Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dell Unveils First AMD Desktop

NEW YORK—Dell is about to take the wraps off of its first AMD-processor-based desktops.

The PC maker will begin taking orders for its new Dimension e521 and c521 desktops, which will offer AMD's Sempron, Athlon 64 and dual-core Athlon 64 X2 chips, on Sept. 13.

The desktops, designed for consumers and small and midsize businesses will begin shipping in volume several days later, company executives said.

The new desktops—themselves part of a cadre of new desktops the Round Rock, Texas, PC maker company introduced for businesses and consumers on Sept. 12 at its Technology Day, here—are part of a broader effort by Dell to broaden its product line in 2006.

Dell, which had long been an Intel-only shop, made the jump to AMD because it has been convinced that customers wanted AMD chips and also that AMD itself is on good standings in terms of technology and manufacturing capacity.

"Today we're pulling the covers off of our first Dell products using AMD processors," Michael Dell, the company's chairman, told analysts and reporters at Dell's Technology Day. "More and more customers are asking for AMD-based products."

But at the same time, "AMD has demonstrated the ability to deliver technology customers want today and in the future," he said. The chipmaker "meets Dell's requirements for capacity and quality."

Dell is adding the AMD-based products as part of an effort to better meet customer's needs, a strategy it calls Dell 2.0. It joins a growing number of companies that are offering business desktops with AMD chips inside them.

Lenovo Group, for one, has unveiled a new AMD-based ThinkCenter, while Hewlett-Packard will offer the HP Compaq Business Desktop PC dc5750, which also offers AMD's chips. Both are aimed at larger-sized businesses.

Dell has not yet announced an AMD-based OptiPlex desktop for larger businesses. However, Dell is widely expected to offer such as desktop.

Dell's Dimension C521, which is a basic slim tower desktop, will start at $329. Its Dimension E521, which offers more options for things such as security, multimedia and the ability to expand to dual optical drives, will start at $719, Dell said in a statement.

Dell is also offering a new Dimension E520 with Intel's Pentium D and Core 2 Duo processors.

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