Apparently, a few Clawhammers were crawling around at 1.4GHz. No, we’re not having problems making these things.
But don’t pay any attention to that! What’s far more important is the name for it! Athlon 64!!!!! And all the woo-woos go, well, “Woo, woo!!!!!”
I have a much better name for it. Slow.
For at least 3DMark 2001, the performance equivalence came in at around 2.2GHz. You can buy an AMD processor that can do that stock for $140.
Even presuming AMD can get this up to 2GHz, we’re looking at the performance equivalent of a little over 3GHz. This is not much to get excited about even now, much less five months from now.
Overclocking? They can’t even get demonstration Clawhammer samples anywhere near 2GHz after trying for a year. Not exactly a prime overclocking candidate.
I don’t see anything here that would make me want to wait six months to buy one rather than buy a PIV system soon.
Throw in a little cash consciousness, and I don’t see anything here that would make me want to toss a socket A system, either. If you don’t see enough bang for the buck from a PIV system, you’re hardly going to see it from Clawhammer.
I think AMD knows that, which is why Clawhammer has been so deemphasized. Even the majority of fanboys watch their wallets. If it’s a choice between cheap (or at least cheaper) TBreds/Bartons and paying for a Clawhammer platform, 90% will go for the first.
Sorry, but 64-bit won’t be worth hundreds of dollars extra on the desktop in 2003 to the average person.
If I want AMD, far better to go with the second generation Clawhammer, which should address some of the weaknesses of the first (low cache, single-channel memory structure, integrated DDR-I controller).
A New Career?
You’re making about half the CPUs you made a little more than six months ago. Your revenues from your CPUs have dropped by more than half. You still can’t get rid of all the inventory you made six months ago.
Your “bet-the-bank” new project is far behind schedule. In eighteen months, you either have or will get rid of about a quarter of your workforce. You’re mortgaging your fabs, and trying to borrow even more money to stay afloat.
If this is success, what’s failure?
So what does Hector Ruiz do during a keynote speech about the company? He picks up an axe and starts jamming with Slash during a keynote speech. How subliminally appropriate during massive layoffs.
That’s pretty close to fiddling while Rome burns.
I think singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” with Bobby McFerrin would have been more on message.
Or how about Alfred E. Neumann? If AMD has had a theme the last six months, it’s been “What? Me Worry?”
All I can say is that AMD had better get its act together and start making a few million more CPUs a quarter pretty soon. If they don’t, AMD could have live corporate sex acts onstage, and it still won’t keep the vultures away.