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Intel Hardware

Dell Still Intel Only 399

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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  • what (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    who gives a crap what chip vendor they choose to use? the pc market isn't a monopoly.
  • 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?
    • Re:SFW (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:53AM (#12269400)
      Dell uses only intel CPUs for the same reason they only sell M$FT on the desktop. They get better deals from the other gorillas by staying exclusive with them.
      • Re:SFW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ePhil_One ( 634771 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:11AM (#12269624) Journal
        They get better deals from the other gorillas by staying exclusive with them.

        One of the big things they get is first cut at the latest technology. The Dell XPS Gen5 has been announced as the first system to use Intels new "Dual Core" chips, which gets them all sorts of Free (as in Beer) advertising. Charging Dell a lower price might get them in trouble, but there are few laws about who you have to give access to early technology mules.

        • Also... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by artemis67 ( 93453 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:19PM (#12270442)
          by adding AMD systems across the board, Dell would double overnight the number of motherboards that they have to support and troubleshoot. Even if AMD sales were only a small part of their overall revenue.

          Would there be enough new revenue from selling AMD systems to justify that? It has to be NEW revenue, because if it's just replacing one revenue stream with another at a greater cost, why would you bother?

          Dell probably does not see enough additional revenue from AMD sales to justify the increased support costs.
    • Re:SFW (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) <Satanicpuppy@NospAm.gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:56AM (#12269427) Journal
      Bah. Weighed both sides? I don't think so. They have too much infrastructure tied up with intel.

      However, by saying publicly, "We're thinking nice thoughts about AMD" they can pressure intel to lower their prices, so as not to lose business from one of the larger home pc manufacturers.

      Business as usual.
      • Re:SFW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:02AM (#12269500) Homepage Journal
        They have too much infrastructure tied up with intel.
        Well of course they do. And that would be one of the factors they considered when weighing the options.

        Weighing the options does not mean just choosing which is the fastest processor, or which is the best technology, but weighing how much outlay it would cost to retool if you want to switch.

        Sometimes it's smart business to pick the lesser technology, if it keeps your costs down.
      • Re:SFW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:10AM (#12269616)
        Trust me, if Dell felt it would be more profitable to use AMD, they'd use AMD. The business world has no illusions of brand loyalty (unless the CEO of AMD screwed Michael Dell's wife or something.) As it is, if you want an AMD based server, IBM happens to make some pretty nice ones, and they run 64-bit linux...
    • Re:SFW (Score:3, Interesting)

      by badfish99 ( 826052 )
      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.
      • Re:SFW (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jim_Maryland ( 718224 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:45AM (#12270009)
        While generally true, you really need to consider this from a training/maintenance/support option too. What is the cost of adding a new offering?

        Training production and support staff

        Additional inventory storage: motherboards, CPUs, fans

        Multiple BIOS

        Adjustments to tech support website to make sure the average home PC user can easily find the right updates All these issues, and likely many more, must be addressed when expanding your product offering. You also need to look at where Dell makes their money. Do companies buy AMD based systems? I haven't switched jobs in a while but my current and previous employers were exclusively Intel for the MS Win32 systems.

    • Re:SFW (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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?

      One reason for some people to care is that Dell has a near-monopoly in the education market. A lot of folks at Universities want to buy AMD, especially when they've got what looks to be the best 64-bit solution, but keep getting told to just buy a Dell from their Purchasing Department.
  • Dude! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TimeTrav ( 460837 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:44AM (#12269292)
    Dude! Youre not getting a dualcore!

  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:45AM (#12269300)
    Why not offer customers an alternative that has better performance instead of risking the lose of those customers to another vendor that does?

    1. AMD can't produce enough chips to satisfy Dell's demands

    2. Intel has proven a reliable platform for Dell

    3. Most end user's don't care
    • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:58AM (#12269446) Homepage
      3. Most end user's don't care

      No, you have it backwards. If customers didn't care, they'd pick the faster AMD chip. Home users care about what's "inside"; which doesn't mean they know any better. It's just that they've seen the commercials, and their computer "expert" friend advises to get the Intel processor. So that's what they ask for when they call Dell, and that's what Dell gives them.

