Gateway Retail Dumps Intel for AMD CPUs

Irvine (CA) - Gateway officially announced its new high-end retail desktop PC offering. And if you haven't seen these PCs in your local Best Buy already, there's a surprise: At least for now, the company has stopped offering Intel quad-core processors in its retail configurations and is using AMD quad-core Phenom 9500 and 9600 processors instead.

Gateway now offers three different Phenom quad-core configurations in U.S. retail stores. In addition to the Phenom 9600-based FX7020 gaming PC (priced at $1100), the company now ships what could be considered the first mainstream quad-core PC in retail, the GT5662, as well as a higher end multimedia version called the GM5664.

The GT5662 model includes a Phenom 9500 (2.2 GHz) processor, 3 GB of memory, a 256 MB ATY 2400 XT graphics card and a 500 GB hard drive. Without a monitor, the MSRP of this system is $750 - below the critical $800 mark, which is generally considered the entry-point to the mainstream segment of desktop PCs. This model replaces last season's GT5628, which came with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4 GHz) CPU, 3 GB memory, an Nvidia GeForce 8500GT graphics card and a 500 GB hard drive for an MSRP of $850.

The GM5664 is pricier at $1150 (without monitor) but not only upgrades the GT5662 to a 2.3 GHz Phenom 9600 chip and a 1 TB hard drive, but also includes a hybrid HD DVD/Blu-ray drive and a TV tuner.

For the entry-level market, Gateway introduced two new eMachines systems: The new T3642 $350 model comes with a single-core Athlon processor, 1 GB of memory and a 250 GB hard drive, while T5246 includes an Athlon X2 dual-core chip as well as 2 GB of main memory and a 400 GB hard drive for $430.