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Alienware headquarters in Miami, Florida

Alienware's homepage now looks strikingly similar to Dell's
Alienware says it will be unaffected by the acquisition but at the same time seeks to embrace Dell's methodologies

Alienware and Dell have announced an agreement to merge, with Dell buying the Miami company. Alienware has long been a very independent company with a strong focus on highly tuned customer support and customization. Alienware pioneered the custom PC business by doing such things as: customizing the manual in the customer's name; including benchmarks of the system, installing and tweaking drivers, and installing whatever games the customer wanted. Long story short, Alienware gave great individualized attention to its patrons.

We believe that this acquisition will offer our customers the best of both worlds — an Alienware that takes advantage of the world-class business practices and operational efficiencies that have made Dell one of the most respected companies in the world, while preserving the DNA of the Alienware brand and product strategy portfolio.

Alienware says that Dell executives have agreed to let Alienware operate independently, with its own marketing and product strategies. In the above statement however, it's clear that Alienware expects to embrace some of Dell's own strengths, which sit squarely in the realm of low cost, mass production, and offshore support. All of these traits give Dell its strength -- besides its sell direct approach, which Alienware already does.

Surprisingly, Rahul Sood, VoodooPC's president and our resident blogger recently predicted that Dell would buy Alienware in a blog he wrote several weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how Dell corporate will transform Alienware. Nelson Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of Alienware has a statement.

Interestingly, Alienware sells PCs based on AMD's processors, but Dell does not.


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WTF?
By Mitul89 on 3/22/2006 9:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
this sucks.. From now on the computers that we know of that are Alienware will be shit... They will have that cheap look that all of the Dell PC's have. Id rather see Alienware independant. The other thing is that Dell will put even more intel processors then AMD processor. And we all know that AMD performs better in gaming applications.




RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/22/2006 10:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Who knows with the conroe coming....


RE: WTF?
By almrow on 3/22/2006 11:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
but also is coming the socket am2 that supports ddr2, and do you think that amd is going to lose to fast against intel? amd is well prepared for the future, they began to win territory against intel.


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 6:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
AM2 and DDR2 don't appear to offer that much. Conroe, when it ships, will also be available with DDR2-800, if not 1066.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 9:09:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
AM2 and DDR2 don't appear to offer that much


I've seen this same silly statement many times and from many people...sorry Z, but it is silly. You really don't have any idea what will be shipping or how it will perform yet, just as we have only a "sample" of what Conroe will look like at shipping time.


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 9:22:22 AM , Rating: 2
RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 9:26:15 AM , Rating: 2
And since both examples are only "samples".. they have to be regarded the same. The "sample" of Conroe is impressive. The "sample" of AM2 on DDR2-800 is not.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 9:33:58 AM , Rating: 2
I have seen the article before...and if you can show me that the engineering sample they had will be the same as the shipping AM2 chip, I will humbly beg your pardon.
I assume you haven't heard that AMD shipped out engineering samples that were pre-memory controller fix CPUs...they were for mobo makers to test with.
Do you have any indication that this wasn't one of those?
Since the AMD chips weren't hand-picked for reviewing, and the Intel chips were, you're comparing apples and oranges...I think I will stick with my comment. Sorry, mate.


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 9:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
What technical reasons can you provide to prove that AM2 and DDR2-800 on existing chip designs will demonstrate gains that are significantly different than what we're seeing here?

For what reason do you think a socket change and a higher-latency memory will, even if not an engineering sample, improve the situation over existing socket-939 chips?


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 9:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
The basics here are quite simple. What's coming from AMD when Conroe ships are existing chips on a different socket with a higher-latency memory. What's coming from Intel is a new architecture. Do you seriously expect two minor changes from AMD to improve performance over existing socket-939 chips, much less a new architecture from Intel? I'd say the "samples" we currently have of both are perfectly reasonable expectations of what we can expect when both are shipping products.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 10:17:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The basics here are quite simple. What's coming from AMD when Conroe ships are existing chips on a different socket with a higher-latency memory

Well, we know that's not true, even from the sample on the Chinese article you posted...
For example, go to page 4 at the bottom, and look at the differences in the size the cache between the S939 chip and the AM2 chip...
So, the answer to your question is (as I said before) neither of us has any clue, and to say otherwise is outright guessing and should be labled as such.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 10:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
BTW, if you look close you'll note that the L2 cache structure is different as well...


