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As PC market shrinks AMD likens Intel/Nvidia to beached whales

by Mark Tyson on 6 August 2013, 13:15

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabzgn

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AMD's vice president of sales, Roy Taylor, has provided plenty of interesting answers to questions about the CPU, GPU and APU industry in an interview over on VR-Zone. He was asked about the current state of, and the future of, APUs and about proprietary standards like CUDA and PhysX. Taylor's answers and opinions take no prisoners and he goes as far as likening competitors Nvidia and Intel to whales beached on the shore as the PC tide goes out. Meanwhile AMD navigates the shallow waters "nimble like a starfish"...

AMD's Taylor doesn't deny the PC market is on the wane but he does believe AMD are nimble enough to survive while larger competitors could flounder and die out. Talking to VR Zone's Sam Reynolds, Taylor said "If the water becomes shallow, and you’re a whale, you’re gonna get grounded and you’ll die. If the market goes down by 50 percent, it’s awfully dangerous if you’re a whale."

APU's progress

On the subject of APUs and whether AMD is cannibalising its own market Taylor said that at the lower end of the market the APUs make sense on their own and moving a little bit higher the company offers CrossFire for a mid-range solution. However looking higher up the market, for enthusiast gamers, "graphics cards will never go away" and AMD is committed to GPUs. Taylor took this opportunity to make a dig at Nvidia "Unlike our competitor, who’s obsessed with launching consoles in the mobile market, we still love PC gamers and we’re absolutely committed to them".

Turning to Intel's offerings Taylor said Intel processors are slowly morphing into APUs in all but name and cited the growing proportion of an Intel processor dedicated to graphics processing growing from 17 per cent to 32 per cent between the SandyBridge and Haswell generations. He suggests Intel are simply too proud to adopt the APU name for its processors.

On proprietary technology like CUDA and PhysX

Pulling no punches Taylor told VR Zone that "I think CUDA is doomed. Our industry doesn’t like proprietary standards. PhysX is an utter failure because its proprietary. Nobody wants it. You don’t want it, I don’t want it, gamers don’t want it. Analysts don’t want it." He went on to congratulate Nvidia on developing GPGPU technology but said the open OpenCL is preferable in many ways.

AMD's Taylor also thought better, more realistic physics could be implemented in games while the initial promise of Nvidia's PhysX sounded exciting but "never came to fruition".

Never Settle Forever

Taking a break from talking negatively about the competition Taylor revealed that AMD has a Never Settle refresh coming up this month. The new bundle will be called 'Never Settle Forever' and we should get the full rundown of games in the bundle very shortly.

Taylor also took the opportunity to say Battlefield 4 is an exciting project which AMD has worked with the game developers on and he promises "stunning things" from the game, or at least its graphics. We've had quite a few HD videos showing this title running on AMD hardware and previously the very same Roy Taylor told Heise.de that the game would feature in a future Never Settle bundle. However Battlefield 4 isn't going to be released until the end of October.



HEXUS Forums :: 41 Comments

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Whilst AMD's APU's are palatable, they are no match for an Intel/Nvidia combination.

Psssst… no one mention mobile. Just imagine if AMD hadn't of sold their mobile graphics unit to Qualcomm. AMD could of been what Snapdraggon is today. I know AMD are planning ARM CPU's, but these are intended for servers. Come on AMD, you need to speed up your product releases and get back into mobiles and tablets. I still have a lot of love for you from the Athlon 64 days.
Market competition is healthy, I disagree with the comments about dead or dying proprietary standards, because the open standards (with all the combined might of anyone who's not Nvidia behind it) are not competitive enough at present.

The man says some things that interest me, however, I find that for comments to sound more than simply ‘sour grapes’ their company should innovate more and talk less.
In terms of raw performance it's true, intel & nVidia is a win… but at a rather large cost.
On the cost to performance side, AMD are a lot easier on the wallet. Why else did both mainstream nextgen consoles go for the AMD APU design?
Pretty much what I'd expect a Sales VP to say, i.e. “We're number 1, everyone else sucks, woohoo!”

Salesdroid slagging aside, he's got a point about the non-desirability of CUDA and PhysX - single vendor standards for GPGPU and in game physics are a real boneheaded idea. Open (as in “multi vendor”) standards are preferable for all but the die hard fan boys.

I'll also give some kudos for the AMD bundles - they're pretty generous and make the NVidia equivalents look pretty poor. When I bought my XFX 7970 I ended up with a bundle of eight games, and some were A-list titles like Far Cry 3 and Bioshock Infinite.

But I can't see Intel and NVidia giving up the ghost anytime in the near future. In fact, even as an AMD cpu loyalist, I'll say that the discrete cpu's don't appear to be as good as the Intel equivalents. And I'm giving serious consideration to jumping to Intel for my cpu for the first time since I got a 486DX.
APUs are a nice idea that AMD are making a complete hash of delivering. Thirsty as hell on power so killing their usefulness in mobile, too slow to game, problems with stuttering in crossfire. Their strategy of deliberately not going head to head with the big boys means they have a relatively weak niche product range nowadays.