[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu pre-installed computer prices

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Thu Mar 26 09:29:15 GMT 2009

Liam Proven wrote:
> 2009/3/25 Matt Jones <matt at mattjones.me.uk>:
>> In the past, that opinion was fairly valid. Now, the celerons are
>> actually quite speedy little chips, espescially for an Ubuntu box that
>> is going to run web/openoffice/music all day. As for recommending a
>> Via over the current (Dual core) celerons, they are quite a long way
>> behind in performance terms, and not really any cheaper.
> I am aware that the Via Nano is not as powerful, although it compares
> very well to the Intel Atom, but then, the Nano uses a *lot* less
> power than a Celeron so the overall running cost would be somewhat
> lower.
Actually, tests done by Tom's Hardware Guide suggest that overall the 
Core 2 is a more efficient chip than the Atom.  It's just a case of 
paring it with the right hardware.

> But still, seriously object to the pricing model of producing crippled
> chips with tiny L2 caches and selling them cheap. If they can make a
> profit on the crippled model, they could make one on selling the
> "premium" product with the full-sized cache for a lot less. There is a
> balance to be had, and that balancing point is called "a fair price".
> Instead, we get cheap crippled chips - the Celerons, "Pentium" chips,
> AMD's old Durons and so on - and price-inflated "professional" or
> "performance" chips for "power users".
 From what I understand these 'crippled' chips are basically the higher 
end chips which don't at full spec, for instance a Celeron Dual Core 
could well be a Core 2 Duo which a section of cache on doesn't work.  
Rather than just chuck the chip away they disable some of the cache and 
sell it on as a cheaper part.  AMD do the same with the Phenom X3 (and 
newer Phenom core based Athlon X2's) where they disable a faulty core 
and sell them as a slightly cheaper chip.  To be honest considering what 
sort of financial state AMD are in at the moment they need to do this to 
recoup some of the costs and pay off some of the debts.

There is also the fact that if you're so inclined it is possible to 
overclock some of these chips (especially the Celeron Dual Core and 
Pentium Dual Core) to much faster speeds.  I managed to get about 3GHz 
from my 1.8GHz Pentium Dual Core, sods law though the power saving 
driver in Linux clocked it back to it's original speed.
> This is a deliberate pricing model; in the industry, it's called
> something like segmented marketing and catching the low end. I call it
> "screwing your customers". Which is one reason I prefer to deal with
> companies who don't play those games. The AMD tactic of selling last
> year's model cheap and calling it a "Sempron" or something was much
> more honest and fair, and indeed I am typing on an AMD Athlon box now.
Technically last year's model would be the Athlon X2 which they are 
still selling as an Athlon X2, albeit fairly cheap although I'm yet to 
see any Sempron X2's in the shops (IIRC they do sell them in very small 
quantities overseas).
> Alas, since their 64-bit leap, AMD have no new tricks to pull and the
> CPU high end now belongs completely to Intel. It's a damned shame.
Actually the Phenom II is starting to claw back some of the 
performance.  Considering if you have an AM2+ board you can drop in a 
Phenom II X4 straight onto the board that is a pretty good performance 
upgrade especially compared to the new Core i7 which needs a new board 
and DDR3 memory (and if I'm correct they are replacing the socket on the 
Core i7 again later on this year).  If you were to stick an AM3 CPU on 
an AM2+ board then you have extra future proofing as you can upgrade to 
an AM3 board and DDR3 memory when the prices come down.


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