Friday, April 13, 2007

Intel's Chipsets -- The Roots Of Monopoly

I've been surprised to see so many analysts and board posters criticize AMD's purchase of ATI. Every time I've read this I've wondered what other option they thought would have been better. But, not one article by any these supposedly knowledgeable analysts has included any real alternative. My eventual conclusion was that most people, analysts included, don't understand the historical or current importance of chipsets. Intel's chipsets have everything to do with its current position as both a horizontal and nearly vertical monopoly.

Before 1995, Compaq and IBM were the top PC vendors. These two were essentially the Cadillacs of the PC business with models commanding higher prices but being seen as higher quality. This quality wasn't hard to see when comparing a Compaq with a Packard Bell. Compaq and IBM had had a technological advantage because they were capable of designing their own motherboards and putting together their own chipsets. However, this advantage was lost in 1995. Intel had been dabbling with chipsets as far back as the 80486 and had gotten more serious about this with the Pentium. But, this all came together for Intel in 1995 with the release of the 440 chipset for Pentium II along with Intel's new ATX motherboard standard. In one fell swoop Intel had leveled the playing field between Compaq, IBM, and other vendors. By 1997, ATX and the 440/450 chipsets had become firmly established and IBM and Compaq's position had eroded. Just four years later, the talk was about Compaq's being bought by another company and the following year it was acquired by HP. IBM had deeper pockets so it held out longer but it is difficult to understate the fact that the company that invented the PC; the XT, Baby AT, and AT motherboard standards; PS/2 ports; and VGA graphics finally had to divest of its own PC line.

The significant point is that when Intel became a genuine force as a chipset and motherboard supplier it took away both brand value and money from Compaq and IBM. The brand value and money shifted, naturally, to Intel. Intel deserved this success because ATX was what vendors needed. The ATX standard moved the processor out from under the expansion cards where taller heatsinks and fans were becoming a problem. The ATX standard replaced the XT, Baby AT, and AT standards which had been created by IBM; but ATX was close to the Baby AT standard and didn't require much modification to be used with these cases. ATX has since evolved into smaller form factors like mini, micro, and flex ATX.

So, it was something of a shock when Intel departed significantly from the idea of giving vendors what they needed when it tried to force the four incompatible BTX (BTX, micro, nano, and pico BTX) standards back in 2004. According to Intel, BTX was supposed to have better cooling and the two smallest sizes were supposed to reduce costs. However, BTX was not readily compatible with AMD's K8 processor because the northbridge was setting where AMD needed the processor to go. Also, the cost savings were mostly unrealized because BTX had little compatibility with ATX. Whereas transition cases were made that fit both ATX and Baby AT motherboards this was not possible for BTX. ATX is 305mm wide but BTX is narrower at 266mm. This made the nano-BTX at 223 X 266mm about the same size as the existing micro-ATX at 244 X 244mm but a different width. This has led more than one person to suggest that BTX was both Intel's quick fix for the thermal problems of Pentium 4D and an obvious attempt to disenfranchise AMD. Whatever Intel's reasoning (or scheming) may have been, the BTX strategy has essentially failed and ATX remains as the most popular standard. Even Intel has finally come to this realization and has halted any further development of BTX just three years after introduction.

Intel's failure with BTX to provide vendors what they needed left a vacuum into which AMD has recently introduced the DTX and mini-DTX standards. These standards are compatible with existing standards and therefore allow leveraging of experience with existing motherboards. Specifically, the width of the DTX motherboard is the same as micro-ATX at 244mm's. DTX is like a shorter version of Micro-ATX so micro-ATX/DTX transition cases should be fairly easy. However, the significant difference is that only two ATX (or micro-ATX) motherboards can be cut from one standard PCB (printed circuit board) panel while four DTX motherboards can be cut from the same panel. The smaller mini-DTX standard allows six motherboards from one panel. DTX motherboards can also be made with as few as four layers. This provides an immediate and significant cost reduction for DTX motherboards with only a small transition cost from existing micro-ATX motherboards and cases. In contrast, the three largest BTX standards only allow two motherboards from one panel while the smallest of the four BTX standards, pico-BTX allows four. VIA's mini-ITX does allow six motherboards to be cut from one panel but this standard is only used by VIA. It appears that AMD was giving a nod to VIA by making the width of mini-DTX the same 170mm's as mini-ITX. This should mean that both transition micro-ATX/DTX and mini-ITX/mini-DTX cases should appear in short order.

