Sky’s the limit for AMD’s latest platforms

Master IT distributor Sky Electronics today premiered an entire range of new desktop and server systems based upon AMD64 processors

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By  Matthew Wade Published  December 4, 2005

Master IT distributor Sky Electronics today premiered an entire range of new desktop and server systems based upon AMD64 processors. “Our new expression PCs have been designed to address the specific needs of diverse customer segments,” said Manoj Thacker, Sky’s managing director, “be it a gaming enthusiast looking for serious fun, a home user who is also looking to simplify his workloads, or business users up to enterprise level.” On the home computing front, Sky unveiled two Athlon CPU-based systems – the eXPression Gaming and eXPression SOHO (Small Office, Home Office). The former is set to retail at 14,500 AED (US $3,951) and represents a true high-end platform, thanks to its FX-57 Athlon CPU, two 10,000rpm speed hard drives, two nVidia 7800GTX SLI graphics cards and whopping 2GB of DDR 400 RAM. Sky’s SOHO model meanwhile is much more modestly priced, at AED 5,350 (US $1,458). This dual-core offering also includes TV functionality (for after the user’s office work is done) and will, at some point, come pre-loaded with the Media Center edition of Windows XP. At present this OS has not been officially launched in the Middle East, however Thacker today claimed that Sky was talking directly to Microsoft about its gaining “special preferences” that will see it include this OS as standard on its SOHO model PC. From a business user perspective, an AED 4,350 (US $1,185) desktop was shown, based upon AMD’s Athlon64 3200+ CPU, 1GB of RAM and a huge 160GB hard drive, while on the server side, Thacker was keen to talk up the firm’s Opteron-based server models, which start from US $800, running up to 60,000 AED (US $16,349) for a fully specified true enterprise level solution). Looking further forwards, AMD’s regional sales director for Russia, CIS, the Middle East and Africa, Pierre Brunswick, gave details of when mobile CPUs might be available in dual-core form (namely mid-2006) and also when DDR 2 memory should also start appearing more widely across the region (broadly speaking around the same time). “If you look at DDR and DDR 2 memory, is there a different in latency? No. But in price terms there’s a difference. We don’t want to offer similar performance for a different price. The price should be right,” Brunswick commented. In October, Tarek Heiba stepped down from his role as general manager for AMD Middle East and Africa. A PR spokesperson for AMD said at the time that Heiba had resigned for ‘personal reasons’. He had held the post since February of this year.

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