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AMD

Dell Might do AMD 417

mboverload writes "In a move that will surely make waves in the industry, Dell's CEO, Kevin Rollins, has said they may provide machines decked out with AMD CPU's if their customers really want them. "We are still looking at AMD; they have fairly good technology," said Rollins. "
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Dell Might do AMD

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  • by pointym5 ( 128908 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:34AM (#12192814)
    They'll never do it.
    • by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:41AM (#12192847) Journal
      Problem is, Intel manufacturing is so expensive, they can't afford to give Dell any more of a discount... their bluff is going to be called... This should be interesting...
      • by Phylter ( 816181 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:48AM (#12192879)
        Well, truth be told, they play this game once or twice a year.

        It might be worth it to Intel for people to continue to see the P4 symbol on Dell computers regardless of how much their losing on it. Dell does have a large market share.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:04AM (#12192946)
          It might be worth it to Intel for people to continue to see the P4 symbol on Dell computers regardless of how much their losing on it. Dell does have a large market share.

          Well the large market share is a problem, isn't it? It might be worth doing a deal with a very prominent but low market share "regardless of how much they're losing on it" but losing money on every unit to someone with a high market share is just losing a lot of money. What do you do, raise your prices to every other company to make up for your losses to Dell, making Dell even more competitive relative to them so you sell even more loss making units to Dell? It doesn't work.
        • Exactly. They always state we'll do it if the customers want it. Well I use to be a customer and I dropped their asses because they didn't to AMD among other things.
        • Due to Intel's market position, doing such a thing could be seen as attempting to create a monopoly in desktop processors by dumping their product on the market below cost until the competition (AMD) is dead.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "Problem is, Intel manufacturing is so expensive, they can't afford to give Dell any more of a discount... their bluff is going to be called... This should be interesting... "

        Sorry, you don't have a clue here.

        Intel's manufacturing is cheaper than AMD. They have a cheaper process which also gives better yields, and perhaps the most important, they have a much larger volume which usually leads to cheaper costs.

        If you need a hint on what is going on, look at the financial statistics for Intel and AMD. Intel
        • by rajafarian ( 49150 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:43PM (#12193960)
          Intel _makes_ money on it's CPUs while AMD barely, sometimes does.

          While you may be correct that Intel's manufacturing is cheaper than AMD's, isn't it the case, however, that Intel can (and does) sell slower, less capable processors at higher prices than AMD? It seems to me I've always been able to look at Pricewatch and see equivalent Intel processors priced higher than AMD processors.

          To make my point, I picked a processor at "random," an AMD64 3400+ and looked it up on tomshardware [tomshardware.com] and found this [tomshardware.com]performance comparison. Then I went to pricewatch [pricewatch.com] and found the following prices, AMD64 3400+ = $188, Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz: $200. I looked up AMD processors and the first article I read [anandtech.com] said:

          ... the Athlon 64, while not priced as aggressively as AMD's chips in the past, ends up offering better performance than the Pentium 4, for less money. What more could you want?

          Obviously some people want it to say Intel at any cost.
          • ... the Athlon 64, while not priced as aggressively as AMD's chips in the past, ends up offering better performance than the Pentium 4, for less money. What more could you want?

            Obviously some people want it to say Intel at any cost.


            As someone who has been using computers since the late 80's, it should be noted that AMD was not always the pinnacle of quality that they are today. Anything from random crashes to peripherals not working properly were a sign of an AMD proc in my day.

            A lot of us old fogies (
        • you should consider the cost of advertising and rethink your position -- regardless of whether all those TV spots and full-page magazine ads figure into the cost of physically manufacturing the chip, Intel is buried up to its neck in advertising costs that they have to recover before their chips can turn a profit.
      • Look at the published % margins of Intel and AMD and realize that this is much greater gap than you would get simply from Intel's ability ot command a price premium -compared to AMD, Intel's manufacturing costs per die are LESS, so it's not "so expensive".

        Say what you want about AMD's microprocessor design prowess, they are definately not in Intel's league in terms of wafer yield and other areas of manufacturing prowess that dictate cost to produce.

