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AMD/iBuyPower Respond To Puget Column

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August 1, 2009 1:41:25 AM

Back around 2k I owned a computer business and I was a reseller of both Intel and AMD. AMD was far and away the most "friendly" towards the little guy. I sold well over 70% AMD. Only very high end builds or special requests were Intel. I will never buy Intel for my gaming rigs, and I will avoid them whenever possible for laptops. Intel is out for the dollar and nothing else. AMD has the compassion of a small town company but with "near" comprable products to Intel.

Am I a fan-boy? No, I use Xeon's almost exclusively in server builds. Different market, different needs. Home/enthusiast use is a very different area.
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23
Anonymous
August 1, 2009 2:12:00 AM

AMD called me at one point and offered to ship me sample boards and processor(s). Listen, they called me and offered. We mostly sell Intel.
I never did receive anything. SO why call and try to get me to switch. We sell mostly still Intel but that did piss me off. Just my .02 $
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-7
August 1, 2009 2:31:56 AM

I love AMD... I think they are hard working and I believe one day they will reach the top.

lets hope that when they reach the top... they won't be like their... uh... competition...
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10
August 1, 2009 2:56:25 AM

To be honest, AMD has a much greater level of innovation in the CPU market. If you look at the Nehalem architecture, almost all of its best aspects- monolithic quad-core design, integrated memory controller, point-to-point serial system bus- were originally introduced in K10. Does the Intel version work better? Yes. Was it original? No.

That's what I love about AMD- they have creative ideas. Intel may be able to spit out better designs on existing ideas, but AMD far-and-away takes the prize for innovation.
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23
August 1, 2009 3:47:32 AM

It seems to ne, if youre to receibe free sample boards and free cpus, youd have followed that up with correspondence, Did you? And , if you did, what was the response from AMD? And , if that response wasnt to your liking, did you persue it further by naming the person you corresponded with to a superior?
Complaining with little knowledge of what really happened sounds.....
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6
August 1, 2009 4:14:20 AM

@JMS3096

It's the result that matters.

@AMD -> Advanced Micro Device company, not their fans

Don't forget that a while back plenty of ATI senior engineers fled the New AMD because AMD tells its ATI roadmap to nVidia for no obvious reasons & no obvious benefit.

It's a misconduct since YOUR heads got big when Intel Prescott failed to compete with YOUR Athlon X2 and too late to realize that their highest end Phenom can not compete with highest end Core2duo and let alone today's i7.

Without those senior engineers, there's no way YOU can defeat Intel and there's no way your ATI can defeat nVidia immediately because of lack of good drivers.

Now open source drivers??? That is just so lame--you can't make good driver so you let your users figure it out on their own.

Wake up AMD!!!

EVEN APPLE DOES NOT WANT YOUR X86!!!

I was in the market for building an all AMD system a few years ago in china, strictly for gaming. Asus or MSI board with Athlon X2 CPU & ATI chipset.

The problem was: there is no ATI chipsets in China even till this day. Look at your Opteron. The best 4 socket Opteron board has not 1 but TWO Intel gigabit ethernet???

I don't want to mix stuff especially from competing companies. If you can't get an all AMD, might as well make it all Intel with nVidia graphics.

Since we all know that nvidia chipset works best with nvidia graphics, isn't it obvious that getting a board for intel i7 with nvidia chipset & nvidia graphics is a way better system then a Phenom x4 with nvidia chipset (no ATI chipset down here) and ATI graphics?

So understand that it is indeed very difficult to get an all AMD not because of Intel, rather, because AMD IS NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH to compete with Intel!!!

AMD does NOT want to compete with intel anymore. Since Core2duo, YOU, AMD, have had this looser mentality and had only hoped to make money from mid-range products and by suing Intel!!!

WTF

Wake up AMD!!!

PROVE ME WRONG!!!

Let me buy a 4 socket OPTERON board with ATI Chipset and broadcom gigabit LAN!!! No intel no nvidia!!!

NAME one vendor that makes that!!!

JUST ONE!!!

Your vendors have factories in China and China population is billions. They game like crazy every single day and YOU, AMD, choose not do any ATI business in China and now YOU, AMD, are blaming Intel for your own lack of winning mentality!!!

If YOU, AMD, don't even believe you can win, why should WE, your (former) devoted fans, believe in YOU anymore?

PROVE ME WRONG!!!

Abandon all this Intel Lawsuits and focus on making great products like you used to. Defeat Intel!!!

Make Paul Otellini say it again to Intel shareholders: "We can not compete with AMD"

I wanna see the arrogant Steve Jobs of Apple knocking on your door begging on his knees to transition their X86 to AMD.

Make it happen!!!

For all who had loved AMD and for those who still does,

Best Regards,

-ND
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-17
August 1, 2009 4:22:42 AM

This availability , could it have been the reason for the EUs decision?
They (Intel) have been found guilty 3 times, in three areas of the world, sounds like Intel had availibility all right
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2
August 1, 2009 5:59:27 AM

"He went on to explain how Intel's legitimate rebate programs work, and why the processor vendor accounted for more than 90% of his CPU sales in 2008"

I've noticed on the puget systems website, in order to get an AMD cpu, you need to select the "more..." option of cpus. I wonder if this accounts for anything.......
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11
August 1, 2009 6:18:04 AM

Andy_Newton@JMS3096It's the result that matters. Blah blah blah blah blah.....


Hey fanboy, take a chill pill. Nobody cares if Apple doesn't use AMD CPU's. I'm sure least of all AMD.

