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 I wonder why people keep on buying outdated Intel prcessors for their desktops, as they repeatedly failed to be significantly better than AMD ones, for a much higher price.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...