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 10:42:15 AM , Rating: 2
What cache sizes are you talking about? Both will have 2x 1MB of L2 cache, from what I'm seeing. Existing S939 chips are available with that.

.. and if you think a different L2 configuration is going to make a significant difference, I want some of what you're smoking.


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 10:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
.. a different L2 cache structure, rather.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 10:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I want some of what you're smoking

Sadly, it's just Benson & Hedges...

Now take a deep breath and go look again...
1. The cache density has gone up dramatically, which means that it's quite possible that AMD could ship much higher cache chips right off the bat.
2. If you get the translation from the site, you'll note that power has ALSO dropped dramatically...which means that there is more headroom for the clockspeed right off the bat.
3. AMD has already shown that they aren't strictly following their roadmap by the leaked release of the 5000+ on 939, this could also be the reason they have been so vague on their roadmaps.


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 10:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
None of this suggests that AM2 and DDR2-800, on shipping chips, is going to have an impact on performance that's significantly higher than what we've seen from the "sample".


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 10:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
None of this suggests that AM2 and DDR2-800, on shipping chips, is going to have an impact on performance that's significantly higher than what we've seen from the "sample".

What it suggests is that:
1. We really don't know what they will be shipping
2. We don't know what stepping they will be shipping (the sample was stepping 1 of rev F)
3. We don't know how well the 2 will compare

I'm not saying that AMD will be superior to Conroe, I'm saying that neither you nor I know one way or the other...


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 11:11:56 AM , Rating: 2
Of course we don't know for sure, but all I've been saying is that AM2/DDR2-800 on existing chip designs doesn't appear to offer much in the way of improvement over S939 chips of the same speed/specs and nothing you've provided suggests that what we've seen so far about AM2/DDR2-800 and what I've said about it is beyond the realm of reasonable conclusion.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/24/2006 2:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
all I've been saying is that AM2/DDR2-800 on existing chip designs doesn't appear to offer much in the way of improvement over S939 chips of the same speed/specs


It occurs to me that if you left the "AM2" out of it, we'd agree...using existing chips and merely changing to DDR2 isn't much of an improvement (at least not that we can tell). However, that obviously isn't the limit of the changes for Rev F...


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/24/2006 7:07:52 AM , Rating: 2
And how significant in terms of improved performance are those changes? None of them that you mentioned seem like they'd amount to much.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/24/2006 8:44:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
None of them that you mentioned seem like they'd amount to much

Well then, let's add them up...
1. For every 200MHz increase, the X2 improves 3-7%. Just go through the benches and you'll see what I mean.
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.a spx?i=2484&p=6
If they have indeed lowered the voltage requirements, it's quite possible we will see 2 speed bumps @90nm...that would be a 6-14% improvement on current chips.

2. As to cache, for the life of me I can't find a review that compares Toledo and Manchester at the same clockspeed. Nevertheless, if AMD has indeed been able to increase their cache densities greatly (remember that Intel has been superior at this for quite some time), we certainly could see a doubling of the L2 cache or even an L3 cache as they are suggesting at the Inq...
http://www.theinquirer.net/?articl e=30513
This should add at least another 5-10% on performance...
Remember that Intel has gone to 4MB cache for a very good reason because the cache is by far the most expensive part of the chip (because of it's size).

Added up, the theoretical improvements put it at just below or just above Conroe's performance...but again, this is still hypothetical and neither one of us knows what will be happening when these both come out.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/24/2006 8:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
On a side note, I like the way these keep getting narrower! If we keep up this thread, will we see the letters vertically? :)


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/24/2006 12:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
I was comparing equal clock speeds between the S939 and AM2/DDR2-800 chips. Of course speed bumps will improve performance. The relevant thing here with this comparison, though, is whether the S939 chips would show similar improvements at the higher speed. I suspect they would.

At launch is what I'm talking about here.. and so unless they're gonna add more L2 cache or L3 cache between the engineering sample and the shipping product, the potential for larger L2 caches and L3 cache is irrelevant at this time.


RE: WTF?
By Viditor on 3/24/2006 1:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At launch is what I'm talking about here

Which one...Conroe or AM2?


RE: WTF?
By zsdersw on 3/24/2006 3:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
Both.


RE: WTF?
By ninjit on 3/24/2006 7:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
Cool, I wanna see this get down to a one word column...


will dell really gain from this?
By amdsupport on 3/22/2006 7:23:45 PM , Rating: 3
i saw this over on cnet last week

quote:
The new source, a contact at a high-end vendor who requested anonymity, claims that two of his company's suppliers confirmed that the deal has been done, and he also claims that his company has received an influx of resumes from Alienware employees.


http://reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921 _7-6464030.html

I wonder if there is something the employees know that isn't being let out.

