back to article Pray for AMD

We were warned, but AMD's second-quarter results were still a shocking bloodbath, with revenue that missed analysts' estimates and came in even lower than the chipmaker's own revised guidance. Last week, we were cautioned to expect AMD's revenue for the period ending on June 27 to be down 8 per cent sequentially, contrary to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if

    I wonder what things would be like today if AMD when it was at the top of its game hadn't decided to get distracted by and overpay for ATI, in the process go back to being the also ran it has always been? With even Intel laying off now the victory lap would have still been fairly short I think.

    1. h4rm0ny
      Mushroom

      Re: What if

      And I wonder what would have happened if Intel hadn't engaged in blatant anti-trust behaviour to sabotage AMD so badly back in the day. Intel were found guilty and forced to settle, but the settlement was a bargain for keeping their competitor from gaining ground. Even after that verdict they continue to engage in such practices, such as paying vendors to buy their chips over AMD's. (True - look it up).

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What if

        There is a very good book "Inside Intel" about Intel and AMD. Even Robert McNamara had a part in how AMD survived. AMD has been very important for us consumers and I hope they can get their act together.

      2. eclairz

        Re: What if

        I wonder what would happen if AMD decided not to accept the settlement and see it until the end. I doubt it would happen as Intel own shares in AMD so wouldn't happen. I see so many settlements for obvious wins, the only time laws change is when they get seen through, settling just means Intel can do it again and settle again, rather than stopping them and making it criminal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What if

          Quote: I wonder what would happen if AMD decided not to accept the settlement and see it until the end.

          ----

          This "turning tail and settle for pennies on the dollar" is when I dumped my AMD stock and swore never again to purchase anything AMD (stock or products).

          AMD screwed all of us who owned AMD stock (and lost 10's of thousands) during the dark days. AMD would have won the suit it they just continued. Then us stockholders of AMD would have won the class action suit against Intel using the victory AMD won and all the detailed wrong doings of Intel documented in the suit.

          Instead AMD said screw the stockholders just take the cash (and waste it buying ATI).

          Now I look forward to the end of AMD. AMD screwed me and other stockholders so all I have to say now is "Screw you too AMD".

      3. asdf Silver badge

        Re: What if

        >Intel were found guilty and forced to settle, but the settlement was a bargain for keeping their competitor from gaining ground.

        AMD agreed to the settlement no? One way or another its all on AMD management which has always been their problem.

    2. Roo
      Windows

      Re: What if

      "I wonder what things would be like today if AMD when it was at the top of its game hadn't decided to get distracted by and overpay for ATI, in the process go back to being the also ran it has always been?"

      I think it would have been exactly the same outcome because AMD's problem has been it's fabs for over a decade now. AMD haven't been able to compete at process level in terms of outright performance, yield & power consumption going back to the original K8 & Opteron. Back then they couldn't produce them fast enough, and now they can't generate enough demand either.

      TL;DR: AMD haven't been able to produce enough of their chips with a decent profit margin so they haven't been able to grow or even maintain their market share.

      FWIW I wish it was different, AMD have done some good work over the years.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What if

      What if AMD hadn't been fucked by Intel using illegal means when AMD was producing better chips. Intel didn't get fined anywhere near enough compared to the damage it did to AMD.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My main gaming rig is AMD...

    Brilliant systems.. but they just ain't "cool", they always seem to play 2nd fiddle to Intel and Nvidia, whilst their product recognition / branding just sucks!

    Radeon isn't that some kind of detergent?

    Piledriver, what is that? a drive?

    They need a consistant naming convention for their products and models. Intel took a hit when they moved from Core to the i branding (i5 and i7 etc), but they stuck with it and now virtually every idiot understands it.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Cool???

      My Vishera is pretty cool... has to be the glue starts to melt at 65 degrees!

    2. David 138

      Re: My main gaming rig is AMD...

      Radeon is the same as calling something g-force. I in no way could tell you what the best nVidia card is :P Intel chipsets are still retarded, and they have the processor names Atom, i3, i5, i7, Xeon, celeron and a few other crazy ones, but then which one has multithreding, how many cores? Its retarded. Especially the Xeons.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: My main gaming rig is AMD...

        "Atom, i3, i5, i7, Xeon, celeron and a few other crazy ones, but then which one has multithreding, how many cores?"

        That's easy, as any wannabee techy will tell you. An i3 has 3 cores, an i5 has 5 cores etc :-)

    3. Archaon

      Re: My main gaming rig is AMD...

      "They need a consistant naming convention for their products and models. Intel took a hit when they moved from Core to the i branding (i5 and i7 etc), but they stuck with it and now virtually every idiot understands it."

      Piledriver, Bulldozer, Kabini etc are names for processor architectures, not models. An A4-4000, is an example of an AMD model number. This is the same as how Intel has Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell etc, and i7 3770k is an example of a model name. The AMD naming is actually fairly reasonable if you ignore the architecture naming, which is equally as nonsensical as Intel's.

      The problems AMD have are marketing and products. That's not to say the AMD products are bad but there's not many instances where Intel leaves a gap that AMD can cater for better. Whatever Intel has or hasn't done, AMD dominated with products like the Athlon 64 and early Opterons.

