What Is Wrong?

One That Made It Out

On the one hand, finding a TBred2 is still almost impossible. On the other, Newegg showed them up for sale for a very short time, but then the page was pulled. Not sure if it went up by mistake or they ran out, but they’re not there anymore.

One pioneer, Emtp563, (here’s his website OC-AthlonXP.com) got his hands on one, combined it with a Vapochill system, and got 2500MHz out of it.

Here’s a picture of the code part of the chip (reproduced with owner’s permission):


Note a few things about the codes.

First, there’s a new CPU code we haven’t seen before. Instead of the AIUAB we’ve seen from reviewer’s copies so far, this is a AIUCB.

Perhaps more importantly, look at the week on the chip. This chip was made week 39. That means the last week of September. We are now in week 40. These chips were rushed, and I mean rushed out. I don’t recall there ever being so little gap between week of manufacture and week of sale.

I think it will be interesting to see what weeks show up on other CPUs.

Where Are The Rest?

Look at the facts:

  • AMD said the last Palomino start was in late June.
  • During the summer, the 2200+ was hardly available, only recently have a lot of places been selling them.
  • Due to the delays, AMD has acknowledged serious problems with the TBreds that required redesign and structural modifications.
  • Very few resellers have offered to even pre-sell either the 2400+ or 2600+.
  • They’re going to OEMs? Then where are the OEM systems for sale? Neither Gateway, Compaq nor HP are currently selling such systems.
  • Per the “new” vaporous Athlons, look here and you have an AMD salesperson telling an OEM making high-end CAD machines that the XP2800+ is going to have a “very limited production run” which has been sold out, so go away and we’ll tell you when Barton is ready.

    I’ve had suspicions all was still not well at Dresden for a while, but this last straw broke my back.

    When have you ever heard of a “limited edition” CPU?

    Since when do CPU companies stop making their top of the line CPUs and turn customers away rather than make more? It’s possible you might do that if you had a new product coming out a week later, but you don’t even try to sell the customer that?

    You can’t imagine a company doing that willingly even if they were making so much money they ended up throwing it away with the trash.

    We’re not talking about a company like that when we’re talking about AMD.

    We’re talking about a company losing money hand-over-fist.

    We’re talking about a company whose stock price has dropped 60% in the last five weeks, and whose share price chart looks like last year’s dot.coms.

    We’re talking about a company whose unit sales have dropped by at least a third in the last six months.

    We’re talking about a company that is getting little more than half the price on their CPUs they got six months ago.

    We’re talking about a company whose CPU revenues have dropped 60% in the last six months.

    This is a company that can tell customers, especially the kind of high-end customers they’re trying to get through their AMDMe ad campaign “Go away, we don’t need your money?”

    Does that make ANY sense to you?

    Doesn’t it make infinitely more sense to think there’s something wrong here?

    If Dresden isn’t making Palominos, and they didn’t make many TBred 1s until recently (and BTW, why are they still making TBred 1s given the acknowledged problems with them?), and (perhaps) they just started making some TBred2s, just what has Dresden been doing with itself all this time?

    My Suspicion

    I suspect TBred2s continues to be in a lot of trouble. The chips themselves seem to be fine, so I suspect the major problem is yields. It’s conceivable that refitting manufacturing could also be causing delays and problems.

    I could easily be wrong on the whys, but something seems to be going terribly wrong in Dresden based on what’s not coming out of there.

    This piece may look very foolish two or three weeks from now. Personally, I hope it does.

    But what if it doesn’t two, three, four weeks from now?


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