        Many clueless /.ers are infuriated that the stock market doesn't reward AMD stock price like that of Intel stock price, but if they understood that share value is determined by the ability to make money, not just pump out cool stuff, they'd understand. Making money means keeping your cost-to-selling-price ratio healthy and AMD doesn't manufacture at lowest price and doesn't sell for a premium price.

        (BTW, please don't assume this represents some kind of consumer-friendly behaviour for AMD - if they could charge a big premium over Intel's product, they would in a heartbeat. And of course, the poster that said this is a price negotiation tool on Dell's part is correct)
      • I think its more of a problem with Intels marketing being too expensive

        I remember for the P-III, the development costs equaled what they spent on advertising. I haven't bought a P-x since.
      • by servognome ( 738846 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @06:04PM (#12195970)
        Problem is, Intel manufacturing is so expensive, they can't afford to give Dell any more of a discount
        Intel can manufacture cheaper than AMD. If you look at the 2004 financial numbers, Intel [intel.com] has much better gross margins than AMD [amd.com].
        Intel Revenue: $34.2B
        Intel Cost of Sales [msn.com]: $14.5B
        Intel Gross Margin: 58%
        AMD Revenue: $5B
        AMD Cost of Sales: $3B
        AMD Gross Margin: 40%
    • *Flash!* This just in!! Dell announces intentions to use the PowerPC 940 (G5) CPU's in future models. After tormenting AMD users for years with false hopes the mega PC maker has decided to alienate even more users world wide. Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.
  • Dear Dell, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:34AM (#12192815)
    Dear Dell,

    Please continue to offer less choices at higher prices.
    Please continue to lock us in to Intel only.
    Please continue to outsource your support to the clueless.
    Please continue to... nevermind, I found another company.
    • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:57AM (#12192919) Homepage Journal
      News Update

      Kevin Rollins has informed us he has made his decision.
      Dell will not be using amd technology in their systems because of an overwhelming outswelling of support by the general public.

      Citing a posting on popular geek website slashdot.org Mr Rollins said "The posting from such an influential technology website proves they are behind us. The poster in question is a regular well respected member of the slashdot community, having well over 6 millions postings."

      Yes reader, I am as bemused as you, but do not underestimate the stupidy of upper management.
  • by rylin ( 688457 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:35AM (#12192821)
    Wow! This is turning out to be a remarkable year!
    Not only are we getting Linux on the Desktop, but we're also getting AMD in Dells!

    Just like last year!
  • Been here... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spokehedz ( 599285 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:35AM (#12192822)
    Heard that. I give it a month before they revert back to their intel ways...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:35AM (#12192823)
    Call Dell and say you want quotes for an Opteron system. Dell does listen to Customers.
  • by romanr ( 113283 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:36AM (#12192824)
    I wonder what kind of concession Dell wants from Intel this time 'round.

    • Walmart effect? (Score:3, Interesting)

      I wonder what kind of concession Dell wants from Intel this time 'round.

      Probably the same thing Walmart does. No matter what your prices are, come next year they will want it lowered.

      I doubt Dell will add AMD to their choices. They leverege their prices by using one supplier. If AMD takes sales from Intel, Intel will not give Dell as good a price.

      I know some will be ticked off. But for the poor, you can't do better than a Dell. $250 will get you a P4 2.4+ghz system with a 80 gig hard drive and 256

  • Flip-Flop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:37AM (#12192829)
    Does anyone else get the feeling [slashdot.org] that Dell doesn't know [slashdot.org] what the heck they're doing with AMD? [slashdot.org]

    I guess everytime they want to apply pricing pressure on Intel, they submit a story to Slashdot.

    • Yes - Intel is deathly afraid of major vendors offering AMD as an option (or worse, switching entirely) and those vendors are obviously exploiting that fear
    • ;) They know what they are doing doing with AMD im guessing it involves

      1: Buying shares of AMD when they drop
      2: submit story to difrent news sources about using AMD chips
      3: Sell shares of AMD stock after the shares skyrocket
      4: Profit

      *Cough* but you did'nt hear that from me.. oh that and the getting intel to lower prices for Dell and raise prices for smaller competitors so as to gobble a larger market share
    • Re:Flip-Flop (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ckaminski ( 82854 ) <ckaminskiNO@SPAMpobox.com> on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:35AM (#12193086) Homepage
      Dells fear with AMD has nothing to do with pricing, and everything to do with execution. The Athlon launch party was PLAGUED by delay and pipeline stalls in getting parts from AMD. Dell sells SO many computers that they don't want to be forced to turn customers away to competitors if AMD started rationing processors.

