AMD FX line just might be dead.

14 replies [Last post]
Prophet4NO1
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

According to SemiAccurate, they have gotten word that some of the future FX chips failed testing and took the whole line with them. With all the lay offs and other issues AMD has had as of late, it may be game over for AMD. They said a few weeks back they are pulling from the x86 PC side of the market to focus on "emerging markets", like ARM. This latest bit of news makes things look a little grim. Like many of the things coming from SA about AMD, this has been denied. But SA has a track record of being pretty spot on with AMD. Over the last couple years as they have been spinning the drain, SA has posted about things, AMD denied it and a fe month later confirmed it. So, there is a good chance this is true, or partially true.

Read the article here, http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/19/amd-kills-off-big-cores-kaveri-steamroller-and-excavator/. I am hunting around for more details on other sites, but so far have not found much.

KoutaFG
KoutaFG's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/30/2009
Posts: 499

Well I hope this is untrue, because I plan to order one of their new FX cpu here in about two and a half weeks.

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 CPU: Phenom II X4 945e 3.0 Ram:(2 x 4GB DDR3 ) GPU : HIS 2GB 6950 PSU: Corsair 850w

eire1274
eire1274's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1147

This is a bunk article. We see one or two of these a month, minimum, directed at AMD.

AMD, like every other business out there, is seeing lax sales as a result of a world-wide recession that is still in full swing, and has to take steps to remain solvent financially, so this time around they are looking at a company-wide reorganization in January, 2013. No word yet on layoffs, but what tends to happen during a reorg is combination of support staff, reduction in administration, and streamlining of R&D, which will unfortunately cost some people their jobs.

However, AMD has cancelled no processor lines, Piledriver is still in full production, Kaveri hasn't "failed" and is still in the production timeline, and no R&D personnl are listed to lose their jobs. Too much money has been invested in "big core" design to just wad it up and throw it away.

Don't panic!

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/140870-amd-refutes-kaveri-cancelation-rumor-claims-big-cores-still-a-priority

Nick McDermott

Prophet4NO1
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

Charlie over at SA has been right every time he makes a call like this. We are after all talking about the same AMD that just brought JP Morgan on board to try and fix the budget in a last ditch effort to stay afloat. This was covered on Tom's and a few other sites. Stock is through the floor and a mass exodus of top level management over the last year or so are not good signs. Seems every week some one is leaving the company.

eire1274
eire1274's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1147

I suppose I have to take the name "SemiAccurate" in stride, but this may be on the "semi" side of things.

AMD has already put beta parts for the new Steamroller core out, and it is wicked fast compared to the Bulldozer and Piledriver, showing anywhere from a 15% to 20% increase over the Piledriver (which had a 15% improvement clock-to-clock in x86 over Bulldozer). Kaveri, which is essentially Trinity with the Steamroller core, is still in development, yet lab parts are already working quite well.

So for SA to claim it failed, and AMD counters saying Kaveri is still going strong, and while it was pushed back to Q1 2014 (confirmed) this delay is to work around building a 9-core APU (4 x2 cores plus 1 HD 7000 series GPU) within the thermal design specification. The delay is not due to PROBLEMS with the core, but with the desire to have a monster computing machine working reliably with simple air-cooling.

I can't take the word of an article with no notation or linking when the fellows at AMD assure us that they are in fact continuing forward. I have to go with the source. SemiAccurate has a history of hit-and-miss on their articles, and it tends to be un-notated articles that get these bad accuracies, which leads me to believe that no notation means guess or outright fabrication. When AMD announces the cancellation, I'll believe it, but right now they are producing the most powerful desktop processor (under proper program operation) in the world, and I can't see how that would be destroyed.

Nick McDermott

Prophet4NO1
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

AMD also said the 7990 was going to launch the same time the 680 hit the market. The said Bulldozer was fine and ready to launch June last year. It finally showed up in November and under performed the claimed numbers. AMD does not have a track record of telling the truth.

Steamroller has not even been taped out yet. It takes at least a year after taping to get the lines up and yields acceptable. That's semiconductor 101. They should be taped and ready to go at Global Foundries and/or TSMC. But they are not. That means not chip till at least 2014. Broadwell will be out by then from Intel.

eire1274
eire1274's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1147

Ah, and there we are. Steamroller is still in alpha, and the production architecture isn't taped out. Soooooo... why would they have canceled it for failing testing when the design isn't even there yet? It doesn't make sense.

