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Hardware Is 2016 a make or break year for AMD?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Combatus, 23 Jul 2015.

  1. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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  2. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    IMO another big part of it is that AMD just doesn't get themselves to market at the right time. The 7970 came at the right moment and seems to have done very well, but they didn't build on that timeframe. Since then, Nvidia has been pushing their cards out just before, or even a few months before in the case of the 780 etc.

    You get a very positive spin on things when you're the first to release a new generation. You get the initial upgrade sales, then people talk about how they're X% faster than the competition etc. In the end it results in greater brand recognition as you're seen as the top dog. The lower end of the market will follow that, even though they're not buying the flagship cards.

    Recently AMD's GPU offerings have been good, but they're merely competitive with Nvidia's options. If they want to ensure more success, surely it needs to be the other way around? For instance, had the Fury X been released just before the Titan X, it would have been a resounding success. As it stands, Nvidia just planned ahead and released a knocked down Titan in the form of the 980ti, but with third party cooler and PCB support. This just pulled the rug out from under AMD, here's to hoping that the Fury Nano will be able to provide a welcome break in the mid/high end like the 970 has for Nvidia. It's exactly what happened last gen with the OG Titan/Black and the 780/Ti.

    CPU wise, things could be interesting with the upcoming APIs like DX12 and Vulcan. If they successfully remove the CPU overhead considerably, then it plays into AMD rather well. IMO it looks as if AMD have been playing some kind of long game with their CPU branch. They know they can't compete with Intel on the R&D front, but why not just remove the need to buy an Intel CPU at all? Mantle, to me, seemed like an attempt to help shift the industry in a way that means CPUs become even less important for gaming than they are currently.
     
  3. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    At this point in time anything AMD did, in terms of restructuring would be very short term (imho).

    To cut a long story short AMDs current problems (imho) are caused not by structural problems (who they bought, what factories they sold off), it's caused by having inferior microarchitectural designs in both their GPU&APU, for all intents and purposes AMD have been making small changes to the Bulldozer (microarchitecture) since its release in 2011, and it was probably in the design stage some 5-6 years prior to its release, around the time they bought ATI.

    And without having the time to research the microarchitectural designs of their GPUs, I'm guessing the same thing is true on this side of the business, that the current microarchitectural designs of their GPUs is less than optimal, and have seen only small changes to since its inception.
     
  4. Yadda

    Yadda Well-Known Member

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    Blimey, is it really 10 years since AMD bought ATi?

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. (Groucho Marx.)
     
  5. megamale

    megamale Member

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    If we lose AMD the pc market, at least the x386 one, is done. Intel will just have an untouchable monopoly. Then watch 5% increases in performance every two years and 4 cores for the next 20. With the E versions priced at 2-3K or whatever.

    I always suspected that AMD was contracted for PS4 and XBone for the simple reason that Sony and XBox didn't want to deal with a GPU monopoly in a few years.

    I think that what is needed is something more drastic than just "better performance". CPU performance is arguably not a pivotal issue anymore. Something like a new ATX standard more suited for mini-ITX. Or socketed GPUs (Imagine the space saved if you could use the same block for both GPUs and CPU somehow). Or a standard for external portable GPUs.
     
  6. DbD

    DbD Member

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    You're not even mentioned the terrible contract AMD has with global foundries that requires them to buy more chips then they need every year from a foundry that isn't even competitive. If they don't need them they still have to pay 100's of millions to make up the difference. Blame Hector Ruiz for that who setup the deal as CEO of AMD then went to work for GloFo.

    Then there's all the money burned on microservers (write off of SeaMicro)... Thing is you could go on and on about the mess management and the Bod has made but basically it's too late now. Take away the console revenue and the combined amount they make each quarter on cpu's + gpu's is far to small to maintain the R&D investment it takes to compete. They have barely enough cash to continue to operate for more then a few quarters if the current losses continue. They have already sold/leased out pretty well everything they can. They won't be able to negotiate any more debt with share price going the way it is.

