AMD, Intel Centrino 2 make strange bedfellows
Advanced Micro Devices is making gains at Hewlett-Packard, even in Centrino 2 notebooks.
AMD thriving in Intel Centrino 2 notebooks? At Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC maker, the answer is "yes."
Although consumer notebooks get most of the press, business notebooks get most of the sales. "The prime purchaser of notebooks still remains, as a segment, business," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during the Intel earnings conference call earlier this week.
Among Hewlett-Packard's slew of upcoming business notebooks (HP Compaq 6730s, 6830s, 6530b, 6930b) with Centrino 2 processors, Advanced Micro Devices' ATI graphics chips figure prominently. And notebooks such as the HP Compaq 6830s and EliteBook 6930p are offered with comparatively high-end AMD-ATI mobile graphics.
"It reflects new design wins," said Dean McCarron, principal at Cave Creek, Ariz.-based Mercury Research.
"Those design wins were locked down last year," new AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said in the company's earnings conference call Thursday, referring to AMD graphics-chip design wins on the Centrino 2 platform. "So, now is when they will start to pay off. (We're) getting 60-plus percent design win share on (Centrino 2)."
The Centrino-2-based EliteBook, for example, packs an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 with up to 256MB of memory. This kind of robust graphics configuration for a business notebook was almost unheard of a year ago when Intel's integrated graphics garnered most of the design wins.
Though Intel's new and improved GMA 4500HD Centrino 2 graphics is offered alongside AMD-ATI graphics in many new HP business notebooks, HP is also selling AMD-only business notebooks based on its Puma platform--AMD's answer to Centrino 2. The upcoming HP Compaq 6735s, for example, offers the AMD Turion X2 Ultra (2.2GHz) with integrated AMD graphics.
Overall, AMD-ATI graphics dominate HP's mainstream business notebook line-up. Out of 16 models listed on HP's "Balanced Mobility" notebook page, a whopping 10 systems are offered with AMD-ATI graphics. And five AMD-only systems appear in the line-up using AMD Turion and Athon X2 processors.
Here are the Intel and AMD processors used in new HP mainstream business notebook PCs:
Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 (2.8GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB)
Intel® Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB)
Intel® Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB)
Intel® Core 2 Duo P8400 (2.26GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB)
AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core ZM-82 (2.2GHz, 2MB L2 cache)
AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core ZM-80 (2.1GHz, 2MB L2 cache)
AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-70 (2GHz, 1MB L2 cache)
AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core QL-60 (1.9GHz, 1MB L2 cache)
AMD Sempron SI-40 (2GHz, 512KB L2 cache)