Good news just doesn’t seem to stop for microprocessor maker AMD these days. Shortly after reporting impressive third-quarter earnings, the company is now being lauded for outgunning mighty Intel and capturing over half of the processor market for desktop PCs in the US during the month of September.

AMD captured a 52 percent share, topping Intel’s 46 percent, according to market research firm Current Analysis, which is based in San Diego, California.

“Despite its past successes in surpassing Intel desktop sales in select retail sales weeks, September 2005 marked the first time AMD was able to outperform Intel for an entire month,” Current Analysis said in a report on Thursday.

The news couldn’t come at a better time for AMD. On Friday, the company is holding a grand opening ceremony for its most advanced – and probably its most expensive – chip-making factory to date. AMD is making a billion-dollar gamble that it can keep production lines full as it gains market share on rival Intel.

AMD benefited from increased sales of media centre PCs, Current Analysis said – these are meant to be used for home entertainment purposes. In September, media centre PCs accounted for 46 percent of all US retail desktop sales, the market researcher said, and 55 percent of those machines went out with AMD processors inside.

The star system was the HP Pavilion a1130n, running on a 64bit AMD Athlon 64 processor, Microsoft’s Media Center OS and 1GB of RAM at a post-rebate price of $679 (about £388), Current Analysis said.

The market researcher said the HP model is the most popular media centre PC in retail, and credited AMD for being in the right system at the right time.

“There is fantastic momentum surrounding the adoption of media centres and subsequently AMD in the forthcoming holiday season,” said Current Analysis.