A tough road ahead for AMD?

COMPUTEX — The biggest story out of Computex this year has got to be Intel's impressive resurgence in the desktop processor (and chipset) markets and AMD's declining prospects. I have talked to more than one nervous AMD-oriented motherboard maker who kicked off our meeting by asking me for my take on AMD's outlook in the coming months. Mobo makers are anxious to get a feel for how AMD products will fare with consumers now that Intel has captured the performance lead and new developments on Socket A (a faster bus, primarily) don't seem to be coming. (AMD is clearly focusing its limited resources on K8.) Nearly everyone thinks the remainder of the year is going to be very difficult for AMD and its key partners.

Not, perhaps, for EPoX, though. This former Socket A-oriented firm has cast its lot with Intel in a big way. EPoX held a press conference today to announce its new Pentium 4-oriented products, like the 4G4A+ motherboard based on Intel's 845G chipset. These new boards, with everything from RAID to BIOS-based overclocking to LED readouts to BlueTooth, look every bit as strong as EPoX's wildy successful EP-8KHA+ Socket A board once looked. EPoX is obviously getting some serious advertising co-op money from Intel—you can see the ads around Taipei here this week—and EPoX even had an Intel rep give a longish presentation during today's press conference.

If there is a trend at Computex 2002, EPoX is its poster child. Intel is back in a big way, and AMD's chance to compete lies in the future, with the Hammer chips, not in the next six months.

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