      Now that the Opteron has turned out to be everything it's cracked up to be, and in mass quantities in the channel, Dell is rightfully readdressing the AMD issue.
  • by eLamer ( 631936 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:38AM (#12192834)
    I find it hard to believe that the average dell customer, the essentially computer illiterate home user just looking to check their e-mail and use office software really cares what CPU they have, if they even understand the difference. If people are looking for a high-end machine to get better fps at "insert game here," they usually aren't even looking at Dell.
    • by Blackknight ( 25168 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:43AM (#12192860) Homepage
      Dells biggest customer is the U.S. government and corporate buyers. While some of them might not care I know the .gov is pretty picky about what goes into their systems.

      Also a lot of web hosting companies use Dell servers, it would be nice to be able to order dual Opteron boxes that include a support contract.
      • The U.S. government is NOT AT ALL concerned about what goes into its PCs. If you think they are, you have been sorely misled. All the government in general cares about is who they will get the greatest benefit from giving the contract to. Every once in a while, the type of PC is a major factor, but in general the different branches and divisions thereof have their own process in place for purchasing hardware. The USAF in particular likes to use Micron. In some cases they have different standards for labs an
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:51AM (#12192889)
      Hm. Here in Ireland, Dell has their linux clustering group. I've got a feeling they'd love to offer opteron clusters to the european market, anyway. Dell's servers aren't quite as nice as IBM's, but sure are cheaper, and still have many features that home users and even ordinary linux geeks don't understand or need that add to the cost of professional machines for large clusters (remote management related, mainly, but also hot-swapping and such). I know they've probably lost several EU tenders for hundreds-to-thousands-processor clusters to Opteron vendors (note that IBM already offers cluster-oriented opteron servers...).

  • Dupe from Dell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by strider44 ( 650833 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:38AM (#12192835)
    Haven't they already said that several times? Someone at dell might just really hate AMD enough to play games with them.
    • It's not AMD they're playing games with but Intel. The whole talk about how they consider to offer AMD-based systems is most likely just meant to publicly put pressure on Intel to give them better prices.
  • by l3v1 ( 787564 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:39AM (#12192839)
    they have fairly good technology," said Rollins

    :] yup, and nukes can do a fairly large damage, and B. Gates if fairly wealthy, and Antartica is fairly cold, and

  • by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:39AM (#12192840) Homepage Journal
    where ever it mentions AMD, swap this with linux and you can gauge the progress here. Dell is always "might" this and that.
    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:05AM (#12192953)
      I suppose you're right. However, compared to Linux vs Windows, there is a difference - from the end-user standpoint, Intel and AMD CPUs are practically indistinguishable, so it's an awfully easy switch.

      That said, I don't care too much. Even without Dell, AMD already has enough market pull to deflate Intel's once-ridiculous profit margins by about all they can. AMD processors aren't all that much cheaper than equivalent Intel anymore.

      I'm not sure what's behind the stagnation in CPU and RAM offerings and prices the last couple years. Maybe the weak dollar?

  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:39AM (#12192843) Homepage Journal
    RIAA setup bittorrent server,

    Duke Nukem Forever went gold,

    Microsoft unconditionally released source code to windows.

    Slashdot impliments dupe filter and story/author/editor moderation.
  • Fairly Good? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gihan_ripper ( 785510 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:41AM (#12192851) Homepage

    Rollin's noncommittal comment that they have 'fairly good technology' certainly stands out. It confirms the impression he's trying to convey that Dell would only be interested in going with AMD if the customers really want it.

    Perhaps he intends to use this as a bargaining chip not with Intel, but with AMD!

  • What will it be this time? Will it be AMD inside?
  • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:45AM (#12192868)
    Cardinal Ratzinger said the next Pope might not be a Catholic
    A large number of bears were seen queueing outside a restroom

    Personally, though, I'm typing this on an AMD-64 Acer. Behind it is an iMac. What is this Dell and this Intel of which you speak?

