As AMD struggles, Intel chip prices stagnate

Competition is the cornerstone of a free market. Without healthy competition, unchallenged incumbents grow complacent, the pace of innovation slows, and prices either stagnate or rise. Those ill effects can be witnessed across a number of industries, but over the past few years, they’ve become increasingly apparent in the x86 processor market.

To be fair, Intel can hardly be faulted for not innovating. Year after year, the behemoth from Santa Clara manages to churn out new generations of chips with better performance and power efficiency than their predecessors. But Intel has been spoiled this past little while by a relatively placid competitive landscape. AMD, for all of its hard work, has largely failed to outdo its chief rival. Lately, it’s had a hard time just keeping up.

You might have already noticed the resulting price stagnation. We’ve seen it first-hand when putting together our system guides. No matter how many chips AMD throws into the ring or how often it slashes prices, Intel CPUs always seem to stay put at roughly the same price points until the next generation comes along. There are exceptions in the bargain-basement realm of sub-$100 processors, but they’re few and far between.

We were interested in quantifying the phenomenon, so we called on the lovely folks at Camelegg, who provided us with a treasure trove of historical CPU pricing data. That data covers Newegg pricing for budget and mid-range CPUs across the past three years or so. We stuck the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, worked our famous graphing magic, and unearthed clear evidence of how dire the situation has become.

In the chart below, you’ll see the difference between peak and minimum prices during the first 50 weeks of availability for a broad range of AMD and Intel processors, both new and old. Why 50 weeks? That happens to be roughly the amount of time AMD’s FX-series CPUs have been available, and we wanted to see how they stacked up against other offerings, historically speaking.

Note that the numbers below account for occasional dips and hikes as well as permanent price cuts. Also, if you notice some chips missing from the list below, there’s a good reason for that. Camelegg only tracks price changes. Its data for discontinued processors only shows the last price change before discontinuation, so large stretches of data between the last price cut and the product’s end of life are missing. Since we weren’t always sure when a processor dropped out of stock for good, we’ve cut off the data for discontinued items at the last price change. Older, already-retired CPUs for which we lacked a full 50 weeks of Camelegg data were kept out of the chart below.

Based on the data, it appears Intel’s most substantial price cuts have applied to budget offerings—the Core i3-540, Core i3-530, and Core i3-2120. That’s no coincidence, because the budget market happens to be AMD’s last great stronghold in this competitive battle. Among Intel’s more upscale mid-range chips, which have few to no challengers from AMD, price drops of more than 10% are very uncommon. Some chips, like the Core i5-2400, saw virtually no discounts during their first 50 weeks of availability. Compare that to AMD’s FX-8150, whose price has tumbled almost 38% since launch.

We can illustrate the stagnation of Intel prices even better by plotting them over time. Here, the incompleteness of Camelegg’s data for discontinued offerings is no great obstacle. We can still see where old processors used to reside on the pricing scale—and how new arrivals and price cuts affected the competition. You can click the buttons below the graph to switch between AMD and Intel CPUs.


Going as far back as 2009, it’s clear AMD’s mid-range processors have consistently followed a downward pricing slope. Their plots make me think of rainwater trickling down a mossy bluff. That bluff has only been getting steeper since the debut of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors in early 2011. For the most part, Sandy Bridge’s arrival forced AMD to compete on price rather than performance in this segment. Ivy Bridge only made matters worse. The deep cuts to the FX series after the Ivy Bridge debut earlier this year are clear evidence of that.

By contrast, Intel’s mid-range offerings have hardly budged over the days, weeks, and months. While we see occasional dips here and there, they’re usually followed by rapid returns to the status quo. The only exceptions we can see here are the Core i7-2600K and the Core i5-3570K. The former saw its price decline only after being supplanted by the Core i7-3770K, and the latter was simply marked up by Newegg at launch. Intel’s official bulk price for the i5-3570K was $225 from the start.

Intel’s ability to maintain prices is also visible in the budget market—albeit to a lesser extent, likely due to AMD’s stronger presence there.


Throughout 2010 and much of 2011, AMD had an ace in the hole in the budget game: its $100 quad-core Athlon IIs and Phenom IIs, which offered excellent performance for the money. Intel’s dual-core, Core i3-500-series chips could manage superior single-threaded performance, but they weren’t quite as compelling, especially in the eyes of enthusiasts. Nevertheless, Intel had no qualms about charging a premium. The Core i5-540 only slipped to $100 after its replacements in the Core i3-2100 series had already arrived.

Around the same time, AMD made the unfortunate decision to replace the Phenom II X4 840 with its A-series APUs, which were priced somewhat ambitiously. Intel prices remained stationary, and in light of the A series’ somewhat underwhelming performance, we had to switch our recommendation for the system guide’s budget build to the Core i3-2100.

Since then, and despite subsequent AMD price cuts, Intel has held the Core i3-2100 steady at around $120. The marginally quicker Core i3-2120 has fallen to within a few dollars of that, yet Intel seems uninterested in offering the slower model for less. Similarly, the Core i3-2105—a variant of the i3-2100 with faster integrated graphics that’s a more direct competitor to AMD’s offerings—remains at $135 despite AMD’s continued cuts to the A series.

None of this bodes terribly well for consumers.

AMD’s recent missteps have, it seems, given Intel very little incentive to cut prices—even when it doesn’t always have the clear upper hand. The only way Intel offers substantially better value over time is with yearly generational refreshes, and those refreshes raise performance per dollar not by lowering prices, but by delivering higher performance for the same money. Consider that, almost two years after the release of the Core i5-2500K, Intel still doesn’t offer an unlocked quad-core processor for less than $200. Meanwhile, Intel’s gross margin has climbed to an eye-popping 63.4%, nearly 20 points higher than AMD’s.

This, folks, is why a healthier AMD is absolutely vital to this industry. The underdog needs to score a home run (or something close to it) and upset the status quo, or else prices will continue to stagnate. In a couple of years, perhaps the pace of innovation will begin to slow, as well. Maybe AMD’s new Trinity A-series and upcoming Vishera FX-series processors are the answer. Or perhaps AMD is going to need third-party help to succeed, through either an investment or a takeover. There’s been talk of Qualcomm or Samsung possibly making a bid.

In any case, it’s clear we’re already feeling the effects of sluggish competition in the x86 CPU market. Let’s hope things don’t get any worse.

Comments closed
    • aim18
    • 7 years ago
    • Morris
    • 7 years ago

    What this story shows is AMD is providing the best products for price conscious consumers. These folks aren’t settling for poor performance, they are buying excellent performance at a great price with AMD. Uninformed consumers need to start looking at actual system performance not benches which we know are skewed to benefit Intel. Benches don’t tell the real story of how a system performs with real applications. Proper benches would be useful for quantifying specific characteristics of a processor, but running real applications shows people how a PC actually performs. More is often not necessarily better once you exceed a certain threshold in performance.