      I appreciate that AMD may not have the money to design a new processor architecture, but taking the server market as an example, they're putting Opteron 63xx processors (3 years old) up against Intel CPUs that are 6 months old. The only thing the AMD CPUs offer is a high number of cores, but for most workloads the performance per core (and performance per watt, for those that care) is terrible. The cost on a 16-core Opteron 6386SE is dramatically lower than a 16-core Intel CPU (Xeon E5-2698 v3), but the performance is completely different. For most workloads a server with dual six-core Intel CPUs will outperform a server with dual 16-core AMD CPUs by a fair way - and at that point the price difference is negligible. Not to mention that Intel has newer, better chipsets with support for things like DDR4.

      1. Vehlin

        Re: My main gaming rig is AMD...

        Don't forget that if you're using MS software you'll get reamed on the price because so much of it is based on core count now.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My main gaming rig is AMD...

      Piledriver sounds like a blue movie involving well erm......

  3. Martin Summers Silver badge

    When buying a PC it's never been clear to consumers exactly what an AMD processor is or what its equivalence to Intel processors is. Equipment with AMD chips in them have always just appeared in cheaper products but for no apparent reason to an ordinary buyer, so they've just got associated with cheap and therefore 'must be crap compared to Intel'. AMD are the Aldi and Lidl of chip makers and they need to do what those shops did and play up to that as these retailers have successfully done. It's their marketing that has failed not their products. Even I don't recommend AMD stuff to people and truly I don't know why that is. Yes they're not as good as Intel but neither are they crap.

    1. Spud

      "When buying a PC it's never been clear to consumers exactly what an AMD processor is or what its equivalence to Intel processors is"

      Same problem here ... There was a time when I would always buy AMD over Intel but over the years it's become difficult to know at first glance what an AMD chip does now. Seems to be no coherent way for the layman to tell one chips performance over another at a glance.

      Intel

      i3 - good

      i5 - better

      i7 - best

      AMD

      Athlon - ?

      FX4 - ?

      FX6 - ?

      FX8 - ?

      A8 - ?

      A10 - ?

      FX<insert random number here> - ?

      1. David 138

        You skipped a few intel chips to make them seem better?

        Intel

        Pentium - You added Athlon so why not :P

        Duel Core - That means 2 processors taped together as they hadnt mastered cores

        Celeron - This means duel or quad processor that could be newer or older than an atom, but is it better or worse than atom?

        Atom - Low powered Celeron? who knows, they run cold and stick them in crap tablets

        i3 - good

        i5 - better

        i7 - best

        AMD

        Athlon - Defunct brand

        FX4 - 4 Core

        FX6 - 6 Core - This probably gets confusing as intel dont really do more than quad :P

        FX8 - 8 core

        A8 - Low power good

        A10 - Low power better

        FX<insert random number here> - ?

    2. Paul Shirley

      There's no point bewailing the nonsensical naming conventions and near total lack of clues about performance. AMD don't advertise to the public, Intel does. A lot.

      When most people think 'Intel good' they don't have a clue why, it's simply the only brand they can remember that has something to do with the 'stuff' powering their PC.

      AMD do throw money at promoting the graphics products but it's little more than maintaining brand awareness, those enthusiast customers understand the products. They're currently mightily annoyed that AMD rebranded last years product then pretended it was something new.

      AMD are now the budget brand, not valued by end users, not chosen by them, just the default when they buy something cheap and low margin. Even the fans stopped caring after the misguided Bulldozer shared core fiasco.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "AMD are now the budget brand, not valued by end users, not chosen by them, just the default when they buy something cheap and low margin."

        We reached the point some years ago now where we don't even offer AMD as an option. Even the cash strapped local authorities and schools customers want Intel CPUs even while choosing the cheapest ASUS or MSI motherboards over the more expensive Intel boards the more flush customers choose. AMD may be seen as the "cheap and cheerful" option but even the cash-strapped aren't choosing them for desktops.

  4. MooJohn

    Low end parts

    AMD's biggest problem is the big PC manufacturers use only AMD's cheapest processors. People get a nifty new computer at a low price only to notice later that it runs at 1.0 or 1.3 gHz, and sometimes it's a single core at that speed! Laptop or desktop, that's the AMD processors they choose to highlight.

    The owner of a computer like that finally gets annoyed enough to replace it and they make sure to avoid an AMD processor, never understanding that it wasn't the brand but the cheap parts that made their computer so terrible at everything.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Low end parts

      A lot of the time the customer doesn't even bet as far as buying it in the first place. Vendors always pair the AMD chips with shoddy hardware. So whilst the processor might be adequate to their needs the poor screen and shoddy plastic wont. So AMD get disqualified by association.

      A high-end laptop or workstation isn't going to use AMD because the high-end Intel chips are more powerful and more efficient than AMD's best chips. But there's certainly room for AMD's offerings in better products than they get.

      1. PassiveSmoking

        Re: Low end parts

        The Mac Pro and Macbook Pro are both stuffed full of AMD chippery. I wouldn't call those machines low-end, or plasticy for that matter.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Low end parts

          MacBooks aren't adorned with stickers proclaiming that they have components inside so the end users don't know and don't care.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: Low end parts

          Good point. And these MacBooks sell well unlike their low-end corner-cutting counterparts. Whilst I got a factual detail wrong, you've actually proved the point I wanted to.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Low end parts

      I've been sourcing laptops and pc's recently with A6's and A10's and they have been very happy with them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am sure I am not alone, but...

    I always find myself wanting AMD to do well, yet I always find myself buying Intel.

