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Re: Advice on system purchase

On 10/29/2012 1:15 PM, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> Am Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2012 schrieb Stan Hoeppner:
>> On 10/28/2012 4:38 AM, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
>>> On Sb, 27 oct 12, 22:27:30, Stan Hoeppner wrote:
>>>> Coming from a 2800+ which is a ~60 watt CPU, and given the fact
>>>> you'll never make use of more than 2 of those 8 cores, I recommend
>>>> a dual core AthlonII X2 @ 3.4GHz.  I have the 3GHz model and the
>>>> 2nd core is pretty much always idle, with primary core being idle
>>>> most of the time as well, as is everyone's.
>>>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103953
>>> Any opinion on a Core i3 (Ivy Bridge)?
>> I use and promote AMD exclusively.  If everyone buys Intel then AMD
>> exits the x86 processor business.  If/when that happens, Intel has no
>> competition and can and will do two detrimental things to the market:
>> 1.  Raise prices with impunity
>> 2.  Innovate at a lower pace, or stop innovating altogether
>> If enough people buy AMD then Intel has a strong competitor.  This
>> keeps the marketplace healthy and keeps Chipzilla from becoming a
>> total monopoly WRT x86.
> Granted. Thats the political reason.

Replace "political" with "competitive" or "economic".

> Still I see nothing in AMD space that can compete with recent Sandybridge 
> / Ivybridge processors in terms of computing power versus power 
> consumption ratio.

Depends on how you define "compete".  The latest Intel chips have better
absolute numbers, but AMD chips have a better vale proposition.  And
given the fact that all cores and most GHz spend their time in the idle
loop, peak performance is irrelevant.

> But I am happy to learn more.

I'd guess you have all the information.  You simply draw different
conclusion because you're working from different comparison criteria.

> I think that ARM will become interesting enough to have some competition 
> going on.

ARM will never be a desktop CPU so is irrelevant to this discussion.
AMD doesn't compete in the smart phone space.  So as I said, if AMD goes
down, expect Intel prices to rise and innovation to stall.

> And I think AMD might have something nice to offer as competition to Intel 
> Atom CPUs.

Currently, AFAIK, AMD isn't actively competing in this space, but they
absolutely should, or somewhere in between.  They should shrink the
Regor core to 32nm to drop power consumption dramatically and allow
clock speed increase.  They could sell both a super low power model at
2-2.4GHz to compete with (and beat) Atom, and they could sell a 3.4-4GHz
version that would make an excellent mainstream desktop CPU, with good
performance and low power consumption, less than 45 watts.

But, unfortunately AMD's mindset is locked into competing on core count,
because that's what everyone's marketing departments, including their
own, have been evangelizing the past many years, even though it
absolutely does not benefit average desktop/laptop users, who comprise
over 90% of the CPU consuming market.  A sub $70 20-40 watt 32nm Regor
based CPU from ~2 to ~4GHz would be a real price/performance winner for
the mainstream laptop/desktop, if marketed properly.  Even more so if
enthusiasts could over clock it to between 4.6 and 5 GHz on air.

> For powerful laptops and power saving desktops I think Intel 
> Sandybridge/Ivybridge is best bet currently - except for the political 
> dimension.

Sure, but 90% of users don't need "powerful".  All the cores sit idle
most of the time, and a faster CPU doesn't make Thunderbird or Firefox,
IE or Outlook express, go any faster.  Nor any of the standard desktop
apps.  90% of users would benefit more from a low wattage dual or even
single core CPU, with an SSD instead of a rust drive.

But it's hard to sell people on the truth after you've been lying to
them about the benefits of 4-8 core CPUs for many years...


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