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View Full Version : Is it a crack in Dell's Intel-only facade? (Dell sells AMD CPUs)


Hazdaz
11-10-2005, 06:46 PM
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051109-5543.html

Is it a crack in Dell's Intel-only facade? See for yourself (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productlisting.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=04&category_id=6197&first=true&mnf=116&k=)—the #1 PC maker in terms of sales is offering Athlon 64 CPUs on its site, albeit without motherboard, case, hard drive, and optical drive. Priced significantly higher (http://arstechnica.shopping.com/xPC-AMD_AMD_Athlon_64_X2_4400_2_2GHz_Socket939_2MB_BOXED_w_fan%7EPD-25208512%7EFD-1719%7Ekworg-25208512%7EKW-25208512%7Elinkin_id-3038560%7EDMT) than outlets like Newegg, the CPUs on Dell's site are a mix of the single-core Athlon 64s, dual-core Athlon 64 X2s, and the megapricey Athlon 64 FX-57.

As anyone who has followed Dell and AMD for some time knows, Dell has run (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20041111-4395.html) the (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20050224-4652.html) gamut (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20031011-2963.html) with its public opinion of AMD's products. Michael Dell, founder and former CEO of Dell, has been publicly critical of the Athlon in the past. Last year, CEO Kevin Rollins was more effusive (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20041111-4395.html) in his praise for AMD, remarking that AMD's technology was better, and admitting that it had overtaken Intel in some areas.

Despite AMD's advantages over Intel, Dell has steadfastly refused to sell AMD systems. By remaining an all-Intel shop, the company continues to receive "most favored nation" status from the California-based chipmaker, thus receiving deep discounts on CPUs and other chips as well as hefty marketing subsidies. However, that devotion has resulted in Dell's inability to offer a competitive option in the 64-bit x86 server space, where AMD has been cleaning Intel's clock since the launch of the Opteron. Although Intel finally pushed its dual-core Xeons out the door last month, those CPUs do not look to be serious threats (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051011-5416.html) to the Opteron's performance advantage.

Dell is apparently attempting to target the enthusiast, do-it-yourself market with its six-CPU AMD lineup. What many are wondering is whether it's a precursor to Dell's finally offering AMD systems. When asked about the presence of AMD CPUs on dell.com, a Dell spokesperson replied (http://news.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=us/0-0&fp=43725106397c4ecf&ei=Oh1yQ_TLGaak6AHasJn2CA&url=http://news.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/0,39020351,39236234,00.htm&cid=1102251669) that "Dell is constantly evaluating new technologies and at the present time, we don't have AMD processor-based systems in our portfolio."

Dell may be positioning itself for a further refusal to offer AMD systems. Since it has priced its Athlons significantly higher than the competition, chances are Dell won't sell a lot of them, especially as the DIYers that Dell is apparently targeting tend to be a price-sensitive bunch. Then Dell can claim "we tried selling AMD CPUs and nobody bought them, so what's the point in sellilng complete AMD systems?"

The presence of AMD CPUs at Dell could also be an attempt to tweak Intel into further discounts, marketing subsidies, or other concessions.

There are a few data points that Dell might want to take into consideration as it "evaluates new technologies." AMD has once again grabbed the majority of US retail sales (http://news.com.com/AMD+surpasses+Intel+in+U.S.+retail+stores/2100-1006_3-5939522.html?tag=nl) during October 2005, as it has on previous occasions (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20040913-4180.html). Dell has been getting beat up (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20040816-4104.html) by AMD-based systems overseas and is no longer a darling of Wall Street after recently lowering (http://www.smh.com.au/news/breaking/capacitor-problems-hit-dell-earnings/2005/11/02/1130823237745.html?oneclick=true) its guidance on earnings for the just-concluded quarter due in part to sluggish growth. Other PC makers have been able to better compete with Dell's low prices by offering AMD systems. Lastly, its exclusively Intel x86 server lineup has not favorably compared with its competitors' Opteron-based servers for some time. If Dell really is thinking about expanding into sales of AMD systems, this would be a good time to start.

strosek
11-10-2005, 07:46 PM
Some good points...Intel is so weak right now its not even funny. Dell knows this but Intel gives them huge discounts for buying Intel even tho they are 1. Crap and 2. Slow. Thats why dell is sticking with Intel.

This is also the reason I will not be jumping to a Intel mac...I think I am going back to windows when I Can...I just love AMD that much

Hazdaz
11-10-2005, 07:55 PM
Intel is total crap right now, but Intel is definitly NOT down for the count. Intel is many times the size of AMD - eventually they will get next-gen chips that can compete with AMD, it just isn't gonna happen for a while.

