Athlon + DDR:
October 31, 2000 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Athlon + DDR: Bert McComas is a very highly respected analyst of the CPU and memory industry, and I always read his articles with great interest.

Intel has announced that they don't expect the P4 to be a significant part of their business until late 2001. According to McComas, if they don't change that plan, AMD is going to eat them for lunch, because the P3 is no longer competitive. The performance/price ratio for the new AMD stuff has to be seen to be believed. I think Intel is in major trouble, because informal reports are that a 1.5GHz P4 is about the same power as a 900 MHz P3.[more>
posted by Steven Den Beste (4 comments total)
And, as usual, Rambus is the villain. In the mean time, about the only thing that can save Intel is AMD coming up against a production limit, and there lies a tale.

AMD has been hunting for foundries to make their chips for them, so that they can increase production beyond what they themselves can make with their own fabs. And I think they'll succeed. There are a lot of high quality foundries out there and AMD has a lot of money.

There's every reason to believe that the P4 combined with the 850 is going to be a major league dog: overpriced (because it requires RDRAM) and underpowered. Intel is actually including 64M of RDRAM for free with every P4 it ships (and what does that do to their profit, and who uses a 64M computer anymore?) Lots of MHz but not anything like as much performance. It looks like yet another in a long line of fantastic Intel blunders. Do they have a death wish?

In the meantime, the Athlon/760 tested in this report is nothing compared to Mustang which will come out Q2 next year and should kick serious ass. And in the meantime, there's going to be a 760MP which supports two processors. I can hardly wait.

Don't be too surprised if AMD has 50% market share by the end of 2001.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:41 PM on October 31, 2000

Oh, by the way: you buy that Athlon/760 NOW.

(If the above link doesn't work, let me know and I'll try to find a more reliable one. It's being sold by Micron PC, but that link might expire.)

posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:47 PM on October 31, 2000

Hey, the technological elite like you and me may be in the know on topics like this, but leave it to the Intel marketing machine to keep the general public in the dark about the performance of their products. The way I see it now, the average end user couldn't care less whether his system is a Celeron-533 or an Athlon Thunderbird at 1.2 GHz. I think it's gotten to a point where anything will pretty much suffice. And Intel's still the tried and trusted name. I don't know if that many people are ready to jump ship yet.

For me, the next m/b and processor I buy will definitely be Via/AMD with DDR SDRAM but for now I'm chugging along happily on my P3-550 (which does everything I need it to do just fine)
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 9:23 PM on October 31, 2000

I started with a 486, upgraded to Pentium 100, upgraded to Pentium 200, upgraded to Celeron 400 and since then haven't needed an upgrade. Memory is a different story altogether.
posted by Zool at 9:45 PM on October 31, 2000

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