    The point that many folks miss is few people buy the over-hyped, over-priced top of the line model APU, CPU, GPU because they are a poor value, unneeded and typically just for bragging rights. Most enthusiasts buy mid-range products because they provide the best value.

    There is no logic in paying more for Intel products and getting the same or less than AMD provides. If people were to smarten up and stop buying Intel products, prices would drop. Unfortunately what Intel does is sell their products at lower prices to enterprise and let enthusisats pay a premium to increase the average selling price, (ASP). When people wise up and stop buying Intel’s over-priced products Intel will be forced to lower their prices. Until then enthusiasts will be seriously exploited.

      • diable
      • 7 years ago

      So the benchmarks on TR are biased towards Intel? Being a AMD apologist is not a good look, Morris.

    • Kougar
    • 7 years ago

    Hmm, and the X79 platform doesn’t get a mention? It’s the clearest example of this. When is the last time Intel introduced a CPU socket/generation and didn’t offer a single new model or price cut for the entire first year it was on the market? I think SB-E and X79 may be the first… of many more, no less.

    Sure there’s IB-E sometime next year, but very small IPC gains will be offset by the lower overclockability of the 22nm tri-gate process it will be using. Assuming Intel does finally offer an intact 8-core SKU, it will still be limited to the $1,000 flagship model only. Given Haswell-E or whatever it will be will require a new socket, this effectively leaves X79 as a dead-in-the-water platform.

    With that in mind, Haswell is looking like a very attractive, cheaper alternative to IB-E next year. At this point, it seems uncertain that even the future Core i7-3970X expected to launch at the end of this year will mean price cuts for any of the three current SKUs.

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      It’ll probably replace the 3960X at $999, but yeah I dont see price cuts coming.

      • jtenorj
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not the 22nm trigate transistors that aren’t overclockable, it’s the processors with both them and the crappy thermal interface material intel put in there with them. Some enthusiasts have removed the integrated heat spreader to replace the stock TIM with one having superior thermal conductivity and have gotten much better overclocking results. I think the new 22nm trigate tech may not be as good a fit with the fluxless solder they used to use than older process/tech. Maybe they chose that TIM because it would last longer than a TIM with higher thermal conductivity. It does suck for enthusiast overclocking compared to sandy bridge(if you don’t want to risk a 200-300 dollar cpu by removing the lid and tinkering around inside).

        • Kougar
        • 7 years ago

        I’m sure that’s partly the cause. But it’s proven that leakier transistors are better for overclocking, Anand even said it outright in his coverage of Ivy Bridge chips. Ivy Bridge is one of the LEAST leaky manufacturing processes Intel has released, and by the time IB-E chips arrive they will probably be even less leaky since Intel will have worked out most of the bugs in their 22nm process node.

        Either way, I’m not voiding the warranty of screwing around with a $500+ CPU just because Intel decides to use paste on IB-E chips. Maybe they won’t since many of those chips will go toward servers, if we’re lucky. Otherwise it would really suck to ruin an 8-core, $1,000 CPU just because the person needed to remove the paste used under the heatspreader.

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    I surely hope AMD makes a comeback, only because I bought the stock for a little under $4, and since then, it has tanked to almost $3 and still falling. I can’t wait to get rid of this losing stock.

    But as long as AMD bases all their chips on some continued modification of bulldozer, they’re never going to catch up to the first generation intel Core.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    In 2009, it was rare to see AMD laptops. Now they’re in Walmart.

    Since 2009, [b<]all[/b<] laptop prices have dropped like a rock - even Intel's high end. I'll forgive the misleading "free market" opening that ignores the rampant money supply inflation since 2009. I'll even forgive the omission that Intel has been lopping off price tiers for years, as chuckula described. But that still wouldn't make this an article about how "Intel chip prices stagnate" in "the x86 processor market" as the headline and description incorrectly state. This is an article about a subset of it, which cherry picks a further niche to facilitate a preconceived conclusion. The phrase, "Lies, damned lies, and statistics," comes to mind. Please don't waste my time with sensationalist hit pieces, TR. Tom's Hardware has that covered.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]"Please don't waste my time with sensationalist hit pieces, TR. SemiAccurate has that covered."[/quote<] ftfy