    1. jason 7

      Re: I am sure I am not alone, but...

      That's because the OEMs just aren't interested in putting AMD chips in competitive (spec and pricewise) machines.

      Not to mention you go into a store and find 50 Intel machines and maybe 2 AMD based ones. One will be cheap and nasty and the other overpriced for the spec.

      I still say AMD didn't help themselves by never bothering to try to market themselves to the general public....or for that matter, the IT public.

      A silly jingle can help.

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: I am sure I am not alone, but...

        That has been going on for the last 15 years. The reason was anticompetitive measures (blackmail) from Intel. Proven, yet only paid a fine.. I say that fine was a good investment.

        Now that AMD is busted (it is) they no longer need to do that.

        The current FX processors can't compete with Intel.

        Thhe current gpus can barely compete with Nvidia.. and they have laid off so many ppl that support (drivers, etc) is way worse than Nvidia -> Nvidia is going to be the only player.

        1. jason 7

          Re: I am sure I am not alone, but...

          To be fair Intel really didn't have to do anything against AMD. Their products generally have just been better (other than that glorious 18 month period just over 10 years ago) and AMD have just never bothered marketing or selling themselves.

          One company makes the effort with their products and the other one doesn't/never has.

          Its like if there were just two car manufacturers in the world and they were Mercedes and Morris.

    2. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: I am sure I am not alone, but...

      Because Intel chipset and Intel CPU brings with it stability.

      And and some random chipset is usually a disaster waiting to happen

  6. Charles Manning

    Of course they'll break up

    Once the receivers come in they will have to break AMD up, selling off any profitable divisions to try recoup some money.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Of course they'll break up

      Some of AMD's debt isn't due until 2017 and the rest isn't due until 2020. So no, receivers aren't going to come bursting in the door tomorrow. AMD have time for Carrizo to be selling before then and they will have a very new architecture (Zen) released and in distribution as well. We should also see HBM bedded down as a standard by then in which AMD have the lead.

      So whilst the plane has been nose-diving, the ground is still legally five years away and they have measures that could turn things around in that time.

      1. HighTech4US

        Re: Of course they'll break up

        AMD will run out of cash for day-to-day operations long before the long term debt is due.

        So AMD has options of selling more shares for cash (and diluting shareholder value) and this may not be an option if the long term bond holders have riders preventing it.

        If AMD cannot raise cash they will have to shrink to survive so they may well jettison whole divisions: CPU, GPU etc. AMD in the short term future will be vastly different then they are today.

  7. tempemeaty

    Hardware manufactures futures in Microsofts hands...

    "...will pick up once Windows 10 ships at the end of the month."

    I recall a Chinese company in the manufacturing supply chain for PC hardware saying, effectively, the same sort of thing. That they trust Microsoft to save them just before the Windows 8 debacle. Do NONE of these hardware manufacturing desk pilots get it? If they don't take control of their own future they wont have one.

    If they don't find a way to get another good OS (x86) on the market the lack of competition there is going to sink the whole ship. The competition, believe it or not, will even help Microsoft.

    My worthless 2 cents...

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Shouldn't be understood the wrong way

      It would be a shame if PC hardware manufacturers would understand that as wanting to run Android and/or more bloatware on their systems.

      Instead AMD could position itself stronger in the professional computing market. They already have the huge advantage of having ECC by default on most CPUs.

      The future of PCs is not with Windows, the people still using Windows are either stuck with legacy software requiring legacy hardware, or don't see anything bad with Android.

      1. Wommit

        Re: Shouldn't be understood the wrong way

        "The future of PCs is not with Windows, the people still using Windows are either stuck with legacy software requiring legacy hardware, or don't see anything bad with Android."

        Christian how on Earth can you say this? Companies will stay with the software that runs their companies. And currently that's Windows. You don't have to like or dislike this, it's a fact. Until business software is released on other OS's businesses with HAVE to remain on windows.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hardware manufactures futures in Microsofts hands...

      It is not really Windows 10 that they are looking forward to; but DirectX 12, which they helped in developing and ensured that is designed to be multithreaded. Their DirectX 11 drivers has always suffered from being slow because they were built from the ground up to be singlethreaded*; something that they tried to address by releasing their own multithreaded graphics API, which Nvidia refused to support and it didn't see widespread support from developers.

      So they are hoping that the release of DX12 and Vulkan would solve this problem since developers would support them and the APIs are designed from the start to be multithreaded. Early benchmarks for DX12 has shown a big improvement on AMDs GPUs when compared to Nvidias, and those tests didn't even include the their latest GPUs!

      Since their own API has redeemed them but wasn't enough to move more of their GPUs into the market. They are hoping for a second chance of redemption when DX12 games start to come out!

      * don't know why they didn't try to rewrite them again!

      P.S. forgive my EngRish, it isn't my first language.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Hardware manufactures futures in Microsofts hands...

        Good point; for one I cannot wait to get my hands onto unholy duo of Radeon Fury X2 and Windows 10 ;)

        1. ciaran

          Re: Radeon Fury

          Yes, plus a NVMe SSD sitting directly on the CPUs PCIe lines - so that's going to be an i7 5960X. More money than I've ever spen on a PC..

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Hardware manufactures futures in Microsofts hands...

        Mantle has been repeatedly proven to be a sizeable advantage only at the low end. Its real use has indeed been to force some of the changes in DX12, but it's not going to make AMD overtake NVidia.