  • by dubdays ( 410710 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:45AM (#12192869)
    Why haven't they done this before? I mean, a large part of their business is selling to corporations. AMD chips are very stable compared to what they used to be, they're cheaper, and they're plenty fast enough for standard business desktops. Being cheaper, you'd think most companies would go with the AMD, so that when it came time to upgrade a few desktops, it wouldn't break the budget.

    Personally, being the IT guy at my company, I always buy AMD systems. About the same bang for way less bucks. And let's face it, the suits up top love it when you can add a bit more to the bottom line.
  • by Krankheit ( 830769 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:46AM (#12192871)
    We have seen these articles before. However, with Intel having to switch to dual core to increase performance due to nearing a brickwall in the area of performance increase via CPU clock increasing, perhaps Dell sees AMD as a better partner. AMD is no longer the butt of egg frying on CPU jokes thanks to their new power saving chips that actually put out less heat than Intel's Pentium 4 offerings. If I were him, I would start with AMD64 servers, because without a 64-bit AMD server offering, I think Dell is losing alot of orders to other companies like MBX.
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by CypherXero ( 798440 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:46AM (#12192874) Homepage
    FTFA:"We are still looking at AMD; they have fairly good technology"

    Fairly good? What rock have they been hiding under all these years?
  • seen before... (Score:4, Informative)

    by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:49AM (#12192880)
    This already was said in the past. It won't happen.

    See, Intel has 80% of the desktop market and 90-95% of the x86 server market. This is quite unlike to change. It doesn't really matters how fast are AMD CPUs, people seems to care more about the chipsets, and that's the achiles' heel of AMD, they just make CPUs not chipsets.

    With intel, I can buy a motherboard with a intel or serverworks chipsets, which is not exactly the same than a VIA/Nvidia shitty chipset that people uses with AMDs.
    • It doesn't really matters how fast are AMD CPUs, people seems to care more about the chipsets, and that's the achiles' heel of AMD, they just make CPUs not chipsets.

      No, AMD just doesn't make chipsets. [tomshardware.com]

      (Damn, did I just feed a troll?)
      • It's relative. In the Intel world, the Intel chipsets are usually top of the line. In the AMD world, it seems (in my experience) that VIA is king dog.
        • Re:seen before... (Score:2, Interesting)

          VIA makes _broken_ implementations - and their Windows drivers hide that fact. Ask any MythTV user with a Hauppage PCI card (a card that actually saturates the bus with data, and oh-gee it makes the bus run 100%) how they feel about VIA. VIA chipsets classicly hardlock under these loads.

          Anything VIA is shit under load. King dogs they are not..
          • Re:seen before... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:36AM (#12193456)
            I'll second that, given that I own a MythTV setup with two Hauppage cards. Runs just fine on my ancient PIII-700 with a 440BX chipset, won't run acceptably at all on my VIA-equipped machine with a CPU clocked at more than twice that. Heaven forbid VIA might consider DMA performance to be important.

            It's a real shame too - those Hauppage cards bring CPU utilization down to almost nothing, so you can still get some reasonably use out of your machine while you're recording two channels and playing back a pre-recorded show to another client.
    • With intel, I can buy a motherboard with a intel or serverworks chipsets, which is not exactly the same than a VIA/Nvidia shitty chipset that people uses with AMDs.

      You're obviously not a gamer.
      • Re:seen before... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Luddite ( 808273 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:34AM (#12193436)
        >>>> With intel, I can buy a motherboard with a intel or serverworks chipsets, which is not exactly the same than a VIA/Nvidia shitty chipset that people uses with AMDs.

        >>You're obviously not a gamer.


        I think what DELL needs to do is start a second in-house "brand" just to build and market AMD based solutions. - When selling to business, it can be blown off as "our gamer line" and they can keep on pimping Intel... When sold to everyone else they can call it "our cost effective" line.

        It would work.
    • Re:seen before... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:05AM (#12192956) Homepage Journal
      *With intel, I can buy a motherboard with a intel or serverworks chipsets, which is not exactly the same than a VIA/Nvidia shitty chipset that people uses with AMDs.*

      yeah it's not the same. via/nvidia offer more things people want on their desktop with reliability that is good for desktop(no problems there to be frank)while being lower priced....

      what exactly do you perceive the problem to be with, say, nforce3 chipset? or via's kt800? maybe you just buy intel because you don't bother to keep up with the choices?

