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Is Phenom the worst CPU launch of all time?

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Is Phenom the worst CPU launch of all time?

Total: 219 votes (35 blank votes)

  • Yes
  • 40 %
  • No
  • 61 %
February 17, 2008 6:06:50 PM

This chip has it all: buggy cpu (TLB errata), overhyped (40% better than Intel), low performance (slower than previous generation), rumors of defective cores, low availability, low yields, high cost of manufacturing, long delays, company in financial ruins. I think anything bad that can happen to a chip has happened to Phenom. I can think of any other time where the launch was so bad.
February 17, 2008 6:17:41 PM

Phenom only comes second to Prescott's launch. Prescott is the worst CPU launch of all time.
February 17, 2008 6:23:23 PM

Nah, that was the Inmos T9000. I went to the 'launch', and they didn't even have chips; in fact I'm not sure they ever had chips beyond a few test builds for parts of the design.

Great chip on paper, shame they couldn't make it work.
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February 17, 2008 6:24:28 PM

Phenom is only bad because Intel's offering is so much better.
February 17, 2008 6:28:38 PM

There is no way it is the worst CPU launch ever. You must remember in the 90s every no one cared about AMD even though they were making crap Intel clone CPUs. Nowadays, after AMD gained recognition due to the Athlon and K8 line, everyone cares about their products. If they hadn't made a bang with their K8's, no one would have any reason to believe Phenom has been the worst launch. Phenom may be that worst launch in a while that has gotten a lot of publicity, but then think about Intel's Prescott line.
Of course, it also depends on what you define as a bad launch- bad products, bugs, delays, over hype, lack of supply to meet demand-etc.
Of course, you wouldn't say the Nintendo Wii was a bad launch because it sold out so quick ;) .
February 17, 2008 6:59:37 PM

Even though the prescotts were bad (I know, I'm on one right now), they are far from the worst. The Netburst architecture atleast had one advantage, it was able to clock damn high. I took my 3.2 perscott above 4ghz...The Phenom's OC'ing potential is HORRID, all tied down to the architecture which is a reason we don't have faster clocked Phenom's. Back during the Athlon XP and prescott days, intel atleast had one area covered performance wise...Which was the video editing/encoding market. Even though the Netburst architecture lacked in performance in other areas compared to AMD's offerings, Netburst's video multimedia for editing and encoding still had a lead over AMD, which is why I purchased mine to begin with considering I'm a video editor/encoder.

You really can't compare the two, Netburst was a bad architecture indeed, intel got cozy at the top and AMD handed their tushes too them rather painfully. But atleast the Netburst architecture was able to get high clocks unlike AMD's Barcelona/Phenom...Which at least lessened the gap, and in the consumer market's mindset, "more mhz = better". Obviously flawed, but still generated profits for them.

But the main point, Netburst was bad, but Phenom is MUCH worse...Atleast the netburst architecture clocked high to mask the performance issues, unlike AMD's current architecture, which has mediocre performance which can't even beat a year + old q6600 clock for clock (even clocked higher, it still can't beat it), been delayed for ages, over hyped, takes lots of voltage and gives off lots of heat (just like the prescotts), and can't even clock high.
February 17, 2008 7:07:38 PM

Evilonigiri said:
Phenom is only bad because Intel's offering is so much better.


This is the truest statement the phenom is not that bad as people have made it to be but Intel just is offering a much better product. Just trying to be reasonable.
February 17, 2008 7:15:56 PM

The worst launch was Union Beaver Pelt & Petrochemical Telegraph Company's H3200G. It had a tendency to rip punch cards and was vastly overpriced at an outrageous $55. It also had very high power consumption, requiring 165 pounds of coal to carry out a double digit multiplication.
February 17, 2008 7:16:14 PM

Ya, kinda
February 17, 2008 7:16:22 PM

Err, should have made myself clearer. Launch wise, I'm saying Prescott was the worst ever. I'm agreeing with yomamafor1 that Phenom is the second worst launch. However the cpu itself is bad only because Intel is much better.
February 17, 2008 7:18:51 PM

yomamafor1 said:
Phenom only comes second to Prescott's launch. Prescott is the worst CPU launch of all time.


