Dell officially uses AMD Opteron

After years of rumors and speculations, Dell finally opts for AMD’s Opteron in its high-end 4-way servers by end of this year. The official announcement came following Dell’s Q1 financial performance press release. This would also mark the end of Dell’s exclusive Intel-only relationship.


In the enterprise, we will launch new ninth generation servers featuring Intel’s Woodcrest microprocessors. 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.
-Dell Press Release

The AMD HyperTransport architecture is proven to be a much better architecture in a multi-processor environment from the traditional Front-Side-Bus (FSB) architecture that Intel uses. The performance of the AMD HyperTransport architecture scales very well with each additional processor and has a better performance-per-watt ratio compared to Intel’s current Xeon server processors.

The AMD Opteron processor has managed to gain the trust and reputation in this relatively conservative yet lucrative server market. Many of Dell’s competitors such as IBM, HP, and Sun Microsystems has AMD Opteron powered servers that are selling rather well, which could have indirectly benefited from Dell’s lack of similarly competitive products. According to Mercury Research, AMD has already captured 26 percent market share in the server market for Q1 of this year, and could perhaps reach greater heights with the addition of Dell.

Althought Dell has only committed to using AMD Opteron on its 4-way servers, this could be the beginning of the Dell-AMD relationship. Dell finally gives high-end users a choice between an Intel or AMD powered server. Dell’s premier partner, Intel would still be Dell’s premier partner for all the other product line. I guess this is just a logical step for Dell, as AMD may have difficulties in supplying Dell with the required quantities for the other market segments on an on-demand basis. Perhaps when AMD has the massive manufacturing capabilities as Intel, Dell would reconsider expanding the use of AMD processors in the other product segment such as desktops and laptops.

Anyway, it’s good news for AMD to have finally got Dell to use their (Opteron) processors, and perhaps a warning to Intel that the customers are tired of waiting for a competitive product. I’m pretty sure Intel, with all its resources, would provide a satisfying answer to the competition very soon in its upcoming product. Competition has always been good for the consumers and the industry.