Channel prepares for quad-core

Channel prepares for quad-core

Intel has begun shipping desktop and server versions of its new quad-core processors, but local systems builders are mixed on how the chips will fare in the months ahead.

Protac International boss, Gary Jeng, said the introduction of two server-centric Xeon 5300 processors (e5310 and e5320), and the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 quad-core processor, were crowding a market still coming to terms with Core 2 processors.

"It's been very confusing having Core Duo and Core 2 Duo this year; many resellers still don't know the difference," he said. "It's made a lot of trouble for us and has been difficult to explain. Now there's quad-core to explain as well."

Jeng said Protac would investigate building quad-core desktops sometime in the New Year, but wouldn't be rushing to do so before the end of the year as he didn't believe there was enough customer demand.

"This hasn't been a good year for builders, especially clone builders," he said. "Even name brands like Dell and HP have had to focus on entry-level PCs because, for most end users, they find that's enough."

Jeng said the average user regarded a Pentium 4 single core processor as good enough for most applications.

Plus Corporation managing director, Nigel Fernandes, said it had begun building quad-core PCs, but they were for the niche gaming market.

"Gamers seem to be the only people with money these days," he said. "There's actually been more interest than I expected, considering our quad-core system is $6999 without a monitor or keyboard or mouse. Most orders are around $8000."

However, he agreed the average user was buying a machine built on a basic Core 2 dual-core processor for about $999.

Pioneer Computers operations manager, Jeff Li, said there wasn't a lot of demand at a desktop level for quad-core, but his company would build quad-core servers, once suitable motherboards became available. He hoped this would be within the next fortnight.

"I think there will be demand for quad-core servers in the high-end market," he said. "We just built a 16 CPU server for a customer for $30,000. We could have done that that four quad-core processors and made that machine smaller."

Intel area sales manager, Andrew Mclean, said the vendor was happy with sales thus far.

"The e5310 and e5320 arrived last week for the server and the desktop is selling extremely well already," he said.

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