Dell’s decision to use Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processors in some high-end servers caught Intel executives off guard, according to a top Intel executive.
The May deal was a coup for AMD, which had long sought to break Dell’s policy of buying processors only from Intel. “It was a surprise to see them offer Opteron at the high end of the MP [multi-processing] line, as well as a disappointment,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s sales and marketing group.
“On the other hand, that’s what they said their customers wanted, and they’re trying to do what’s best for their customers,” Chandrasekher said.
Dell will use the Opteron only in selected server models. Speaking at the time of the announcement, Dell executives said most server sales will continue to be systems based on Intel chips.
The company is also optimistic about Intel’s upcoming dual-core Xeon processor, known as Woodcrest. Set to be announced Tuesday at the Computex exhibition in Taipei, Woodcrest offers substantial performance gains and lower power consumption than existing Intel processors.
The chip will also help Intel regain ground lost to the Opteron, which has won over many customers, particularly in the United States. “They are not even in the same game,” Chandrasekher said, referring to Woodcrest’s performance relative to AMD’s Opteron.