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Intel Hardware

Dell Still Intel Only 399

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dude-you-overpaid-for-your-dell dept.
wyckedone writes "Dell Computers has no plans to offer the new dual-core AMD Opteron even though it has been proven that "Opteron's integrated memory controller and multiple Hypertransport interconnects help it outperform Intel's Xeon processor on many benchmarks, especially those that measure the performance of memory-intensive applications.". HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems have all announced that they are going to release servers based on the new AMD chip. Why not offer customers an alternative that has better performance instead of risking the lose of those customers to another vendor that does? Intel has no plans to release a dual-core Xeon until 2006."
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Dell Still Intel Only

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  • SFW (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#12269283) Homepage Journal
    If Dell had a monopoly on PC manufacture, this would surely be big news. As it is, they're a company who've weighed both sides of an idea, and made a business.

    Remind me why I should care?
  • from the duh dept. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bersl2 (689221) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#12269294) Journal
    It's Dell. They use these rumors to get a better deal from Intel.

    Or so I've heard.
  • Seems silly (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:45AM (#12269301)
    Dell seems to be inflexible. Why not pick the performance leader?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:47AM (#12269314)

    Intel is paper-launching it's "desktop" Dual Core CPUs today ($1000+ desktop CPUs... Mmmm..) Meanwhile, AMD has supplied IBM, HP, etc with Dual Core CPUs for their server lines, which you can order today and receive within a few weeks.

    This generation goes to AMD, pure and simple. The Opterons are going to swallow the Intel systems in performance whole. Maybe even price in some configurations.

  • Sub-$200? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bardothodal (864753) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:48AM (#12269329) Homepage Journal
    If Dell used AMD , they probably could offer sub-200 computers because of their purchase power.
  • Didn't something like this happen with IBM?

    The i386 chip came out, it was faster, but IBM decided not to move right away - after all, who needed all of that extra speed? The i286 was fine!

    If memory serves me right, I believe that Compaq came out within seconds telling anyone who would listen that they had i386 processors now - and made it their policy to always support the latest and fastest chips.

    I wonder if this will hurt Dell at all. Odds are, with the enterprise vendors, not too much - but all it takes is a little mistake to give your competitors a chance to catch up. And as slim as margins on PCs are, I'm not Dell can afford to slip up in a situation like this.
  • by intheory (261976) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:49AM (#12269340) Journal
    Perhaps Dell doesn't think consumers will purchase computers that don't have "the Intel Inside"®. It's not just about price/performance, but about eroding market share if they switch products and consumers don't "get it." And, as the article hints at, as long as Dell can whip Intel into price concessions by playing the "maybe we'll go with AMD" game, there's no real economic gain for Dell to switch to AMD.

    Unless, that is, the consumer PC market sees a marked demand for AMD-based systems. Especially if a significant Dell competitor (is there one?) starts to meet that demand with AMD systems. I just don't see another consumer PC maker with the type of market share necessary to force Dell into that position.
  • Of course. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cnelzie (451984) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:51AM (#12269363) Homepage
    Why is this news? Dell using AMD is just as possible as MS embracing Open Source methodologies and freely giving away all of their sourcecode.

    Both are a possibility, but until either company is losing significant marketshare by staying the course they have traveled for so long... It won't happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:52AM (#12269385)

    TheInq on Intel Paper Launch [theinquirer.net]

    What readers of the INQ know is that AMD has been shipping dual cores for months to customers, and they are in the field, and in use. AMD beat its own date by months, but have not been crowing about it. I called the usual suspects, and no one apart from a favoured few OEMs had [Intel Dual Cores] a few days before the launch. Some said that it was no big deal, they expect to sell a few EEs, others were a little more vocal saying that they hadn't even received engineering samples, much less had things to sell.

  • Dell's not stupid... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dmayle (200765) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:58AM (#12269452) Homepage Journal

    Why not offer customers an alternative that has better performance instead of risking the lose of those customers to another vendor that does?

    Why not allow a hugely successful company figure out what's best for it's customers rather than assuming that they would want to please an AMD fanboy.

    It's a bit trollish, I know, but Dell isn't hurting. They're doing a great job, even without using AMD. Perhaps doubling the number of configurations would increase their stock on hand, and that would cost more money and cut down on profits. Perhaps it would add complexity to the orders, which might result in poorer customer service. Perhaps the number of customers on a given hardware platform would change, decreasing the amount of testing and QA they could perform per platform, resulting in a loss for customers and vendor alike.

