AMD today announced six new Athlon II processors aimed at the desktop market, but with an eye on new form factors in place of the traditional mini tower.
Acknowledging that the old style desktop is fading, AMD nonetheless continues to support the space with processors for new form factors taking the place of old mini towers, such as all-in-one designs and small form factor-based PCs.
Gartner projects that for the next four years, desktop PC sales will dip slightly but won’t collapse. Growth and expansion of the PC market will come through notebooks. While AMD (NYSE: AMD) recognizes mobile’s growing role, it said there’s still a big place for desktop chips.
“The overall market really has been in a transition year where notebooks or mobile PCs have overtaken desktop or stationary PCs. We’ve been expecting that. But there are some areas within desktop PCs that are still growing,” Brent Barry, AMD desktop marketing manager told InternetNews.com.
Those areas are small form factors, all-in-one PCs and do-it-yourself, home built PCs, which are all growing, said Barry. AMD sees the shelves starting to fill with both all-in-one systems, like the HP TouchSmart and a forthcoming model from Lenovo, and very small form factor desktops.
These desktops are rarely taller than one foot and about three or four inches wide. This makes them easy to stow away, hide, or squeeze under a desk or in a tight space. Their popularity is growing because it’s now possible to make a decent PC in a small box, said Barry.
“The limitation to getting to small form factor is a scalable infrastructure. Now with all the design that’s happened, that has enabled a really good standard small form factor setup so OEMs are able to offer a small system but are able to scale all the pieces of it, so you can add more memory, better graphics, TV tuners, and the like,” he said.
These low powered processors are dual, triple and quad-core designs, all with a 45 watt power draw. They range from the dual-core X2 235e, a 45 watt, 2.7GHz processor that will sell for $69 in lots of 1,000 to OEMs, to the quad-core X4 605e, which is 45 watts, 2.3 GHz and sells for $143.
Two with higher clock speeds
In addition to the six low-power chips, AMD launched two processors with the standard power draw of 95 watts with higher clock speeds. The triple-core X3 425 and X3 435 are 2.7GHz and 2.9GHz, respectively, and carry price tags of $76 and $87, respectively.
While AMD is announcing the processors now, they have been available to OEMs for some time and will be in new PCs shipping this Thursday when Windows 7 hits stores.