Dell is increasing its range of AMD-based products with the launch of its first desktop computer based on AMD processors. The computer giant also said that AMD could be on par with Intel in the processor market within a few years.

The Dell Optiplex 740 is available with single- or dual-core Athlon processors. The launch marks a next step in the system maker's transition to AMD-powered systems.

The dual-core processor is said to have 11 per cent better performance than the previous GX620 , and draws 42 per cent less power.

It has taken a while for Dell to start featuring AMD in its product range, but now the computer giant has notebook and desktop PCs as well as servers equipped with AMD processors.

"Our commitment to AMD may contribute to a more equal distribution between the two processor manufacturers. It is not impossible that AMD will be as big as Intel within a few years," a Dell spokesperson said.

The computer manufacturer said that it will consider alternative architectures and components based on customer demand. Dell does not plan to create Intel and AMD versions of each product, but rather will release new models where demand is high.

Among the new AMD-based notebooks are the Inspiron 1501 and Latitude 131L . The most basic offering, the Inspiron 1501, features an AMD Sempron processor and costs £299. The Turion X2-based model is priced at £399.

The Dell Latitude 131L is a 15.4-inch widescreen notebook. It also has a choice between AMD's Turion X2 (£629) and Mobile Sempron (£499) processors.

Dell said that it would also be offering tablet PCs in the near future. But the company isn't planning on developing handheld computers, or to start manufacturing mobile phones.

"Several of our new notebooks have SIM card slots and next year we will feature circuits that allow users to use a mobile network to surf the web wirelessly," Dell stated.