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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 Sazar on 2/8/2008 1:35:26 PM , Rating: 1
Mitch, you do realize there are severe multi-processor limitations with the AMD processors vis-a-vis the intel processors?

There are also fundamental issues with memory, such as speed limitations and bridge setups to facilitate large-scale deployment. These issues were present with the Opterons and there are new issues present with the Barcelona based products that are continuing. The errata issues affect a LOT of people.

RE: Who buys a Dell?
By Mitch101 on 2/8/2008 2:10:00 PM , Rating: 1
We haven't purchased any AMD based systems in the last 2 years because of performance and as of recently the Phenoms because of possible reliability issues. Fanboism never should play a role in the purchasing of corporate equipment. We also benchmark the systems based upon the role they will play. We try for uniformity but really were not pulling parts from one server to get another one working anyway. We have a 4 hour response time for any part and hot spare servers to boot.

In addition with Intel moving into 45nm we can expect power improvements and cooling improvements which are important to data centers. This is an understandable move on the part of Dell. It also simplifies their lineup. We cant wait 6 months for AMD to come with their parts. Data centers move forward they dont wait for companies.

I hate that so many people think what Dell does is the end all be all. Its just Dell crack one open and its pretty much what you will find in many other companies boxes. Who cares if Dell doesn't carry an AMD lineup. If you want to support AMD just buy another companies product with an AMD inside. Why does it have to be a Dell? Get over it buy IBM , HP, Toshiba, Acer, etc.

Flat out I cant buy AMD systems because it will help AMD's bottom line when it can hurt the company I work for. Just over 2.5 years ago I built a test lab of 104 dual socket dual core AMD servers from HP. We put in a lot of AMD based systems then. Great machines but outdated by what Intel offers today.

I hope that AMD can make a comeback but them releasing Phenom with the TLB errata was probably the dumbest thing they ever did. Far worse than delaying the product another 6 months. I'm all for firing Hector Ruiz for doing such a stupid thing. If AMD makes a comeback in performance then Im sure Dell will carry them again.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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