Originally Posted by Zon2020
That's kind of a silly question isn't it?
Nobody pays me to design chips.
The only relevant thing is whether they can do it as well as Intel. All indications are the answer to that is that they can't. (And I don't know how you can say Bulldozer was "actually quite good" whle at the same time saying it was "behind Sandy Bridge on most things" and was a "big fail" on energy use. That doesn't sound "quite good" to me; that sounds like a total clunker.)
Fact - AMD is a full generation behind in manufacturing technology.
Fact - in Q1 2006 the companies were nearly 50/50 in market share, now AMD's market share is less than 20%.
Fact - Bulldozer was supposed to be their big Intel killer, and it has been a huge bust. Less performance and huge power consumption.
Now they are falling farther behind as Intel gets out a new generation of chips while Trinity gets further delayed. Their partners and customers who have built peripherals and designed systems are pissed and aren't getting answers. Hardware Canucks reported yesterday that "Benchmarks done to date indicate that while Trinity on the desktop proves to be power efficient, it is much slower than an equivalently clocked Intel chip." That's not going to cut it. If they lay another egg on the heals of Bulldozer, they may not last in the desktop market. With the price of Intel's current chips, AMD can't survive just on selling cheap chips any more.
No, that is not the only relevant thing at all. The relevant thing is making money by selling goods. Not everybody needs a high end CPU, most people don't need anything close, a budget CPU is enough for 80% of everybody, only gamers really buy high end of which AMD has half that market in GPUs. AMD only has a fraction of the budget of intel. The fact they can compete at all is a sign of the ingenuity and innovation of the company, bulldozer in itself is quite a drastic change from the previous stars architecture, it is far from perfect but I'm pretty sure it will be quite viable in time. In 2006 they were riding high on the original FX but that was unusual, they haven't lost market share, they were experiencing an unusual boost in that year for having the performance king in the original FX. AMD is and always was the underdog, they have a fraction of the money of intel. Everything is changing anyhow, people are moving away from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones and neither company is doing enough to embrace this, if AMD can make a chip that beats out ARM architecture they will make a ton of cash. They will also make plenty of cash with the next generation of consoles. Their company is diversified enough, CPU's aren't the be all and end all.
Bulldozer was supposed to be the intel killer years ago when it was supposed to be introduced, following along with it it was obvious it was going to fail before it released. It isn't a bad chip, it uses too much power for its performance, but since it is supposed to be high end that isn't an issue for many. It wouldn't be an issue for me if I bought one. It isn't as fast as sandy bridge no, that isn't the end of the world or the end of the company despite what you might think. Ivy bridge isn't much of a performance boost over sandy bridge, is Intel dead in the water?
AMD will survive, it isn't just the cost of the chip it is the entire platform. Piledriver will use AM3+ which can be dropped into an existing board, AMD have always maintained a good upgrade path, intel constantly changes its sockets. AMD motherboards have more features for less coin, I had to spend more on my intel mobo than I wished to get SATA III and USB 3.0. I don't know, but I would imagine the next set of chips intel releases after Ivy bridge will use a different socket since they are always changing it, so to upgrade I have to switch out half the components in my system, with AMD, just the CPU. Intels budget offerings are good, but they aren't going to kill AMD.