The TR Podcast 36: AMD’s gimpy goodness, Microsoft retail, and the Athlon Neo

Date: Feb 22, 2009

Time: 1:22:32

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Cyril Kowaliski, Matt Butrovich

Listen now:
Download: MP3 (56.7MB) | M4A (63.6MB)

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Show notes

This week, Scott joins us to talk about netbooks, new triple-core Phenoms, and his recent trip to AMD Austin, where he got a chance to see six-core Opterons and HP’s new Athlon Neo-powered laptop. Scott signs off for the second half of the show, and Matt Butrovich returns by popular demand for a round-table discussion about lawsuits, future Microsoft retail outlets, his new MacBook, and Newegg’s shipping policies.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. –

Tech discussion:

    Dell prepares to ship 10-inch Inspiron Mini 10 (0:01:30)- Read more

    8.9-inch Eee PCs to disappear this year (0:09:28)- Read more

    Scott gets a look at the new HP Pavillion dv2, which includes an AMD Athlon Neo (0:13:30)

    AMD’s Socket AM3 Phenom II processors (0:20:26)- Read more

    AMD puts on the ritz with six-core Opteron demo (0:32:44)- Read more

    AMD: Fab spin-off will be complete by March 2 (0:42:11)- Read more

    Matt talks about this new MacBook and light box (0:49:39)

    Vista Capable suit loses class-action status (0:55:13)- Read more

    Microsoft sued over XP downgrade prices (0:58:55)- Read more

    Get ready for Microsoft retail stores (1:01:49)- Read more

    Nvidia, Intel fight over chipset licensing (1:11:50)- Read more

    What the heck is Egg Saver Shipping? (1:14:46)- Read more

That’s all, folks! Check back on February 28 for the next TR podcast.

Comments closed
    • Freon
    • 11 years ago

    I do think the podcast could use some liberal editing. It seems to drag on at times. I think it would work better if edited down to about 45 minutes. I don’t mind the opinions/rants/spin/anecdotes which are a nice complement to the articles, but I think sometimes the discussion stops advancing and should either be stopped to move on or cut in post. Granted editing is a lot of extra work, but that may help keep your discussion flowing while you’re actually recording. It is that kinda smodcast length where I tend to turn it on while I’m doing other things and it can’t quite keep my attention.

    It’s a big jump from an article which may take me anywhere from 5-20 minutes to read to what I would consider an epically long podcast (60+). Most of the stuff I subscribe to is around 20-40 minutes and that is a much more digestible length.

    Otherwise I find the info very interesting and I appreciate the opinions and individial takes on tech news. I find the subjects covered and general discussion more interesting than something like TWiT.

    I would definitely encourage pushing for more live interviews with reps or employees of tech companies. That may be hard to do considering how gaurded they sometimes are due to PR concerns, but I think the best podcasts out there have a new interview every week. It keeps the podcast fresh with new ideas. The interview two weeks ago with Matthew Hiltner was very cool because it is rare to hear about such a specialized field. Maybe you could at least get the primary PR people from AMD, Intel, Nvidia, etc. signed up for 5-10 minute sessions after major product releases. Just having different guests on a regular basis would help keep things interesting, IMHO.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    Jordan, your pro-Apple fan-boyism is getting slightly annoying. Maybe tone it back just a little bit?

    “Not even the MS guys would be able to give the features of the Zune”
    Umm, the Zune has quite a few competitive advantages over the iPod. *Syncing via wireless (for the entire product line)
    *Wireless song sharing
    *Slightly lower price points Apple/Zune: 1GB ($50/-) 2GB ($70/-) 4GB (-/$100) 8GB ($150/$140) 16GB ($200/164) 120GB ($250/$230) (not including the iPod Touch or discontinued Zune’s)
    *Zune Pass = awesomeness, especially with the 10 songs/month you get to keep

    So no, it doesn’t compete on every feature-front, and there isn’t an iPod Touch equivalent, but there are very compelling reasons to at least consider them.

      • jdrake
      • 11 years ago

      Have you ever used a Zune?

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        Yes, I use one every day. My wife got the 30gb after it came out, and upgraded to the 80gb pretty soon after it came out too.
        I listen to this podcast on it. The marketplace rocks for it. Being able to do wireless syncing is quite a handy feature to have as we have a tray by the door where keys/wallet go and the Zune sits in there and I can sync to it from the laptop anywhere in the house. With the daily podcasts I listen to, it’s easy to update them.

