AMD: A History of Advanced Marketing Deception

Buyer beware

In the competitive landscape of computer hardware, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has had its fair share of setbacks.

In this retrospective, we delve into AMD’s history of product failures, examining the lessons learned and the implications for the industry, including why Mr. Robot and many other expert builders do not offer AMD builds.

While AMD has made significant strides in innovation and market competitiveness, its journey is also marked by notable product failures that have left lasting impacts on the company and its reputation.

AMD has a long history of litigation with former (and current) partner and x86 creator Intel.[290][291][292]

  • 1986 Intel broke an agreement it had with AMD to allow them to produce Intel’s micro-chips for IBM; AMD filed for arbitration in 1987 and the arbitrator decided in AMD’s favor in 1992. Intel disputed this, and the case ended up in the Supreme Court of California. In 1994, that court upheld the arbitrator’s decision and awarded damages for breach of contract.
  • 1990 Intel brought a copyright infringement action alleging illegal use of its 287 microcode. The case ended in 1994 with a jury finding for AMD and its right to use Intel’s microcode in its microprocessors through the 486 generation.
  • AMD K5 and K6 Processors:
    • In the mid-1990s, AMD aimed to challenge Intel’s dominance in the CPU market with its K5 and K6 processor lines.
    • Despite initial promise, the K5 and K6 processors faced performance and compatibility issues, failing to gain widespread adoption.
    • These setbacks hindered AMD’s competitiveness in the CPU market and led to financial losses for the company.
  • 1997 Intel filed suit against AMD and Cyrix Corp. for misuse of the term MMX. AMD and Intel settled, with AMD acknowledging MMX as a trademark owned by Intel, and with Intel granting AMD rights to market the AMD K6 MMX processor.
  • 2005 following an investigation, the Japan Federal Trade Commission found Intel guilty of a number of violations. On June 27, 2005, AMD won an antitrust suit against Intel in Japan, and on the same day, AMD filed a broad antitrust complaint against Intel in the U.S. Federal District Court in Delaware. The complaint alleges systematic use of secret rebates, special discounts, threats, and other means used by Intel to lock AMD processors out of the global market. Since the start of this action, the court has issued subpoenas to major computer manufacturers including AcerDellLenovoHP and Toshiba.
  • 2009 Intel agreed to pay AMD $1.25bn and renew a five-year patent cross-licensing agreement as part of a deal to settle all outstanding legal disputes between them.[293]
  • AMD Bulldozer Architecture:
    • In the early 2010s, AMD introduced the Bulldozer microarchitecture, aiming to compete with Intel’s Core series processors.
    • Bulldozer processors, including FX and Opteron variants, suffered from underwhelming performance and high power consumption compared to Intel’s offerings.
    • The Bulldozer architecture failed to meet the performance expectations of consumers and enthusiasts, resulting in market disappointment and criticism.
  • 2015 Deceptive Advertising Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against AMD
  • 2017 AMD Radeon RX Vega GPUs:
    • AMD’s Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, launched in 2017, aimed to challenge Nvidia’s dominance in the high-end GPU market.
    • Despite competitive pricing and innovative features, RX Vega GPUs faced issues such as high power consumption, heat output, performance inconsistencies, and high failure rates.
    • These shortcomings limited the appeal of RX Vega GPUs among gamers and content creators, leading to disappointing sales and market reception.
  • 2019 AMD to pay out $12.1 million in false advertising class action suit over Bulldozer chips

2012-2021 AMD vs Intel: Gaming performance AMD Claimed vs. Reality

Intel were unchallenged until 2020 when AMD claimed the lead.

  • 2021 AMD Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs:
    • While AMD’s Ryzen CPUs have generally received praise for their performance and value proposition, the Ryzen 5000 series faced criticism for limited availability and compatibility issues at launch.
    • Some early adopters reported issues such as USB connectivity problems and memory compatibility issues, tarnishing the initial rollout of the Ryzen 5000 series.
    • Mr. Robot has encountered hundreds of dead Ryzen 5000 series CPUs in 2021, mostly launch purchases, tarnishing the initial rollout of the Ryzen 5000 series.
    • Mr. Robot has also encountered fried memory modules specifically only with AMD systems, due to Ryzen overvolting them +20% over SET, on AM3, AM4, and AM5 platforms. SET vs. GET Overvolt confirmed with Fluke Digital Circuitry Test Tools.

    • The Ryzen 5600 at $139 is a budget alternative option for someone who already has an AM4 platform, as it avoids the AM5 or LGA1700 platform entry cost.