That's what I was going to say. Phenom is an improvement over X2, but Prescott was a total disaster.

1. Prescott was a last ditch attempt to increase P4 clock speed by adding extra pipelines, but Prescott's extra pipelines and higher cache did not improve the P4 in the way the Northwood's higher cache showed improvements over Williamette.

2. Intel bragged that they'd get to 10 gigahertz from a technology that needed extremely long pipelines to increase clock speed. 31 wasn't enough and they had to give up and start over with Pentium M tech (based on the P3).

The 805 Smithfield was an overclocker's dream. It could heat a small hot tub on watercooling while reaching 4 gigahertz and providing the processing power of a Athlon X2 4800+. Wheee! That's some Intel power that proves Netburst is the technology of choice for real overclockers.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/10/dual_41_ghz_core...

I'm sure all the Intel fans here had one and watercooled it. I'm sure they didn't upgrade until Kentsfield :sarcastic: 

3. Intel could not compete relying upon last gen Netburst, so they began anticompetitive OEM rebates to coerce partners to limit the number of PC's with AMD CPU's. That works and no one is going to notice it. Not regulators in the EU, Japan, Korea and the New York AG's office.

Prescott was the worst of all worlds. A product that failed so miserably to perform outside of a single limited use that the company behind the tech had to do some quick marketing and unethical maneuvering to recover from the launch.

Kamrooz said:
At least the netburst architecture clocked high to mask the performance issues, unlike AMD's current architecture, which has mediocre performance which can't even beat a year + old q6600 clock for clock (even clocked higher, it still can't beat it), been delayed for ages, over hyped, takes lots of voltage and gives off lots of heat (just like the prescotts), and can't even clock high.


If you look at Tom's CPU charts and the Wolfdale review, even buggy B2 Phenom's aren't that far behind the Q6600, and are ahead of some Wolfdale and Conroe dual cores in some apps. As Supreme Commander shows, it's a budget quad core for games that support more than 2 cores (which will be most by the end of the year).

B3 will improve things, but 45nm will improve thermals and is supposed to give a boost to clocks up to 3.2. Then, maybe there will be overclocking potential. As my snide comments about the 805 Smithfield shows, just having the overhead to clock higher by itself means bupkis.

It was all Intel marketing once Prescott arrived. They had nothing to offer outside of video encoding, and that's what we used our Northwood's for. Those Northwood's competed well against the Athlon XP in games too. Smithfield was so bad that I went X2 instead.
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February 17, 2008 7:50:58 PM

yomamafor1 said:
Phenom only comes second to Prescott's launch. Prescott is the worst CPU launch of all time.


It wasn't Prescotts launch that was so bad but rathe the CPU was not that great. It did fine in performance but ran hot.

The OP forgot to add the fact that they pulled the Phenom 9700 on the launch date, have yet to release anything clocked higher than a 9600 @2.3GHz, had false promises at controlled expos of 3GHz chips, more delays of the chips itself, failed to compete with Intels 18 month old Q6600, placed a stop ship on some including the Optys, released a 9600BE that is no guaranteed to be able to OC to the same as the next guys and has delayed and delayed the B3 chips and might just drop them all together(that is yet to be seen as there was the report of them releasing the 9750 and such instead).

That to me is a failure of a launch. When Prescott was released Intel released all the different flavors with ease and got them clocked up to 3.8GHz which is pretty fast for a stock CPU. They didn't have a stop ship, didn't cancel a certain chip and never promised a part they couldn't deliver in terms of speed.

Quote:
B3 will improve things, but 45nm will improve thermals and is supposed to give a boost to clocks up to 3.2. Then, maybe there will be overclocking potential. As my snide comments about the 805 Smithfield shows, just having the overhead to clock higher by itself means bupkis.


If AMD can get 45nm @ SOI to clock to 3.2GHz and not be a freakin Sun that would be interesting. You need to research SOI and that the fact that right now SOI @ 65nm is why the Phenom uses more power. and SOI @ 45nm will cause more leakage and in order to control that it will have to come out at lower clock speeds. Until AMD has IBM's HK/MG I do not see Phenom hitting 3GHz easily for every chip.