I'm not sure that dell will reap many benifits from buying alienware...since most gamers view dell as "cheap" dell may bring down alienware's "reputation" or drive away potential customers.




RE: will dell really gain from this?
By Haggar on 3/22/2006 7:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Dell isn't exactly seen as an attractive PC because of how popular and common it is.

To be honest, I don't even understand what buying Alienware can give Dell, other than 'some' appeal to 'gamers'.

Most gamers prefer to make their own PC becuase of two reasons, firstly they can make it to their own prefered spec, and secondly its cheaper.

Look at Alienware for example, its possible to make a PC with the same spec, if not better and save over a $1k at least, or when comparing to a Voodoo PC, you can save $3k+ depending on model.

I really wonder how many people buy these PCs...


By sweetpants153 on 3/22/2006 7:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Dell can gain a marketshare when you consider a lot of "enthusiasts" will buy an AMD... Sure you can build one for cheaper by yourself, but if you honestly don't want to, or can't you have to consider Alienware or Dell...

I am betting Dell will benefit from this move, I see a lot of people purchasing bargain PC's from Dell, and I hear a lot of people purchasing high end system from Alienware, it seems like Dell is taking the high and low road...


RE: will dell really gain from this?
By TomZ on 3/22/2006 7:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
A big part of the value of Alienware to Dell is clearly the brand. Computers are commodity - no matter how much an OEM tries to differentiate, they are more or less the same, built from the same core components. Clearly Dell can produce computers with the same specs as Alienware, probably more efficiently. But it takes time and costs money to build a brand, and the path to establishing a brand in that segment of the market is not well-defined. So acquiring a brand is a quick way to get into that market.

As others have suggested, I also think that this deal gives Dell some flexibility with respect to shipping more computers with AMD processors. Intel won't get anywhere suggesting that the Alienware computers be switched over to using Intel processors - even Intel knows that wouldn't fly in that market, at least with current generation products.

On the other hand, Dell can grow the Alienware line more and more to cater to the majority of "independent types" that prefer AMD processors, e.g., Alienware-brand computers costing $1-2K that use AMD X2s or FXs.


By amdsupport on 3/23/2006 1:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A big part of the value of Alienware to Dell is clearly the brand.


right...dell just dosen't have a great rep among people that are buying in the gaming pc market. dell just can't seem to shake off their stigma among that community, and by buying alienware, there are now going to be people who associate the stigma with aleinware also thus lowering the brand value.

in my opinion, dell is still going to have to bring a strong marketing mix to the table (even with the alienware name) to shake that stigma off and make sure people believe there is a diffrence between the two companies before they even start to think about offering more AMD or Intel based alienware systems.

its not always a walk in the park keeping brand reputation during buyouts.


NOOBS...
By Oxygenthief on 3/23/2006 12:03:15 PM , Rating: 1
Someone else said it, at least part of it, here already... Alienware has something Dell does not. Everyone keeps missing the big Bullseye target though. Soooo many people have insinuated that Dell has a deal going with Intel that prevents them from ever using AMD processors. Lets assume this is true, ("assume" as in everyone knows this is pretty much a fact so what difference does it make to assume) As Dell's business leaders have learned, by cutting their customer's choices in half it has left them with the "non-high end" stigma they have now. So how does a company circumvent a deal with Intel and fix the stigma....

Buy out Alienware! Work the legal jargon so that they aren't violating any deals with Intel by selling AMD powered PC's and the next thing you know your company will be seeing big profits.

Just think of all the budget gamers out there who would jump for joy at a AMD powered Dell... Big money fellas.

I seriously doubt it has anything much to do with the Alienware name at all. They are just as prefab as Dells are these days anyway. It would be no problem at all to absorb them into their current business model.

That's my two cents anyway....




RE: NOOBS...
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 12:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt that "budget gamers" and many of the people who post here avoid Dell machines because they have Intel CPUs.

The same people who complain about Dell's tech support, poor hardware, etc. are gonna now jump for joy because there's an AMD chip inside? Sorry, I don't buy it.


RE: NOOBS...
By Oxygenthief on 3/23/2006 3:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
"many of the people who post here"....

What? 100, a thousand people at most??? Come on dude, step outside your little world and think Billions of dollars in revenue!

