March 14, 2007

a win for the free market

for anyone who builds systems, it's about to be a good time to be a buyer.

it turns out that a very healthy number of players in a high-volume, commoditized market is two.

the intel vs. amd war is raging well, and this article does a pretty good job of explaining why consumers are about to win. for a relatively low price, builders are about to have access to low-heat, fast, multicore chips with a good amount of headroom.

in graphics, amd has interestingly enough become the second player as well, after acquiring ati and taking the reins against nvidia. amd arrived just in time for a delayed r600 and a good thumping by nvidia's 8000 series. nvidia, much like intel, is now prepping to launch the remaining low-to-mid segment of their new architecture, essentially rendering all previous generation chips both unnecessary and obsolete.

amd is late on delivery, low on headroom, and short on output capacity. in both cases. why the penchant for masochism? the parallels make you wonder what disturbing events happened early in amd's childhood. not only is amd bad at picking marriages, but abusive relationships seem to turn it on.

and if only this perverted love triangle didn't stop there. not only do we have intel vs. amd and amd vs. nvidia, but we also have nvidia vs. intel - in the chipset space. intel's dated 975X and poorly positioned P965 are lacking, most noticably in FSB headroom, but also in PCIe lanes. nvidia's hopeful 680i addresses both of these gaps and adds some extra candy, but early stability issues and lackluster RAID performance confuse the situation further. here we have a more even match, and with the forthcoming bearlake boards, buyers should expect another win.

it is most disappointing that we do not have two real players in the apu space. maybe this is the real reason we haven't seen a PCIe x-fi yet.

-e

Posted by eviljack in reality at March 14, 2007 12:05 AM