I agree with JMS3096 though, most of the "new" features on the i7 were old news at AMD.
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5
Anonymous
August 1, 2009 6:49:01 AM

I love how everyone says "AMD is more creative than Intel, so we'll back them"...what good is creativity when they don't have the knowledge or know how to compete with Intel on a business level? Bitch and complain all you want about the "questionable" business tactics that Intel used in EU, but the bottom line is they sold the most systems, got the job done, and THEY MAKE THE BETTER PRODUCT. I don't care if AMD originally came up with great CPU designs and now Intel is using them....if you come up with a great idea, yet you don't have the motivation to properly get it heard and someone else runs with it, it's on you for your failures, plain and simple. I work in a shop in a small town that builds systems day in and day out, and we've never touched an AMD system. Why? Not because we're fanboys...it's simple....Intel produces results and stable systems, and AMD is garbage....all the way from Athlon XP to Phenom. Make a better product line and I'll switch in a heartbeat. Same goes with graphics...ATI can now compete with NVIDIA according to benchmarks, but every user review I've read says their drivers are still garbage.
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-12
Anonymous
August 1, 2009 7:21:27 AM

Intel have the better product _right now_.

They haven't always had that, cue the Pentium 4 era to make an obvious example.

Indeed, AMD competes exceptionally well at each level of the CPU market aside from the i7. How many of us are using an i7 today?

Granted, with the i5 things are looking up even more for Intel but that's not "today".

I don't have a particular preference when it comes to CPUs. I went from an Athlon 64 3000+ to an Athlon X2 3800+ to a Core 2 Duo E6600 and the next stop is likely the i5.

That said, I do hope AMD puts out a great high-end product with upcoming architechtures so we can get away from being raped and plundered by Intel. The only reason there's $300/$500/$1000 CPUs on the market at all is because Intel know they have the market to themselves. If it weren't for AMD we might very well be paying those prices for double-chip, almost-4GHz Pentium D's even today.

Finally, it's nice to see a rebuttal of the original article even if it was quite obvious from that one, and looking through their website at that point in time, that there are rather rabid Intel fanboys even at retail.

That just isn't healthy for the consumers.
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9
August 1, 2009 7:38:33 AM

It's a little hard when you're against a company that can spend more on R&D than you make in a year. Most people don't know crap about computers. All those model numbers confuse them, and so when you're a company that has been around for 20 years as pretty much the only CPU seller, that helps. The billions in advertising helps too, the average Joe doesn't know which chip is better, all he knows is to make sure an Intel is inside.

How is it that AMD only received 25-30% of the market with an obviously better chip? The difference was even greater than i7 vs. PhenII, at least PhenII does well in gaming comparisons, even winning a few benchmarks. AMD would've had to beat Intel for nearly a decade without interruption for them to get a 50% market share in my opinion. Hey, longtime old brands are valuable, that's why when SBC took over AT&T, they decided to change their name to AT&T. I bet there are some of you who haven't heard of SBC, but everyone knows AT&T. Same with Intel.

AMD had a good run. It was shameful for Intel, a huge dominant monopoly, to let an upstart get the better of them for even one month much less than the 5 years or so AMD was on top. Still when you have nearly endless resources, you can afford to make huge mistakes and still come back, sort of like the Soviet Union in WWII.

I'm pulling for AMD, but it's a big underdog and has been from the start. Just think about how terrible Intel's graphics chips are, yet they're by far the market leader. Yeah, it's from integrated chipsets, but see how much of an advantage they have? They can make money without even putting up a product, but ATI and Nvida have to consistently put out the best GPUs to have a chance.
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9
August 1, 2009 7:58:45 AM

all I can say is Prescott ... Just glad the C2D were better or lese I would still be an AMD person

was AMD from k6 - XP Days ... lost Faith in their Opterons ect ... the C2D from intel made me swing back to Intel ,,, i am just hoping AMD will have a killer CPU / GPU ,., someday

for now my nxt PC might just be an i7 ...

What I really want is a true Green PC that will run on Minimum power when you choose ,,, and Blast off like i rocket when you unlock power feature ( 99% of my time on pc now is MSN / Watching Media .. very little game play but I do still get the Craving to play a game and like keeping PC capable of playing future games ... what I do not like is my pc Idling @ 600 watt's ( currenty getting an Nvidia ION system intergrated into my gaming case to leave on 24 / 7 )
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1
August 1, 2009 8:19:07 AM

@Luiken:
I agree that Intel offers better stuff on the higher end. I have two of their CPU's right now. However, AMD makes really good stuff in the low-mid end, and they're just as reliable and stable as Intel's. AMD is hardly garbage, but you wouldn't know since you never touch their systems. I remember when Intel was getting their asses kicked by AMD for a long time, did the Athlon64 slip your mind? I still have one of those too. Just like ATI cards, you've read reviews on the All-Knowing Internet where people say their drivers are garbage. You didn't read many cause there's plenty of people (like me) who never have any trouble with their drivers. You didn't read very many nVidia reviews either because I've read plenty that said theirs were garbage (remember when Vista came out?). And you obviously didn't try an ATI card yourself, so why all the hostility towards these companies you have no experience with? Tell the guys you work with they should do a little research and not limit their options so badly. And next time they tell you "AMD is garbage" is the reason you guys don't sell them, maybe you could, I don't know, ask them for a better reason. Just a thought.
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7
August 1, 2009 9:07:22 AM

I like Amd and I like Intel... That's because I love competition and innovation. I'd love to see both companies making a lot of money and investing it into better cpu' and such.

I would even love to see a third chipmaker which could compete and change the whole market.