And yes, budget gamers who trust the Dell name but want a AMD gaming machine would most likely jump at the chance to buy a new Delienware pc. :) I like the name!

As far as Dell's tech support goes, from what I have read Alienware will still be providing tech support for their products despite the buyout. You should read up on the subject before flaming bro...


RE: NOOBS...
By zsdersw on 3/23/2006 3:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the people who even know who AMD is probably don't have a very high opinion of Dell, so don't accuse me of being inside a "little world".

If you think my reply to your initial post was "flaming", you're more of an idiot than I thought.


Nice
By Gigahertz19 on 3/22/2006 6:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
So when can I buy an Alienware + Dell = Delianware comp?

Should be good news for my $100,000 worth of Dell stocks in fake money of course.




RE: Nice
By Zebo on 3/22/2006 8:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
DELIANWARE LOL. Lets hope they bring low prices like dell has to AMD setups.


RE: Nice
By Jedi2155 on 3/22/2006 10:21:16 PM , Rating: 1
DELIANWARE SUCKER 2000!!!!!


Interesting...
By bunnyfubbles on 3/22/2006 7:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
Alienware has supported AMD systems, does this mean we'll stop seeing AMD in the Alienware systems or does this mean Dell now accepts AMD, although in an indirect way (loophole)?




RE: Interesting...
By Viditor on 3/23/2006 9:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
does this mean we'll stop seeing AMD in the Alienware systems


No...Dell announced today that Alienware will continue with it's AMD lines.


RE: Interesting...
By rcc on 3/23/2006 2:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it does give Dell a way of providing AMD parts without messing with their main contracts.


so...
By SLEEPER5555 on 3/22/2006 7:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
dell will kill the alien just like lenovo is slowly killing Thinkpad. Now the question is will dell accept AMD or will the alien move to Intel? And obviously Alien support is headed to india!




RE: so...
By sweetpants153 on 3/22/2006 7:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
erm.. Dell will not be touching Alienware support and vice versa


RE: so...
By NerV04 on 3/22/2006 8:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
"it's clear that Alienware expects to embrace some of Dell's own strengths, which sit squarely in the realm of low cost, mass production, and offshore support."

the offshore support could mean the india customer service...


mm......so you don't need alienware eh??
By almrow on 3/22/2006 9:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
let's remember this: "Dell has the potential to be seen as a "cool" company and is more than capable of building viable gaming machines without Alienware's help."(techspot.com)
So why do they bought alienware? only for AMD? is dell a "cool"company?




By ThisSpaceForRent on 3/22/2006 9:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Does Alienware hold any patents? Dell buying Alienware really doesn't make a lot of sense. You would think with what it would cost to buy the company they could just out advertise, or undercut them pricewise until they disappeared.


By TomZ on 3/22/2006 10:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
Please see my comments above.


VooDoo PC CEO
By Milliamp on 3/22/2006 7:07:16 PM , Rating: 1
When he (VooDoo PC CEO) stated that Dell was going to aquire Alienware I thought he was a quack conspiricy theorist. I guess I was wrong.

If Alienware ends up becoming an overpriced Dell I bet we will be seeing more of VooDoo PC. Maybe VooDoo could sign an exclusive deal with AMD and make good of an opurtunity.




RE: VooDoo PC CEO
By miahallen on 3/22/2006 7:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, have you been to Alienware's hompage lately...it look exatly like Dells wearing a different skin. It's been like this for some time.

This was inevitable...and I think this is the answer to the long running rummors of Dell picking up AMD, now they have AMD under their coporate umbrella.


RE: VooDoo PC CEO
By Haggar on 3/22/2006 7:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
Milliamp, wtf - Alienware is already overpriced junk...

More Voodoo PC...lol...they cost as much as a car!!!

Exclusive deal with AMD...erm...why???

Voodoo PC already sell AMD, what would exclusivity mean to the company? Nothing. Voodoo PC is tiny compared to Alienware and Dell, so what opportunity would they have by singing an exclusive deal with AMD?


It's all about $$
By bamacre on 3/22/2006 8:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
AW is able to charge a good bit for their name, and they sell AMD. This is what is attractive to Dell.

With the AW name and product, along with Dell's logistics, and methodologies, they will make AW even more attractive with a lower price, even with a higher markup.

Too many just don't want a Dell based gaming system, rather that's because they come with Intel cpu's, or just the average perception of Dell among the more computer literate (bad rep thru word-of-mouth).

In contrast, the only negative thing about AW systems, really, is the price tag. Nothing negative about quality and performance.

