Intel's dual-core chips will overtake AMD's in performance next year, according to Dell chairman, Michael Dell.

Speaking at ITXpo yesterday, Dell was responding to questions over whether his company would consider using AMD processors. "Intel takes a very definitive lead in performance and power management at 65 nanometers. If we thought AMD was going to be super-competitive in the spring and fall of next year, we'd be introducing AMD products right now," he said.

Dell has long claimed its exclusive relationship with Intel allows it to minimise product development costs, but many analysts also believe that Dell receives substantial rebates on processor purchases for remaining loyal to Intel.

Earlier this week, managers from HP told users that AMD's dual-core Opteron would have a performance lead over Intel's dual-core Xeon in the first part of next year. They said it was too early to evaluate the performance of the chips that will be available from both companies in the second half of 2006.

Dell also discussed the growing importance of services to his company's future growth plans. PCs rule the roost at Dell, but the company's dramatic growth in that market has slowed in recent quarters. Enterprise technology services represent a relatively small area of Dell's business, but that will change in the coming years, he said.