Print 55 comment(s) - last by vol7ron.. on Apr 6 at 10:31 PM

AMD plays the blind squirrel, but that won't last says analyst

Intel had big expectations for Sandy Bridge in notebook computers. The Sandy Bridge platform was the first CPU from Intel to offer graphics and the processor on the same die.

EWeek reports that FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger has noted that after checks with six of the top ODMs for notebooks builds of machines using the new processors from Intel were lower than expected during Q1 and similarly low builds are expected in Q2 as well. Berger wrote, "While notebook demand could improve, and builds could get ratcheted up by June, our contacts suggest Intel's Sandy Bridge products are not stimulating as much end demand as expected, likely impacting AMD, too."

The reason that some think the Sandy Bridge platform isn’t selling well is the Cougar Point flaw that was reported back in late January. The flaw affected SATA ports on boards that used the chipset. The issue would likely result in reduced performance over time. Intel has started shipping the flawed chipsets again in configurations that won't be affected by the SATA ports that may become non-functional over time.

AMD has already noted that Intel's folly with the Cougar Point chipset has helped it to gain some ground. Other than the Cougar Point issue, analysts also think that the booming tablet market may be cutting into the notebook market resulting in reduced sales. AMD expected to benefit from the issue with Intel chipsets, but Berger doesn't expect that benefit to last long. He thinks AMD's Q1 revenue will hit the high-end of expectations or perhaps even exceed the high-end but he doesn't expect that to carry over into Q2.

Berger said, "So, if AMD does achieve the high end of revenue guidance, or potentially better, the upside is likely short term in nature and due to customers turning to AMD for product when Intel's Sandy Bridge was less available due to the chipset bug recall," Berger said in the note. "For 2Q, we think AMD's revenues will fall [quarter over quarter] given its 14th week in 1Q, Intel chipset goodness unwinding, and sluggish desktop builds, still rather unexciting."

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RE: "flaw"
By FITCamaro on 4/4/2011 4:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
One consideration I'd have with these CPU+GPU on die notebooks is graphics performance. AMD is clearly superior in this aspect. And the CPU performance is still more than good enough to get the job done. Intel only leads in battery life by a small bit. But its still important. Just all depends on what you're looking to do with the laptop. If you care about GPU accelerated programs, you might want to go with AMD. If you're just doing web browsing and Word/Excel, you'll be fine with Intel with the enjoyment of longer battery life.

RE: "flaw"
By Smartless on 4/4/2011 4:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly I'm thinking some of these people would be happy if it ran their flash games on Facebook. If it can run Farmvile, everything else will be fine.

I have a Asus EEE netbook running XP with an old Atom N280. It gets great 8 hr battery life while I'm running movies, typing reports, checking email etc. and that's what I bought it for. Though for flash games, not happening. I wonder how much of a difference it would make?

RE: "flaw"
By vol7ron on 4/4/2011 10:13:45 PM , Rating: 3
I think some people are missing the point that many enthusiasts are waiting on the Z68 chipset. H67 and P67 (even patched) aren't worth it. The thing I'd like to see is how many of these enthusiasts are able to effect the market, or it could be that many consumers nowadays are knowledgeable about computers and do their research as enthusiasts would.

Still, the buzz is around the Z68, why buy the proc and then wait? If the Z68 comes out too expensive (more than the P67 right now), then I'm switching to AMD. Like others said, it's a much cheaper system. I know someone that upgraded their CPU and GPU for $300 (mostly the gpu) - both are decent. For me to have a comparable upgrade with Intel it would cost $600+ ($200+ for cpu/mobo/gpu) because most proc upgrades require a new socket - a game I'm not willing to play anymore.

RE: "flaw"
By 7Enigma on 4/5/2011 8:27:14 AM , Rating: 1
This is true for desktops not for notebooks however.

RE: "flaw"
By Samus on 4/5/2011 11:42:55 AM , Rating: 2
Right, the Z68 chipset isn't really "delayed" as it is just further down the marketing pipe. The mobile sector was what Sandy Bridge was targeted at as Nehalem is still more than adequate for the desktop market. As Anandtech said, Sandy Bridge isn't a convincing enough solution to warrant replacing (or even upgrading) an existing Nehalem desktop. It offers better video encoding performance, better overclocking potential and about 5% more performance clock-for-clock.

