Monday, June 19th 2017

Alienware Inks Ryzen Threadripper 16-core Exclusivity Deal with AMD

Alienware has inked an exclusivity deal with AMD which makes it the only pre-built gaming PC vendor to sell desktops with 16-core Ryzen Threadripper processors, until the end of 2017. The company's upcoming Area 51 desktops will feature AMD's flagship 16-core/32-thread processors, combined with quad-channel memory, and the fastest graphics card options money can buy. This does not affect DIY consumers. You will still be able to buy retail PIB (processor in a box) packages of the 16-core Threadripper chips from your friendly neighborhood PC hardware store. Alienware will, however, make its next Area 51 release special to make the most out of this exclusivity deal.

Source: TechTimes
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20 Comments on Alienware Inks Ryzen Threadripper 16-core Exclusivity Deal with AMD

#1
ZeppMan217
Yeah, yeah - another overpriced pre-built. Good for AMD pulling that extra mulla though.
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#2
R0H1T
Not sure that's a good thing, exclusivity, but it might also be a production issue, maybe GF can't keep up with the ever increasing demand of Ryzen+TR+EPYC & Polaris(?) :pimp:
Posted on Reply
#3
Caring1
ZeppMan217 said:
Yeah, yeah - another overpriced pre-built.
I saw an Area 51 just yesterday, it was $5,000 and only an Intel Processor, I could build the same system in a different case for a third of that.
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#4
notb
btarunr said:
Alienware has inked an exclusivity deal with AMD which makes it the only pre-built gaming PC vendor to sell desktops with 16-core Ryzen Threadripper processors, until the end of 2017.
I can't stop thinking that it's not Alienware getting a great exclusive deal. It's AMD fighting for a large vendor after the Ryzen tragedy.
Also, it's not obvious to me whether this is just for "gaming" desktops or all PCs. If the former, how does this deal define a gaming PC? If latter, no Threadripper productivity desktops until 2018, so not before Intel releases its 12+ core CPUs. Pfff...
But I see it's this gaming malarkey all over again...
Caring1 said:
I saw an Area 51 just yesterday, it was $5,000 and only an Intel Processor, I could build the same system in a different case for a third of that.
Maybe you could build a PC cheaper, but most can't. And of course buying a PC from a large vendor is a huge comfort - something that's hard to measure in money or frequencies...
I'm not ashamed to say this: I simply can't afford a Dell workstation, but I would love to get one. Maybe one day. ;-)
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#5
wiyosaya
As I see it, exclusivity is another form of over-priced branding, and I do not necessarily think that this is a smart move for AMD. Throughout the history of pre-built PCs, there have been a number of over-priced brands and pretty much all of them are no longer available, in part because enthusiasts discovered that they could get what they want and similar if not better quality at a much lower price by building their own.

As for me, I will build my next PC.
Posted on Reply
#6
wiyosaya
notb said:

Maybe you could build a PC cheaper, but most can't. And of course buying a PC from a large vendor is a huge comfort - something that's hard to measure in money or frequencies...
I'm not ashamed to say this: I simply can't afford a Dell workstation, but I would love to get one. Maybe one day. ;-)
After having used a Dell workstation at work for the past 7-years, I could easily have built a better workstation at the time my company got this for me probably for less cost or maybe the same amount of money. What big companies like Dell try to do is to get their customers to buy into some sort of mystique they build around their brand. The mystique includes making you think that their brand is better than any other, and that you are getting some extra value that is worth the extra price. For me, there is nothing about this workstation that I could not have done better. There is no enhanced reliability or really anything that makes it worth the extra price, IMO.

Also, another company that I worked for was buying Dell for their product. Essentially, they wiped every machine that came in because there was so much crapware on them. I convinced them to build their own. This was more than ten-years ago, and they are still building their own.
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#7
notb
wiyosaya said:
After having used a Dell workstation at work for the past 7-years, I could easily have built a better workstation at the time my company got this for me probably for less cost or maybe the same amount of money. What big companies like Dell try to do is to get their customers to buy into some sort of mystique they build around their brand.
No. What big companies like Dell do is they provide SUPPORT. That's what you pay for.
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#8
yotano211
This is a bad business deal for AMD but maybe the deal is with only 1 certain model of the 16 core Threadripper. I think there is 3 of them.
If the deal is for all 3 versions, this is a major bad deal for AMD. Alienware is not that large of a player in the overpriced gamer pc market.
Most of the hardcore esports or what ever they are want higher clock speeds not higher core count. Ryzen 7-8 core count is good but it needs higher clock speeds.
Posted on Reply
#9
Chaitanya
notb said:
No. What big companies like Dell do is they provide SUPPORT. That's what you pay for.
Exactly why large OEMs are prefered over custom built PCs in any sort of enterprise environment. Especially with Dell which does offer excellent after sales supports for those environments.
Posted on Reply
#10
wiyosaya
notb said:
No. What big companies like Dell do is they provide SUPPORT. That's what you pay for.
Well, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. The way that I see it is that what companies like Dell provide is an impression of support. Our local IT department does all the support, and, to be honest, the knowledge of the better people using these Dell workstations is beyond that of our local IT department.

