Shortages of Intel’s CPUs have persisted for well over a year now, but according to Dell, they actually got worse in the ongoing quarter because of unexpectedly high demand for client computers and servers. As a result, the company had to cut its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter as sales of its PCs were impacted by the tight supply.

Last week Intel issued a letter apologizing for CPU shipment delays because despite of the fact that it increased its 14 nm capacity by 25% year-over-year in 2019, demand still outpaced supply. Furthermore, Intel experienced production variability in the fourth quarter and because it had limited inventory buffers, it could not absorb the impact. Intel did not explain what variability meant in this case, but based on comments from Dell, it looks like Intel could not produce enough processors for commercial and premium system.

Here is what Jeffrey Clarke, COO of Dell, had to say:

“Intel CPU shortages have worsened quarter-over-quarter the shortages are now impacting our commercial PC and premium consumer PC Q4 forecasted shipments.”

Even though Intel’s supply and demand balance is not favorable to makers of systems, Dell’s PC business revenue was on the rise in Q3 increasing to $11.4 billion by 5% year-over-year. Sales of commercial PCs were up 9% to $8.3 billion, whereas shipments of consumer computers were up 6% to $3.1 billion.

It is particularly noteworthy that Dell remains cautious about Intel CPU supplies going forward, though it naturally does not make any actual predictions, but rather promises to monitor situation and adjust forecasts. Dell is not the first PC company that is cautious about Intel’s ability to meet demand as ASUS also expressed similar concerns earlier this month.

Related Reading:

Sources: Dell, Reuters

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  • AshlayW - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Zen3 is on track for next year, and Intel just released some more 2015-era Skylake cores. By the time Golden Cove is here, Zen5 will be shipping. See, I can do this too, except mine actually has some truth to it.
  • AshlayW - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    Your comment is a load of rubbish, sorry hon. You're either financially invested in Intel or delusional. EPYC is doing extremely well in HPC and it's early days so it'll get better as time goes on. Intel is heavily entrenched and it's going to take a while to dismantle their grip on the entire industry.

    I don't know where you get the idea that Zen2 isn't 'substantially ahead' in power draw/efficiency, because you're blatantly incorrect - factually so. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact. Xeon is completely outclassed in performance per watt, and even absolute performance, and all other metrics such as platform features, core density and performance per dollar.

    Intel's single core advantage is on destkop and HEDT, and it is because of the clock speed cieling of the 14nm++++ process, which they have been refining for for about 4 years, so go figure. In Server, Xeon actually has worse single-core performance in a lot of cases, and absolutely abysmal MT/W and MT/$ perf in everything else.

    I don't know I bothered to type this out, but just wanted to point out your blatant lies/bending of the truth to suit your (likely financial) agenda.
  • schujj07 - Monday, December 2, 2019 - link

    Zen 2 has a higher IPC, about 7-10%, than Sky Lake based Intel. The only reason Intel has a few ST applications with better performance is the CPU clocks >10% higher. The Ice Lake based CPUs are only available in mobile and will probably never be ported to desktop and will only be moved to servers in 2H2020. By that time Zen 3 will be out which is rumored to have another 7+% IPC increase. Power draw is another space where Zen is far better than Core. The Core architecture was only power efficient with 4 cores or less. The 12 core 3900X draws less power than the 8 core 9900K.
  • melgross - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    AMD isn't really popular with most users,, commercial and consumer. I know, because I’ve seen it for decades, that AMD supporters are always talking about how AMD is going to “dethrone” Intel whenever they have some advantage. But it’s not going to happen. Most users willl just wait for,Intel to,catch up, and surpass AMD, which always happens.

    And, believe it or not, cheaper prices, and more cores aren’t going to do it. I mentioned in another article, about and, the other day here, that industry sales are struggling because of a lack of Intel chips. Companies can move to and, but very few will.

    Like it or not, that’s the way it is.
  • Korguz - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    yea ok one i know who currently have intel cpus in their desktops.. are staying with intel when they upgrade in the coming months.. they are all going with amd...

    gondalf.. here is a thought.. maybe its not that the desktop market is shrinking.. but its the fact that with intel stagnating the market for the last few years, there was no reason to upgrade because the performance over current systems wasnt worth it for the price.. but now.. with amd and ryzen.. it is.
  • Zagor Te Nay - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    You might be right, but, then again, many tech companies have suffered from being overconfident.

    I will not be surprised if this turns out into Balmer's "statistical error" gaff, back in the days when he was underplaying iPhone.

    Industry has a lot of inertia, but inertia also has two edges. It is slow to start changing, but once it starts, it is equally slow to reverse changes. AMD is nowhere close to that point - yet - but I think they are moving in that direction. Among products we are offering to customers, we are seeing HP Elitedesk and Probooks with AMD tech, as well as first Surface units based on AMD. With Microsoft, it might be just an experiment or effect of their console dealings with AMD, but HP already has quite a few different AMD SKUs, and quite sharply priced, at that.

    Industry does have a lot of inertia, but
  • Zagor Te Nay - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Apologies for poor formatting :)
  • abufrejoval - Monday, December 2, 2019 - link

    Well said!
  • Jimbo Jones - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    @melgross "AMD isn't really popular with most users,, commercial and consumer." - when was the last time you actually tried to verify this "fact"?

    Three computer tech publications have published articles on how its been noticed that out of the top 10 best selling CPUs on Amazon 8 are Ryzen and two are Intel with the top four spots goind to AMD.

    As I check right now 9 out of 10 are Ryzen and one is a Threadripper part. Threadripper outselling most of Intel desktop parts. Apparently it has been like this for some time already. So your comment is at best way out of date.

    "Most users will just wait for,Intel to,catch up" - I think they might be waiting for a while the way things seem to be going ... I think you are underestimating the momentum of this transition. Its not happening overnight, but the weight behind it is huge.

    I just watched three of the most popular Youtube CPU tech reviewers / enthusiast just risk their ability to get review samples (with that expectation and not caring) to express their extreme disappointment with Intel products of late. These channels have millions of viewers ...

    I don't think you have enough awareness on the topic to give a valid and honest consideration.
  • Qasar - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Jimbo Jones melgross is just trying to make intel look good.. when all intel can claim now, is the higher clocks. you wont get any reply from him for anything.

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