    Everyone hopes Zen will be some miracle chip, but you know in the real world it's never going to happen. Intel is just too far ahead, and has too many competitive advantages. It's also a good year or more off release and AMD going by current trends will have run out of money by then (i.e. the amount of cash you require in cashflow or everything grinds to a halt).

    Perhaps they can still survive, but certainly not as the AMD of old.
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2015
  7. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    I really hate it when people bring out the 'Intel will rip us all off if AMD goes' argument as if that somehow makes AMD's situation or their products better.

    So you want us all to buy inferior products now so we 'might' have better products tomorrow rather than buy the best products today and deal with tomorrow's products... tomorrow? Idiots.
     
  8. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I've though the same thing many times myself. I think AMD's CPUs would have turned out better but I'm sure ATI would've followed the same path as nvidia and try to develop their own CPUs. That would leave AMD to have a [probably] inferior CPU to intel and no IGP worth considering (because Geode was just plain bad).

    To my recollection, ATI was always a less-successful company than nvidia. They were also just as anti-competitive; they liked to do their own thing and didn't like sharing. I think today, one of the reasons AMD GPUs are a good choice is because they really push for open standards. If ATI was never bought, both ATI and nvidia would keep making proprietary features, and the customers would get shafted because of that. Every AAA title would have to cater to one brand or the other, so players would constantly find themselves being left out of exclusive features. Today, the only exclusive feature anybody really gives a damn about is physx.

    I also think AMD is one of the primary reasons why Steam was ported to Linux. When ATI was in control, their drivers were basically useless and ATI didn't seem to have any interest in fixing that. At the time, nvidia was just simply "good enough", and they didn't really need to try harder because ATI wasn't a competition and Intel was still using those laughably bad northbridge IGPs. But once AMD bought ATI, things changed for linux, and fast. Today, AMD is arguably the worst choice for linux but thanks to them linux is now a very usable desktop OS.


    As for whether AMD should actually separate their graphics department - no, they shouldn't. One of the reasons ATI kept AMD afloat is because AMD had the leverage of great IGPs. I still don't expect Zen to outperform i7, so if they ditch the graphics dept then they lose their leverage.
     
  9. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    You're missing the point.... first of all, not everyone can afford an intel CPU, or a discrete GPU. Second, there's the concept of "good enough". For the average user, AMD's products are more than good enough. Sure in terms of performance-per-watt, Intel is better, but not enough to really matter.

    Aside from only seeing things in your perspective, not supporting a company because it's negligibly inferior (to the average user, obviously enthusiasts and power-users will want the better product) shows a lot of selfishness. By your argument, everyone should be driving BMWs or Lexuses.
     
  10. kent thomsen

    kent thomsen New Member

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    I always thought, that the reason AMD bought ATI was to stay in business at all. Since C2D the game has been over for AMD on the CPU side. There is no point in having only low-budget goods in your store, when the only competitor has much better offerings at an only slightly higher pricepoint.

    Where I think AMD could go, is the 3. world. We are so used to reading articles about top-end hardware, but in the other 80% of the world, for example Africa, there is no one, that has an even remote chance to buy the kind of stuff, I would never even consider, like Celerons or Atoms. They are happy about Pentium-based PC´s, that are given in aid, and the guy down there with a C2D, is KING. :)

    And there is a market so enormous, that the first to get a foothold there, is in for a very good business opportunity.

    Just my 25 cents.
     
  11. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    No, I haven't missed any points at all... My point is that every article about AMD's failing always ends up with some people somehow throwing mud at Intel rather than keeping on topic.

    As for the argument of 'good enough' what does that mean? People don't want 'good enough' they want the best... it just doesn't mean that they will pay for it. Maki Role made an excellent point in saying that the masses follow the high-end regardless. If everyone followed your 'good enough' principle we would all be buying clothes in Primark and supermarket value ranges for our food.