      • Cyril
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Since 2009, all laptop prices have dropped like a rock - even Intel's high end.[/quote<] Are you sure about that? Intel's ARK listings for mobile quad-core processors show tray prices ranging from [url=http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s=t&FamilyText=Previous%20Generation%20Intel%C2%AE%20Core%E2%84%A2%20i7%20Processor&MarketSegment=MBL&CoreCountMin=4<]$364[/url<] to [url=http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s=t&FamilyText=Previous%20Generation%20Intel%C2%AE%20Core%E2%84%A2%20i7%20Extreme%20Processor&MarketSegment=MBL&CoreCountMin=4<]$1096[/url<] in mid-2010. Today, current-gen mobile quads start at [url=http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s=t&FamilyText=3rd%20Generation%20Intel%C2%AE%20Core%E2%84%A2%20i7%20Processors&MarketSegment=MBL&CoreCountMin=4<]$378[/url<] and also cost up to [url=http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s=t&FamilyText=3rd%20Generation%20Intel%C2%AE%20Core%E2%84%A2%20i7%20Extreme%20Processor&MarketSegment=MBL&CoreCountMin=4<]$1096[/url<]. If there are cheaper mobile quads out there now, I'm not aware of them. If laptop prices have indeed fallen substantially, perhaps it's because other components are getting cheaper. [quote<]I'll forgive the misleading "free market" opening that ignores the rampant money supply inflation since 2009.[/quote<] I don't think inflation changes the picture dramatically. Take the Core i5-2500K, which started selling at $225 in January 2011. Its replacement, the Core i5-3570K, started selling at $250 in April 2012, then stabilized down to $230. According to the [url=http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm<]Bureau of Labor Statistics[/url<], $225 in 2011 dollars equals $230.44 in 2012 dollars. Or, to go back to the aforementioned mobile quads, $364 in 2010 dollars equals $384.57 in 2012 dollars. We're looking at a price decrease of a whopping 1.7% on the base model. The flagship offerings have gotten slightly cheaper, since the tray prices are identical, but... well, I wouldn't call $1096 cheap. For the record, though, my point wasn't that performance doesn't get cheaper over time. I was specifically talking about Intel keeping prices largely steady after product launches, which the plots demonstrate fairly well, I think. [quote<]I'll even forgive the omission that Intel has been lopping off price tiers for years, as chuckula described.[/quote<] Which ones? The LGA2011 high end still exists, and as far as I can tell, it's still the only way to get an Intel processor with more than four cores and/or two memory channels on the desktop. The fact that Intel has no competitive pressure to refresh the LGA2011 lineup doesn't exactly contradict my point. Otherwise, I don't know of any price tiers Intel has been "lopping off" these past few years.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]Which ones? The LGA2011 high end still exists, and as far as I can tell, it's still the only way to get an Intel processor with more than four cores and/or two memory channels on the desktop. [/quote<] I would say that Intel did greatly compress the consumer price range compared to the Core 2 era when there was a single socket-775 platform that was basically it for consumers. Today, socket 1155 is the complete successor to socket-775, and the CPUs top out in the $330 price range instead of the $1000 price range.. that is a very real cut. Don't believe me? Look at the relative performance differences between the best "bang for your buck" CPUs from the Core 2 era compared to the (at the time) $1000 chips that fit the same boards... I'm willing to bet that the performance delta was similar to what you get between the 3570K and the 3770K... except now the price premium for the 3770K is only about $110 instead of $400 or so like it was back then. The LGA-2011 platform is effectively Xeon-light for the workstation market, which has always been different than the consumer market. The fact that the LGA-2011 motherboards actually allow overclocking and are gamer friendly is a nod to high-end enthusiasts, but these are still relabelled workstation parts that have been pushed *downward* in price compared to their predecessors. As your own gaming benchmarks show, LGA-2011 is not substantially better than LGA-1155 when it comes to playing games, which is the biggest demographic in your review audience. The fact that Intel is still selling a CPUs at a $1000 price does not mean that there have been no cuts, [b<]especially[/b<] when you consider that the 6 core monsters of today would have been the $1,500 - $2,000 workstation Xeons of yesteryear. So don't look at it as Intel "maintaining" a $1000 price point, but as higher end parts being pushed down into the $1000 price range. You yourself post a "double stuff" LGA-2011 system for less than $3000... imagine trying that with a workstation-grade system just five years ago and the moral equivalents from the earlier generations would set you back $5,000 easily without even throwing in a decent GPU. If you want to talk about core count, then you could just as easily say that the most cores that AMD has ever offered in the consumer market is 6 (the 6 core Phenoms) considering that 8 Bulldozer "cores" effectively behave like 4 cores + some form of SMT. AMD also has never offered a true quad-channel or even triple-channel memory controller in any platform, with the closest approximation being the 2x2 memory controllers in the dual-die Opterons. You can certainly find things to complain about in Intel's consumer strategy, like the fact that their desktop parts are actually just overclocked notebook chips and the GPUs do not have particularly great performance scaling going from low-power envelope to high-power envelope operations. That's a valid complaint, but it does not mean that Intel hasn't cut prices overall in the consumer space, especially in desktops. You are also right that first-tier CPUs tend not to have big price cuts while they remain on the first-tier. Well, remember that not too long ago a CPU stayed in the "first tier" for a much longer time while higher-clocked parts of the same architecture were rolled out to push it down the ladder. That is not how things operate anymore and is really more a matter of tick-tock actually working than anything else. Instead of getting Ivy Bridge and waiting 3 years for Haswell while Intel gradually pushes out faster Ivy Bridge SKUs, we instead get 2 major waves of Ivy Bridge (high-end K-series first followed by mainstream/low end i3s) and then we wait roughly a year for Haswell..... trust me AMD wishes it could do the same. Finally, you note the prices for mobile chips. I place much less stock in those prices because in the enthusiast market it is *much much* rarer to actually go out and buy a notebook chip as an individual compared to an OEM doing it. The DIY market for building systems with notebook chips is tiny even in relation to the (relatively) small DIY market for desktop systems. Basically, I doubt that major OEM/ODM companies are paying those prices up front. I'm not saying that Intel is cheap in mobile chips... far from it! Mobile is also where Intel likely has its biggest advantages over AMD. Instead, I am saying that there is probably a lot more price flexibility than is indicated by the published tray prices.

      • Martian
      • 7 years ago

      Looks like some people at TR consider offense as the best way of defense. It’s getting more and more sad. I’ve seen feelings and notions like this raising at other sites and eventually people responsible for articles and reviews distorted and manipulative like this got fired. So keep up the good work guys you’re going to work your way out. 😉

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Q6600 went from $800 at launch to $240 less then a year later.

      I wanted to upgrade to LGA2011 for a while, looked at the i7-3930k at $560 and waited for it to drop to ~$300. A year later… no change in price whatsoever.

      I’m not asking for a handout from Intel. But the reality is, without pressure from AMD, Intel can charge a hefty premium. and they can… and are.

      I actually dont expect the i7-3930k to ever become affordable beside second hand.

      And you can single handely thank AMD for cheap laptops that are actually worth something.

      a) laptop price have fallen
      b) workstation price haven’t changed

      a) AMD got amazing value with llano and now Trinity, forcing Intel to offer competing pricing.
      b) no competition from anyone. Intel set the price. and the price for over a year is flat.

      October 2011 launch:
      “The Core i7 3930K features 6 Cores/ 12 Threads, An Unlocked Multiplier, Stock Speed of 3.20Ghz (Turbo – 3.80Ghz) and 12MB L3 Cache. The official pricing of the chip at launch would be 560US$

      Today
      Recommended Customer Price
      TRAY: $583.00
      BOX : $594.00

      The days of the Q6600 is >Gone<

      AMD seem to be struggling big time, if they start to pull out of more CPU market expect the same to happen for the intel CPU entire line.

      • Diplomacy42
      • 7 years ago

      I’ll forgive the misleading “free market” opening that ignores the rampant money supply inflation since 2009.

      yes, “rampant” “money supply” “inflation” coming out of the largest scale destruction of the US money supply since the great depression. thanks for the entirely useless metric.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    OO, OO! Now do games! That would be fun!

    • Laykun
    • 7 years ago

    It seems intel is still punishing AMD for the AMD64/Netburst days.

    • PopcornMachine
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Maybe AMD's new Trinity A-series and upcoming Vishera FX-series processors are the answer.[/quote<] Trinity is not going to help that much. And after having high hopes for bulldozer that fell completely flat, I would saying expecting anything more than "good" out of Vishera kind of delusional. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

    • jihadjoe
    • 7 years ago

    If intel can admit they made a mistake with netburst and essentially went back to the P6 core when they made Core2, why can’t AMD admit they made a mistake with their silly construction equipment CPUs and go back to K10?

