Greetings loyal readers and listeners. As sometimes your computer just catches a virus no matter how hard you try to protect it, the same is true of our bodies. Last week I contracted N1H1, the flu that the country is all concerned about. I thought about making this a quick review of the flu for everyone but really do not the energy yet to make that effort. Lets me just say it is not good.
Due to the drastic nature of this flu I was forced to close my office for most of last week and will likely be closed tomorrow as well. While I have almost reached the end of this mess I am still quite not there so there will be no radio show today. Keep listening though as we have an announcement we are hoping to make in conjunction with Hitechlegion in the next few days.
Need to ramble a bit today so follow along..
I had a chance this week to speak to Scot Richards from Antec. We discussed my Two Hundred review, where I was pretty sharp with Antec because the case seems to lack a real identity. I mean apparently targeted at the beginner based on price but with features that would suggest the target is the more advanced user.
It seems that I go so caught up in the price point I did not follow the obvious logic to some extent. This case is mean for the more advanced user with a budget price.
Antec was set to release a new uber case for around $200 at the first of the year. However with the turn of the economy Antec did a mid stream switch and in record time went from concept to sale of a new low cost, advanced user design. This switch however was so fast that the marketing department did not keep up and so reviewers like myself got it thinking it was geared toward the beginners. Antec has adapted however the new ads for the case in places like Maximum PC clear up the confusion.
On that same note I was told about my reporting of the missing standoffs. It seems Antec’s on QC people where a bit confused. They knew the case was geared to the more advanced user and so they tested with full ATX boards. They neglected however to test with micro-ATX. This meant the missing stand off holes where overlooked.
However, once Scott got my email he immediately had them look at the missing holes. Literally within a day of my reporting this to Scott the case production was halted and the missing holes added to the motherboard tray before production resumed. New cases should now have the missing holes in place.
People ask me all the time why I like Antec as a company so much, this is why. They LISTEN to reviewers and customers and use that feedback to make adjustments. Even if they have to adjust a current run. They are also not scared to admit to mistakes, take responsibility for them and move on. I wish all companies work like this. I may not like every product they make but I respect the company no matter what. Oh BTW, they are now looking at my complaint of the foam filter.
Switch gears we turn to the concept of the budget gaming system not having to have budget performance. I have been preaching the sermon for a long time that you can get a great gaming experience without having to have expensive chips and high overclocks. Of late as I have skimmed through the forums I have seen many posts from people that have disagreed with my point of this in the past now starting to agree. The tide has begun to turn. The funny thing is when I point out that I am glad the church is filling, I have been preaching here a long time they get all defensive and claim they have always felt this way. Actually quite funny. It is okay guys that you are just coming around, we welcome all to the church of the budget gamer.
Lastly I am getting a chance tomorrow to speak with one of the AMD big wigs about marketing. There is a lot of chatter about the legal actions with Intel and how they have held AMD down. While I will not attempt to argue this I will say that I currently feel one of the biggest enemies of AMD is itself, in particular it’s own marketing department.
AMD has an identity crisis. They have no identity in the general public. Over the last few years AMD has put together a series of different marketing campaigns. From the Spider we move forward… AMD Game, Puma, Dragon, Fusion and we are preparing for AMD Vision. The idea for ALL of these was the same to sell the consumer a platform.
AMD claims that consumer does not care about what specific chip and video card the computer has, they want to know if it will do what they want it to do. AMD is right, the consumer on average could care less about the parts. However their little buzzword marketing fails because of how consumers shop.
Average buyer walks into a store for a computer. Looking at all the various models the first decision in their buying mentality is the brand, which is why HP is leading, everyone knows and trusts it. Now that the consumer finds the HP brand they want they next focus on the price point. With the price point narrowed in the consumer now looks at the PCs in this point., They typically see an Intel and an AMD. Now the Intel may cost more but they KNOW who Intel is, so they buy Intel. They do not care about Vision or Dragon or any other buzz word, they care about buying from a company they feel will support them.
THIS is where AMD is failing. Walk up to any 4 year old and start the Intel jingle and they know it means Intel. What do we have that we know means AMD? AMD right now has a prime chance to grab a serious market share and all they need is a real marketing campaign. AMD currently has the best value in their products and the platform idea tied to that value could sell. AMD however must first let people know who they are.
