AMD will not chase Intel making "needlessly powerful" CPUs

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | May 19, 2012 - 04:52 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, trinity, cloud computing, cloud, amd

Bloomberg Businessweek reports AMD CEO Rory Read claims that his company will produce chips which are suited for consumer needs and not to crunch larger and larger bundles of information. They also like eating Intel’s bacon -- the question: is it from a pig or a turkey?

Read believes there is “enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today”.

I disagree.

The argument revolves around the shift to the cloud, as usual. It is very alluring to shift focus from the instrument to the data itself. More enticing: discussing how the instruments change to suit that need; this is especially true if you develop instruments and yearn to shift anyway.

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Don’t question the bacon…

AMD has been trusting that their processors will be good enough and their products will differentiate in other ways such as with graphics capabilities which they claim will be more important for cloud services. AMD hopes that their newer laptops will steal some bacon from Intel and their ultrabook initiative.

The main problem with the cloud is that it is mostly something that people feel that they want rather than actually do. They believe they want their content controlled by a company for them until it becomes inaccessible temporarily or permanently. They believe they want their information accessible in online services but then freak out about the privacy implications of it.

The public appeal of the cloud is that it lets you feel as though you can focus on the content rather than the medium. The problem is that you do not have fewer distractions from your content -- just different ones -- and they rear their head once or twice in isolation of each other. You experience a privacy concern here and an incompatibility or licensing issue there. For some problems and for some people it makes more sense to control your own data. It will continue to be important to serve that market.

And if crunching ends up being necessary for the future it looks like Intel will be a little lonely at the top.

May 19, 2012 | 05:31 PM - Posted by cyke1 (not verified)

"needlessly powerful" in normal persons terms, "we can't complete with power of an intel cpu so we won't even try

May 19, 2012 | 05:55 PM - Posted by atrentphillips (not verified)

The problem here is that people like me do _not_ want AMD nor Intel to tell us what is "needlessly powerful", we prefer to decide that _ourselves_.

May 19, 2012 | 06:30 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

I love AMD.

But no one's asking for their opinion on what amount of CPU power a consumer needs, and this quote will go down on the same list "640K should be enough for anybody" is on.

May 19, 2012 | 07:35 PM - Posted by Gamp

I am starting to think they are doing this on purpose so that they can go to the FTC some time later and get more money from Intel. Intel pretty much put up a token fight oo that last suit and just gave AMD 2.0Bs to stop whining. Not really but it would be funny if it turns out to be true.

AMD has the engineers and the minds, they just need someone that's not a complete moron to get the groups working together. And in my opinion spinning off their foundries was a stupid idea, that's is just my opinion though.

May 19, 2012 | 07:51 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Considering how many consumers are flocking like turkeys to tablets and phones, AMD's probably running away from the hard fight with Intel because they see easy money elsewhere, specifically consoles.

May 20, 2012 | 01:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

To be honest, my Athlon II x4 build from two years ago will be the last AMD-based computer I buy.
"AMD CEO Rory Read claims that his company will produce chips which are suited for consumer needs and not to crunch larger and larger bundles of information."

What do they think they're doing? To me it seems like they refuse to design an architechure that isn't convoluted and will keep throwing revisions at their current mess that is bulldozer/trinity. The hilarious thing is that Intel's integrated graphics (HD4000) are catching up to AMD's, making the purchase of a trinity netbook more than mildly pointless. Not everyone wants a sub-par CPU tied in with mid-level GPU's. If AMD isn't going to innovate, then they don't deserve my money. If they want to go after the thoughtless consumers rather than spend time developing an architechure that isn't a constant hack-job so they can ACTUALLY COMPETE.

Farewell AMD, hopefully someone can save your company before your ATI acuisition doesn't keep your terrible choices afloat

May 30, 2012 | 06:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I hope you are just whining in the hope that there is a compeditor to Intel so you don't get raped at the cash register. Amd is doing nothing but innovating.

There are reasons AMD has fallen behind and it has nothing to do with design. Bulldozer is the future if you want to see faster and faster CPUs. They have some tweaks to make to a "NEW" product to get the performance on par with Intel. Bulldozer actually needs the software community to catch up to and to make use of the design (Windows 8 for starters). As the number 2 retailer of desktop CPU's it is going to be hard to get software designers to take advantage of AMD's core strength.