      • by kebes ( 861706 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:10AM (#12269606) Journal
        Exactly. The fact of the matter is that end-users (and managers that are in charge of buying lots of machines) have just a bit of knowledge, so marketing has a huge effect. The words "Intel" and "Pentium" are deeply ingrained in the minds of most people, whereas "AMD" is really only known to geeks. Honestly, I know tons of really smart people who don't know much too about computers... if they had to pick a "fast machine" off a list, they would gravitate towards the specs that included the word "Pentium 4." Maybe it's sad, but Intel's marketing is way better, and this means they get lots of sales based solely on name. Dell knows this and isn't going to stop putting the "Intel Inside" stickers on their computers anytime soon.

        Remember, Dell's main market is not geeks (who will build their computer from scratch anyway), it is the mass market.
        • > "AMD" is really only known to geeks

          You calling my father a geek?

          Are you?

      • Hey, we're (here on slashdot) all an 'expert' friend to someone. I'm pretty sure most of us would recommend an AMD chip. I had to practically beg my girlfriend's dad to save money by recommending an AMD. His reasoning that he uses his computer for business, so he needed the reliability of Intel. I give UP!
  • Because (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Custard ( 587661 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:46AM (#12269308) 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?

    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.
    • Re:Because (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Maestro4k ( 707634 )
      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
    • Really it does. AMD is faster for memory intensive programs. Pretty even on FP intensive programs. And wins based on bang for the buck. If you are going to build a HPC cluster AMD is often the better choice. Where Intel has an advantage is stability. You will really be hard pressed to find a more stabile combination than an Intel CPU on a motherboard using an Intel Chip set. Better yet an actual Intel motherboard. As long as AMD does not make their own chip set Intel will have if not a real at least a perce
  • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 samp

  • 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.
  • Business Choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by teiresias ( 101481 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:48AM (#12269330)
    This means more business for HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems (if of course Businesses in the market for servers choose AMD).

    Dell has chosen to stick with Intel which isn't the worse choice. It means lost profits but it also means less support for two distinct chips.

    It is up to the above three companies to prove to Dell (and Intel) that AMD is a viable alternative by speaking with their dollars and buying Opteron servers
    • Re:Business Choice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:25AM (#12269754) Journal
      Also, people here tend to assume that there's only one acceptable answer to any business question. (Partly becuase they turn everything into An Epic Struggle Between Good And Evil, partly out of simple economic illiteracy.)

      There is no reason why there can't be a viable, profitable market for AMD-based servers and for it simultaneously not to be in Dell's interest to pursue it. There's room for both Dell and Sun (and Alienware and white box vendors) to coexist, just like, believe it or not, it's possible for both Americans and Indians to have jobs.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:48AM (#12269331)
    If Dell decided to use Intel and AMD processors, they would have to dedicate resources to another product line. It's likely that for all their different models, Dell has a very limited number of motherboards and other such pieces of hardware. If they were to adopt AMD, they would have to dedicate development and support resources to a whole other set of product lines. It's just not worth it. They have their designs that work, they have their production lines in place, and they have their customer service set up. Adding AMD just makes things doubly complicated and eats into their profit margins. There is a huge barrier to adoption that they are just not going to be able to justify, no matter what the "demand" seems to be. People think AMD boxes would be cheaper, but for Dell to support them, they would not be.
    • this is the way very conservative business people talk as they set themselves up to lose to their competitors.
      • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:59AM (#12269462)
        And people who don't think about what new developments will cost them risk their entire business. I'm not saying I'm happy that Dell doesn't offer AMD chips. I'm saying that, based on what I've had to learn about business, I would say that it falls right in line with what I would suggest if I were Dell. Dell runs their business on low-profit-margin computers. More than a few customer support calls from you, and they haven't made any money from your purchase. That's how this sort of business works. It's very tightly controlled--manufacturers of commodity equipment have to make sure they make a profit while pricing low enough to beat their competitors. It's very difficult to do this.
      • by Aphrika ( 756248 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:18AM (#12269695)
        Yes, although with Dell, sticking to their guns will ultimately keep their costs down.