And having the headroom to OC for enthusiast is not bupkis. Look at the Q6600. Its a enthusiast dream considering that you can easily OC it to 3GHz on stock voltage which is a 25% OC and 3.2GHz with a little voltage bump which is a 33%OC all on air. 3.4GHz is obtainable on air as well which would upt it at a 42% OC. This also increases performance in every aspect from video encoding to gaming. Having that headroom also means that if Intel wanted they could easily release their chips clocked that high stock for the same price where as right now Phenom is stuck at about what 2.7GHz is the normal?
February 17, 2008 8:02:53 PM

The main problem with the failure of both Prescott and Phenom is: over-promise, under-deliver, and subsequent delay/cancellation of higher performance part.

Intel eventually gave up before clocking Prescott to 4Ghz. AMD is still in the process of tweaking K10, but may not yield any significant improvement until HK/MG's implementation. All in all, Intel climbed out of the hole they dug, and AMD is in the process of digging themselves out.
February 17, 2008 8:13:46 PM

How 'bout the Cyrix 686 launch? It would have been a better launch had they had no chips at all to sell. Ugh... what a crapper that one was.
February 17, 2008 8:22:19 PM

They should launch it to the moon. lol

Phenom launch maybe not that bad at all since many are still buying the B2 stepping chips right now.

Maybe it is the worst in AMD history for sure.
February 17, 2008 8:24:10 PM

jimmysmitty said:
It wasn't Prescotts launch that was so bad but rather the CPU was not that great. It did fine in performance but ran hot.


Granted that AMD flubbed the launch of the Phenom by not launching faster parts with room to overclock, but if they'd launched seriously flawed parts, then that would be a serious problem. Intel knew Netburst was flawed at 31 pipelines but went onwards anyways, all because of the marketing hype that clockspeed meant power.

jimmysmitty said:

And having the headroom to OC for enthusiast is not bupkis. Look at the Q6600. Its a enthusiast dream considering that you can easily OC it to 3GHz on stock voltage which is a 25% OC and 3.2GHz with a little voltage bump which is a 33%OC all on air.


Overclocking a bad CPU is bupkis, which was my point about the 805. To make overclocking worthwhile, there has to be a worthwile CPU to be overclocked. The Q6600 is worthwhile and I might get it for redwoodtreesprite, my modder wife, while I wait on 45nm Phenom for quad enabled gaming.

I've read about SOI. Still, I don't assume that AMD lacks the expertise (especially with IBM's help) to achieve results at 45nm. I've said since the Phenom launch that they should have skipped 65nm, but think of the outcry and investor conference calls if they had. Investors want results, not missed launches ad infinitum.

rodney_ws said:
How 'bout the Cyrix 686 launch? It would have been a better launch had they had no chips at all to sell. Ugh... what a crapper that one was.


Yes, but the Cyrix 486DLC was good. I gamed on that for over a year until I could afford a real 486. I also have a Compuadd notebook that's missing the power cord. It has a Cyrix 486SLC. I should take all that old stuff from the closet and schlepp it down to the Goodwill Computer store for recycling.

But is it ethical? I'd rather see them in a landfill than to be shipped to China where poor people pour over innards for a bit of gold while ruining their environment. Sometimes, recycling is not all it's cracked up to be. Besides, archeologists need junk to find in 20,000 years.
February 17, 2008 8:26:15 PM

I would say that it is just another nail in AMD's coffin and they need to seriously rethink what they're doing. I would also agree that it is indeed a terrible launch and a step in the wrong direction, but I wouldn't call this the absolute worst launch of all time.
February 17, 2008 8:42:52 PM

I think the P4 might have been the worst release, it sucked "$&*^!", but it did have some nice concepts like hyper threading. I think the 3 core idea from AMD is also a nice concept and I wish intel would launch something like that too. At the same time a low end quad core which costs the same as a decent dual and still beats its nuts, so would a tri core make any sense?

Anyway Phenom hasn't totally sucked, but for the price it's just not worth it unless you're a total AMD nutcrack.