        Their GPUs and CPUs are eerily similar in some ways : on paper they should be quite good, but the implementation is lacking.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardware manufactures futures in Microsofts hands...

        Who vecen cares about miniscule direct X version bump and the miniscule performance that brings.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Hardware manufactures futures in Microsofts hands...

        "It is not really Windows 10 that they are looking forward to; but DirectX 12, "

        I suspect the vast majority of users running Windows don't care a stuff about gfx performance enough to wait for DX12. People doing gfx intensive work/gamers are very much the minority of PC users. The big money is selling to corporates so users can run Office. Most desktops do dual gfx o/p these days from the onboard GPU and screen space seems to be more important than high-speed 3D rendering :-)

  8. John Pombrio

    AMD needs to do two things. One is to get their R&D spending back into something that can actually produce a product that someone would actually want to buy. Next is to take that R&D and go for some new products to diversify its products lines. Don't try to buy your way into a new field, make it yourself. The way company is running now is on the wrong side of a hill with a cliff on it.

    1. HighTech4US

      More Cuts to R&D

      They have no cash to spare for more R&D. In fact AMD is saying they will again be cutting operations costs so there go more layoffs and lower R&D spending.

      Like clockwork each quarter AMD loses money they cut R&D thus the writing is on the wall: AMD is terminal and dying right before your eyes.

  9. Huckleberry Muckelroy

    I try to avoid doing business with criminals and cheats. That is why none of the many PCs I have built have had Intel chips since Intel's antitrust and fraud convictions long ago. Whilst it is impossible to totally avoid Intel, I will not consciously give them money for their overhyped sand.

    My 2 AMD PCs and 2 AMD laptops purr right along through every hazard, animation rendering or game I throw at them. I will always brag-up AMD chips and I wish them well.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      +1. I'll sooner buy my CPU from Cyrix (don't be silly of course I know they're long gone) than Intel. AMD CPU & GPU all the way for as long as I can - never since my first 386DX did I have anything else, and I'm not about to change that.

    2. Lionel Baden

      Couldn't agree more with you,

      All gaming rigs I build are AMD / Nvidia builds, Yes I could go Intel, but the COST !!! only problem i have ever come across with AMD is ARMA3 it runs better on Intel, but then again it runs like a dog anyway.

      Wont buy ATI, due to being stung with Driver issues in the past, and I keep hearing how shit they are every now and then.

      When I hear that the driver are good (not just alright) then I might consider jumping ship.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Quote: I try to avoid doing business with ... and cheats.

      Then why are you buying AMD stuff. They have shown to cheat over and over again.

      Latest example was the review press deck for the Fury X showing it beating the GTX 680 TI by 15%. It turns out AMD tweaked the settings to unplayable levels (for both the Fury X and GTX 980 TI). When the reviews were done independently not one could show the Fury X beating the GTX 980 Ti. There were a couple of ties for a few games but for the most part it was the Fury X that was 10-15% behind the GTX 980 TI.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard Rule

    Firstly, in a market ruled by one or a few giant competitors, for a small competitor to be succesful, they need to have the better product by a significant margin.

    Secondly, they have to make the consumer want to pay the price for such significant benefits.

    Pagani does not make sub compacts. Any sub compact they could make would be so expensive that people in the market for a subcompact would not be able to afford them. Making them affordable would dilute their brand to the extent it would infect their top tier product. People buying that top tier product would not pay the price of that product if it was identical but had a Vauxhall badge on it.

    I think diversification is the wrong path for them at this point. They need to re-establish their brand and build from there.

  11. disorder

    Intel have had the best fabs for 15, even 20 years and that has _always_ given them an advantage. Semiconductor economics being what they are, it'd take a revolution for AMD to leapfrog.

    When Intel were making a 'misstep' with P4 and AMD had a solid K8 and were pushing the technology on with x86-64 while intel were determined not to, was one such time they got ahead. The one time.

    And yet, yes they still largely got(get) put into crap boxes by OEMs. I agree exactly what was already said about perception on this.

    Intel are surprisingly well run (consider for comparison, practically any other tech manufacturer). They have moved aggressively into low power and they have it locked up on three angles; OEM, architecture and manufacturing. Their blind spot seems to have been ARM, and that, just from looking at their press releases since at least 2011 you can probably figure out what they themselves figured their main competitor has become.

    AMD chips are not bad. But tell me, at this point as a company they're not being kept on life support, by intel to preventively fend off antitrust. There's been little pressure to improve IPC, and we, coincidentally, haven't seen much. I'm not saying they're sitting on their laurels but they have the headroom to pursue other performance targets (power consumption). How long were AMD stuck on 28nm?.

    (and to be specific as regards the article for the only time in this post, they have no mobile presence either, and that's the only growth area. Qualcomm, Samsung, a dozen others make money here, but AMD don't)

    As far as what we used to think of CPU's being for, I hoped HSA (as it's called now) would be a new revolution, which sounded much more progressive in 2006 when they bought ATI. It's 2015 and it's still not a flagship, but just some on-chip chew toy for at best mid range laptops.

    How did this take so long to go so short a distance? (I'd guess because 10bn transistors in a 300w package would melt the heatsink, let alone the chip, but let's move on). AMD would need a change of this sort of magnitude, only it would also have to pay off.