        The reason is the way Dell do business. They have very little inventory, and an incredibly streamlined build process. Adding an additional CPU to the mix means that it would need to be rolled out across a number of servers, meaning more components, more suppliers, more support and more staff. In the end, people buy from Dell because they're Dell, not because they sell Opterons. So the net effect here is that by competing against another 3 manufacturers in Opteron territory, they're making the choices harder for their own customers who want Dell and don't give a monkey about what's in it.

        I can agree that product range is a great idea, but that's the key to confusion and lack of product identity rather than choice. I came across a company recently that sold 30 models of laptop, 44 mono laser printers and 41 types of colour inkjet. Some of those products were competing against each other and certainly didn't have time to research it so I didn't buy.

        That company was HP, and I certainly think some conservative business talk could help them out right now.
  • 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.
    • Dell is so entrenched in the corporate computing market now that a change would have to be motivated by dire need. For example, if a company just NEEDED that dual core performance and all that, I think a company would make an 'exception' but keep on buying Dell for all other cases.

      So essentially until a desktop OS that requires it is adopted, then "good enough" will continue to be the rule... and that's Intel's new place in the business -- "Intel: It's good enough"
    • If memory serves me right, I believe that Compaq came out within seconds telling anyone who would listen that they had i386 processors now
      Intel announced the 80386DX in October of '85. Almost a year later, Compaq announced the Deskpro 386, the first 16MHz 80386 based computer. IBM followed up six months after that with the 20MHz microchannel PS/2 model 80.
  • Not to flame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kipsaysso ( 828105 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:48AM (#12269336) Homepage Journal
    But if you are buying a Dell PC then you probably do not care to horribly much about the microseconds that AMD can buy in you in comparison to the Intel chip.

    Which isn't to say your 12 year old doesn't, but that is besides the point.
    • Re:Not to flame (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fallacy: Dell only sells cheap bottom-of-the-barrel boxen to people who don't know anything about computers.

      Fact: Dell is a huge supplier of servers for small-office and enterprise use.

      • Re:Not to flame (Score:3, Insightful)

        by badfish99 ( 826052 )
        Your "fact" doesn't disprove your "fallacy". Since when did the people who know anything about computers get to make the purchasing decisions? That's the job of the ignorant managers!
    • Re:Not to flame (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bloodredsun ( 826017 )
      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 ti
  • 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
  • by mindaktiviti ( 630001 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:50AM (#12269349)
    Could it be that Dell's customers are not asking for AMD? Maybe performance isn't a big issue for checking your email and typing out that King Lear essay?

    I think the disadvantage here is that Dell sometimes supplies companies with computers and they're the ones without a big choice. Home users tend to pick dell because it's the easy thing to do.
    • 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 th
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:50AM (#12269356)
    HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems have all announced that they are going to release servers based on the new AMD chip.

    Dell has never offered AMD. Yet they have grown to be the largest PC company in the world. HP and Compaq can combine and Dell still outperforms them. IBM decides to sell off their PC division. Sun is fighting for its life.

    I'm a big fan of AMD, but the "everybody else is doing it" argument has always been a stupid one. It is more stupid when "everybody else", even combined, have withered against the "not everybody else" competition.

  • Dell is afraid... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xeon4life ( 668430 ) <<devin> <at> <devintorres.com>> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:51AM (#12269362) Homepage Journal
    Verily, I hear the propaganda spewing from the mouths of the less computer savvy: Somehow they've been brainwashed through the years, I assume by Intel's Blue Men.

    "B-b-but, it's Pentium 4 EXTREME Edition with HT Technology!!1one"

    "B-b-but, Intel's better for gaming!"

    "B-b-but, If it's not Intel Inside(tm), then it's not worth a damn!"

    "B-b-but, Is Windows XP even compatible with AMD?"
  • 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.
    • Exactly. If we had a "Dell still Intel only" every time a rumor of Dell using AMD turned out to be just Dell playing wth Intel for pricing concessions, people around here would have screamed themselves hoarse crying "Dupe!" before we ever saw the opposite "Dell embraces AMD" story.
  • We used dell hardware (windows enviornment) for 2 years, and switched right back to HP.

