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Dell hooks up with AMD

Intel-only era ends

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Dell has done what many thought impossible and broken its Intel-only stance. The company today announced that it will pick up AMD's Opteron processor for use in servers - a move reported first by The Register earlier today.

The Opteron embrace ends years of speculation about when Dell would finally give in and pick up AMD as a second supplier. Oddly, Dell is going the AMD route at a time when Intel is about to release chips that are more competitive with those of its rival.

Dell has long maintained that customers have not been demanding AMD chips, although market share numbers have not backed up such statements. Dell's server growth has slowed in recent quarters, while shipments of Opteron chips have skyrocketed. In addition, AMD's line of desktop chips have grown in popularity.

Dell is expected to use Opteron in four-socket servers.

In a statement, Dell was less specific, saying, "Dell will also introduce new AMD Opteron processors in our multi-processor servers by the end of the year offering a great new technology to our customers at the high-end of our server line."

AMD was quick to cheer Dell's decision.

"We welcome Dell, and Dell customers, to the world of AMD64," said Marty Seyer, an SVP at AMD.

Dell is the last of the Tier 1 server vendors to pick up Opteron.

The use of Opteron in four-socket systems is not surprising given the chip's edge in larger servers over Intel's rival Xeon processor. The Opteron design allows for better overall performance in four-processor and above systems.

Dell's acceptance of AMD is a huge blow to Intel from a marketing standpoint as it points to some of the weaknesses Intel is still experiencing with these larger servers.

Rumors of a Dell and AMD have circulated for a long time, but The Register confirmed the move today well ahead of Dell's official announcement. ®

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