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

#101
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
kyussgr
GUYS PRICES HAVE GONE UP BECAUSE...... IT IS CHRISTMAS TIME ONCE AGAIN..... IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR... COME ON...

AMD has lost the competition with Intel a long time ago. You think that because of Bulldozer AMD will shutdown? 'We' computer enthusiasts will not buy Bulldozers but the 'others' do not have a clue.... They just want buy a PC... They have a budget and they don't mind whether is it says Intel or AMD.. They just want something that costs 500 Euros (less of what we spend on a cpu and mobo alone) and enables them to go on facebook...

How many of us 'overclockers', 'upgraders', 'extreme gamers' are out there? (compared with the rest of computer users)?

What kills AMD the most is the price / performance ratio. The fact that they don't lower their prices after all the negative publicity means that they are selling to the 'WOW 8 Cores!!!' consumers right now. In time they will lower their prices... and more people will be convinced to buy...

And this thread if you ask me is FUD- I highly Doubt AMD would leave the CPU business.

To tell you the truth do you think that any gamer who wants to play Skyrim or BF3 will notice any real difference on i5 or Bulldozer? I don't think so...
I am running BF3 multiplayer with everything on high on an overclocked (4Ghz) Core2Duo E8400 (on air) without any problems!!! (with the aid of an gtx570 of course!!!:D)......
I am waiting for Ivy Bridge you see....:D:D
Prices are hiked on everything and then once black friday rolls around they go back to normal to make people think prices are lower, when they truly are not- aka price is where the product started at. N Ya for those buying consoles, buy a used model n haggle the SOB that is trying to sell it for 250-300 dollars- stating you can get one for 250 etc
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#102
xenocide
cdawall
Now move up to the A4 chips with integrate 65x0 graphics on them and you have a budget gamer that can play ALL of todays games with decent settings, throw in hybrid xfire with another 65x0 chip and you have all high settings for under $700. Something intel cannot touch.
I'm going to disagree. For $700 you can get an i3-2100 or maybe even i5-2400 setup with a 6850 or so that would blow that setup away in most tasks. The "Hybrid Crossfire" setup is crippled at best, and still in it's infancy. I don't think the 6xxx series will be it's time to shine no matter what.

cdawall
As drivers mature those chips keep getting better.
No matter what, they are still AMD\ATi drivers which are historically bad. I have to completely uninstall and reinstall drivers every time I update them, and even then it's only to a 50% success rate. It's stuff like that that really scares users away.

cdawall
There is no way the influx of fusion chips is by mistake. AMD is trying to take as much low end market as humanly possible. We may loose the high end with AMD's bulldozer fiasco, but if they can stake a claim in low/midrange markets that is the bulk of home computing.
It was more because they could actually make those at the time. AMD was having so many problems getting BD CPU's in decent enough yields to even make shipping worthwhile, they had to do something to keep sales and revenue up. Luckily for users, the end result was very beneficial.

cdawall
The top 4 selling laptops at my Walmart right now are all AMD based and under $700. All it takes is one salesman to go hey these perform similar this ones cheaper and games play better.
You assume salesman at these places know what the hell they are talking about. I spent several minutes listening to some 15 year old kid explain why Laptop X was clearly better than Laptop Y for gaming because it had a bigger screen (15.6' vs. 14.1' for what it's worth) with literally no consideration put into the CPU, GPU, Cost, etc. at a Best Buy recently.
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#103
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
xenocide
I'm going to disagree. For $700 you can get an i3-2100 or maybe even i5-2400 setup with a 6850 or so that would blow that setup away in most tasks. The "Hybrid Crossfire" setup is crippled at best, and still in it's infancy. I don't think the 6xxx series will be it's time to shine no matter what.
Fine me a NOTEBOOK with all of that for $700 and I will buy it right now. I do like the fact that you still buy an AMD card with it though.

cdawall
Those notebooks are damn near bestselling on every single site. Now move up to the A4 chips with integrate 65x0 graphics on them and you have a budget gamer that can play ALL of todays games with decent settings
You took that line out of context. AMD's desktop market is shit and I could care less about it. Hybrid Crossfire is also one hell of a lot more stable than the Intel option. Go find reviews of a Intel IGP+NV graphics that doesn't have a list of people complaining that the one driver that does work with the IGP/NV swithing doesn't work with any new games.