    The hard drives constantly crashed, raid never worked, and restoring from tape during production time was constant. Parts were never available, and the constant response from their help desk was "flash the bios" or "flash the firmware" when it pertained to nothing that was going on.

    At one point they were just sending us new servers for free to fix the broken ones. Note: Those new ones then broke constantly as well.

    I think there are plenty of other reasons to switch from dell than a lack of an AMD chip in a server.

    (note: I do like dell workstations and home PCs and laptops... just not their servers)
    • We have been using Dell for the last 8 years and my experience has been just to opposite. I have had a Dell field service tech fly in at midnight with parts in hand to help fix a bad Array Enclosure. I have also had their tech support guys stay on the phone and help rebuild a Domain controller when a drive went bad. On the HP / Compaq side if the house (about 50/50 these days) I have had more problems with bad drives, power supplies, etc. Their support is OK but I have to call them more often. This is in a
    • by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:28AM (#12269772) Homepage
      I'd buy HP's ProLiant line, but not their PCs.

      Dell is all about low margin *parts assembly*. Works fine for destops.

      When we had a drive fail in a PowerVault 220S, Dell sent out a tech to replace the drive, and the entire RAID-5 volume got hosed. That's just simply not supposed to happen. Doesn't happen with the Sun boxes we have here, nor the CPQ/HP ProLiants. The Sun and HP boxes are engineered as systems. The Dell relied on a rebadged Adaptec card, a rebadged copy of Volume Manager, and tech support who don't know anything about how the parts work together.

      If your IT stuff is done right, desktops are essentially disposable. Servers, not so much. Restoring a terabyte from tape is still a slow proposition, especially with network-based backup.
    • by hng_rval ( 631871 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:01PM (#12270202)
      I was agreeing with you until I saw I do like dell workstations and home PCs and laptops

      Dell laptops are the worst brand of laptops you can buy. They break constantly. I go to school with 200 people who own a Dell laptop. Without fail, everyone I know with a Dell laptop has had very big problems.

      If you're not buying a Mac, you're much better off with an IBM [ibm.com] or Panasonic [panasonic.com] or a lesser-known brand [abspc.com]
    • You neglected to mention the Dell 1U Xeon machines that catch on fire. Those were pretty neat. Let me tell you, replacing the motherboard in a bunch of 1U servers is not good for your uptime. Neither is fire.

      There's about 100 comments on this page about Dell's amazing manufacturing ability, but it's all ignorant misinformation. Dell relies on Flextronics, Selectron, et al to build practically everything they sell. Dell "integrates" the machine by installing the hard drive and taping up the box. Dell

  • by the_mutha ( 177709 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:53AM (#12269389)
    One thing you can all bet on. Dell does its numbers. If it didn't, it wouldn't be where it is now.

    In the end it ALWAYS comes down to numbers. Intel probably gives Dell quite a discount for having Dell's exclusivety. Most corporate customers don't mind the performance difference, since they will never get fired for buying Intel... on the contrary, in the corporate / server world, Intel has a great reputation.

    The press fanfare generated by such announcements probably is beneficial to Dell. Remember, (almost) any publicity is good publicity. Everyone that read this thread now remembered Dell exists :)

    Don't worry, one day they probably will conclude its more profitable to also sell AMD - probably when AMD manages to give them a nice discount too :)
    • Most corporate customers don't mind the performance difference, since they will never get fired for buying Intel... on the contrary, in the corporate / server world, Intel has a great reputation.

      I'd like to bet that a fair chunk of machines bought for corporate use are going to be used as desktops. For the vast majority of them, there *is* no noticeable performance difference; neither chip is going to get that report written any quicker than the other.

      Sure, I do server-side web-app development, and I'll
  • by CleverNickedName ( 644160 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:56AM (#12269426) Journal
    Dell Computers has no plans to offer the new dual-core AMD Opteron

    Also in the news:
    - Ford has no plans to offer the new Honda engine.
    - Suse has no plans to offer the new SP2 patch.
    - Cadbury's Roses has no plans to offer the new Quality Street fillings.
  • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:56AM (#12269435) 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?