Ultimately it will be marketing and business people trying to squeeze a every dollar out of this train wreck that will bring AMD company down. At first I wanted to bash your narrow sighted view of this situation and the current innovation as well as big risks that is Bulldozer but the point of your post is exactly right. The company needs to innovate or they won't see my money in the future as well. I just hope we all don't get held hostage by Intel. I see powerful desktop ARM processors in near the future.

Bulldozer is a fish out of water (more like a beached shark)

May 20, 2012 | 03:03 AM - Posted by ET3D (not verified)

While I'm sure the statement comes from AMD's inability to compete, but that doesn't make it wrong. The enthusiast market is a small market. If ignoring this market helps bring well balanced mid range and low end products, then that's the way to go.

Unfortunately it looks to me like Intel is getting good enough on the graphics front that AMD will have a real problem competing at any level. If a Core i3 Haswell can reach AMD performance level in all games and surpass it in some, while offering better CPU power, then AMD will have little to offer.

May 20, 2012 | 08:43 AM - Posted by atrentphillips (not verified)

Striking too is the fact that this was -not- the tone they used while launching the new FX series CPUs, but that this is their tone after they have been benchmarked.

AMD FX-8150 ! Because anything more powerful is needless !

May 25, 2012 | 09:27 PM - Posted by Bflo Joe (not verified)

Benchmarked? More like "benched." :-) But seriously now...I see what you mean though. I was all set to buy an FX-8150 for my next system, until I started reading the tests vs Sandy Bridge Core. The FX was better at certain workloads, sometimes dramatically better. But those were only just a few. More often than not, an i5 did almost as well, or in some cases, better. That, and power draw was significantly more. And now with Ivy being released, and power consumption even more miserly, AMD may or may not have the ooomph with Piledriver to take on Core.

May 20, 2012 | 11:08 AM - Posted by dreamer77dd

What if we start using the GPU as the main source for all the calculations Like a all in one chip.
We do math and everything else in a GPU
It not a complete thought... but CPU seem to be changing how everything is coded.

You can not win against Intel so try to do what they are not capable of doing, and go against their weakness.

People want the Cloud to be like google doc`s and youtube. just always there.
Well the idea of Amazon silk and NetFlix I think for latency issues you need SSD and GPU`s to crunch those numbers. i just hope internet throttling and the speeds uploading and downloading increase a lot more and prices drop etc.

May 20, 2012 | 12:22 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Abandoning the segments of the market that they have been competing in does seem to be a poor, shortsighted tactic. Soon this tactic may find them without a segment of the market to compete in at all. AMD may be marginalizing themselves regardless of how the market may shift in the future.

I’d ask AMD following questions:

Who came in second and third after Michael Phelps at the Olympics in Beijing ?

Follow up question,…..who cares who comes in second and third even if its by a fraction of a second?

Suck it up already and get back in the game.

May 20, 2012 | 12:33 PM - Posted by andrei (not verified)

First I have a question for the author of this article: this article is about cloud computing and the problems that it raises ( "The main problem with the cloud...") ? because half of the article is about cloud computing and "The public appeal of the cloud..." => you missed the title then. But I think you did this on purpose to put AMD decisions in a bad light; "AMD" is too stupid to make the right decisions ( obviously intel is involved here), correct me if I am wrong.

Second in the source you cited its talking about laptops processing power not desktops or servers ( the information is too vague about them). What I understand from your source is that AMD's main focus will be to "tailor chips more directly to specific customer needs" like now for ultrathins => less power consumption and better user experience... and then to bring high end chips, they never said they wouldn't just priorities are different now. And hey we are the customers and if AMD will see that the high end segment is more profitable ( will have more customers) then i guess that they will be forced to bring high end chips, otherwise go and buy intel chips if you need more power.

And now everyone is talking that ivy hd 4000 performance is getting closer to trinity gpu but if you look here at LegitReviews will see that hd 4000 is just under or ( in some games) above Llano gpu, because you must don't forget that i7 3720qm is a quad core, 8 threads, 45W chip. Trinity gpu is the king here and its doing all this consuming less power than intel and llano. So I don't think that hd 4000 can compete with trinity gpu at same power consumtion ( not at same TDP).