    Why not accept the fact that there is more than just a one line blurb, and that maybe Dell actually knows what they're doing...

  • by LegendOfLink (574790) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:59AM (#12269464) Homepage
    ...is still Indian only.

    Not to be a pessimist, but I've dealt with Dell Tech Support 23 times this past year, every time with India, and I had only 2 positive experiences.

    The company I work for has a lot of sales folks, who like to break laptops and all. So, I usually end up calling Dell for replacements (fulfill warranties and such) and guess what, I ALWAYS have to talk to Tech Support first. Every single time it's "reboot the machine". Come on! And good luck trying to let them know all you need is a replacement part, they just ask you a bevy of questions first and THEN transfer you when they can't understand you anymore.

    They should just automate the damn tech support, it's pretty much the same effect. Those folks cannot understand you, and you end up either with a dropped line or worse, a transfer to another tech support person. BAH!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:00AM (#12269475)
    This time the heat is coming from Japanese regulators, who ruled this morning that the chipmaker has been stifling competition in the region.

    Specifically, the six-page complaint says Intel, in at least one case, offered rebates or other funds on the condition that PC makers not work with any competing vendors, including longtime rival Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD). Another deal allegedly offered money to manufacturers in return for giving no more than 10% of their chip business to Intel competitors. The filing further claims that the practices have been ongoing since May 2002.

    For its part, Intel says its business practices are fair and lawful. But it also included a key hedge in a statement issued this morning. It says that the Japanese, in their ruling, didn't consider whether any of Intel's actions hurt consumers through higher prices or other fallout. This, however, is a bogus argument straight from the "end justifies the means" school of business.

    I mean, really, can't we assume that if Intel is engaging in unfair competition in Japan, at some point its competitors will be forced to conclude that operating in the region is a waste of money? What happens to consumers at that point? Do we just wait and find out? No, I don't think so.

    Consider what's already happened. According to industry researcher Gartner Group (NYSE: IT), AMD's PC market share has taken a dive from 22% in 2002 to 10% in 2004. Over the same period, Intel's operations in Japan increased from 7% to 9% of its global revenues. Even more interesting is that from 2001 to 2002, Intel's total revenue from Japan declined from 10% to 7%.

    Reporters need to keep asking Intel at every industry event whether Intel has a deal similar to what is alleged in Japan. They need to keep asking pointed questions in this area until Intel issues a similar filing with the SEC that explains away any anti-competitive deal they may have with Dell similar to what they filed in regard to the issues with Japan. Once Intel files that explanation to cover their asses, then reporters have something specific to hone in on.

    As long as the reporters keep asking the questions about any deal with Dell to not use AMD whether financially rewarding type of deal or specific avoid ala Sherman Anti-trust deal, Intel's legal department (or Dell's) will at some point decide it necessary to file an explanation, disclosure or some double talk with the SEC.

    That's when reporters can hone in on the disclosure and Intel/Dell for the kill.
  • Re:Because (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:00AM (#12269477) Journal
    Because Dell looked at the numbers and determined that the exclusively-Intel price discount that Dell gets is more valuable than the potential revenue they'd get by offering AMD.
    • I'm sure this is true, and in the past sticking to Intel has served Dell well. However Intel's been stumbling recently, for the first time we're starting to see AMD not only catch up, but pass Intel in some areas, and Intel play follow the leader to AMD. I'm not sure sticking to Intel only at this point, even with the massive discounts I'm sure they're getting, is a terribly wise move. If Intel stumbles a few more times, the market may leave them behind, and Dell with them.
    • I know if I owned stock in Dell that I'd be a bit concerned.

  • MOD PARENT UP (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:02AM (#12269504)
    Finally, someone who actually understands business decisions. Every time I read a story about Dell rejecting AMD on /. (this has been going on for years), a bunch of freshmen CS majors chime in and say it's Dell's loss, Dell is history, Dell is Intel's pocket, AMD will crush Dell and Intel, blah blah blah blah....

