AMD To Unveil New, Low-Power Desktop Platform - InformationWeek

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5/22/2006
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AMD To Unveil New, Low-Power Desktop Platform

The dual-core AM2's low power consumption will enable building PCs that eliminate noisy fans, allowing system builders to deliver quiet, high-end performance in emerging markets such as the digital home.

AMD is slated Tuesday to unveil its new AM2 desktop platform.

Ron Myers, worldwide infrastructure business development manager for AMD, informed system builders of the upcoming announcement Monday at the Tech Connect XChange in Las Vegas.

The AM2, which will be available to channel partners immediately, is the first major revamp of AMD's desktop platform in two and a half years, Myers said. He said the dual-core AM2 features DDR2 memory for increased performance and virtualization support.

The AM2 announcement marks the release of a new low-power version of the desktop processor aimed at eliminating noisy fans so system builders can deliver quiet high-end performance in emerging markets such as the digital home, Myers said.

"This gives system builders the ability to integrate this solution into some very different areas," he said. "This is going to have an immediate impact in the home."

Myers said the AM2 platform pushes the company's performance lead further despite attempts by rival Intel to catch up. "This steps it up to the next level," he said. "Intel still has catching up to do. This is a big step forward. One of the the things we are excited about is the support we have gotten from the channel and the infrastructure."

Myers said AMD will be releasing new price-per-watt performance figures for AM2. He said the lower price per watt is driving big cost advantages versus Intel even in single server environments for small businesses. "It's not just about faster processors," he said. "It's all about usability and technology driven for customer-centric solutions. With AM2 we are really taking another step."

System builders said the new platform is going to extend the processor vendor's performance lead against rival Intel.

Jerry Oary, CEO of Superior Computers, a Perkin, Ill. system builder that uses AMD exclusively, said the new platform is a sea change for AMD partners. "AM2 is going to change the market in a lot of ways," Oary said. "This gives the channel a chance to prove we can provide lower power costs. It's a whole new architecture with DDR2. That's incredibly important for our customers who are looking for performance and reliability."

Justin Brown, owner of Synergy Assured, a Monterey, Calif., system builder, said AM2 is an exciting development for system builders. "If there is anyplace that Intel is lacking, AMD is ready to fill the void," he said. "AM2 is important in terms of the potential for performance growth and price per watt advantages. This is the future of the competition between AMD and Intel."

Brown said 80 percent of the systems he builds are AMD based because of the performance advantages and AMD's accessibility.

Glen Coffield, president of Cheap Guys Computers, an Orlando Fla. system builder, said he believes AM2 will spark desktop upgrades. "This is a floor to ceiling platform," he said. "AMD is now using DDR2 memory. Before we had two different platforms for AMD, one for the low end and one for the high end."

Nathan Archer, president of X1.0, a Brooklyn, New York system builder, said he is confident AM2 will deliver higher performance with lower power consumption. "With the lower cost per power watt, I think this is going to increase our profit margins," he said, praising AMD as channel friendly with a great product.

Myers said AMD is grateful for the strong support from system builders. "The channel has been the one place that from the beginning has always been a friend," he said. "A lot of the programs and products we are developing are really being driven from their vantage point and specialization which is knowing their customer."

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