Nick McDermott

Prophet4NO1
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

They where slated to be out by next year, but wont if they are not even taped yet.

The other thing is the financial news from AMD. Like cutting funding by 50% on desktop chips to fund "emerging markets". ARM most likely. And JP Morgan coming in last week to help figure out the books to stay in business. I hate to say it, but AMD and Best Buy have something in common. Neither is making money. The weakest part of AMD right now is the desktop line. The just are not doing well at all in that market. It only makes seance for them to look at pulling out, from a business perspective.

KoutaFG
KoutaFG's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/30/2009
Posts: 499

I have to say, its odd reading this because from what I've seen and noticed, it seems like AMD is doing better then Intel, I mean I rarely hear about someone building an Intel system any more, its usually AMD over Intel, sense your spending half what you would on a Intel system for the same performance or close to anyways.

Though I've never built an Intel system but I do wanna build one, one day but from what I've seen AMD is doing as good if not better the Intel at a better price, maybe they should raise their prices a bit, I mean I've seen their $200 CPUs do nearly as good as Intel's $400 CPU, I think AMD could stand to bump up their price to like 250 or even 300 but its hard to believe AMD is having a hard time in the first place.

Prophet4NO1
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

Not even close to true. Intel actually way out sells AMD, at least at the company I work for. As for Performance, in gaming an i5 at about $200 is faster than an 8350 for the same money. By a lot actually. For $60-100 more the i7 3770K smokes the 8350 almost across the board. Even less right now since we are selling the i7 at $230 right now. To equal a 3770k you need to get a 8350 to about 5Ghz. Then it's on par. But you can then OC the 3770K and smoke it again. There is no need for the "big chips" from Intel unless you are into video/photo editing at a pro level. The only AMD chips on par with those are Opterons.

As for finances, the stocks are in the gutter and they have been laying people off left and right. The just announced today they are laying more off after the new year starts.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-layoff-cpu,19190.html

AMD is hurting in a bad way. This is bad for consumers though. I have not build a serious AMD machine for myself in years, socket 939 was my last one.

The days of AMD having better chips for the money have been gone for a couple years, since Sandybridge launched. Hence why Bulldozer was dubbed "Faildozer" at launch by a few reviewers. They can not keep up, sadly.

KoutaFG
KoutaFG's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/30/2009
Posts: 499

Yeah I was trying to say from my personal experience with those I normally chat with, maybe 1 out of 8 has an intel system, so when I've been around so many that go with AMD, its a little surprising to hear someone think that AMD is hurting, honestly, I don't think AMD is going any where, I still think AMD is in high demand.

I'm actually gonna get the 8350 on the 5th for better 3D model rendering, can't wait, honestly I'd go intel but I just don't make the kind of money to drop so much money into a build, plus I'd have to get an Intel board too and that's another 150 to 300 I just don't have heh.

eire1274
eire1274's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1147

Prophet4NO1, I'm not trying to be critical, but you are operating on the same misconceptions that the Intel fanboy crowd does. I'm going to state it one more time, I am not an AMD fanboy, I work with every hardware set available, and I suppose this gives me a better insight into where the strengths are.

AMD is still going strong in the hobbyist markets (DIY kits) as well as lower powered workstations (AMD Trinity), but getting into higher powered systems the OEM suppliers tend to go Intel. So, true, Intel sells 4 CPUs for every AMD, but this isn't new and has been the same since AMD took second place back in the early 90's.

Pound for pound, the x8 FX chips, specifically the FX-8350, is the most powerful desktop CPU package on the market. The disappointment is centered on software, though. Windows 8 (and Linux) have shown huge improvements on the FX line as their kernels now understand the separated structure of the Bulldozer/Piledriver cores (2 CPU + 1 FPU x 4, compared to 8 [4 real, 4 logical {virtual} hyperthread] CPU and 8 FPU on a common bus). This is where the benchmarking goes bad, because you can't load pump petrol into a Formula 1 car and run a speed test.

Intel's FPU design is still quicker, and this is where we see fractal benchmarking bending to their side on the i7 x4 Ivy Bridge chips, though some tests actually side with the FX-8350 by a point, and this is where Intel's super-pricey Sandy Bridge x6 i7 chips dominate due to 6 full FPU. x86 (or single thread) operations also are faster on the Ivy Bridge (though Sandy Bridge x4 is now more often than not third place now, showing how close these CPUs really are), but again as tests are being moved over to Win8 this margin of success is slimming.