    A 32-nm 6-8 core Phenom III with AVX will be much better than Piledriver.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      Because they didn’t. Llano and Trinity are build in the same manufacturing process and trinity gets better cpu performance and much better GPU performance using 1.3 billion transistors while llano used 1.45 billion at the same TDP.

      If trinity is faster in both, GPU and CPU and uses the same TDP why should AMD go back to Phenom? Adding AVX would likely add transistors and TDP at the same manufacturing process or decrease frequency.

      Still, trinity is not a giant leap forward as it was Core i7 for Core 2 Duo. AMD needs to fix the issues to get the real advantage that bulldozer architecture can offer, specially go for higher IPC instead of frequency.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Llano was made a year ago. It was made despite the fact that the fab making it was having serious issues with fabrication across the board. Trinity arrives on the same fabs now working as they were meant to. And if Llano were clocked up a bit, you’d see their “real” cores walking all over Trinity’s “half-cores” in many situations in such a scenario where Llano was still getting active iterations plus a newer graphics core.

        You say compare Llano and Trinity. That comes out ahead for Trinity. Compare Bulldozer to outgoing Athlon’s and Phenom’s. That doesn’t. I don’t think AMD making minor improvements in Trinity to bring it back up to the same level as their outgoing tech is really all that big an achievement. It’s certainly not “Catch up to Sandy Bridge” level, is it?

        When you’re chasing the tail of your older product, you aren’t really making headway. If they’d stuck with the older core, shrunk it, and spent all this time optimizing it instead, they’d have ended up in a place very similar to where Intel’s at since the whole Core line was based on the initial work done on the Pentium M. That work began when Netburst failed hard and Intel needed a way to have a lot of performance at fewer watts for laptops.

        AMD could have skipped the hard lesson and moved straight to the “porting their old x86 chips to a lower power profile.” Instead, they decided to mimic Intel right down to every mistake. It’s really kinda sad. I remember back when Intel was peddling Pentium IV and V. You had people just like you saying, “There’s a reason! THERE MUST BE A REASON AND WE LOVE THESE CHIPS! NETBURST 4EVER!” They were wrong then for the same reason you’re wrong now. Push Bulldozer or Piledriver up to reasonable performance levels and they’re gobbling power at crazy rates.

        If you can remember this, just wait. If AMD is still around in five years and still making x86 chips, they’ll have switched their CPU core tech back to the older cores but optimized and built at newer processes by then and these construction equipment CPU’s will be a distant memory.

        Because this is a horrible mistake that they’re trying desperately to outlast.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      First line of processors isn’t the final lineup, they may have released a product before it is ready, but they can most definitely build on it.

    • BaronMatrix
    • 7 years ago

    I stopped reading after the first few sentences. Intel is a convicted CHEATER, so any comparison is unfair. AMD is working with other companies, Intel is screwing other companies (Netbooks and Ultrabooks anyone…?)

    They could have licensed to nVidia and actually have real graphics.

    QualComm deserves to drink their milkshake…

    Aero ISN’T in Win 8 because Intel’s high-end graphics could barely do it, so of course Atom graphics will choke… They constantly flood the market with chips that are really behind the curve and charge you TOO MUCH for mainstream and up systems…

    They make the Free Market look bad and they’ll never get a dime or a good word from me…

    Ask OLPC why…

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Decent trolling, but I didn’t find it particularly funny or clever

        • Martian
        • 7 years ago

        Intel has been convicted of unfair business practices not once, not twice, there are ongoing investigations against them at the moment as well. Unfortunately it’s not trolling, these are facts. You cannot compete on a monopolistic market when authorities proved to be incapable of disciplining the misbehaving market leader.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<] You cannot compete on a monopolistic market when authorities proved to be incapable of disciplining the misbehaving market leader.[/quote<] Or maybe AMD's lack of competitiveness is because AMD keeps screwing up over and over?

            • Martian
            • 7 years ago

            So AMD is simply a bunch of retards and actually anybody could do better, eh? Oh wait, what about VIA for example?

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      There should be a reverse-Turing test where a supposedly “human” poster is indistinguishable from a bot that just vomits up the same old lines over and over again in randomized order without any regard for the context of the surrounding conversation.

      BaronMatrix: You can go down in history as the first person to officially fail the reverse-Turing test!

        • JumpingJack
        • 7 years ago

        Ask him if he still stores his CPUs in styrofoam.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Aero isn’t in Windows 8 because MS decided it was too big a battery hog. That’s it. That’s the only motivation MS needed. If you think something Intel did would compel MS not to include a feature in Windows, then I think you got your companies crossed.

    • mph_Ragnarok
    • 7 years ago

    charting the prices of individual CPU models doesn’t seem useful…

    first of all, prices NEVER rise obviously, and secondly the market dynamics are pretty much such that Intel is a price setter… this is not a market like stocks or corn or wheat or even hard drives….

    pretty much the charts reflect the decision of Intel’s sales department chief

    sure you can argue that Intel sets prices based on market demand, but if you think the point of these charts is to judge demand for the CPUs you’re better off just looking at straight PC and laptop and server sales

    • Antimatter
    • 7 years ago

    It’s even more concerning if you consider that AMD competes in both the x86 and GPU markets. AMDs failure (or success) in either market could affect the other. The last thing we would want is an effective monopoly in both CPUs and GPUs.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    AMD processors are actually really good. Check out these videos. You’ll see.

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIs1CxuUrpc[/url<] [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S5NmKM5tIQ[/url<] [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuwo5HugA7Q[/url<] [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70Yr1uV3-pA[/url<] [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzDWAAo20i8[/url<] [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=devZ8jETRJo[/url<] Edit - Yes, chuckula, there's some sarcasm to this post.

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      I may have downmodded you too quickly since your sarcasm was a touch too subtle….

      [EDIT]: Unless you were serious, in which case the downmod is deserved.. I can’t quite tell since AMD’s own marketing has a large sarcasm/irony component of its own.

      EDIT^2: OK, since it’s sarcastic, that deserves an up-thumb instead.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Schizophrenia is a b*tch

          • cynan
          • 7 years ago

          Dissociative identity disorder (a.k.a multiple personality disorder) is a b*tch

          fixed 😉

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            Semantics. It’s kind of silly that The Doctorate keeps renaming conditions just for the sake of political correctness, and just adds to confusion

            • cynan
            • 7 years ago

            Why semantics?

            Schizophrenia is where you are prone to becoming dissociated from reality. As in you are susceptible to delusions/hallucinations (ie, hearing voices, thinking you are chosen by aliens/god/etc for some special mission).

            Dissociative identity disorder is where you have more than one “personality” and often have memory black outs when assuming the role of an alternate personality. It is not necessarily related to being disconnected from reality, as is the hallmark of schizophrenia: Each personality may be entirely grounded in reality.