    The masses on the whole also don't understand APUs... they are far too new and people don't understand the graphical performances of them. Hell, even I, someone who regularly follows tech threads and forums find it difficult to remember which APU is which and how good it's GPU is in relation to the dedicated GPU market.

    I do remember that when I read a lot about them a while ago I formulated an understanding that a worthwhile APU would cost £100+ (A10 7800 = £120) and that it's performance would be not just beaten but smashed by a £140, CPU/GPU configuration (Pentium K G3258 = £50 / 750Ti = £90).

    Now, if you 'can't afford' £20 extra for what would not only be an instantly superior machine (albeit, once overclocked) but also a much easier and cheaper system to upgrade... then you shouldn't be looking to buy a PC in the first place.
     
  12. loftie

    loftie Well-Known Member

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    But why spend the extra £20 if the APU is "good enough"? Most people actually do not want the best. They generally want Intel, because everyone has heard of Intel and what's an AMD, and they want it to do what they want. Also "the best deal".

    The amount of times I had people say I want to spend £X on a laptop when they're actually happy with the performance of a laptop at half that cost.
     
  13. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I find it odd that people say their not expecting much from Zen, to me it seems Zen is going to be the first product to fully realize their acquisition of ATI.

    I'm not saying Bulldozer and its successors haven't benefited from the acquisition of ATI, but looking at the time it takes to go from designing a CPU microarchitecture to having a CPU in the shops, it seems Bulldozer would have incorporated existing ATI GPU microarchitecture with possibly little in the way of optimisation done on how the two separate microarchitecture work together.

    With Zen being a totally new microarchitecture designed from the ground up to work in tandem with its IGP and not, for want of a better word, just bolting together a CPU and GPU, adding to that is Zen has (afaik) been designed by the same guy that designed the original Athlon 64 and Apple's A4/A5, that their also dropping clustered multithreading for simultaneous multithreading (the same as Intel Core series), and that it's going to be built on 14nm fab, all in all I have high hopes for Zen, everything seems to point to it being if not as good, then better than what Intel has to offer.

    Well at least I hope it is, if not I can't see AMD surviving the 5-6 years that it would take to design another new microarchitecture.
     
  14. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    AMD are still paying the price for the ATI / AMD merger with the masses of debt ( $2.5billion estimated ) from taking over ATI.

    Zen will not be a god chip that gets them back in the game.

    They are desperately in need off a buyout but with the way the x86 licence is structured nobody who could buy them out will touch them.

    Selflishness in buying a product? What crazy world do you live in. People follow brands, The brand sells the product before any review. AMD has a very destroyed brand in recent years.

    If you like a pair of trainers from Nike would you decide to go buy some others from another brand just to support the company? I know I would not.

    This is a tech website for people that love technology. Very few people would choose any AMD chip for anything but a budget build. They dont even win a price argument if your willing to go second hand in market places on sites like this.

    Why support a company that abandoned the enthusaist sector ?
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2015
  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    Y'know why? Because Intel fought dirty and won. If AMD and Intel were boxers, Intel hit below the belt and wasn't disqualified. That score kept them in the lead, and when people are reminded of AMD's shortcomings they can't help but point out that it wasn't a fair fight, and by the time anyone said anything it was too late.

    You are WAY too spoiled and used to being in a 1st world country to not know what "good enough" means. Obviously everyone wants the best, but you don't see everyone eating sushi every day. How do you not realize that bringing up Primark supports my point? The reason they still exist is because they're still making money, so obviously there's a demand for their "good enough" products. The vast majority of people go to supermarkets for their food, not local farms. Do you really not see a world outside your lifestyle?

    Irrelevant - the average person doesn't even know what a CPU looks like, let alone its actual purpose. Looking at just intel, the average person doesn't know what the difference is between Atom, Celeron, and Pentium. People go for a name that's popular, and Intel's marketing has often been amazingly good. AMD's, meanwhile, has been consistently awful.