Part of why I say this is that I have never had a problem with the workstation. From that aspect, it is no different than any build I have ever done. Choose the right components, and reliability is high. It is not necessarily even choosing the "right components" since most components last for years these days. Perhaps what might not last that long are spinning disk hard drives, but even these last a long time these days.

Also, I contacted SUPPORT when I was working for the company that I convinced to build their own, and I was much less than impressed.
Posted on Reply
#11
Hood
The Dell "support" you pay for is a joke, non-technical people reading from a script. Most of it is trying to deal with all their own crapware, dozens of buggy "utilities" that mostly mine user data, under the guise of helpfully telling you about a "problem". No thanks...
Posted on Reply
#12
Prima.Vera
notb said:

Maybe you could build a PC cheaper, but most can't. And of course buying a PC from a large vendor is a huge comfort - something that's hard to measure in money or frequencies...
As an amateur gamer and PC user, my biggest pleasure is to buy and search for the separate components and then assembly them. Where's the fun in buying a pre-build system? pfff....
Posted on Reply
#13
lexluthermiester
notb said:
It's AMD fighting for a large vendor after the Ryzen tragedy.
What "tragedy" would that be?
Posted on Reply
#14
evernessince
wiyosaya said:
Well, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. The way that I see it is that what companies like Dell provide is an impression of support. Our local IT department does all the support, and, to be honest, the knowledge of the better people using these Dell workstations is beyond that of our local IT department.

Part of why I say this is that I have never had a problem with the workstation. From that aspect, it is no different than any build I have ever done. Choose the right components, and reliability is high. It is not necessarily even choosing the "right components" since most components last for years these days. Perhaps what might not last that long are spinning disk hard drives, but even these last a long time these days.

Also, I contacted SUPPORT when I was working for the company that I convinced to build their own, and I was much less than impressed.
Support used to mean something, then everything went offshore. As you said, if you know anything about computers it's likely easy for yourself. Unfortunately many people don't know squat about computers and do require support, hence why OEM brands are still around.
Posted on Reply
#15
notb
lexluthermiester said:
What "tragedy" would that be?
Absence in pre-built PCs. We've only seen a handful of machines (from gaming rigs to AIOs) from major OEMs.
This is worrying at best.


Prima.Vera said:
As an amateur gamer and PC user, my biggest pleasure is to buy and search for the separate components and then assembly them. Where's the fun in buying a pre-build system? pfff....
As a PC user and gamer, you have most pleasure from building PCs? Have you read this before posting? :)
Posted on Reply
#16
wiyosaya
evernessince said:
Support used to mean something, then everything went offshore. As you said, if you know anything about computers it's likely easy for yourself. Unfortunately many people don't know squat about computers and do require support, hence why OEM brands are still around.
I cannot argue with you. Many people, as you say, don't know squat.
Posted on Reply
#17
lexluthermiester
notb said:
Absence in pre-built PCs. We've only seen a handful of machines (from gaming rigs to AIOs) from major OEMs.
This is worrying at best.
Actually, not at all if you think about it. Most of the major OEM's are validating and designing systems based on Ryzen 3, 5, 7 & 9 at this time. Remember, Ryzen is still less that 6 months "old" and OEM engineering R&D teams need time to run new tech through their in-house validation procedures. They often offer 3, 5 and up to 10 year warranties and they want to make sure they can offer a technology that will be as reliable as possible while being cost effective. Give them time. Dell/Alienware in particular will be releasing Ryzen based products soon. Ryzen performance is there and so is demand, they will answer that demand as soon as they can to take advantage.
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#18
notb
lexluthermiester said:
Actually, not at all if you think about it. Most of the major OEM's are validating and designing systems based on Ryzen 3, 5, 7 & 9 at this time. Remember, Ryzen is still less that 6 months "old" and OEM engineering R&D teams need time to run new tech through their in-house validation procedures. They often offer 3, 5 and up to 10 year warranties and they want to make sure they can offer a technology that will be as reliable as possible while being cost effective. Give them time. Dell/Alienware in particular will be releasing Ryzen based products soon. Ryzen performance is there and so is demand, they will answer that demand as soon as they can to take advantage.
You know that these products are being designed or you think/hope they are? :-)

It's been a month since I wrote that post and not much changes. There are still just few desktops available - usually gaming-oriented. Ryzen is still absent in business-grade stuff and workstations.
Maybe OEMs are waiting for a Zen APU, but by the time AMD decides to release it, Intel will catch up on performance/price and the Ryzen ball will be over.