At the moment Amd is the one who needs help so I support it more.
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4
Anonymous
August 1, 2009 9:20:29 AM

Well I did try Intel/AMD/ATI/NVidia, and I've read all the comments, and guess what? AMD and ATI are garbage, their product is garbage, their research teams are garbage. For me, it's i7 and Xeon/Itaniums with Asus boards. (stop slobering about AMD coming up with the architecture first, because they did not. i7 is different, and Itanium is even more original and better architecture then anything amd ever created, Intel never lacked in creativity, they have much more of it than amd, and Intel's products are always solid, hence the price... I guess if you're too poor, then you go with amd and are bound to defend them to the end...
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-13
August 1, 2009 11:11:11 AM

I've been building my own computers since the 386 days. I've always tried new things and never stuck to what popular opinion says and is repeated by the masses. I've used both Intel and AMD processors over the years whenever one had the advantage over the other. I've tried all manner of off the wall combinations that the average user or the normal computer reseller wouldn't offer. For years I was into 3d creation programs before 3d was even a buzz word, and just recently took down a eight system render farm when we moved to a new house.

Intel has had long periods of time when they made the best CPU's. My first dual systems were dual pentium/Tyan combos, I had dual pentium pro systems (one of my favorite processors) with more memory on the CPU's than most people had in main memory at the time. Dual Pentiun II systems. Xeons also, but never tried anything Itanium. I have a Pentium 4 system (one of my least favorite) in the house atm and a core2 system. Reliability wise, that I can remember, I've had around 5 or 6 intel CPU's fail on me over the years and a couple intel of motherboards(strangly never a "consumer" board, they were both very exspensive server boards). No over clocking and always very good cooling solutions, they just failed due to defects.

AMD's 586-133 back in the day easily handed higher speed and far more expensive Intel processors their hats. Athlon64's did the same thing for YEARS. I've built just as many AMD systems as I have Intel and had changed all my render farm computers from xeons to opterons. They are slower, on a single system a render may take a few more minutes, but on the other hand they use so much less power to achieve 85% of the performance that I could throw in a couple more systems and still stay within the same power envelope and actually do distributed work faster overall. I've never had an AMD processor fail and only one motherboard fail but that was a Nforce 4 SLi board and not an AMD chipset. I currently have in the living room a AMD phenom system with a fanless CPU cooler, two Gigabyte 8600GTS fanless GPU's in SLi and a XFi PCI-e soundcard(waffle-iron)hooked to our big screen. It will play Crysis and Farcry 2 with some pretty good frame rates, runs HOT with only one big, almost silent fan on the power supply as the only cooling in the case. Couple of years now never being turned off and still going strong. My gaming rig is a Phenom II/Dual GPU sytem. I also have a opteron system and an Atholon X2 system with Dual GPU's.

So really anyone saying that they are professional builders and never used any AMD products were pretty much shafting their customers. Saying they are junk is a total misrepresentation. Actually my experience is that AMD stuff is more reliable and costs less overall in build and operation.
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9
August 1, 2009 11:54:18 AM

Ever noticed that most Intel fanboys use foul language?
@Luiken $ others:

Both intel and amd have something to offer in both server & home usage hardware. Intel indeed has the performance crown in both areas, but amd doesn't lag so far behind as one might think thanks to its aggressive pricing and forward / backwards compatibility in both server / home usage worlds, causing the company to lead the mainstream market and be the wisest choice for gamers on a budget.

Both intel and amd have lots to offer, and if I would have enough money I would definitely get an intel. But since I'm one of those who's on a budget and still would like to play without any compromise, I owe a big thanks to amd for their fair pricing and good products.
Small reminder (there are many others): On January 2007 a Q6600 sold for more than 800$.
Score
5
Anonymous
August 1, 2009 1:02:58 PM

You have to love how ever since Intel had any level of superiority, their fanboy and fan-retailers make it out like AMDs CPUs are "slow". Yeah, my Phenom II X4 940 is absolute overkill for all of my needs, but these folks try to convince me that I need an i7 that won't serve my needs any better. Maybe my Phenom II is super responsive, loads any of the multi-boot OSes in the blink of an eye, and cuts through compute-intensive rendering tasks like a hot knife through butter, but it loses synthetic and video encoding bencharks(neither of which I care about) to the i7, so it still sucks... Right...
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8
August 1, 2009 2:13:06 PM

Luiken I work in a shop in a small town that builds systems day in and day out, and we've never touched an AMD system. Why? Not because we're fanboys...it's simple....Intel produces results and stable systems, and AMD is garbage....all the way from Athlon XP to Phenom. Make a better product line and I'll switch in a heartbeat. Same goes with graphics...ATI can now compete with NVIDIA according to benchmarks, but every user review I've read says their drivers are still garbage.

If you have never owned/built an AMD, then why are you slamming it so badly? Make a better product and you will switch - how on earth was the Athlon XP not leaps and bounds better than the P4 (yet you call out the innovation that changed the CPU game altogether)? In those days, the Intel chips were inefficient, not easily overclocked, and ran hot hot hot. Not to mention the fact that the PIII was admittedly better for Intel back then compared to the dead-end P4 architecture (still had speed limitations).

I can help you out though so you can rethink the one sided argument, I have many experiences with both AMD and Intel, and also ATI and Nvidia. Intel always costs more no matter what you get, bang for the buck goes to AMD every generation of chips without question. Both make quality chips, never seen "garbage" quality from either side. It is a systematic cycle with one camp being faster than the other. AMD was champ for years, Intel was champ the past few, and AMD is back on the upswing with the newer AM3 Phenom II. I flip-flop on graphics, whoever is up and for the price that works the best, then that's the one to go with. The 8800 series Nvidia GPUs were hard to beat, when they got lazy, went through so many renaming schemes, and had a big problem with the GPU failures on certain chips, I went back to the ATI HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series. Again, for the money, you couldn't do better at the time with ATI's upswing in the GPU market. Drivers have never been a huge problem for me from either camp. However, they are more than anything the most inconsistent aspect from either side. As far as garbage goes, weather it be 32/64 bit Windows or 32/64 bit Linux, drivers from both camp have always just simply worked at the very least.

