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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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By voodoochile123 on 4/6/2011 3:13:23 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt the Cougar thing had much impact. Like the first post says, most people don't even know about it, and the ones that do, are likely with-it enough to know that it was all sorted out a month or so later.

Personally I think Intel may be up for some hard times over the next year or two. I just can't imagine there being much demand from gamers at all, because gaming has completely changed over the last several years. The PC has become a smaller and smaller market relative to the consoles, and the consoles are using very outdated technology. Se even the latest are being held back by the lowest common denominator. I have a very old, first generation dual core CPU, and there are hardly any games that push it. All the games I've played from this year have worked with ease because they are so held back. Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, Shift 2, and a bunch of indie games, none of them push my CPU at all. Even an old quad core would be overkill for me most of the time, never mind an i5, or i7, and especially never mind a brand new super dooper sandy bridge.

Bring back the days of epic flight sims, space games, gigantic RTS's, etc.. and maybe I'll feel the need to upgrade, buy while 99% of the games I get are very held back console ports, I have absolutely no need to.

Besides gamers, who else wants a Sandy Bridge? Well I'd say the majority of business users couldn't care less about it either. The office where I work, has about 20 or so computers, and they all do their job perfectly fine with P4's! Not even high end P4's... I'd say the percentage of people who really 'need' a super new CPU is tiny.

As for the on board graphics thing, that might be useful for tablets and laptops, but it's completely useless for desktops, as far as I'm concerned. Most motherboards already have a graphics chip on which can do whatever most people need already. And if you are a gamer, then you will have a proper graphics card anyway. So all in all, I'm not surprised at all that this thing is hardly flying off the shelves.

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