A Web page inadvertently posted to Dell's Software and Peripherals website has provided proof that the computer vendor has now started selling AMD's Opteron microprocessor - to one customer, at least.
The page, which was swiftly pulled down, offered to sell a single 2.2GHz Opteron 148 UP processor for $869.47 (£482). It did not say what, if any, Dell system the processor might be used for.
The page should only have been viewable within Dell's customer intranet but a spokesman admitted that it had been accidentally posted to the public Dell site. "We had a single customer that had requested this," he said. "We made a mistake and we posted something to an area where it shouldn't have been posted. It has since been deactivated."
Launched a year ago, the Opteron processor is AMD's answer to Intel's Itanium 2 chip. As with the Itanium 2, machine language instructions are sent to the chip using a 64-bit instruction set. But the Opteron is a less costly processor that is also designed to perform well with applications that have been written for Intel's more popular 32-bit processors and has found a recent convert in the form of HP, as well as longer-term customers IBM and Sun.
The Opteron 148 listed on Dell's Web page was introduced by AMD in November and is designed for single processor servers and workstations.
"We do not offer an AMD-based product today," assured Dell's spokesman. "We continue to evaluate and monitor AMD." However, Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff thinks it may be a sign of things to come: "If there really was an Opteron processor listing accidentally put up on its site, that would lead me to believe there was something in the works," he said. "It's not impossible that they would sell an Opteron processor by itself from their Parts and Accessories Group, but a processor is a bit different from a disk drive."
An archive of the Dell page can be found on Geek.com here.
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