Intel is using heavy discounts on Xeon CPUs to stop AMD from eating its server lunch

1 : Anonymous2021/09/16 09:15 ID: pp9s7d
Intel is using heavy discounts on Xeon CPUs to stop AMD from eating its server lunch
2 : Anonymous2021/09/16 09:53 ID: hd26gtf

I read this headline as Intel is now having to price its Xeon processors accordingly to their performance.

EPYC is so far ahead of price/performance both in terms of IPC and PCIe connectivity that it really doesn't make sense to buy Xeons for what Intel has been selling them for, and you can see this in AMD's recent supercomputer design wins (even if most of those are using Nvidia A100s to do the heavy lifting).

ID: hd2hysi

even if most of those have been using Nvidia A100s to do the heavy lifting

GPU focus makes Epyc even more attractive because of the extra PCIe lanes- you can get away with 1 socket systems when you'd previously need dual socket or more just to have enough lanes.

ID: hd2lnoz

…you can get away with one socket systems when you’d previously need dual socket…

And you still come out ahead in core count, going AMD vs. Intel.

ID: hd30bc1

It's probably so many nvidia supercomputers are powered by Epyc platform.

ID: hd4ods1

I read this headline as Intel is now having to price its Xeon processors accordingly to their performance.

In other words, AMD is doing a decent job satisfying EPYC demand, otherwise Xeon would not have to cut prices.

ID: hd52glf

or that people would rather wait for AMD/new xeons rather than getting a mediocre upgrade at premium prices, and in the interim not putting in any orders at all for intel chips. intel's partner volume is way higher so if a few of them just decided to wait they'd collapse in revenue until they shipped something better or dropped prices.

ID: hd3kk3w

price/performance both in terms of IPC and PCIe connectivity

While also being significantly more efficient.

ID: hd3zxab

Anyone member when Zen 2 came out and Intel reduced its prices by half? AMD is such a fresh breath of air.

3 : Anonymous2021/09/16 10:43 ID: hd2a0yh

isn't that expected?

4 : Anonymous2021/09/16 11:29 ID: hd2e0tn

Also known as "competing in the market". For years, AMD was not a competitive performer against Intel and consequently their CPUs cost less. But once they were competitive or even faster than Intel, they were at comparable prices. That's the way it goes, if you can't compete on performance then you try to compete on value.

ID: hd2pz5g

But when it comes from a position of dominance already...there is a fine line between competing and pushing anticompetitive practices as they have in the past.

ID: hd2tlkv

I'm not sure about that. If they were cutting prices to the point they were selling below cost in an attempt to drive competition out of business, then that would be a problem. But cutting prices so that your products are priced competitively relative to their performance is just BAU.

ID: hd3gxsb

For years Opterons were actually competitive, but then Intel was like "hey Dell, you want the newest fastest mobile chips? Don't make Dell brand AMD servers" and Dell was like "F yes new laptop chips!"

5 : Anonymous2021/09/16 11:14 ID: hd2co84

And lining dells pockets to not offer certain epyc models as well.

ID: hd2qq1z

History repeating itself I see.

ID: hd2r5h3

It never stopped. Dell still makes a profit even when they pay the fines for doing it.

ID: hd31bih

Proof for this substantial claim?

ID: hd31iku

/comments/pp1f17/dell_will_not_sell_us_amd_epyc_they_push_r650s/" class="reddit-press-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">

ID: hd31glm

Dell is the best friend money can buy

ID: hd32qyz

How is your Vega 64 working out with the Ryzen 5000 CPU? I just sold my Vega for a boatload but almost regret it with how much fun it was to UV and OC.

ID: hd32xym

Works great. Planning on upgrading eventually when GPU prices come down, but I am not struggling to run anything yet, so very happy.

6 : Anonymous2021/09/16 10:09 ID: hd27jaa

We need more competition.

ID: hd2tt16

Arm server cpus aren't enough competition?

ID: hd3fcwy

No. NVIDIA is not competition; it's part of the oligopoly.

Let's see some RISC-V or something.

ID: hd32rs1

Not compared to the ridiculously high core count Epyc and Xeon CPUs

7 : Anonymous2021/09/16 13:17 ID: hd2prns

This quote from the article really pisses me off:

"It did this by changing focus away from value-oriented desktop processors and more towards cranking out as many gaming and enthusiast-level CPUs as it could."

That's not how it works! Both Intel and AMD try to make the best product they can. However, it takes years to develop a new CPU and predicting performance on modern day processors is PhD level hard.

So yeah, on the entry the company controls the amount of r&d, and on the other several years down the road comes CPU with somewhat randomized performance. The pricing will then follow.

So really what happened:

AMD was smaller made some missteps and made very uncompetitive CPUs. Intel therefore dominated the market and got complacent. There was perhaps the thinking that future gains will only be marginal, so Intel leadership got complacent, and put less focus on R&D. This allowed AMD to catch up. And when it did, because of the long development times, Intel was years behind.

ID: hd2zkwz

Tech journalism is deeply unimpressive. In fairness, it's a difficult problem -- explaining a very complex industry to a lowest common denominator audience. That being said, this article is full of dubious statements like the one you quoted, that collectively give the wrong impression of what is happening and why.

ID: hd3bfep

Tech journalists are either the liberal arts major crowd or the ones that couldn't cut it in any real science-related fields and washed down to something they superficially understand. "Journalism" in general has devolved into attention whoring and profiteering anyways, objective truth is rare.

Its no surprise that 99.9% of "tech" articles are clickbait trash with bad information, or paid puff pieces. Exceptions prove the rule and of course some random hobbyist bloggers end up being far more authoritative and factual.