If someone had looked at intel slides for haswell laptops would have seen that there are 2 interesting words : notebook reinvented. And I think they refer to power consumption and better gpu. If they manage to achieve this than they will be in the position where is AMD today, bringing a less powerful cpu + a better gpu. If you look at trinity die you will see that half of the chip is taken by gpu and if you want less power consumption you have to cut somewhere. Of course when intel will do that it will be called "notebook reinvented" but now when AMD achieved this it is nothing worth attention.
For this last opinion we will have to wait till 2013 to see if I am right or not, till then its just my opinion.

But for now I would like to see an intel chip that uses the same amount of power like trinity and manages to beat it in gpu and I mean not TDP but power consumed from the wall.

And if it is true that AMD would no more compete in high end segment ( for this will have to wait and see) appears an interesting situation, till now nobody cared about their cpus ( they are worthless/not good as intel's...) and now when they are trying to move to an segment where they are good and can compete to earn some money ( they lost a lot in the last years) suddenly its a wrong decision...

We are the consumers and we can decide what to buy and what not. If you don't like AMD products ( they are worthless/weaker/not good...) then nobody forces you to by it ! But I doubt that at least for this generation intel can be better in price/performance in mainstream notebook and ultrabooks/ultrathins.

May 20, 2012 | 02:55 PM - Posted by bjv2370

intel's ivy bridge cpu's are more expensive compare to Amd. Personally i dont mind CPU performance since i just want a performance that can do msimple multi tasking and AMD trinity is a good apu if im going to buy a notebook compare to ivy bridge since it is more expensive while amd gpu is more good but i wish that the gpu will be more powerful.

May 20, 2012 | 05:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Both companies offerings right now are a joke that seems to play around with what people want without offering it. For Intel you can't decode their CPUs performance and features without a chart and their most compelling price performance options are found in Xeons like the E3-1230 V2. For AMD you've got a couple chips that eat too much juice for their performance profile and their Fusion APUs which make sense for one purpose - laptops that can play games. So basically all nonsense.

May 20, 2012 | 07:55 PM - Posted by wujj123456

If you can't make a decent desktop high-end processor, it might not be easy to compete with Intel in server space. Intel has been scaling down their server chip for desktop part for years. So even if AMD achieves what it intends, rival Intel with APU on consumer devices, the cloud will be "powered by Intel". Then, you say the future is cloud, which kinda shoots yourself in foot.

I don't think AMD is done with CPU. They have to push harder and catch up.

May 20, 2012 | 10:21 PM - Posted by Kevin (not verified)

If AMD fails to keep up, expect the next generation of INTEL CPUs to double in price.

May 21, 2012 | 06:11 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A stupid statement taken out of context.

A classic case of "Foot In Mouth" disease.

May 21, 2012 | 07:05 AM - Posted by Chefbenito (not verified)

AMD is a dead. Clearly just life support now. Things are so bad that now they make RAM. AMD has lost on all fronts to either Nvidia or Intel. It is really only their x86 and x64 licenses that keep them alive. Of course those are licensed by Intel. I really like competition but may the best company win and clearly AMD has failed and failed and failed and...

So glad I do not rely on any AMD part in my build. DO not trust. Buyer Beware. This is the company who's new chips are slower and hotter than their old chips time and again. If their products were priced according to performance they would go out of business.

May 21, 2012 | 08:21 AM - Posted by andrei (not verified)

"This is the company who's new chips are slower and hotter than their old chips time and again." did you saw benchmarcs between llano and trinity? intel troll...

May 26, 2012 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Bflo Joe (not verified)

Well....sort of. To try to catch Sandy Bridge, the FX-8150 gets wicked fast clocking, therefore gets hotter. But the buzz is all now that Ivy Bridge runs hotter than Sandy Bridge, so in that aspect, Intel is becoming subject to heating. But this I hear is due to using thermal paste to couple the die to the heat spreader, which I guess they used to use solder.

May 21, 2012 | 07:51 AM - Posted by Oskars (not verified)

My next Laptop will definetly be a trinity apu powered machine, but after such a coment, that cpu power is ok already i wont upgrade my Intel core 2 duo to a Amd desctop.
I render 3D visualaisations so a half baked cpu isn't an option for me.
I'm sure after a while i will render my images on a Gpu, porbably AMD one, but it will take quite a few years when it (program support) gets there...

