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Old 12-15-2010, 11:41 AM
NormanBates NormanBates is offline
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Default The problem with AMD graphics

now that cayman is out, let's look again at the GPU market...

nvidia has huge gaps in its lineout, but in price/performance some of its offerings still look great

they're using huge chips, which must be awfully expensive to make, and are horribly inefficient in a performance-per-mm2 scale: cayman is just 6% bigger than the chip on a GTX 460, and offers on average 40% higher real-world performance

so AMD is, in theory, in a great position to dominate the market... but it just doesn't want to take it's prices down as much as it would need

at current prices, nvidia may be even losing money on each card they sell, but actually I'm not a shareholder, and don't care if they make or lose money, all I care about is what I have to pay for the card, and right now AMD doesn't dominate the market at all



note 1: performance is defined as the geometric average of the relative performance in all games in the anandtech review, all at 1920 and normalized to 5870=100
note 2: price is defined as the lowest one for a card in stock at www.alternate.de, at the time I looked it up
note 3: this is an update on this old thread:
http://www.semiaccurate.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=2041
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:51 AM
CRoland CRoland is offline
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Newegg prices would have been a better choice IMHO.

Many of the cards are too powerful for 1920 - maybe you could have used average of 1920 and 2560? (There would be some memory limitations, though, so I get why you took 1920.)

I'd wait a while to see where prices end up. Neither company will want a price war just before the holidays.

Edit: BTW, those averages are very different from TPU's. Of course, I don't know which reflects the reality better:


Last edited by CRoland; 12-15-2010 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:15 PM
DCO DCO is offline
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I see the prices fixed, all cards are positioned according to their performance, excluding memory amount and some special offers.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:26 PM
GrandmaWithAnAxe GrandmaWithAnAxe is offline
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Financial discussions goes to the finance section.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:30 PM
jxu jxu is offline
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I think I understand what AMD is trying to accomplish. That is, top line growth and bottom line margin. Since the peak of the Opteron days around 2005, AMD finally is in a postion to capitalize its new product cycles in Cypress/Camen/Bobcat/Bulldozer. Dirk Meyer is different from Jerry Sanders in that Dirk wants profitability instead of bragging rights. Remember "real men have fabs" from Jerry?

So, w.r.t. the GPU business, I don't think AMD wants to induce a scorched-earth price war with NV. Remember NV still dominates the high-margin pro markets. And NV has $2B cash without debt. If the settlement with Intel nets NV another billion or two, NV is in a stronger fiscal position against AMD in a bloody price war.

Therefore, it is better for AMD to capitalizes its strength in the current GPU reshresh cycles. Camen is the first line in the new VLIW4 architecture. Given the process advancement/refinement and driver optimization going forward, AMD would be in a good position vis a vis NV in a long time to come.

My 2 long cents
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:33 PM
NormanBates NormanBates is offline
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@CRoland

* of course, prices are "as of today"; may update it in a month or so

* I originally compiled performance numbers and prices for my own use, that's why it is 1920 (because that's what I have) and alternate.de (because that's where I usually buy)

* about the performance numbers, I'd trust anandtech over tpu, but the difference may also come from the way I summed everything up:
- in each game, divide fps of each card by the 5870 fps
- for each card, take geometric average of those ratios, then multiply by 100
I think it's the best way to summarize all those numbers, but I'm pretty sure there's people who think other methods are better than this one
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:46 PM
lurrker lurrker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanBates View Post
now that cayman is out, let's look again at the GPU market...

nvidia has huge gaps in its lineout, but in price/performance some of its offerings still look great
OK - the key point that is missed is that this is the top 1/3 of the GPU market. ~60% of the discrete market is under US$100 and around 30% is between US$100 and US$200. I realise you haven't added the lower end nV cards.

While AMD appear to have lost this round of the high end single GPU race, the other story that is yet to fully play out volumes of the high-end parts.

(market breakdown based on http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/d..._Research.html but other URLs available)

Quote:
they're using huge chips, which must be awfully expensive to make, and are horribly inefficient in a performance-per-mm2 scale: cayman is just 6% bigger than the chip on a GTX 460, and offers on average 40% higher real-world performance
While the size of chips is interesting to discuss, at the end of the day, as long as a chip can be sold at a profit, it will be produced.

From a consumer point of view, I would like the cheapest, quietest, most energy efficient card for my money, but if it doesn't perform as I require, my likes will give way to my (percieved) needs.

Quote:
so AMD is, in theory, in a great position to dominate the market... but it just doesn't want to take it's prices down as much as it would need
And this maybe where the poor reviews of Cayman help me, the poor cash strapped consumer. Poor reviews, lower prices :-)

Quote:
at current prices, nvidia may be even losing money on each card they sell, but actually I'm not a shareholder, and don't care if they make or lose money, all I care about is what I have to pay for the card, and right now AMD doesn't dominate the market at all
As neither a nV or AMD shareholder, I have a similar view although I will admit to a bias towards AMD's products doing well in the hope of increasing competition in the CPU market.

From a sales perspective, AMD still have the product line up to take market share from nV, as they did prior to the release of Cayman. The problem is that they have to swallow a bit of pride and eat some of their margins in the process, but it's something they have been willing to do before.

I think the most damaging part of the Cayman launch will actually be the driver debacle. Unless they can release a performance driver that gives Cayman a competitive kick....
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:24 PM
NormanBates NormanBates is offline
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I left the lower end of the market because of two reasons:
* those cards don't appear in anandtech's review, and I didn't want to chain-link numbers from older reviews (already did that for some of the numbers up there, didn't want to overuse that trick)
* performance doesn't matter that much in that market: availability and checklists of meaningless features for clueless consumers are usually enough (I have an HD4350 with 1GB RAM, go figure)

and on your last note, I don't think you can expect much from a driver release: my current "(shaders*MHz)^0.67" model predicts a level of performance that's very close to what we have with current drivers, once I correct for Charlie's "1536 new shaders = 1920 old shaders" rule

plus, I always thought driver-induced performance gains were a myth... until I saw today that from the 470 review to the 6970 review, anandtech's numbers for GTX 470 and 480 are about 10% higher in most games; and maybe that's the exception that matters most for cayman, as that was supposedly a new architecture too
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:31 PM
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You able to throw the 5970 up there as well? The size curve would of course be a bit off being doubled but it still might make for an interesting data point
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambaldi View Post
You able to throw the 5970 up there as well? The size curve would of course be a bit off being doubled but it still might make for an interesting data point
I didn't include it because it is generally out of stock, but it appears on the graphs from this thread
http://www.semiaccurate.com/forums/s...ead.php?t=2041
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