        The earbuds are also most excellent (Captain Ned would agree with me here). The premium one’s that came with the 80gb are amazing. The quality rivals that of my Shure e2c’s but are much more comfortable to wear while trading a little bit of isolation. More than enough for most tasks though.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          It just so happens that Ep 8 was on the playlist for today and I heard that your review. I must say that I think that to some degree, maybe you are too locked into the iPod mindset. For someone like myself that hasn’t used an iPod for more than a few hours here and there, i find the Zune interface completely intuitive. Clicking play when I get to a song just makes sense, I don’t even think about hitting the button to get the dialog box unless I specifically want to. I love the scrolling acceleration that shows you the first-letter of your current location so that you can get places quickly without having to backtrack much, if any.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I enjoy the podcasts, even if the content in this particular one didn’t really interest me all that much.
    I enjoy Cyril’s pronunciation, which can result in funny accidents once in a while. Geoff’s “it isn’t like that up here” comments and when Jordan tries to not insult Apple and stumbles around for a sentence or two searching for the best wording. Golden.
    You guys should think about discussing the various lawsuits floating around the industry as a topic for one of the future episodes.

    • spoken_word
    • 11 years ago

    Just an FYI to the person on the podcast that says MS is copying Apple by opening a store, MS had a retail store before Apple opened their 1st store.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      It doesn’t matter who copies what, the only important thing is who does it best.

    • dragmor
    • 11 years ago

    For the Athlon Neo in the smaller form factor. Look at the Raon Everrun Note.

    Its a UMPC with a AMD Turion 64 x2 1200 Mhz and RS690SE chipset.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    I rarely listen to the podcasts.. It all depends on the subject. If it has something relevant to my interests, like say umm Apple related, then yes, i will listen.


    • lex-ington
    • 11 years ago

    Last night was the first time I have ever listened to a podcast. Was streaming while doing some work and find it quite useful. I’ll make sure check it out next time.

      • Pax-UX
      • 11 years ago

      Because that’s what he wanted you to do… on principle I want to remain ignorant of who that person is.

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    I can’t believe you’re still talking about this Newegg shipping! Great show up till that point, boring.

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    No the Microsoft helpers will be called Clippy and have cute little costumes that look like a giant paper clip that will follow you around the store being really helpful

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Thanks for bringing back the chapter system, jdrake. It’s awesome, and…

    It Just Works.

    • The Dark One
    • 11 years ago

    I will only listen to further podcasts if you promise to make TMBG references in every one.

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    I’m just going to write this to give a counter view to what some more insulting individuals are saying. This particular podcast I haven’t listened to all of yet, just the main “meaty articles”. I do intend to go back and listen to the whole of it, as I listen to every podcast that comes out.

    First and foremost is the additional layer of depth that is created when hearing things via podcast. Scott can write an article of Cyril can post an interesting news story and people will say “what is printed is just fine.” However reading text, and listening to someone talk about it are two very different things. I find the podcasts give greater insight as to how things are going.

    Take the AM3 review for instance. Now Scott does a damn good job with his testing, and writes one hell of a review every time. However, the podcast shows us maybe a more subjective side coming from Scott, and he puts things into greater context. To be honest, every time I read an article done by a TR staff member I end up saying to myself “I can’t wait for the podcast”. There is always new, and more comprehensive information to be heard on the podcast.

    Additionally, the podcast answers some questions people are always wondering. Like when the next System Builders Guide will be released (this was asked on their facebook page). Also, some people who are interested in upcoming releases might have caught on to Scott saying in a few weeks he’ll be jumping back to a graphics article. Maybe that is indicative that the silence from the AMD camp in regards to graphics will be broken. Or maybe not.

    I think the podcasts are a great medium of communication, and I’m glad that TR decided to invest in doing so. While they may not be the most popular thing, it really adds a whole other dimension of information to the site.

      • wingless
      • 11 years ago

      I agree with you. This podcast also shows TR is not biased AT ALL toward any manufacturer or another. Their level of journalism is top notch. Get the most, not the lesser.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago


    • Pachyuromys
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t know how many downloads you’re getting per week, but I’m noticing the number of comments each week is declining. I didn’t even download the ‘cast myself, mainly because there wasn’t all that much exciting to hear about, and anything even remotely interesting was already adequately covered in print. It’s a lot easier (and quicker) (and less soporific) to read an article than listen to all of you drone on about this, that, and the other.

    Hate to say it, but I think this is going the way of the dinosaur, and it’s sad to see it limping along on life-support each week until its eventual, inevitable demise. Jordan, I can see you’re trying really hard, but tech’s Kasey Kasem you’re not. Don’t quit your day job.

    I hope this is taken in the spirit of constructive criticism in which it was intended.

    PS. Since TR has long since crossed the line from enthusiast resource to commercial enterprise, and it’s all about the Benjamins now, maybe you should consider bowing to the god of marketing truths and get yourself a hot chick on staff. There’s plenty of brainy ones out there. (One might even say you’re discriminating against women for not having any, already.) Brains may be sexy, but babes bring the bucks.

    • sironomus
    • 11 years ago

    egg saver is dependent on product

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Ahhhh the times don’t match up Jordan. At 42:xx where the AM3 review is supposed to be discussed, Scott and Cyril are talking about the AMD fab spinoff.

      • jdrake
      • 11 years ago

      Thanks for pointing that out – fixed!

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