I personally am a huge fan of AMD from back in the day, but competition is always good, so if Intel can get their act together and come out with some good products, we will ALL win in the end to the tune of best and faster CPUs.

strosek
11-10-2005, 08:21 PM
by the time Intel gets something out amd will just release there next generation chip out. Intel will always be behind...and this is what I do not understand...why does amd not but themselfs on the TV. Like a AMD VS. INTEL VS PRICE. expand...I don't really care as long as I can buy AMD chips.

mummey
11-10-2005, 08:28 PM
by the time Intel gets something out amd will just release there next generation chip out. Intel will always be behind...and this is what I do not understand...why does amd not but themselfs on the TV. Like a AMD VS. INTEL VS PRICE. expand...I don't really care as long as I can buy AMD chips.

Heh, five posts and he already thinks he can push people around. Silly newbie troll. ;)

Hazdaz
11-10-2005, 08:39 PM
why does amd not but themselfs on the TV. Like a AMD VS. INTEL VS PRICE. expand

I have no idea what you mean by this? ^^


Intel will always be behindAlso, this statement doesn't hold water. Just because someone is behind in teh marketplace today doesn't mean that they will always be behind (espesially someone that has as much money to throw into R&D like Intel does). Hell if that was the case, then AMD would still be playing 2nd fiddle to Intel, cuz Intel for most of the PC's existance was the one setting the standard.

I am a huge fan of AMD, but I also know that things change.

CiaránMurphy
11-10-2005, 09:04 PM
The reports of Intels decline are silly. The recent 50% boundary that AMD passed was for retail desktop sales ONLY in the US only. So, Dell, HP, most of IBMs sales are not included in these figures (even if they do sell some AMD). Intels worldwide share is 80.8%, AMD has improved to 17.8% from 16.6% last year. So that tells you how insignificant the US retail desktop market is. Next year Apple will probably help add between 3 and 5 points to Intels share. I wish fanboys on either side would stop waving their flags so hard.

Dell's decision to sell AMD is most likely a favour they are doing to Intel. By selling AMD chips, Dell will ruin AMDs central argument against Intel. It will be seen that Dell is free to sell whatever it chooses. AMD will loose their case and Intel might counter-sue.
http://www.digitimes.com/mobos/a20051025PR210.html

strosek
11-10-2005, 09:29 PM
^ good point.

I am not a nubie troll. I have been here longer then you think. Also, what I was trying to say was I wish amd would put them selfs on the map...aka put them selfs on the TV.

post count has nothing to do with how smart someone is or what they can say. I am a BIG computer nerd and I am also on prozac...sorry my spelling was so bad. I have over 6,000 post on slacercentral.com I don't know why I am saying this lol...I am not a troll and I am not pushing anyone around...Intel sucks. and they always have. I have ten bux that says the power mac will be the LAST thing to get intel chips...its because they are so damn slow...its fact.

enygma
11-10-2005, 09:31 PM
Personally, I see nice things on both the Intel and AMD side of things. Personally, I look favorably towards AMD at the moment, mainly because yes... they are laying the smack down on Intel in terms of performance, however, at the same time, they have shown that a shift in mind set can yield excellent results. In other words, leaving behind Netburst will be the best thing Intel has done in a long time. Dell is looking towards AMD right now, but it makes me think 1 thing.

They finally understand that throwing AMD processors in some of their systems may attract the gamer and server market back to dell, in which case, it may be best for them to offer Intel and AMD offerings (although I don't know how much this will affect their bottom line with their deal with Intel).

However, looking at the future Intel roadmap, things may seem to be slightly promising. I do hope Intel starts to really pick up in respects to overall performance, but what I really hope is that they can keep their next generation of chips cool (noting the 27Watt power useage on the Dothan cores at most). Yonah (dual-core Pentium M) is expected to run a max of around 45Watts, while shutting off the second core in low power mode. While not 64bits, it is still quite promising in that you may see a lower TCO in terms of power consumption. Conroe and Merom may be another story, but I think they still have plans on pushing for high performance and low wattage.

Needless to say, I can't wait to see what both AMD and Intel have in store in 1H 2006.

mummey
11-10-2005, 11:28 PM
^ good point.

I am not a nubie troll.

...and yet you keep coming up with these amazingly imformative statements.

I have ten bux that says the power mac will be the LAST thing to get intel chips...its because they are so damn slow...its fact.

helicopterr
11-10-2005, 11:46 PM
...and yet you keep coming up with these amazingly imformative statements.


gotta have something to do with the drinking water.....

P.Alexander
11-11-2005, 12:06 AM
newbie troll hah lol, nice one.

strosek
11-11-2005, 02:15 AM
...and yet you keep coming up with these amazingly imformative statements.

man you are blowing this way up...These are just my thoughts nothing more...prove me wrong do something to add to the topic rather then putting me down and then leaveing...some people... :)

helicopterr
11-11-2005, 02:25 AM
man you are blowing this way up...These are just my thoughts nothing more...prove me wrong do something to add to the topic rather then putting me down and then leaveing...some people... :)

I told you, its not you , its the drinking water....

mummey
11-11-2005, 01:59 PM
man you are blowing this way up...These are just my thoughts nothing more...prove me wrong do something to add to the topic rather then putting me down and then leaveing...some people... :)

You are of course once again correct, I should have dedicated my every waking moment to waiting for your response to this thread rather than go on with my life. Clearly I have been out-matched by your vastly superior intellect and wit.

I feel I should bring this up though.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=267021&highlight=Intel

It completely disagrees with your 'facts' stated earlier in the thread so it must be incorrect. You would be doing Intel a great favor if you kindly informed them their technology 'sux' and that Power Macs "will be the LAST thing to get intel chips...its because they are so damn slow..."

Now, I hope we all learned something from this. I know I did. ;)

Terrell
11-11-2005, 05:13 PM
People who claim Intel is crap are to be laughed at. They're either AMD fanboys or completely ignorant of CPUs.

But since CiaránMurphy summed it up quite nicely, I don't need to add anymore.

Hazdaz
11-11-2005, 05:50 PM
People who claim Intel is crap are to be laughed at. They're either AMD fanboys or completely ignorant of CPUs.
[devil's advocate]
so out of curiosity, what DOESN'T make them crap?? Is it their higher price, or slower performance, or how about them running hotter? Which one of those qualities of Intel chips doesn't make them crap?
[/devil's advocate]

I think Intel as a company is MORE than capable of making much better chips, but it's product on the marketplace right now is crap compared to the competition?? Hell, my PC right now is a dual XEON workstation - but if I was to buy/build a new PC today, I sure as hell wouldn't be looking at Intel.

Neil
11-11-2005, 07:49 PM
This is getting out of hand...
discuss the topic, not each other.

Dell is also hurting right now. Missed the estimate by a lot.

Gentle Fury
11-11-2005, 11:06 PM
I don't really know where people get off saying that intel is crap. I've had AMD and I've had Intel.....and they both seem to run the same. The only big differnce is that my amd ran at incredibly high temps whereas my intel tended not to. Never really had any trouble with either though. As long as you know how to maintain a comp your cool no matter what you get. I personally we go with AMD because of the cost factor....but i was given an intel laptop and i love it.........its all the same, when it really comes down to it, its more the vid card than anything in this industry.

richcz3
11-12-2005, 12:19 AM
All my systems are AMD (except my laptop), but that doesn't mean I wouldn't go with Intel if it offered price/performance CPU's.

One of the bigger problems facing AMD is volume in fabrication. Even Hector Ruiz eluded to as much when he addressed Opterons market last year. Dell volume sales aren't something to take lightly. And to meet the demand on cue and in time, AMD offers much less capacity than Intel. The last thing Dell needs is a gap in sales where Intel never misses a delivery and doesn't come short. AMD just can't guarentee that.

enygma
11-12-2005, 12:55 AM
've had AMD and I've had Intel.....and they both seem to run the same. The only big differnce is that my amd ran at incredibly high temps whereas my intel tended not to.
Although this tends to be the opposite today. Back in the Intel Northwood and AthlonXP days this would hold true, but as soon as Prescott came out, Intel started to have huge issues with hot processors with their latest offerings running as high as 130 Watts. As a note of comparison, their Pentium M Dotan cores will run around 27Watts, while current AMD processors run with their dual cores as low as 89Watts and as high as 110Watts.
All my systems are AMD (except my laptop), but that doesn't mean I wouldn't go with Intel if it offered price/performance CPU's.

One of the bigger problems facing AMD is volume in fabrication. Even Hector Ruiz eluded to as much when he addressed Opterons market last year. Dell volume sales aren't something to take lightly. And to meet the demand on cue and in time, AMD offers much less capacity than Intel. The last thing Dell needs is a gap in sales where Intel never misses a delivery and doesn't come short. AMD just can't guarentee that.
The volume issues may change now that AMD has opened their new FAB36 plant in Dresden. At the moment, it will continue producing 90nm processors, however, it is fully capable of pushing 65nm chips out the door.

strosek
11-12-2005, 05:41 AM
I already know about intel and there new chips...and I can tell you right now if they ever hit the stores IF...There will be amd with a new chip that smacks the hell out of it...Remember the day Intel said they had a 1.0ghz processor 1 hour later amd anounced...spelling that they had a 1.1ghz Amd will always be faster in apps/gameing/and the xeon ares sucks BALLS...dear god I would not use one of those if I had a server...O well.

enygma
11-12-2005, 06:45 AM
I already know about intel and there new chips...and I can tell you right now if they ever hit the stores IF...There will be amd with a new chip that smacks the hell out of it...Remember the day Intel said they had a 1.0ghz processor 1 hour later amd anounced...spelling that they had a 1.1ghz Amd will always be faster in apps/gameing/and the xeon ares sucks BALLS...dear god I would not use one of those if I had a server...O well.
Xeons had the advantage for quite some time, even when Opterons were introduced. Xeons tended to be more powerful in some rendering applications and most video encoding. Xeons still do pretty damn good in video encoding, which of course, is preferred in a post production market. The main reasons they did do great with some rendering applications was because they were SSE2 whores, which is one of those things that are quite highly dependant on clock speeds, which Intel had higher ammounts of. They still do, but AMDs ability to push more data through per clock cycle has been catching up and even surpassed with the further increases of their clock speeds which have been pushing 2.8GHz and 3.0GHz.

The most promising signs from intel though is that their Dothan cores have pushed some seriously interesting performance barriers. Take as an example, the 2.13GHz cores. Comparing on an Intel side, it performs as slow as a 3.2GHz P4, and as fast as a 3.8GHz P4EE depending on the applications. This is after throwing out Netburst, and the chip can be overclocked 400MHz without breaking a sweat. Given how well it performs at 2.13GHz, the 400MHz boost is quite significant.

Besides, it wasn't really until Prescott showed its dissapointments to the public that AMD really started to really push ahead of Intel in most respects. Intel is pretty much capped today and are forced to work on a new architecture, which seems quite promising given the capabilities of Dothan. AMD is still moving along and even has a new socket making its way out the door promising dual core 5200+ chips within the latter half of '06.

One thing I wouldn't mind seeing from you. When you mention that AMD will always be better at apps, which apps do you refer to and by what margins?

Martin_G_3D
11-12-2005, 03:45 PM
I really can't believe people still buy Intel today, it's like robbing yourself.
I'm no fanboy, and I don't see how being fan of a brand can do you any good.. I mean at this moment for me the choise is easy; AMD. But if perhaps over 5 years Intel has the best price/performance than it would be stupid to stick with AMD. I mean you need a new motherboard and such anyway so it's not like you are tied to a brand.

But now, i don't understand why people buy Intel. Every day there is a review which shows you why not. An example of today;

http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/cpu/28cpu-games/bf2.png
http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/cpu/28cpu-games/ss2.png

Especially intel's dual core is a joke.

Intel even admitted their dual core cpu was a rushed product and they were glad 'it performed reasonably well' < that's almost enough to sue them if you just bought an dual core intel and hear that the next day.

strosek
11-12-2005, 06:49 PM
^ yep

^^ I would say any app that has a render button on it.

by what margins...any. amd will always be on top...but this is just what I think after looking at intels PAST.

enygma
11-12-2005, 09:07 PM
Here are a few links of past benchmarks that involved a render button that showed Intel holding its own if you want to say AMD has always had the edge.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium4-570_13.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-fx55_16.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-fx53_14.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-3400_11.html

These are all benchmarks of the past back to the 3400+ showing rendering performance, mostly with 3D Studio. The Intel does quite well against the AMD counterpart. Now lets look at video encoding using the same links up top, only taking a look at the video encoding section.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/pentium4-570_11.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-fx55_13.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-fx53_12.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-3400_9.html

Once again, we see Intel outperforming AMD in certain video encoding tasks, sometimes by significant margins. Your assessment of Intel being bad, even in their past seems ill-informed, and you aren't even showing anything to back up your comments. Here is some proof that you are wrong, in both rendering and video encoding applications. Today is a different story, and I think we all know that, but it was only recently that AMD started spanking Intel across the floor.

Beamtracer
11-13-2005, 04:37 PM
AMD processors have some distinct advantages over Intel processors when it comes to 3D rendering. In the 64-bit desktop arena, AMD is even further ahead than Intel.

Unfortunately, the better products aren't always the ones that sell better. An inferior product with better marketing will sell more

Dell is now the only major x86 computer manufacturer that doesn't allow it's customers to purchase computers with AMD processors. If you want a Dell built machine it will come with only an Intel processor inside.

Dell has decided it is better to sign a deal with Intel and get lots of Intel marketing dollars, rather than offer AMD processors that don't have as big an advertising budget.

It's obvious that AMD is pouring a greater percent of its revenue into R&D, while Intel spends a much smaller percent of its revenue on R&D, and much more on glitzy advertising.

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