Distributor Flashpoint claims that dealers are making extra margin by using Intel chip clones in their PCs. The chips also perform better, according to the company, owned by distribution giant Macro Performance. That has led to increased demand for product, meaning Cyrix chips are on allocation. UK company The Granville Group has switched to the platform.
Sukh Rayat, general manager at the company, said demand for Cyrix chips was so high that the company had put them on allocation. AMD?s K5 and K6 chips, too, were selling strongly, he said.
?Three years ago, AMD wasn?t accepted at the small dealer level,? he said. ?It was selling on technology rather than brand or prices. Manufacturers like AMD and Cyrix realised they had to be 20 per cent cheaper than Intel chips and give better price/performance.?
That has changed, Rayat said. ?At the end user side, branding is not that important. The corporate market still goes for Intel. Three months ago, I had Cyrix product coming out of my ears but its prices are now around 50 per cent of Intel?s.?
He said that while a 166MHz Intel Pentium chip sells for #250, the equivalent P166 from Cyrix costs #110, meaning that dealers can get extra points using the opposition?s processors.
Demand for Cyrix chips was so high, he said, that Flashpoint is now on allocation. That means Cyrix chip capacity will ramp up.
IBM Microelectronics and Cyrix have a five-year agreement under which silicon wafers are made on a one-for-one basis, up to 400,000 processors. IBM Microelectronics cannot make and sell any more than that, but still has to make more chips for Cyrix, to order. Exceeding the 400,000 ceiling could become a reality soon, said Rayat.
UK company the Granville Group, which owns MJN and Time, is understood to now use a high percentage of Cyrix chips in its PCs. Tulip also uses Cyrix while Far East OEM Acer, now the fourth largest computer company in the world, also no longer exclusively goes down the Intel route.
Branding, said Rayat, was only a concern for large corporate customers. End users and dealers did not care about the Intel Inside logo but wanted higher performance processors at an affordable price. Intel will not comment on the non-Intel market.
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