This move by AMD away from ATX is as significant as Athlon's move away from Socket 7. It remains to be seen how Intel will respond. With the failure of BTX, any attempt at yet another incompatible standard would be silly. This only leaves Intel with three choices: they can do nothing and continue with the existing BTX standards for awhile, they can support DTX and micro-DTX, or they could reach for the fig leaf of creating a new form factor with the same widths but with different component placement. However, only pico-BTX can compete with DTX in terms of board cost but without the same case advantages as DTX. So, doing nothing means getting pushed out of the low range by a standard that was designed to be profitable even at a low price. On the other hand, supporting DTX or using the same width puts Intel back on a level playing field with AMD and other chipset makers, and this is where Intel has tried very hard not to be. The bottom line is that AMD has stolen Intel's thunder by choosing to supply what its vendor customers wanted just as Intel did with IBM back in 1995.

Although not quite as important as DTX, AMD is also pushing an extended ATX standard with Quad FX. This standard makes a lot of sense because there currently exists a huge gap between ATX and the massive WTX (workstation motherboard) standard which is roughly twice the size of ATX. Theoretically, extended ATX fits into with the same width as ATX but has greater depth up 13”. The problem is that the volume for extended ATX has been so low that this size has never truly been a standard in the same way that ATX and WTX has been. However, components have gotten smaller making the old WTX standard overkill and unnecessarily expensive. Quad FX should bring some much needed volume to this market and pump up the available cases. This should be good news to companies like Alienware, VoodooPC, and Boxx who can have trouble stuffing all of the high end components into a standard ATX motherboard and case.

With DTX, AMD's decision to buy ATI makes a great deal of sense. I suppose some self styled experts would see it as AMD/ATI = AMD + ATI – (Intel's ATI orders). By this view, the combined company is worth less that the two companies were separately. This, of course, is wrong. Intel's self promotion reached a pinnacle with Centrino as this brand was pushed ahead of all vendor brands. AMD's ability to now deliver not only competitive mobile chipset solutions but all in one desktop solutions makes it a viable alternative to being pushed around by Intel. AMD benefits ATI by bringing both much needed development money and the AMD factory brand name to ATI's chipsets. While this distinction is not so important for discrete graphic cards it will have positive effect on demand for ATI chipsets. Anyone who doubts the importance of chipsets for AMD is clearly forgetting not only 1995 but the fact that without AMD's 760 and 8000 series chipsets, neither K7 nor K8 would have gotten off the ground. ATI's inclusion, however, means that AMD can now pursue the development of strategic areas that have been ignored by chipset vendors looking for nearer term profit. In other words, AMD/ATI not only fills in AMD's product line but breaks Intel's chipset position and makes another Centrino by Intel nearly impossible. The only question remaining is whether Intel has yet realized this fact and will go back to being a good supplier; or, will Intel keep putting its efforts into self promotion and trying to gain additional market leverage?

29 comments:

Roborat, Ph. D. said...

scientia: I've been surprised to see so many analysts and board posters criticize AMD's purchase of ATI. Every time I've read this I've wondered what other option they thought would have been better.

i've read the articles, while most agree as to WHY AMD purchased ATI, most disagrees with the WHEN and HOW MUCH.
The timing of the purchase and the associated terms of the loans is what's being questioned. It seemed like AMD through bad foresight underestimated the impact of Intel's products in 2007 to have let go of such a large amount money is such a crucial time.
Ofcourse there's several options for AMD to take if you consider timing and creating partnership as other factors. It seems like you've only looked at two options: to buy ATI or not to buy ATI.

look at the co-development of the Itanium and the Cell processor. Nobody needs to buy a company to create something. open your eyes.

abinstein said...

"look at the co-development of the Itanium and the Cell processor. Nobody needs to buy a company to create something. open your eyes."

No, you didn't read the article (or at least you don't understand it). The argument is that only buying ATi would give AMD full control of mobile and desktop processor+chipset solutions. Without the purchase, system builders can only follow whatever the bigger player (Intel) has to say.

enumae said...

Scientia

Roborat has a good point about the timing, and there could be several scenarios that may have lead AMD acquire ATI more quickly than they would have liked.

One of them being, the thought of Intel acquiring ATI.

I don't think AMD underestimated Intel, but may have been so focussed on getting Dell, and other tier one support, that they were distracted and not as focused as they could/should have been.