    NONE of these predictions have come true. In fact, since the Athlon first came out and Dell rejected it way back when, Dell has blown everyone else out of the water. HP, now HP/Compaq, IBM, etc. They didn't to be the #1 PC manufacturer because they make stupid business decisions.
  • by webwalker (15831) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:02AM (#12269505) Homepage
    Dell's customers (esp corp desktop) are not asking for AMD, they're screaming for it. The combination of the cooler running, lower power consumption and performance all in one box makes for a very desireable combo when you're trying to hold down the cost of running hundreds or thousands of desktop systems, but the system cost, as well as the power and cooling cost.

    I built a 150 node AMD cluster last year of the IBM 326s. This sucka really hauls the mail. Now I'm going to do a simple BIOS flash to all of the nodes and replace the CPUs with dual cores. I expect the processing capacity to cause micro-tears in space-time. Just don't stand too close when we fire it up. :^)
  • In other news... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bayerwerke (513829) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:08AM (#12269578) Homepage
    Kia still does not offer their cars with an engine made by BMW. Really, when has Dell ever done anything to sell computers that are actually better for any reason?
  • by Otter (3800) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:13AM (#12269642) Journal
    The kind of production runs that Dell requires is something that AMD can't accommidate, certainly not as long as they're supplying HP and white box makers.

    This is the smartest point I've seen made on this story. AMD fanboys may want to think about what they're wishing for -- if AMD's #1 priority becomes feeding Dell, keeping hobbyists happy is going to fall way down on their list.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:18AM (#12269686) Homepage Journal
    The amusing thing is that Dell has always been known for doing such tricks as overclocking their processors, having laptops that ran so hot they'd burn up, and generally not realizing that power consumption is a big deal to modern businesses.

    So it's not surprising to read that they are avoiding the AMD chipset, if it consumes less power and runs much cooler.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:19AM (#12269709)
    IBM is still alive. And kicking nicely.

    Compaq as a company is gone. It's owner - HP - is nothing more than an ink-delivery system for printers (look at where all HP's profits come from...).

    What was the point of your example, then?
  • by philipgar (595691) <pcg2@NoSpAM.lehigh.edu> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:20AM (#12269714) Homepage
    Its definately true that Dell gets cpus from Intel for cheap. Really cheap. Some of the systems listed on Dells page you look at and think "I couldn't build a system for this price myself". They just have a major discount. They also tend to get certain products first, and have them guaranteed.

    This is also coupled with the fact that AMD doesn't have the customer recognition that Intel does. Dude I'm getting a Dell is followed by a man in a bunny suit. thats the way things are. On top of it one of AMDs strengths is the enthusiast market (which much of slashdot is). This market runs counter to dells market.

    However where this decision doesn't make sense is in their server line. I doubt Intel gives dell a massive price break on Xeon chips (like they tend to with p4's), and I doubt Dell having Opteron chips would lose dell too much of the costs dealing with Intel, but I could be wrong. Basically with the performance of the Xeon relative to the opteron for servers the Opteron looks highly attrractive. From speed, memory performance, heat, and price standpoints. Not selling those chips seems crazy, but who knows. Maybe dell has something up their sleeves.

    Phil
  • Re:Not to flame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bloodredsun (826017) <martin@[ ]odredsun.com ['blo' in gap]> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:20AM (#12269718) Journal
    You're absolutely correct. For a PC you don't care...but for a server you damn well do care, and this is where AMD have made the smart move by hitting the more niche market of servers first. I feel that they will sew up this area first and then take this momentum into the desktop.

    AMD are also crippled on the desktop by MS's inability to produce a 64 bit OS. People feel comfortable with microsoft OS's and an OS upgrade is always a good driver to upgrade.

    Let's face it, if Longhorn came out at the same time as Opteron, AMD would have more than double the market share they currently have.
  • Re:SFW (Score:3, Interesting)

    by badfish99 (826052) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:20AM (#12269719)
    Because in any normal market, retailers sell goods from a variety of manufacturers: that way they reach as many customers as possible. If you see a retailer only selling one brand, you have to wonder what is going on behind the scenes to influence that decision: maybe the manufacturer is distorting the market, to the detriment of the customers, by threatening the retailer.
  • by truesaer (135079) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:24AM (#12269743) Homepage
    You don't seem to understand that we're talking servers here. Those are not Dell's razor thin margin products, and they're already all very specialized. Adding AMD chips wouldn't be a big deal in the server space, IMO. The reality is that Intel pays Dell not to do it. Understandable that Dell then doesn't, but it isn't an issue of infrastructure or technology.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:33AM (#12269847)
    Your reply and style of reply show your lack of knowledge in this area. I don't claim to be a techie, but TopShelf is correct in Dell's supply chain. The reason they can keep costs down is cause of how they manufacture.