As I close this entry just a quick teaser, you need to go sign up over at Hitechlegion on the web site. Paul and I are trying to finalize some interesting Christmas plans and you do not want to miss out.
Not that long ago I was watching the nVidia GPU Conference keynote address. In it they showed ray tracing models and how it would change the way games where played down the road. For right now they where showing how it could be done very fast for static pictures. What was most impressive was the way light actually acted real.
What if I told you the current rendering system can NOW do the same thing and can do it one existing hardware? Radiocity (not sure I am spelling this right) was a technique shown at the EVE Online fanfest by CCP. The system allows for realistic light interaction with the environment. Now while this may not approach the level of detail that ray tracing can hit this was amazing to see in action and oh BTW worked on existing hardware. Light correctly interacts with the surfaces it bounces off of and also with itself as it reflects back on itself. BTW no hardware companies involved, this is a purely software solution.
What about Physics? To hear nVidia speak of it you would think they invented the stuff and ATI has now tried to coop it. The truth is we have seen some pretty impressive Physics applications run already, anyone remember World in Conflict? BTW this did not need a specific video card to enable the effect. Now while maybe not as visually impressive as Batman the effects do have a game play impact and in my book that is a ton more impressive. Again no special language or specific hardware required.
Oh the the crème of the crop, ATI and EYEFinity. Again at the EVE Fanfest (CCP is a real innovator so this should come as no surprise) a demo was shown using the Matrox Triple Head and an existing generation of video card. According to the CCP engineers this was achieved by a minor change in the engine allowing for higher resolution options and used technology built into Windows 7. The result was EVE running flawlessly over a three monitor spread just like ATI was touting that only they could do. Perhaps the ATI development team should put more effort into contact game developers so they do not look a little silly. Again you can use your existing hardware to perform this with the addition of the Triplehead. In fairness this is even more impressive when you realize CCP has made it so the game can use 1, 2 or 3 monitors in combinations of not just a single big display but also by undocking the game interface from the game and putting it on the second monitor.
Now in fairness the above items have their place. HD 5000 cards were actually mentioned by CCP as a way to get three monitor support without the need to get the triple head. Ray tracing does offer the most realistic image quality currently possible and PhysX has shown that moving the physic rendering to GPU for more intense calculations with less performance hit.
The point of this post however is to show that hardware companies are notorious for making claims as marketing hype and sometimes forget what others do. Sometimes they even forget what they do. nVidia back in it’s early days called SLI a hack that was never going to be needed in the video card industry. How could nVidia say this, they invented SLI? Well they would like the uneducated to believe that. SLI was actually a technology developed by 3dfx and was in place and in use by that company in the early days of 3d cards. nVidia bought 3dfx and tried to ignore it’s own past statements.
ATI is not without blame here. In a recent blog an ATI executive spoke about how ATI has always been committed to open standards. Nice rewrite of history as ATI has seen it’s own share of proprietary efforts in the past. Even the current marketing of ATI Stream is an attempt to reinvent themselves. The original STREAM concept was a way to direct compete with CUDA. Oh and please do not pull up the quotes from ATI about how important graphic based physics where when nVidia first introduced their effort. Look at ATI now scrambling to play catch-up.
Now the purpose of this post is not to trash the video card companies. We all would like at times to forget our mistakes and move forward, luckily for the hardware industry the consumer public has a short memory. The purpose is to point out marketing hype needs to be sighted and ignored to get to the reality of the product.
Using the 5850 that I reviewed last post as an example. The card offers great performance, has a lot of leg room, reasonably priced and will see more benefit in the future. That should be more than enough for anyone to consider the card. A ton of so called extra features are thrown at you to make the decision seem like a no brainer. My position is we have to be no brains to let the hype and not the reality influence our decisions.
As I reported in an earlier entry the enthusiast community all but ignored the Dragon platform with the release of the 5000 series video card. After speaking to Chris Hook about my piece I was provided a 5850 for my own review and felt it only appropriate that I do the review on the Dragon platform.