...By this view, the combined company is worth less that the two companies were separately.

While the long term effects of the merger will be great, the short term is terrible.

Here is a PDF (I made) showing Q1 2006 -> Q1 2007, while combining AMD and ATI Net sales, and Operating income.

Looking at the projected Q1 2007 numbers, compared to Q1 2006, the effects speak for the selves.

About 30% decline in revenue YOY.

In the short term, the AMD/ATI = AMD + ATI – (Intel's ATI orders) statement is exactly right.

In the long term the possibilities for AMD to grow and use the combined knowledge of both ATI and AMD should make for some exciting products and market share.

This is years away, just like you said Intel took two years, AMD will probably take as long if not longer and I feel this way due to there lack of money for marketing.

Scientia from AMDZone said...

Well, I'm having trouble following some of the reasoning. The only way that you can logically argue that AMD should not have purchased ATI is to show a greater benefit by avoiding the purchase.

If AMD had not bought ATI then the Q1 revenues would still have dropped. So, what would the benefit be in not having ATI? I guess you could argue that AMD would have more cash for development but clearly the near term problem is market access and AMD doesn't get that without ATI.

The notion that AMD could merely have collaborated with ATI is naiive. Strategic investment requires ownership, not merely collaboration. Also, ATI does not get the benefit of the AMD factory brand name for its chipsets without ownership.

This talk about AMD's rushing and making hasty decisions and being unprepared is simply incorrect. AMD saw that future sales were dependent on market access that would only come with its own chipset solutions. AMD has direct experience with this with the 760 and 8000 series chipsets. These were good but not extensive enough. ATI brings the depth of solutions that AMD needs. Certainly, AMD's current sales could be better but that doesn't change strategic planning. It should also be obvious that strategic planning is not dependent on Q1 revenues.

Without ATI AMD would be in a much worse position in 2008 and 2009. The timing arguments are unrealistic because they simply push the point where AMD would be prepared back further in time. Thus these notions would actually cost AMD more money. The ATI purchase is the best possible solution I've seen to maximize profit in 2008 and 2009. So far, no one has suggested any other path that would surpass this.

enumae said...

Scientia
...The only way that you can logically argue that AMD should not have purchased ATI is to show a greater benefit by avoiding the purchase.

I am not sure if this is directed to Roborat or myself.

I have made mention before that the purchase was needed for future market share and or penetration, but I do believe the timing could have been better.

...So, what would the benefit be in not having ATI?

Just for speculation... another FAB under construction.

Scientia from AMDZone said...

enumae

You are still missing the point. AMD's near term problem is not capacity. If AMD skipped the ATI purchase and built another FAB instead this would have two problems. The first is that AMD will lose market access and not be able to expand sales. The second problem is that the new FAB wouldn't come online until perhaps 2010. AMD's position would be much worse by then.

Logically, instead of trying to water down the ATI purchase and build a FAB it makes a lot more sense to buy ATI and expand one of the existing FABs as AMD did back in 2004.

Azmount Aryl said...

I think fusion is way more promising than just being able to back your processors with chipset. Big OEMs will really going to jump the train if the fusion chips are to be sold with little price additive comparing to regular CPUs and that alone can give 80% of AMD CPUs ability to penetrate the market like never before, thus ensuring that current added capacity of AMD (via new fabs as well as extending older fab) can actually be used to capture the market share with cheap CPUs rather than using that capacity to come up with bigger-die chips in order to capture MS by raw performance of a CPU.

Also, do you people understand that if AMD didn't purchased ATI and instead spent money creating GPU themselves, it would have taking years longer to bring fusion to the market which would mean that intel could have countered such move Way more easily as they already are familiar with GPUs?

Jeff said...

"This talk about AMD's rushing and making hasty decisions and being unprepared is simply incorrect. AMD saw that future sales were dependent on market access that would only come with its own chipset solutions. AMD has direct experience with this with the 760 and 8000 series chipsets. These were good but not extensive enough. ATI brings the depth of solutions that AMD needs."

My question is why the only chipsets AMD ever produced were to bring in new architectures. Surely, if AMD saw chipsets as so important they could have continued development of their own in-house Chipsets. This would have been a lot cheaper then buying ATI, no?

Roborat, Ph. D. said...

abinstein said...
No, you didn't read the article (or at least you don't understand it). The argument is that...

i meant the articles Scientia mentioned. NOT scientia's article.


