Should AMD Axe Its Athlon, Phenom, and Sempron Branding?

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titan8813

I can see how, from a producer standpoint, re-naming might increase profits in the short-term.  Car manufacturers do this all the time.  Remember the Chevy Cavalier?  Most people hear that name and think, "Cheap piece of crap".  So Chevy's newest model of Cavalier was slightly re-designed (same engine, same manufacturing plants, same mostly everything) and came out with cool commercials and called it the "Chevy Cobalt".  Since it is cheaper to manufacture a Cavalier than a Camaro, they wanted to eliminate the public's negative perception of that line and increase their profits.  

I'm sure most folks on this board would read "Sempron" and not give that particular unit another thought.  By changing the naming scheme, you eliminate the negative perception of a particular model and increase public interest in it.  

So let's say that Sempron has a profitability of 10, Athlon of 5, and Phenom of 1 (so for every Sempron you sell you make 10x the cost to manufacture, Athlon 5x, etc).  If only 10% of consumers buy each the Sempron and Phenom, with the other 80% buying the Athlon, then it would stand to reason if you doubled your Sempron units sold you could increase your profits substantially.  If the number of "Sempron" models sold doubled and cut into the Athlon sales by the same real number, profits would increase by 10%.  When we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars of profit, 10% is no small thing.  

As I explained above, this only works in the short-term until people figure out the new naming scheme and start to move away from a particular model for the same reasons as before.  I do think AMD is up to SOMETHING though, because a few of the processors I've had my eye on have increased in price anywhere from 10% to 33% in the past WEEK!

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Biggins

I'm not sure about the proposed naming convention. I've gotten used to talking about Athlons and Phenoms. It might be easier for the marketing guys because they don't have to figure out a name that hasn't been used before AND translates well in other languages. When they announced the Phenom name, I thought it was odd but I couldn't think of anything negative about it. Also, I don't like AMD using the word "Black" in referring to performance or gamer parts.

A few weeks ago I was looking at mid-range laptops. HP had 2 laptops that were almost identical except the dv6 had Turion and the G62 had Athlon. I did some research and found the only difference was the Turion had twice the L2 cache. But would that really make a difference? I never bought anything but I was leaning toward the Turion.

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aarcane

if they MUST change, semi-arbitrary alphabet soup is NOT a change in the right direction.  perhaps some heirarchical alphanumeric designation, while less initially inviting, would provide a better indication to users.  a number for the core count, a number for the generation, a number for the speed of the processor....  except that modern dual core processors outperform older quad cores in many cases, so even this wouldn't effectively create a product gradient to simplify "Which processor is better", etc..

My personal thoughts on the matter stem from a recent, semi-traumatic experience shopping for amd processors.  I purchased an athlon rana processor.  x3 450 to be precise, but nowhere on the box does it tell me who rana is or why she's better than any of the other 3 core processors at similar speeds I could choose from..  nor in any other information I could find.  I ended up going on wikipedia and found that rana was the "newest" of all my pricerange-appropriate options, and so I chose her..  but I should just be able to go into the store and be able to pick the best available balance of n cores + newest core + highest speed without having to resort to internet research and deciphering alphabet soup.

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ShyLinuxGuy

AMD shouldn't do away with it's branding. Why? Because it's brands are well-established. We all know that Phenom is high-end, Athlon is mid-range and Sempron is lower-end. The Athlon (neo) name should not be relegated to netbook/low-power processors, even the Sempron shouldn't be brought to this level. The AMD processor for low-power use should just be named Neo.

The Athlon line is not as confusing as Intel's branding since ~2005. Not too long ago, my friend and I had a little argument over his sisters' laptop, which had a Celeron D processor (it was dragging by its heels). He insisted, "It's a dual-core processor." I just simply went to the Task Manager and clicked on the Resources tab to assert my argument, boom, ONE core in operation. I could, however, see his train of thought (the "D" designation).

With the Core series, it was confusing and senseless, as somebody posted before. Intel should have just released the processors (the mainstream ones) as Pentium 5 perhaps. The lower end would be Celeron of course, and high end--maybe use Core Duo and Quad.

BTW and OT, I like the OLD Core series logo and case badges. The new ones (with CORE capitalized) looks cheesy and ugly.

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maleficarus™

Good points, but to clear one thing up: Pentium means 5 in latin. So to name it 5 then 5 is kinda rebundant no? Other then that good points...

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ibgeezer

Well said someuid!

No information. No sensible line of descent for the various chips. No continuity is being shown.

Here is chipo 2011A, our best. NASA. (year made)

Here is is chipo 2012B, less features, less speed. For the gamer.

et cetera. What can AMD do for you?

What if maximumpc changed month/year publication dates to some other weird wording?

Here is the vision version. Here is the black version. Here is the green version.

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someuid

Thanks ibgeezer.  Hopefully someone influential at AMD reads this thread.

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someuid

Honestly, they can name their stuff whatever they want.  None of their names make any sense and I always turn to wikipedia for the details of what this does, what that does, etc.

As soon as the marketing terms turn up - performance, power saving, digital life, unmatched, multi-, I stop reading.  None of it is written to inform me.  All of it is written to influence me.

I don't want to be influenced, I want to be informed.

So go ahead AMD, knock yourself out.  Waste the money on the strategy meetings, the campaigns, the CEO soundbites, the launch festivals, the Vision This and Black that and whatever else you think up.  I ignore it all.

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arosadler

When did AMD bury the Radeon brand? I know they ditched the ATI brand, but their new 6000 series cards are still being sold as Radeons.

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whiskeymcclinton

I never liked the Phenom and Sempron branding.

Athlon had a strong brand recognition, until they introduced so many different SKU numbers and other names, like Neo.

It's time to wipe the slate clean.

AMD is not alone in this problem. Intel has had trouble with naming schemes since they left the Pentium 4 architecture (Core, Core Solo, Core Duo, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, i3 500 series, i5 700 series, i7 900 series, 2000K series, etc.)

As long as AMD doesn't make the mistake Intel did by having inconsistent specs between model lines. Eg: i5 could be a 4 core or a 2 core, i7 could have 6, 4, or 2 (mobile) cores?

 

Then it would look something like this:

Vision Ultimate = Unlocked, 8 core, 16 MB cache

Vision Black = Unlocked, 4 core, 8MB cache

Vision Premium = locked, 4 core, 8MB cache

Vision = locked, 2 core, 4MB cache

E2 = locked, 2 core, 2MB cache

E = locked, 1 core, 1MB cache

They wouldn't need to add any phony model numbers at the end, just the speed (GHz).

 

 

 

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lunchbox73

Amen brother. I'd settle for Fast, Faster, Fastest.

 

Oh no! Word verification again? Why? I haven't seen a single spam post in months!

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TheDorkSide

Somebody in Marketing over there must need an excuse not to get laid off. We already know how their naming convections work right?

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