      However the Intel 13100F is 20% faster & 15% less money and is a better choice for new builds.
    • The 5600X3D at $229 is the best value 3D cache CPU in the AMD lineup for gamers that already have an AM4 platform and play titles that benefit from the large 3D cache, otherwise it has performance regression vs. non-X3D in titles that do not benefit from it due to the lower clocks.

      However, the Intel 13400F is 15% faster & 10% less money and is a better choice for new builds.
    • The 5800X3D at $299 is a more expensive X3D option for someone who already has an AM4 platform, as it avoids the AM5 or LGA1700 platform entry cost.

      However the Intel 13500 is 20% faster for 20% less money AND the Intel 14600k is 30% faster for the same money and either is a better choice for new builds.
  • 2022 AMD Ryzen 7000 Series CPUs
    • Has an unusually thick integrated heat spreader leading to unusually high operating temperatures, due to a poor engineering choice by AMD of preserving AM4 cooler compatibility at the cost of product lifespan and performance potential.
    • For more info see here: Ryzen 7000 Delidding – Unreal Temperature improvement with Direct-Die Cooling
    • Bad CPU / cooler combinations can create performance degradation so extreme that a lower end processor would be faster just because the CPU cooler can keep up.
    • Has unusually high operating temperatures which will lead to decreased CPU lifespan.
    • AMD says the absurdly high temperatures are okay, but they only stand to make money by decreasing the lifespan of their products and blanket accepting abnormally high operating temperatures that make Intel’s seem tame.

      • If you choose to build AMD, go non-X or if getting the X then plan to de-lid.
        • See Thermal Management section for de-lid tool and contact frame in the Ordering Guide – Mr. Robot
          • X not recommended unless the processor is water cooled, and either de-lidded or kneecapped with custom PBO power limits to avoid overheating.

    • The energy cost and room heating difference between X and non-X is significant and merits careful consideration.
    • The 7600 is the current best value in the AMD lineup for gamers.

      However, the Intel 13400F is the same speed & 10% less money and is a better choice for new builds. Additionally, the Intel 13500 is 7% faster & 6% more money and is also a better choice for new builds.

  • 2023: Ryzen 7000X3D series CPUs
    • Have the same core architecture as the rest of the 7000 series but they have one group of eight “3D” cores with extra cache. The “3D” cores are priced higher but run at 10% lower clocks.
      • For most real-world tasks performance is comparable to the 7000X variants. Cache sensitive scenarios such as low res. canned game benchmarks with an RTX 4090 ($1,599) benefit at the cost of everything else.
      • Be wary of sponsored reviews with cherry picked games that showcase the wins, ignore frame drops and gloss over the losses.
      • Also watch out for AMD’s army of Neanderthal social media accounts on Reddit, Forums and YouTube, they will be singing their own praises as usual. AMD continues to develop “Advanced Marketing” relationships with select youtubers in the hope of compensating for second tier products with first tier marketing.
      • PC gamers considering any 7000X3D CPU need to work on their critical thinking skills: Influencers are paid handsomely to promote overpriced products.
      • Rational gamers have little reason to look further than the $285 Intel 14600KF which offers better real-world gaming and better desktop performance at a fraction of the price.

If you care about product lifespan, warranty coverage, or customer service then don’t even consider AMD. They regularly deny warranty service because if they didn’t, they would bankrupt.

  • AMD warranty becomes void with normal use, due to serial number becoming unreadable with normal operation. Intel does not have this problem and embeds a secondary serial on the substrate as a backup.

Intel has astronomically lower failure rates despite having over 4x higher market share.

  • If they cannot read any part on the IHS, you will be denied service.
  • AMD’s own writing in their warranty terms quoted below is quite revealing and should indicate to you something is off if this company is actively looking for a way to not be held accountable for their products overall poor reliability, and high failure rates.

    The following are common examples of the type of damage or mistreatment that will invalidate any AMD warranty: Scratches on substrates or lids. Any scratches on substrates, 2D code, or lids affecting marking legibility.
  • In other words, just by using the product you purchased will invalidate the warranty?

    Yes. See all the superficial cosmetic reasons why AMD will reject your warranty below:

AMD CPU Field Failures:
Service denied for $249 3600 that failed. x194
Service denied for $269 3600XT that failed. x21
Service denied for $299 5600X that failed. x132
Service denied for $799 5950X that failed. x12
Service denied for $649 7950X3D that failed. x11

Many many more happen every day across the world, this headcount is just from Mr. Robot

Source: Mr. Robot (20 Years of Industry Experience)
Source: AMD Processors – Builds – Mr. Robot
Source: AMD – Litigation with Intel – Wikipedia
Source: AMD – Not Covered by Warranty

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