Dell asks customers, AMD or Intel?

Dell is the only major PC vendor in the US that offers only Intel processors to its customers, but a survey posted recently on the company's Web site suggests that Dell may be reconsidering its options.

The "Intel vs. AMD Research Survey" asks users for their options about processors from Intel and its arch rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The survey asks which processor they prefer -- and why -- out of Intel's Celeron, Pentium III and Pentium 4 families, AMD's Athlon and Duron families, and Motorola's PowerPC processor. It also asks for their opinions about Intel and AMD based on issues such as speed, price, reliability and value.

For example, one question reads: "Assume you are in the process of purchasing a new desktop computer for your home. Also assume that the two desktop computers you are considering have IDENTICAL product features with one exception. One desktop computer has an Intel Pentium III 1 GHz processor and is priced at $US1099. The second desktop computer has an AMD Athlon 1 GHz processor and is priced at $US1049. Which computer would you MOST prefer?"

Dell is the only major US PC vendor that has refrained from offering processors from AMD. It is also the current market-share leader in the US for both servers and PCs. Other major vendors including Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and IBM, offer chips from both Intel and AMD.

The survey, located at http://www.dell.com/html/us/segments/dhs/intel_amd_survey.htm, isn't linked from Dell's home page, and is part of an email survey sent by Dell to its customers, Dell spokesman Bryant Hilton said. The customers would click on a link in the email and be directed to the page.

Dell doesn't want users to read too much into the survey, and maintained that it's not a sign that Dell plans to start offering AMD's chips in the near future. "We obviously do an awful lot of customer research," Hilton said. "This is not an indication of a business move."

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Douglas F. Gray

PC World
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