xenocide
No matter what, they are still AMD\ATi drivers which are historically bad. I have to completely uninstall and reinstall drivers every time I update them, and even then it's only to a 50% success rate. It's stuff like that that really scares users away.
Most people update with windows update. It is 100% successful at deleting one .inf and replacing it with another. Cool thing about windows update is it couldn't care less about CCC. Not to mention 90% of the people updating the drivers are the people of forums like this. The rest couldn't care less. Does it play farmville still? How about WOW? After that point nothing needs to be touched. In all honesty last time I updated my netbooks X1270 I deleted the inf and told windows to use the new one. Worked beautifully. Also this is coming from someone who has played with crossfire when it was new and you had to play musical parts to get it working. Had 4x3850's, mixes of X2's and single cards, you name it I probably ran it in the 3-4XX0 series.


xenocide
It was more because they could actually make those at the time. AMD was having so many problems getting BD CPU's in decent enough yields to even make shipping worthwhile, they had to do something to keep sales and revenue up. Luckily for users, the end result was very beneficial.
They never slowed the production Phenom II's during the time. Fusion chips were equally as difficult to manufacture as BD and even included multiple dies with different manufacturing processes. Talk about complicated you integrate a 32nm CPU with a 40nm GPU!


xenocide
You assume salesman at these places know what the hell they are talking about. I spent several minutes listening to some 15 year old kid explain why Laptop X was clearly better than Laptop Y for gaming because it had a bigger screen (15.6' vs. 14.1' for what it's worth) with literally no consideration put into the CPU, GPU, Cost, etc. at a Best Buy recently.
I can't vouch for anything that I didn't work at. There is often one salesman who knows what they are talking about at those stores. Aaron (freaksavior) and I were the ones at BestBuy, the resident nerds so wonderfully named by the manager, but we had our place when people wanted stupid ridiculous questions answered the two of us could feed them full of quite a bit of knowledge. You will always have the teenybopper at Bestbuy they are cheap and can still sell a laptop to anybody who walks into that store.
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#104
Recus
AMD To Give Up Competing
It's music to my eyes.
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#105
Red_Machine
nVIDIA actually has an x86 license, but Intel won't let them use it. It's a shame, I'd quite like a system with all nVIDIA components.

And I agree on the whole "Intel monopoly not being as bad as we all dread" thing. In Britain, we loved our monopolies, and we got some of the lowest prices and best products/service around. But, because everybody is terrified of them, they'll forceably break up Intel if AMD pulls out of the desktop scene which is a big shame. Same would happen to Microsoft if Apple went under.
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#106
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
i think this rumor is BS. After AMD just announced making RAM for the market, they are quitting CPUs? this rumor was probably started by intel fanbois and/or AMD/bulldozer haters.

wasnt the whole point in AMD getting out new RAM to rival intel's XMP profiles?


Even if this is true, i think AMD is going to put all development into the FM1 socket. Something tells me that we will get competetive CPUs, with integrated GPUs on core
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#107
Red_Machine
de.das.dude
i think this rumor is BS. After AMD just announced making RAM for the market, they are quitting CPUs? this rumor was probably started by intel fanbois and/or AMD/bulldozer haters.
Quoting an AMD employee, yo.
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#108
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
i think many of you are kidding yourselves over the impact little old crappy amd will have leaving the market. they are already an afterthought in the mind of intel. there are a lot more important factors that impact how intel innovates and does business.
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#109
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Easy Rhino
i think many of you are kidding yourselves over the impact little old crappy amd will have leaving the market. they are already an afterthought in the mind of intel. there are a lot more important factors that impact how intel innovates and does business.
Flamebait much?