      • Re:seen before... (Score:3, Informative)

        by stretch0611 ( 603238 )
        nvidia offer more things people want on their desktop with reliability...

        I can't talk about the nforce3 chipset. However, I bought a Athlon 2500+ XP with a nforce2 chipset as a windows gaming machine. It is the absolute worse machine I ever had in my life (and that is a lot of machines). Random BSODs, crappy audio driver that stops working, network driver that works intemittently, and a guarentee of a BSOD if I try to burn 2 CDs/DVDs without rebooting after each one.(Occassionally I can't even burn one).

        Al

    • You can't be serious about the quality of the chipsets. Have you ever tried to use an i810 for graphics or sound? My via82xx may be crappy in terms of features (no midi at all, not even FM synthesis, and no hardware mixing) but at least it actually works, which is more than I can say for any intel chipset I've tried
    • Re:seen before... (Score:2, Informative)

      Is not only the chipset, amd doesnt have the factory production to cover the demand that Dell can put on them... And if amd cannot cover it... the dell's direct model goes down in flame...
    • Serverworks is currently working an AMD chipset...

      http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=16272

      C//
  • by RedDirt ( 3122 ) * on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:54AM (#12192901) Homepage
    Dell's talked about this before and it's always seemed to me that they play the AMD card in order to force Intel to give 'em a sweeter deal. Sort of like when AOL threatens to use Netscape instead of IE as their default web browser. Just exerting leverage - they won't really ever do it (though I'd love to be proven wrong).
  • Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @09:56AM (#12192913)
    "We are still looking at AMD; they have fairly good technology," said Rollins.

    AMD's technology is on par with Intel. It's their marketing that falls short.

    • Re:Actually (Score:5, Informative)

      by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @01:27PM (#12194248)
      AMD's technology is on par with Intel.

      The Opteron vs. Xeon reviews lately show AMD winning quite handily. In one review the Xeon overheated, and the author had to keep the case open to finish the tests!

      I think Intel has put so many resources behind Itanium, that AMD64 and Opteron really took them by suprise. Just comparing the HT architecture to Xeon's old shared-bus architecture is really telling. The fact that Sun is jumping all over Opteron and not Xeon is also interesting.

      In x86-land, AMD is now tremendously underrated, and Intel is riding on pure inertia.

  • I mean, nVidia just did this new P4 chipset to let you pull their dual-GPU trick on Intel, and since all the hardcore gamers use Athlon-64 about the only market for this chipset is Dell. If Dell starts shipping AMD there goes the market...
    • Good. There's no reason for nVidia to support intel. The only people buying two of their cards are willing and usually even eager to go Opteron. Piss on Dell anyway, would YOU purchase a high-end engineering workstation from them? Or a high-end game machine? I have no qualms about recommending or purchasing dells for everyday use, because these days a PC is a PC is a PC, but why even bother supporting high-end gaming on the second-place processor? Lots of people will throw down $300 on a video card so they
      • There's no reason for nVidia to support intel.

        Dell's money spends as well as anyone else's.
        • Dell can use AMD in high-end gaming systems as well as anyone else. (Actually, they probably can't; it will take them some time to spin up and get their stupid BIOS tweaks right on a new platform.) Dell has probably resisted it thus far because having one supplier and one architecture is simpler and thus cheaper. You have to be pretty sure you're going to make enough money when you take on another supplier to provide enough incentive to actually do it.
  • Fairly Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paradise Pete ( 33184 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:05AM (#12192952) Journal
    "We are still looking at AMD; they have fairly good technology"

    Nobody seriously considering changing suppliers calls the new supplier's stuff "fairly good." What's their slogan if they make the switch?

    Dell Computers - Now with fairly good technology!