            Dissociative identity disorder is the one that gets made light of all the time in movies/TV (ie, the kid in me likes the frosted side, but the adult in me likes the whole wheat fiber…). Schizophrenia, not so much, as there is really nothing at all humorous about not being able to tell what is real and what isn’t.

            Edit: Meant to add, that as far as I know, the two were never called the same thing..

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            Apparently I’ve used the word wrong for a really long time. I always thought schizophrenia was a different word for multiple personality disorder..

            My apologies.

            • cynan
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t think this confusion is all that uncommon. (Which is probably why my anal-retentive side was compelled to take over and make me post.)

            • shaq_mobile
            • 7 years ago

            I’ve had this exact conversation, from both sides, several times now 🙂

            I with misuse of schizophrenia was very common for a while. Someone probably used it improperly in a popular film or something. 🙂

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    The Micro Center ad came in the mail last night and I noticed that there was not a single FM1 (or FM2) motherboard listed. Only AMD boards were AM3.

    That, combined with this article, have me wondering if the proliferation of socket types by AMD is also hurting them, even just a little. If you buy an 1155 motherboard, you can plug the full range of Intel CPUs into it, but on the AMD side your initial choice of mobo and processor seriously affects you options down the road.

    I kinda doubt that it matters too much, but it’s still possible. The real reason Intel isn’t dropping prices is because AMD isn’t giving them a reason to.

    There is a silver lining to all of this: buying an Intel processor at or near launch isn’t going to cost you an early adopter tax. The people that bought i5-2500 at or near launch are probably feeling pretty good about that right now.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      I wasn’t planning on buying the K version of the 2500, but when NCIX.US did their “introductory” offer of the i5-2500K for $189 just about a year ago, I jumped on it. I still haven’t seen a legitimate sale (from a etailer I trust) on it at a lower price, though I’ve seen $199 a couple of times.

    • TheBulletMagnet
    • 7 years ago

    Vote with your wallet folks. We are the ones buying ourselves into this monopoly.

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      Buy into an inferior product just to artificially keep competition alive?

      That’s nuts, and totally against proper natural selection. If AMD can’t keep itself alive on its own merit, then it deserves to go away to some niche market or die.

        • Antimatter
        • 7 years ago

        I’m all for natural selection but it will be decades, if ever, before another company rivals Intel. And we end up with less choice in the process.

    • irvinenomore
    • 7 years ago

    Great article Cyril, this is why I have always leaned towards AMD. However my next refresh is likely to be Intel unless AMD can produce something compelling.

    Also have just been through a graphics refresh and the final nail in the coffin for the 7950 was the Trinity marketing manipulation farce. Hence I splashed the extra cash for the 670.

      • TheBulletMagnet
      • 7 years ago

      ANNNDD you are part of the problem.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        No, [b<]you[/b<] are part of the problem. When AMD makes an inferior product and you buy it anyway, you are basically signalling AMD that it's OK to be lame in the name of some vague hand-wavy concept of "competition". Instead, you should be signalling AMD that they are not going to get your money unless they perform better. That's how you actually help AMD.

          • ronch
          • 7 years ago

          I hate to admit it, but you’re right. As much as we want to give our money to AMD, they have to earn it.

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            That’s why I’d recommend buying AMD products in these situations:
            1. Video cards: AMD’s offerings are very competitive with Nvidia on performance and price. I keep saying that AMD is a first-rate graphics company with an underperforming CPU division…
            2. Trinity: In applications where the IGP is really important like an HTPC, Trinity is a smart choice. Not for every desktop system, but for the right use it is very good.

            Where I’d totally steer clear of AMD:
            1. Bulldozer… and from what we’ve seen, don’t expect miracles out of Piledriver either.

            • BaronMatrix
            • 7 years ago

            If there were FIVE OR SIX CPU makers like with ARM, I’d say AMD is slacking but they’re dealing with the most low down company since Standard Oil…

            And what is fast or slow?

            A benchmark? Using the system? Playing games without restarting? Running SuperPi or 3DMark faster? It’s all marketing nonsense to separate you from your money…

            Which is why in MOST situations the i7 3770K is worth little more than the i7 2600K…

            Suckers…

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            How about the recent frame latency tests done by TR as a starting point for you? Pretty sure AMD was destroyed there. That’s if you don’t just accept standard benchmarks that include fps.

          • TheBulletMagnet
          • 7 years ago

          Well keep on with this and let me know how it works out. Oh wait, Intel’s prices have stagnated after they robbed AMD of revenue they desperately needed when AMD had the better products through anti-competitive business practices. After Intel got small slaps on the wrist from settling with AMD and the Justice department here we are. Amd is struggling and Intel is raking in the money. And everyone keeps shoving their money to Intel.

          But I’m part of the problem.

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Wow.. you managed to copy & paste a whiny fanboi argument from AMDzone, you truly are an intellectual giant.

            Where were you crying about how unfair AMD’s prices were in 2005 when a dual-core FX-62 was going for more money than a 3960x goes for today (not even bothering to adjust for inflation which would increase the FX-62 price even more)?

            Where were you when Hector Ruiz was spending $6 Billion on ATI.. it looked like AMD had plenty of money back then, I thought Intel snuck in and stole it all?

            Where were you when AMD was loudly and openly bragging about the fact that it was capacity constrained at its fabs and that it was selling every chip it could possibly manufacture? When AMD loudly bragged about how Chartered was contracted out to make Athlons since they were selling so well? I thought Intel sent in ninjas to make it so that AMD couldn’t ship the chips out of its factories!

            Where were you when AMD finally won over Dell.. and in the process intentionally screwed over all the smaller channel partners that had been loyal customers to AMD for years. Basically, AMD said: we’ve made the big-time now, we don’t need you anymore… but it turns out that AMD needed them when its own arrogance blinded it to what Intel was up to and those same smaller partners remembered how AMD screwed them when AMD was back on its way down.

            • TheBulletMagnet
            • 7 years ago

            Where was I? Probably at home, maybe at work.

            Some of your points don’t seem to reinforce your overall argument, but instead of getting into bickering, let me reframe the discussion this way. Lets say I’m completely, totally wrong and stupid. Then the conclusion is to keep buying Intel right? If that’s the conclusion, then why complain when the prices stagnate? Don’t like what Intel’s doing? Don’t buy from them.

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Lets say I'm completely, totally wrong and stupid.[/quote<] That's the first accurate thing you've posted! Here's a quote from 2006 about how your holy any precious AMD was behaving towards the "little guys" that you dishonestly claim to care about: "It's hard enough to be in this business and get a sale, and it really hurts when you get a sale and don't have supply," the system builder added, noting that he's worried the top-tier OEMs will poach his customers if supply in the channel doesn't improve. "It hurts sales and prevents us from competing. It makes a buyer hesitant to buy from us. If we can't provide product, they go back to OEMs." [url<]http://www.informationweek.com/irate-partners-blame-amd-dell-for-athlon/193500909[/url<] Yeah, I'm really going to go home and pray to the holy-AMD Gods since they are so pure and wonderful...