Next time, form an opinion off of experience/knowledge instead of just trashing certain products because of what you "heard" or just feel about it!
Score
14
August 1, 2009 3:35:31 PM

I have to agree with Matt_B. I manage this areas most successful repair shop. We have an avg of 30 machines on our bench at any given time. We see more failures on the AMD side by far. I used to be an AMD guy personally. I switched to Intel about 8 years ago and after seeing the failures from AMD on the bench day in and day out, you just can't argue the fact that Intel makes a better quality product. The average guy who reads his articles and builds a few gaming PC's for him and his buddies a year does not have the background in either AMD or Intel when it comes to reliability. Intel beats AMD in that respect hands down. And honestly when AMD is only winning by a small amount of FPS in the gaming category, are you really gunna care more about that or the reliability of the system? Come on now.
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-3
August 1, 2009 4:47:38 PM

I have owned both AMD & Intel CPU's they both have their good & bad points. I also work in a small shop have done so for 15 years. We build mostly Intel now but thats onbly because intel threatened to cut off our channel partner program is we didn't sell more Intel system's. My boss seems to hold that close to his heart so he instructed us to push the Intel system's harder & kinda leave the AMD system as an option only kinda like those guy's do from the puget site geez I wonder if Intel did the same thing to them too. As I said I have owned both companies CPU's & both work just as well. I have seen AMD CPU's fail but I have seen Intel CPU's fail as well 99% of the time these failures are caused by extreme heat or a blown mainboard. In either case most of the time when a system gets to us if you look inside & see the dirt packed into the CPU heatsink I always am amazed at how these things can keep working for as long as they do. I probably have built over 5000 system's & yes from both camps & find either companies CPU's to work just as good as the others. I have found that mainboards are the first to fail either from them being made cheaply or from power surges or just PEBKAC. Also we used to use Intel boards as our main back bone for our system's but they seem to have a high failure rate 1 out of 5 boards would fail in the first 3 or 4 months thank god for warranty we have since swithched mainly to ASUS boards sure they are kinda finicky but they work well. I also am getting my boss into Gigabyte boards. My point again both Intel & AMD have good products Intel is just better at marketing & also better at using scare tactics to scare small companies into using just their products maybe thats why Intel & Apple get along so well ok that was a joke..well sorta.
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10
August 1, 2009 5:07:47 PM

Sorry for the rant I'm just a little tired of some of the people that spout off garbage about a product or products they have never tried or given a chance.
Score
5
August 1, 2009 7:05:03 PM

amd vs intel stress tests, um, . . . if my memory serves, amd systems have less memory issues, even articles on this very site have stated, man, intel lovers really take losing hard, its like they are bad winners and even worse losers:( , and yeah i7's are nice but run super hot. im betting the phenom 2's will last longer if over clocked too.

over all i dispise intels development strategy, literally a new socket every other quarter, rediculous. . . . .

intel wants uneducated buyers, amd wants both.

and the only reason the i7 is so good is because finally intel figured how to copy some of amds technology into thier own. pfff. when will intel invent something worthwhile other than hyper threading which, . . well lets not even go thier.

i would just like to see intel get off its high horse and invent something new. i mean they are trying with larabbee but thier integrated stuff has been horrid for, . . well since it started.

although ive had more amd cpu's than intel cpu's i will be buying my friends used i7 cause he wants the new stepping to overclock it higher or some shinanigans. ill be buying on the cheap.

ive bought two amd processors this year, hopefully i can snipe a third. and ill have that used i7 920.

oh yeah i hate apple.
Score
1
August 1, 2009 10:21:14 PM

Well this is not a who's better CPU article, it’s a who's better marketing / distribution channel to reseller business article. Which was the point of the 1st article, and this rebuttal article.
Curious point on this rebuttal the last comments to the article explain why Jon at Puget was correct in his statement.

"Chris: I think that’s the message you’d want to get across. If they exist, how do builders get access to it?"

Here Chris final sentence in the article directing the main question of Jon from Puget’s question to them - as you read this, it is a direct question asked to him and the reply is;

"John: Right, that sounds like a good challenge on our part. Because we do have a number of programs, the same as the other guys. Maybe we don’t publicize it because they’re not offered across the board."

John agrees right we don’t do that question you asked Chris. even states we have programs just not publicized, meaning guys like Jon with Puget are speaking truth as Chris question is still unanswered correctly, they don’t have those programs available as easily for resellers programs to smaller businesses aka Puget boutique style shops.

Marketing talk doesn’t get it done when resellers need to actually sell stuff to stay in business. “But ours is not public” as he states, so the answer to the question of how do we get that info, of his final question asked?? Still goes legitimately unanswered. Well we know its not public but how do we get it?? still unanswered?? Puget is obviously a reseller, so why even if not public cant he get it, what’s this portion of not across the board mean as well, so whom non public is left out of that equation?????

Marketing / support dollars in the mfg to reseller channel are not unlimited, and as companies go we all know Intel is bigger then AMD and even APPLE, so they can spend more personnel dollars support resources to more smaller vendors on a global market to which all those companies do business.
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3
August 2, 2009 2:15:52 AM

I do work for a system builder and we do prefer Intel to AMD. In my opinion, if AMD would redesign their processor architecture like Intel did, they make come out on top again. Working with 8 year old technology vs. 3 year old technology just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't really se the price/performance margin being in AMD's favor currently either. A similarly performing processor from Intel costs about $40 more than a comparable AMD processor....and typically runs at a slower clock speed.

AMD has some good processors on the market, and are (again, my opinion) really killing it in the gaming graphics department, but I personally believe that they have a lot of catching up to do in order to give Intel a run for it's money. I'd personally like some information on how to get my company involved in their partner program. Intel's Retail Edge program is awesome. I'm sure AMD's similar program would be just as good.
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0
August 2, 2009 2:16:15 AM

I do work for a system builder and we do prefer Intel to AMD. In my opinion, if AMD would redesign their processor architecture like Intel did, they make come out on top again. Working with 8 year old technology vs. 3 year old technology just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't really se the price/performance margin being in AMD's favor currently either. A similarly performing processor from Intel costs about $40 more than a comparable AMD processor....and typically runs at a slower clock speed.

