Checking For Loopholes

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From Wikipedia:

“[W.C.] Fields spent his final weeks in a hospital, where a friend stopped by for a visit and caught Fields reading the Bible. He enquired as to why, since Fields was an atheist, to which Fields replied, “I’m checking for loopholes.””

What does that have to do with overclocking? That’s what I always find myself doing when AMD makes public comment on a touchy issue: I look for the loopholes. Over the years, I’ve found it a very effective way to figure out what AMD is doing.

What’s today’s touchy issue? Why, the Opterons, of course, and “To be or not to be,” that is the question.

The Inquirer said the other day that production of socket 939 Opterons would stop.

AMD came out with a non-denial denial:

“Socket 939 AMD Opteron 100 Series processors are in production. AMD will continue to produce Opteron 100 Series processors with ECC unbuffered memory support in 2006, and we will adjust production volumes as needed to supply our server and workstation customers,” said Brett Jacobs, a spokesman for AMD.

Looks like a denial to you? Well, let’s repeat this with certain words highlighted:

“Socket 939 AMD Opteron 100 Series processors are in production. AMD will continue to produce Opteron 100 Series processors with ECC unbuffered memory support in 2006, and we will adjust production volumes as needed to supply our server and workstation customers,” said Brett Jacobs, a spokesman for AMD.

In other words, AMD will supply OEMs, not you. This is in accordance with what many others have been hearing through AMD salespeople the last few weeks.

If you take a look at the Inquirer article, they mention SKUs, and all the other items mentioned as being phased out are retail processors. I would venture that if we saw all the text in the whole document, including SKUs, it would indicate that retail Opteron 939s were the ones getting the axe.

AMD does this all the time, knowing that the vast majority of people don’t even read all of what they say, much less check for loopholes. Unfortunately, it works.

What Won’t Be Spin

The real way to see whether or not this is the right read on what is going on is to see if Opterons in retail boxes are being sold with later and later production dates. For instance, if you see retail Opterons being sold in a month with production dates like 0601, well, they are continuing to make them for retail.

It is quite possible, even likely, that we’ll see OEM Opteron chips in 2006, but if that’s just about all we see, all that means is that OEMs are selling excess processors gray market (though AMD is apparently making OEMs swear in blood that they won’t do that).

At this point, I think those who missed this ought to forget about Opterons given the revved-up new versions coming up in a few months, or even better, await equivalently revved-up socket M2 processors.

boxcheck

Ed


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