Altech goes Live! With AMD media centre

Altech goes Live! With AMD media centre

AMD has given Altech the nod to produce media centre systems bearing its Live! logo.

The local builder had been surprised to know that it previously couldn't produce validated Live! systems - AMD's opposing concept to Intel's Viiv media centre PCs - despite its relationships with the chip maker.

"When AMD announced Live! the assumption we would automatically become part of the program," Altech national sales manager, Kevin Hartin, said. While it could produce Live-compatible machines, it was locked out of obtaining official AMD validation, which was originally limited to multinational OEMs HP, Dell and Acer.

"The guys at AMD Australia - primarily Caleb [Leung, country manager] and Michael [Apthorpe, technical manager], went in hard on our behalf," Hartin said. "We were recently notified that AMD in the US had authorised us to be part of the Live! program."

Apthorpe has subsequently travelled to Altech's Sydney office and certified its first AMD Live! media centre - the $2899 Maestro Pro2. Altech also builds a Viiv version of the same model for $100 less due to cheaper processor pricing.

Hartin said the $100 differential would disappear as new chips entered the marketplace.

While being the first whitebox builder to have an official Live! machine is a coup for Altech, AMD reserves the right to validate other builders.

"AMD will evaluate other manufacturers on a case by case basis," Apthorpe, said.

Pushing validation into whitebox vendors could pay dividends for AMD, with its multinational partners only just bringing out local product, nine months after Live! was announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

Dell, for example, started shipping its first Live! PCs earlier this month. HP market development manager of consumer desktop PCs, Manpal Jagpal, said the vendor was launching its first model within weeks.

Acer marketing director, Raymond Vardanega, said it had yet to produce a Live!-based machine for the local market but was still in discussions with AMD.

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