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Dell Still Intel Only

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the dude-you-overpaid-for-your-dell dept.

Intel 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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what (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269280)

who gives a crap what chip vendor they choose to use? the pc market isn't a monopoly.

Re:what (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269421)

Brilliant moderation there!

Mod this one 'insightful'.

SFW (5, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#12269283)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269317)

I mean "and made a business decision".


Re:SFW (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

ePhil_One (634771) | about 9 years ago | (#12269624)

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.

Re:SFW (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 9 years ago | (#12269427)

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 (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#12269500)

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.

Especially with Intel advertising subsidies (3, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | about 9 years ago | (#12269674)

I know that Intel will subsidize your advertising budget if you go all-Intel. I wonder how much of it is a matter of mindshare through advertising... get Intel to pay more of your marketing costs, you can cut margins on your servers.

Re:SFW (4, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | about 9 years ago | (#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...

DONGS, LOL. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269291)


Dude! (5, Funny)

TimeTrav (460837) | about 9 years ago | (#12269292)

Dude! Youre not getting a dualcore!


OT Flashback... (-1, Offtopic)

cuzality (696718) | about 9 years ago | (#12269316)

Dude, you're getting arrested! [cnn.com]
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Benjamin Curtis, better known as the "Dell Dude" from the computer company's television commercials, was released from jail Monday after being arrested on Manhattan's Lower East Side on suspicion of trying to buy marijuana....

Wolf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269293)

how melodramatic

from the duh dept. (4, Interesting)

bersl2 (689221) | about 9 years ago | (#12269294)

It's Dell. They use these rumors to get a better deal from Intel.

Or so I've heard.

Re:from the duh dept. (5, Informative)

harrkev (623093) | about 9 years ago | (#12269323)

You, sir, are correct. One of the most insightful explanations that I have read can be found here, [overclockers.com] in an article entitled "Dell and AMD." Worth a read, even for an article that is two months old.

dell == intel's bitch (0, Troll)

Suppafly (179830) | about 9 years ago | (#12269299)

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

Because the loss of customer's is less than the bribes they get from intel.

Re:dell == intel's bitch (1)

edittard (805475) | about 9 years ago | (#12269439)

Because the loss of customer's
It's not a loss of customer's[1]. It's a lose of customers, did you read TFA?

[1] And while we're at it, customer's what? You appear to have left out the name of the mysterious thing that belongs to the customer.

Makes perfect business sense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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

Re:Makes perfect business sense (1)

SorcererX (818515) | about 9 years ago | (#12269333)

They really expect the AMD based Dell's to be so much better than the Intel ones that they'd make AMD run out of cpus?

Re:Makes perfect business sense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269420)

They really expect the AMD based Dell's to be so much better than the Intel ones that they'd make AMD run out of cpus?

Business parterners that can't meet demand are a liability. AMD has a very limited manufacturing capability compared to Intel. 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.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (4, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | about 9 years ago | (#12269642)

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.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (5, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | about 9 years ago | (#12269469)

The supply chain that supports Dell's business is insanely demanding, and there's a lot more to it than merely producing enough CPU's. It's having the right number of each variety in place at a particular point in time - not too early, certainly not late. Integrating a new CPU supplier into that chain would be a HUGE risk for Dell, so the benefit would have to be overwhelming for them to pursue it...

Re:Makes perfect business sense (0)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#12269619)

That's garbage. This is STRICTLY POLITICAL. The day Dell offers AMD processors, Intel market shares will be cut significantly.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (5, Insightful)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | about 9 years ago | (#12269446)

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.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (0)

Donny Smith (567043) | about 9 years ago | (#12269501)

>If customers didn't care, they'd pick the faster AMD chip.

AMD's chips are faster?

Re:Makes perfect business sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269576)

Welcome to reality. Nice of you to join us.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (0)

arglesnaf (454704) | about 9 years ago | (#12269617)

Historically in desktop and gaming benchmarks. Faster processing does not not necessarily mean faster clockspeed.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | about 9 years ago | (#12269606)

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.

