September 1, 2017 // 11:30 a.m.
AMD has officially named the major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners it said had picked up its Ryzen Pro processor family as Dell, HP, and Lenovo, in what looks to be an end to the company's near-total absence from the business desktop and laptop market.
AMD has long struggled to break into the business sector. While its many-core server chips weren't entirely unpopular, its desktop and laptop processors failed to make an impact against those from rival Intel - in recent years due to a major disparity in performance, and prior to that by Intel offering OEMs lucrative discounts and other deals if they agreed to lock out AMD chips from the market. The latter was resolved when Intel settled out of court for $1.25 billion and pledged not to be so naughty in the future, while the former has been addressed with the launch of AMD's Zen microarchitecture with its significantly boosted performance and higher core counts compared to its previous chips.
While Ryzen has been making an impact in the consumer and enthusiast desktop market, and its many-core Threadripper variant looks set to do the same for high-end desktop (HEDT) users, it's Ryzen Pro that could be set to have the biggest impact on the company's fortunes. Announced back in June, Ryzen Pro offers security and reliability features missing from the mainstream Ryzen family in an effort to convince enterprise customers to make the move from Intel's parts. At the time, AMD claimed that 'the world's largest suppliers of commercial client desktops are expected to provide Ryzen Pro-based PCs for businesses worldwide,' but refused to name names.
With its self-imposed deadline of the end of August now expired, AMD has made good on its promise of providing more information with the announcement of a paper launch that will see the first 'commercially-focused desktop solutions' built around Ryzen Pro chips arriving 'in the coming weeks'. At the same time, AMD named three of the 'largest suppliers of commercial client desktops' it had teased back in July: Dell, HP, and Lenovo.
Support from these OEMs is, naturally, a major win for AMD, but to begin with will be limited to a small number of models - beginning with just a single stock-keeping unit (SKU) from Dell. 'Businesses buying PCs are constantly evaluating the latest features and performance so they can easily manage and secure their most important asset - their data,' claimed Tom Tobul, vice president of Dell's Commercial Client Solutions arm. 'That's why we're proud to introduce the OptiPlex 5055 PC featuring the Ryzen Pro CPU and its improved security features.'
'Our customers run many demanding applications, including commercial VR, and we expect our platforms to take full advantage of AMD Ryzen Pro processors and leverage the high-end performance provided by Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X,' added Lorena Kubera, vice president of product management for commercial PCs at HP Inc. 'In addition, the ability to natively run security applications within the processor allows us to provide robust security features that work hand-in-hand with HP security software.'
'The customer experience is paramount to Lenovo and its partners. Together we strive to develop and provide the most reliable, manageable, and secure products in the market. And today, with AMD, we are excited to welcome the upcoming ThinkPad A series powered by 7th Gen. AMD Pro processors to our enterprise-class commercial portfolio,' concluded Jerry Paradise, executive director of Lenovo's Commercial Portfolio and Product Management division. 'Expanding that portfolio to include the latest AMD Pro and AMD Ryzen Pro processors in our ThinkPad A series notebooks and ThinkCentre M715 desktops helps us to further support our enterprise customers and their ever-evolving business requirements.'
Dell's Optiplex 5055, HP's EliteDesk 705, and Lenovo's ThinkCentre M715 are all claimed to be shipping 'in the coming weeks'. The Ryzen Pro mobile parts due to power Lenovo's ThinkPad range, meanwhile, aren't due to launch until the first half of 2018. Pricing has not yet been confirmed.