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AMD’s newest and best chips usually ship first with well-known OEMs such as Hewlett-Packard. But not so with the x86 processor maker’s new Spider platform, designed for the enthusiast market. AMD is leading with the channel–or whitebox makers–with this quad-core processor, chip set and graphics co-processor combination, according to Gary Bixler, the company’s channel chief.

According to Bixler: “Big OEMs are not quite ready to go to market with this platform yet, but the channel is absolutely ready. It’s unusual for AMD to lead with the channel.”

Bixler said that the big OEMs may be months or quarters behind the whitebox makers with this platform.

“Most PC enthusiasts buy through the whitebox channel. They know what they want to buy and how they want it configured,” Bixler said. New software from AMD will enable these enthusiasts to actually tweak the configuration of the platform, Bixler added.

And even though the Christmas shopping rush is upon us, Bixler said that “the number and variety of motherboards available from partners and distributors is far and away the best ever.”

“With a product like this that is cutting-edge at the high end of the stack, you almost never have as many as you’d like to have. But in general we expect to be happy with availability.”