            • TheBulletMagnet
            • 7 years ago

            Calm down, calm down Chuckula. No need to hyperventilate and result to hyperbole to make a point. We can discuss this reasonably.

            This point you bring up about the little guys? First, where did you see me start cheerleading these system builders?

            Second, am I really supposed to get mad at AMD for selling all their inventory and supply to Dell after Dell finally went from being an Intel only company to they start carrying AMD parts? What was AMD supposed to do, ignore the SECOND LARGEST pc builder in the US so they could maintain some stock for small guy system builders?

            If I’m following your logic correctly paired with the larger discussion I get this. We’re supposed to be mad at AMD mismanaging their company into the ground and letting Intel build such a comfortable lead that Intel can let their prices stagnate but you ALSO want me to be angry that AMD made a business decision to sell as much of their inventory as they had to the at the time 2nd largest pc maker after that pc maker finally started carrying amd products. A decision that probably helped AMD to win market and mind share. I mean…come on.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            “but it turns out that AMD needed them when its own arrogance blinded it to what Intel was up to and those same smaller partners remembered how AMD screwed them when AMD was back on its way down.”

            What? How exactly did AMD do this again?

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            I had to dig around a bit because the story is 6 years old but:

            [url<]http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=4782[/url<] and [url<]http://www.informationweek.com/irate-partners-blame-amd-dell-for-athlon/193500909[/url<] and a third story that was written several weeks before the other two that saw the shortage looming: [url<]http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1003646/amd-cpu-shortage-looms[/url<] I always back up my assertions. Quote from Article: "Some say AMD is hurting its loyal system builders, who feel they've been dumped now that the chipmaker has a partnership with Dell and other top-tier suppliers. " Another good quote: "It's a fiasco. There's no product in the channel. It's all going to Dell," said Glen Coffield, president of CheapGuys, a system builder in Orlando, Fla. "AMD is divorcing the channel." And this one: "There's nothing out there. They're screwing the channel. All the stuff is going to HP and Dell, and the only inventory available to us is old legacy stuff, single-core and low-power stuff no one is buying. There's little doubt in my mind that it's because of Dell and HP," said the system builder, who asked not to be named.

          • esterhasz
          • 7 years ago

          If producing a good CPU was mainly a question of attitude and not various forms of capital, you would be right. Markets with high R&D and low production costs often lead to powerful economies of scale.

          I fear that if the global economy is not getting significantly better over the next 2-3 years, only oil money can save AMD. If it is, AMD would be a great investment.

            • phileasfogg
            • 7 years ago

            I wholeheartedly agree with the oil money part — someone from Mubadala Investment Co. (I think this is the company that owns a big part of GloFo) who is looking a few years out could be quietly buying up shares of AMD on the open market now that it’s dipped into the $3.1x to 3.2x area. If they can prop up AMD financially and commit sufficient R&D dollars to bring Steamroller and follow-on APUs to market, they will have a credible alternative to Intel’s CPUs for a large new market opportunity in the middle East and Africa in the second half of this decade. I for one am betting that when Cyril re-plots these price graphs in 2017, there will be more steepness and less flatness in Intel CPU price-vs-time curves. And, what is more, he may very well add Tegra4/5/6/7 to the mix by then 😉

            • shaq_mobile
            • 7 years ago

            That seems to be the thing everyone is forgetting. AMD needs money to compete, and we need to spend our money on AMD if we want to give them a fighting chance. It’s not like they got a C- on their algebra test and you’re rewarding them. :p

          • BaronMatrix
          • 7 years ago

          Please… Every Core I something meaningless I’ve ever loaded down at work has choked like Rick Perry in the debates… But every similarly equipped AMD system has NOT CHOKED when LOADED DOWN to 75% of RAM…

          Recent tests show that in blind tests AMD is picked much more than Intel for user experience… You’re all just blinded by science…

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            This was a bit better than the other troll

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Ahh BaronFudrix.

            You know, at a certain point your trolling is going to be interpreted being pro-Intel because you intentionally spew over-the-top AMD propaganda that’s so ridiculous even the other fanboys might eventually catch on….

            P.S. –> My FX-62 destroys that 3770K because only AMD puts in the Smoothiness (TM) unit in every core!

            • diable
            • 7 years ago

            You mean they did a Coke or Pepsi kinda test? Is there video of this?

          • kristi_johnny
          • 7 years ago

          If you are talking about 7950, well that’s not an inferior product and it has the right price.
          If you are talking about AMD’s CPUs, that’a another story, they are behind in that field.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      I usually recommend AMD if the performance difference is lower than a 10% and there is some price difference.

      My usual motto is: “under similar conditions, always choose AMD”

      If intel was in bad shape I would do the opposite.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Aye… the price/performance is on par… The only thing Intel chips have over AMD is power efficiency, if you don’t care about that, there is no reason to buy AMD over Intel unless you’re looking to burn money at a certain price that AMD doesn’t have a offering.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    You also need to remember that what constitutes Intel’s top of the line consumer CPU is [b<]much[/b<] cheaper than what it used to be even in the not-so-long ago Core 2 days. Right now a 3770K is going for ~$330, and as most people who play games tell you, you really want a 3570K that is going for ~$220. Compare that to the pricing models for the Q6600 when it first came out (at $851 per chip nevermind the high-end QX6800)! See this TR article for a trip down memory lane: [url<]https://techreport.com/review/12091/intel-vs-amd-today-generation-compared[/url<]* Sure, there is still LGA-2011 if you are really obsessed with spending money, but the difference is that you don't absolutely require LGA-2011 to get excellent performance. Not to mention the fact that the 3930K is still less than $600, which means you are getting about a $300 discount for a 6 core higher-clocked chip in 2012 than you did for an early quad core Q6600 (that was *extremely* popular BTW) in 2007. So its definitely wrong to say that there has been no reduction in prices the last few years. What is true is that after Intel launches a chip, there are much fewer in-place price cuts made to that chip while it is being sold as a first-tier CPU. Part of this is that tick-tock is actually working very well, so Intel is better off simply making a price point and introducing a new chip at that price point every year or so. * P.S. --> In that linked article take a look at what AMD was charging back then... [b<]wow[/b<]! It's pretty easy to say that AMD has had steeper price cuts when they were so high to begin with. ** P.P.S. --> This quote from the article (remember it is from [b<]2007[/b<]) is hilarious: "Once again, the Core 2 processors lead their Athlon 64 competition, but this is a much tighter contest. Note to self: Don't expect a game designed for the weakling Xbox 360 CPU to stress any modern PC processor." --> See bottom of page 3.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Nonsense. Intel’s monopoly is the reason why CPUs aren’t below $10. They’ve been forcing HPs and Dells and Lenovos to pay AMD more for their chips so Intel’s CPU prices wouldn’t crash.

