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William George (Puget Labs Technician)

AMD - Return of the King?

Written on March 9, 2021 by William George
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Back in 2015, we quietly dropped AMD processors from our configuration options here at Puget Systems. Their sales numbers had been slowly declining for a long time, from a high of over half our system sales in 2006, as Intel had really poured themselves into taking back the high-performance end of the CPU market. At the time I wrote a blog post on the subject, which ended with this paragraph:

"Now if AMD comes out with a new generation of processors that turn the tide again, as they did in the early 2000s, things could change. I hope for their sake, and for that of competition (which is always good for end-users), that they do. Only time will tell, though."

Well, time has now told - and AMD has done an amazing job of fighting their way back into the spotlight! It took a few generations for their new mainstream Ryzen processors to really mature, but by the 3000-series they had roughly equaled Intel's contemporary Core chips and now with the 5000-series they have clearly taken the performance lead in most applications. Likewise, AMD's high-end desktop (HEDT) Threadripper processors had some early issues with memory access and odd threading behavior - but with the 3rd gen CPUs in that family they now lead with the highest core count and best multi-core performance available in that market segment.

So what impact on our sales figures has AMD's return to glory had? My previous post covered up to the end of 2015, so here is a chart showing AMD and Intel market share among systems we have sold from the start of 2016 up through today:

Puget Systems Processor Sales Market Share AMD vs Intel from 2016 to 2021

As you can see, AMD effectively disappeared from our product line for 2016 and most of 2017, and then spent another two years with single-digit shares among our computers. It wasn't until the tail end of 2019 that things started to pick up, and from there it has been a steady climb. In just one year, AMD went from being used in less than 10% of the systems we built to over 50% - quite a comeback!

I doubt we'll ever see AMD reach a full 100%, as Intel is just too big of a giant in this industry, but this reminds me of what was happening twenty years ago. As I was graduating from high school, AMD was having its first heyday - and now they are back again, and going strong. Hopefully, their success continues and pushes Intel to hit back with another great processor leap like their Core 2 family back in 2006. This sort of continual competition is great for technological advancement, productivity improvement, and consumer choice!

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Tags: AMD, CPU, Processor, Ryzen
Dragon4life

Intel architecture is very bad they need a brand new architecture, not redesigning their existing Xeon

Posted on 2021-03-10 04:43:31

Yeah, I'm hoping for a big architecture jump like they made back in 2006 with the Core 2 line. At the time that was a big change from there existing Pentium 4 desktop processor line, and some similar departure from the current technology is probably going to be needed to compete with AMD going forward :-)

Posted on 2021-03-10 04:52:37
Smartcom5

Yup, Intel brought us some nice speed-bumps back then – which in turn just seems to have been largely enabled using some shady tricks in the first place, no? … as it wasn't really any greater art of engineering which made Intel's processors that fast all of a sudden back then – but crossing magic borders by taking shortcuts while cutting corners on security was it, using some creative engineering (well … not that one, but the one fuelled by criminal energy instead).

Yet, despite all this and the massive betrayal and backstabbing from Intel (You know what we're talking about here; the numerous kernel-fixes Intel tried to submit to kernel-devs throughout 2017 and how Intel wilfully ignored the security threats despite fully knowing the impact of it, didn't even informed any U.S. authorities about it but instructed OEMs/ODMS [to keep their mouth shut when asked]) towards the public and the overall channel, the system-builders, OEMs and ODMs literally 'punished' Intel for having cheated and even increased their orders – instead of falling back on alternatives like newly risen competitors.

They're all bellyaching about Intel's CPU-shortages and how it slows down own their own shipping of products and revenues in every quarterly results, but are keen to happily ignore any competition. They're rather accept losses in their own sales-departments than to switch over to anything from AMD.

Like …

OEM: How shockingly ungrateful Intel has become already – as if none of us ever bought their overpriced premium-stuff… Let's teach them a lesson for cheating on us by doubling the orders, so that they choke upon our money already – that'll show them!
Everyone: You know AMD has Ryzen, there's Threadripper and Epyc now, right?
OEM: Shut up! We need to punish Intel for their disgrace of ignoring our decade-long loyalty!

Seeing this, Intel does everything correct right now, and serves them well – and both sides deserve so.

Posted on 2021-03-10 13:49:09
abundantcores

Its good to see AMD back, frankly i prefer AMD in a strong position, AMD innovate. Intel Stagnate.
AMD's position is tentative because Intel could simply buy market share away from AMD denying them sales, this is exactly what Intel did before and i'm pretty sure Intel still engage in this practice of paying large OEM's not to use AMD.
DIY PC builders are choosing Ryzen over Intel at a rate of about 9 to 1, try and get a Ryzen prebuild from Dell is like pulling hens teeth, its 99% Intel and if you ask for Ryzen they try and put you off.
Intel need pulling down a few levels because all they want to to rebrand the same stuff over and over again increasing the price each time, money for nothing.

Posted on 2021-03-10 17:48:17

Here's hoping we can see thunderbolt on AMD soon!
I'm newly AMD and won't go back, but this is the one thing I'm missing for external storage.

Posted on 2021-03-12 20:31:51
Michael Katz

Your wish has been granted! https://www.tomshardware.co...

Posted on 2021-03-13 13:39:38