AMD has some good processors on the market, and are (again, my opinion) really killing it in the gaming graphics department, but I personally believe that they have a lot of catching up to do in order to give Intel a run for it's money. I'd personally like some information on how to get my company involved in their partner program. Intel's Retail Edge program is awesome. I'm sure AMD's similar program would be just as good.
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-4
August 2, 2009 6:45:32 AM

Nice seeing some passionate and educated responses here. I've been a system builder on a small scale - mostly friends and family - for a long time now.

AMD really does have the platform nailed, especially for my budget builds. I look at my buying history at the dozens of motherboards I've bought, even in just the last six months. The Intel motherboards in the $60 price range typically have had only two slots for RAM, whereas the AMD boards in the same price range have four slots. If the board has integrated graphics, the Intel graphics suck, while AMD's seem to at least get basic jobs done more pleasantly so ... And several of the AMD boards have the 780G chipset, which supports hybrid crossfire. Throw in a cheap $30 ATI GPU and you've got 8 channel audio and the combined power of integrated and dedicated, which Tom's showed in a past article to actually post a marginal performance boost.

Assuming CPUs are equal performance per dollar across the board (which is seldom the case, depending on price fluctuations) you still get a little more performance for your dollar on the AMD build if you're in the budget segment, which many of my clients typically are.

The two "high end" builds have been based on Intel's quad core CPUs, but I'm about to make one for my mom with a Phenom II. Newegg has been having some crazy combo deals with the Deneb quad cores, and they are such an excellent value for the money. It will be a perfect editing rig for my mom and her photoshop and video editing - for a phenomenal price. (pun intended, har har...) The socket AM3 motherboard I got her was fifty bucks, and supports - you guessed it - four sticks of DDR2. FIFTY BUCKS!!! It also has integrated 8100 graphics if she ever wanted to do hybrid SLI for performance/power savings. What Intel board is $50 ($40 after mail in rebate) that has that kind of expandability and runs Intel's best CPUs? Your i7 boards are going to run you nigh $180-200 for the budget ones. They're great boards, and yes, the i7 is faster, but pair a 3.0GHz phenom II, 8GB of RAM, and a decent dedicated card and you've got a fairly powerful editing rig, for half the price.

And AMD might not hype their programs, trainings, and incentives like Intel does, but they are there. I just got a $35 triple core CPU and a T-shirt from AMD via their training program. And they shipped the incentive package a LOT faster than anything I've ever received from Intel.

Don't get me wrong, I love the i7 for my own rig. I wanted the best, and I've spend the dinars on it, but how many truly fall into that bracket? How many truly "need" to spend that much? Most don't, and I think with phenom II's doing so well, the upper mainstream or "budget" enthusiast is in a veritable sweet spot with plenty of fantastic options for graphics and CPU. AMD's most definitely a contender in this bracket, and I see a lot more consumers falling into that arena than the ultra-high end enthusiast.

If vendors aren't capitalizing on the platforms AMD offers, then they are crazy. It's their own fault. AMD setups offer better margins for manufacturers and resellers on the budget end, and provide customers with much better integrated graphics, and usually an extra core or two for the same price as a lesser Intel getup. When I go into Best Buy I see $600 AMD quad core rigs and $800 Intel dual core rigs. Even though sometimes the dual core would be faster - and we enthusiasts know that - the customer sees "quad core" and buys the AMD, especially because it's cheaper. Even if the CPU is inferior (like a 1.8 quad core ... yuk!) the integrated graphics are much better, and who knows. Maybe the customer will do some real multitasking or multithreaded editing some day when they learn how.

Their chances of AMD making a better CPU for that same socket (and probably with a lower envelope) are quite high, so they'll probably have a really cheap upgrade path.
Score
1
August 2, 2009 8:49:06 AM

@surrept420:
I've had an athlon xp 1900+ (1600mhz) for about 7 years until 6 months ago, and its been through hell. It's the palomino stepping which is very hot but my technician probably didn't care much so for the first 3 summers (~40*Celsius) it ran with one cranky intake fan and on a dusty room.
When I was abit older and got into computers, I checked the bios and discovered the cpu was on 80*c(!!) on ~50% load and immediately replaced the heatsink and fan, and added an exhaust. Except for a bad hard disk the computer is still working perfectly fine, and has served me well beyond the call of duty :) , always felt real snappy (even with xp sp3), and was even faster than pentiums @ 2.0ghz. Heck, I'm using a pentium 4 3.0ghz w/1gb ram at work and I would rather use my old comp any day.

Needless to say, those who bring computers to repair usually don't know anything about them, have crappy technicians (not very hard to find) and probably run them until they're fried. amd guys usually overclock (overcook?) as well.
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August 2, 2009 4:30:29 PM

I'm not a system builder, but I recently bought an AMD Phenom II from the IBuyPower website. I read the Puget Systems column while I was waiting for my PC to ship, and what Jon Bach said about AMD chips slipping out the socket easily during shipping had me a little worried. However, when my PC arrived, it was held firmly in place by a foam insert; simple, effective, and it completely nullifies his position on shipping problems being more of a concern for AMD.

Also, since IBuyPower does a great job of advertising BOTH Intel and AMD, I would give a lot more attention to their numbers than to a company who only advertises one of the two.
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August 2, 2009 5:05:22 PM

Some proof reading wouldn't go amiss.
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August 3, 2009 1:10:31 AM

michaelahess stated that at one time AMD was more friendly to the little guy, but by "little guy," he meant a shop owner.