Just wish AMD would focus on CPUs and ATI would focus on GPU's. Take it from George W. Bush that you can't fight 2 wars at 1 time when you aren't that great in the 1st place.
February 17, 2008 9:37:20 PM

Phenom is at least better clock-for-clock vs Athlon x2. Of course Athlons still clock a lot higher. But I seem to remember when Intel went from PIII to P4 that the PIII's were more efficient clock-for-clock.
February 17, 2008 10:20:04 PM

I wonder whether Nehalem will be based @32nm on Netburst Or Core2.
February 17, 2008 10:42:09 PM

starcraftfanatic said:
I wonder whether Nehalem will be based @32nm on Netburst Or Core2.


It's supposed to be based on a whole new architecture
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February 17, 2008 10:59:39 PM

The worst was the launch of the Willamette core Pentium 4's that used RDRAM in my opinion.
February 17, 2008 11:05:16 PM

I was looking forward to the Phenom as an upgrade path for my aging 939 rig right up to the launch, but as soon as it became clear that it wasn't going to live up to the performance, has motherboard compatibility issues, low clock speeds, etc, I decided to get a Q6600 instead.
February 17, 2008 11:10:15 PM

runswindows95 said:
The worst was the launch of the Willamette core Pentium 4's that used RDRAM in my opinion.


Actually, that ran pretty good. OC'd fairly well, ran reasonably cool (compared to the netburst), the only drawback was the cost of the proprietary RDRam. My old Willamette system is still going strong as a friend's dev system.
February 17, 2008 11:22:51 PM

I think amd should have worked on the phenom chip and delay the launch because it would have made the product stronger and sell more and not get bad heat.
February 17, 2008 11:25:33 PM

not absolutely, though AMD's 9xxxx not so great as our expecting,but we must ensure that Phenom has made it's improvement. you know ,native quad core is not so easy to implement . And the most important reason is lack of money to make the technique more efficient.
every one know, ATI's trade, develop spider's forms,and compete with tow most powerful companys(nv and Intel),all this cost AMD lost of money and resource.
February 17, 2008 11:29:22 PM

I don't own a phenom, but i do know most dual core processors are fast whether it's intel or amd, the phenom launcd did suck , but i can remember when people were dropping intels like hope potatoes to get athlon 64, hell even some durons could give the lower clocked pentiums a run for ther money back then. Im gonna hold out for b3 and see what happens.
February 17, 2008 11:31:17 PM

Well, Prescott's failure didn't prompt severe bugs and errata that Phenom did. I don't know, but I owned a Prescott for 4 years, and bought my first 64 bit processor 3 weeks ago from AMD, and I have my sights on Phenom. Who knows, I may be the only person here who can claim they own two of the worst CPU's of all time. :D 
February 17, 2008 11:41:02 PM

Quote:
Are you the biggest geek of all time??
Are you suggesting AMD should steal all of their technology from other companies like Intel does?


Mind providing proof? Please no one of your "patent infringement" arguments you screamed, since it happens all the time in the tech industry.

Both AMD and Intel infringed, copied, and used each others' technologies. This is no news.
a c 127 à CPUs
February 18, 2008 12:24:04 AM

I love how people are saying that Prescott had a bad "release". From what I remember Prescott still sold well and didn't have any delays.

I still say the Phenom launch was a failure.
February 18, 2008 1:48:42 AM

Prescott sold well because intel sells. Just see how many still searchs for something called "pentium 4". they wouldn't even care "which" pentium 4 they get. Maybe a slightly more careful guy would check frequency and do the logical math "a 2.8Ghz P4 is slower than a 3.2Ghz". There are some guys that goes beyond and checks cache mem amount and bus speed.

But that's it. I'm still getting customers asking a P4.
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February 18, 2008 3:09:02 AM

Wasn't there an Intel chip that had some special security chip imbeded in it that would send some information out when you got online? I think I remember reading that Intel was pulling this chip out and giving refunds or replacements to the people who didn't want their information sent out whenever. I think that was a pretty bad day for Intel. Phenom has only seemed really bad because alot of people these days have easy access to information and are more connected to things than things were in the 80's-90's.
February 18, 2008 6:23:39 AM

runswindows95 said:
The worst was the launch of the Willamette core Pentium 4's that used RDRAM in my opinion.

I'm with you. The P4 was the most hyped chip I can remember. I dreamed about getting one for months.
The first sets of benches showed it was much slower than available P3s, and they couldn't keep up with the K7s.

