It’s no secret that Intel has had CPU supply issues, and that, of course, has an impact on PC makers. Although high prices can mitigate demand somewhat, it does open the doors for vendors to look toward alternative sources. Now Dell, which has been pretty loyal to Intel over the past 35 years, is looking at using more AMD CPUs in their systems, Yahoo Finance (opens in new tab) reported this week.
Dell CFO Tom Sweet told Yahoo that Dell doesn't expect Intel's shortage to improve until the second half of 2020 and is "evaluating" AMD processors.
This comes after Dell’s most recent financial quarter, in which the vendor saw consumer PC sales fall 6% due to the Intel shortage, according to Yahoo.
AMD’s chips are increasingly competitive against Intel, with the latest generation, Ryzen 3000, CPUs built on a much smaller 7nm fabrication process and significantly outperforming Intel’s chips when it comes to performance per dollar. The further this value gap widens, the more tempting it can be for PC makers to make that switch. This is happening at a time when PC components in general are experiencing significant price drops, with DRAM prices at an all-time low and prices of GPUs (opens in new tab)no longer inflated by the crypto bubble.
This isn’t the first time Dell would be integrating AMD products into its systems, though in the past it was mostly GPUs and a small number of CPUs (opens in new tab)in select PCs. We also don't think a deal with AMD would completely push Intel aside. Rather, if a partnership between Dell and AMD does happen, it will likely mean offering consumers choices, according to demand.
For customers, AMD alternatives should come with lower pricing. And beyond that, it's becoming more clear that AMD's chips are finding homes not only in desktops (opens in new tab)and servers (as seen by growing adoption of AMD's Epyc chips (opens in new tab)), but also notebooks. We've been seeing AMD processors creep up in more Chromebooks (opens in new tab), as well as gaming laptops (opens in new tab), like the MSI Alpha 15 (opens in new tab).
In the interest of competition, we look forward to seeing what a potential CPU partnership between Dell and AMD could bring to the PC market.