updated 10:30 am EDT, Wed September 13, 2006
Dell AMD Desktops
A long-time ally of Intel, Dell surprised many with its announcement that it would use AMD processors across both its desktop and portable lines. The first fruits of the new partnership were realized by Wednesday's release of two new Dell desktop systems that target basic users. At the entry level is the Dimension E521, a counterpart to the Intel-based E520 that was also introduced today. Dell configures the $329 base model with a Sempron 3400+ 32-bit processor, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW combo drive. Dell also released the small form factor Dimension C521 (pictured) with similar features for $359. The system builder is continuing its signature practice of complete customization with these models and will let users upgrade to as much as an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ processor in addition to graphics, memory, and other internal upgrades. Both models can be ordered today and are expected to ship in early October.