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Intel: AMD is Still a "Serious Competitor" ... on Price

By - Source: Nordic Hardware | B 52 comments

In a third interview with Nordic Hardware, Pat Bliemer, the Managing Director of Intel Northern Europe, discusses AMD's Llano, Integrated Graphics and how it can compete in the market.

Nordic Hardware asked Mr. Bliemer if AMD gaining in any segment thanks to the performance of Llano, which has been very successful for AMD. In his comments, Mr. Bliemer acknowledges (in a roundabout way) that AMD has the lead in the Llano & Brazos market segment. Intel still sees AMD as a serious competitor, but more in the price-to-performance arena versus pure performance power. This is interesting giving that AMD plans to shift its focus away from competing with long-time processor rival Intel starting in 2012.

"AMD is and will always be a serious competitor of ours. I do think that based on where we started this discussion, particularly on the manufacturing side and the lead that we have with architecture and manufacturing that it has been alot [sic] harder to them to compete effectively against us. So therefor [sic] most of it is price driven, so I would say if there's an area - we have to always continue to make sure we will remain competitive in the low end of notebooks right now, which is largely fueled by their Llano and Brazos products that actually go into that segment. So it's a pricing game but I think that from a performance and experience point of view it is not much for them right now to really pleased about I think. But they will always stay competitive."- Pat Bliemer, the Managing Director of Intel Northern Europe

Mr. Bliemer discussed the future of integrated graphics and how it can compete in today's market with discrete graphics solutions. Being a PC enthusiast and gamer, I find it hard to believe that integrated graphics solution has any value for the end-user. It is not until I take a step back and realize that I am not the majority but a very low minority in the grand theme of needs / usage. This is the battle Intel and AMD alike have to battle on how to convince consumers that integrated solutions are sufficient. With AMD's Llano and the changes coming to the integrated graphics on Ivy Bridge (HD 4000), we are seeing how the integrated graphics solution is capable of playing HD content, games or accelerating applications better than ever before.       

The graphics of the future will be sufficient for most - Source: AnandtechThe graphics of the future will be sufficient for most - Source: Anandtech

"The future goal is certainly not that we have a vision or so that in a few years time there’s not going to be any external graphics solutions available any longer. We do not think that 100 percent of the market is going to go integrated. We do think that more people will realize that they, what actually they have in their default is good enough to run 99,98 percent of the things that they do. If you talk about mainstream gaming you can elegantly do it already based on GT2 [Intel HD 3000] solutions that we have. If you want to go do something like some of the real serious games that these guys are playing here behind us [at Dreamhack], then you have the need for external graphics." - Pat Bliemer, the Managing Director of Intel Northern Europe

  

The hard part is to convince consumers that integrated solutions are sufficientThe hard part is to convince consumers that integrated solutions are sufficient

  

Read more on the interview at Nordic Hardware.

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Top Comments
  • 36 Hide
    rawful , December 6, 2011 7:56 PM
    Somehow I feel like Intel and AMD both know what they are doing better than anyone leaving comments about them.
  • 28 Hide
    rozz , December 6, 2011 7:15 PM
    oh.. he's just saying that so the government doesnt step in to stop AMD from leaving the market and making intel a monopoly..
  • 18 Hide
    waethorn , December 6, 2011 8:17 PM
    It made me laugh when he mentioned "Intel HD graphics" and "gaming" in the same sentence.

    Any time Intel talks about their chips being "good enough for 99.99% of what average people do", I cringe. Their chips are a major compromise over what you get with a decent GPU, and AMD is basically throwing that functionality in for free when you buy a low-mid range APU, meaning that you get more for your money. Programs like IE9, Flash, Office 2010, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Media Foundation with H.264, etc., all use GPU acceleration, and those programs cover "99.99%" of what people like to use their computer for, not to mention that Windows Aero doesn't suffer any with the extra GPU cores. And Intel tries to compare their lackluster DX10 parts to AMD's APU gfx cores.... Intel doesn't get graphics, and I wouldn't like to see a tablet with an Intel processor in it, considering that most people use tablets for media consumption. This is probably why AMD is working with ARM to get ARM cores combined with their Radeon GPU cores into a new APU. The next real heterogenous computing platform is going to be provided by AMD. As of right now, AMD's new offerings of RAM is an awesome option because they're creating as close as is possible to a single-vendor solution for validated systems. I think of it more like a console-ification of PC building. What I'd like to see next from AMD is to create some kind of PC certification system with Microsoft. If a system builder builds a system with certain "class-A" components with AMD branding (including the new RAM), it should also pass WHQL certification for logo testing with Windows. It would need to have pre-certified drivers, but AMD should include the component cross-compatibility validation so that WHQL tests pass automatically.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    rozz , December 6, 2011 7:15 PM
    oh.. he's just saying that so the government doesnt step in to stop AMD from leaving the market and making intel a monopoly..
  • 11 Hide
    exban224 , December 6, 2011 7:23 PM
    rozzoh.. he's just saying that so the government doesnt step in to stop AMD from leaving the market and making intel a monopoly..