  • Oh yeah? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ElvenMonkey ( 789317 )
    I reckon timing is about right.. its been, what, 5 or 6 months since the last time 'Dell might have been going to do AMD'. I've lost count of how many times this has been claimed, its certainly been going on for something like 5 years now. I'll believe in an AMD based Dell the moment I see one for sale on their website. Till then the speculation is pointless, Dell have always done this to ensure Intel continue to give them good prices.
  • When they couldn't beat Dell on price, Gateway at least had AMD chips as a way of differentiating themselves. Then they dumped AMD; bad move.
  • AMD CPUs have been 100% compatible, usually cheaper, and often faster for 10 years or more. What took them so long to realize that?
  • Good Move (Score:5, Funny)

    by fatman22 ( 574039 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:15AM (#12192996)
    If Dell, who has a significant presence in Austin, were to start buying from AMD, who also has a significant presence in Austin, they may be able to get some tax breaks from the Austin city council, who also have (unfortunately for Austin residents) a significant presence on Austin.
  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:15AM (#12192997)

    I know it's an impossibility and AMD would be insane to do it but Dell seems like they've played this particular note so many times in the past that I'd like to see AMD answer once with a press release going something like this:

    Today, in one of the strangest announcements by a technology company in recent memory AMD said that their rival Intel should in no way be concerned about the recent comments from computer maker Dell and that no Dell computer would ever feature an AMD processor regardless of how much Dell was willing to pay for them. Said AMD "Dell makes crap and we won't be a party to it at any price!"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If Dell will do this what will happen soon:
    1. I'll get AMD notebook and desktop at work (100% Dell oriented) because they are cheaper
    2. C# compiler will be running faster
    3. My boss will force me to work faster because of that

    NOW, I CAN ALWAYS SAY:
    This cannot run faster because it's Intel

    If they do this, I'll be P4 for gaming in opposite. :)
  • It's well known (Score:3, Informative)

    by labratuk ( 204918 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:26AM (#12193040)
    Dell has said this every 6 months or so for the past.. well, since I can remember. They say it to get better deals from intel. In 2 months you'll have a story saying 'Dell decided to stick with intel after all'.
  • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:39AM (#12193106)
    I think Dell will use nVidia's nForce series of chipsets if they do decide to build machines using AMD CPU's. Also, Dell will probably limit themselves to the Athlon 64 CPU's for their desktop machines (they likely won't support Sempron CPU's initially because currently Sempron doesn't support x86-64 instructions).
  • by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @10:40AM (#12193113) Journal
    So basically what they're saying, is that they asked their customers what they wanted and now they will give them what they wanted... This is exactly the sort of non-sense non-news press release thats designed to get free advertising by pretending to be informative. All Dell are saying is that they might start selling a product if the demand is there, D'UH thats exactly what 1000's of businesses around the world do every day. It would be news if Dell came out and said "actually you know what? we've been using Intel for years and we don't actually have any sort of market research team checking for better products or customer opinion because infact we don't give a shit and we're going to just keep selling whatever crap we feel like even if no-one buys it because thats the sort of chaps we are".

    In other news, IBM have announced that they will continue to sell high-performance e-business slutions at competative prices and are currently developing new products based on the current industry trends!
  • Dell is screwed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) * on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:02AM (#12193235)
    AMD doesn't have the manufacturing capacity to supply the entire world + Dell. If Dell loses their massive Intel CPU discounts, they lose the bulk of their competitive edge. If they don't offer Opteron servers (especially now that the dual-cores are coming out), they're going to take a nasty hit to their server sales. Until AMD has the capacity to mostly replace Intel, Dell just has to smile and say "Do you want HypeThreading with that?" and hope people keep buying. It helps that most people are too clueless to know what they're missing, plus even a Celeron is enough to "surf the Information Superhighway, d00dz!"

    Next year, when AMD's new 65nm fab is up and running and Charter (and IBM?) start fabbing AMD CPUs too, THEN things will get interesting.
    • Re:Dell is screwed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:34PM (#12193891)
      "If they don't offer Opteron servers (especially now that the dual-cores are coming out), they're going to take a nasty hit to their server sales."

      Server sales to whom? All those IT shops out there where the sysadmins decide what hardware to buy based on performance reviews they read on the web? Big IT decisions regarding vendors aren't made by people who give a damn about the nerd cred of running customized open-source apps on kewl AMD gear, they're made by CTOs and bean counters concerned with getting low prices and support contracts. Unless Gartner, Oracle, and Microsoft partner up on a series of high-profile reports about dual-core Opteron chips offering signifigant cost/performance savings over Dell's intel servers, Dell is still going to be the king of the x86 server world.
      • Re:Dell is screwed (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) * on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:48PM (#12193994)
        Big IT decisions regarding vendors aren't made by people who give a damn about the nerd cred of running customized open-source apps on kewl AMD gear, they're made by CTOs and bean counters concerned with getting low prices and support contracts.