Scientia said...
I guess you could argue that AMD would have more cash for development but clearly the near term problem is market access and AMD doesn't get that without ATI.

How is "market access" near term? In fact it's nonesense. AMD doesn't have market access problems and if they do then why is it all of a sudden when C2D was out? i never heard AMD themselves say that have market access problems that ATI's chipsets would resolve. I feel your just inventing reasons for AMD's mistake.

The notion that AMD could merely have collaborated with ATI is naiive...


1) the Cell processor is strategic enough for companies like Sony. Itanium for HP's future.
2) ATI isn't the only company with graphics expertice. There are other smaller gpgpu companies out there. So again, why buy a $5B company?

ATI's Decemner 2006 financial analyst day meeting predicted a profitable year for AMD. 6 months before that when AMD was making a deal with ATI, i'm sure they had a rosier outlook for 2007 while C2D was only ramping. They never saw that Dell will reduce orders, they never saw Intel's Quadcore be a hit in servers and they never saw the channel problems of Q4/Q1.It's so easy for AMD to have misjudged the future and went ahead with the purchase without realizing that they will be short of cash this year. Honestly, it's the simplest answer.

Scientia from AMDZone said...

Okay, let me try this again.

Intel currently has by far the biggest portion of the integrated graphics market both in desktop and mobile. nVidia and ATi are very strong in discrete graphics but Intel is the leader for integrated.

Intel is not the integrated leader merely by chance. Integrated graphics target three main areas: desktop, commercial, and mobile.

Mobile: Obviously, Intel had mobile taken care of both for the high value Centrino systems and the lower value mobile Celeron. This has been a problem area for AMD however. ATI is necessary to secure proper low power mobile chipsets.

Desktop: Back in 2005 even Intel ran short of low end chipsets. Producing this many chipsets was simply impossible with AMD's manufacturing capabilities. The high volume/low margin aspect of these chips required a foundry but AMD had no foundry relationships.

Commercial: For some reason, some OEMs prefer factory chipsets with factory processors. I think this has something to do with maximizing the simplicity and reliability of these systems. AMD would not provide a guarantee for an ATI branded chipset but they will guarantee ATI chipsets with the AMD label. We can get into this if you want but essentially this market is a lot more conservative.

The final aspect seems to be a desire by AMD to really dig in and compete on the low end. It very much appears that AMD wants to maintain profit even with high pricing pressure. Fusion and DTX both seem to fit into this. The part that I simply do not know is if AMD is trying to carve out a more profitable niche for itself in the bottom desktop range or whether this is a response to general pricing pressures in the desktop market.

True, AMD has some in-house experience with chipsets but would have needed to expand its staffing. And, as far as I know only Intel, AMD, VIA, nVidia, and ATI have direct experience creating X86 chipsets. And, AMD has no experience with mobile chipsets. The pool of experienced people is very limited. Obviously, AMD would not try to poach engineers from its partners (VIA, nVidia, and ATI). And, stealing employees from Intel is not that easy.

AMD has often had chicken and egg problems where it needed to be able to provide chipsets to get OEM contracts and needed OEM contracts to encourage its partners to make chipsets. Since AMD doesn't make motherboards like Intel does it didn't really have the option of buying directly from the supplier as Intel did with ATI.

These problems were solved by the purchase of ATI. The sharp drop in revenue was unfortunate but AMD was not counting on high revenues to buy ATI nor was ATI a reaction to C2D. The strategic planning has to do with funding areas that its partners were not eager to fund. I don't know all of these but mobile is a pretty obvious one. AMD could have another server chipset in mind now that it has the desktop fairly well covered.

TheKhalif said...

As usual, it's refreshing to see someone who is looking at the bigger picture and not just the bad patches.

R600 and K10 can't flop as the measure of perf is K8 NOT C2D. AMD knows this. I would be skeptical had C2Q numbers come out first but they didn't.

They empahsized 80% increase for dual core or 160% total for Barcelona.

The fact that Barc will be HT1 means that they haven't updated 8000 yet for servers.

I can assume that there will be a new server chipset ready for Shanghai.

TheKhalif said...

Sci

AMD has often had chicken and egg problems where it needed to be able to provide chipsets to get OEM contracts and needed OEM contracts to encourage its partners to make chipsets. Since AMD doesn't make motherboards like Intel does it didn't really have the option of buying directly from the supplier as Intel did with ATI.