The key is getting into smart multi-threaders. Adobe Photoshop, Premier, and After Effects, and even Sony Vegas are based on coding the FX line is intended to execute, and you will see the FX CPUs narrowly trailing (or in many benchmarks beating) the x6 Sandy Bridge CPUs that cost 3-4 times.

It comes down again to WHAT DO YOU WANT IT TO DO? Declaring the FX x8 chips dead "because they are slower" is nonsensical when there is a whole group of people (myself included) who use these CPUs exclusively for multimedia mastering. When I can build a system for $1000 (FX-8350) that outperforms by 25% a machine of double the cost (i7-3970X), this means a lot. And means even more when a 12-hour HD render session can be dropped to 9. I cannot take any info from SemiAccurate's article as having an ounce of truth.

Nick McDermott

Prophet4NO1
Offline
Joined: 09/13/2010
Posts: 196

I'm not calling them dead based on speed. But on sales and AMD's own words. They already announced they are backing off from the desktop platform. And AMD financial records speak for them selves. The have been doing very poorly financially. The company is looking to cut losses. So far the biggest place they are losing ground is the FX chips. We are back to giving mobo's away at work to sell them, again. It's the only way to move AMD chips in any large volume.

As for the benchmarks. I keep hearing all this talk about big gains on Win8 from the FX chips but have yet to see any concrete reports to back it. Tom's did a win7 vs win8 CPU benchmark run. Both the Intel and AMD test came back about the same. And the gaps between the chips stayed about the same.

In any case none of this seems to matter. The financial situation at AMD is getting bad. Like my crack at Best Buy before, they are getting in some seriously bad shape. Not to the point of no return, but not good. The company has stated they are not looking to develop much for the desktop going forward. They are going to do server chips, the APU line for laptops mainly, and dive into ARM. Hell, just follow Tom's and Engadget alone for the last 6 month tells you all of that.

hellblazer55
hellblazer55's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2008
Posts: 91

You realize the worth of AMD is enough to bail out the US twice lol. Also its like your comparing the X86 to the X64, how long before 64 bit started gaining steam in the computer world? Comparing apples to oranges in the PC world is pointless no matter the financial status, they are a semi-conductor company and there will always be a use for semi-conductors.

Rig| Coolermaster HAF X NVIDIA Edition | ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AMD AM3+ TUF Motherboard | AMD Phenom II 1100T Black Edition Six Core Processor -OC 4.23GHz | G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3 1866 8GB | Corsair Neutron GTX Series 2.5" Solid State Drive - 120GB | Western Digital Caviar Black Hard Drive - 1.0 TB x 2 | ASUS Blue Ray & DVD Multi | EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Superclocked Video Card - 2GB | Corsair Hydro H100 CPU Liquid Cooler | Corsair Professional HX1000W

eire1274
eire1274's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1147

Going through Google, I can find an article saying Google is giving up on the desktop market pretty much for every month going back as far as I can see. And nobody can quote a darn thing from anyone at AMD that actually says this.

The one phrase from Mike Silverman (AMD spokesperson) that is often read this way was in late 2011 just before the Bulldozer launch, as follows: "We're at an inflection point. We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore."

What is missed here is that he was saying AMD was going a different direction than Intel, and this is true. AMD is focusing on simplicity in multi-core architecture, and following their previous standard of building ahead of market. I almost think this phrase can be directly pointed back at the "disappointing Bulldozer launch" in the fact that they knew very well that it wouldn't meet the bleeding edge gamer's power levels... yet others have found even those first (FX-8250 and 8350) to be powerhouses just simply in the number of real cores available for multi-tasking.

Even following the SA article (and others who spouted essentially the same thing), AMD has come out and said that the article is full of bull, and they have no plans to cancel anything. Phil Hughes, another AMD SP, said, "Kaveri with the Steamroller core is still a product in development at AMD and we continue to develop big cores." So, the question turns into, who do choose to believe?

Personally, I'd go with the guy who put his name on record that his company is still going forward. AMD may be having to tighten the belt a bit, bit as hellblazer55 said, they are a MASSIVE multi-national company, and rule number one in work on the level they do is this: you don't throw away an investment. And big core is where it is all going.

Nick McDermott