While everyone is really in hate with the phenoms, few seem to notice how much they caught up in the HD htpc area. If AMD can get Ati's driver crew to do a bunch of floptimizing, phenom may catch core 2 Q yet.
February 18, 2008 7:00:59 AM

I have not used one yet, so i can't say if it is the worst chip ever or not :o  :whistle: 

February 18, 2008 7:24:28 AM

It maybe be one of the worst launches to educated people as yourselves but in the real world (99.9%) of the population have no idea about everything, return of the neanderthal's, but they are sellin like hot cakes regardless of how poorly they perform. Most people buy systems to surf the net or read emails, you dont need horses to do that.
February 18, 2008 8:11:46 AM

wickedmonster said:
This chip has it all: buggy cpu (TLB errata), overhyped (40% better than Intel), low performance (slower than previous generation), rumors of defective cores, low availability, low yields, high cost of manufacturing, long delays, company in financial ruins. I think anything bad that can happen to a chip has happened to Phenom. I can think of any other time where the launch was so bad.


yawn.
February 18, 2008 8:37:04 AM

i remember when presscott launched -the marketing hype it had around it-hyperthreading and 1mb L2 cache and speeds unheard off and god knows what else.i went running to the store to get myself a new one because my old celeron300mhz pc was dying.and then at the same time amd launched the amd64 athlon.i never gave it a sceond look and i picked up a 3.0ghz presscott p4 @800mhz with an Intel D865gbf board and a geforce 5600 i was very happy.farcry was mooth and then i saw the pc crashing for no reason.i couldn't get fedora core linux to wokr on it and neither did red hat linux work on it.then i learnt tht my boot temperatures were 50degrees centigrade and would go upto 75 degrees after playing doom3 or farcry and in 6 months i had to throw out the presscott and i got myself a socket 939 amd 64 athlon 3000+ and an asus a8n-e which has served me well and is still serving me albeit with an opteron dual core cpu now.
the presscott was one investment i regret making
February 18, 2008 8:38:57 AM

sunny27 said:
i remember when presscott launched -the marketing hype it had around it-hyperthreading and 1mb L2 cache and speeds unheard off and god knows what else.i went running to the store to get myself a new one because my old celeron300mhz pc was dying.and then at the same time amd launched the amd64 athlon.i never gave it a second look and i picked up a 3.0ghz presscott p4 @800mhz with an Intel D865gbf board and a geforce 5600 i was very happy.farcry ran smoothly and then i saw the pc crashing for no reason.i couldn't get fedora core linux to work on it and neither did red hat linux work on it.then i learnt tht my boot temperatures were 50degrees centigrade and would go upto 75 degrees after playing doom3 or farcry and in 6 months i had to throw out the presscott and i got myself a socket 939 amd 64 athlon 3000+ and an asus a8n-e which has served me well and is still serving me albeit with an opteron dual core cpu now.
the presscott was one investment i regret making

February 18, 2008 8:54:14 AM

sunny27 said:
i remember when presscott launched -the marketing hype it had around it-hyperthreading and 1mb L2 cache and speeds unheard off and god knows what else.i went running to the store to get myself a new one because my old celeron300mhz pc was dying.and then at the same time amd launched the amd64 athlon.i never gave it a sceond look and i picked up a 3.0ghz presscott p4 @800mhz with an Intel D865gbf board and a geforce 5600 i was very happy.farcry was mooth and then i saw the pc crashing for no reason.i couldn't get fedora core linux to wokr on it and neither did red hat linux work on it.then i learnt tht my boot temperatures were 50degrees centigrade and would go upto 75 degrees after playing doom3 or farcry and in 6 months i had to throw out the presscott and i got myself a socket 939 amd 64 athlon 3000+ and an asus a8n-e which has served me well and is still serving me albeit with an opteron dual core cpu now.
the presscott was one investment i regret making


"farcry was mooth" lol.

(not having a go its just thats a funny typo :)  )
February 18, 2008 10:20:23 AM

Quote:
Are you suggesting AMD should steal all of their technology from other companies

You do know that this is the core of AMDs business model, do you? (means: that this is what AMD has been doing for the last 40 years)
February 18, 2008 11:46:55 AM

yipsl said:
Overclocking a bad CPU is bupkis, which was my point about the 805. To make overclocking worthwhile, there has to be a worthwile CPU to be overclocked.


