In mid-2010 AMD managed to secure several major design wins for its mobile quad-core Phenoms and it appears that vendors are rather keen to embrace these affordable chips.
AMD has managed to carve out a small portion of the entry level market and looking at the prices it is easy to see why. The cheapest AMD-powered quad core notebooks sell for as little as €549 in major European markets, courtesy of Lenovo. However, Lenovo’s Z565 can hardly be described as an entry level notebook. This 15.6-incher packs a 2GHz Phenom N930, HD 5470 graphics, 4GB of memory and 500GB of storage.
Acer’s Aspire 5553 sells for just over €550 and it’s similarly spec’d, although it doesn’t have discrete graphics. HP and Asus are offering similar rigs in the €600 to €650 price range and several smaller vendors also carry AMD’s mobile quads.
Mind you, the cheapest Intel based quad-core notebook sells for €750. Granted, some users prefer Intel in the mobile market for a variety of reasons, but we beg to differ. The price difference is simply a bit too high. AMD quad-core lappies often cost as much as mid range models based on Intel dual-core parts, so they’re nothing short of a bargain for anyone who needs a lot of portable muscle.
In terms of design wins, Intel is still in a pretty big lead and notebooks based on Core i7 quad parts outnumber AMD designs by about eight to one. However, it’s worth noting that AMD also offers tri core processors and nearly all vendors who carry their quads have triple-core SKUs as well.