    Any number of reasons come to mind, all pulled from my posterier based on what little I know about Dell's business model and relationship with Intel, but try any of these on:

    1. Dell has a current contract with Intel dictating that only Intel chips can be shipped in their machines
    2. Intel offers a significant price cut on their chips so long as Dell doesn't offer any competing chips
    3. Various aspects of the other chips (heat generation, physical dimensions, whatever) make it impractical for use on Dell's boards
    4. Setting up production lines, testing procedures, quality control, etc, for a new brand of chip is prohibitively expensive
    5. Custom choice is irrelevent when you're still making profits; clearly, Dell's customer base largely doesn't care, and the risk of losing them is minimal. Most likely, the kind of user that really cares about performance isn't buying a stock Dell.

    It could be any combination of the above or something else entirely. Maybe Dell is just making a horrible business decision, but I'm guessing that they've run the numbers and decided that its in their best interests to stay the course. Decisions that seem to be perplexing to us almost boil down to money. Their financial analysts have convinced management that the company is best served this way.

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

    Right or wrong, markets have inertia. If there isn't enough demand for AMD chips from Dells' huge corporate customers then it makes little business sense to expend effort on providing them. Unfortunately, the technology isn't the only factor here. When sufficient demand exists, expect Dell to get rather more keen on AMD products.

    The other factor is AMD's manu

  • 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!
    • 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 stretch0611 ( 603238 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:00AM (#12269476) Journal
    Just after the surprise announcement that Dell won't do intel, Microsoft came out and announced that it has no plans to offer MS Office for Linux.

    These announcements have shocked the geek community so bad that highly intelligent virgins all over the world are committing suicide.

  • I can think of one reason DELL may be willing to play keep away with AMD - an exclusive supplier agreement.

    It isn't illegal to have one and it may be a key into DELL's low costs. By negotiating large contracts with vendors from graphics card to CPUs they can get only such a price break, but if DELL, the world leader in desktop computing, agrees to use your computer widget exclusively, well that is worth another penny or two per thingamajig, which adds up to $M for DELL's net profits.

    Intel is savvy enough
    • by philipgar ( 595691 ) <pcg2@@@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.

  • Dell's image has been suffering in the Business World for the last year. They been forced to move their Business support back to the states, due to the ID10ts they hired to outsource their support, there are major flaws to their servers, and their sizing tools are the stupidest in the world.

    We are transitioning to IBM Intel Boxes. Main reason we use Intel Boxes, our software vendors tell us to.

  • *News* for nerds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wolfger ( 96957 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `regflow'> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:02AM (#12269502) Homepage
    Since when is Dell not using AMD news? It seems to me that "Dell still not using AMD" is a news article here about once per quarter. Let's just wait for them to actually use AMD, and then post that story. Hearing "nothing's changed" over and over again gets kinda.... boring.
  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:04AM (#12269529)
    check it out here [eweek.com]
  • by un1xl0ser ( 575642 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:07AM (#12269556)
    AMDs consume less power, and run much cooler.

    I don't know how many people are thinking about the cost of infrastructure to host servers, but that is another reason to use AMD based systems.
  • In other news... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bayerwerke ( 513829 )
    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?
  • Dell has never really been known as an innovative company, so there's no surprise they won't be using AMD's dual core chips anytime soon. Dell won't join the AMD party until it thinks it's safe and things sour a bit with Intel. In the meantime, competitors who live a bit on the edge will be able to make some progress, but not much, since quite honestly, the cutting edge market is probably only a fraction the size of the play it safe business market.
  • Whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MankyD ( 567984 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:09AM (#12269585) Homepage
    Who cares? Customers buy on a price/performance scale. If Dell doesn't meet there needs, they'll go somewhere else. Yes, brand names are important, but Dell isn't the only big gun out there - just the only one without AMD support.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:11AM (#12269625)
    At a conference, Michael Dell spoke about this issue, indirectly. He argued that if Dell can satisfy most of the demand with a smaller number of parts, it will do that. I've heard other Dell managers speak and the magic number is usually 3 -- 3 graphics cards, 3 HD sizes, 3 speed levels, etc. Although Dell's factories are amazing in their ability to pump out customized PCs, each added part variant adds costs to the entire system.

