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  • XBox One Sales Boost A Catalyst For AMD [View article]
    Not mention MS could be sweetening the deals for the XBox to try to move all the systems they built for the holidays because they anticipate possibly lower than expected demand otherwise. So MS may be struggling to move just the systems that have the CPUs they already bought from AMD in Q3.
    Nov 18, 2014. 12:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why You Should And Shouldn't Buy AMD Today [View article]
    "This sums up one of the big problems I see with the SA community and AMD.
    They get hooked on the widgets (HSA, Mantle, ARM, etc) and get their pumper frenzy on. But this stuff doesn't bring in substantial revenue and will not for a long time if ever."

    The problem IMO is that AMD makes consumer facing products that are very easy to understand from a technical point of view, where you can use graphs that show how X product is faster than Y product, or better at perf/$, or perf/watt, etc. This attracts technically minded investors who try to use to such information to draw conclusions on how well such products should do in the market. I used to think this way back in the mid-2000s when I was a heavier investor in AMD.

    Fortunately I discovered real business is more complex than this when you start factoring in sales capabilities, marketing, brand strength, OEM relationships, ISV relationships, cost of production, operational overhead, etc. After 15 years of watching AMD I've basically come to the conclusion that whatever AMD's technical proficiencies are (and I do think there is some good engineering that goes on there) organizationally the company is fundamentally rotten (meaning they are bad at just about everything I listed), and this goes way beyond the exec level like who is the CEO.
    Oct 16, 2014. 07:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Glowing reviews for high-end Nvidia GPUs; benchmarks top AMD parts [View news story]
    @Fiberton. As a gamer I do care, and if I was presented 2 cards with similar price and performance but one had lower power consumption, I'll pick the lower power consumption one. Every time.
    Sep 21, 2014. 03:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Glowing reviews for high-end Nvidia GPUs; benchmarks top AMD parts [View news story]
    GM204 is in Nvidia's mid-range silicon family (successor to GK104). Nvidia still has the transistor budget and thermal headroom to release the successor to GK110 (ie 780/780Ti/Titan), so Nvidia is for sure not done scaling Maxwell up yet.

    What Nvidia has done is an astonishing engineering feat. GM204 has only 10% bigger die size than AMD's recently released Tonga part, yet is 1.5x - 2.0x faster and consumes less power (reminds me of Intel/AMD comparisons). Those types of efficiency gaps are usually only seen in process shrinks.

    Also, IMO, a lot of gamers do care about power consumption on desktop as power consumption is usually correlated with noise from the cooling solution. It also plays an important tie-breaker with all other factors being close.
    Sep 21, 2014. 12:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Intel Take Down AMD? [View article]
    Intel also offers up to 8 core 64-bit Atom-based CPUs (Avoton) for dense microservers. By the time AMD's ARM64 solution comes out, Intel will be on the 14nm generation of this product. Intel has every single segment of the server market covered, and there is no product that AMD can release that will not go head to head with some part of Intel's product portfolio in the server space.
    Jul 23, 2014. 05:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD Will Outpace Intel In Computing Efficiency [View article]
    If it's so easy to catch up then why has AMD been behind for the last 8 years? And this article is meaningless without comparing it to Intel's longterm roadmap. Do you know for sure Intel is going to do nothing about heterogenous computing? Do you know anything about Intel's gen8 graphics? gen9 graphics? Skylake? Cannonlake? 10nm? Intel has zero surprises in store for the next 6 years? I see a lot of assumptions that AMD is going to do everything they say they are going to do and Intel is going to basically do nothing.
    Jun 28, 2014. 02:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Shipments of AMD/Nvidia graphics cards hit by high inventories [View news story]
    Used mining GPUs are getting dumped into the open market at firesale prices. Just check eBay to see what used R9s are going for. R9 280x's are selling for around $150, half off retail. For the gaming market to absorb this excess, demand for new GPUs will absolutely be affected. We should find out during the AMD's Q2 earnings report just how much Q1's graphics sales were propped up by the crypto currency bubble.
    Jun 17, 2014. 01:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD's PC Problem Is Over [View article]
    I also agree that AMD will probably only minimally benefit from any uptick in business spending. Historically AMD's retail/consumer marketshare has always been much higher than their overall marketshare, which points to a weak presence in corporate markets. This makes sense as AMD's higher performance graphics (pretty much their only major advantage) is largely wasted in corporate PCs. Also with only a ~3% marketshare in servers, they won't benefit much in any uptick in server spending either. Intel pretty much has the corporate market locked down.
    Jun 13, 2014. 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How AMD's Market Share Can Rise To 30% After The MacPro Deal [View article]
    @renz4, I didn't check Hawaii but it doesn't surprise me that AMD is starting to use FP64 performance to differentiate the FirePro going forward. I think Apple just found a loophole in AMD's product line which is why the Dxx series is so cheap (buy consumer parts, get pro performance under OS X). It will be interesting to see what happens to the price of the Mac Pro's FirePro upgrades in future models, assuming Apple continues to use AMD's GPUs (which I don't think is a given considering the superb perf/watt architecture in Nvidia's Maxwell GPU, which is key for the power limited Mac Pro form factor).
    May 16, 2014. 12:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How AMD's Market Share Can Rise To 30% After The MacPro Deal [View article]
    @Justin, yes I think AMD made Tahiti a little too good as a balanced compute/gaming architecture in the consumer space (even against Hawaii, which is 1/8 FP64). I run an R9 280x in a Hackintosh video editing box and it's about as fast as Nvidia cards that cost twice as much in Resolve (vs the CUDA version no less).