        Maybe if the sysadmins tell the bean counters that if they buy Opterons they can buy fewer servers to do the same amount of work and burn far less electricity per server, which also cuts air conditioning costs (not to mention eliminating the "How the heck are we going to power and cool these Xeon blast furnaces?!" question). If "nerd cred" is having a clue then nerds ought to help management to get one. Though, as you point out, that's easier said than done.

        Microsoft and Oracle are rather geeked about Opterons, BTW.
  • by standards ( 461431 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:11AM (#12193291)
    "We are still looking at AMD; they have fairly good technology," said Rollins.

    He went on to say that "Dell excels to use as many fairly good components as possible. Dell strives for mediocre computers, and that can only be done by using adequate, middling componentry sourced from the most average manufactures in the world"

    Mr. Rollins went on to attack other vendors. "IBM and Apple, well, they think they produce pretty good products too. But the public knows better - excellent design, manufacturing, componentry, and software does not make for a pretty good product. That's why Dell is the market leader".

    Many consumers agree. In recent reports, Dell consistently hits the "adequate" mark in customer satisfaction. "We don't want our customers to think we're better than anyone else - people are put off by that kind of talk. It's kind of like the Bush/Kerry campaigns. We have to work very hard to be average in this business."

    Dell is now considering AMD, but Dell still has some concern that AMD processors may not be average enough. Rollins says that Dell looked at AMD's products a few years back, and "they kicked some butt. But that's not the Dell way. We're hoping that now their products are getting a little dull - but only some fairly standard analysis will tell. We hope that they'll hit our mark, more or less."
  • Dear Mr. Rollins: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:16AM (#12193325) Homepage Journal
    We want Linux desktops too. Can you take care of that for us pls? kthx.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:23AM (#12193360)
    Dell has threatened to do this before. In the past, it may have been posturing to get a better deal from Intel. This time it may be more realistic because of only 1 factor. The Opteron. Intel's Itanium has lost major support from Windows, IBM, and other players. The Opteron is getting all the attention. Maybe Intel will build something to match it in the future. However, if Dell wants to build a 64-bit server for their customers, the only game right now is AMD.
  • by writermike ( 57327 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @11:44AM (#12193503)
    As others have pointed out, the issue MUST be a matter of price. There's certainly little-to-no valid technological reason for Dell not to offer AMD anymore. We're not talking slightly incompatible CPUs that need instruction-translators.

    Having said that, I still have to let customers know that it's okay to get off the Intel teat when thinking about a new computer. People like that brand recognition. If Dell starts pushing AMD, they'll have to go through some customer-training on what a AMD is and why it's just as good as Intel. That will piss off Intel, no doubt.

    Otherwise, what? Just stick it in a catalog? People won't buy it. The fact it's not an Intel will be major turn-off.

    Dell's kind of in a Damned-If-You-Do/Don't situation here.

    I would love to see Dell push AMDs on the lower-cost systems and stick to Intel for higher-priced systems designed for certain applications. I realize that AMD can fulfill both roles, but this might be a good way to introduce the line to customers. Besides, I'd take a Sempron over a Celery right now.
  • by homerj79 ( 58075 ) on Sunday April 10, 2005 @12:00PM (#12193636) Homepage
    Dell pulls this stunt every year. They simple use it as a way to scare Intel in giving them better pricing on CPU's. Dell will never support AMD. Ever. So long as Intel succombs to their threats every time, Dell will stay an Intel only house.

    On a side note, Mr Rollins made a statement, paraphrased as such: ...[A]ny decision to make AMD its second supplier of microprocessor chips, which function as the brains of PCs, would be complicated by the sweeping changes required for related components inside Dell PCs.

    WTF? What sweeping changes? You can use the same PSU, video cards, RAM, NICs, HDDs and software. The only change you're making is the motherboard. Which is mooted by the fact Intel requires mobo changes every so often thanks to its unreliance on one socket format. It's really becoming no news at all when Dell touts they may use AMD chips at some point. It's never happened and the changes of it happening anytime soon are nil.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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