These problems were solved by the purchase of ATI. The sharp drop in revenue was unfortunate but AMD was not counting on high revenues to buy ATI nor was ATI a reaction to C2D. The strategic planning has to do with funding areas that its partners were not eager to fund. I don't know all of these but mobile is a pretty obvious one. AMD could have another server chipset in mind now that it has the desktop fairly well covered.


Agreed. My first reaction to the purchase was negative in that nVidia was the reason they got so many mobo makers.

Upon realizing though that the competition would exist whether AMD acquired ATi or not.
Opening the platform was the best thing to do as now ASUS, etc can take whole platforms based on either IGP.

I also fell that the server chipset is in rapid development right now. That is probably why Barc is supposed to be HT1 as HT3's new NUMA topology with the extra links makes it more complex than 790G.

AMD is touting 1 hop 32Way for HT3 with 4 links. Remaining on HT1.1 allows them to improve the current 8Way servers using the existing BroadCom/ServerWorks chipsets (boy was that a win).

I truly believe that a 32Way K10 will finally give AMD "Big Iron" with 2/4Way clusters.

Hopefully they will have it ready for Shanghai.

enumae said...

Scientia
And, as far as I know only Intel, AMD, VIA, nVidia, and ATI have direct experience creating X86 chipsets.

Wouldn't AMD's biggest partner be included in this list as well...IBM?

Jarrad said...

I have a question for Scientia and others here. AMD bought Ati for A) It's chipsets (to satisfy Dell etc) and B) it's graphics for it's future plans, Fusion etc.

Why didn't AMD save a bundle of cash and buy someone like VIA? They would have gotten the chipsets they were after, as well as the graphics (S3). Sure, VIA's graphics are not on par with Ati/Nvidia, but with all the cash they'd saved they could pour a heap into graphics R&D and come out with a serious contender. Plus, VIA's graphics were more than enough for the integrated graphics on chipsets.

Just my thoughts. Nice to see a more balanced perspective of the AMD vs Intel debate, rather than the fanatical attitude of Sharikou!

abinstein said...

"Why didn't AMD save a bundle of cash and buy someone like VIA? They would have gotten the chipsets they were after, as well as the graphics (S3)."

I also believe AMD bought ATi for its footage in the consumer products, like game console, smartphones, etc., places where Intel doesn't have monopoly power (yet).

abinstein said...

"AMD has often had chicken and egg problems where it needed to be able to provide chipsets to get OEM contracts and needed OEM contracts to encourage its partners to make chipsets."

Is it then reasonable to assume that AMD gave nVidia good support/compensation for the latter's effort in creating K7/K8 chipsets?

Maybe AMD is tired of nVidia's demand (for compensation) and decided to do it itself?

Just wild guess.

Wise lnvestor said...

I would like to add a few pennies to the comments.

Nvidia have terrible driver support.

You should all know that they dropped or is dropping support for all nforce 3 , 4 Mobo for Windows Vista. Some Mobo have only 2 years of support cycle.

Presently, nforce MB and GeForce series of card lacks stable and fully functional drivers For MS Vista. Seems to me nVidia would like have your money first, then give you a stable driver at a later date.

That is contradictory to AMD's customer-centric philosophy. Whats more Jensen Huang's personality is somewhat resemble that of Paul Otelini, the minds of egocentric technologist...

They are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Scientia from AMDZone said...

enumae

Wouldn't AMD's biggest partner be included in this list as well...IBM?

This is at least partially true. IBM has done work with server northbridges for X86. However, I don't think that IBM has much experience with either consumer grade chipsets or with graphics. However, the point would remain that AMD wouldn't poach employees from IBM.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I don't see any other way that AMD could have gained the required personnel without buying ATIl

Scientia from AMDZone said...

jarrad

Why didn't AMD save a bundle of cash and buy someone like VIA?

Well, aside from the fact that I don't believe that VIA's product line is extensive enough, I don't think it would have worked. Since VIA is the only other producer of X86 processors I'm certain that sale would have been blocked without the very complicated step of divesting the CPU line. I can't think of anyone who would want to buy VIA's cpu business by itself. In all honesty it seems like nVidia would benefit more from a VIA purchase. That would create three companies that all produced graphics, chipsets, and processors.

Just my thoughts. Nice to see a more balanced perspective of the AMD vs Intel debate, rather than the fanatical attitude of Sharikou!

