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Dell Puts AMD Inside New Desktops

NEW YORK -- Move over Intel , if only for a moment: It's AMD's  turn to power Dell  computers.

Roughly four months after finally promising to include AMD processors in its computers, Dell today unveiled two new desktops powered by AMD chips.

Dell Chairman Michael Dell introduced the Dimension E521 and C521 at a Dell technology launch event here.

"More and more customers are asking for AMD-based products," Dell said. "AMD has demonstrated a great ability to deliver great technology that customers want today and in the future."

Dimension C521
Dimension C521.
Source: Dell

The news is significant because top computer maker Dell for years had refused to stray from using Intel chips in its desktops and notebooks, citing a lack of customer demand.

Dell's endorsement of AMD should provide AMD a boost in its drive to unseat No. 1 chipmaker Intel.

The E521 and C521 machines are tailored to allow consumers to stream music and watch movies. They also power office applications, such as e-mail, word processing and spreadsheets, for small business users.

Because the computers are oriented toward delivering media and high-powered graphics, the PCs come standard with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center. They are also Windows Vista-ready for that.

Dimension E521
Dimension E521.
Source: Dell

Beginning this week, the E521 and C521 can ship with a customer's choice of AMD Sempron, AMD Athlon 64 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core chips.

Both machines boast integrated graphics, and are easily upgradeable to stronger graphics software packs.

"All of Dell's new desktops have the ability to upgrade in graphics, which is quite important as we anticipate Vista and increased focus on graphics response," Dell said.

The E521 is $329; the C521 is $359: both come with a one-year warranty and will be available tomorrow.

XPS 210
XPS 210.
Source: Dell

The computer maker is hardly abandoning Intel in its PC making scheme. Dell also announced the Dimension E520, which has most of the traits of the E521 but uses Intel Pentium D and Core 2 Duo processor options.

The E520 will sell for $719 beginning tomorrow and is Vista-ready.

Lastly, Dell introduced the XPS 210, which is a small desktop that runs Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Pentium D processors.

The machine is a foot high and can be installed upright or horizontally on a shelf. Its front panel slides back to reveal a DVD drive, two front USB ports, optional media card reader, IEEE 1394 port and headphone/microphone jacks.

The XPS 210 system is available now with a one-year limited XPS warranty and prioritized service support starting at $1,190.

Dell's introduction of the new Dimension entertainment and SMB desktops capped a busy day during which company officials discussed other new computing advancements.

Earlier, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins debuted the company's new OptiPlex 745, a machine that offers greater performance, manageability and security while saving businesses almost $1 billion per year on power costs.