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Michael Dell, the head of Dell, one of the world’s largest computer and digital equipment maker, recently expressed thoughts about possibility of using AMD Opteron microprocessors in the company’s servers. While from comments of Michael Dell it could be understood that the firm was going to offer AMD64-based server systems, other officials from Dell denied such plans.

Historically Dell Computer, now called simply Dell, has been using microprocessors only from Intel Corporation. However, with the availability of AMD Athlon processors in 1999 and 2000, rumours about Dell’s presumable intentions to get AMD-based computers on the market became very intense, but the real condition of the things is that there are still no computers from Dell with AMD chips inside. As a major customer of Santa Clara, California-based Intel, Dell reportedly receives some favours from its main chip partner, therefore, this is quite natural for Dell not to use processors from other makers. Moreover, being a company concentrated mostly on corporate and SOHO markets Dell says that the demand for AMD central processing units from its clients is not too strong.

“If you look at the corporate market, which is where 85% of our business is today, the corporate user has not yet found confidence in AMD, and so most of the corporations use Intel,” said Dell’s President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Rollins in mid-February.

“Where AMD has gained a good foothold is in the consumer space. That has not been the primary focus of Dell strategically,” he continued.

However, Michael Dell, the founder and the CEO of Dell, on the question about intentions to use AMD Opteron CPUs in the company’s servers said in an interview to French web-site

“First of all, I think that to take the x86 instructions and to extend them to 64-bit is a very good idea. But today, AMD is not the only one to support this idea: Intel does it too. We will have servers using x86 processors with 64-bit extensions even before [64-bit] compatible software is available. So, if to offer both Intel and AMD servers on the same catalogue makes sense, the answer is clearly yes.”

While HP is going to offer both AMD64 and IA32e machines to practically the same markets, it looks like it does not make mush sense for Dell for some reasons.

“We have developed PowerEdge servers and Precision workstations with 64-bit memory extensions on the Nocona Xeon platform,” a spokeswoman for Dell said today.

“We will continue to monitor AMD technologies and test them in our labs in tandem with monitoring customer demand for AMD platforms. We have no plans to introduce products using AMD processors today,” she explained.

Basically, at the same time as HP, IBM and other well-known server companies are going to offer both AMD64 and IA32e servers and possibly workstations, Dell is still an “Intel only” company, therefore, expect the firm to deliver PowerEdge servers and Precision workstations later this year if you are looking towards an x86-64 computer from Dell.


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