Digital New Zealand will not launch a PC based on the K6 processor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), despite plans to do so by Digital in the US.
In the US Digital is positioning the K6-toting Venturis FX-2 as a powerful and inexpensive alternative to similar Intel Pentium-based offerings. Company officials say the 166MHz K6 rivals the 200MHz Pentium in performance.
But offering an alternative to the Intel based Venturis in a market the size of New Zealand would over-complicate the company’s product range, says DEC New Zealand PC product manager Ken Erskine.
He adds that K6-based machines are only 5% cheaper than PCs sporting an Intel chip.
“However, we will monitor customer feedback, locally and worldwide, on the branding value and performance of Intel versus AMD.“I am not going to use New Zealand as the test market,” he says.
So far, Digital is the only major PC manufacturer to adopt AMD’s new sixth generation chip which was launched with much fanfare in April. At that time US research company Dataquest said that while Intel today has about 95% of the x86 market, AMD and Cyrix could grab as much as 45% market share by 2000.
AMD’s director of sales for Southeast Asia has blamed the lack of vendor support on pressure from Intel.