To appreciate the woe that comes when you're Advanced Micro Devices, look no further than the No. 2 PC processor maker's second-quarter financial results, which were announced Tuesday. While Intel and Texas Instruments are widely believed to have stabilized during the same period, AMD remained mired in a deep funk that saw the …
AMD's potential weakness versus Intel
I would love to sell AMD systems. I have always had great results with workstations and servers built around AMD processors. But...
From my perspective, AMD's weakness versus Intel is the fact that Intel is very vertical. They make the processors, the chipsets, the motherboards, and even full systems from the mobo to the backplane -- and the compatibility is guaranteed.
AMD, to my knowledge, does not make the boards. They make the chipsets (ATI,) but I have never seen an AMD motherboard. It is nearly impossible for me to spec out a fully AMD system with guaranteed compatibility. I have been bitten more than once by building AMD systems: discontinued chipsets (the nForce 4 was great, 5 not so much,) manufacturers disconnected from customers with approaches to customer service worse than Microsoft (yeah, we know about the bug, and we'll fix it... sometime... maybe.)
Eh, that is not to say Intel systems do not have problems. Compatibility with RAID controllers or video cards abound, but are mostly easy to over come.
Intel will next-day air a replacement motherboard under warranty; AMD, well, no motherboard and dealing with most manufacturers is painful at best.
In the end, an Intel system makes for a better experience for my customers. Sadly.
Paris, a better experience.
"mired in a deep funk"
Dig that 70s wah-wah guitar and the wide lapels. Groovy, man.
AMD started with a foot in the grave....
before they seriously applied pressure to Intel circa 2000 with Athlon CPUs. If not for competition from AMD, we would probably be reaching the 1GHz range with x86 just now, and there would be no x64 as we know it today.
I for one have had very little issues with AMD-based systems. They are rock solid and, in the past, had been a serious contender to Intel dominance. Here's to hoping that a slimmer, trimmer, fab-less AMD will return to the ring with an ultra-low power, mobile, CPU/chipset a la Tegra.
For most people today, the allure of personal computers is really due to the Internet; Facebook, twitter, etc all run in a browser, therefore the vast majority of future computing will be on line. Although a driving innovative force, the super power desktops of today will be a niche market for most manufacturers going forward. The all-in-one netbook/smartbook/net-top market is the real battleground and even ARM is going to have a go at it, so don't count AMD out just yet.
"compatible with current sockets"
How about that, it takes eleven losses to learn a lesson.
Rooting For The Underdog
Would we have decently working 64-bit chips (and decently working 64-bit instruction sets) without AMD? This is possibly their most important contribution. Dragged Intel kicking and screaming along for the ride, for which I am very grateful.
My preference even now is for AMD systems over Intel, but I have to admit the desirability gap has narrowed considerably over the years.
Oh, and Mr. Bartlett? "Deep funk" is a term that existed long before the seventies, it is not equivalent to "funky", and yes, it is still in current usage.