Was going to really hammer AMD for releasing the AM3 CPU's at such a low clock rate and 4MB of L3 cache. The above article really made it look that AMD was biting the big one and I was quite confused on why they would be doing that. If you read the above article you'll understand.
Then I went to Anandtech and found this article which explained it a bit.
Because they don't have the resources to easily release a lot of chips at once? Or maybe there is another problem with their current process that they do not have enough defective quad core CPUs that will run that fast?
Its been happening since before I was born... Cache disabling and Core disabling... been around for ages... The Intel Core Solo was a Core Duo with a disabled core. The Original Celeron was a Pentium with all cache disabled.
actually i believe it has somit to do with the recession that we are in.
the worlds econamy has gone to the ****, and thay are tryin to pull as much money back from from lost sales.
it may just mean that they have a back stock of CPU's and wish to get rid of them as AM3 chips (with a slight moddin) as this is where the market is leadin to.
also if u notice, they are the 8** series x3 & 4 phenom 2's, these are there budget series chips (equivilent to intels 4*** and 7*** series core2's)
which in turn means that they then can sit back alittle and wait till most ofthere stock is reduced, then bring out the 9** series AM3 chips.
it is no different to what they did with the ATI 4*** series GPU's, bringin out the 4850 firdt and then the 4870 a month later.
No if it wasmoney for lost sales then AMD would be able to release chips at a higher price level but since they don't perform that high then they can't justify it. Besides, thier main money flow comes from the server side not the desktop side.
TBH, you forget that they are losing more money on the X3 chips than every X4 that sells. Think about it. The current cost for a equivalent X4 is about $200. The Tri cores are running about $100-120. Thats a big drop.
And no the 4850 is more like a 4870 but just clocked lower and a 4650/70 would just be the same but normally a cut memory bus and maybe lower speed memory/GPU.
I still think its mainly because the quads they have going bad are not able to clock higher than what they are releasing at a stable stock voltage. But thats just my guess.
My guess is that AMD stockpiled a bunch of "bad" chips, defective core or defective L3, which got disabled, and now they want to sell them. Once they clear out the inventory, they'll release the "good stuff". The sweetener is that if you want a DDR3 part, then you'll buy now, not knowing the "good stuff" will come out later .
IMO, AMD is looking to sell every last item that they can in this economy. I read where they are not running their fab at capacity, so it would seem that (1) they are slowing down the ramp to 45nm (let Abu Dhabi take care of that), (2) maybe their continuous product improvement is being cut back a bit to save expenses (again, let Abu Dhabi worry about that) and (3) stockpile the higher-performing chips to sell later when the economy improves a bit and they can charge higher prices. So I don't really see X3 chips cannibalizing X4 sales a lot, at least not long-term.
If AMD can get some new users "locked in" to their platform, then so much the better in the future. Remember that AMD's overall marketshare in CPUs declined by about 3%, to 18.5% IIRC, in 2008. That's around a 15% drop. If they can recoup some of that during this recession, by selling at every price point they can, then AMD will be positioned ahead of the game when then economy turns around.
I think what's going to hurt AMD in the near future is that Intel will be releasing server versions of the i7, and server is where the most profits are. AMD will be forced to spend $$ it can't afford to, in order to come out with the 6-core Shanghai version (Budapest? Budweiser? ) early, or risk seeing server eroded rapidly.
AMD was planning the launch of these CPUs well before Phenom 2 was released. It makes sense not to waste a ton of silicon because of a couple minor defects.
This is the same strategy that all CPU and GPU manufacturers use. Even now Intel is selling Allendales with half the cache disabled in the E2000 series (and 3/4 of the cache disabled for the Celeron DC).
The GTX260 216 by Nvidia and the HD4830 by ATI are some of the best deals on the market. They both use "defective" dies.