    i do agree.
    if amd can claim that intel are making a monopoly of the market they have themselves to blame for bull-dozer.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , December 6, 2011 7:42 PM
    Why can't they just do a enthusiast version of i7 and use that wasted graphic space on 1 or 2 extra cores? That would also help to differentiate the increasingly blurry lines between i5 and i7. Or better yet remove them and lower the price of the cpu.

    I'm pretty sure they would've been doing that if AMD had been more competitive. Now it just feel like intel is too comfortable and decided not to push cpu performance as much as they can. Instead they decided to work on screwing AMD on low end graphic card sales and squeeze the last breath of air out of them.

    Karma will get them though. ARM's SoCs is catching up real fast. And Intel's SoC approach will only weaken its position against it as it loses its performance edge partly thanks to its lost focus on pure CPU performance.
  • 15 Hide
    SpadeM , December 6, 2011 7:52 PM
    Bulldozer as it is now reminds me of the first Athlon 64 (for younger readers check this platform preview http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64_8.html). The Athlong 64 lost in benchmarks to intel and even the previous Athlon XP (kind of like Bulldozer is doing now) and it also had "new and useless consumer tech" like the x86-64 instruction set (or bulldozer modules now). But we all know how things turned out a year later. All I'm sayn is that ppl should give AMD the benefit of the doubt, a thing that intel through mr. Pat Bliemer is doing.

    PS: I do understand bragging rights but as a side note, I think it's a bad decision to increase performance withing a CPU and leave other sectors behind. I don't want Intel to make a hexa core sandy bridge or ivy bridge cpu that is 5 times faster then the 2600K at the same price, if they're still selling me a platform that has no nativ usb 3, full sas/sata 6, pci 3 or newer ddr+ssd combo tech thing, ready to take advantage of that power. I'm all for progress, but on all playing fields.
  • 36 Hide
    rawful , December 6, 2011 7:56 PM
    Somehow I feel like Intel and AMD both know what they are doing better than anyone leaving comments about them.
  • 5 Hide
    megasamsung , December 6, 2011 8:02 PM
    I would like to see APUs take advantage of "Stream".
  • 1 Hide
    DavidC1 , December 6, 2011 8:03 PM
    SpadeMBulldozer as it is now reminds me of the first Athlon 64 (for younger readers check this platform preview http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64_8.html). The Athlong 64 lost in benchmarks to intel and even the previous Athlon XP (kind of like Bulldozer is doing now) and it also had "new and useless consumer tech" like the x86-64 instruction set (or bulldozer modules now). But we all know how things turned out a year later. All I'm sayn is that ppl should give AMD the benefit of the doubt, a thing that intel through mr. Pat Bliemer is doing.



    WTF are you blabbering about? Athlon 64 on the real part kicked ass: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-3200_7.html#sect0

    Athlon 64 before launch: low performance
    Athlon 64 on a real launch: high performance

    Bulldozer hype before launch: game changing performance
    Bulldozer performance after launch: has to go all out just to outperform their own CPU

    Quote:
    Why can't they just do a enthusiast version of i7 and use that wasted graphic space on 1 or 2 extra cores? That would also help to differentiate the increasingly blurry lines between i5 and i7. Or better yet remove them and lower the price of the cpu.


    Anonymous, there's no point in doing that. The 70-80% of the people are more than subsidizing the minute extra cost graphics might add. More because Intel is a production powerhouse.

    About ARM: What you said about integrated graphics is counter to what you said about Intel's SoC approach.