    Dell would rather lose a few percent of sales that drive the costs of the entire factory higher.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:15AM (#12269665)
    Well when you have a company that ships its own lame MP3 player [dell.com] instead of one people might actually want to buy (and I'm not even saying that would have to be an iPod!), then you realize that not all choices they make are really in thier long-term best interests - though Dell thinks they are I'm sure.
  • by thebdj ( 768618 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:19AM (#12269703) Journal
    The odds of them not offering AMD chips hurting their business might as well not exist. The fact is Dell and Intel spend more on Advertising then most the other manufacturers combined. How many of you have seen AMD commercials? This is why AMD is SO much cheaper. They lack the marketing cost that Intel does. I doubt the Blue Man Group comes cheap.

    As for Dell they have always thrown tons of money at Advertising and I would dare say more than most other PC manufacturers with maybe the exception of IBM, though they typically target more business users in the ads it seems. In the end stupid commercial get stupid people to buy stupid things. The smart ones know what they are doing and will buy the best performance for the price.
  • Can you imagine their Indian call center folk trying to even pronounce "AMD Opteron" ?
  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:32AM (#12269838)
    How many "Dell may sell AMD", followed up a few days (or weeks) later by "Dell will remain Intel only" stories do we need? Dell announces every so often that it may offer systems with AMD processors to scare Intel into offering a better deal. I doubt they have ever seriously considered going with AMD, and I don't think that they will anytime soon. These stories are pointless.
  • by spacey ( 741 ) <[moc.rss] [ta] [gro.todhsals-yecaps]> on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:37AM (#12269889) Homepage
    Every quarter or two Dell makes noises about maybe using AMD chips, or some other chips, in some part of its business.

    Then it squeezes more concessions out of Intel to be the flag bearer. They get something - more marketing $$$, better volume margines, etc. that're given to them, and soon the dance starts over again.

    The reason Dell hasn't used AMD to date is, from the customers point of view, because Intel keeps showering them with money. At the same time, HP is making sales here because they've got quad opteron systems. /me *shrugs*

    So be it. If Intel doesn't keep padding Dell's bottom line, then maybe they'll have a 6850 fitted out with opterons next year.

  • 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 Holi ( 250190 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:03PM (#12270234)
    Intel provides a complete solution, not just a processor. They get a rocksolid chipset designed by the same company producing the cpu. With AMD Dell has to deal with 2 companies instead of one. First they must get the cpus from AMD and then deal with a 3rd party for the chipset. With the amount of competition in the chipset arena for AMD chips the focus tends to be on features instead of stability (not saying that all the chipsets are flakey but far more often then intel's).

    Oh and all this from an AMD fanboy.
  • I can answer that. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:09PM (#12270315) Homepage Journal
    Becasue consumers do not care about this technical pissing contest that is going on in the industry. They don't care, because they don't have to. The performence difference is squat in the real world.

    Keeping that in consideration, why spend the extra dollrs supporting another chip that doesn't have brand awareness amoung Dell's customers?

    People don't want faster computers anynmore, they want computers that work and that they don't have to worry about. The want their computers to be the next generation TV. Some may scoff, but the technical challenge of making a computer that worry free is far more challenging then another 10% speed increase that can only be measured running certian programs in lab like conditions.

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:21PM (#12273508)
    AMD has made an interesting choice here, given that Intel has made the opposite decision.

    Usually the only thing preventing a server class cpu from being used on the desktop is price.

    Alternatively, it is shown that fast desktop chips don't automatically make good server chips due to the different type of workload involved. If desktop chips made equally good server chips, then server chips wouldn't exist at all.

    Conclusion: you'll see AMD dual-processor cpus on the desktop before you see Intel dual-processor cpus in servers.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel