Fate of AMD’s Sea Islands obscured in the fog

Reports surfaced last weekend that AMD’s graphics roadmap for 2013 would keep the Radeon HD 7000 series “stable” throughout the year. The news came out in an unusual way, via an interview with a Japanese website and then several tweets from AMD employees and the official Radeon Twitter feed. Naturally, we had questions about the state of things, so AMD held a conference call for the press today, in an attempt to clarify matters.

Prior to last weekend, we expected AMD to be introducing a new generation of graphics cards within the next few months. That expectation was informed by the firm’s usual cadence for graphics releases and its public roadmaps. For instance, here’s the slide AMD shared at its CES press conference, with graphics along the top.

The CES roadmap seemed to agree with the one AMD showed at its Analyst Day roughly one year ago, when it projected “Sea Islands” to supplant Southern Islands with a “new GPU architecture” and “major GPU architecture enhancements for graphics, compute, HSA” in 2013.

HSA, of course, is AMD’s mixed-mode computing initiative that seeks to enable CPUs and GPUs to work together on shared computing workloads in more efficient fashion. Improved HSA support would almost surely involve modified silicon—either changes to the programming model, more bandwidth for data sharing, or both.

Thus, we expected the Sea Islands parts to be a top-to-bottom refresh of AMD’s GPU lineup, likely to be called the Radeon HD 8000 series. We understood the “Solar System” chips to be the mobile counterparts to Sea Islands, likely based on the same silicon, with some possible re-branding of prior-gen parts in the mobile space, as often happens.

In fact, prior to CES, we published a performance preview of the Radeon HD 8790M, a mobile graphics processor based on brand-new GPU silicon. This GPU is derived from the same first-gen GCN architecture as current Radeons, but there’s precedent for such mixing of architectural DNA. For instance, back when, the VLIW5-based “Barts” chip came to market alongside the VLIW4-based “Cayman.” This new chip is code-named “Mars,” placing it firmly in the Solar System naming scheme. Its desktop variant, “Oland,” will be making its way into desktop Radeon HD 8000-series cards for large PC makers. And, yes, Oland is an island in the Baltic Sea.

The next step, we believed, was for AMD to announce desktop Radeon HD 8000-series cards based on new Sea Islands silicon and a second-generation GCN architecture. At CES, sources with knowledge of the matter told us to expect those products late this quarter. Instead, reports slipped out last weekend that cast doubt on that plan, and AMD scheduled its conference call with the press.

I’m not sure what to tell you next about the call that ensued. Although the goal was roadmap clarification, no roadmap slides were shown or discussed. AMD’s Darren McPhee began the call by asserting that the Sea Islands code name refers to products for “desktop and notebook, with focus especially on the notebook” and that it’s primarily aimed at OEM customers, or big PC makers.

He then affirmed that the Radeon HD 7000 series will remain AMD’s “focus” on the desktop for most of 2013.

He explained that AMD is “not sitting still” with the 7000 series, that new products are coming in it. He then explained that AMD plans to introduce “a new series of products” by the end of 2013.

At this point, our sense was that the larger chips in Sea Islands, the ones with the new graphics architecture, had been delayed. AMD’s reps were essentially saying that the plan for Sea Islands had never included such things, that Sea Islands was focused on mobile and OEM products. Along with others on the call, we began asking clarifying questions. I think perhaps the best thing to do here is to share some of the ensuing exchanges with you, so you can see exactly what was said. We were talking with several AMD reps, including VP Roy Taylor, as you’ll see.

Let’s start with this bit about what Sea Islands really is:

TR: Guys, it’s good that you guys are selling the product that you have, but this marks a change from your approach of having a certain cadence for products. And we know that these chips take three or four years to develop, and it appears that Mars/Oland was actually a delivered chip. There have to be other chips in the pipeline. And now we’re hearing they’re not going to come out on schedule. This is a roadmap change—

Dave Baumann: Mars and Oland has already made it to the market. They’re already shipping. In fact, you can buy notebooks actually in November—

TR: I know that, but I thought there were other chips in that family. Were there not?

Dave Baumann: Yes, there are. And they’ll be announced in the coming months. We’ve already made roadmap presentations that show additional notebook products coming in Q2.

Darren McPhee: In Q2 we have more 8000M parts to round out the family, as an example.

Dave Baumann: And as we said, we’re not done launching the 7000 series yet, either. And that’s not necessarily just refreshes of current ASICs.

Next came this bit, a little later:

TR: Guys, I think there’s some confusion here, because you’re talking about new products, and products can be many things. They can be based on existing ASICs, they can be new ASICs. The expectation I think that we came into this year with is that you had a top-to-bottom ASIC refresh planned, and that that was called Sea Islands, and that we would see products based on Sea Islands relatively early in this year. Are you now saying that that was never the plan? Or has the plan changed?

Devon Nekechuk: The plan has always been to keep our 7900 series as the mainstay of our enthusiast product line from when we launched at the end of 2011 to the last part of 2013. So this was definitely an intentional plan.

Dave Baumann: Yeah, there’s been some hangover from the Internet hive mind that assumes that there’s going to be an 8000-series refresh immediately or a year after the previous product. That’s not the case. That’s just why we’re clarifying today.

And then this:

TR: Let me ask a question, because you said that there are some late 2013 products coming. Are those part of Sea Islands, or are they something else?

Dave Baumann: [long pause] We cannot really make comments on what exactly the product stack are and what the roadmap names are, etc. etc. You know, there’s plenty exciting new products to look at when they come later in the year.

TR: Are they based on GCN architecture or are they something substantially new?

Darren McPhee: Graphics Core Next is the architecture that we’re committed to as a company for years to come. So Graphics Core Next will be at the core of all of our products for the next several years.

And finally:

TR: Let me make sure that I get this, because I’m still not clear and I don’t want to write the wrong thing. You’re telling me that the 7000 series is going to remain stable throughout the year, and that there will be new products in the 7000 series, and that there will be new chips in Sea Islands in addition to Mars and Oland that come out during that span of time? Is that correct? Including larger chips than Mars and Oland? But they’ll be under the 7000 branding?

Darren McPhee: With the exception of not giving you details on that last question regarding size, yes, yes, and yes.

TR: So it’s possible that the only thing we’ll see is smaller chips than Mars and Oland?

Darren McPhee: I can’t comment on the size. It doesn’t . . . [trails off]

TR: Will Tahiti remain your high-end product throughout this span?

Darren McPhee: [pause] The 7900 series will be a focus for the rest of 2013.

Roy Taylor: Why don’t we have another one of these calls in a couple of weeks and we can tell you some more.

There you have it. Phew.

Let me see if I can explain what I think is happening. I wouldn’t normally do this, but some of the info coming out of AMD seems contradictory, so I’ll offer you my version of events. Time will tell whether I’m right.

My sense is that “Sea Islands” was initially a truly new generation of GPUs based on a refresh of the GCN architecture, just as the roadmaps from last year’s Analyst Day showed. Since this new family was to bring “major GPU architecture enhancements” for both graphics and compute, it’s extremely unlikely Sea Islands was planned from the beginning with only smaller chips. At some point along the way, the Sea Island chips based on the architectural refresh were very likely either delayed or canceled.

The surviving parts in the Sea Island/Solar System families are smaller, mobile and OEM-focused chips based on the first-gen GCN architecture, among them Mars/Oland with 384 shader ALUs and the larger “Neptune” chip with 640 ALUs that AnandTech outed a while back. AMD has already launched Radeon HD 8000-branded mobile products based on Mars and will soon introduce OEM-only desktop Radeon HD 8000-series parts based on Oland, the desktop version of the same chip.

AMD has an entire desktop Radeon 8000-series lineup based mostly on older GPUs, only for OEMs, because PC makers expect a yearly update cadence.

The “other members” of the Sea Islands family still to come, to which AMD referred in the conference call, are probably Neptune and its desktop counterpart. We’ll more than likely see OEM-focused Radeon HD 8000 series products based on this chip. We’d expect to see retail/channel products based on “desktop Neptune” and Oland that carry 7000-series branding, as well.

Those may well be the only Sea Islands chips that ever make it to market.

What’s coming at the end of 2013 isn’t entirely clear, other than that it will be a full lineup refresh, perhaps called the Radeon HD 9000 series. We don’t know whether it will include the architectural enhancements once planned for Sea Islands, whether it will be based on a newer fabrication technology than the current 28-nm TSMC process, or much else. We do know the architecture will be branded as Graphics Core Next, so we’re probably looking at an evolution of the current GCN setup, not something radically new.

Between now and then, AMD’s graphics division may well have to compete with rival Nvidia without the benefits of new silicon—and we do expect a silicon refresh from Nvidia in the coming months. Even though both firms will likely be sticking with a 28-nm process, there are benefits to building a new chip.

For AMD, those benefits could have been substantial. GCN is an all-new architecture, and it’s not as efficient in terms of performance per die area or per watt as Nvidia’s Kepler. AMD almost certainly has learned a lot about GCN performance from having real chips in hand, things it couldn’t have fully understood using simulation when the chips were being developed. Refreshed silicon could have made substantial improvements. Beyond that, refresh generations offer the opportunity to build “tweener” chips like Barts whose mix of size and internal resources hits a sweet spot in the market. Also completely off the table is anything to rival the rumored GK110-based monster that Nvidia may use to capture the single-GPU performance crown.

AMD could very well remain competitive throughout much of the market with a combination of aggressive game bundling, discounts, product repositioning, and the promised driver updates in the pipeline. Without new silicon, though, it could be facing a rather difficult uphill battle.

Unless, you know, I’m completely wrong about what’s happening here. Of course, we’ll keep watching this story and update you on further developments as they happen.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    Did you intentionally make your comment senseless? What does 3dfx got to do with today’s AMD GPUs or their drivers?

    • jonjonjon
    • 10 years ago

    so double the performance isn’t a significant upgrade in your view? what are you expecting a card that’s 10x more powerful?

    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/512?vs=508[/url<]

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    congrats on making one of the sillier references of the year.

    Nvidia “made for the paranoid”…. lol.

    • Kretschmer
    • 10 years ago

    I got burned for purchasing a Voodoo5 5500: Official driver support shriveled up a few months after my install.

    Never again; steering clear of AMD.

    • Deo Domuique
    • 10 years ago

    Like now we have options… You can’t be kidding yourselves. Only 2 brands for GPUs, only 2 brands for CPUs, only 2 brands for HDDs for the entire world…

    I’m also sure they can lobby these companies in order to manipulate prices; like cartels do. What is stopping them? Why we always see similar prices anyway. This gen, for instance, AMD came at the beginning with 550$ card, Nvidia came afterwards with 500$.

    Meanwhile, AMD’s cards are currently almost minus 150$ -Nvidia can still enjoy its goldmine due to… No options.

    • Ditiris
    • 10 years ago

    “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull****.” -W.C. Fields

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    Nah, AMD is focusing their severely limited resources on other more profitable that are outside the PC gaming arena.

    Nvidia has been doing the same thing as well.

    • Heighnub
    • 10 years ago

    My prediction: AMD is working on a platform for their master plan – bringing a unified memory architecture to the PC, like they are purportedly doing for the PS4. AMD CPU + 7970 on a single chip with DDR3/GDDR5 unified system memory will bring better performance improvements than an 8970 in any current setup.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    congrats ace, you failed epically right on cue as only a fanboy can, I said no one likes monopolies except for fanboys, no one liked AMD’s pricing when they sold parts for $1000 (or close to it) just like they didn’t like it when Nvidia and Intel did it.

    it’s now official btw, GTX Titan will be listing for $999, add in tax and it’s going to be well over $1000 and I disapprove just like I did when AMD, Nvidia and Intel did it in the past.

    will you be going full fanboy and apologizing for Nvidia as well?

    • Waco
    • 10 years ago

    “HD res”?

    1080p with most games is hardly stressing most cards from 2 years ago let alone modern cards assuming you don’t crank detail levels to absurd heights. The only reason you *might* want to upgrade to a newer card is that 1 GB cards are quite stressed even at moderate settings with newer games.

    • gmskking
    • 10 years ago

    Nice one-up

    • bwcbiz
    • 10 years ago

    I also think that cash-strapped AMD doesn’t have the resources to prioritize the enthusiast market with raw power and packing more cores on a smaller process node. So they’re carefully trying to manage the expectations that a “new architecture” would generate.

    It sounds like their first priority is going after the bigger mobile market by addressing power consumption. So the new architecture won’t be that much more powerful than the 7000 series. Just a whole lot cooler. This also has benefits on the desktop as the gamers and OEMs move their systems from the den into the living room, and “small” and “quiet” become more important design features.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Good reasoning, there. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was one reason amongst many for this rearrangement.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Agreed, but there won’t be, because any refresh nVidia release (nothing has been promised) will be on the same node. The only way they have to go is up in performance/power characteristics, minor optimisations aside

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Still don’t understand how that and the generation before didn’t win AMD more market share. We tech consumers are a strange breed.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Well summarised. If we’re all honest with ourselves, there isn’t any genuine need for an 8000 series on the same node. That seems to be what Dave Baumann is talking about when he refers to assumptions by the “internet hive mind”. There isn’t a hard and fast rule that top-to-bottom refreshes / architectures have to come out on a regular basis, just like Moore’s law is not a law.

    It is, however, established practice; hence the expectations. Roadmaps show that it was their plan up until fairly recently too.

    I can’t help but be slightly disappointed even though this in no way affects me. How odd.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Possible but doubtful at best.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Baumann is indeed a good chap. His level of community engagement is something I’ve not seen from any other member of staff at a major vendor. Anything he’s not saying is something he’s not allowed to say; I worry about how much he appears to be not allowed to say, though.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Just FYI, “passive” cooling capability in the HPC market doesn’t say much of interest about heat output. The fans in those things run faaaaassst. 🙂

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    I’m going to add a “hear hear”. In my line of work I primarily get two types of graphics requests:

    1) “A graphics card”. This usually takes the form of “dual head” (wow!) or “cheap”.
    This type of customer does not care what they get.

    2) “A GeForce”. Sometimes slightly more specific, often not.
    This type of customer will sometimes pay as much as £80 extra for 10% worse performance in their chosen applications because “the drivers are better” and/or “my technical friend told me nVidia are better”.

    I have had one (yes, one) customer request high-end AMD GPUs for a series of builds. 2 machines with a pair of 7970s in each. The funny thing is that I always recommend based on value for money at the customer’s price point, so if I’d been recommending the spec myself I’d have told him to put GTX 680s in there…

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Classic graphics hardware company posturing. 3Dfx did it (Voodoo5 6000 anybody?!), nVidia have done it, ATi did it with the X1800 XT “Phantom Edition”.

    The thing is, they only do it because enough of us enthusiasts are so dumb as to buy the hype :/

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Apparently your vision is indeed impaired. His post simply said that when AMD charged $1000 for processors “absolutely nobody appreciated it”. This is in the same paragraph as utterly neutral comments about nVidia and Intel.

    I am genuinely interested, is this a comprehension problem or are you simply so spoiling for a fight about this that you’re willing to rail against even the most common-sense fact-based statements? :/

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    Impairs my vision ? You just proved my point. You accepted that AMD charged outrageous prices for their parts when they were winning, while criticizing Intel and NVIDIA for doing the same. You are exactly the type of person I was talking about.

    And it’s been proven time and time over that many people around here are perfectly comfortable with a “monopoly” by AMD, especially evident with the news of AMD being in all the consoles and the possibility of games being specifically optimized for AMD hardware is “great” for most people here, which clearly shows the double standards you say don’t exist.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    a lack of competition causes both stagnation and high prices.

    if limited competition causes prices to rise then why was HD 4850 selling for $200 less than it’s nearest competitor at launch?

    • ET3D
    • 10 years ago

    Lack of competition doesn’t imply higher prices, it just implies stagnation. In fact it’s (limited) competition which drives prices up. When two companies vie for first spot, if one of them suddenly has a product that’s significantly better than the competition’s, it’s likely to price it higher, rather than keep the current price point and drive the competition to the ground. What lack of competition does is remove the need to innovate to keep at the front.

    • odizzido
    • 10 years ago

    If I could use a keyboard/mouse properly on console, bind my controls to what I want, lower graphics settings to get better frame rates, and be able to mod games on it I would certainly consider buying a console.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    “-The muscle car crowd is bigger than ever. the new stingray is beautiful (except for that **** backend), “muscle” can be had for incredibly cheap prices, and the “scene” has innovation on a yearly basis. Do you even lift [a motor trend magazine]?”

    Have you studied the demographics of the current and upcoming driving generations? They don’t care about cars. They care much more about technology. The entire car market is in denial about how people will afford to drive in the future. Here’s a hint: They won’t be able to, or it’ll stop being the priority it has been. It simply is too large a portion of people’s money to keep driving, unless it’s absolutely vital for their livelyhood.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Agreed. 100%. Wow.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    People downvote you but your point is the best one here. Nvidia has more competition from iOS, Android, and other game systems than ATI. The market for Nvidia/AMD is pennies compared to the market for other gaming systems and delivery methods.

    If AMD died, Nvidia would certainly get a higher cut, but so what? That cut is small potatoes. If they raise their prices it can harm them.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    get rid of the fanboy hat, not just because it makes you look ridiculous but because it impairs your vision.

    monopoly’s are bad, the end of competition is horrible, if Nvidia wins…. $1000 parts, if Intel wins $1000 parts, actually Intel already has $1000 parts and when AMD was winning they had parts that listed for $1000 and guess what, absolutely nobody appreciated it…. except for fanboys of course who’ve long since lost their ability to appreciate the benefits that come with a healthy competition in the marketplace.

    no double standard at all, most everybody hates it when monopolies abuse their advantage because the results are horrible for consumers.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    2007 GTX 8800 ultra’s MSRP was $830 now add tax and ship…ignoring the retail price which was over $1000 after taxes let’s take Canada as an example and that MSRP rings in at $949 which is quite a bit closer to $1000 than it is $500.

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    It has already happened.

    MMORPGs and a few AAA PC exclusives are is what is keeping traditional PC market from fading into complete obscurity. The vast majority of gaming titles are multi-platform and earn most of their revenue with the gaming console market.

    You can easily see this in the game design in most of the games you can pick up today. You no longer have games with open environments. You have games with only a dozen or so command bindings that have no room for anything else.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    No, it’s not dis-ingenuous. It’s the way it’s been since…well, ever in the graphics card market. Products like the Titan are Halo parts and are meant to capture the performance crown and create mindshare over who has the fastest GPU.

    In the past things revolved around single GPUs only, then halo parts started encompassing dual GPU cards too and fanboys on both sides decided that the performance crown needed to be decided in both single GPU and dual GPU parts.
    With Titan, NVIDIA is simply monetizing on the already spent R&D costs of a chip that was only being sold as a HPC product. Quantities are limited because that has always been the fate of Halo products. And because they are limited, their prices are also sky high…just like any other halo product in any other market.

    Also, for those talking about the 8800 Ultra, that’s not the oldest halo product from NVIDIA at outrageous prices. The first from recent memory was actually the 7800 GTX 512.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    And AMD did the same with their FX chips when their Athlons were spanking Pentium 4s…

    The double standards really need to stop. As derFunkenstein said above, no one company should rule a certain market…that’s a monopoly and monopolies are bad for everyone.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    I like that this is your unit of monetary measurement with Deanjo. I LOL’d IRL.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    That may be the case – if they plan to do that my guess is that they need some embedded DRAM in the APU, and that could be kinda expensive. There’s not enough memory bandwidth to get to 1080p right now without it, though.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    “AMD is partly to blame for not competing in GPU’s”
    …what? I was with you up until that point. I’m not going to get into a fanboy argument here but I honestly don’t think you can back that up with anything even beginning to approach evidence. CPUs, sure, but the GPU side of the business has been remarkably agile by comparison.

    Furthermore, if you don’t see the part of the WiiU that does make it “truly next gen”, then I don’t think you entirely get it. It’s not about specs with Nintendo and it never has been since the N64 – it’s the controller. You’re welcome, nVidia.

    • bfar
    • 10 years ago

    We were listening to the exact same arguments back in 2006 when folks were saying that the current crop of console would kill the PC. The complete opposite happened; in fact they only served to make the PC a stronger platform.

    PC gaming isn’t tied to any particular hardware, provider or business model as much as other platforms are. There never has been a ‘traditional’ PC market, it continually changes, and that’s partly what makes it so popular with enthusiasts. If the likes of AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Microsoft walk away from this, then what of it? Plenty of other companies are hungry to fill the gap (Valve for example). Enthusiast PC building and gaming thrived as a small niche for years, and can do again. Indeed some would say it would be all the better for it.

    The PC gaming platform will definitely change, its popularity will rise and fall, but it will remain a great place to go for genuine gaming pedigree.

    • Zizy
    • 10 years ago

    This couldnt be more vague. They only committed to keeping 7xxx naming and to use general principle of GCN. Ummm ok, first one is meaningless as far as cards go, second one was expected. From their call, they might even add 7990 card in the same way they did 4890. Or another 7870 version with performance and HSA improvements. Or just about anything they feel like.

    My wild speculation: There is no significant change of plans, just marketing change. AMD plans to keep the same name and series for twice as long as they did. They will add their refreshes directly to the old lineup. Refreshed 7970 gets named 7980 or 7990, its lower bin gets named 7960 etc.
    Imo this is a relatively sensible change as long as there is feature parity – old parts dont look obsolete and have no need for a price drop. Plus lineup gets denser and leaves no space for NV parts. 650Ti takes spot between 7770 and 7850; 750Ti would likely squeeze between 8770 and 8850. But if AMD keeps the current lineup, 750Ti gets covered by 7850 that doesnt immediately look obsolete because of new parts.

    • raypozas
    • 10 years ago

    Only 4.4% game above 1080P according to the Steam survey. That would make most cards above a 7870 not really important for the foreseeable future worldwide. Lots of countries are just starting to use 1080P TV’s and will be doing so for a few years to come.

    • raypozas
    • 10 years ago

    I think AMD APU’s that can run games at 1080P with acceptable frame rates are the sweet spot AMD is targeting. So getting the GPU on APU’s is their priority. A shrink to 20 or 22nm may and a GPU that is 8800 series based may just do it.

    • raypozas
    • 10 years ago

    Right on the money! Hopefully AMD and NVidia get the chips down to 20 or 22nm soon. AMD CPU’s too. I think 14nm is too far off.

    • squeeb
    • 10 years ago

    I’d +1 you but don’t like the Wii U jab.

    • achaycock
    • 10 years ago

    I think that’s a pretty simplistic viewpoint.

    The last round of cuts was primarily targeted at the graphics division, with future work being out-sourced. In other words, a large percentage of people with experience in the GPU division left or were pushed out.

    AMD has already said that future efforts will not be focused upon high end CPU’s.

    They have also said that they’ll be putting more R&D efforts into ARM and mobile computing.

    In other words, if you want a high end CPU or a fast graphics card, there will not be the engineers available to develop these as they have either left or been re-purposed.

    Nvidia has a clearer roadmap and set of goals, with experienced engineers working towards those goals.

    AMD has been making continual redundancies and is caught up in internal strife, killing productivity. Just because they have more people does not mean to say they have the engineers available to work on the products that we are discussing.

    • sschaem
    • 10 years ago

    Richland, Kavery , Kabini, Temash, Solar, Sony Ps4, Microsoft 720,… moving many architectures to 28nn. And I’m sure their seamicro division are not sitting on their thumbs either.

    When both (nvidia & AMD) are stuck at 28nm, their isn’t much to offer consumers.

    And at this stage, what game even stress the 7970 where you thought “I wish I had a 8970”?
    So why would AMD build a bigger 28nm chip

    • sschaem
    • 10 years ago

    AMD “Without the engineers” ? Do you seriously believe that

    AMD employ over 10,000 people. Do you think those are all managers, marketing & PR?

    Telling anyone “Dont buy AMD, they only employ 10,000 people… now if they had 11,000 people on payroll I would be fully behind AMD like I was in the past.. but 10,000 seriously ? how can AMD innovate with only 10,000 people”

    nvidia ‘barely’ got 7000 employee,, make you wonder right, how can nvidia even create any products. sigh

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 10 years ago

    I agree with part of your overall point. PC building is going to eventually be like making your own TV or your own radio, which is to say extremely niche. I’m disagreeing on the point that PC gaming market is going to die. I think it’s going to transform into a way of playing games similar to tablets or phones. In fact, I actually see all three converging in due course into one device with the ability to connect to a variety of displays and control interfaces.

    What kind of CPU will this device use? I have no idea, but I think all the changes at Intel are about making sure it’s x86-based. Anything Intel does with Apple, any deal it gives Apple, it’s all about delaying Apple’s making a Macbook that uses ARM-based CPU’s. They want to get to a point where x86 CPU’s that are better performers do so at similar or better power than ARM-based chips, making them irrelevant. AMD isn’t even a blip on Intel’s radar at this point. ARM is their competitor and they are aggressively setting the pieces up to surround and contain ARM as a threat. I don’t know if they’re going to get the price low enough to make it happen, but it could go either way at this point. I do think companies like Apple and Samsung really, really like owning the chip design.

    nVidia had to diversify. It couldn’t live off of GPU’s, which has always been an up or down industry and unreliable. By diversifying, they leverage their existing talents in other areas that use their strengths without all the fluctuations of the consumer GPU market. Naturally, first they went to CAD and then moved out to GPUcomputing. Both moves made a lot of sense. Then they took their CPU staff they’d intended to make an x86 chip, realized ARM stood a fair chance of supplanting x86, and turned them toward Tegra, using their GPU work to build as a foundation for that chip’s GPU. Again, it makes sense. Why beat Intel at its own game when they can just change the rules?

    None of what nVidia did was explicitly about the end of the PC. It was more about an emerging market, less about a declining one. They respond to AMD any time AMD puts out a new GPU product and when they don’t, why SHOULD they push the envelope? Their products already have better word of mouth, have higher prices yet sell better than equivalent Radeon products, and their competitor has thrown in the towel on competing this year.

    Why shouldn’t they milk this delay?

    Intel has slowed its cadence as well due to lack of competition from AMD. It’s been generations ahead of AMD for years now. Didn’t you realize that this lack of competition from AMD was going to wind up making nVidia and Intel start to slow their product cycles and milk the market longer before moving on? Especially when the markets, even the PC gaming enthusiast markets, don’t even really NEED the extra performance at all. PC gaming is doing well because PC gaming is so easy to get into and part of the reason for that is PC’s only need to be good enough to play games that are ports of hardware from 2007. The Xbox 360 released in 05, but it had a custom ATI part that eventually showed up in late 06. The PS3 had an nVidia part from 2006/7. The Wii was a Gamecube’s innards reheated with a gimmick waggle controller.

    Games from these systems were not pushing hardware FIVE years ago and certainly aren’t pushing it now. Sure, there are a few products out there that push our hardware, but they are few and far between, riddled with a lot of bad ports. A whole ocean of bad ports.

    No one is saying, “I need more power to run my game!” when they’re at the high end. What they’re saying, instead, is “I want more power to run higher and higher ridiculous levels of AA.” That’s a first world problem. And few buy cards for that.

    AMD is partly to blame for not competing in GPU’s or CPU’s. Consoles (especially the “high end” that is Xbox and Playstation) are partly to blame for not pushing the hardware specs up last year or the year before when they really should have. Intel and nVidia are partly to blame for not feeling any impetus to compete without someone to compete against.

    Piracy has very little bearing on the matter, except for when CEO’s want to explain why a crappy game sold crappy and they don’t want to admit it was in fact crappy. If these corporate fatcats wanted to kill piracy, they’d stop leaking it deliberately to the scenes and then using the piracy as the reason they failed to have great sales. Do you really think all these releases that the scenes crap out are coming from disc manufacturing sources? Really?

    Games cost more to make, BUT games are easier to port to a variety of platforms than ever before. By now, due to the lull in consoles, a lot of publishers have finished the tools necessary to make porting from consoles to PC’s easier. And by every indication, the upcoming truly next gen consoles (ie., not Wii U) will be incredibly PC-like with AMD APU’s, which should only make porting a lot easier.

    I think you mistake change for death. PC gaming will not be the enthusiast catnip it once was, but it will carry on. It’ll just be a Steambox playground full of Razer boxes, Corsair boxes, Steelseries boxes, Alienware boxes, and the like with a few toocoolforschool kids who build their own computers using increasingly more costly, niche products off in one corner of the playground talking about insane levels of AA while dismissing the rest of the playground as pathetic.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 10 years ago

    None of these companies makes a TON of money off their halo products. Their halo products are there to capture the high end, which translates into sales in the mid-range and low-end, too. The brand name and model number gets a certain connotation and then it translates down into the lower end products.

    You may not have cared about nVidia holding the high end crown, but you’re more well informed than a lot of consumers who just want to buy a video card. Quite a lot of people just type in “Fastest video card” and whatever they find to be the fastest, then they want the more reasonably priced variant of that.

    I always find it amazing how few people actually do a lot of research on the products they are about to invest money into, but it happens a lot.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 10 years ago

    Every indication (every thing they do) suggests they have a braindrain. They’ve culled the Steamroller-ful updates to their CPU’s across the board. They’ve been suffering from BASIC driver issues they frankly knew about (ie., “GPU memory management”) and didn’t fix due to lack of resources. They’ve got a really confused, thick message coming out about their GPU’s and they really expect the whole internet can be fooled by their obfuscation if they just keep saying it over and over. Despite every indication prior to this week suggesting something else entirely.

    They’re clearly treading water this year, doing a few limited releases, but mostly just trying to sell what they already have in 2013 and hope that by 2014 they’ll have made up some money, waited for fab to catch up, and then try to resume competing. But by then, they’re going to be even farther behind the curve of both Intel and nVidia than they are today.

    This is the way AMD ends.
    This is the way AMD ends.
    This is the way AMD ends.
    Not with a bang, but another delay.

    • TheBob!
    • 10 years ago

    [url<]http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey[/url<] I think this gives you a pretty good idea. I don't see them selling to many to non games so it is most likely a ok sample.

    • achaycock
    • 10 years ago

    It does seem that I haven’t made myself clear. What I should have said is that I don’t think AMD offer a compelling product TODAY and that I think that this will only get worse during the course of the next two years. I should have also stressed that I am more against their CPU than their GPU lineup, although I will state that with current drivers I do think Nvidia have the better product.

    So I’ll address the GPU side first. You argue that AMD offer better performance per dollar, but by what metric do you make this argument? If we compare the HD7950 against the 660TI, then even using FPS the Radeon comes out worse, take 99th percentile results into account (and I do) and the story gets much worse for the HD7950. So when I’m building a gaming PC for a client, guess which card I recommend? And that’s with performance today! Right now. I realise that this is only one product from each side, but this extends to most of the line-up, especially at the high end.

    So then I look at the massive layoffs at AMD and note that they are focused upon their engineering department, especially the graphics department. I also note the internal political struggles at the company. And then I read an article (in fact more than one article) that shows AMD are humming and hawing at a previously understood commitment to launch the 8000 series GPU’s in the first half of this year. It now seems that this will not be the case and that the launch may be as late as 2014. Meanwhile, reports are coming in that Nvidia are still on track to launch their next generation products this year.

    Now look at the CPU situation which is even more dire. Here’s an anecdotal story. When I built rebuilt my partner’s computer mid-2012, she was using my old Phenom II X3 and we got a motherboard to accommodate that, but it would no longer unlock the 4th core and she needed more performance than the tri-core processor could offer. Not wanting to ditch the board, we took advantage of a cashback offer and got her an FX-8120 and overclocked it to 4.4GHz (as much as it could reliably take). Performance is not appalling to be fair, the computer is quick. But still slower in the majority of tasks than my 4GHz Phenom II X6 1090T. And compared to the i5 systems that I’ve built for my clients, then put bluntly neither compares (though to be fair, the X6 is still proving better for virtualisation tasks, the reason I bought it).

    AMD have indicated that they’re not going to continue with high end processor development for much longer (how can they with no engineers?) and their line-up right NOW is significantly slower than Intel’s solutions overall. If I want to give my clients the best systems their money can buy, then I stand firmly by what I say, avoid AMD. I don’t want to say that, but AMD have a poor line-up right now that I sincerely believe is not going to get any better. That’s why I care about the fact that they won’t innovate over the next 2 years.

    • BiggieShady
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<] I'm part of the PC traditional gamer crowd, but I'm not denying the truth. We are going end-up like muscle car crowd who had their moment back in the 1950-1970s, but are now part of a diminishing minority. [/quote<] Please, mobile gaming is at least decade behind with GTA 3 ports because that's the performance limit today with heat and battery considerations. Guess what, it will always be behind the deskop, proportionally, because of the power considerations. That means you will be seeing amazing graphics on PC's years before it comes to mobile space ... you see, when performance per watt goes up, mobile space gets thinner devices with longer battery life and desktop space get faster devices in same power envelope.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    maybe TR could revive Joss Whedon’s Dr Horrible Sing Along blog.

    yes, I’m assuming the role of villain and going full on facetious.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    about 20 a year, not many but more than 2, last year it included the 5 Games of Thrones released “thus” far, not the audiobooks mind you but the real ones of course.

    been reading the Wheel of Time series since Xmas but I’m not finding it compelling and may stop.

    thanks for asking 🙂

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t mind them and I’ve grown used to your site using cadence but it seems more like style over substance.

    • Suspenders
    • 10 years ago

    That’s interesting to hear.

    Unfortunately for AMD, I think that Nvidia has managed to position themselves as the “premium” gpu brand in the eyes of most of the graphics card buyers out there, far more so than what was the case in the past with competition between ATI and Nvidia. That goes beyond just the driver consideration I think; there just seems to be a general perception that Nvidia is “better”.

    All else being equal, most people will get the Nvidia card, and this is partly what I believe is behind the reason why we don’t see the same kind of market share swings we used to between ATI and Nvidia. It’s truly astounding to me that AMD had more than half a year’s lead time to market with their latest gen products and Nvidia still manages to match or beat their sales numbers in such a short amount of time. AMD have to have something truly outstanding on their hands to do anything but tread water it seems.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 10 years ago

    TLDR. (j/k but you could have made this a lot shorter)

    -Don’t spend more money on advertising (hint: this includes hiring AAA movie stars just to say you have AAA movie star voicing your character) than making a good game (hint: the real reason why “dev” costs are so high)

    -The muscle car crowd is bigger than ever. the new stingray is beautiful (except for that shitty backend), “muscle” can be had for incredibly cheap prices, and the “scene” has innovation on a yearly basis. Do you even lift [a motor trend magazine]?

    -AMD is diversifying their portfolio too, they’re just sucking at it. They’ll either die or swing back.

    -I see the gaming industry having another crash, but it will be more like the dot-com boom crash, not like the 1980’s crash. What arises from it probably won’t be pretty.

    What we’re in the middle of is a transition period, and the consumer is the big loser with every failed experiment. I hope that the VG industry doesn’t turn into something like say, the cable industry. Because without piracy, that is exactly what it would become. Nickel+Diming, annual price hikes, for worse and worse content.

    Even if this was supposed to be “troll” post, I would hope it would have incited some more discussion than “1/10 you’re trying too hard”

    /shrug

    p.s. just watched seven psychopaths, very good movie.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    Like you, I read TR and I know all that. My point is, the ‘next’ generation after GCN 1.0 (take note of the 1.0), let’s call it GCN 2.0, will have to contain enough tweaks and improvements in the underlying GCN architecture to merit a change in the first digit of the model number, in this case, from 7 to 8. GPU makers are keen on incrementing their generational model digits so when AMD says they’re gonna stick with the ‘HD7000’ branding for 2013 that can only mean they’re sticking with GCN 1.0.

    It’s kinda like Bulldozer. Piledriver is STILL largely the underlying Bulldozer architecture but it has enough improvements here and there to merit going from FX-x1xx to FX-x3xx. Sure, AMD will use the basic Bulldozer architectures for years to come but Piledriver can be considered ‘next’ generation of an existing architecture, the same way HD7000 was the first iteration of GCN, and of which the next iteration (supposedly HD8000) is delayed.

    Not sure if you completely understood my earlier post, but I hope you get my point now.

    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    The usage of cadence in the article is a bit of a creative one, and perhaps does not fit perfectly with the traditional meaning, but hey, that’s what happens in creative writing…

    The word has traditionally been used to describe the periodicity of sound (music or marching drills). In music, cadence isn’t simply the beat or rhythm, but the characteristic inherent in the music that describes the beat or rhythm to the listener.

    For example, in the simple common marching rhythm consisting of 4 evenly timed beats in a row (ie, left, left, left, [b<]left-right[/b<]-left, left, left, [b<]left-right[/b<]), the insertion and quick procession to "right" after 3 lefts conveys the cadence: That is, that the marching rhythm isn't just evenly timed beats to infinity, but that a phrasing exists of 4 evenly timed beats. In other words, the cadence in music is both the phrasing of the rhythm and the audible cues or inflections inherent in the music that conveys this phrasing to the listener. In other other words, the cadence organises the rhythm into easily understandable packets that can then be received and computed (lame computer analogy attempt not withstanding). But like most words, cadence has been bastardized. It is commonly used in poetry to convey a similar idea of how the way the poem is read conveys the rhythm (both the meter and intended departure from the meter). More recently, it is commonly used to define rhythm of repetitive athletic movement (ie, running or cycling cadence - the rate at which your feet hit the ground or the RPM of the pedals, respectively). This meaning is more congruent with Scott's usage - the rate at which new product cycles are released.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    Same reason other trolls are still here – he was kicked out (or put on “ignore” by majority of people) from everywhere else and this is probably the only place left where he can still spew out all the nonsense… Mainly because the “comments” section is still severely limited and there’s no way to hide ignored person’s comments or downvote them into becoming “invisible” (luckily, at least the forums have working “ignore” function) 🙁

    • Amien
    • 10 years ago

    Some of us have actually read a book or two in our lives…

    • spigzone
    • 10 years ago

    GAMING anyone ???

    It’s not a secret, AMD has openly stated gaming is where it sees ‘massive’ market opportunity and gaming/graphics is a key part of the future strategy … hence the logical inference AMD’s future APUs and GPUs will be, first and foremost, focused on maximizing gaming potential. AMD said gaming/graphics was a top priority for them, be kinda silly to ignore the obvious.

    HOW that would be done is also fairly obvious … maximize the hardware synergies available from having their hardware in the next gen consoles … I would expect the delays on their APUs and GPUs coming in Q4 involve tweaks, based on whatever hardware is going into the consoles, to maximize the gaming capabilities of those Q4 APUs and GPUs on next gen games and which would be released concurrent with the next gen consoles.

    It would also give AMD time to fine tune the drivers with an expectation they would, with their deep involvement up and down the entire middleware/software gaming stack. So when next gen PC games are reviewed on AMD’s newly released APUs and GPUs at the end of the year the idea is they handily win on gaming benchmarks and quality of play against both Intel and Nvidia across the respective price points.

    AMD has nearly all the pieces and design wins in place to OWN console and PC gaming and it’s apparent they are focused on doing just that. About all that’s left is getting the Steam Box win.

    • jihadjoe
    • 10 years ago

    There’s an interesting article over at anandtech tackling this same subject.

    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6751/amd-reiterates-2013-gpu-plans-sea-islands-beyond[/url<] The gist of it is that 8000 series parts for the desktop are being rolled out, but these are basically OEM SKUs that we don't hear about. Desktop 8000 series will be out there, nonetheless. The other implication is that 7900 will remain AMD's top desktop part until the end of the year.

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah good point… I had forgotten that the Oakridge installation was named Titan first before these cards came out. What you just said is dead on: there are > 18,000 K20s in that single supercomputer installation alone, with several other supercomputer installations also using a bunch of those boards. That’s not even to mention the professional & scientific markets where “small” computing systems use a few dozen or even a few hundred of those boards. We never hear about those installations, but Nvidia makes big money in that market.

    • jihadjoe
    • 10 years ago

    Its doubly confusing when the supercomputer that has 18688 GK110s is also named Titan.

    Now when you said “entire production run of the Titan”, I was thinking about all the GPUs that went into the Oak Ridge Titan, and wondering about a new supercomputer that makes use of an even bigger number of Tesla K20s.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    At some point, the question is begged: why are you still here, then? Someone on the internet is “wrong”?

    • BestJinjo
    • 10 years ago

    “I’ve been advising clients to avoid AMD as I have come to have little faith in the company’s ability to continue to innovate in the PC market during the next two years.”

    Let me understand your logic. You advise your clients not to buy AMD’s desktop GPUs today even though they have better performance/dollar, higher overclocking room/voltage unlock and triple-A gaming bundles because you project in your mind that AMD might not innovate in the GPU market in 2 years from now? That’s analogous to not recommending class-leading Panasonic Plasma TVs because you think in 2 years Sony might out-innovate Panasonic with superior LED tech. If a consumer is purchasing a gaming card today, what difference does it make to them if AMD can beat NV in 2 years or not? As long as AMD as survives, driver support for HD7000 series will continue. Future innovation is irrelevant for today’s GPU purchase because we have no idea what happens in 2015 in regard to NV vs. AMD’s GPU offerings.

    • BestJinjo
    • 10 years ago

    No way. All those HD8000 cards would have launched at previous HD7000 launch MSRP levels then if AMD were to really go with the marketing notion that these are actually new cards. If AMD raised the price of HD8970 to $499 from current prices, they would have looked stupid. If they just re-badged, they also would have looked desperate. The practice of re-badging needs to die. It only confuses/cheats the consumers.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t feed the troll, dude 😉

    • BestJinjo
    • 10 years ago

    “Both your company (AMD) and Nvidia have always/consistently brought out new GPU architectures every year, even if they’re just re-spins of the previous generation.”

    Your comment is contradictory. Re-spin of the previous generation is automatically not a new GPU architecture. That’s just a new series based on existing GPU architecture. You seem to interchangeably use the terms GPU micro/architecture with GPU series. GeForce 9 was not a new GPU architecture and neither was GTX400 to 500. Those were just refreshes of existing GPU architectures. The same applies to AMD’s move from HD2000 to 3000 series. Same exact GPU architecture, just a refresh with a small bump in performance. GCN 2.0 was always rumored to be a small refresh similar to moving from HD5000 to 6000. The next major GPU redesigns were slated for 20nm with AMD’s Volcanic Islands and NV’s Maxwell. Looking at AMD’s HD7970 Ghz high power consumption, it stands to reason that NV is the only company in a position to bring out a worthwhile 28nm refresh in 2013. AMD’s GCN is less efficient (i.e., power consumption/28nm node limited).

    • BestJinjo
    • 10 years ago

    Jan 31, 2013 — Sources SweClockers state that both AMD and Nvidia decided to postpone the next generation of video cards. The new circuits can be “at best” pop up in the fourth quarter of 2013, ie in the period October-december. This could mean, for example, the Radeon HD 7970 has time to fill two years before a proper replacement can find on the market.
    [url<]http://www.sweclockers.com/nyhet/16480-nasta-generation-geforce-och-radeon-skjuts-upp-till-q4-2013[/url<] Feb 4, 2013 -- Report: Next Gen GeForce and Radeon GPUs Delayed to Q4. It seems that we might only see the GTX 700 and HD 8000 Series appear in Q4 2013. [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Radeon-GeForce-Delay-GPU-Next-Generation,20838.html[/url<] The rest of tech media fell asleep at the wheel. I posted this before and I got downrated when I said the timeline for 28nm refreshes has been rumored to be Q4 2013 weeks ago. Last year's rumors of flagship GTX700/HD8000 desktop parts launching in Q1-2 2013 were just rumors, not facts.

    • BestJinjo
    • 10 years ago

    In the UK many 7950 and 7970 cards are on Pre-Order since they are sold out. Your overstock assumption needs stronger support.

    [url<]http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=hd+7950[/url<] [url<]http://www.scan.co.uk/search.aspx?q=hd+7970[/url<]

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 10 years ago

    I recommend the Radeon HD7770 1GB over the HD7750. It doesn’t cost much more and it’s noticeably faster in games

    • auxy
    • 10 years ago

    I do *a lot* of hardware purchasing support, both as a local consultant in my rural small town (I’m the “computer girl” out here), and also online, in three different very busy IRC channels and several forums, and the overwhelming consensus lately is “don’t buy Radeons”, because of the old saga of AMD’s driver issues. This has always been said; it’s nothing new, but still, lately it seems much more like a “consensus” and much less like “a consideration”.

    This is especially unfair given AMD’s recent efforts to *fix* their drivers.

    Given this sentiment, though — and Nvidia’s clever marketing (see below) — it’s not difficult to see why the GTX650 is outselling the 7750.

    People see 7750 and go “gosh, that’s a pretty low model number (or even, “the lowest”), I bet it’s rubbish”. And then they see the GTX650 and think “Well, at least it’s a GTX — and it’s a ’50’, that’s mid-range, right?” I see this time, and time, and time again. AMD’s naming scheme makes sense to us enthusiasts, but it really hurts them in the casual crowd.

    • Cyril
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t like metaphors, eh?

    • just brew it!
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]AMD pulled the plug on their new silicone.[/quote<] So no more booth babes at trade shows?

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    yes AMD cancelled the orders but your reasoning goes no further, AMD most likely cancelled the orders and took the penalty because the product wasn’t going to sell fast enough to offset benefits that could be had at a later date from die refreshes…. you don’t want FX 8350’s on the shelf languishing like the old FX 8150’s are now when an FX 8550 comes out do you?

    most corporations borrow to build their inventory, I’d expect that was the case with AMD so while their owner paid themselves a penalty (glofo and AMD are owned primarily by ATIC) they in turn minimized their debt exposure.

    AMD is going to survive off console contracts next year which have already been secured, to go a step further AMD can borrow against those projected earnings which I’d assume they already are and all of AMD’s “losses” are after expenses, after the operational costs, nothing with a chance to earn for the company stops, it doesn’t pause, you build what makes money, that’s how it works, you don’t cut off your right foot because your left foot has a blister.

    a more likely reason why AMD would cancel high end Sea Islands:

    1: no money in it, to be clear this is not the same as “they are running out of money” it’s the opposite, their is no future in chasing the ultra high end when the entire PC market is in the midst of collapse.

    add in discreet makes up a tiny share of the collapsing desktop market with the high end making up a tiny share of that tiny share, given HD 4xxx proved the mainstream can be taken without the high end why bother?

    understand I’m just following a potential line of thought on this regarding why Sea Islands may have been binned, it may not have been.

    what the interview did show as has usually been the case as of late is that their is money to be made in mobile which explains why 8000m’s are coming out first.

    another example supporting reasons why high end is dead would be Nvidia’s latest titan gfx processor, only 10,000 are expected to be made, most of those are pre-ordered for niche use.

    that Nvidia won’t be bothering to build more shows how limited the category is.

    • Risme
    • 10 years ago

    This is a textbook example of why i don’t take anything at face value, until it is quanitifiably proven or disproven by multiple different sources.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    who came up with the idea of using the term “cadence” at the end of a comment….. I looked up the definition to be sure and while it sounds interesting it really doesn’t fit unless TR is getting into poetry or musicals.

    it’s like a Canadian finishing a comment with “Eh”…. it really doesn’t need to be.

    • wintermane666
    • 10 years ago

    Yes the point is when they had to drasticaly lower wafer orders they likely didnt just do it at global but also at tsmc just there they didnt have a locked in penalty for doing so and thus didnt have to tell anyone what they did.

    Likely they canceled a ton of orders simply to preserve cash.

    • Cyril
    • 10 years ago

    The 8950 is a re-badged Tahiti part that’s for OEMs only. According to AMD, the only OEM 8000-series parts with new silicon are the 8500/8600 series, which are based on Oland.

    Edit: This is on the desktop, of course. Mobile is different.

    • Convert
    • 10 years ago

    I read Semi-Accurate quite often.

    They aren’t even remotely similar.

    • Suspenders
    • 10 years ago

    Hahaha.

    I do miss those fancy tech demos of yore.

    • Suspenders
    • 10 years ago

    One would think that, but looking at the Steam Hardware survey the lower end of AMD’s current lineup don’t seem to be particularly more popular than cards in the $200+ range. In fact, there are more 7950’s out there than 7750’s, at least according to Steam. [url<]http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/videocard/?sort=chg[/url<] HD 7950 0.77% HD 7750 0.58% Interestingly, despite the 7750 being on the market more than [i<]7 months[/i<] longer than Nvidia's equivalent, the GTX 650, Nvidia's managed to sell more of their card than AMD has. GTX 650 0.83%

    • nanoflower
    • 10 years ago

    Yes, it sounds like something definitely changed. It also sounds like they will be coming forth with more information at some point in the future but they don’t know when so they can’t give us any specifics. It’s an attempt to control the conversation limited by their orders to not give us any specifics as to what is happening with new ASICs/cards.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    1/10, you’re trying way too hard…

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    Bet the total out-of-pocket cost will be > 2 Apple shares!

    • ptsant
    • 10 years ago

    A 8950 has been spotted already with a relatively old BIOS, so the engineering is done. The 8000 cards are doing really fine and could be sold. I believe the decision to stay a little bit longer with 7000 series cards is based on the idea that a lot of performance can be gained from better drivers and nothing NVidia has at the moment can offer significantly better performance. It makes sense from a marketing and financial viewpoint: maximize profits from an existing product to reduce R&D intensity, ie costs. Intel is doing this with the 2011 socket Sandy Bridge for example. A 8950/70 could be ready with minimal waiting time if required.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 10 years ago

    What, conjecture? TR is the Nvidia version of Semi-Accurate now. Didn’t you know? Been pretty obvious for a while now.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    $800 is 20% lower then $1000. That’s a pretty huge difference. As was the “OMG the Fermi is going to be $1000” which came in at half that.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Bet I’ll have one by next week.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    In my opinion, it is very obvious what is happening.

    AMD lost 1.18 billion dollars in 2012 and was already not in a good place financially. AMD’s cutting everything it can cut. AMD is in as weak a state as the company has ever been – EVER.

    AMD needs to stay on schedule with CPUs. It’s delaying development of GPUs, but hopefully still proceeding with development of CPUs. If that is the case I think it is a very wise choice. The 7000 series can hold the fort for 2013 with the right price cutting. Maybe we see the next gen in early 2014. That’s not so bad. If Nvidia’s staying on the same process node, it will be tough to improve on Kepler in terms of performance per mm^2, so it’s not too much of a stretch to think that the 7000 chips can stay price/performance competitive.

    • nanoflower
    • 10 years ago

    Sounds like Erland to me.

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    I’m still in the “WTF is going on?” state. Will wait for further clarifications from AMD, cause this didn’t help. That said 2013 doesn’t look very exciting from a technological POV.

    • alienstorexxx
    • 10 years ago

    wow, this is something you don’t read anywhere.

    • achaycock
    • 10 years ago

    I can understand your viewpoint, but I do feel I have valid reasons for my approach.

    Firstly, when it comes to processors I don’t think that they are especially viable. The progress Intel has made with respect to integrated graphics combined with the CPU intensive workloads of my clients has meant that Intel have had more compelling offerings on both the low-mid to high-end spectrum for their needs. This is especially true when energy usage is added to the equation.

    With AMD making massive lay-offs late last year and the bulk of those redundancies being focused on their engineering and graphics teams, it’s hard to recommend their graphics solutions over Nvidia, who are producing more energy efficient products with better driver support at present.

    It is my sincere belief that AMD is focused more upon internal politics than it is upon the company’s health and given that I don’t believe the company will be able to sustain growth in the next fiscal year, will not have the engineering staff to improve and support their products adequately and my need to put my clients interests first, I think it would be unethical for me to recommend AMD as a solution just to promote market diversity.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    Well, the 7850 was uncontested until Nvidia eventually launched their GK106 stuff.

    I did mean the 7750 though;

    For the “my GPU or IGP sucks, what’s the minimum I have to spend to be able to run games again?” crowd – these guys make up a large chunk of the market and they have neither money nor the existing hardware to upgrade to a larger dGPU. These will be the friends/colleagues/relatives who bought a Dell/HP tower a few years back.

    • Antimatter
    • 10 years ago

    Is it not possible that AMD might be skipping 20nm and instead use GloFo’s 14nm process for GPUs in late 2014 or early 2015?

    • Novuake
    • 10 years ago

    “I’ve been advising clients to avoid AMD as I have come to have little faith in the company’s ability to continue to innovate”

    So you just progress the stagnation of innovation by warding people from a CURRENTLY viable alternative?

    F#%k logic…

    • Novuake
    • 10 years ago

    Uh “but the current ones don’t offer enough of a performance increase”… That statement is very relative. If you are gaming at HD res. Then you REALLY have A LOT of performance to gain by going to HD79xx..

    • Farting Bob
    • 10 years ago

    True a $400-500 console won’t be as powerful as a $400-500 GPU inside a $1000 gaming rig. But with new consoles comes a new baseline. Developers will be making games that have better textures, more advanced features that use more CPU and VRAM etc. It should boost the average console port to PC by a lot (not overnight, but certainly in a year or 2 it will be standard).
    The bottom rung of PC ports these days uses DX9 and will shy away from any scenes that would be too RAM/CPU/GPU intensive for the console version. So textures, scenes and worlds that would be too hard to get a current console to do will suddenly be possible.

    • achaycock
    • 10 years ago

    This sudden burst of marketing speak alongside an apparent change in the roadmap seems to be a typical result of AMD making their engineering staff redundant last year. In the article Scott spoke of the experience gained from having working silicon for a year and the benefits of refining that design even on the same node. However, if the people most likely to gain something from that experience are no longer with the company (as I suspect), then this will be the first sign of how serious that loss will be.

    On a personal note I was pretty upset when I learned of these lay-offs last year. Although I have always tried to be vendor agnostic when building computers, I always had a strong soft spot for AMD and my own builds always used their chips. Since the big cull, I’ve been advising clients to avoid AMD as I have come to have little faith in the company’s ability to continue to innovate in the PC market during the next two years. Without the engineers, there’s no new products and thanks to internal politics, there are few engineers left at AMD. I really hope I’m wrong, but I believe the company lack the intellectual resources to readily develop new silicon, leading to at best, delays in the new designs coming forth.

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    What PC gamers don’t understand is that it pretty much confirms that “traditional PC gaming market” is already dead and the sheer momentum that it once held is beginning to collapse. The capital that the traditional PC gaming market once possessed is dropping while the R&D costs for developing smaller and more complicated silicon along with the manufacturing processes that go with it continue to escalate.

    AMD, Intel and Nvidia saw the writing years ago and came up with different long-term strategies to overcome this problem.

    Nvidia diversify their portfolio into other more lucrative markets (HPCs, medical, professionals and portables). Intel and AMD are both trying to seize the SOAC and portable platform cards. Intel is also throwing its manufacturing expertise at flash memory market in the form of SSD media. Products geared towards the gaming market are either just for consoles or an afterthought.