    And I'm stealing the last thought from I can't remember where, but as intel get slower on process nodes, maybe globalfoundries get somewhere nearer parity (but probably not). I think AMD make solid products (Fiji is near enough nv's 980 I'm going to award them the point), but if they can't fab them they might as well draw circuits with the graphite pencils for all their hope of getting ahead.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Software

      Windows doesn't support HSA. Most of the software doesn't, either.

      That is the problem for AMD..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intel are surprisingly well run

      "Intel are surprisingly well run (consider for comparison, practically any other tech manufacturer)."

      You cannot be serious.

      Name two successes outside x86 in the last decade. One would do.

      Even in x86, they're far from brilliant outside their core comfort zone. Their integrated graphics have rightly been a long standing joke, as have their x86-market desktop/laptop NICs (hands up who's got a business class PC with a Broadcom rather than Intel NIC).

      Their efforts in the x86 SoC market are laughable; their losses in the mobile market have been so huge and so widely reported that they had to re-org the company to hide the "contra revenue" in a bigger organisation where it would be less visible.

      e.g.

      http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/186367-intels-mobile-division-has-lost-an-astonishing-2-billion-dollars-so-far-this-year

      And earlier this month we heard the much-vaunted "tick tock" strategy wasn't working quite right this time round.

      And then there was IA64. But let's not go there.

      Surprisingly well run?

      Intel. The x86 company.

      The bigger shame is that AMD still can't compete against this level of competence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Intel are surprisingly well run

        Downvotes are OK but how about some facts to support it? A pair of non-x86 Intel successes from the last decade? One good one would do, if you're stuck.

        And then maybe we get into a discussion about the madness of IA64 (finally they admitted it), the madness of disposing of their rights to ARM, and so on.

        Or their acquisitions strategy? McAfee? Wind River? Virtutech?

        And obviously there's the separate discussion about Intel's commercials e.g. the tactics with the system builders, of which the Dell debacle is the most public.

        Intel. The x86 company. Yesterday, Today. Tomorrow?

        1. P0l0nium

          Re: Intel are surprisingly well run

          Intel have attained 95% of the server market and are inside 400 of the world's "top 500" supercomputers including the number 1 on that list.

          Do I get a prize ??

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Intel are surprisingly well run

            The question: "Name two successes >>outside x86<< in the last decade. One would do." (emphasis added).

            I'm thinking your two suggestions (volume servers, TOP500 HPC) are both x86 suggestions, not IA64, not StrongARM (which Intel did own), not iAPX432/i860/i960 (which Intel probably still own, not that anybody cares ). Intel do other stuff as well, outside processors, if you want to include them.

            Actually since the topic is nominally AMD it's probably worth pointing out that the industry standard servers and the Top500 are almost certain to be AMD64-derived products. Intel's published strategy for 64bit was of course IA64, and they insisted that x86-64 was impossible. Till AMD showed the public how much better AMD64 was than IA64 and x86/IA32 for most applications. And we know where that ended up.

            I realise that finding non-x86 successes may be tricky, so maybe you or someone else would like another go? Maybe someone knows an analyst who's been tracking Intel for a while; these analysts know everything don't they?

            As I said earlier, and as you perhaps unintentionallyhighlighted:

            Intel. The x86 company. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Intel are surprisingly well run

          Ehh. Pick any two Intel manufacturing processes from the last 10 years, even the 14 nm, if you are looking for "non-x86" successes. The 45 nm and 32 nm processes were especially good, and AMD haven't had a hope of catching Intel since.

          Seems a bit silly to discount Moore's law as some kind of magic law of nature when it has been Intel driving the bugger for the past decades. How do you think Intel keeps its process advantage? Not just money, for me it indicates good long-term management too - at least better than any of the competitors. And as long as Intel can keep the process advantage, they have a big safety buffer to fail in any particular generation.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Intel are surprisingly well run

            "Pick any two Intel manufacturing processes from the last 10 years, even the 14 nm, if you are looking for "non-x86" successes. "

            OK, thank you, I'll take that as a starter, as there's revenue from processes as well as product, as the Intel/Altera deal in 2013 showed:

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/26/intel_altera_fab_deal/

            And Altera will soon be an Intel subsidiary, so they must have got on OK:

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/01/intel_snaps_up_altera_for_16_7bn/

            But Intel aren't really a contract fab company, not yet anyway. As such, I was really hoping someone would come up with examples of Intel *product* success outside the x86 market. How hard can it be?

  12. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    there is still hope for AMD.

    1. IBM is making inroads into 7nm process, in partnership with Global Foundries, and we may expect first production chips in this process in 2018 (although 2019 seems more likely)

    2. Global Foundries is the manufacturer for AMD chips

    3. Intel has slipped 10nm process until 2017 and will certainly slip 7nm beyond 2018

    4. AMD has invested into ARM which is starting (slowly) to make inroads into servers, where Xeon is currently king

  13. 2Fat2Bald

    They're dead...

    I really wish AMD would sort their company out. I like them, and I think it's good to have multiple competitors in the market. I remember back in the day when you could buy an Intel 486 DX40 or an AMD 486 DX40. The AMD would cost you less, so you could maybe instead look at a DX66 instead. Really there was little difference in a given spec from either producer, so you got more for your money with AMD. You still do, actually, and their APU chips are really nice value, if you want a cheap PC.