Re:Makes perfect business sense (1, Offtopic)

Edie O'Teditor (805662) | about 9 years ago | (#12269483)

Most end user's don't care
Most end user's pet halibuts don't care?
Most end user's trousers don't care?
Most end user's toenails don't care?

Seems silly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269301)

Dell seems to be inflexible. Why not pick the performance leader?

Re:Seems silly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269516)

Because Dell is about selling the most boxes, not about performance?

Dell = intel = Microsoft (they show you big numbers, nothing else)

Re:Seems silly (1)

globalar (669767) | about 9 years ago | (#12269605)

Technical performance does not mean profitability.

Flexibility is partly perception. To a non-technical person (i.e. most shareholders), it is almost entirely superficial in terms of techonology (ex. Mhz) and mostly focused on a firm's market position, product-line up, P/E, etc. In other words, technical figures are secondary to profit figures hands down.

Dell is interested in profit. Performance, customer satisfaction, and quality are all seconds to this. Arguably, a mass distributer of desktops cannot hold huge market share and make a profit without meeting the bare minimum of what buyers want and little else. As long as Intel serves this role, there is no incentive to pull away from a business partnership.

Linked to this is also what shareholders think. Intel is still a huge name outside the tech sector. This has very strong influence. MBA textbooks and generic computer courses often cite Intel chip brands by name (the Pentium brand is probably much better known than the Athlon brand). As long as Dell's CEO pays lip service to considering alternatives, some shareholders will be satisfied that Dell's relationship with Intel strengthens the firm overall - by brand and by "quality." And of course, share price does not necessarily reflect technical merits at all.

Besides, what are percieved as "good" business contracts beat quality almost all the time in almost every industry.

What kind of performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269673)

Marketing-driven GHz wars? Intel wins.

In-place supply chain and logistics for delivering thousand upon thousands of multiple types of CPUs reliably? Intel wins.

What does AMD win? Real-world, measured performance. While true, that's not really relevant for using office software, sending emails, or even posting on /.

Because (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | about 9 years ago | (#12269308)

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 (1, Interesting)

Maestro4k (707634) | about 9 years ago | (#12269477)

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.

Too bad old Rover isn't here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269696)

cuz he sure would have liked these bones...

"May we strive to be the people our dogs think we are"

mmmmm tastes like ham, only sweeter

Intel Paper-Launch(TM) (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Paper Launch story at The Inquirer (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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.

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269321)

Generalísimo Franco is still dead.

No compete with Intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269322)

You know Dell has signed some deal with Intel where if they only sell intel they get cheaper chips. Dell would not pass up $$$ otherwise.

1. Agree to sell only intel chips.
2. Get very cheap chips
3. Profit!!

Business Choice (4, Insightful)

teiresias (101481) | about 9 years ago | (#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

It would not be good for Dell's bottom line (5, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:It would not be good for Dell's bottom line (2, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 years ago | (#12269351)

this is the way very conservative business people talk as they set themselves up to lose to their competitors.

Re:It would not be good for Dell's bottom line (3, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:It would not be good for Dell's bottom line (1)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#12269530)

very conservative business people talk as they set themselves up to lose to their competitors
Sorry, but it's just a myth that conservative businessmen always lose out to the adventurous. It just seems like that sometimes because the adventurous businessman
a) Makes a better news story
b) Often likes to blow his own trumpet about success.

Besides, "Entrenched firm kills startup" is not news. "Startup kills entrenched firm", that's news.

Re:It would not be good for Dell's bottom line (3, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

History: Failure to learn, doomed to repeat (4, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#12269334)

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.

Re:History: Failure to learn, doomed to repeat (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 9 years ago | (#12269536)

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"

Not to flame (5, Insightful)

Kipsaysso (828105) | about 9 years ago | (#12269336)

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 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269677)

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.

Hmmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269339)

Maybe AMD should buy Intel for $3.4B.

Just dont' buy a Dell. (2, Interesting)

intheory (261976) | about 9 years ago | (#12269340)

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.

Dell's customers not asking? (5, Insightful)

mindaktiviti (630001) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Dell's customers not asking? (3, Interesting)

webwalker (15831) | about 9 years ago | (#12269505)

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. :^)

Does Dell really need AMD (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Does Dell really need AMD (2, Insightful)

meestaplu (786661) | about 9 years ago | (#12269678)

HP and Compaq can combine and Dell still outperforms them.

I'm fairly sure they already have.

Dell is afraid... (5, Insightful)

xeon4life (668430) | about 9 years ago | (#12269362)

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?"

Re:Dell is afraid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269510)

"B-b-but, Is Windows XP even compatible with AMD?"

Yes, but only with the AthlonXP

Re:Dell is afraid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269552)

You are way, way, way emotionally overinvested in AMD...

Of course. (4, Interesting)

cnelzie (451984) | about 9 years ago | (#12269363)

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.

Re:Of course. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 9 years ago | (#12269661)

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.

Why they will NEVER buy AMD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269369)

Jews only business I'm afraid. hint to AMD drop your prices to Dell really low to hurt Intel, Dell will never buy from you anyway.

There are many other reasons to switch from dell (4, Informative)

acherrington (465776) | about 9 years ago | (#12269374)

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)

Too big to care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269382)

I guess when your company revenue for the past year was $49.2 billion Dell.com [dell.com] why bother to offer anything other than Intel? Especially when Intel wouldnt take too kindly to it. Plus who would want to get rid of those "wonderful" intel Integrated Graphics Devices....

Don't underestimate a company as big as Dell (5, Insightful)

the_mutha (177709) | about 9 years ago | (#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 :)

MOD PARENT UP (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Listen to me Dell..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269398)

Look you guys, our university has gone through the server ranks: Netware on Compaq, Netware on Netframe(ug), Windows on Compaq, Windows on Dell. I can see approx 60 servers in racks in our server room. We can save money by using higher performance AMD dual core (since we may need fewer high end servers), We will, you will have lost, and joined the ranks of Compaq on our campus.

Then, just like Compaq, our desktop purchases go to the same company that sells servers and suddenly, it's two million bucks a year.

Make Sense?

Simple (0)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 9 years ago | (#12269406)


They sell Intel only for the same reason they're a Windows only shop [well for the majority]. They're gonna milk the "wintel" success to the very last drop if it takes a decade or two to get there...

Which, interestingly enough, is why you shouldn't buy dell machines [or gateway, or compaq or ...].

Walk into a local retail shop, design your own computer from the ground up and get what you *actually* want not just *what the cheapest thing Dell will hawk on ya* thing is.

Sure I paid more than 399$ for my machine... I also got a workstation that is efficient and lets me do my work (and play games) ... oh and it doesn't churn through 250W constantly and even at full load [where it's much faster than the average Intel offering] it consumes less power makes less heat, etc...


Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | about 9 years ago | (#12269518)

Only on slashdot could someone proclaim "M O N O P O L Y BUIS-NESS!" and 3 sentences later say you can walk into a local retailer and purchase a cheap, customized version of this supposedly monopolized resource.

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 9 years ago | (#12269636)

I run what I want, not what they want to sell me. e.g. an AMD64. ... the P4 I recently bought was because "facing reality" means using the same platform your customers will.

Personally the P4 bothers me. It takes a wack of power and it's so f'ing slow by comparison...


In Other News (5, Funny)

CleverNickedName (644160) | about 9 years ago | (#12269426)

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.

To answer your question... (5, Insightful)

stlhawkeye (868951) | about 9 years ago | (#12269435)

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.

Re:To answer your question... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269579)

Another possibility is that Dell is just waiting. We have our Dell reps in here almost every month, and they are pretty open about Dell not being an innovator. They typically let somebody else be the pioneer ("pioneers get most of the arrows"), and they come in later, mass-produce, and undercut everybody on price.