ID: hd38js2

Agree on everything except the complacent thing. I know that’s a meme but it was never true. Intel always invested extremely heavily on R&D. The problem was the failure of the original 10nm process which caused many years of redesign delays and prevented new architectures from being launched.

ID: hd3gpqy

Your "history lesson" I'm sure wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but it still feels pretty shitty to see someone basically tell a completely made up history like this. To "fix" your telling a bit- AMD did NOT make "very uncompetitive CPUs", they in fact made VERY competitive CPUs in the server segment called Opterons, but Intel literally bribed Dell and other major manufacturers NOT to use AMD's chips in server products, the bribe being not only monetary, but early/first access to new chips for laptop lines. This was VERY anticompetitive and the total fines levied were in the hundreds of millions in the EU. ADDITIONALLY Intel was in the 2000's responsible for making the GCC compilers for pretty much ALL of the major code writing suites, and research found that Intel had for years been purposefully slowing instructions(using worse instructions on purpose) when it did not detect a Genuine Intel CPU. So Intel had a two pronged attack to stifle AMD and likely without that shadiness this server battle for market share we're about to see would have played out 14 years ago.

ID: hd3rrw5

I think you guys are talking about two different times. Pretty sure the other guy referring to AMD's uncompetitive CPUs meant the Bulldoze


ID: hd3l0mi

Can you provide a source on the GCC<>Intel.

The only thing I am aware off is the Intel MLK and Intel C-compiler behavior. Which, idk how much I can blame them for. I kind of see both as effectively marketing: trying to get people to switch to Intel by providing a better compiler and Math library specifically tuned for their CPUs.

8 : Anonymous2021/09/16 11:33 ID: hd2ega3

I hope there are no sysadmins who skip the napkin math which makes falling into this trap a very easy thing to avoid.

Epyc is so fractally ahead in every area that the discount needs to be so deep to the point Intel is paying you to use their CPU's.

Not to mention the PR disaster if it comes to light that you chose slower and less power efficient hardware because you have a blatant disregard for the environment.

ID: hd2lak0

The big problem in the IT enterprise world is the whole "nobody got fired for buying IBM" theory.

ID: hd2sgsu

Hasn't been IBM for a long time. Been Intel/Cisco for all the recent years.

ID: hd2yt1v

which makes falling into this trap a very easy thing to avoid.

My workplace had "new" desktops from 2019-2020.

i3 Kaby Lake with 4 GB RAM, HDD boot drive, Windows 10 and an anti-virus software that alone uses about 500 MB RAM. The AV software also has about 50% constant load on the HDD.

Their previous desktops were Haswell desktops with 8 GB RAM and a SSD.

The "new" desktops normally need about 30 minutes to load Outlook and and a web browser, and sometimes exceeds 1 hour. The "old" desktops could do it in several minutes. Not surprisingly, some people hold onto their old desktops or have even gotten rid of the "new" desktops to go back to the old ones.

ID: hd3adfa

Is it a bank? Because it sounds like you work at a bank.

9 : Anonymous2021/09/16 10:08 ID: hd27hvd

Maybe Intel should pitch In on the electric cost as well 🙂

10 : Anonymous2021/09/16 12:58 ID: hd2ni60

I have no problems with Intel using heavy discounts in order to keep market share so long as they're publicly-available discounts. That's how the market is supposed to operate: If your product is inferior to the competition at a given price point then you can expect to sell fewer products. So you have to lower your prices.

What I very much dislike are strings-attached pricing advantages (or outright payments) offered to vendors so long as they don't sell competitors' products.

11 : Anonymous2021/09/16 11:07 ID: hd2c2o9

Well, obviously. It's called competition.

However, only as long as they don't play any dirty tricks like in the past. Luckily, in the EU it's not allowed to sell products below cost, and i doubt they'd be competitive even selling at cost.

ID: hd2jepr

Luckily, in the EU it's not allowed to sell products below cost

The Xbox SX, PS5, and Steam Deck would like a word.

ID: hd2m4bx

Weren't this product sold with non-profit scheme? They would generate profit from other products, that would be useful with these products.

Or maybe I don't understand anything.

12 : Anonymous2021/09/16 12:30 ID: hd2kb1l

Intel always defeated their opponents with a superior amount of money. They held back innovation within their own x86 architecture due to greed. And then AMD showed them how much better x86 can be. So now that they are being beaten in their own courtyard, they are going back to their previous business model. No surprise there.

13 : Anonymous2021/09/16 13:36 ID: hd2s7vh

Seems every large server farm type deal I see in the news goes to AMD because of better performance/watt. Haven't seen Intel in the news lately for any supercomputer deals either. What else can they do but undercut?

14 : Anonymous2021/09/16 15:23 ID: hd37ikg

So? I solely bought an intel CPU for my gaming desktop because it was good value at that moment.

What are they supposed to do? Not compete? This is a good move for everyone.

15 : Anonymous2021/09/16 15:39 ID: hd39xi5


16 : Anonymous2021/09/16 13:47 ID: hd2tplk

Intel has always done this. We used to get Dell servers from Dell (with Intel hardware) for a fraction of the advertised price. This was before EPYC/Ryzen.

17 : Anonymous2021/09/16 14:05 ID: hd2w6k4

At my job, we use machines from Superlogics. I requested information from them about switching to AMD models but they steered me towards Intel because of availability of long life motherboards and chips. We tend to order builds of the chosen spec for 8 years plus

ID: hd34d9w

See, THIS may be a legitimate reason for buying Intel over AMD, although I know that AMD has long-life product SKU's as well.

ID: hd34ke7

AMD does. But doesn’t seem to be as long life as intel models. But the real issue is that motherboard manufacturers aren’t making many long life boards for AMD. Not even close to what you could get for Intel


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