    The reason for death of the “traditional PC gaming market”? The change in demographics. The crowd who live through the golden age of PC gaming no longer have the time or energy to spend on their hobby. Their interests have moved elsewhere, while the current crop of kiddies grew up or growing up with portable platforms and gaming consoles. They have no interest in putting together a gaming PC and go through all of hoops (driver updates, BSODs and other compatibility issues).

    The rise in production costs of modern gaming titles due to art and other content. It takes thousands of man hours to create all of those wonderfully detailed “virtual worlds” and high-poly models. Professional voice actors aren’t cheap either. On top of that you have programmers and testers who have squash bugs and make the game workable within a very tight deadline.

    Casual piracy is absurdly easy despite all of the draconian DRM measures that are in place. The legit customers are alienate by the same DRM measures. They are constantly being discouraged by the constant accusation that publishers think that 99.9% of the gaming market is made up by “hardcore priates”. Gaming consoles yield practically the same “practical experience” for far less hassle and $$$$.

    I’m part of the PC traditional gamer crowd, but I’m not denying the truth. We are going end-up like muscle car crowd who had their moment back in the 1950-1970s, but are now part of a diminishing minority.

    • MrJP
    • 10 years ago

    You will if there’s a new generation Nvidia part at $200 with 7970 performance but half the power/heat/size.

    • ztrand
    • 10 years ago

    i dont disagree in general but in this particular case I dont really think they are lying. They are pretty much admitting that something changed. They are avoiding the questions yes, but that is not the same thing as lying.

    Also: Baumann is a good guy. Or at least he used to be back in the day before he joined AMD but I dont think he has changed too much.

    • Stickmansam
    • 10 years ago

    What AMD should have done was bump the ASICs down and relabeled and make themselves look better

    Add in a single new card with a bigger die maybe? to be the new 8990/8970XT or something

    7970ghz= 8970
    7970 = 8950
    7950= 8930
    7870LE =8870
    7870 = 8850
    7850 = 8830
    and leave the low end as it is or maybe add in the rumoured 7790/7830 from before to fill in the gap

    Just a re branding would have increased confidence int he company from the uneducated and offer a “performance” increase

    • BiggieShady
    • 10 years ago

    Could be, but I hope you’re wrong. I think it’s only naming manipulation all over again. Nvidia used mid-range kepler to battle amd’s flagship and now when titan kepler is about to be launched (mind you in the same gpu family), AMD just can’t brand their new chips as 8000 series – you never dump R&D, that’s just silly – you manipulate perceptions (makreting) so we will say: look, underdog AMD is trying to battle big kepler with brave tahiti refresh … rather than: hey, new AMD series is not so hot.

    • brucethemoose
    • 10 years ago

    Delaying/canceling a time critical product you dumped 4 years of R&D into cant be profitable.

    I smell bad bad management/internal drama.

    • brucethemoose
    • 10 years ago

    The 5850 was gem of a GPU, and still is, really. Hold onto it.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    All of the above.

    • danny e.
    • 10 years ago

    liars in marketing and management positions? say it aint so.

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    The overall supply of K20’s is much much larger than what is being used for Titan. There are individual supercomputers out there with more functioning K20’s in them than the entire production run of the Titan (which is estimated at 10,000 unless Nvidia decides to up the number in the future). I’m going on the assumption that at least some of the Titan parts are K20s that just didn’t bin out properly for use as an accelerator in a supercomputer, but are still OK for playing games on a PC (think: lots of double-precision logic deactivated and other HPC parts fused off).

    Considering what a K20 goes for, the Titan is actually a bargain-basement board (which is why Nvidia is only dropping a small number after its more lucrative customers have been served). It won’t keep up with a K20 in computation because Nvidia will cripple the compute functionality through a mix of hardware fusing & drivers, but will be the fastest single-chip GPU in existence until at least 2014.

    The issue I have is with Nvidia’s propaganda for this board: Nvidia wants to have all the benchmark tests on the review sites dumping huge bars for Titan at the top of every benchmark graph to provide positive spin for Nvidia parts. It’s all a spin game since, like I said, only a small fraction of even the hard-core gamers are ever going to get ahold of one of these boards. While the 680/7970 are certainly not the cards in the majority of systems out there, at least they are readily available from multiple vendors in the open market. The Titan will never be like those parts.

    I’d rag on the the “Ares II” or “7990” boards from AMD for the same reason except that those boards are multi-GPU and are generally isolated to comparisons with other multi-GPU solutions (they too are overpriced and made in extremely limited quantities).

    • BoilerGamer
    • 10 years ago

    I wouldn’t say a small supply:

    The demand for K20 was much larger than most gamers realize, remember a TR article in may stated that TR staff talked to one person at a Nvidia conference who ordered 15,000 GK110 chips.

    Plus the binning required to sort out a not too leaky 7 billion transistor chips that can be run with passive cooling probably had really low yields given all the 28nm yield issues TSMC had with GK104.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Well, that was certainly clear as mud.

    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    Are you referring to the fines they had to pay to Globalfoundries? If so, that would be CPU related as AMD’s GPUs are manufactured at TSMC.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 10 years ago

    ewww, no.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    Must’ve belonged to Ruby.

    • sschaem
    • 10 years ago

    AMD PR is just pathetic, who are they fooling ?

    And as a side note, If its that “stable”, then where are the horses ?!

    • wintermane666
    • 10 years ago

    Its rather obvious what happened people. When amd had to make that drastic 75% cut in wafer orders it must have killed the larger gpus in the pipeline. They simply didnt have the cash on hand to order them.

    • odizzido
    • 10 years ago

    It would be a shame if performance stayed about the same for another year. My 5850’s fan died and so I had to stick a case fan on it and downclock it a bit to stay cool. It’s around time to buy a new card but the current ones don’t offer enough of a performance increase to get me too interested. I guess I will be waiting until 2014 to upgrade then. I suppose that’s fine because even downclocked I only have one game that stresses my card.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    “It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from here” 😉

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    In this case since the Titan parts are in such limited supply, $800 might be low-balling a bit (I’d expect $899.99 actually). In some fairness to Nvidia (while also bashing them): This isn’t a real launch, the Titan is not a replacement for the 680 (maybe the 690.. sort of) and Nvidia will eventually hork up a high-end “normal” consumer card in the expected price brackets. To bash Nvidia though: The Titan is coming out in such limited supplies that this reeks of a “ooh look we can get way ahead in all the benchmark graphs for street-cred with cards that even the large majority of hardcore gamers will never have”. That’s a bit disingenuous.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]Dave Baumann: And as we said, we're not done launching the 7000 series yet, either. And that's not necessarily just refreshes of current ASICs.[/quote<] So he's saying those 7000-series chips will not necessarily be refreshes of current parts? But if they're not refreshes, that would automatically mean they [u<]are[/u<] next generation, right? It's just a choice between refreshes and next generation. If there's an in-between, I don't know what it is, at least in terms of the way things normally happen in the GPU industry for the last decade or so. [quote<]Devon Nekechuk: The plan has always been to keep our 7900 series as the mainstay of our enthusiast product line from when we launched at the end of 2011 to the last part of 2013. So this was definitely an intentional plan.[/quote<] Um, right. Your plan was to delay the generation after GCN 1.0 for a year. Execution is going ahead as planned, I see. No problems here. Move along. [quote<]Dave Baumann: Yeah, there's been some hangover from the Internet hive mind that assumes that there's going to be an 8000-series refresh immediately or a year after the previous product. That's not the case. That's just why we're clarifying today.[/quote<] What a joke. Sorry Dave, but the Internet Hive Mind has already come to expect the HD8000 this year [u<]because[/u<] that's the way the GPU industry works. You know this. Nvidia knows this. Both your company (AMD) and Nvidia have always/consistently brought out new GPU architectures every year, even if they're just re-spins of the previous generation. In fact, I'm kinda surprised you didn't just go out and relabel the HD7000 as the 'new' HD8000 series this year. [quote<]Dave Baumann: [long pause] We cannot really make comments on what exactly the product stack are and what the roadmap names are, etc. etc. You know, there's plenty exciting new products to look at when they come later in the year.[/quote<] But Dave... didn't you imply earlier that the parts you'll launch this year are going to be called 'HD7000' series and they'll not necessarily be just refreshes of current chips? Isn't making comments (even vague ones) the reason why we're having this interview? And a company that can't make confident comments on their upcoming products just seems a bit lost with itself. [quote<]Darren McPhee: Graphics Core Next is the architecture that we're committed to as a company for years to come. So Graphics Core Next will be at the core of all of our products for the next several years.[/quote<] I think it's safe to assume that he's referring to the basic underlying GCN architecture being the basis of future products. But what TR is asking here is whether we'll see a substantial update to the current GCN silicon. That's what they simply cannot answer because they know they're checkmate on this. Overall, this interview reminds me of the Titanic. It's so darn full of holes that these guys are trying to patch up and make everything seem fine and dandy. But it's not. This sort of interview/dialogue will probably fail in a court hearing The glaring fact here is that GCN 2.0 has slipped by a year. I hope the tweaks they make on the existing chips will be enough to fend off Nvidia for the time being.

    • willmore
    • 10 years ago

    Did I miss it or did they leave plenty of room for ASICs larger and smaller than those currently in the HD7xxx family. There’s plenty of room below the 77[75]0 and some HPC chasing Titan alternative has to have crossed AMD’s mind.

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    Does the GK110 in the consumer market make sense? No not really.
    But: Never underestimate Jen-Hsun’s ego coupled with a relatively small supply of chips that likely didn’t validate as K20’s but are functional enough to play games.

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]AMD pulled the plug on their new silicone.[/quote<] They couldn't afford to pay the surgeon?

    • chuckula
    • 10 years ago

    Ooh.. That’s like the imported version of Duff beer: Düff beer!

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    2015

    Me: time to buy a console!

    • kc77
    • 10 years ago

    The 8800 GTX Ultra launched at like $800. I don’t consider that cheap nor much under $1000.

    When Nvidia didn’t have competition their prices were pretty high with the top SKU’s easily above $500.

    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]We just got teased with 4k and new gen of game consoles are on the horizon. That means, new defaults for new games, more shineys even for **** PC ports.[/quote<] Is that sarcasm? The new consoles aren't going to be giving current Tahiti and Kepler products much of a run for their money if the circulating specs are anything to go by. That would have to be a pretty horrendous console port indeed, for, say, an HD 7970 to choke on something ported from either of the next gen consoles.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    Now we end up with more questions then answers.

    Sort of interesting. That makes me wonder if Nvidia had insider information on this and that’s why we’re seeing rumors on the GK110, which otherwise wouldn’t make sense as a product at this point in time.

    Otherwise this seems a lot like what happened with the 2xxx / 3xxx series.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Did you ever notice that whenever Nvidia is about to announce a new card they scream that it is going to be $1000. They have been screaming that figure going way back to the 8800 GTX day and with the exception of the GTX-690, they have all come in considerably lower.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    I’d hate to have anybody as the only option. nVidia, AMD, Intel. It’s all bad for consumers.

    • kc77
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t see where that would be possible.

    A) Matrox survives and always did based on quality output. They came out with 3D graphics cards but they were arguably better than Riva TNT2’s or Voodoo 3’s. The reason to get them was that they offered better output than other competitors at extremely high resolutions at the time. By the time the GeForce 256 came out it pretty much was over.

    B) Any ATi/AMD GPU is miles more efficient that what Intel is offering. Nvidia and AMD are in another class completely.

    C) Trinity and Kaveri live on the iGPU without that they would be meaningless.

    What most likely is happening if I had to guess is that with the last refresh the overall headroom available is relatively modest and wouldn’t fair too well against the Nvidia monster that’s coming up. For a whole lot of business reasons it would be best to let Nvidia launch first and see where the performance is.

    AMD would gain absolutely nothing from launching first.

    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    I think you meant the 7850?

    • cynan
    • 10 years ago

    AMD pulled the plug on their new silicone. At least for the time being. This could be due to:

    1. Larger remaining volume of Tahiti/Pitcairn parts

    2. AMD wanting to get it’s drivers in better condition before releasing second gen GCN chips that will fall prey to the same issues

    3. AMD trying to save money in light of financial pressure by not spending additional money on fabbing and marketing a next gen product (related to 1). Or perhaps, due to said issues and related restructuring, were just not in a position to even remotely adhere to their original road map, so they scrapped it.

    [quote<]AMD has an entire desktop Radeon 8000-series lineup based mostly on older GPUs, only for OEMs, because PC makers expect a yearly update cadence.[/quote<] I've heard this from multiple sources, but it still just rings of all kinds of dumb. Dumb that doesn't do consumers any favors. Someday I may understand a smattering of marketing think. But that day is not today. [quote<]so if this means the 7970 ghz edition performance becomes $299 in the next few months...[/quote<] I think this is currently called an overclocked HD 7950

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]the typical 4-year old 8600GT to shame [/quote<] Try 6 years old.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t think they are awfully busy with new console products – judging by all the leaks the final design should already be available and ready for manufacturing…

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    This reeks of AMD product overstock.

    • just brew it!
    • 10 years ago

    Yep. Back in the day they were known for their top-notch analog VGA DACs and support for more than 2 displays. I’m a little surprised that the move to digital monitors plus AMD’s Eyefinity tech haven’t killed Matrox off for good.

    Their niche is still shrinking; I guess these days it is pretty much “passively cooled cards with more than 2 digital outputs”.

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    Part of me wonders how many top-end chips AMD sell:

    Even amonst TR readers, a Tahiti or GK104 is not a typical choice – most “enthusiasts” still appreciate that the sweet spot is probably in the Pitcairn chips or even Cape Verde. Likewise, for every GK104 chip that Nvidia sells, they likely sell ten GK106 or GK107 variants.

    If AMD have decided for whatever reason that the low-end in volume is more profitable, so be it. Profitability is their main concern at the moment.

    I haven’t cared that Nvidia held the high-end performance crown for much of 2012 because quite frankly the 7750 was uncontested for most of the year, and this is where 90% of the market’s GPU requirements are: It fits in a PC without special PSU requirements and it’s fast enough to put the typical 4-year old 8600GT to shame – notably it ran 2012 games at 1080p without too much drama.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    Show her your O-face in O-land

    • allreadydead
    • 10 years ago

    Oh, come on AMD. Get back in the game already. NVIDIA is already talking about a grand for their “titan” :\

    We just got teased with 4k and new gen of game consoles are on the horizon. That means, new defaults for new games, more shineys even for shitty PC ports.

    Going for APU improvements is great but Haswell will be very potent on that area compared with current gen.
    Maybe Temash/Kabini based hybrid x86 tablets will crush down Intel dominion on mobile/ultra mobile arena ?

    …One thing for sure, if that meeting meant to “clarify things”, it was an epic fail :\

    • tbone8ty
    • 10 years ago

    this means to me that an official AMD 7990 will come out at a price below the geforce titan price and Amd will say its better for gaming and it will have a gaming never settle bundle with it. Then Amd will release its updated GCN memory management driver which judging by their confidence will offer a nice boost in performance. then come xmas 2013 time we will see a new line up from top to bottom. amd is focusing on ps4/xbox720 releases and gaming/driver updates. plus u got richland and kabini coming soon so they are pretty streched thin here….people jsut need to freaking chill the F out, its not the end of the world if AMD doesn’t release HD 8970 or 9970 tomorrow. nvidia doesn’t have anything planned in the near future besides titan so i think they are being very cautious this time around.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    Hopefully not… I don’t want to pay $1000 for a single-GPU card just because there are no other competing products available :-/

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 10 years ago

    Yep it’s truly sad. G400 Max for the win!

    I’ve had a couple parhelia based cards for audio computer usage where they worked just fine. Everyone has multi-monitor support now and I can’t remember the last time there was a 2D comparo.

    • NarwhaleAu
    • 10 years ago

    That won’t be such a bad thing – I would mind picking up a 7970 for sub $200 prices.

    • Stargazer
    • 10 years ago

    Heh. That’s going to take some getting used to (sounds closer to Åland than Öland actually…).

    Wiktionary has a recording of the native pronounciation:
    [url<]http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%96land[/url<]

    • Damage
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah, like that.

    • Stargazer
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]Oland is an island in the Baltic Sea[/quote<] We prefer to call it "Öland". I'm curious, how are AMD choosing to pronounce it? Like O-land?

    • just brew it!
    • 10 years ago

    That was exactly my thought reading the article — they’re about to “pull a Matrox”. Sea Islands may be their Parhelia.

    Edit: Believe it or not, Matrox is not dead yet. You can still buy Matrox cards on Newegg — both the venerable G4xx series and Parhelia-based cards. But they’re based on decade-old tech, and are completely useless for gaming. They’ve got a (small) niche, but nobody outside that niche cares about them any more.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 10 years ago

    So much doublespeak and horsepucky in the Read regime it’s ridiculous.

    Then again I guess coming right out and telling the truth would nuke their stock prices. Still, I don’t exactly see this as putting on a brave face so much as “please don’t look behind the curtain”.

    • shank15217
    • 10 years ago

    I think AMD is trying to get their APUs and discrete GPUs synced up and move forward as a single generation top to bottom. Its annoying to buy an APU then realize that an upgrade path to a GPU+APU if needed is always going to be a generation behind the highest end GPU. Its hard to sell an architecture like HSA unless all the APU and GPU support the same feature set.

    • jjj
    • 10 years ago

    AMD is just cutting costs ,they can’t afford much on the price cuts side though, they don’t have much cash left and GPUs are barely profitable ,they should get a bump from consoles later in the year but with their roadmaps in CPU and GPU and PC sales as they are, they are likely to keep being in trouble for a while.
    The big questions now are if the 8xxx series will be on 20nm or not and what is Nvidia doing.

    • JohnC
    • 10 years ago

    Soo… What exactly does it all mean? AMD’s graphics division is turning into another “Matrox Graphics” and/or Intel’s graphics division? :-/

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 10 years ago

    2015

    Nvidia: The only way you can play

    • derFunkenstein
    • 10 years ago

    So then if we extend some of Scott’s logic to the mass layoffs, a big chunk of the engineering firings were likely related to the graphics side. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise.

    • Ryu Connor
    • 10 years ago

    I’d say this is a marketing mess, but I suppose the reality is that no one cares if enthusiasts/IT are confused about product names or line ups. End users and OEMs are only focused on price.

    • StuG
    • 10 years ago

    That was an interesting read. Curious how the landscape will change with Nvidia’s new product’s coming. If we don’t get new “high end” AMD products out on the market, I can’t see how they will compete minus taking on their CPU idea of pricing their products extremely cheap because they can’t truly compete.

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