    So by your logic, you're saying that because people couldn't spend an extra £5 for a jacket better than one sold by Primark that they just shouldn't buy one at all, and remain cold. Semantics aside, once you involve overclocking, all of your options change. Some products overclock better than others, so comparing 2 similar products that you intend to overclock WILL result in very different performance, where even the cheaper product can potentially perform better. That's not a good metric for value.
     
  16. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    schmidtbag, this is where you are blinded by your own arguments and you are not willing to see it from anyone else's. It is people like YOU who are saying that people are buying Intel rather than what's good enough. If you only want good enough then for most people an i3 with it's iGPU is good enough.

    As for your personal attack on me... Have a look at my specs just to see how wrong you are. I would like a better/newer machine of course... but my machine is good enough. AMD chips were my first processors from a 1.4 Thunderbird chip to an Athlon 3200. I switched to Intel after C2D had been around a while and I bought second hand. The reason I still have Intel is because I buy second hand and am able to get good stuff for the prices of your good enough. Yes, newer AMD would leave my machine behind, but this will do fine until I can afford otherwise.

    I do things MY way and according to MY choices and MY budget... not because people like you think you should tell me what to do and where to spend my money.
     
  17. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    I'm currently planning an all-AMD mini-ITX gaming box project. I have my name on a short list for one of the first R9 Nanos but there doesn't seem to be any decent AMD mini-ITX boards to plug it into. I noticed that ASUS made an AM3 socket board but it is apparently out of production. Seems silly to use an FM2 board. So the only good, logical match for the Nano GPU is an Intel board? I'm hoping that I'm missing something here. The industry needs AMD. All my Intel connections have turned into assholes because they don't have to pretend anymore.
     
  18. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    No, I'm not. I don't hate intel and I'm not exactly pleased with AMD's performance, so I'm not favoring them. I just think you're treating your own priorities like they're everyone's, which they aren't, nor should be. And yes, an i3 with it's IGP is "good enough", I never said it wasn't. But an A8 is also "good enough". So it inevitably it comes down to supporting the underdog, simply because you won't lose or gain anything significant but the underdog will gain. So how is that a bad thing?

    Your specs don't change anything. You can still desire the best while not having the money to get it, which appears to be the case for you. But to me, it doesn't make sense - how is getting something 2nd hand or outdated considered a higher priority than getting something new of similar value with better performance? That's like buying a used Mercedes - sure, it was top of the line for its time, but a few years later and you'll find some of its features in base model cars from Toyota that weigh less and are more efficient. I feel like you're so focused on the principle of what is/was best that you'd rather go for something slower, unsupported, and less power efficient just simply because of what the product used to represent. If that's what you want, fine. But the only reason we're arguing in the first place is because you're acting like AMD doesn't deserve support. Again - I'm not favoring AMD, I just think that's an unfair perception.

    I'm not telling you to do anything, I'm saying your priorities are skewed. But even if I were telling you what to do, then fine - you can do things your own way, but if you say things like "So you want us all to buy inferior products now so we 'might' have better products tomorrow rather than buy the best products today and deal with tomorrow's products... tomorrow?"
    how is that so different from telling other people to follow your decisions? In other words - don't harshly tell or suggest people to do things based on your opinions and priorities if you don't want to deal with people defending their own reasoning.
     
  19. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog New Member

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    If you say so schmidtbag, as I said, you are blinded to all else other than your own perspective. For example, I am not suggesting that people go out and buy a Q6600 NOW... I merely pointed out that I am running an older machine that is 'good enough'. My point about buying second hand is not to buy inferior products but to buy the better parts for less money so you can have a better CPU/GPU for the same money or even less than you would get or what you are looking to spend on a new AMD system.

    Anyway, it is rather pointless to continue further... if you want to continue so be it... but you have said nothing remotely constructive as far as I am concerned.
     
  20. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I'm blinded? You're the one putting your foot down saying that people should only buy the best. I understand the NEED for the best, but not the entire world needs the best. I'm looking in the eyes of the general public, you're looking at your own priorities.
     
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