For Dell ( DELL), the road to Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) may run through Miami. That's where PC maker Alienware, which Dell announced it was acquiring late Wednesday, is based. Though the acquisition gives Dell a huge boost in the market for high-end gaming PCs, it also gives the company a backdoor way of selling AMD processors. Alienware sells PCs, as well as severs and workstations, with both Intel ( INTC) processors and AMD processors. Dell, of course, sells Intel-based PCs exclusively. That approach has hurt the company recently, say analysts, given that many consumers consider AMD microprocessors technologically superior to Intel's at the moment. "Let's just assume for a moment that they keep Alienware's product lineup. Then certainly it does create a little tiny avenue for AMD to enter into a relationship with Dell," says Insight 64 analyst Nathan Brookwood, adding that it was too early to say whether Dell would in fact continue offering Alienware PCs with AMD chips. Dell derives many advantages from using only Intel processors in its PCs. Building PCs with only one type of processor keeps logistical costs down at a company that is concerned about every penny, says Brookwood. And Dell has a lot of leverage when it comes to negotiating discounts and rebates with Intel every quarter, thanks to its exclusive relationship. By having a second product line like Alienware, however, Dell could offer AMD chips without jeopardizing its relationship with Intel. "It would be a softer kind of way of taking that first step," says Brookwood. Although rumors of the Alienware acquisition had swirled around the Internet for weeks, many people deemed it unlikely given Dell's historical reluctance to grow through M&A. Furthermore, Alienware is a small company known for specialized products, particularly high-end gaming systems, and customer service; whereas Dell is a large company with a reputation for plain, low-cost PCs.