I've worked retail computer sales at a big box company, and an interesting note: right now Intel has a program called "Retail Edge." You basically go to a website, learn about Intel product, and intel gives you "points" to spend on stuff from their website. Anything from a pocket knife to a 40 inch Sony HDTV has been available, for free, provided you took the time to learn about their product (and really, most salesman already know more than Intel lets on by watching sites like Toms).

They also have a "Retail Edge" bundle where people who are part of the Retail edge get discounts on Intel motherboards, processors, and even Windows Vista.

What does AMD have? Nada. At Best Buy, most people haven't ever seen an AMD rep. But the Intel rep is in almost monthly, handing out free stuff and getting the sales people pumped about Intel processors.

And while people like iBuyPower and Puget Systems cater to speciality markets, where are most processors, indeed most computers, actually purchased? Big box retail, like Wal-Mart or Best Buy or Fry's. Even Nebraska Furniture Mart churns out PCs. And while readers of Tom's may have some negative things to say about those establishments, the fact is the majority of computers sold flow through big box retail.

So there is AMD's weakness: mass market. Sure, some enthusiasts and speciality builders may know of them, but I still get customers asking me "whats AMD" and "what is a Turion processor?" But EVERYONE knows the Intel name and even the Intel jingle. Does AMD even have a jingle, or a retail education program? The mass market is all but ignorant about AMD.

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August 3, 2009 2:34:49 AM

Then explain them what's AMD and what are some of the benefits if they choose AMD.

Of 100 people they ask me to buy a rig (office work, gaming, serious work) 99 of them go AMD with a happy smile after their learn. The one left will choose an i7 beceause he really need the powerhouse (intensive rendering).

On the internet world this link works.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/cpu_retrospec...
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August 3, 2009 5:34:52 AM

Why the fuck AMD processors suck if Intel processor features are
old at AMD?

what a morons!
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August 3, 2009 7:44:38 AM

I've had so many athlons that I could probably build a house with them, but I'm not married to amd, or to intel. I meant to use an x3 in the last build I did, but I did end up with an i7 920 system instead. It just was the smarter choice :) 
Anyway, I think amd has as much chance as intel when it comes to prebuilt systems. Price matters, and they're good at that at the moment, although sb7xx boards are still overpriced.
Amd will never make it properly in the business sector I think though. Too many are still dreading the change from intel to amd, lest they aren't compatible like in the old days. At work we use all hp, and only servers are running amd, mainly the old ones when the opty was beating the p4 based xeons.
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August 3, 2009 1:13:42 PM

LOL, am I the only guy that thinks John from AMD is barking at the wrong tree?

"At the very highest-end, the folks in blue have a performance advantage, but from a price/performance level, we beat them across the board."

As a marketing guy, he is pushing value at boutique shops that prides themselves on beating Dell's Alienware and HP's Voodoo. Is he going to advertise the virtue of Nike in a Versace boutique?

This is the problem that’s plaguing AMD for years, no effective marketing what-so-ever. On the other hand, Intel’s marketing has been so effective that people think Centrino is better than Intel.
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August 3, 2009 1:15:01 PM

Andy_Newton@JMS3096It's the result that matters.@AMD -> Advanced Micro Device company, not their fansDon't forget that a while back plenty of ATI senior engineers fled the New AMD because AMD tells its ATI roadmap to nVidia for no obvious reasons & no obvious benefit.It's a misconduct since YOUR heads got big when Intel Prescott failed to compete with YOUR Athlon X2 and too late to realize that their highest end Phenom can not compete with highest end Core2duo and let alone today's i7.Without those senior engineers, there's no way YOU can defeat Intel and there's no way your ATI can defeat nVidia immediately because of lack of good drivers.Now open source drivers??? That is just so lame--you can't make good driver so you let your users figure it out on their own.Wake up AMD!!!EVEN APPLE DOES NOT WANT YOUR X86!!!I was in the market for building an all AMD system a few years ago in china, strictly for gaming. Asus or MSI board with Athlon X2 CPU & ATI chipset.The problem was: there is no ATI chipsets in China even till this day. Look at your Opteron. The best 4 socket Opteron board has not 1 but TWO Intel gigabit ethernet???I don't want to mix stuff especially from competing companies. If you can't get an all AMD, might as well make it all Intel with nVidia graphics.Since we all know that nvidia chipset works best with nvidia graphics, isn't it obvious that getting a board for intel i7 with nvidia chipset & nvidia graphics is a way better system then a Phenom x4 with nvidia chipset (no ATI chipset down here) and ATI graphics?So understand that it is indeed very difficult to get an all AMD not because of Intel, rather, because AMD IS NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH to compete with Intel!!!AMD does NOT want to compete with intel anymore. Since Core2duo, YOU, AMD, have had this looser mentality and had only hoped to make money from mid-range products and by suing Intel!!!WTFWake up AMD!!!PROVE ME WRONG!!!Let me buy a 4 socket OPTERON board with ATI Chipset and broadcom gigabit LAN!!! No intel no nvidia!!!NAME one vendor that makes that!!!JUST ONE!!!Your vendors have factories in China and China population is billions. They game like crazy every single day and YOU, AMD, choose not do any ATI business in China and now YOU, AMD, are blaming Intel for your own lack of winning mentality!!!If YOU, AMD, don't even believe you can win, why should WE, your (former) devoted fans, believe in YOU anymore?PROVE ME WRONG!!!Abandon all this Intel Lawsuits and focus on making great products like you used to. Defeat Intel!!!Make Paul Otellini say it again to Intel shareholders: "We can not compete with AMD"I wanna see the arrogant Steve Jobs of Apple knocking on your door begging on his knees to transition their X86 to AMD.Make it happen!!!For all who had loved AMD and for those who still does,Best Regards,-ND


All this typing just to let people know he's an idiot...
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August 3, 2009 1:46:35 PM

On a side note, I think AMD is aiming at where Intel was and not where Intel is going to be. My sis is going to grad school and I am thinking of replacing her Core Duo notebook with a new one and the only “good” offering are Intels. Turions are too slow and hot for the price so most brands don’t offer Turion on their performance/business notebooks. With notebooks accounts for more than half of “PC” sales, AMD is in fact locking itself out of the biggest and fastest growing market.