    Dell is extremely demanding on its suppliers, who actually build factories and warehouses DIRECTLY outside Dell's facilities because Dell has like a 1 hour mandatory turnover time (not sure on exact details...read about it a while ago). In other words, when it asks Intel for a specific chip, it must be there within the hour.

    For AMD to provide this kind of service, it would require the construction of facilities (time) and get past the learning curve/smooth the kinks (more time) --- maybe that's why it won't be profitable until 2006...
  • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:36AM (#12269875) Homepage Journal
    IBM? I won't even try to speak to that - partially because I'm not sure WHY they dropped out of the PC business (NOT the server business - all they've got now is CPUs and servers).

    However, HP and Compaq had two problems. First, they had eMachines syndrome - they made shitty hardware, and people were starting to realize it. Second, as somebody else said, HP is an ink delivery mechanism for their printers. They're not a computer company. They're not a camera company. They're not even a printer company. They're a flipping ink company.

    Dell hardware is MUCH better than HPaq hardware (not saying much, mind you - I'd rather avoid Dell, given the chance). Sure, HPaq and IBM use(d) AMD. (Servers only, for IBM, though, last I checked - the PC division, which was the only one sold off, used all Intel, IIRC) However, there are other factors leading to the downfall of those companies.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:59AM (#12270175)
    The unfortunate truth here is that:

    1: HP builds crap, supports it like crap, and was the first major manufacturer to stop shipping the Windows Operating System discs you paid for as part of the system with the system. Their "recovery disc" is even more crap, when you can get it. They sell computers mainly to bundle their much more profitable printers with. If you disagree, tell me the last time you recommended a Pavilion to a friend you wanted to keep.

    2: Sun is overpriced! Let me repeat, Sun is overpriced!!

    3: IBM is not as cheap as Dell, is trying to get out of the PC business because they're losing money on the desktop and notebook arenas, and hasn't been winning any customer support awards for end-users/home-users for years, if not a decade.

    4: Gateway is dueling with Apple to see who can have a lower market share in computers. They try to sell TV's the way Apple sells iPods.

    5: And Dell, who suffers from none of the above, keeps insisting that "Well sell AMD based computers when our customers demand it." How deaf can they be?

    6: Alienware and the other niche marketeeters? $$$.

    In my book, not a single good choice for a no-problems, affordable, supported, home AMD system. And both myself, my wife's business, and the company I now work for (as well as the last one) have all been loyal Dell customers accounting for well over 1000 units sold so far. Dell does not care about us!

  • by ad0gg (594412) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:59AM (#12270179)
    Umm why are you buying your equipment through the consumer channel? Dell's business channel gives you access to US tech support and gives you the ability to negotiate prices on purchases which you can usually get them to throw in onsite warranty for a year or two.
  • by Tenareth (17013) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:06PM (#12270273) Homepage
    Which is good for AMD anyway, because it drives down Intel's profit margins.

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:27PM (#12270549)
    IBM is still alive. And kicking nicely.

    Compaq as a company is gone. It's owner - HP - is nothing more than an ink-delivery system for printers (look at where all HP's profits come from...).

    However, if you strip away all of the other unrelated businesses that IBM and HP are in, it looks a little different. IBM is just about out of the PC market altogether, whereas HP is still a big player, profits or not.

    On the topic of the original GP post: The 286 vs 386 isn't that comparable to today's situation. The 386 had almost 3X the performance of the 286, plus it added virtual memory and removed the shackles of 16-bit pointers. It was a massive upgrade.

    The new dual core chips don't offer anything that you can't currently get with a dual CPU motherboard. It's pretty much just a packaging issue. It's an internal implementation detail that may temporarily affect the system vendor's cost margins, but a few months delay introducing them probably won't have much long-term effect.

  • by Locutus (9039) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:04PM (#12271673)
    But are they paying the press to keep running these stupid articles too? It's as bad as those articles about the lastest thing Microsoft is "betting the company" on. Oh, and those things about Linux not being a threat... It's just noise IMO.

    LoB

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