Dell Inspiron 546 makes waves at Dell, Walmart

Officially, Dell has stocked AMD systems for several years, but the visibility and prominence of its AMD offerings has tended to ebb and rise. There have been times when the smaller CPU manufacturer has been all but banished from the company's online store, and then there are times like now, when AMD-powered rigs are popping up in multiple areas. Dell doesn't exactly acknowledge the trend, but Dell's director of consumer desktops, John Terwilliger, told Statesman: "Today's digital lifestyle revolves around video, music, photos and the capability to share those personal experiences. AMD technology helps us deliver a great multimedia experience at a great price."

The OEM's vehicle of choice for delivering that experience is the Inspiron 546. We don't normally cover the launch of a mainstream desktop line, but Walmart is currently
running a fabulous deal that's worth a mention. Last week, we discussed how Wal-Mart was moving forward with a $298 laptop, and today it's the desktop's turn. For $798, you can buy an Inspiron 546 powered by an AMD Phenom X3 8450 with 8GB of RAM, a 640GB HDD, and a 24" Dell S2409W LCD. The LCD itself doesn't come with a lot of built-on extras, but its 1920x1080 resolution is solid and the online reviews are positive.

Hopefully Dell's comments on multimedia performance reflect more than a momentary tryst with the other CPU manufacturer. Intel's integrated graphics are second-rate citizens compared to what both AMD and NVIDIA offer, and it's high time a major OEM noticed. The upcoming line of
Core i7 / i5 processors could make new trouble for AMD, but Intel still has plenty of Core 2 parts left to sell, and it's unlikely that the OEM will move swiftly to push Core i5 into the budget-oriented market.