    It's a bit like Android Vs Iphone, though. One is slickly marketed and people just have this amorphous idea that it's "the proper one" and the other isn't really marketed at all and people get the idea that it's "The one you get if you can't afford the proper one".

    Fond as I am of AMD, I reckon their days are numbered if they don't sort their marketing out...

  14. EuKiwi

    Just as an example...

    For my parents I was just yesterday helping them to find a decent, large (desktop replacement) laptop which had a good FHD IPS screen, reasonable build quality and decent enough processor.

    We're not talking high-end here, more like mid-range, but there was not a single AMD-powered example to be found which ticked even 50% of the boxes. I might have even been swayed by a good-quality TN screen at a push. Every AMD option however had a crappy screen and was a plastic fantastic.

    I'd love to be able to support AMD - but I also don't want to buy tat.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I worked for AMD briefly some years ago

    Everyone was very nice, with the business having an engineering-driven ethos that I liked. But, looking at it realistically, this approach was also probably the reason the business has never made a profit! Cost control was incredibly lax - first class flights, regular expense-account pub lunches for the whole department, etc. I enjoyed it, but I was not a shareholder...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, would Xilinx be interested in buying AMD?

    It would make a nice partnership for embedded and server applications. HSA is particularly interesting when it comes to integrating DSP and FPGA based functionality.

  17. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    I hope...

    AMD can survive. All of the rigs I've built in the last 10+ years have been AMD-based. And I know it's subjective, but to me AMD systems just "feel" faster. Maybe they're not in benchmarks, but in real world use, they do just fine. (if you've not gotten the cheapest chip you can find) Perhaps part if it is me optimizing my own systems while 'off the shelf' systems are not tweaked as much.

    The main problem right now as I see it is "No one ever got fired for buying Intel." So even if business class desktops and laptops were out there to be had, Enterprise buyers, which now likely account for most of the 'standard' PC sales, would likely shun them---"We have Intel and we've always bought Intel." Things are perhaps a little different in the server market where IT decisions are actually made by IT folks and not management as much.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm quite surprised AMD have survived this long to be honest. It's not that they make a bad product they just don't know how to sell it (and Intel have engaged in unfair business practices of course). They talk like they are making a top end product but you only ever see them installed in bargain basement machines - promise a Ferrari get a Trabant.

  19. PassiveSmoking

    I think Microsoft and Sony have a pretty big vested interest in keeping AMD alive. Their console lines rely on AMD processors and GPUs, so if they folded then that's that for the XBone and the PS4. Even the Wii U uses an AMD GPU so an entire console generation could potentially be laid waste!

    Apple also use AMD GPUs in their systems that don't simply use Intel graphics, so they've got a pretty big incentive not to let AMD fold too.

    I'd be fairly confident that somebody will come to their rescue.

    1. jason 7

      I would bet the console contracts are the only thing stopping the banks from calling it a day.

      A lot of folks thought AMD were mad to go for those gigs but hooking yourself to three big players is a handy safety net giving you time to turn things around.

      Shame they squandered that. Oh and gave us the most technologically dull generation of consoles so far.

  20. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    HSA isn't even believed in by AMD, and they're going nowhere

    AMD CPUs and GPUs are only worthwhile in low end desktops and media centres.

    For all of you touting HSA - please face the facts. There's little enough support for Kaveri at the moment, but the real killer is the absence of HSA in their high end products. It's not in the FX processors now, and it isn't planned in future FX/Zen products.

    This is a real pity, because incorporating a GPU into a CPU package could be a game changer - Intel does not do it with practically all of their Xeon products. It could be leveraged, and used in virtualisation. Instead, AMD has precisely nothing planned on their virtualisation roadmap - this is insanity. A well known KVM developer noted that they'd like to recommend AMD, but all the interesting things are happening on Intel.

    Implementing new APIs would fragment the market, but at this stage - why not try? Some actual, useful innovation supported across their product range would be appreciated.

    The sole advantage with their commodity/enthusiast chips at the moment is supporting ECC, and even Intel can do that without a vast premium using the single socket Xeon chips.

    Likewise, GPU wise they have only two advantages - Kaveri chips with decent GPU performance for cheap 'good enough' desktops, and fanless low end Radeons for media playback. Their new Fury cards are sub par - the X has impressive cooling, but is lacking compared to the 980Ti, has no DVI ports (it's still too early to remove them), and the driver quality is not as good. The standard Fury isn't better than the 980 by enough to make it worth a purchase unless the price drops considerably - a pity as both Sapphire and Asus have made some interesting offerings - in one case by including a DVI port and possibly improving the power consumption, in the other by creating an incredibly quiet card.

    I've got a powerful AMD GPU from a few years back and a Cyrix chip from a long way back. The only thing that's worth buying from them these days are the fanless low end Radeons, that still contain the full video decoding capability of their big brothers.

  21. Gordon861

    I always thought the AMD/ATI deal was going to be the death of them. I knew a lot of people that wouldn't touch an ATI GPU at the time and this damaged AMD too.

    Prior to the merger/takeover AMD did a lot of work with Nvidia, but once AMD became a rival to Nvidia it just pushed Nvidia and Intel to work closer. I believe the first SLI board was done with AMD CPUs.

    At the time AMD vs Intel was a fight, but AMD/ATI vs Intel/Nvidia was only going one way.