May 21, 2012 | 03:37 PM - Posted by ddg4005

First I have to say Scott's summary of the cloud is dead-on and echoes what I have been saying about it also. As far as AMD goes I think this is a case of a company that can no longer compete with some their products so they're taking a "good enough" stance. The fact is that if AMD had competitive processors then that statement wouldn't have been made.

About the only thing keeping the company together are its GPUs. I still think at some point in the near future AMD will go belly up and Intel will get its graphics division while Nvidia grabs its CPU division.

May 21, 2012 | 05:29 PM - Posted by Mr King

I could see them cutting desktop CPU support, and focusing on mobile chips like we see in current notebooks. I also think they'll strengthen their presents in the low power sector for consoles, tablets, and smartphone devices. I don't think they will go under. If VIA can carve out a market for itself AMD will be able to as well.

I can't imagine nVidia making CPUs in direct competition with Intel in any market.

May 21, 2012 | 11:16 PM - Posted by Chefbenito (not verified)

" did you saw benchmarcs between llano and trinity? intel troll..."

You have to be kidding me.

Did you see Bulldozer vs Thuban?

Their Flagship long awaited "killer cpu" isn't as good as the old 6core 1100T, it uses more power and needs a beef OC just to compete in even SuperPI.

LULZ @ Llano vs Trinity.

Don't give a hoot about bargain chips sorry. Clearly AMD is having a huge problem improving upon previous generations but time and time again intel improves. Am I wrong? They keep getting more efficient, colder and faster. Something I am missing here? Why is AMD making ram and diversifying so much if they are successful in their current scheme? Hint: They aren't.

May 22, 2012 | 04:25 PM - Posted by andrei (not verified)

from where do you get your informations? just read a little. Trinity uses pilldriver core for cpu which is bulldozer enhanced/corrected/tuned. Don't mix the informations. Just read some reviews and don't speak if you have things confused.

May 23, 2012 | 11:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD still makes good stuff for a decent price, you have to fork over 1,000 just for a really fast intel chip.

no thanks.

why is it that just cause you don't make the fastest chip on the market your company is suddenly doomed. c'mon guys get a grip.

May 23, 2012 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Steve (not verified)

As a performance PC enthusiast, I don't like the direction that AMD is heading to by only covering mobile users, servers, game consoles, and low-end desktops. During the days of the K7 (Athlon, Duron, Athlon XP) and K8 (Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Opteron, Sempron), we had stiff competition between Intel and AMD as both companies traded blows year after year during that time period. The competition between Intel and AMD kept things exciting for enthusiasts, provided customers more choices, and finally kept prices reasonable. AMD never had the money or resources like Intel during their 40+ time in the industry, but during the K6, K7, and K8 years, AMD made the best with what little they had and delivered with amazing products that were high quality and delivered lots for the money.

Since Intel released the Core2 way back in mid-2006, it has been a one-sided race with Intel leaving AMD in the dust year after year. Everything has gone all downhill for AMD since they bought out ATI in 2006, overall a HUGE MISTAKE! And since then, AMD has made bad decision after bad decision, and no different to your typical politician, has broken plenty of promises.

I have lost just about all respect for AMD in the last few years as instead of fixing the problems that are troubling the company, they are making them worse. AMD, that once energetic, innovative Thoroughbred champion during the K7 and K8 years is now an ailing horse that needs to be shot out of its misery. I hope a company that has strong resources, lots of money, strong leadership, solid marketing skills BUYS out AMD and continues producing CPU's, APU's, and GPU's to provide competition to Intel and NVIDIA on all levels. My $0.02

May 18, 2013 | 01:51 PM - Posted by Neo (not verified)

In 2020 I will still have my Phenom II BE in my box.

Fuck Intel.

And yes I do hope another company buys or even bails AMD out to preserve and stabilize a great company that presented the world with technology.

AMD all the bloody way!

August 20, 2013 | 06:12 PM - Posted by Berrel L. Ford (not verified)

"Needlessly powerful"... if we lived by that logic we all would still be rockin the Atari.

To push for more and better is what makes us the present... to learn from our mistakes is to look to our past, and to have a gaming system that I can directly plug into my head is our future.

So in short... keep striving for better you nerds! When I'm in a retirement home I want a system I love so I'll request to be buried next to it instead of my wife.

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