      No worries – ARM desktop and server chips are coming soon. They’ll beat Intel and AMD in size, performance, power consumption and price. ARM server chips will be available at prices ranging from 99 cents for low-end stuff to $5 for top-notch computation monsters.

        • raddude9
        • 7 years ago

        mostly correct, some trolling though.

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          Oh totally, that comment about how ARM will charge you 99 cents for a CPU is obviously blatant pro-Intel FUD, when we all know that ARM will give the chips away for free and make up for it in volume.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Nice dips on the FX processors, that’s not a good sign. Honestly the data range is kinda small for this sorta analysis, I’d rather see data for the last three years or even five that includes all the processors. The lack of discontinued processors really is a huge omission because new processors usually take over those price points, so you can see a longer trend. AMD and Intel have priced competitively price/performance for a long time, so it can be used as a semi-reliable indicator of performance at certain price points.

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      The first dip in FX-series pricing was coming down to earth after the initial launch, which was warranted given the price of the 2500K vs. the FX-8150. It wasn’t good for AMD but it was the rational thing to do.

      The most recent dip in the FX-series pricing is probably to clear out some inventory before Piledriver launches later this month, so it’s not all bad as long as Piledriver can sell well.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Yup about launch prices, I don’t believe the more recent trend was for inventory, but rather to equalize $/performacne.

        Honestly this is still too short term, why I think a bigger spread would be better… at least for the sort of analysis cyril is doing.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    Ever since Merom, we’ve returned to the old dictum: Intel drops prices when they want to, AMD does so when it has to.

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      I think you mean “Intel never drops prices.” They just introduce “new” products at the same pricepoints.

        • anotherengineer
        • 7 years ago

        Well how else are they going to make 1000 Million a week and keep up to Apples profits?

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      Seems like neither does it unless necessary.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    I remember the Q6600 was released at $800 retail and dropped to around $250 for the G0 stepping the same year.

    Not sure what pressure AMD had on intel at the time ? but I recall the Q6600 at $240 was an unbeatable deal.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      The massive price drop on Q6600s was Intel’s preemptive strike at the Phenom I.

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    It’s much worse than just this.
    Intel forked the desktop line with the -E series and the “best CPU at reasonable price” (as in 300-320$) is not even close to the best available.
    Intel is going for smaller and smaller dies every gen, despite integrating more and more.
    Ofc this is greed and how they got their margins up so much,but it’s also a strategy mistake since it gives us less reasons to upgrade and induces an incredible lack of excitement.(ARM is killing the laptop,Intel is killing the desktop lol). Another year,another 10-15% in perf (Moore’s law my a.. ) we might as well never bother to check reviews.We’ve been waiting for 6 cores for how many years now? Sure we can get that but at a very wrong price.
    And at this point there isn’t much hope short term, Intel won’t change it’s way , AMD won’t have a new arch soon,ARM (and an OS for it) aren’t quite ready so we’ll have to just wait for a while.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      It’s much worse than just this.
      Its smaller and smaller die, with 30 to 40% used for a half cocked GPU.

      How many people on earth are using i7-3770k without a discreet GPU ?
      What a waste of production capacity…

        • jjj
        • 7 years ago

        maybe someone should sue them for abusing their monopolistic position and forcing you to pay for something they know you don’t use.
        lol wouldn’t it be funny to ask Intel for a refund on the GPU?

        PS: maybe we should bash someone every week at TR,last week AMD, now Intel,funny thing is that there is plenty to bash without being unreasonable. Next week maybe go for HDD warranty, we save Apple for x-mas and Google for new year.

        • UberGerbil
        • 7 years ago

        Right now I’m using its predecessor, the 2500K, without a discreet GPU. But anecdotes are not data, of course; I’m sure in the desktop sphere I represent a minority (though not as small a one as gaming-oriented enthusiasts might think; there are plenty of workstations that don’t need much of anything in the way of high-performance graphics). The IGP is much more widely used in the mobile segment, of course, and that’s the client segment that really matters.

        The reality is that if Intel wasn’t integrating the GPU, they’d just be making the core even smaller. And since they probably would want to also have IGP-integrated cores for mobile use, they’d actually lose some economies of scale and the result might actually be more expensive (you also get the benefit of the extra L3 cache “slice” that belongs to the IGP even if you aren’t using it). And you want Intel to refund you money for something you got “for free”?

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      Moore’s “Law” (which, as I’ve said before, is really more like Moore’s Economic Imperative) says nothing about performance. It only talks about transistors, and it is very much intact. The fact Intel is using those additional transistors to churn out more CPUs per wafer rather than more higher-performance CPUs, or to integrate more things on the die rather than increasing CPU throughput, or that fundamental issues wrt leakage and voltage make it unreasonable to keep cranking up clockspeed for “cheap/free” performance, in no way invalidates Moore’s “Law.” Nor is it invalidated when Amdahl’s Law trumps it as far as extracting more performance through adding cores.

      • Scrotos
      • 7 years ago

      Here you go: [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2008/09/moore/[/url<] More Moore than you can pack into one wafer! (at least until 12 to 18 months from now) It's what UberGerbil would want to say but doesn't want to spend an hour writing up. Now you go learn yourself a lesson in what Moore's Law really means!

    • shank15217
    • 7 years ago

    Why would anybody have to buy AMD for it to be successful? AMDs bulldozer was a mis-step thats going to take a couple of years to recover from, if AMD can hold on and innovate in other ways in the meantime then they have a fighting chance.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Very good article that overlooks one critical component.

    The lack of demand for more computing power in the gaming and mainstream arenas.

    CPU performance in these arenas have plateaued since the day mutli-core units become commonplace and affordable. These same chips can effortlessly handle any non-workstation and server workload. There’s no killer mainstream app that can put these chips to their proverbial knees. That’s why Intel’s primary focus in the mainstream since Nehalem has been reducing power consumption without sacrificing CPU performance. Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge chips are that not much faster than their Bloomfield predecessors (assuming clock speed is equal), however the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge units can pull it off with a fraction of the loaded power consumption.

    The result is that you have portable systems with CPU performance that is comparable to their desktop brethren. It’s amazing that you can pick up a Ivy Bridge laptop that beats my aging Q6600 3.0Ghz and it doesn’t require a wind tunnel to keep itself cool.

