ANALYSIS: Dell, Lenovo and HP partnerships will help AMD bring competition back into the processor market
AMD is ready to take on Intel again in the central processor market (CPU) with three major PC manufacturer partners who will bring its Ryzen Pro chip into the professional-grade desktops and laptops.
At a launch event in New York, HP Inc, Dell and Lenovo were championed as the trio of companies that will help bring the recently unveiled Ryzen Pro CPU to the enterprise market.
With a suite of configurations available, starting out with the four core Ryzen 3 Pro 1200 chip and topping out with an eight core 16 thread Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X processor, AMD is offering its PC partners a range of CPUs to choose from as well as allowing the company to compete with equivalent Intel chips.
“For AMD to have all of the top three PC OEMs a big milestone in the company’s history,” said Jim Anderson, general manager of AMD’s computing and graphics business. “A strong AMD is good for the entire industry.”
What may seem like corporate bluster was backed up by Anderson with figures that show AMD has seen a 40 percent hike in revenue growth in its computing and graphics division in the first half of 2017, thanks to the release of its consumer range of Ryzen processors and the debut of a new family of Radeon graphics cards that make use of AMD’s latest Vega graphics architecture, as well as the release of its Epyc processors designed for data centre use.
As such, AMD is arguably back in the action in both the commercial and consumer CPU and graphics markets. Previously, Intel’s processors held dominance in the former, while Nvidia’s graphics accelerators held court in the top end of the latter market.
And having AMD back in a competitive position is set to push Intel into being more innovative with its future Core i processors, which for the past few years have offered small hikes in power and improve energy efficiency, arguably due to Intel not needing to push the limits of its chips because it faced little competition in the market.
Anderson highlighted that AMD’s new bevy of processors is “really going to catalyse new innovation and competition within the industry, and that’s going to be good for everybody; that’s going to be good for the entire industry, with the exception of maybe one company in Santa Clara, California”, slightly taunting Intel in the process.
However, even with big PC partners on board, AMD’s targeting of professional Ryzen and Radeon product lines at the commercial world only makes sense if there is an appetite for machines with professional-grade performance.
But AMD was not shy in coming forward with its customers, showcasing the likes of brewer Heineken, aerospace giant Boeing, and Schneider Electric’s digital division, all of which have been using PCs with Ryzen Pro and have reported strong performance for workloads that require multitasking with many applications, tapping into into the multi core and multi thread capabilities of the chip.
Maulik Pandya from HP’s commercial desktops division highlighted the importance of having the compute power in business PCs to compete with workloads that are becoming more intensive than simply using Microsoft Office.
“We’re not doing one thing at a time any more all day long,” he said, going on to explain how HP’s EliteDesk 705 uses both the Ryzen Pro and Radeon Pro hardware to bring the power needed to make use of virtual reality in a commercial setting rather than leave it in the consumer and enthusiast world.
Dell took this further with the company’s vice president of commercial client solutions Tom Tobul noting that despite the rise of people using tablets and hybrid devices for work, 81 percent of workers still use a desktop for at least half of their working day meaning there is an appetite for performance-orientated workstations and PCs.
“[The] commercial desktop is important,” he said. “Desktops are important to our customers, desktops are where work continues to get done by [client] employees.”
With this in mind Tobul announced Dell’s OptiPlex 5055 desktop will sport the Ryzen Pro, with other Dell products set to make deeper use of AMD’s processor and graphics technology across its commercial, consumer and data centre portfolio.
All this means AMD is now well positioned to make a come back into the PC hardware market across the board, rather than in customer consumer products such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One where its chipsets hold sway.
And as a result, we can expect this injection of competition to force the likes of Intel to be more innovative and keep compelling Nvidia to keep pushing it consumer and commercial products further, all of which should benefit the end users, from large organisations to PC enthusiasts.