AMD Listens To Me Again :)

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Digitimes reports that AMD will come out with a cheaper dual-core processor in about a month (this link will work for free for only a few days).

They announced a price of $345 for what looks to be a 2GHz, dual-core 512K cache-each version. There’s a slot open in AMD’s lineup for a dual-core 1Mb, it wasn’t announced, but if one comes out, that would probably cost a little shy of $400.

It may still be too high a price for many, but after all, it is an overall better processor than the Pentium Ds, and is at least price-competitive to a 3GHz D, so it’s an OK price for now. You can’t expect truly cheap duallies from anybody until 65nm

You know, for somebody so critical of AMD, they end up doing what I suggest an awful lot. 🙂

I’m only kidding about that, but recall the reaction of just about everyone who reviewed the dual cores two months ago. They said, “AMD needs a cheaper one for the mainstream.”

It wasn’t just some hardware website geeks saying it, either. Back on June 15, we found out that OEMs wanted a cheaper one, too.

It’s understandable that AMD might not want to go to the nth degree to make overclockers happy, but it isn’t exactly rocket science to anticipate that OEMs might want a sub-$500 CPU so they can sell more AMD computers, especially when the competition is already offering them.

Yes, they’re finally doing the right thing, but to paraphrase Winston Churchill, you have to wonder why AMD ends up doing the right thing after trying everything else.

It’s not like this is the first time, either. AMD wouldn’t do dual-channel memory for desktops until the last moment, long after Intel shifted, then took another nine months to come up with a real platform for it.

They used multiple desktop sockets, for no apparently good reason, which led to extremely expensive Hammers being suddenly downgraded to being the bargain-basement platform, and will shortly lead to things like multiple-socket Semprons. Next year, that mistake will be rectified with socket M2.

They said “No, no, no” to x86-64 Semprons until Intel said “Yes,” then waited until Intel actually came out with a Celeron D before giving in on that.

In most of these instances, it wasn’t like Intel was throwing bolts out of the blue. They gave plenty of warning, warning a nimbler competitor would have used to advantage.

In all these instances, I (and others) suggested that these weren’t too terribly good ideas, and each time, those who did heard from the fantroopers. In the end, though, AMD eventually ended up doing what the critics said.

The point is not to toot my own horn, it’s more like being the little boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” wondering what wrong with the Emperor.

When you see AMD keep shooting itself in the foot like that, you start wondering after a while. It’s certainly a reason why big OEMs may be more inclined to take those Intel incentives; if nothing else, Intel is more predictable, and big companies like that. You certainly can’t blame Intel rebates or marketing money for decisions like that.

Yes, Intel makes mistakes, too, but their mistakes tend to be of a different, rarer nature, mainly running CPU architectures into the ground. They tend to be strategic, while AMD’s tend to be tactical.

Problem is, the big guy can afford to make more mistakes. Unfair, but true.

It must be toughest on the fanboys, though. Whenever AMD does something suboptimal, they rush to defend it, saying how AMD couldn’t possibly do anything other than what they’re doing. Then their beloved does a 180 and blows away all their arguments.

Talk about unrequited love. 🙂

Ed

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