Today, for the first time ever, Dell offers customers the option to choose an AMD processor in a Dell Dimension desktop PC system. The new Dell Dimension E521 and Dimension C521 are both AMD processor based systems. The question now is, when do we see notebooks with AMD mobile processors?
Dell actually introduced four new PC systems: the Dimension E520, E521, C521 and XPS 210. The Dimension E520 and E521 are mainstream desktop systems that can be had for cheap, the E520 is offered with the Intel Pentium D or Core 2 Duo processor while the Dimension E521 is offered with AMD Sempron, Athlon 64 or Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors. The Dimension C521 is a slimmed down version of the E520/E521 and is also offered with the same suite of AMD processors as the E521. The XPS 210 is a performance system offered only with Intel Core 2 Duo.
If you visit the Dell.com website for the new Dimensions you’ll see that the AMD based E521 system starts at a significantly lower price than the Intel based E520:
The $329 starting price of the E521 is due to the fact the low-end AMD Sempron 3400+ is offered in the baseline system. The $719 starting price of the Dimension E520 comes with a Pentium D processor. Somewhat interesting is that when you go to configure a Dimension E520 there’s a call-out in that section of the website that says “More value with AMD” in what would appear to be an effort to drive customers to choose the AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core over the same priced Intel Pentium D processsor, below is a screenshot showing this pro-AMD marketing:
So it appears that the AMD and Dell relationship is indeed expanding and Dell is definitely playing up and promoting the AMD offerings on its site. Since Dell introduced AMD processors into servers first, now desktops, the next natural progression is to notebooks. And that will happen.
It will likely be end of October or beginning of November when Dell releases its first AMD based notebooks. First 15.4″ screen notebooks with AMD processors will be released and then later in December a 17″ screen AMD based notebook. This information is based on reports from Digitimes.com and comments made in Taiwan by a Dell executive to ZDNet Asia. We don’t expect the new AMD notebooks to offer much new in terms of design — indeed it’s likely that the same Dell notebooks currently offered will simply be offered with the option of AMD processors. Such as the current Inspiron e1505 being offered as an e1506 following along the lines of the +1 added to AMD Dimension system model numbering.
So a recap of why Dell is offering AMD processors in desktops now and will in notebooks soon:
- HP is Dell’s #1 competitor in the notebook space. HP has offered both AMD and Intel equivalents for all of their notebook systems for a long time. HP has been taking market share from Dell recently and so Dell wants to make sure they offer the same processor options as HP (business related).
- AMD has a lot of budget processor options and lower prices on low-end processors, Dell can offer very aggressively priced systems with low-end AMD processors to capture more of the budget market (business related).
- To give customers more choice options (warm and fuzzy customer relations related)
- So Dell can pit Intel and AMD against one another to get better pricing from each supplier (business related).