Dell May Turn to AMD CPUs, Expects Intel Shortage to Extend Into H2 2020

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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 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 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 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 and servers (as seen by growing adoption of AMD's Epyc chips), but also notebooks. We've been seeing AMD processors creep up in more Chromebooks, as well as gaming laptops, like the MSI Alpha 15.  

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. 

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • JamesSneed
    AMD could not have had any better timing to become competitive.
  • joeblowsmynose
    Dell's extreme loyalty to Intel must have its roots in the money the company received from Intel back when they were paying them "very handsomely" to not use AMD parts ...

    The reason I say this is if I run a company and I have vendor A, that is losing me money, has security issues, has competitive products but not that different, costs me much more for my materials etc. and vendor B, which has none of those issues, I don't think I would wait until my company started to go downhill to consider vendor B, when my over reliance on vendor A is what is causing me to lose business.

    Why did it take this long for Dell to even consider properly supplying AMD for their customers ... Epyc has been going strong for three years ... Intel "shortages" have been going strong for almost the same ...? Anyway mostly rhetorical, I think Intel is still "incentivizing" in some fashion at least. MSI CEO hinted also of his extreme loyalty to Intel, and how he had "upset intel" because he had no choice but to start making laptops with ryzen due to Intel shortage impacting his business.

    Anyway maybe its Karma ... AMD had better ensure they take full advantage of the current environment - any slips could cost them, so they have to be in top form over the next few years in order to keep gaining market share.