AMD still holds an 18% market share and Intel 80%. Thats commonly available knowledge. Without AMD competing with Intel we will see processor markups again. Competition is good in every way it brings out the best product, best price and more options. Think if there was no AMD when the P4 was released? Who is to say Intel would have gotten there collective heads out of their asses and fixed that to release Conroe? As long as AMD holds its current marketshare through the quarter they could always bounce back. As far as intel's way of doing business yea right thats why AMD won that 1.45 billion antitrust. The only business plan Intel follows is when in doubt cheat, lie and steal. Hell the old P4 commercial specifically quote needing a P4 to use XP...I mean really?
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#110
unsmart
x86 doesn't equal CPU just profit for intel. You could read this as "were not paying intel anymore". There are more extension out that are open source and it looks like MS is planing on working with them more. This could just be the death of x86 that's been talked about for years now. the money is in mobile devices, set tops, and cloud none of whom need x86.
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#111
Altered
de.das.dude
i think this rumor is BS.
Its only "rumor" if you dont believe stuff that comes strait from the source. But the BS part comes from all industries as they all seem to fudge things to get a certain reaction. Maybe an attempt to get Intel to slow down thinking they won the battle?
"We're at an inflection point," said company spokesman Mike Silverman. "We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore."
However from what I read we may be taking it a little overboard. I see a lot of room in what they say to still make chips. The best I can get is they dont want to be compared to Intel for some sort of imaginary throne.
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#112
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
well it just doesnt make any sense. why would they even put BD into production if they knew it was such a fail and they would quit??
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#113
Completely Bonkers
IMO AMD made a mistake killing the ATI brand name.

AMD should think of itself as a technology "group" and incubate a portfolio of excellence in different fields. And have different product lines targeted to those markets.

AMD CPU, ATI, MAD (Memory acceleration devices), Spinner (mobile devices), etc. There is, IMO, a ball and chain effect by over "incorporating" diverse product lines and R&D.
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#114
lukcic
I support AMD because:
  • tried Intel, and for my use AMD was and still is a better choice (example: try to use dism with all patches for windows; Intel based PC will die and will be unusable for a few hours, while AMD finishes 1 hour before an Intel and during the task the PC is usable)
  • I don't care for the quantity of game framerates; I play games 2x in a month
  • I use Sony vegas for rendering and it truly uses all cores on the AMD platform to the max, while Intel....that's just sad story behind....
  • I was thinking buying a laptop, a cheap laptop with the CPU virtualization and I wanted an Intel (I was recommended by I friend who I trust about these things), the problem was that the Pentium mobiles don't have virtualization, while even the cheapest model of any AMD CPU has it. This rises a question "Why would I buy an Intel???" :laugh:
So here you have my opinion and logical reasons why I support AMD. Now I own a 8-core AMD beast and it does the job damn good!
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#115
werez
As long as they make "good - enough" chips and don`t charge a fortune for them , i don`t care about AMD losing ground performance wise . They don`t need to keep up ... Anyway im pretty sure that all this is just plain BS . Via is crap and they still sell alot :)
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#116
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
lukcic
I support AMD because:
  • tried Intel, and for my use AMD was and still is a better choice (example: try to use dism with all patches for windows; Intel based PC will die and will be unusable for a few hours, while AMD finishes 1 hour before an Intel and during the task the PC is usable)
  • I don't care for the quantity of game framerates; I play games 2x in a month
  • I use Sony vegas for rendering and it truly uses all cores on the AMD platform to the max, while Intel....that's just sad story behind....
  • I was thinking buying a laptop, a cheap laptop with the CPU virtualization and I wanted an Intel (I was recommended by I friend who I trust about these things), the problem was that the Pentium mobiles don't have virtualization, while even the cheapest model of any AMD CPU has it. This rises a question "Why would I buy an Intel???" :laugh:
So here you have my opinion and logical reasons why I support AMD. Now I own a 8-core AMD beast and it does the job damn good!
this is also the reasons i use an AMD. fuck i5 :D
AMD just feels a lot faster somehow.
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#117
MilkyWay
When did hearsay and conjuncture count as front page news?

You know historically AMD started making Intel cpu copies? It was licensed to manufacture Intel cpu then it won a lawsuit against Intel and started to make its own processors.
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#118
pantherx12
Red_Machine
nVIDIA actually has an x86 license, but Intel won't let them use it. It's a shame, I'd quite like a system with all nVIDIA components.