      • jjj
      • 7 years ago

      Mainstream is not the only market out there, Intel could easily offer 6-8 cores with no GPU at reasonable pricing, they just don’t want to,power consumption in desktop is just how they spin it,their real reasons are the margins.Besides the 200-300$ range is no mainstream and anyone that needs a quad today could use more cores, you don’t need a quad to surf the internets.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      What laptop beat your 3ghz Q6600 ? doing what ?

        • jjj
        • 7 years ago

        Since when is a q6600 relevant? That’s 6 years old,it competes with ARM nowday.

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          The point is that current crop of laptop-grade CPUs can effortlessly handle any non-professional workload and they can outperform quad-core chips of yesterday. The quad-cores from that era required a huge heatsink with a loud, high-RPM fan to keep the chip cool when loaded.

          You seem to grossly overestimate the performance of ARM chips. Their niche has been energy efficiency not performance, they are up against Atom and Geode line. ARM chips don’t hold a cradle to quad-core desktop chips of yesterday in terms of CPU performance.

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            The q6600 came with a stock heatsink fan no bigger then the last 2 gen quad core.
            The Q6600 is rated with a TDP of 105W, the i7-2600k 95W.

            10 watt is not a huge difference when it come to cooling requirements.

            But I’m sure overclocked/overvolted and at load the fan will spin must faster then a i7-3770k

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          Dude… I have run the benchmarks, and dual-core ARM chips from 2011 still lag lower-clocked single-core x86 CPUs from 2008 in most benchmarks, often by substantial amounts. Bring the clock speeds up to 2Ghz+ (on both sides) and the ARM boards are going to be annihilated by a Q6600 or a first-generation Phenom.

          Here are the results: [url<]http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1209058-SU-1208261BY38[/url<] Remember, the Panda Board released less than a year ago has a 25% clock speed advantage and two-cores vs. an underclocked single-core x86 laptop chip from 2008...

      • esterhasz
      • 7 years ago

      I agree. This problem is made even worse by the awful macroeconomic environment. Why invest in new hardware if most programs still work fine and the future is uncertain?

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      OMG something finally impresses Krogoth.

    • Musafir_86
    • 7 years ago

    -Hmm, if Qualcomm or Samsung takes over AMD, will the x86 license is transferable too?

    -BTW, do patent office (or whoever) cannot force Intel to license its x86 license under FRAND terms to anyone who want it? x86 is so ubiquitous now; I think it’s already time for that. And when Intel’s patent hold/license on x86 will expire?

    Regards.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      IANAL, but:

      There is no “x86 license.” What constitutes the barrier between Intel+AMD and everyone else is a collection of patents that enable the construction of a modern, performant x86 core. The original x86 patents are expired, and anyone could build one. The trouble is, you’d be building a 80s-era 16bit 8086, not something that could compete with what is available today (even if you were using a modern process node). There’s a whole raft of patents that cover all the things that make a 64bit out-of-order superscalar x86 core what it is today, and those are much more recent. AMD and Intel have an [url=http://corporate.findlaw.com/contracts/operations/patent-cross-license-agreement-advanced-micro-devices-inc-and.html<]extensive patent-sharing agreement[/url<] (which goes in both directions, which is why Intel was able to exactly duplicate AMD's 64bit design without any legal issues), and in which there is an explicit clause -6.2(b)(7)- that causes the agreement to expire if AMD (or Intel) is not the surviving entity in any merger or otherwise undergoes a "change in control." Which doesn't mean that Samsung, say, couldn't buy AMD but they'd have to re-negotiate the agreement from scratch with Intel. And Intel might be willing to do that, because Samsung would inevitably have to pony up a bunch of its own patents, and some of those undoubtedly would be valuable to Intel. Intel would probably also do it just to keep a second source on the table, so that no one would seriously suggest forcing Intel to share its x86 patents on terms it didn't like. And, as long as a second source exists, no one seriously would. To force Intel to give up its IP is essentially the same as seizure of any other kind of property worth billions of dollars. Which governments can do (eminent domain, for example) but there's a very high barrier to that in the US (congress is explicitly called upon in the US Constitution to protect the exclusive right to "discoveries" by inventors for a set period of time), and it wouldn't look very kindly on other governments attempting such a seizure of the assets of a US company either. Meanwhile, Intel is getting competition from ARM, and could certainly point to that as a reason no such drastic action is necessary: x86 isn't as vitally important and central to the tech universe as it once was (just as Windows isn't either). Note that the x86 instruction set is not really covered by patents [i<]per se[/i<], as it is a language (which according to somewhat-settled case law probably isn't protectable by patents or copyright) so you certainly can create your own implementation of something that processes the x86 ISA -- which is exactly what Transmeta did, by effectively interpreting it using another processor, and what all cross-architecture VMs (like the old Parallels for the PowerPC Mac) do as well. In fact, [url=http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6122235&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6122235<]someone could do that using an ARM core[/url<] also. The result wouldn't win any performance crowns, but it would allow "ubiquitous" x86 code to run anywhere completely independent of Intel.

        • Wirko
        • 7 years ago

        Though a little frightened by your lawyer skills, I object. An ISA must somehow be patentable and/or copyrightable. If it wasn’t then what legal basis would ARM have to sell their architectural licenses to Apple, Qualcomm, and others that design their own, ARM ISA compatible processors?

          • Game_boy
          • 7 years ago

          The right to call your processor ‘ARM-compatible’. Same thing Sun/Oracle does for Java – the API is free but if you want to call it Java you need a license. I’m sure the license also includes documentation, a reference implementation and support from ARM as well.

          APIs and instruction sets, necessary for the purpose of interoperability, are not patentable because they don’t invent anything. I doubt they are copyrightable but I’m not sure.

          • eofpi
          • 7 years ago

          IANAL, but there are forms of IP beyond copyrights and patents. The relevant ones here would be trademarks and trade secrets.

          You can take an ARM ISA and make your own chip design, from scratch, that implements it, but you can’t call it an ARM design without a trademark license from ARM. (x86, it should be noted, has no such limitation, because numbers can’t be trademarked. That’s why Intel went with Pentium instead of 80586.)

          More practically, though, ARM doesn’t merely license their ISAs (and trademarks) out. They license out their chip designs, which are almost certainly copyrighted, and probably have features that are patented, as well. Most licensees take these designs and combine them with other licensed parts (graphics section, system interfaces, etc.) to make their chips.

          But what about Apple, Qualcomm, etc? They don’t do a clean-sheet reimplementation of ARM’s ISA either. They just change the things they want to on the chip design, to better suit their needs, and leave the rest unchanged.

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