Dell Prepares AMD Desktops, Laptops

Dell on Thursday announced an expended partnership with AMD that would bring the chipmaker's processors to Dell desktop and notebook systems. The company has reportedly ordered up to 2 million AMD machines.

In May, Dell unveiled plans to bring AMD's Opteron chips to its high-end servers before the end of the year, but said nothing about its consumer lineup. The world's largest computer marker has been a longtime supporter of Intel, helping the company remain atop the processor market.

However, AMD has made big strides in challenging Intel's dominance, largely thanks to its Opteron platform that has outperformed Intel chips while utilizing less power. Intel recently struck back at the growing threat posed by AMD with its "Woodcrest" server processor, which offers a 40 percent power reduction while providing performance improvements of up to 135 percent.

Banc of America Securities analyst Sumit Dhanda said in a report Thursday that Dell is building 1 million to 1.2 million new desktops with AMD chips inside, along with 800,000 AMD-based notebooks. Those numbers indicate that AMD will hold 15 to 16 percent of Dell's desktop business, and 18 to 19 percent of its notebooks.

The deal could be a boon to AMD's market share in the consumer space, which the company claims has been hindered by Intel's anti-competitive practices. AMD also took a big hit in retail sales in June due to low-cost Intel notebooks entering the market from companies such as Toshiba.

Still, AMD continues to ratchet up the pressure on Intel. The company recently announced plans to acquire graphics chipset maker ATI in a deal valued at $5.4 billion. The acquisition will enable AMD to offer integrated processor and graphics solutions, leading to smaller and more powerful computers.

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