So Dell will sell a well-known brand of systems specifically made for gaming in mind, with higher quality, and higher performance, but at a lower price point due to better manufacturing logistics and lowered support costs.




RE: It's all about $$
By Zebo on 3/23/2006 1:03:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yup good post and good deal for both companies all around.

Back when Dell advertised in game mags then kids flip page and see AW dell had no chance for that demographic. I've seen it first hand..Now they do - cheaper and the same slick AW package.


Why did this happen?
By mac2j on 3/23/2006 12:03:23 AM , Rating: 2
I have a good friend that works on Dell's business side ... I was personally surprised by this so I asked what was up.

Dell brought a consulting firm to find out why their XPS brand wasnt selling better despite a large increase in advertising recently (you've probably seen the commercials).

Market study said in short - People associate Alienware (and increasingly AMD) with performance, people associated Dell with the "no frills, old-reliable" box at work.

Solution: Buy Alienware, in the long run its cheaper than spending millions on ads that arent moving XPS sales and it gives a chance to study AMD sales....




RE: Why did this happen?
By ninjit on 3/23/2006 12:28:44 AM , Rating: 2
So does this mean, they'll be phasing out the XPS line?
Leaving Alienware as the new Dell arm that caters to enthusiasts?

Sounds smart, as long as they realize that the Dell brand is going to dilute the Alienware one simply by association, and that's what they are trying to buy.

As long as they continue to allow Alienware to operate mostly on its own, and don't plaster "Dell" all over their website and products, it should turn out to be a pretty good arrangement.


Dell will have to try hard
By suryad on 3/23/2006 2:20:40 AM , Rating: 2
They are simply trying to change their image. I like Dell as a comptuer manufacturer. I like Alienware designs and it seems to me that if Dell is serious about this this could end up being a match made in heaven. Fast comps with high reliability. Thats great! Sorta like when Audi bought Lamborghini...the cars became even more outrageous but damned good as well!




RE: Dell will have to try hard
By lifeblood on 3/23/2006 9:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
Best case senario, Dell dumps it's XPS line and let's Alienware handle the high end. They give Alienware a cash infusion to let it rise to the next level but other than that it keeps their hands off.

Worst case senario, Alienware can only sell XPS line. As a special dispensation they let Alienware stick flaming logo on the side of the box, but no other tinkering is allowed.


Huh?
By Milliamp on 3/22/2006 7:02:29 PM , Rating: 3
Alienware plans to adopt "low cost, mass production, and offshore support."??

Then what are people paying extra for?




Website Look Similar?
By TomZ on 3/22/2006 8:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Alienware's homepage now looks strikingly similar to Dell's

Based on this logic, I predict that IBM (http://www.ibm.com) and Adobe (http://www.adobe.com) are in merger discussions.

Seriously, this is kind of a reach!





RE: Website Look Similar?
By Tuan Nguyen on 3/22/2006 11:53:21 PM , Rating: 1
It's not really a reach - I mentioned it in the article after the fact that Dell is buying Alienware. :)


Tuan


if it means...
By somasaint on 3/23/2006 12:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
being able to config a clevo chassis/desktop ultra unit
laptop for cheap.. then A+OK

its always bewildered me how dell only allows
for a M processor in a performance laptop. where
the "competition" was using a P4-670 or amd equivalent..

its sad that you have to hire a research firm
in order to see that you dont offer a superior
product..

as if computer buyers ARENT aware of what they
are buying..

i predict what will happen is the same effect as
how audi a4s are barely indifferent from vw jettas..

i no longer associate alienware was elite




thining?
By Zebo on 3/23/2006 12:59:04 AM , Rating: 2
Alienware is already thining out the line - Used to offer custom painted cases - now they only offer 4 color and dyed plastic from case manufacturer instead of glossy metal flake paint. I almost bought a Martian RED box a couple months ago for son (until I saw price) - now it's not even avail:(




Smart remarks last week.
By smut on 3/23/2006 1:06:17 AM , Rating: 1
I love how someone from Dell last week blasted Rahul claiming he had some motivation for saying this and they denied this merge when it turns out to be true. I think they should apologize for their asshole comments about the guy that was just posting on his blog. He had no financial gain to gain from this like they implied. oh well, shit happens. I just find it funny how snide their remarks were.




OMFG
By firewolfsm on 3/22/06, Rating: 0
1st post!!!!!!!!!!!
By albundee on 3/22/06, Rating: -1
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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