I run a Core i7-950 (which I upgraded recently to from a i7-920 just for the better turbo mode overclocking curve) but for just about anybody, even myself, its wasted power. The only CPU intensive tasks I run are games, where single and dual core performance matter (hence wanting the second=gen turbo mode clocking curves.)

But I appriciate the low power consumption (for a desktop) and reliability the x57 chipset has given me.

My laptop, however, is an AMD Brazos. It was a great replacement for my aging T40 which never cracked 2 hours of battery life (first-gen Pentium M 1.4ghz) but was completely reliable for nearly 10 years.

I feel bad for Intel's uf up because they've traditionally provided rock-solid solutions, something AMD has been spotty on, mostly because of the chronic failure of nVidia mobile chipsets (and even some desktop nForce 6150 series) giving THEIR chips a bad rap. All the more reason buying ATI was an attractive solution. When the Athlon launched with the original AMD 760/761 chipset (1999?) I remember it being the most stable AMD platform I'd even used to that date. Gone were the days of the K5 on a VIA or SIS chipset (although the SIS 735 was pretty good) and we can thank Intel and Netburst for giving AMD that chance to push that into the common market.

RE: "flaw"
By Taft12 on 4/5/2011 12:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
There's only "buzz" around Z68 for about 1% of the PC-buying public.

As others have pointed out, Brazos (and to a lesser extent Athlon X2) has taken a huge, huge bite out of the notebook marketshare. A friend who works at Future Shop corroborated this -- he thinks AMD laptops are more than half of sales now.

Finally, The percentage of desktop PC shipments compared to notebooks is shrinking by the day.

Things are actually looking better for AMD these days than they have for several years which is an impressive turnaround.

RE: "flaw"
By vol7ron on 4/6/2011 10:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, AMD is still in the race.

I'm looking to build 2 computers in the next year; 1 desktop and 1 HTPC. The HD-3000 makes me think that Sandy Bridge is a good solution for the HTPC. I'm still running an OC'd C2D-E6600 in my desktop, so anything would be an upgrade for me :)

What I've realized is that OCing has made my processor, which should be completely outdated, still perform well and in some cases outperform some stock clocked chips. What that means is that the Z68 is the chipset I'll need. The E6600 is still on its deathbed, it just doesn't have that nagging cough just yet - mind you it's a 4-5 year old chip, which is pretty amazing because I used to replace every 2 years.

As for laptop, AMD might be a nice to have. For one, I like keeping the competition lanes open. I don't want to see AMD go down. But these days, I'm looking for low power, especially since GPUs are requiring astronomical amounts.

It's not right now that power draw is as an important factor, it's later on down the road, when the electric bill is more $/kWh and all the new procs are much more efficient with a higher performance/Watt. That's when you start toying with the idea of upgrading to the newer CPU again :)

RE: "flaw"
By theArchMichael on 4/4/2011 5:19:37 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah I agree, I find you can get a lot more for a lot less if you get an AMD equipped laptop with a discrete graphics processor, rather than an Intel monster processor with a crappy IGP or discrete graphics via Nvidia.
Better for games and depending on what kind of projects you are working on, more than sufficient for any IDE.

RE: "flaw"
By BSMonitor on 4/5/2011 12:37:37 AM , Rating: 3
One consideration I'd have with these CPU+GPU on die notebooks is graphics performance. AMD is clearly superior in this aspect.

AMD does not have a CPU+GPU that competes against Clarkdale and Sandy Bridge. AMD's Athlon and Phenom mobile lines are actually woefully incompetent in power and performance.

RE: "flaw"
By Calin on 4/5/2011 4:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
Meanwhile, Atom is woefully incompetent in performance, and Clarkdale and Sandy Bridge are woefully incompetent in price.

RE: "flaw"
By BSMonitor on 4/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: "flaw"
By Taft12 on 4/5/2011 2:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
With any luck your flamebait post will be rated to -1 by the time I post this, but your arrogance mirrors Intel's and it's crucial to note that cheap trailer parkers drive the volume in the market. Intel ignores them at their own peril.

RE: "flaw"
By BSMonitor on 4/5/2011 2:57:14 PM , Rating: 1
it's crucial to note that cheap trailer parkers drive the volume in the market

Really, Intel does millions of processors per quarter. The vast majority is business PCs.

If retail was where it's at, why does AMD only control 12% of the total CPU market when it does 50% or more of the retail sales.

You are completely wrong in your statement.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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