Dell cripples latest Inspiron AMD models vs Intel models

Discussion created by black_zion on Mar 6, 2018
Latest reply on Mar 7, 2018 by black_zion

Yet another reason not to buy anything from them: Dell's Latest AMD Inspiron Laptops Are Crippled Compared With Intel Versions - ExtremeTech



And the equivalent AMD page (also screenshotted below):




To start with, we’ve got an AMD system with a 2C/4T CPU (Ryzen 3 2200U) and just 192 GPU cores at $679 supposedly competing against a Core i5-8250U — a 4C/8T Intel CPU — at $600. Granted, that extra $80 gets you 1080p on the AMD system versus 1600×900 on Intel, but the lack of GPU horsepower on the AMD solution and the weak CPU kicks the legs out from under this system. Intel’s official list price on the Core i5-8250U is that the chip costs $297, compared with the $600 retail price on this Inspiron, which tells you everything you need to know about how reliable Intel’s published pricing is, at least as far as what companies pay.


Intel doesn’t have an option between $600 and $850, but the only difference between the $680 and $730 AMD systems is an additional 4GB of RAM. This raises the question: What the heck kind of configuration is that $729 system, given that nobody makes 6GB DIMMs? Our money is a dual-channel DRAM configuration with a 4+2 split, as opposed to Dell chiseling the last 2GB off a bunch of Samsung DRAM sticks. But this presents additional problems. An unmatched dual-channel configuration with a different amount of memory per-channel will typically either default to single-channel operation or will use single-channel mode for accessing the last 2GB of RAM space. Neither are good. Also, why is a $730 laptop still fronting the kind of APU I’d expect in a $400 netbook? If Dell can put a quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU in a $600 system, it can put a quad-core CPU in an AMD system priced 1.22x higher. No excuses.


Let’s move on to our next Intel point of comparison. On the Intel side of things, $850 buys you a Core i7-8550U, 8GB of RAM single-channel RAM, a dual-drive storage system (128GB SSD + 1TB 5400 RPM HDD), and a discrete AMD GPU, courtesy of the Radeon HD 530. The Radeon 530 is a bottom-end OEM GPU that ships in two flavors, a terrible DDR3 option and a slightly-less-terrible GDDR5 option, with either a 320:20:8 (DDR3) or 384:24:8 (GDDR5) core. The GDDR5 option is better, though not by much.


On the AMD side of things, $900 buys you a Ryzen 5 2500U, 16GB of RAM (no word on RAM channel configuration), and a flat 2TB drive with no fast storage option. The only advantage to upgrading from the $899 to the $999 AMD system is that you get a year of “Premium Support Plus” instead of one year of mail-in service.