Yes, things tend to be a bit more civilized here. You don't get as much of the fanaticism and name calling.

Aguia said...

If AMD just wanted some chipsets, Ati is too big.

What about Uli?

Uli would give the server chipset they wanted.
Value chipset for desktops.
High-end chipset for desktop and workstations.

Uli lacked the IGP that could be solved by forcing Uli to design chipsets with just one chip. The second chip could be contracted to Ati, Nvidia, Sis, Via and be easily integrated in the motherboard.


For having it all then Sis was much better buy than Uli, the IGP problem was solved, lack one thing or two vs uli. More expensive then Uli.


Via I don’t think so. To much expensive. And not working very well lately.


Without Ati, no Fusion, no GPGPU, no Centrino like products, ...


For the ones that say AMD could by VIA but with all the cash they'd saved they could pour a heap into graphics R&D and come out with a serious contender

Then why not buy ATI and save time with all that stuff since if you are going to spend the money any way?

Save money in one thing and then spent the rest of money with the other thing, to come up with the same solution?!?!

sharikouisallwaysright said...

Via and SIS barely stay alive.
How could they ever have helped AMD?

In the end, Intel, AMDATI and Nvidia will divide the market between them.

Roborat, Ph. D. said...

Scientia said: "AMD has often had chicken and egg problems where it needed to be able to provide chipsets..."

AMD did not spend $5B to solve today's problems.

If you really want to understand what the urgency was you have to look further in the future. Even beyond Fusion.
There is performance wall that Intel and AMD's about to hit if they stick with the current platform of CPU+CHIPSET+GPU. Adding more cores has already shown diminishing returns. If you can guess where Intel's is going with Geneseo, you'll get a hint why AMD has to acquire ATI.

I still think the timing is completely wrong.

Greg said...

Roborat, if the timing is completely wrong, then we wouldn't already bee seeing that adding cores will hit a wall.

You also fail to provide a real example of what AMD could have done instead of buying ATI. Saying "the timing was wrong" is just a copout.

enumae said...

Scientia I understand your position on why AMD purchased ATI instead of building another FAB, so I have come up with a simple question, I hope.

What percentage of the market does AMD want?

I ask because AMD was able to achieve about 26% of the market without Dell or the ability to offer a platform.

Thanks.

Scientia from AMDZone said...

AMD figures that Intel's monopoly will start breaking at 30% (although I suspect this could happen with less).

I don't see AMD's having more than three FABs though so I don't think AMD will hit 50%.

The exact market share with three FABs depends on market growth. This would most likely be 40-45%.

Greg said...

AMD, like any intelligent company, knows it cannot stay ahead all the time. If it invests in only ever staying ahead, (aka, a new fab) it can never stay stable, it can never become a truly profitable company that can actually serve its customers to the full of its desire.

AN investment in ATI is an investment in safety. It doesn't have to stay ahead to have a product companies will want now. AMD had 26% of the market because it ridiculously dominated Intel's products. They were not much faster, but they were much cooler, a much better deal, and had the earliest access to the best platforms for enthusiasts. That it only took 26% of the market is a testament to how ridiculous Intel's control over the market was and still is and how weak demand for AMD was in terms of stability.

Aguia said...

Adding more cores has already shown diminishing returns.

Not in servers, running server based software.

I admit desktop useless for now.

In mobile is even more useless if the all idea is to save power.
Give me a single core 2.6Ghz Turion or Core 2 based processor that consumes 20W instead of one dual core that does 31W.

Aguia said...

Doesn't the power saving functions not work on your laptop?

ho ho,
According to Intel and AMD they don’t:
Anandtech Penryn

Anandtech K10

Maybe they will.
And I don’t encode anything. I think it’s good for the guys that rip DVDs, DIVx and MP3s the all day.

The ULV are expensive and difficult to find with regular screen sizes. And they are also very slow. 1.2Ghz and 1.06Ghz is at least 6 year old processor.
I was think in something like at least 2.4Ghz.
The 31W for Intel and 33W for AMD are already too high, if at least they keep them cool. The Macbooks burn and its not even summer.

Greg said...

MacCooks burning is due to poor assembly practices and cooling design, not hot processors. I essentially have the same problem on my old pentium m, and no one complained about those cooking your lap. Just open it up, and fix the thermal paste, and all your heating problems are gone.