    I thought ARM was all about performance too. Look at their claims with A15 and Nvidia with their 8+ core claims coming in the future. When they scale up to try to compete in performance, they will lose all the power efficiency advantage. Just look at how other RISC vendors go against Intel.
  • 7 Hide
    jdwii , December 6, 2011 8:06 PM
    Quote:
    If you talk about mainstream gaming you can elegantly do it already based on GT2 [Intel HD 3000] solutions that we have.


    LOL

    HA HA Intel is so funny, Can they even play 24fps videos now? Ha i built a Intel machine thinking their 3000HD graphics where enough for sims 3 and small games like that but it skipped so badly. I can't even watch a blu-ray movie on it without dropped fps. I wonder how good the 4000HD graphics will be? Well the 4000HD graphics only be on more expensive cpu's for 150+$ or will they make them for their lower-end cpu's as well? Most people who have I5 or better probably have a video card through nvidia or Amd. As i always say i want my graphics card to be even with my CPU in performance. I don' t want a crappy GPU with a I7 and i don't want a 6990 with a Dual-core Athlon.

    People use graphics more and more they are probably getting used more then CPU's now a days. For things like GPU acceleration and such.
  • -3 Hide
    jdwii , December 6, 2011 8:10 PM
    Quote:
    I thought ARM was all about performance too. Look at their claims with A15 and Nvidia with their 8+ core claims coming in the future. When they scale up to try to compete in performance, they will lose all the power efficiency advantage. Just look at how other RISC vendors go against Intel.


    Arm will never make it on the desktop and laptop market if no programs even work for it that's made today on windows. Just think how pissed people will be to see all their games or old programs will not work. Not to mention a Arm core is like a Atom. Slow. Who needs a 8 core Atom(Arm). Look at the 8 core BD that even sucks just think about a 8 core arm.
  • 18 Hide
    waethorn , December 6, 2011 8:17 PM
    It made me laugh when he mentioned "Intel HD graphics" and "gaming" in the same sentence.

    Any time Intel talks about their chips being "good enough for 99.99% of what average people do", I cringe. Their chips are a major compromise over what you get with a decent GPU, and AMD is basically throwing that functionality in for free when you buy a low-mid range APU, meaning that you get more for your money. Programs like IE9, Flash, Office 2010, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Media Foundation with H.264, etc., all use GPU acceleration, and those programs cover "99.99%" of what people like to use their computer for, not to mention that Windows Aero doesn't suffer any with the extra GPU cores. And Intel tries to compare their lackluster DX10 parts to AMD's APU gfx cores.... Intel doesn't get graphics, and I wouldn't like to see a tablet with an Intel processor in it, considering that most people use tablets for media consumption. This is probably why AMD is working with ARM to get ARM cores combined with their Radeon GPU cores into a new APU. The next real heterogenous computing platform is going to be provided by AMD. As of right now, AMD's new offerings of RAM is an awesome option because they're creating as close as is possible to a single-vendor solution for validated systems. I think of it more like a console-ification of PC building. What I'd like to see next from AMD is to create some kind of PC certification system with Microsoft. If a system builder builds a system with certain "class-A" components with AMD branding (including the new RAM), it should also pass WHQL certification for logo testing with Windows. It would need to have pre-certified drivers, but AMD should include the component cross-compatibility validation so that WHQL tests pass automatically.
  • 15 Hide
    waethorn , December 6, 2011 8:23 PM
    megasamsungI would like to see APUs take advantage of "Stream".


    They already do. An E-350 supports GPU compute in AMD's "AVIVO" Video Converter, and is already supported with GPU acceleration through IE9, Office 2010, Flash, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, various Corel software, various Cyberlink software, vReveal, etc. Llano's do too, only much faster.
  • 14 Hide
    waethorn , December 6, 2011 8:26 PM
    SpadeMBulldozer as it is now reminds me of the first Athlon 64 (for younger readers check this platform preview http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/c [...] 4_8.html). The Athlong 64 lost in benchmarks to intel and even the previous Athlon XP (kind of like Bulldozer is doing now) and it also had "new and useless consumer tech" like the x86-64 instruction set (or bulldozer modules now). But we all know how things turned out a year later. All I'm sayn is that ppl should give AMD the benefit of the doubt, a thing that intel through mr. Pat Bliemer is doing.PS: I do understand bragging rights but as a side note, I think it's a bad decision to increase performance withing a CPU and leave other sectors behind. I don't want Intel to make a hexa core sandy bridge or ivy bridge cpu that is 5 times faster then the 2600K at the same price, if they're still selling me a platform that has no nativ usb 3, full sas/sata 6, pci 3 or newer ddr+ssd combo tech thing, ready to take advantage of that power. I'm all for progress, but on all playing fields.