Not trying to flame anybody, as this has been told to me numerous times by Dell reps. Seems to be true in a lot of cases.

Re:To answer your question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269590)

no.s 1 and 2 are correct, as for 3,4 and five, not really, the Dell manufacuring plants are very efficient, Intel make the boards as well as the chips so presumably Dell would just buy in boards for the Amd chips if they switched. The changeover would involve relatively minor alterations to their cases. Dell customers do want Amd, I know this because I was a Dell salesman - not all of them certainly but there is a growing call for it. But as others have pointed out, only a change in the bottom line will cause a change in Dell's thinking.

Maybe the time isn't right for an alternative! (2, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 9 years ago | (#12269448)

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 manufacturing capacity. I imagine Dell would be wary about going for AMD if they had concerns about this.

Dell's not stupid... (4, Interesting)

dmayle (200765) | about 9 years ago | (#12269452)

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...

Better performance? (1)

0kComputer (872064) | about 9 years ago | (#12269454)

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

Better performance, hmmm, this statement kind of makes me think we have an AMD fanboy on our hands. I think we all know that those "perfomance tests" are inflated and really don't tell you much about how the processor is actually going to perform. Intel has HT while AMD has 64 bit addressing, both seem to do well under certain circumstances, but I wouldn't say one is clearly better than the other.

and their tech support... (5, Interesting)

LegendOfLink (574790) | about 9 years ago | (#12269464)

...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!

flogging a dead horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12269471)

this weeks decision by Dell is no different than the last week, or the week before, or the week before that.

This isn't an article, it's a PING PONG for Dell and if they are ever going to use AMD CPU's or not.

Maybe this has something to do with it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#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.

In other news... (4, Funny)

stretch0611 (603238) | about 9 years ago | (#12269476)

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.

Exclusive supplier agreements? (1)

amichalo (132545) | about 9 years ago | (#12269489)

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 to get into this kind of pact with DELL. Here's a slighylt off topic story but it speaks to Intel's marketing wit.

Back in the 80's a marketing study was done to see what IT names people thought of when they thought Personal Computers. The usual suspects were there of course, Microsoft, IBM, even Apple. But strangely absent was the one company who's hardware was arguable at the heart of ever IBM compatible PC in the 80's - Intel. No one knew of them and when customers don't even know who you are, you risk being replaced by competition.

So Intel embarked on the "Intel Inside" campaign. They came up with the sticker that adorns just about every PC with an Intel processor as well as the doo-doo-doo tone we hear at the end of DELL, Gateway, HP, and other computer maker commercials.

But how did they get manufacturers to add stickers and 3 seconds of their 30 second commerical on Intel? With Money! Intel offered to share the cost of TV ads, radio, and print if manufacturers would put the sticker on and have the logo and doo-doo-doo tone on EVERY ad.

The campaign worked. Intel had another study done X months after the campaign launched and they shot up to one of the top on the list.

You can find out more from Intel [intel.com] and Google.

Dell Servers (1)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | about 9 years ago | (#12269497)

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? (2, Insightful)

Wolfger (96957) | about 9 years ago | (#12269502)

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.

Why not both? (1)

corevps (871362) | about 9 years ago | (#12269531)

Well I'm sure Intel would make their discount lower which would actually end up lowering their profits

Another reason to use AMD (5, Insightful)

un1xl0ser (575642) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Another reason to use AMD (4, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#12269686)

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.

In other news... (2, Interesting)

bayerwerke (513829) | about 9 years ago | (#12269578)

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 Is Not That Innovative (1)

blueZhift (652272) | about 9 years ago | (#12269582)

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 (2, Insightful)

MankyD (567984) | about 9 years ago | (#12269585)

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.

Because Micheal Dell likes to reduce complexity (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

Hardly surprising given other choices they make (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 years ago | (#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.

AMD should thank Dell... (1)

chicago_scott (458445) | about 9 years ago | (#12269683)

Dell would only give AMD a bad name. It's hard to wash off that Dell stink once you've come into contact with it.
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