay more for a lesser product?
Why is it lesser... that is subjective on your take. If you support AMD you buy the chip... it is not going to self destruct your pc... so the intel performs better.. who cares , my point is both PC's feel the same and game the same. 1 or 2 framerates and not going to kill you.... no one is telling you how to spend your money. I think my FX -6100 is a decent chip... I paid 130 for mine a lot less then a core i5
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#62
Super XP
IBM will never let AMD go under, absolutely no way. Who on earth want's Intel dictating what CPU technologies will be chosen? I don't so.

AMD will only change there strategy and compete on Price/Performance until they can get something competative out that blows Intel out of the water :D
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#63
entropy13
An Intel monopoly is actually the "best" monopoly you can ever have. They can never successfully stop progress in science and technology anyway. And the pace of development would still be staggering even under a monopoly. Which sets it apart from, for example, a company having a monopoly on oil.

I'm not saying that an Intel monopoly is automatically a good thing though, but rather it's not that worse as some (many?) are wont to paint it out.
Posted on Reply
#64
ensabrenoir
Super XP
IBM will never let AMD go under, absolutely no way. Who on earth want's Intel dictating what CPU technologies will be chosen? I don't so.

AMD will only change there strategy and compete on Price/Performance until they can get something competative out that blows Intel out of the water :D
I like this guy:rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#65
xtremesv
GenTarkin
OMG, seriously, if AMD exits the x86 market...Intel will have monopoly and get ready for the freakin dark ages PC progression....it will slow to a halt. No more competition really sucks...for us all =/
I don't know. The future seems to be mobile, desktop computing is not going to last. I think not only AMD is in trouble, Intel needs to speed up its strategy toward smartphones and tablets.
Posted on Reply
#66
JustaTinkerer
Inflection: A turning or bending away from a course or position.

Very well could been a move away from there current bulldozer/piledriver strategy. Leaving the desktop sector would be crazy.

Push out what is left.

Cutting power consumption and price for piledriver.

Keep up the good work with the graphics cards.

Perhaps dabble in the smartphone/tablet sector. (Now I know Intel are meant to enter the smartphone market in 2012 but AMD could grab a sizeable share depending on price).

Down the line with a new architecture, Intel didnt see it coming because of the smartphone battle "BANG" AMD is back.


More what im saying is a move away from what AMD are doing right now is obvious, someone said if the marketing of the FX had been different this might not have happened, that is on the money.

Its the same mistake Intel made with the believe in GHz, AMD are just piling on the cores.
AMD could move away from the cores and look for something a little more refined.
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#67
Gjohnst4
Are they killing off the road map now though? Can I still expect Piledriver with it's 10% gain, or is this what is being scrapped? :wtf:
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#68
JustaTinkerer
Gjohnst4
Are they killing off the road map now though? Can I still expect Piledriver with it's 10% gain, or is this what is being scrapped? :wtf:
Cant see it being scrapped, to much work has already went in to it, even to break even it will still go ahead.
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#69
mysticjon
i always loved amd over intel, amd needs a new buisness strategy, they will always be number 2. They (amd) lacks innovation and they seem afraid to start something new and fresh. theres all these companyies who are putting out the same products but with their own differences. All the tablets do the samething, there all touch based, the only thing tat sperates each tablet is the GUI and its hardware and whatever perks there apps have. If amd wants to strive to the top, they need a younger and fresher generation of minds/workers. You can only improve on a certain technology until you deplete its usage. The again with the bullshit US ecomony i doubt our generation will be able to repair our previous generations big whooping pile of bullshit they paved for us
Posted on Reply
#70
entropy13
Gjohnst4
Are they killing off the road map now though? Can I still expect Piledriver with it's 10% gain, or is this what is being scrapped? :wtf:
I don't think that would be scrapped. Since they already have presence in pricepoints less than $250, they'll just be starting from there and going down in price. They're not going to just (╯°□°)╯︵ s∩ԀƆ doʇʞsǝp. They'll just stick to where they are currently and just "work" from there. Some improvements, but not expanding any further.
Posted on Reply
#71
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
What i see AMD doing more of is providing a system platform, Vid Card GPUs, CHipsets, CPUs, and now Memory.

N tell u truth AMD has been a better choice for price/performance ratio. Yes the i series CPus are good from intel but in long run they will fall flat as software developers start releasing more threaded programs. AMD may not be the fastest in town but they are looking into the future of software development. FX isnt a disaster to say the least because many who have bought the product are actually very satisfied and happy with their purchase.
Posted on Reply
#72
mechtech
hmmmmmmmmmmm interesting.

Well I doubt this will happen, I mean the gov would probably break up Intel for being a monopoly so Intel would probably even bail them out, who knows.

"And no is gonna buy sandbridge 3 if its only 100mhz faster than the last and with no IPC improvement."

From someones comment, well if AMD did say screw it and pulled out of the market, and 4 years down the road your mobo craps out and the sandy3 has diff pin config and its only 100mhz faster you are going to buy it cause you have no choice. And the Prescott sucked and people still bought them over the superior A64 at the time.

It would be the same thing if GM was the only car maker on the planet and after they got their monopoly they only made cavalier's, well the other option would be walk.

I just wish ATI didn't get bought out, as for the cpu I run a AMD 955BE and most of the time it idles, and I have no reason whatsoever to upgrade it. My wife's zacate E-350 1.6Ghz dual core laptop runs 'typical everyday' things smoothly.

As for the majority of people they don't know or care, as long as the pc starts when they push the button so they can check their email and watch youtube thats all that matters to them.
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#73
hv43082
MarcusTaz
Why is it lesser... that is subjective on your take. If you support AMD you buy the chip... it is not going to self destruct your pc... so the intel performs better.. who cares , my point is both PC's feel the same and game the same. 1 or 2 framerates and not going to kill you.... no one is telling you how to spend your money. I think my FX -6100 is a decent chip... I paid 130 for mine a lot less then a core i5
You still have not provide a logical reason why the consumer would pay more for a lesser product. I appreciate your brand loyalty but there are more applications than just gaming. AMD chip did not outperform Intel equivalent on those tasks while costing more and consuming more energy.
Posted on Reply
#74
xenocide
bigboi86
I will personally miss having great processors for a good price.

I just unlocked an Athlon II x4's L3 cache and clocked it to 3.5ghz for 100 bucks. Wish I could get that kind of bang for buck with Intel.

Just because Intel wins in synthetic benchmarks doesn't mean that AMD processors are crappy. Most users wouldn't see a difference while using a high end AMD machine vs a high end Intel machine.
Have you been asleep for the entire existance of Sandy Bridge? You can get an i3-2100 that would outperform that exact CPU in almost every task for basically the same price. The reason AMD is now losing is because with SB, they are barely holding on to their Price\Performance standing. Intel realized by aggressively pricing their consumer CPU's, they could deal massive damage to AMD's sustainability. The even more overshadowing truth, is that although you can get similar performance from AMD CPU's for cheaper, as of the last 2-3 years you have to consistantly wait 6-9 months after an Intel release to get it. They are constantly a generation behind, and it is killing them.

Wile E
I'm sorry, but this is just a load of FUD.

AMD is not leaving the market.
Like I said, sensationalist garbage.

MarcusTaz
Why is it lesser... that is subjective on your take. If you support AMD you buy the chip... it is not going to self destruct your pc... so the intel performs better.. who cares , my point is both PC's feel the same and game the same. 1 or 2 framerates and not going to kill you.... no one is telling you how to spend your money. I think my FX -6100 is a decent chip... I paid 130 for mine a lot less then a core i5
Because it is worse in terms of Price\Performance. It goes for $160 on Newegg, when you can get even an i5-2400 for $190 which will outperform it across the board. Or you could even just get a Phenom II X4 for $110 that offers similar performance, or a true Six-Core Thuban for the same price or slightly cheaper. No matter how you slice it BD is not that great. If you were starting from scratch, building a budget system you go either i3-2100 or PII X4 (maybe X6) and for a mid-high level system you go i5-24/2500/k or i7-26/2700k. BD is NOT cost effective.
Posted on Reply
#75
random
Well look at the bright side now that AMD have owned up, no more bs marketing performance graphs :laugh:
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