    It's too bad AMD has been sitting on this brilliant compute architecture for over 2 years now and they haven't been able to leverage it because of the glacial place of OpenCL development. Even with the Mac Pro, the joke in the forums was that Apple really released a Final Cut Pro Mac since that was the only thing it was really good at at launch (most other Pro apps on the Mac are still CUDA based...even Resolve didn't get OpenCL support until 8 months ago).
    May 15, 2014. 08:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How AMD's Market Share Can Rise To 30% After The MacPro Deal [View article]
    @Justin, Nvidia gimps FP64 performance for their consumer grade silicon, but AMD does not, at least not for their Tahiti based cards. Both the W9000 and 7970 are rated at 1/4 FP64 performance (1 TFLOPS).
    May 15, 2014. 07:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How AMD's Market Share Can Rise To 30% After The MacPro Deal [View article]
    @Justin, well under Windows bootcamp the Dxx cards are identified as their consumer grade equivalents (eg D700 becomes Radeon 7970). From what I understand, FirePro/Radeon silicon is pretty much identical anyway except for a special id string in hardware which allows the special Windows pro drivers to work. These Windows pro driver certifications are apparently what makes the FirePro so expensive, and it's obvious Apple is not paying that tax.

    Because of this, I think the latter scenario is more likely, that Apple is basically buying Radeon silicon in bulk, and maybe paying AMD a small premium for allowing them to use the FirePro brand.
    May 15, 2014. 06:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How AMD's Market Share Can Rise To 30% After The MacPro Deal [View article]
    Indeed the step up to the D700 is also only $999, a far cry from $6K+ 2x "equivalent" FirePro W9000s would cost. The Mac Pros GPUs also don't use ECC memory either, unlike their PC equivalents. So either AMD is giving Apple a massive discount on their FirePro parts and Apple is neutering them, or Apple is really just buying AMD's consumer grade GPU chips (with associated margin) to use as "pro" parts, which they can get away with since they write their own Mac OS X drivers and thus don't need the special Windows drivers for pro apps that is one of the big differentiators between the Radeon and FirePro lines.
    May 15, 2014. 05:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD: The New Puma Chip As A Catalyst In Mobile [View article]
    @Avatar, it's traditionally taken roughly 4 years to go from concept to product for a CPU (3 years of definition, design, simulation, and another year from first silicon, debugging, ramp, to product). Intel has multiple design teams with a staggered development cycle so they are able to come out with a "new" architecture roughly every 2 years, so it appears their design cycle is shorter even though it's not.

    Intel also doesn't ever need to support HSA to take advantage of GPU computing...they just need to evolve their support for OpenCL. Most developers are going to take advantage of HSA through OpenCL anyway (even most of the HSA demos AMD has touted are implemented using OpenCL). The OpenCL 2.0 spec already defines some of the core features that form the basis for HSA, like a shared virtual memory address space between the CPU and GPU.

    I suspect that Broadwell's Gen8 graphics will evolve Intel's GPU compute capabilities, possibly with OpenCL 2.0 support. Intel has given some hints with the statement: "Broadwell graphics bring some of the biggest changes we’ve seen on the execution and memory management side of the GPU" (

    You're right to be skeptical of the HSA efforts...developers aren't going to support it en masse it until it benefits more than 1% of the computing population. A bit of a history lesson, AMD did beat Intel to x86-64 computing by a couple of years 10 years ago, but in the end it didn't matter as by the time x86-64 became mainstream Intel supported it and did it better than AMD. Intel's massive R&D budget has a way of eliminating first mover advantages.
    Apr 11, 2014. 09:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Laptop Opportunity [View article]
    Plus some applications that may be important to some consumers may never get ported as they aren't actively supported anymore. It's not just applications either (and you're kidding yourselves if you think applications like Office and Photoshop are going to get ported on a dime). You also have to deal with hardware vendors porting drivers for 3rd party devices. Oh and now you can't run Windows anymore (virtualized or dual boot...I guess you can run technically run Windows RT but who the hell would want to run that?).

    Way too many pain points for the consumer for Apple to risk it IMO. They could create an x86 emulation layer for ARM (like they did for PowerPC with Rosetta) to ease the transition, but you take a huge performance hit with emulation. It worked for Rosetta since Intel was much faster than PowerPC at the time, and devices back then weren't constrained to these 10W-15W form factors. Apple's installed base was also much smaller back then too.

    It's far more likely that they will just try to scale up iOS to a laptop form factor and bring the iOS ecosystem with them, apps and all. Maybe tweak iOS to support larger screens, some multitasking capabilities, and maybe alternative input capabilities like mice.
    Apr 11, 2014. 08:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment