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Dell has since removed the above disclaimer from its website.

Dell directs customers to retail stores if they want AMD systems

AMD-powered Dell Vostro 1000
Dell says goodbye to AMD-based Inspirons on

It appears that the AMD-Dell relationship may soon be coming to an end – at least online. Dell was rumored for years to consider switching to AMD processors for its computers, but the company constantly denied the rumors.

Dell finally broke the news to the world in May of 2006 when it announced that it would sell AMD-based servers to the public. The company followed with AMD-based desktop and notebook computers.

All seemed to be well with the AMD-Dell partnership -- until now. Dell appears to be in the process of removing AMD-powered machines from its website. Although machines like the Latitude D531, Vostro 1000, and Optiplex 740 are still currently available online, Dell put this cautionary note at the top of the search page for anyone looking for an AMD system:

Shop for Dell computers with AMD processors in retail stores. See our retail partners for details.

Computers with AMD processors are not available online.

This move would be a big blow to AMD, which relished the opportunity to partner with a big-name OEM like Dell -- a company that it tried for years to crack.

Customers who wish to purchase AMD-based Dell machines in the future will instead have to go to brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Staples, Wal-Mart or Sam's Club. Any exposure is better than none, but Dell derives the vast majority of its sales from its online business so AMD will clearly be missing out.

The news of Dell giving AMD the boot online couldn't come at a worse time for the Sunnyvale, CA-based company. AMD reported 2007 revenue of $6.012 billion and a net loss of $3.379 billion. AMD is still struggling with the remnants of its 2006 purchase of ATI -- ATI is also now worth 30% less than AMD's original purchase price.

Dell has also had a mixed bag of news in the past few months. The computer giant was able to slip past HP as the top computer marker in the U.S. for 2007. Dell commanded 31.4% of the U.S. market last year compared to 26.1% for HP.

On the other hand, Dell announced the decision to close its Canadian call center resulting in the loss of 900 jobs and close all 140 of its Dell Direct Store kiosks around the U.S.

Updated 2/8/2008
We recently spoke with a Dell representative Anne Camden who wished to clarify the recent happenings on Dell's website. First of all, Dell has since removed the "Computers with AMD processors are not available online" disclaimer from its website. Whether this was a slip-up on Dell's part remains to be seen.

Secondly, Dell Latitude, Vostro and Optiplex systems using AMD processors will continue to be made available on Dell's website.

Finally, AMD-based Inspiron notebooks will no longer be offered on Only the Energy Star 4.0 Inspiron 531 desktop lives on through Inspiron notebooks and the rest of the Inspiron desktop family will only be available from retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Staples.

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RE: Who buys a Dell?
By boogle on 2/8/2008 11:15:10 AM , Rating: 2
Intel thought Phenom was a laptop CPU and Intel went all out on producing a product for laptops so its no wonder that Intel has the best laptop chips now.

Erm, no. The latest CPUs are based off of the original Pentium M core, which itself is a heavily modified Pentium 3 Tualtin (which is based off the Pentium Pro). The Pentium M was released in 2003.

In essence the Penium M would have come about regardless of Phenom, Intel did not expect Phenom to be a mobile CPU - no one did, AMD themselves had been talking a LOT about their new desktop CPU after Core 2 came out. The latest mobile CPUs being based off of Core 2s, which themselves are based off of Dothan (mobile). In short - Intel don't have a strong mobile CPU, they have a strong CPU architecture full stop that scales well not only with power usage, but performance too.

The other stuff you mention is equally 'odd'. Like Phenom scaling really well, well... not really. It scales OK, but no better than the Core 2 architecture which already has a significant head start. You mention ATI will somehow miraculously seed GPUs in systems. NV are now almost equal with Intel in terms of GPUs on the desktop - an incredible feat considering Intel's dominance of the market.

AMD/ATI aren't going to suddenly gain marketshare with their existing products. They're not as good as the competition right now, which means they will at best keep existing marketshare, but more likely - lose it.

They need to release new hardware that is better than their competitor's. Unfortunately for them, at this moment in time it is unlikely since both NV and Intel are almost a generation ahead. NV's 8800GTX released on Nov 8th 2006 has only JUST been beaten by ATI's new dual GPU graphics card. Intel are preparing to launch a whole new breed (Penryn) of CPUs before AMD have even released CPUs without the TLB bug.

