Dell Confirms AMD Notebooks

This is the only headline this morning that caught my eye, and not in the way you’re thinking if you’re a regular reader here.

Dell has confirmed that story that DailyTech reported on last week concerning the company’s plans to put AMD processors in notebooks. A company official who spoke with CNET Asia confirmed that Dell will begin by offering 15.4″ notebooks this October built using Sempron and Turion 64 X2 mobile processors.

“This is not a big deal. In order to remain competitive, we have to make sure that we have [a wide] enough variety of products to meet the market demand,” stated a Dell executive who chose to remain anonymous. “This is a sensitive topic, though we won’t deny the fact that we are working with Dell on desktop and notebook PCs,” said AMD’s general manager of Taiwanese operations. Chou went on to say, “Consumers will be able to buy AMD-based computers from Dell by the end of the year.”

My normal crowd will know that I’ve been just ecstatic over the rumors and confirmed stories of Dell starting to offer AMD-powered machines, but the timing on this seems way off. As some of the commenters at DailyTech have noted, AMD is already stretched to the limits on capacity and they’ve had to drop a few chips from their product line in order to stay somewhat efficient. They have a new fab under construction which is slated to open later this year if I’m not mistaken, but getting even a small percentage of Dell machines will stretch them back beyond their grasp.

Production numbers aside, I have to wonder what end of their body that Dell is thinking with right now. Six months ago, the Athlon 64s, the Opterons, and the low end Sempron processors would’ve been head and shoulders above their Intel counterparts (P4-D, Xeon, and Celeron respectively). But now, Intel is starting to trickle out “Conroe” based processors (for the desktop as well as their new ‘Centrino Duo’ line-up) and they completely obliterate anything currently known to the public to be in the AMD stable. Let me put it in plain English: AMD has nothing on Intel in the notebook market – nothing – and hasn’t for well over a year. What better proof of that do you need other than the fact that I’m writing this entry up on a Intel Centrino powered laptop.

It really hurts me to write this post, because I’m as big of a fan and supporter of AMD as any geek is, and I’m even more of a proponent of choice for the consumer. At the very least, I guess Dell customers will have that – a choice – even if it is for (at the moment) and inferior product.

Hat tip: DailyTech