Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

VooDoo PC founder weighs in on AMD vs. Intel

Company executive Rahul Sood claims Intel used its muscle to makes gains in the market.

Michael Singer Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Singer
3 min read
Intel can be great to work with--but the company can also drop you like a hot potato, says the founder of VooDoo PC.

Rahul Sood, who serves as president and chief technology officer of the Canadian PC maker, said Wednesday that Intel has applied pressure in the past to change the "ratio" of Advanced Micro Devices processors to Intel chips in VooDoo systems.

"There have been times when Intel has requested that we build our ratio between the number of our AMD computers and the number of our Intel computers higher in favor of Intel--many times, as a matter of fact," Sood wrote in an e-mail to CNET News.com. "We've had allocation issues, where if we don't play ball, we don't get our allocation (of Intel chips). When Intel WAS supporting us they did an awesome job. When they stopped, it was noticeable."

Intel declined to comment on Sood's comments.

Intel's treatment of PC makers and dealers is at the core of an antitrust lawsuit filed by AMD in June. AMD alleges that Intel violates antitrust law by "coercing" PC makers to increase its market share, using marketing dollars or withholding chips and technical information. Intel hotly denies this, stating that its marketing programs and practices are fully legal and that AMD's problems stem from that company's own miscalculations.

PC and chip executives, mostly speaking anonymously, have said that Intel can be a tough negotiator, but they've also said they didn't feel violated by the chipmaker's business practices. Besides, the marketing dollars and tech help came in handy, some said.

Earlier in the week, Sood penned a blog commenting on the recent developments between AMD and Intel. He has been critical of Intel's practices of late and recently wrote an article for Hexus.net titled, "Is it time for Dell to file for divorce?"

The executive recalled his own experience when Intel first began to woo gamer PC companies.

"A number of years ago I remember Intel called us and said they wanted to 'engage' with us. They wanted to work with us on reviews, sampling, marketing, etc.," Sood wrote in his blog. "It was a shock, because up until then Intel never really called on us pro-actively...It seemed as if they wanted to elevate themselves as the 'Ultimate Gaming CPU.'"

"Other than the odd call from our (Intel) sales rep we aren't treated at the same level as we were before," he added in the blog.

Subsequently, Dell entered the market for gamer PCs and the calls from Intel stopped coming as frequently, he said.

"I don't feel slighted by Intel as much as I feel that once they got what they wanted they just forgot about us," Sood wrote in the e-mail. "I believe they wanted to influence gaming to gain some respect amongst gamers. Once Dell took the reins, they just left us wondering what happened."

Dell spokesman Venancio Figueroa said the company would not comment on "competitive rhetoric" and declined to comment on AMD's accusations.

CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos contributed to this report.