RE: Who buys a Dell?
By Mitch101 on 2/8/2008 11:48:37 AM , Rating: 2
ATI has a much better chip for Notebooks than NVIDIA. I should have stressed laptop market but this kind of applies to desktops too. Desktop wise NVIDIA and ATI are pretty equal. X2 competes with NVIDIA's top end. On the desktop its equal but ATI parts should be cheaper to produce so AMD/ATI can offer a better price point than NVIDIA. The only time NV products really shine over ATI product is when FSAA is utilized.

Intel did believe the Phenom was a mobile CPU I was in a meeting with Intel when they mentioned this.

Phenom does scale slightly better than current Intel chips. However its obvious that Intel can produce a 3.6ghz cpu on stock cooling today. 4ghz is also within reach as I am currently running that today. That is nearly twice as fast as AMD's Phenom which is currently stuck around 2.4ghz but soon will get an increase when it goes to 45nm. I dont believe we will see Phenoms higher than 3.6ghz. I hope I am wrong for AMD's sake.

ATI is gaining market share that it lost to NVIDIA. ATI is going to gain a large portion of the laptop sector over NVIDIA.

RE: Who buys a Dell?
By Sazar on 2/8/2008 4:01:27 PM , Rating: 3
You were in a meeting with Intel marketing folks, perhaps, not with design engineers where I happened to be sitting.

The discussion was not so much what AMD was going to bring to the table, but rather what Intel could bring to the enterprise and client side and what steps Intel was looking to take to ensure a more modular design with lower TDP.

AMD chips in mobile solutions are not necessarily better than Nvidia's solutions. Nvidia continues to rule the top of the line wrt performance, especially with LOD turned up.

AMD's X2 has high power consumption for similar performance to a g80 GTX or Ultra, albeit at a lower price point. Figure out your own trade-offs there. It is a good part and a marvel of engineering for 2 chips on a single PCB.

Lastly, I have no idea where you are going with clock-speeds since that is essentially irrelevant in today's world. The issue at stake is work per cycle and unfortunately for AMD, the Barcelona design is simply not doing a good job. AMD is claiming about a 70% scaling and even then we are going to be looking at a performance deficit with Penryn based enterprise solutions.

Nehalem should theoretically expand the performance delta between the 2. Fusion is going to have to be the saving grace for AMD since K10 is simply not going to push Intel, other than on mid and low-range pricing.

Also, fyi, after Intel, AMD/Ati had the largest market share of mobile graphics cards. Quarter on quarter and year on year, Nvidia is the one that has been chipping away and has taken over 2nd spot from AMD/Ati. Given that Nvidia has multiple OEM wins under it's belt and has consistently delivered solid mobile solutions, what makes you think that AMD/Ati will gain back a large chunk of market share?

RE: Who buys a Dell?
By Mitch101 on 2/8/2008 4:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yes Marketing. Be sure to smack one if this is not correct.

I certainly feel the low power consumption of ATI/AMD is going to be a big selling point to manufacturers.

I agree IPC is where its at. Fixed Phenom should be close to that of existing Intel cores in IPC. This leaves overall chip speed which Intel has a major lead on AMD. This is why I reference even if AMD can get the Phenom working properly it may not matter because they dont have the clock speed to bring it up to Intel speed.

I will wait to see Nahalem before commenting but I would agree that its probably not good for AMD until Fusion and that Fusion will make or break the company. IBM giving away 32nm manufacturing process information will be a big help to AMD.

The Market share lost to NVIDIA on the mobile graphics area I believe will be reclaimed by AMD. I know NVIDIA is having some issues with their next gen chip for heat and its certainly not ready to be put into portable devices. Current generation while selling well I believe NVIDIA is having some production problems. AMD/ATI has a better heat performance ratio than NVIDIA. Companies like Dell need inventory and NVIDIA is having trouble keeping with demand. This is good and bad. Its good they are selling its bad that it can cause shortages for companies like Dell who don't want to hear about shortages. Both are certainly doing very well but ATI has a heat/power advantage for the mobile area. Look at the integrated graphics chips coming soon from ATI/AMD they pack a lot more punch than what is coming from NVIDIA.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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