back to article In case you were wondering, no, AMD hasn't managed to fsck everything up. It's still making lots of money

AMD beat Wall Street's expectations for the first quarter of this year as demand for gaming PCs, notebooks, and servers using its x86-64 processors remained high during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our business continued to accelerate in the first quarter driven by the best product portfolio in our history, strong execution, and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    semiconductor issues

    Surely semiconductor issues wouldn't show in the last accounts, I know of one company who's just been hit by a 500% increase in costs and may be unable to get certain components going forward.

    1. Boothy

      Re: semiconductor issues

      Is any of that cost increase due to shipping? I know lots of companies are having issues actually shipping parts around, no space on ships, so switching to air, which cost a lot more, especially for anything heavy etc.

      AMD doesn't really have any semiconductor supply issues, at least not for CPUs (GPUs is a different thing!).

      All the current CPU cores for AMDs Ryzens (i.e. Desktop, mobile and server CPUs) are all made by TSMC. The last two gens, Zen 2 and Zen 3, being on 7nm, which has been around now for a while, and is quite mature (i.e. high yields etc). This 7nm production space was booked up well in advance of the current issues. AMD started with 7nm with Zen 2 back in mid 2019.

      I suspect most of AMDs CPU stock shortages last year were simply down to the increased demand, rather than actual issues making the things (production volumes were actually higher than planned from what I've seen, it's just that demand was far high than anyone had expected, so still outstripped supply).

      A quick look at a few retailers (in the UK), and seems all the main Zen 3 desktop parts, 5600X through to 5950X, are all in stock for immediate shipping.

      Things might change for Zen 4 due later this year, as that's expected to be on TSMCs 5nm, (same as the latest Apple CPUs etc). As far as I know again AMD have agreed space on 5nm with TSMC some time back, as Zen 4 has been on their road map for a while now, but 5nm is also the leading tech for many mobile chips, including Apple etc, and it's less mature, so high demand but possibly lower yields than 7nm. So I'd expect production of the new Ryzen 6000 range (or whatever it gets called), to be somewhat limited at least initially.

      Conversely, try looking for a current nVidia or AMD GPU, and no stock anywhere!

      1. goldcd

        I'd agree - but supply's been patchy

        Also worth looking at the prices they seem to be getting.

        When I bought right at the start of last year, my 3900X was ~£400 and the one above 3950X was ~£600.

        Those prices have stuck there for over a year now.

        New range has 5900X at ~£600 and the 5950X is ~£800

        i.e. Their new chips haven't replaced their old ones, they're co-existing with a old with offset price points

        My guess is that without demand, they'd have just positioned the new models at the old price points, and discounted the old.

        1. Boothy

          Re: I'd agree - but supply's been patchy

          True enough.

          I'd be curious to know how many older Zen 2 models, such as the 3900X, are still being produced, if any, as these are on the same 7nm process as the newer Zen 3 models. i.e. Are they still producing Zen 2 cores for the 3900X etc, or are they using up older Zen 2 stock?

          Zen 2 and 3 both use 7nm, so you'd think from a money point of view, the more production lines you could switch from Zen 2 to Zen 3 production, the more money they'd make (high premium on the new more in demand parts etc).

          Not that any of that makes any difference to me currently anyway, I've got a 3800X atm, and quite happy with that for my use-case (mostly gaming on my personal PC, I work on a company provided laptop).

          My next upgrade will likely be a GFX card, but my overpriced 2080 from early 2019 (before the Super versions came out), will do fine for now. I'm not a frame rate snob, or competitive gamer, and the card hits we'll above 60fps on Ultra settings in most modern games anyway. So I'll probably give it another year at least, before I even start looking at replacing it, and even then only if stock is in, and GFX cards are closer to more normal prices!

  2. Jay 2

    Where I am we've started buying AMD-based servers for non-prod use. The fact an AMD EPYC 32 core is somewhat cheaper then 2 x Intel Xeon 18 core might have something to do with it!

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Other than bureaucratic inertia, is there any reason you won't use AMD EPYC 32 core boxes in production?

      1. Jay 2

        If it were up to me generally not. Though to be honest we'd really need to do some sort of proper testing for some of the low-latency stuff to see if it can match what the current Intel kit does.

        I like the phrase "bureaucratic inertia". Sums up what happened when we did agree on moving to AMD for a QA env, only for the devs to u-turn as they got scared that it "wasn't what they had in prod". Even though it won't be used for performance testing use.

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