I am also thinking of converting an old Athlon X2 ATX-sized box into a SFF so it would look neat. I want to carry over the X2 chip but AMD’s miniITX boards are so much more expensive than Intel’s ($95~$160 vs. $51~$140). I know 780G is better than Intel’s crap but some of the Intel board came with mGPU 9300 which easily matches 780/790. In addition, I am going to use a half height HD 4650 so chipset doesn’t really matter.
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August 3, 2009 3:25:01 PM

Long live the Athlon XP 2500+!!! I had that thing for 4 years and it served me well. I love AMD but unfortunately, I need performance in the audio and video encoding benchmarks and Intel beats them. I've got my eye on the Phenom II Quad though. I've got an aging Pentium D and looking for an upgrade.
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August 3, 2009 3:30:18 PM

Try and remember that this is the same EU that made the great decision to force MS to either drop IE or include all the competition's browsers on their OS disc. I'm not a fan of anything (except my family, WOW, grandkids !!), but marketing and partnering by business is absolutely normal, has been since Glub traded more meat to Gob for firewood, preferentially over Doofus. Markets have a way of taking care of themselves, as Glub found out when he got some wormy wood from Gob. Stuff happens.

I've built everything over the years. Remember Cyrix chips? You couldn't find a hotter running chip, could heat the house while running them. Ice water cooling barely helped. Like so many previous commments above, AMD and Intel both have their own development paths, marketing approaches. Neither is wrong, neither right. They both bring their own value to the marketplace. It's a matter of what serves the needs of their clientele. Most of Tom's readers play around and experiment with both platforms and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each. That includes OS's, GPU's, et al.

So EU, US Gov, Intergalactic Trade Commision, Get the Hell Out of the Way.
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August 3, 2009 4:12:38 PM

I build rigs, but not professionally; I mean, I make my own, and I built the half-dozen rigs we use in my small shop.

I built them all out of AMD stuff starting 4 years ago; extremely cheap components at the time, I have had zero CPU failures and one motherborad that had to be returned. My own rig, the one I'm using currently, has been running all day long, for 4 years, with a 40% overclock (Sempron64 1600@2200) so that it can run my browser, development suite, a music player, a mail client,a web server, a database... and can withstand 300 connection request/second.

Yeah, all right... I run them all under 64-bit Linux.

But whoever said AMD stuff can't take it, has obviously not used any! Busted mobos, yeah, sure; but then, that's hardly AMD's fault. And anyway, if you consider the price for an AM2 mobo and that for a C2D one, you can buy a spare AM2 mobo for the price you'd get the other one.
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August 3, 2009 5:41:54 PM

mitch074....But whoever said AMD stuff can't take it, has obviously not used any! Busted mobos, yeah, sure; but then, that's hardly AMD's fault. And anyway, if you consider the price for an AM2 mobo and that for a C2D one, you can buy a spare AM2 mobo for the price you'd get the other one.

I think people should remember that 760G/780G is designed to counter G41/G43/G45 and not P45 or X48. Only 790GX and 790FX motherboard should be compared with P45/X48.
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August 3, 2009 6:12:25 PM

Mainly unrelated to the topic at hand but could someone at toms maybe come up with a classification scale to indicate what the differences between "system builder" vs "I bought some crap and put it together a few times" would be - I don't think anyone who has put together less than 50 systems of any "current" generation should be considered any kind of builder but they would need a title - maybe moderate enthusiast. Just because you can change the oil in your own car doesn't make you a mechanic any more than being able to put in your own memory. Hell my 3 year old can put a computer together... its harder to build something from lego. I usually don't bother commenting but something needs to be done to address this issue. I'm sure there are alot of professional systems builders that like to read these articles, see some of the comments and decide that its not worth the effort to post anything back.

I'm sure alot of system builders "That Actually Build Alot Of Systems" have alot more factors to concern them than "I can buy this and that from here and there and get a great deal" - real companies that build systems work on shit margins due to hardware pricing right now and have to plan for large scale product rollout. Its one thing to build 6 systems for $600 and kit out your family with uber gear - its another thing to plan on 600 systems with pretty much the exact same stuff while taking into account shelf life - new product rollout - performance to purchase dollar vs. current market trends - customer satisfaction, reliability, noise.

Bah whatever... I'm probably wasting my time... now I'm going to go fix that phonejack that's broken in the wall and troll some telecommunication boards to offer my expert advice
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August 3, 2009 8:13:30 PM

cb, it's right in the story.

Quote:
If you're a system builder (and by system builder I mean a for-profit individual or organization that'd qualify for one of these reseller programs, rather than an enthusiast who builds his own machines when it comes time to upgrade), I again welcome you to share your experiences and opinions.
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August 3, 2009 8:48:05 PM

@ cangelini

:) 

I saw that in the article - I'm just wondering how many enthusiasts understand the importance of that paragraph. And my comment, albiet in this thread goes for the majority of articles concerning this kind of bent... if you want an example take a look at the raving comments over at this particular thread concerning AMD spinning off globalfoundries and how many people either know or don't know about big business and advanced design issues
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August 3, 2009 10:26:41 PM

Thank you to everyone that took the time to comment on this article! I've been watching it closely, and have found the responses very interesting. In going through the comments, I kept notes -- I figured I'd post them here in case someone finds it helpful.


