A Few Questions 2580

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We have a few questions for AMDers to get an idea of what they’re likely to do in the near future.

First, we give you a scenario with a number of likely assumptions about products, pricing, performance and overclockability. Then, on page two, we ask you a few questions (either two or at most four questions).

Please send your response to the special email address listed on page 2 and to that address only.

Thank you for your participation!

Assumptions

Assume the following:

It is November. Socket 939 launched in June, with the lowest price for a socket 939 chip (2.2GHz, 3500+) being around $400. In September, AMD slips in a 3300+, and between that and price cuts around that time, the entry level price for a socket 939 chip becomes about $210.

At the same time, AMD gets desktop 90nm Hammers out at the 2.4/2.6 GHz level. They start off at prices around $400/$600.

Another round of price cuts at the end of October gives you the following price lineup for Athlon 64s:

CPU Speed Cache 130/90nm
Price
4000+ 2.6GHz 512K 90nm
$400
3800+ 2.4GHz 512K 90nm
$275
3500+ 2.2GHz 512K 130nm
$210
3300+ 2.0GHz 512K 130nm
$175

Around this time, word gets out that while AMD will eventually come out with 90nm versions of the 3500+ and 3300+, there’s no
way in hell they’re going to sell a socket 939 chip for less than $150, ever.

Assume that good socket 939 motherboards will cost about $120-130; also assume that memory prices drop down to the level they were a couple months ago. Assume you can get these in either PCIExpress or AGP versions. Forget DDR2 memory until well into the second half of 2005. Assume dual-core Hammer will come out around then, too, but they’ll cost an arm and an leg.

Also assume that Windows x86-64 comes out by November, but that only a fairly small number of games, professional graphics/media apps, and server apps use it, and this doesn’t change much in the months after introduction.

Finally, assume these chips can overclock, with high-end air, pretty regularly to 3GHz, and that Intel has no equivalent to match that.

At the same time, AMD introduces “Paris.” This is a socket 754 chip, 130nm, 256K cache, no x86-64. Clock for clock, it performs about 10%-15% worse in 32-bit than the socket 939s, say 25% worse than a socket 939 using x86-64 apps. It performs about 5% worse than current socket Athlon 64s (which stay above $150 in price). It does do 15% clock-for-clock better than an Athlon XP Barton.

90nm versions of these chips will not come out until the end of 2005.

AMD’s pricing on these is as follows:

Speed Price
2.2GHz $100
2GHz $75

Being socket 754, it’s single-channel memory. Assume mobos will cost less than $100. Also assume these mobos are AGP-only.

Assume AMD changes its mind and decides to put out a 90nm version of the current socket 754 out at around the same time (same overclockability as the 90nm socket 939 5-10% less performance clock by clock), and that they’ll cost $40 less than their s939 equivalents, with an eventual entry price for one of those is about $140.

The Questions…

The Questions

Last but not least, assume that you wait a while longer, and find out that AMD is not going to change its mind about the price structure. When new processors come out, the ones at the bottom are phased out.

1) What do you do?

a) I buy a socket 939 system by this point in time.
b) I buy a 90nm socket 754 system by this point in time.
c) I buy a Paris system by this point in time.
d) I don’t buy anything until the second half of the year, and get a socket 939 system with DDR2, or maybe even dual-core.
e) I don’t buy anything until the second half of the year, and buy a 90nm Paris system.
f) I already have a Hammer system, and don’t plan on upgrading in 2004 or 2005.

g) I didn’t plan on upgrading my socket A in 2004 or 2005, anyway.

h) I’m not going to upgrade if these are my choices.
i) To hell with AMD, I’m going to Intel.

2) If these end up being your choices, how would feel about them?

a) Pretty good
b) OK
c) I am not a happy camper.

If and only if you answered (b) in question one, please answer two more questions:

3) If you answered (b) in question one, assume that AMD does not come out with 90nm socket 754 chips at the end of 2004, and that was your choice in question 1. The choice is socket 939 or Paris-style socket 754 chips. What do you do?

a) I buy a socket 939 system by this point in time.
b) I buy a Paris system by this point in time.
c) I don’t buy anything until the second half of the year, and get a socket 939 system with DDR2.
d) I don’t buy anything until the second half of the year, and buy a 90nm Paris system.
e) I already have a Hammer system, and don’t plan on upgrading in 2004 or 2005.
f) I didn’t plan on upgrading my socket A in 2004 or 2005, anyway.

g) I’m not going to upgrade if these are my choices.
h) To hell with AMD, I’m going to Intel.

4) If these end up being your choices, how would feel about them?

a) Pretty good
b) OK
c) I am not a happy camper.

Thank you for participating! Again, please send to your responses to only the email address listed below.

Ed

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