So I began the review by preparing a baseline Dragon system. Using a Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P motherboard, loaded up a Phenom II 965BE and 4 gigs of Corsair DDR3 that I set at 1333. I put all this in an Antec Three Hundred case, with the front two optional fans installed.
I began with a Sapphire Vapor X 4890 1 Gig to give myself a baseline of what the top of the line Dragon platform offered before the 5000 series release. The testing was three stages. First I tested the temperature and sound levels of the 5850 against the 4890. Being as this was a none standard cooler for the 4890 it should run actually cooler than a stock design.
Using OCCT and the GPU:OCCT Test I put the video card at full load for 30 minutes and used the Catalyst drivers to get the temperature and fan speed readings.
Fan % @ Load
Despite the Sapphire having the advantage of a custom cooling design the 5850 still ran 5c cooler and did it with the fan only hitting 1/3 of it’s potential speed. Needless to say with this test the 5850 was silent while the increase in noise from the 4890 was audible. I took manual control of the fan for the 5850 and kicked the speed up to 68% to match the level of the 4890 fan. I allowed a 5 minute run. The temperature of the 5850 dropped to 59c under full load. However the noise level was noticeable and higher than the 4890. This shows the fan on the 4890 is a quieter fan setup but the chip just needs more help to keep temperature. Playing a bit more with the fan settings I found that at around 45% the fan is near silent and the full load temp was holding at 64c. If you want the best mix of cooling and quiet operation I would say this is a safe place to start. Remember your own experiences may vary depending on case, fan setup and ambient temperature. My experience with this however shows leaving the auto in place works just fine.
Next I did my usually subjective testing. Essentially what we do is put together three machines, load up some games and get some friends to come over and play. No one knows which system is which. All three systems have the same settings in the games and people shift through them and play away. The specific set of games used this go round where, Supreme Commander, DemiGod, Batman: AA, Resident Evil 5, Dungeon and Dragons Online and EVE Online. This provides a solid mix of MMO, FPS and RTS play, the three primary genre of computer gaming. The systems used for comparison was the 965 with 5850, a 965 with 4890 and an i5 with GTX 275.
At the end of our little study no one could tell any difference in the play experience between the 3 machines at a resolution of 1680×1050. All three machines had gamed smooth and allowed for a very enjoyable gaming experience.
Since I knew I would be posted this on the blog as well I thought I would throw in a bit of benchmark comparisons as well. I used the built in benchmarks for Batman, Resident Evil and Battleforge. I wanted to go a bit farther with this however and tested the 5850 for comparisons to our baseline 965 with a 4890 on three different processors speeds. Using the unlocked multiple of the 965 I was able to make the chip effectively a 945 and 910 for testing.
With the 965 and 4890 as our baseline of zero the benchmarks showed some interesting numbers. The benchmarks where run at the default settings of each game set to a resolution of 1680×1060. No AA or AF was introduced into this test. The numbers shown are a percentage gain or lose in relationship to the baseline numbers generated by the 4890 on a 965 processor at stock speed. I also did an i5 series to show how the Dragon platform compares to the stock i5 system.
Now when you look at these numbers I think it is pretty easy to see that when compared to the benchmarks you see on the internet with the higher end and overclocked processor that the 5850 is a card with a ton of horse power to spare. This is something we have known for some time and explains why all those sites never bothered to show the card on the Dragon Platform. However they also show a predisposition that I have commented about and complained about over the years. To look at the pure benchmark numbers and miss the real point, the actual experience the product offers.
This review is supposed to be about the 5850 and I will draw to the conclusion on that in a moment but these numbers and my subjective testing reveals something else that no one seems to want to discuss. Looking at the above benchmarks you can see that a 910 processor clocked at 2.66Ghz is still able to provide some solid numbers in comparison to the higher end 965. In fact to give you an idea of how well it performed, in Battleforge, the worst benchmark for the 910 it still delivered an average frame rate of 133.5.
Now take that number and think back to the review I did on the Phenom II X4, the same clock speed minus L3 cache, the performance was really close. Even if we take a 20% performance drop that is still some impressive speed and there would be no way anyone could tell the difference in the actual gaming experience.