DIY End Users say:

I love AMD
AMD has more innovation, is more creative
Intel has so much more R&D money, AMD is the underdog
Intel has better product on the high end
AMD is slower, but more power efficient
AMD is fast enough for my needs
AMD has better bang for the buck
Intel copies AMD
AMD never answered the question about their reseller programs
AMD makes a good platform
AMD is not vulnerable to shipping damage with a little effort
Most people go AMD, except when you need a powerhouse system
Intel has better marketing
AMD is very weak in notebooks
AMD is cheaper


Computer Builders / Repair Shops say:

AMD is more friendly to the little guy
AMD did not provide samples as promised
Intel is more stable, AMD drivers are problematic
AMD fails far more often
We sell more Intel in order to stay in their channel program
Intel has a superior product, and has a great retail program
Intel has an excellent reseller program, AMD has no program

It seems like DIY end user crowd, especially here at Tom's Hardware, tends to favor and strongly support AMD. AMD has had some strong products, and that competition brings innovation that is good for everyone. I completely agree! What's interesting is that some other system builders and repair shop owners are commenting as well, but they tend to favor Intel, citing reliability and a better reseller program. One thing this tells me is that there is a lack of awareness of the issues with both parties. End users, with the experience of only a handful of systems they've built, find it attractive to support the underdog, and appreciate AMD for the competition they bring to the industry. Professional shops, with the experience of hundreds or thousands of systems, have to make more practical decisions, and cannot be as driven by ideas, but rather what impacts the bottom line. That means that reliability and retail programs are more important. To a professional shop, it isn't as important to them that Intel costs more, since the customers are paying that difference. Cost is only a factor to the extent that can be a barrier to more business. Interesting stuff! This disconnect between end users and resellers is important to recognize, and is good for everyone. I think that end users need to be educated more on the practical realities of the matter, and I think that resellers need to hear the public, that bang for the buck is even more important than it seems to them.

Jon Bach
Puget Systems
http://www.pugetsystems.com
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August 3, 2009 11:14:13 PM

Quote:
This disconnect between end users and resellers is important to recognize, and is good for everyone.


Oops, I didn't mean that the disconnect is good for everyone! I meant to say that discussing and reconciling that disconnect is good for everyone.
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August 4, 2009 3:54:10 AM

@jonbach
Not a bash/flame/or troll just some input on my part - its my opinion only from a system builder viewpoint.

Quote:
Computer Builders / Repair Shops say:

AMD is more friendly to the little guy
AMD did not provide samples as promised
Intel is more stable, AMD drivers are problematic
AMD fails far more often
We sell more Intel in order to stay in their channel program
Intel has a superior product, and has a great retail program
Intel has an excellent reseller program, AMD has no program


AMD is more cost effective for the little guy trying to save money true
AMD not providing samples is a one off from one commenter - not much to base your point from.
Intel used to be more stable but I would call any business that uses that as a pitch to be outdated and or haven't worked with both current platforms enough to realize that cpu's are one of the least reliability impacting component. Drivers are company specific - you either have ones that work properly or ones that don't and alot of time it can be affected by other components in your machine other drivers and or even os issues - software is funny like that. The complexity of today's drivers don't help but that's a different issue.
AMD as a processor I wouldn't say fail more often - the supporting components of the processor are crappier quality in most cases because large companies are using AMD in the value segment and to help segregate the product lines they have to spread the dollar range a bit more by subbing in components that are lackluster and or cheap. People who experience actual CPU failures are few considering the complexity of the component in question and the amount produced and in use.
I have not bothered to check but from what I understand the requirements on units moved for some of the intel channel stuff is not hard to meet - I do know that at least in Canada only product purchased through certain distributers actually count towards your total.
Intel has great products - but so does AMD - availability through our supply chain of distributors is a disappointment and may be a distributor issue but even the AMD carrying ones have at best a poor level of product spread and or # available.
Intel does have a great reseller program and out of everything stands out as one item I can think of that isn't out there in such a way that people can say hey - let me check what's new.

Intel and AMD both have and had great product - I feel that on the whole AMD needs to focus more on making available the information and tools to educate people on how to sell their product.
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August 4, 2009 7:59:46 AM

jonbachWhat's interesting is that some other system builders and repair shop owners are commenting as well, but they tend to favor Intel, citing reliability and a better reseller program.


I have no idea about reseller programs, as I work in the IT department of a large school (~500 employees, many more students), but on reliability I have experience.
Schools have limited budgets, so we're inclined to take what's cheapest right? well yeah, we do. But we don't go amd anymore. Athlon has often been praised to be a kickass chip series compared to intels p3 and p4 offerings. And for the most part that's true. But reliability is important for a company that keeps pc's running for 5+ years. I don't know how many computers I've looked at during my career (10 years anniversary at this place a few days ago), but I know that I've only once had to replace a broken intel chip - and that was because some idiot had stolen the heatsink. On the other hand, I've had to replace a lot of motherboards for amd systems as the capaciators seemed to fail after a few years (heat issue with the amd heatsinks not cooling the surrounding parts properly). In one room with 25 computers I had 7 different motherboards after a 6 year period of running autocad. In comparison I've just scrapped a buckload of hp dx2000 systems (s478 celerons) that just kept working ; only had 1 of those systems fail (apart from broken hds and abused cd-combo drives), and that was due to an electrician feeding the ihc controller, and subsequently the usb port 230v

Also - how many athlon chips have people fried over the years? The socket a retention system was rubbish and people remember that sort of thing.

We just bought a bit over 400 hp's with e5200 cpu's before the summer hollidays, and I'm expecting less than 5 of those systems to have had a fatal breakdown before they're replaced in 5 years time. Simply because I can't recall an intel cpu or a motherboard with intel chipset to have ever failed on me.
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