  22. RonWheeler

    Idiots

    They've spent the last 3 or 4 years trying to build some godawful CPU/GPU hybrid thing. That isn't very good and nobody apart fro a few hardware forum teenage fanboy types understand or want.

  23. mpinco

    Has anyone looked at Intel financials? Also not pretty.

    Here's The Other One

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230380

    "Operating income down 25%, revenue down 5%, and the reason for the "beat" (and flat EPS) instead of an all-on disaster report is a more than two thirds decrease in the tax rate.

    Why did I put up the little ticker last night that was all of a couple of lines? Because I didn't have to actually analyze anything or even get out a calculator; the table is right there on the second page of the report!

    This report is an all-on disaster and documents an ongoing collapse; the firm had a 5% revenue shortfall but five times that in operating income.

    The "client computing group" (that's PCs, folks) saw a revenue decrease against last year approaching 40%.

    That's not a decrease or a "slowdown" it's an all-on collapse!..........."

    Intel Has Become The BlackBerry Of Semiconductors

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3330745-intel-has-become-the-blackberry-of-semiconductors

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: revenue decrease ... 40%

      "The "client computing group" (that's PCs, folks) saw a revenue decrease against last year approaching 40%."

      Ouch.

      Now imagine what happens when that lack of revenue flows through to next year's corporate R+D, R+D which supports the next generation of product, and that's the stuff that sells at interesting (profitable) prices. Good job Intel still have a couple of dollars in the bank to tide them over.

      Or maybe don't imagine, just notice that "tick tock" has fallen over and that Intel will be downsizing again.

      Expect further increases in high-end prices.

      Still at least in the bigger picture Intel have got other profitable lines to diversify into. (That's a joke, folks, unless you can show otherwise).

      Fortunately for Intel, AMD have dropped the ball too. Not so handy for the rest of us.

  24. Erik4872

    Always going to be 2nd place

    I've only dealt with AMD systems in a few situations:

    - Way back when, before Intel made 64-bit Xeon chips and while they were pushing Itanium as the future, AMD had the advantage of allowing you to stick with x86 and still get 64-bit addressing...the other choice was to throw everything away and jump to a new incompatible architecture. So, a lot of places building out data centers in the early 2000s standardized on AMD at least for a while (some still do.)

    - My focus is end user computing, and I've seen a few very large companies buy the one or two models of AMD-based PCs that HP or Dell offer for the sole reason that they're cheaper than Intel.

    - Unfortunately, AMD is usually found in the lowest end cheapest consumer PCs, simply because the big OEMs will only focus on price and need a way to offer a "really cheap" option. This means an otherwise good CPU only gets its lowest end models paired with the worst possible hardware to make a crappy experience for everyone.

    Until they can fix their image, they're always going to be an "Intel monopoly buffer."

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accounting gimmicks...

    Intel isn't in any better shape.

    http://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230380

  26. rmstock

    AMD or the physcial limit of Silicon [Valley] ?

    AMD or the physcial limit of Silicon [Valley] ?

    I bought this ASRock board in 2009 with the following CPU :

    ==============================================================================

    [hubble:root]:(~)# cat /proc/cpuinfo

    processor : 0

    vendor_id : AuthenticAMD

    cpu family : 15

    model : 67

    model name : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+

    stepping : 3

    cpu MHz : 2999.459

    cache size : 1024 KB

    physical id : 0

    siblings : 2

    core id : 0

    cpu cores : 2

    apicid : 0

    initial apicid : 0

    fpu : yes

    fpu_exception : yes

    cpuid level : 1

    wp : yes

    flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow rep_good extd_apicid pni cx16 lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy

    bogomips : 5998.91

    TLB size : 1024 4K pages

    clflush size : 64

    cache_alignment : 64

    address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual

    power management: ts fid vid ttp tm stc

    processor : 1

    vendor_id : AuthenticAMD

    cpu family : 15

    model : 67

    model name : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+

    stepping : 3

    cpu MHz : 2999.459

    cache size : 1024 KB

    physical id : 0

    siblings : 2

    core id : 1

    cpu cores : 2

    apicid : 1

    initial apicid : 1

    fpu : yes

    fpu_exception : yes

    cpuid level : 1

    wp : yes

    flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow rep_good extd_apicid pni cx16 lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy

    bogomips : 6000.46

    TLB size : 1024 4K pages

    clflush size : 64

    cache_alignment : 64

    address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual

    power management: ts fid vid ttp tm stc

    [hubble:root]:(~)#

    The problem is that by now in 2015 (6 years later) it should have been something like this :

    ==============================================================================

    processor : 0

    vendor_id : AuthenticAMD

    cpu family : 15

    model : 67

    model name : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+

    stepping : 3

    cpu MHz : 5998.918

    cache size : 8192 KB

    physical id : 0

    siblings : 2

    core id : 0

    cpu cores : 2

    apicid : 0

    initial apicid : 0

    fpu : yes

    fpu_exception : yes

    cpuid level : 1

    wp : yes

    flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow rep_good extd_apicid pni cx16 lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy

    bogomips : 5998.91

    TLB size : 8192 4K pages

    clflush size : 64

    cache_alignment : 64

    address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual

    power management: ts fid vid ttp tm stc

    processor : 1

    vendor_id : AuthenticAMD

    cpu family : 15

    model : 67

    model name : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+

    stepping : 3

    cpu MHz : 5998.918

    cache size : 8192 KB

    physical id : 0

    siblings : 2

    core id : 1

    cpu cores : 2

    apicid : 1

    initial apicid : 1

    fpu : yes

    fpu_exception : yes

    cpuid level : 1

    wp : yes

    flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow rep_good extd_apicid pni cx16 lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy

    bogomips : 6000.46

    TLB size : 8192 4K pages

    clflush size : 64

    cache_alignment : 64

    address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual

    power management: ts fid vid ttp tm stc

    But it never happened. Why ? Because of AMD ? Of course not! All essential production - and hence workbench testing - was shipped overseas to China. Soon after all essential Research was shipped to China. Shortly there after Moore's law was broken. But is it really broken, or did some other geo-political event(s) happen? As always in the end, Intel will never be able to do anything substantial in CPU research unles Wintel allows it to happen. So come to the aid of AMD and find out if Moore's law was really broken.

    --

    Robert M. Stockmann - RHCE

    Network Engineer - UNIX/Linux Specialist

    crashrecovery.org stock@stokkie.net

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a rough spot in the road...

    AMD has been here numerous times before. TSMC's failed 20 Nm process essentially killed the latest round of APUs from AMD. Carrizo is a good product but TSMC's fab issues have cost AMD dearly just as GloFo's problems have done in the past. With any luck Zen will restore AMD's market share as it is already rebuilding it's desktop and enterprise product line and Zen cores will also be used in the APUs. AMD's graphics is just fine and needs to continue moving forward. They have been successful in enterprise graphics growth which provides better margins. It's not all doom and gloom at AMD as they are just dealing with another rough spot in the road of life. Without AMD consumers would be gang raped by Intel so let's hope AMD come back strong. That would be a win for consumers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a rough spot in the road...

      Typical AMD apology piece. Boo hoo hoo AMD's problems are because of something/someone else it is NEVER AMD's fault.

      Well AMD is where they are (going out-of-business) because of the many many mistakes AMD made.

      As for the typical "cry for me if AMD dies because Intel will over charge me" garbage line here is the reality "NO ONE WILL NOTICE" when AMD goes away, first because AMD has less than 15% of the overall CPU market and only about 20% of the GPU market. Both by the way will now be smaller when the numbers for the current quarter are releases.

  28. DCLXV

    I don't care anymore

    Two of my mates work for AMD at the old ATI HQ. Both are talented programmers with a passion who genuinely wanted to work for AMD and both are stuck testing GPUs never touching code and with no hint that there is a possibility for advancement. If this is how AMD manages its manpower then it is not at all surprising to me that the company's entire business philosophy is rotten.

  29. Nelbert Noggins

    "AMD CPUs and GPUs are only worthwhile in low end desktops and media centres"

    I agree about the desktops, but for media centres no. Not unless you mean a Windows media centre. Or have AMD finally joined the modern world and managed to get their Linux drivers doing more than 2.0 PCM over HDMI? I don't know because they couldn't bother sorting it out for too many years, so I gave up with AMD GPU parts for Linux.

    I tried to build a media centre with a fanless AMD fusion e-350 mini-itx board when it came out. That is when I found out the only audio coming out of HDMI to the receiver under Linux was 2.0 PCM. That is as much use as a frog on acid for building a low power media centre.

    It's a shame because instead of the fanless mini-itx e350/fusion boards ending up in media centre systems, the Atom/Ion based systems cleaned house. Even Intel IGP processors can stream multi channel HD Audio via HDMI/Display Port.

    Have AMD managed it yet? I'm not wasting money on a low powered, fanless (if they exist) AMD A/E/C-whatever chip to find out when I know an Intel Celeron based HP 260, Chromebox, NUC/Brix will just work.

    After their bright spot in the past of getting the price/performance ratio right and 64 bit support on x86 early, especially with the Opterons. The HE multi-core Opterons with HyperTransport were ahead of the Xeons around at the time and in DC usage where performance per watt = $$$ they were important.

    Unfortunately AMD seemed to stumble and then become a 'remember us' company, in a constant state of catch up, trying to use price as the main selling point, but not managing to keep the performance high enough to make the savings worth while. :(

  30. Planty Bronze badge
    Stop

    Another windows 8/8.1/10 casualty to join Nokia

    How much more toxic can Microsoft get before braindead investors wake up???? We are living in a post PC world, where Microsoft offerings are not just no longer required, but not the best products either.

  31. Dylan Fahey

    If only...

    If only AMD had joined forces with NVIDIA, this show we're watching would have been totally different.

    Instead, they bought ATI, a shit company, with shit drivers. To this day, they still have shit drivers.

    You can have the best graphic chip in the world, but if your drivers are SHIT, then, it's game over.

    Did I say shit enough, so I'm done with shit.

    On the other hand, I have a $180 AMD FX 9590 4.7GHz 8-core CPU with a LEPA Liquid Cooler LPWAC240-HF which totally rocks. The liquid cooler barely keeps the chip from melting when it's at 100 percent usage. I still love it, the bang for the buck cannot be denied.

    I'll just say this, and you all know it, if AMD goes under, we'll all pay much higher prices for CPUs. Intel is already expensive for the processing power/price ratio, but your ass will get prison raped if AMD is not there to compete. Some corporate people have bought into the advertising bullshit that Intel is selling and wont buy AMD, even though in many cases that AMD cpu is exactly what they need to compete.

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