And I agree on the whole "Intel monopoly not being as bad as we all dread" thing. In Britain, we loved our monopolies, and we got some of the lowest prices and best products/service around. But, because everybody is terrified of them, they'll forceably break up Intel if AMD pulls out of the desktop scene which is a big shame. Same would happen to Microsoft if Apple went under.
Eh?

You realise monopolies do the opposite right?

They sell cheap initially to weaken/destroy competition and then their prices go up as soon as there's no one to compete with.

That's why people are terrified of them.

Companies like Tesco pretty much wiped out the butcher/baker industry as well, in my town their used be like 10 butchers, now there's one permanent and another guy who comes in a lorry :laugh: ( so cheap! Love that dude)


Monopolies are the worst thing people can allow :laugh: They take away choice and the monopoly has no need to compete as it's the only one providing the service/product so can charge what it likes and people have to pay that.
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#119
entropy13
pantherx12
Eh?

You realise monopolies do the opposite right?

They sell cheap initially to weaken/destroy competition and then their prices go up as soon as there's no one to compete with.

That's why people are terrified of them.

Companies like Tesco pretty much wiped out the butcher/baker industry as well, in my town their used be like 10 butchers, now there's one permanent and another guy who comes in a lorry :laugh: ( so cheap! Love that dude)


Monopolies are the worst thing people can allow :laugh:
As I have already pointed out in the previous page, generally speaking yes monopolies are "bad", but an Intel monopoly is "not as bad as you would think" because no company, no matter how big, can stop scientific and technological progress...unless they spend absurd amounts of money in doing so that being a monopoly in the first place isn't profitable at all.
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#120
pantherx12
entropy13
As I have already pointed out in the previous page, generally speaking yes monopolies are "bad", but an Intel monopoly is "not as bad as you would think" because no company, no matter how big, can stop scientific and technological progress...unless they spend absurd amounts of money in doing so that being a monopoly in the first place isn't profitable at all.
Of course development wouldn't stop as people will still want more power, but the prices man, think of the prices! :laugh:
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#121
catnipkiller
Easy to spot fan boys from both sides. If you think this will be a good think for the pc gaming world you have your head up your own ass. Prices of Intel chips will only go up and up and if you think differently you need a kick in yer face. Only a fool would hope for a monopoly in the pc world.
Posted on Reply
#122
entropy13
pantherx12
Of course development wouldn't stop as people will still want more power, but the prices man, think of the prices! :laugh:
:rolleyes:

Law of Supply and Demand would still be at work, generally speaking.

What would happen in an Intel monopoly is not the complete breakdown of the law of supply and demand (where they are able to peg their products at high prices right off the bat) but rather an "inflexibility" of the interaction between supply and demand. Specifically, prices are less susceptible to market forces, but are actually still a bit similar to the situation that we have right now. You could say it's monopolistic competition, but Intel can't really "dictate" prices because it is also essentially competing against itself, which is primarily caused by progress in science and technology.
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#123
Red_Machine
pantherx12
Eh?

You realise monopolies do the opposite right?
BT? The electric/water/gas board? Royal Mail?
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#124
entropy13
catnipkiller
Easy to spot fan boys from both sides. If you think this will be a good think for the pc gaming world you have your head up your own ass. Prices of Intel chips will only go up and up and if you think differently you need a kick in yer face. Only a fool would hope for a monopoly in the pc world.
:confused::confused::confused:

So you're saying that if someone said "Something A is not as bad as you think", that someone meant "Something A is the best thing in the world!"?


:laugh::laugh::laugh:
Posted on Reply
#125
pantherx12
Red_Machine
BT? The electric/water/gas board? Royal Mail?
BT is shite. :laugh:

Those 3 things are run by several different companies not one by it's self.


Royal mail is expensive as HELL lol ( fine for anything under a kilo and not expensive though I guess)


I'm shipping a tv soon, royal mail it would of cost me £30 and I'd have to go to the post office, to get a courier it costs me £10 including £500 insurance and they pick it up from my house, I don't even need to write the address on the parcel as they come with stickers! :D
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