Or maybe the platform simply isn't robust enough to be offered to corporate clients? Maybe that's why AMD made the weird Ryzen PRO lineup?
Posted on Reply
#19
lexluthermiester
notb said:
You know that these products are being designed or you think/hope they are? :)
Um, what was this article about again? Hmm..
notb said:

It's been a month since I wrote that post and not much changes. There are still just few desktops available - usually gaming-oriented. Ryzen is still absent in business-grade stuff and workstations.
Validation processes take time, especially for enterprise/business grade platforms. AMD effectively surprised the market with Ryzen and most OEM's were caught off guard along with Intel.
notb said:

Maybe OEMs are waiting for a Zen APU, but by the time AMD decides to release it, Intel will catch up on performance/price and the Ryzen ball will be over.
That might happen. However I think AMD has another "AthlonXP/Athlon64" type thing going here. The dynamic is the same, the approach more refined. AMD has yet again taken the industry but surprise and will likely have the performance/price advantage for a number of years to come. This will force Intel to forge ahead, drop their prices and actually compete. Add to this that the general population is swiftly swinging toward mobile as a primary computing platform, and Intel has an uphill battle on it's hands.
notb said:

Or maybe the platform simply isn't robust enough to be offered to corporate clients?
If you think that, you haven't been paying attention and need to review AMD historical trends and compare them to current events. At the science lab I work at we are talking to a major OEM about using Ryzen as a primary platform. Both Ryzen 7 and 9 have amazing scientific potential and with the test systems we've been using, the platform has very real, practical usefulness. It's performance level greatly exceeds that of Intel's offerings at similar price points any even those at nearly twice the price all while offering similar or lower power envelope and thermal requirements.
notb said:

Maybe that's why AMD made the weird Ryzen PRO lineup?
Weird? What's weird about it?
Posted on Reply
#20
notb
lexluthermiester said:
Validation processes take time, especially for enterprise/business grade platforms. AMD effectively surprised the market with Ryzen and most OEM's were caught off guard along with Intel.
All true. But as a result this process takes very long and Ryzen is loosing the early advantage.
With Intel it'll be business as usual. New consumer socket will be implemented almost instantly.
Intel also played nicely with new Xeons. LGA 3647 is not new, so OEM partners will not be surprised by the specification. They might be launched together with Threadripper competition.
AMD has yet again taken the industry but surprise and will likely have the performance/price advantage for a number of years to come.
That's optimistic. X299 is already very close to Ryzen 7 on the lower end and shouldn't be far behind Threadripper. They will cost more, but Intel will make a profit. AMD's profit is still a mystery (in 2 weeks we'll see their Q2 statement).
It's the same in consumer segment. If Intel manages to make a 6-core CPU with single-core performance similar to that of 7700K, it might match Ryzen 8-core variants.
Add to this that the general population is swiftly swinging toward mobile as a primary computing platform, and Intel has an uphill battle on it's hands.
I don't see how this is a problem for Intel any more than it is for AMD. In fact Intel is in a much better situation: they're doing chips for mobile devices, for autonomous cars, for industry etc. It's not great, but still way more diversified than AMD's portfolio.
Both Ryzen 7 and 9 have amazing scientific potential and with the test systems we've been using, the platform has very real, practical usefulness. It's performance level greatly exceeds that of Intel's offerings at similar price points any even those at nearly twice the price all while offering similar or lower power envelope and thermal requirements.
They have the same potential Intel counterparts have. "Nearly twice the price"? i7-7820X will perform better than Ryzen 7 1800X and it costs just $600 compared to $420. And there's a large gap in single-core performance.
But generally speaking: wouldn't you just prefer a computation server rather than powerful PCs? Why not buy a decent server and give people notebooks? :-)
Weird? What's weird about it?
Weird as in: few months after releasing Ryzen, AMD adds another lineup that they themselves describe as "this one is really good". Like if the original Ryzen was an experimental, uncooked platform for early adopters. Why not do it properly from the start?
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