    Windows 8 already shows that Bulldozer is no slouch. The operating system is much more heavily threaded than Windows 7.
  • -4 Hide
    nikorr , December 6, 2011 8:38 PM
    Intel has lots of time on their hands....
  • 3 Hide
    waethorn , December 6, 2011 8:42 PM
    DavidC1WTF are you blabbering about? Athlon 64 on the real part kicked ass: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/c [...] html#sect0Athlon 64 before launch: low performanceAthlon 64 on a real launch: high performanceBulldozer hype before launch: game changing performanceBulldozer performance after launch: has to go all out just to outperform their own CPUAnonymous, there's no point in doing that. The 70-80% of the people are more than subsidizing the minute extra cost graphics might add. More because Intel is a production powerhouse.About ARM: What you said about integrated graphics is counter to what you said about Intel's SoC approach. I thought ARM was all about performance too. Look at their claims with A15 and Nvidia with their 8+ core claims coming in the future. When they scale up to try to compete in performance, they will lose all the power efficiency advantage. Just look at how other RISC vendors go against Intel.


    Intel already touts power efficiency. The problem is that they tout it like it's the last word in processing. If they actually put decent GPU cores into their CPU what happens with their power efficiency then? Just to note, Intel put's far more transisters into their x86 cores than they do into their GPU cores. It works out to only about 20% for graphics. AMD is using about equal percentages for both. Guess which part chews through the most battery life in your laptop though? I'll give you hint: which one would require a 400W or higher PSU in a desktop?

    ARM is trying the same thing: focus on power-efficiency above all else, let performance scale according to new fab limitations. You have to remember that GPU power is what is driving a lot of consumer apps now: games, and especially multimedia for content consumption. Intel's graphics suck. No argument there. The thing with ARM is that their graphics are designed for OpenGL ES 2.0, a very low-end subset of OpenGL. In relateable terms, about equivalent to DirectX7. Intel's graphics, while shitty, are now at DX10 levels. AMD's are DX11, and far better than Intel. Let's just say that Windows 8 sells on a good chunk of computers next year and average consumers snatch it up like they did iPad's (you're talking PC's though, so we're talking a whole lot more), which processor is going to be the best for their multimedia content consumption that Metro apps will bring to the table? ARM with their incompatibilities with legacy software, Intel with their overpriced chips that offer half-decent multimedia (cuz Atom's suck balls), or low to mid range AMD APU's?
  • 12 Hide
    sykozis , December 6, 2011 9:17 PM
    rozzoh.. he's just saying that so the government doesnt step in to stop AMD from leaving the market and making intel a monopoly..

    Except that AMD is NOT leaving the desktop processor market. AMD is simply shifting their primary focus from desktop to mobile. At no point has AMD ever stated that they are leaving the desktop market. AMD simply said that they are no longer trying to compete against Intel in any market and are shifting their primary focus to the mobile market....which coincidentally happens to be the market they're gaining share in.....

    rawfulSomehow I feel like Intel and AMD both know what they are doing better than anyone leaving comments about them.

    Somehow, I feel you're exactly right.
  • 15 Hide
    Tmanishere , December 6, 2011 9:39 PM
    rawfulSomehow I feel like Intel and AMD both know what they are doing better than anyone leaving comments about them.


    Best comment ever. I'm curious to see what the future will bring.
  • 17 Hide
    Reynod , December 6, 2011 10:03 PM
    I bought a little E-450 powered notebook for one of the son's for university.

    It is a great little machine and he also does quite a bit of gaming on it.

    Surprisingly good graphics and quite low power.

    AMD in that market segment seems to do well and it is growing.


  • -9 Hide
    someonewhoknowsalittle , December 6, 2011 10:04 PM
    AMD is pressing ahead with the strategy they pursued with BD. PD will only be 5-10% slower than BD on heavily threaded tasks. AMD techs say that Windows 9 will take more advantage of the capabilities of the heavily threaded PD than Windows 8. Plus, wait till you see BS which follows PD!
  • -4 Hide
    technoholic , December 6, 2011 10:57 PM
    LOLOLOL Didn't an Intel spokesman tell that they don't see AMD as a competitor? I'm sure i read this somewhere lately
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