System Builders Preparing For Intel's Sandy Bridge Processor

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Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based system builder, offered a similarly optimistic point of view, though he was quick to point out that these remain expectations that aren't guaranteed of being realized.

"We'd obviously be very excited to see that kind of change in technology, but we haven't seen any kind of product yet," Tibbils said. "If that's what Intel is projecting, then it's good for the channel to have that dramatic change. System builders and VARs are very nimble. They have the ability to adjust to this kind of change. "

That lack of specificity is tempering many system builders' optimism. "I keep waiting for someone to show me what this is going to do to me," Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder Nor-Tech " I want to know what specifically is going to be substantially different to make this such an exciting launch. It consumes less power and has less latency, I understand that, but as far as performance what is it going to enable exactly? What is so revolutionary about it?"

Far from seeing Sandy Bridge as a revolutionary offering, Nick Gold, director of business development at Baltimore, Md.-based Chesapeake Systems said Intel may have some ground to make up in the area of graphics, and Sandy Bridge may not be able to help in that effort.

"Sandy Bridge has been seen by some as a way Apple can move their laptops into higher-performance territory," Gold said. "But the reality is, even Intel's next-generation integrated graphics systems lag behind NVIDIA's offerings for the ultra-mobile realm.”

"I think what can safely be said is that many folks are totally frustrated by Intel's inability to work out licensing arrangements with NVIDIA for their newer chipsets. Intel seems bent on pushing their own integrated graphics processors, and the fact is, they are simply not competitive with the alternatives," Gold added.

Without being privy to technical specifications, Tibbils pointed to the long-term business that an integrated processor could create. "If someone buys a system with integrated graphics solution and somewhere down the line an application comes out or the user has something they want to do that's a better fit for a discrete card, that could be an opportunity for an upgrade," he said.

Erik Stromquist, COO of Computer Technology Link, a Portland, Oregon-based solution provider offered similarly measured optimism. "From what we’ve seen so far, the product is delivering on its promises," Stromquist said. "CTL plans to be on time to market on both our mobile and desktop platforms."


Next: The Implicatiosn Of Integrated Graphics

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