back to article AMD gains altitude in Q4 but hit by ATI scud missle

AMD says its chugging ever-closer to profitability. Perhaps it's right. The chip fabbing second-banana's losses shrunk in the fourth quarter of '07 — well, sort of. The company said it achieved a "near break-even performance" in the traditionally strong Q4 sales season. A feat that's true in the theoretical sense, but largely …

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My fault

Sorry. My fault. I delayed, for some unitersting reason(s), my purchase of AMD-based boxes. Therefore, things should be better on next quarter for AMD, as I finally set up my mind, and the winner is... a whole bunch of AMD processors, together with ATI chips.

OK, it's not gonna save AMD, I reckon. Anyway, I'm not going to buy a bunch of servers (may ATI be a clue?) but desktop boxes, and the volume is not going to be that impressive.

But still. I wonder why people keep on buying outdated Intel prcessors for their desktops, as they repeatedly failed to be significantly better than AMD ones, for a much higher price. The magic of marketting I guess. Still, to be honest, I wouldn't myself rely on AMD thingies for critical servers -I might even consider Big Blue as an alternative. Does that mean that I am critically intoxicated by marketting monkeys?

A few things need to be taken into account here. The new fancy quad-core processors from Intel and AMD seem to be quite equivalent in terms of perfomance, with the former being much more expensive, and even prohibitingly expensive if you consider the hardware environment that they need. Still, decision-makers are very sensitive to Intel marketting, and very often the mention of the letters A, M and D is enough to trigger apoplexia. The need for over-expensive fancy new RAM is nothing but a proof of efficiency for them. Still, when it comes from one single server to tens of desktop machines (which will be used at, say, 25% of their potential anyway), the potential savings suddently strikes them... and they say OK to the spooky 3 letters. The fact that the server(s) will only be used at 10% of its (their) potential is not even worth mentionning - it's crucial, so it desserves the most expensive thingies, the actual performance of the kit is nothing as they entirely rely on the price to scale efficiency -provided it's x86-based so that they can claim some experience, because they own a fancy quad-core based machine at home that they use to browse the InterWub and to make fancy ppt (2007) presentations...

As an individual, I bless this attitude, for it's the reason why I can get my personnal x-86 based gear at a reasonnable price, and also the reason why I might even consider buying Big Blue gear soon to heat up my personnal server cabinet as I personnally expect -OK, hope to be honest- the prices to go further down because aforementionned monkeys consider that "single thread" is an insult.

So yes, I think that AMD are doing the things -kinda- right for the moment, though they might be doing better if they were not always trying to compete with Intel. Which brings us to a very interesting point: is the market pushing them that way, or are the specialised journos pushing the "market" towards such competition?

Subsidiary question: what with the "open source" ATI drivers now,? Will they stick to the somewhat limited alternative that they offer? Will they really publish their code under an acceptable open licence? Will they totally give up to MS? Suspense suspense...

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Coat

FFS

Sure, it's missile spotting, but this is simply annoying - if something is gaining altitude, it's unlikely to be hit by a surface-to-surface missile such as a Scud. A surface to air missile perhaps? Plenty to choose from, take your pick... schnapperheads.

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RE: My fault

"I wonder why people keep on buying outdated Intel prcessors for their desktops."

Are you having a laugh? The phenoms didnt come out till right near the end of Q4. Intel have had the same mainstream products (Q6600) for so long because there has been no competition.

Are the quad conroe's more expensive? Are you looking at the enthusast extreme editions?

"So yes, I think that AMD are doing the things -kinda- right for the moment, though they might be doing better if they were not always trying to compete with Intel."

Lol no shit. HP might be doing better if Dell packed it all in.

"Which brings us to a very interesting point: is the market pushing them that way, or are the specialised journos pushing the "market" towards such competition?"

They both make chips FFS, of course they are in competition. Would intel be allowed to but AMD, of course not because that would be a monopoly...

You sound like your in charge of purchasing for a company... ohh dear.

