The AMD Athlon 7750 Black Edition has come in with a whimper.
Here’s a link to various reviews, but in all honesty, they all say about the same thing: it competes better against AMD’s processors than Intel’s. Yeah, it can usually beat Intel’s cut down E5200, until you start overclocking them. They’ll cost $79, maybe that will make some people happy. If you want a decent summary and editorial comment, all you need to do is read this page.
There is something else, though. Maybe it’s just me, but you read these reviews, and you sense an undertone of something I’ve never seen before in CPU reviews. Sadness. Not disappointment, not indignation nor anger at being disappointed. Just a simple, resigned sadness, as if to say without saying, “You know you can’t really expect all too much from these folks.” Not that this made the reviewers happy. No, you can sense they wanted to say good things about AMD, they wanted to say “AMD is back,” or something like it. But in the end, they couldn’t. The numbers wouldn’t let them, and those numbers have been that way for too long to pretend otherwise.
You get mad at people who don’t do well when you feel, think, know that they can do better than that. You don’t get mad at those you know can’t. You get mad at the All-Star player who strikes out with the bases loaded in a critical game. You don’t get mad at the lifetime .180 hitter who does the same thing. That doesn’t mean you like or prefer the .180 hitter. He’ll probably be cut long before the slugger. But you don’t get mad at him for it.
It’s like being a coach during tryouts, and there’s this one kid who tries so hard it almost makes you want to cry, but he just doesn’t have it and he’s not going to get it. Your heart is rooting for the kid, but your head says you have to pick the kid with less spirit but more talent. Or maybe it’s even more like you’re the coach of an aged star. He certainly had it once, and you’ve given him every chance to get back into the groove. But whatever he had is going, going, gone, and you’ve kept him in the lineup too long already.
I wouldn’t say it’s the end of the line for AMD among these reviewers, Deneb will be coming along shortly, and of course, the enthusiast market is hardly the only or even very important part of AMD’s total market.
But I think if we see another series of sad reviews for Denebs, a line will be crossed, maybe its the difference between being down on your luck and just being down, and that’s a line that will not be easily be recrossed the other way.