Business, Hardware

Will Core i5 force AMD to put up or shut up?


Lynnfield is coming. Make no mistake about that.  But what will it mean to the market place?

Ever since Intel launched Conroe AMD has been playing catch up. After the disaster that was Barcelona AMD was in a bad place. They have worked exceptionally hard to regain the ground lost and have put out some great products. Unfortunately they have not been able to compete with Intel?s top-end CPU.

Instead AMD has been forced to regress their marketing strategy to one similar to the AMD K2 days. Back in those days AMD touted being better for price/performance and also for business applications.

This is very similar to the line they are taking today with Phenom II i.e. the 45m Shanghai core. Of course there is the small fact that AMD has the higher OC numbers right now. But as the average consumer does not overclock it is only important to a small portion of the market. Where AMD does benefit is in their pricing structure.

Yes Core i7 9xx can simply trounce the Phenom II, as can most of the upper level Core 2 Quads. But when you place them side by side in terms of pricing AMD takes a small but a very important lead. The price of AMD’s platform is more affordable than either Socket 775 and its Core 2 CPUs, or Socket LGA-1366 and its expensive motherboards. AMD played its cards right with the Spider and Dragon platforms, but Intel has an answer with the upcoming LGA-1156.

So what happens when Core i5-700 and i7-800 series come out? If this new CPU from Intel can increase performance of the Core 2 Quad, lower the Per CPU price, and have a decent adoption cost (this includes the cost of any new hardware like mainboards) then Intel can throw a wrench in AMD?s current marketing strategy. In effect it will force AMD to up the ante and develop new and competing products very quickly. This is something that no amount of lawsuits will help them with.

Given the recent rumor that AMD is developing sexa-core Phenom II X6, we might see that additional pricing leverage. Only time will tell.