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RE: my fault

Here is an intresting article related to this:

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5227&Itemid=40

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@Pierre

"But still. I wonder why people keep on buying outdated Intel prcessors for their desktops, as they repeatedly failed to be significantly better than AMD ones, for a much higher price. The magic of marketting I guess. "

well, I bought Intel Q6600 because quad-core from AMD was still far from the market at the time (less than year ago). And, if I were to buy now, I would still buy Q6600 - just compare price (Intel Q6600 £160, AMD 9600 £155) and performance. As to the former, you need to choose benchmarks yourself, there are just too many of them all saying the same story (Q6600 faster accross the board by 5%-20%). And no, Q6600 does not use FB-DIMM memory, thus system power efficiency does not suffer from FB power requirements. Also, I'm not Intel fanboy - I used AMD since my first PC many years ago, but had to replace system last year due to motherboard failure (relatively new Epox). I started to consider Intel only when I learned that there are no new motherboards with socket 939 where my old AMD X2 4800+ (2.4 Ghz with 2 x 1MB cache) would fit and that AMD recalled this CPU from the market and replaced it with another, under the same name, but with smaller cache and different socket. This really annoyed me.

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E

The problem is...

The CPUs. AMD has a couple of good to very good chipsets, ATI has an excellent offering in the $150 to $300 video card* market segment. AMD could offer a platform solution to mobo manufacturers and integrators. If AMD could get the CPU out the door I think it would do fine.

* I do not think it relevant that Nvidia 8800GT? cards top the charts. Relatively few people will shell out $500+ for a video card. Most of us are quite satisfied with the frame rates from an 8600 or 3850/3870, and that's where the revenue mostly is.

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Anonymous Coward

Intel vs AMd

"BAH HUMBUG"!!!

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Flame

@By Pierre

Dare I ask what you are smoking? Because I want some if you think Intels chips are "outdated" Im sorry but the Core 2 architecture is awesome. I dont care if you want to play the argument that Intels Quads are not true quads. Tell that to my computer. Seeing 4 INDIVIDUAL processors is just nice. Oh wait I think we have a case of processor envy here. (pats Pierre on the head and says its OK)

All joking aside my QX6700 is a thing of beauty. OCs nicely, runs stable, and I dont have a problem. I might have gotten AMD if one they had a processor anywhere comparable to Intels chips then maybe. I will give you that Intels chips are overpriced but hey you get what you pay for and i would rather pay for sheer power and preformance in my gaming rig then have something thats buggy has been delayed as many times as Vista has and shows a huge preformance difference compared to Intel. (http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_2007.html) The difference is atleast 15% in alot of cases and closer to 20+% in others. So which would you go for? I guess AMD has its fan boys too I preferr to go with who is currently doing best and has the best preforming chips that having been said I have used AMD in the past as well and still have some of their chips in other computers in my house. You should really think about what your going to say before you say it next time because if you dont it just makes you look like an arse.

(Flames for ovbious reasons though in a way could have used St. Jobs for the fanboydom displayed here)

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2 all

Not saying that Intel chips are outdated when they come out (actually that could more be told of AMD chips sometimes), just saying that lots of people actually buy outdated processors for their kit.

As for the rest, well, though I might have been a bit boozed at the time I wrote the comment, I still think that the rather limited gain, sometimes inexistant, and sometimes even negative, dependind on the processor and the use, is not worth the difference in price. Especially not for desktops that will be used for office work. And for larger pieces, well, if you can get 5 processors for the price of 4, one might think that it somewhat balance the benefit of the 4 being individually 15% faster.

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Linux

... but anyway...

... I might have been boozed when sending my first comment, it still doesn't sound remotely as ridiculous as the gamers comments that attacked it...

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Quad Core desktops

Just put of curiosity, what software (besides maybe some expensive Adobe stuff) is taking advantage of those four cores ?? I have a 2-P dual core Opteron workstation, ans most of the time my procs tend to be either idle or all four running at 10% in tandem...

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