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AMD announces Business Class PCs
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You are currently in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
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Mon May 05, 2008 6:52 pm Reply and quote this post
AMD IS INTRODUCING its new Business Class platform, and isdoing it using the letter B and three prongs. Those are longevity, efficiencyand manageability.
The geeks out there will want to know the hardware stuff first, and in ablinding flash of common sense so often missing in the CPU world, AMD did theright thing in naming the new CPUs. All of the Business class CPUs will have thesuffix 'B' appended to them but are otherwise the same as existing parts. Thereare seven CPUs, an X4 9600B, X3 8600B, X2s 5400B, 5200B, 5000B, 4450B and asingle core Athlon 1640B. The Phenoms are 95W, the last two are 45W and the restare 65W parts.

AMD Business Class logo
The new part of this is the guaranteed 24-month availability and a three-yearwarranty for tray parts. CPUs don't go bad ever, or at least VERY rarely do, sothis is just to make CIO/CTO types feel good about themselves. Feeling good isthe main plank of longevity, one of the three pillars mentioned above.
That is backed up by an 18 month guaranteed availability for the 780Vchipset, the little brother of thelauded780G. This one is a downclocked 780G without HD video decode and HybridCrossfire fused off and runs at 350MHz instead of 500. Other than that, it isthe same great chipset that the 780G is. It should be more than enough forbusiness uses, and even supports two monitors.
Combine this with a validated mobo program, and you have something thatcorporations like a lot, a stable platform that does not change even at the BIOSlevel. This lowers TCO and that makes CxOs even happier so they can go golfinstead of patching. Validated platforms should live for two years.
The performance and efficiency that AMD is claiming is a bit more tenuous,the chipset performance will stomp Intel, that is quite clear, but the CPU gameis what Intel does best. In any case, in the performance and efficiency stakes,AMD will do OK, the more video related the task is, the better they will fare.The new systems will meet Energy Star 4.0 requirements as well.
For management, Intel has it's Vpro, and AMD is supporting DASH 1.1, a DTMFmanageability standard. Vpro does more, DASH is much more open, take your pick.In any case, it brings AMD back into the manageability game, something you flatout need to be in business desktops.
It isn't 100 per cent there yet, but anything that they sell now under theAMD Business Class banner should be compatible when DASH is rolled out in 2H/08.Both Marvell and Broadcom will put out silicon that supports DASH, so look forone of them on every AMD Business Class mobo or system
If you want an AMD Business Class system, you can get it one of two ways, buyor build. The buy is generally is easiest, with Dell, HP, Lenovo,Fujutsu-Siemens and Acer rolling out boxes today with the new logo on it.Basically, everyone that matters will be selling them
Back to the mobo side of things, AMD has had a validated mobo program for awhile, and it had longevity, better support and a pre-failure replacementprogram to offer people. The programme was available only in the US and EU, butnow it is sort of expanded everywhere. The mobos themselves will be soldworldwide, but the support outside of the US and EU will be provided by the OEMsthemselves.
In addition to the 'B' on the CPUs, the boxes will be changed to reflect theBusiness Class status. The CPU boxes will be a little more frumpy, and the moboswill have the same frumpy markings. Think colours, not metallic demons and bustybabes with flamethrowers.

Business Class box art
The last thing AMD is going to do for system builders is to provide atemplate for ads to allow them to put out branded ad campaigns. Think an AMD adwith a vendor's PC taking up about half the page.
In the end, this will take AMD into territory they don't really play in now.This is an uphill battle, but it is easy to gain market share from almost zero.All the things AMD is proposing are sensible and add value to the end user, sothere is no real down side to this program. The best part? The CPU naming makessense, hear that Intel?

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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