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Fujitsu Siemens launches AMD machines

Chip builder’s lawsuit pays off

AMD processors are once again taking a prominent place in PCs manufactured by Fujitsu-Siemens, the companies announced today.

Fujitsu-Siemens has relaunched the Esprimo E small form-factor PC and Esprimo P tower with a choice of Intel or AMD processors. The new versions, with AMD chips, will ship to customers at the end of the month.

The launch of the models comes just two weeks after AMD accused Intel of using its influence with PC manufacturers to shut it out of the market.

In a US lawsuit filed on 28 June, AMD wrote that its chips once powered more than 30 percent of Fujitsu-Siemens' consumer PCs but that in early 2003 ”Intel offered Fujitsu-Siemens a 'special discount' on Celeron processors which Fujitsu-Siemens accepted in exchange for hiding its AMD computers on its website, and removing all references to commercial AMD-powered products in the company's retail catalogue.”

As of today, however, PCs with AMD processors will have top billing on the front page of the Fujitsu-Siemens site.

The timing of the launch is unconnected with AMD's lawsuit, according to a Fujitsu-Siemens spokesperson who pointed to AMD's plans to announce its quarterly results on Wednesday as a more likely trigger for the announcement. "Our new product development with AMD is a long process," she said.

The Esprimo E is priced from €749 inc VAT (£516) with an AMD processor, or from €849 inc VAT (£584) with an Intel chip. Esprimo P models with AMD processors begin at €599 inc VAT (£412).

The company has no plans to offer AMD processors in its Esprimo C ultra-small desktop range, because there is not the same level of demand for it as for the Esprimo E and P, which are "huge volume products”.

The Esprimo E desktop models contain a 3.5in drive bay, which can be used for a second hard disk, a wireless LAN module, a smart card reader or a memory card reader. Two rear panel configurations are available, one with slots for two full-height PCI cards and one low-profile PCI Express x16 card, and the other with slots for four low-profile cards. They have two USB ports and an audio connector on the front panel.

The existing Esprimo E5905 ships with Intel's Pentium 4 processor or Pentium D dual-core processor and its 945G Express chipset, while the new Esprimo E5600 will ship with an AMD Athlon 64 or Sempron processor and the SiS761 chipset.

Both AMD and Intel models have a quiet cooling system that Fujitsu-Siemens says produces just 24dB of noise even under high processor load.

The Esprimo P has a similar specification, but in a minitower case and without the choice of back panels.

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