After years of geeks and analysts* speculating "will they" or "won't they", Dell finally "will".
Yesterday saw Dell announce its quarterly earnings, along with news of its intention to ship dual-core AMD Opteron processors, the first time in the history of the company that an AMD chip is to be sold in one of their systems.
The use of the Opteron means, as most of you will have deduced, that there won't be any desktop systems from Dell with AMD chips in them just yet. The Optys will be headed for servers, where, just like on the desktop, AMD can give Intel a run for their money.
And, Opteron-endowed servers won't be appearing just yet, Dell saying they'll be around "by the end of the year". Nevertheless, AMD's senior vice president was quick to respond to the news: "We welcome Dell, and Dell customers, to the world of AMD64. Dell is a customer-focused company and we’re pleased to see that they are listening to their customers and providing them the choice of innovative AMD products. We look forward to working closely with Dell in bringing the benefits of AMD leadership in performance-per-watt solutions to Dell customers."
It remains to be seen how aggressively Dell will market AMD-based solutions. Perhaps they'll try to slot them into their portfolio in such a way that they don't directly compete with any Intel-powered rigs. Such a task, however, would be difficult. Still, come the end of the year, sysadmins will have the option of buying AMD-based Dells, a significant step in AMD's mission to claw more market share from its arch-rival.
*Same difference, if we're honest.