This is bupkis, the 805 was probably the only legitimate value and win for the Intel camp during the **** Prescott era, and there is no Phenom close to its comparative value. The 805 was $130 bucks when AMDs X2 3800+ was still $300 bucks. On air, hitting 3.8Ghz was not difficult and provided the performance of a midrange X2 proc, then like $500 or so. Sure it would heat the room, but there was simply no other way to get that performance for so cheap.

So back then, Intel could provide the dual core performance of mid range X2 at half the cost of any other AMD dual core, quads are the new duals, yet there is no Phenom that can possibly provide this value. It would take a $130 Phenom at 1.6Ghz or so that could OC to 3.0Ghz and compete with an Intel mid range Quad. Simply not the case.

Sure it would be hot and inefficient, but people would be snapping them up like hot cakes. People tend to overlook **** when the price is right and the ends are the same.
February 18, 2008 11:56:33 AM

Phenom at least has the upgrade path in its favour and there pretty cheap, so no I don't think it's the worst CPU launch of all time despite the problems they have.

The original P4 was pretty crappy, you might remember if you brought one of these you had to buy Rambus memory because Intel stupidly signed an agreement to make P4 exclusive to the over priced and over hyped Rambus memory modules. Not only that AMD's Athlon processor was faster, cooler and used less power (but back then that wasn't an issue) and used the cheaper and more effective DD2 standard. It wasn't really until Intel brought out the B and C (with hyper-threading) models that could use DDR2 that the P4 caught up and overtook the Athlon but by that stage it had been nearly 2 years.

After P4c AMD launched it's 64bit line of Athlons and Intel unleashed Prescott, you know the rest of story. P4 was for the worst CPU launch of all time.
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February 18, 2008 12:12:16 PM

I don't have nearly as much as experience as many in the forum and was not around for the Intel Prescott days but I got say that Phenom looks like a really bad launch. If this does not get Hector Ruiz fired I don't know what will.

Latest news this morning. The 2.6GHz verison of Phenom will not be available until LATE 2nd Quarter!!

64x2 is not going away anytime soon!
http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Quote:
Phenom 9600 at 2.6GHz to launch in Q2
Written by Fuad Abazovic
Monday, 18 February 2008 09:44

65nm based B3 revision


Phenom 9600 at 2.6GHz will launch with B3 revision at some point in late Q2. You should be able to see and buy this CPU before July but we don’t have any better date that that.

Previously we heard that 2.6GHz will have to wait for 45nm but this won’t be the case. The faster chips will probably have to wait for 45nm that is still scheduled for second hanf of 2008.

At this time there aren't any more precise dates and we simply hope that AMD will be able to meet its original plans as it has to start raising some cash as soon as possible.
February 18, 2008 12:50:51 PM

Worst CPU that was ever launched? No.
The worst launch ever? Pretty darn close if not yes. An abysmal train wreck execution wise, and the wreck isn't over yet (more delays).

February 18, 2008 12:58:47 PM

Juice: it might be cheap to buy just the cpu, but then add the price of the cooling equipment required... ;) 


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February 18, 2008 1:12:50 PM

I am wondering how AMD is going to remain competitive with a delays like this.

I am hoping they will cut prices again on the 64x2 line because I am wanting to upgrade. But I am not sure how much more they can afford to slash prices if any.

February 18, 2008 1:12:55 PM

tamalero said:
Juice: it might be cheap to buy just the cpu, but then add the price of the cooling equipment required... ;) 


A $50 dollar air cooler, which is something most all OCers own already, and even still it would be cheaper.
February 18, 2008 1:31:54 PM

JuiceJones said:
A $50 dollar air cooler, which is something most all OCers own already, and even still it would be cheaper.


lol, 50 $ for a watercooling kit to keep that thing cold?
I hope you're kidding XD
February 18, 2008 1:40:54 PM

Who said anything about watercooling? Mine ran at 3.8Ghz for months on a Zalman CNPS 9500. Sure, I was drooling over the X2s back then, but wanted on the dual core train and had to do it on the cheap. It kept my room toasty, but AMD simply offered no similar value.
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