This shows the Dragon Platform is not dead and is still an awesome deal when it comes to buying a budget oriented gaming PC. The 945 provides a great option that is lower cost than the i5 and as you can see really does hold it’s own. While the 910 itself is overpriced, this does show that the Athlon II X4 620 has the potential to build a solid gaming machine.
Now back to the task at hand. The 5850 is a brute of a video card that only really begins to show it’s legs as you get to more powerful cards. However the price point of around $260 currently put’s it squarely into the top of the mainstream market. Despite the fact the card does not show itself until the higher end processors it is still a solid buy for a gamer that has to work in a budget and wants the best bang for his buck. The numbers above are at base game settings and 1680×1050 resolution, this means the card has headroom for tweaking of detail. This card will allow a mainstream user with a 22” monitor the maximum enjoyment even on a more budget oriented build.
With this in mind I would say this is a great mainstream buy and the absolutely best choice for someone building a new system or someone with an older video card. If however you currently have a 4800 series or GTX series there is no real compelling reason to upgrade just yet. DX11 is a great thing to get on a card but the real use of it will still be a few months off. Waiting just a bit it is likely you will see a price drop and get the same power for a little less money. EYEFinity is a neat idea that I see an super for the business community however for the mainstream and budget home user I do not see this catching on yet. Issues such as desk space and the cost of the extra monitors make this a more enthusiast selling point.
The raw power of the 5000 series is really impressive to see in action and I have to admit to being excited to seeing the 5700 series that will soon be coming out. I have said it before and I will say it again, it is a great time to be a gamer. No more do we need to speed $500 on a processor and $400 on a video card to enjoy a great gaming experience on a 22” monitor. Now a $150 CPU and a $250 video card can deliver the same if not better experience. We can save those precious dollars for more important things, like new video games or diet soda.
I am working with Paul over at Hitechlegion to do a more in-depth review of this card using a slightly more enthusiast bend. I will be sure and post an update on this entry as soon as that review goes live.
Thank you to ATI for providing the card made by Gigabyte for this review.
Not since the days of 3dfxs have we seen this level of direct attack/competition in the video card industry and among enthusiasts. I am not talking about the technology as much as the hype and ramped rise of the fanboy. Now by fanboy I am referring to people that have chosen one company over another. They claim various reasons but the truth is reason does not apply, they have made the chose and will stick to it till the death of their beloved company. The company they have chosen can do not wrong and the other side must be evil. The hype I am referring to is the use of referencing technology or features of their product which are of limited use to the general public or are only going to be available possibly in the future.
Back in the early days of 3d there was an amazing war being fought over leadership in the industry. The king was a company called 3dfx, the father of real 3d in computer gaming. Challenging the king where two old stalwarts of the industry, ATI and Matrox. Both companies had been around for a while and both where well respected. Also in the challenge was a young upstart called nViida. There where others as well Trident and S3 but these companies did not have a prayer in the war that ensued.
Many fanboys fell during this war and a few companies as well. In the end the King was killed and nVidia walked away with the crown. ATI was the only other company truly left standing and it setout to dethrone the king, which it did with the 9700 Pro. However the war was over and what we saw from then until now was more a horse race than a battle. ATI and nVidia would trade leadership but no real war took place.
The release of the 5000 series from ATI is being heralded by ATI as the most successful launch ever, I would argue that it is on par with the 9700 but I am not sure it carries the same impact the 9700 carried, though history may yet prove me wrong. What I do know is it has begun the Second Great Video War.
This time however instead of a number of armies taking the field we have two with a third quietly waiting in the wings. First you have nVidia who has attempted to take the Graphics Processing Unit to a new level. They have met with some success and shown the potential power of the GPU in uses beyond gaming. Next you have ATI, with the 5000 series they have taken the performance crown, in the pretty convincing way and have introduced the first card using tomorrows standard of gaming hardware.
This would have stayed a typical horse race except for the fact that in nVidias efforts it has begun to move some of the industry into propriety standards. nVidia owns a product called PhysX. This product allows the GPU to help add real time physics calculations and effects to the computer gaming world. The process works well and shows a lot of potential. However to use it means ATI cards will not be able to enjoy the same effects because, nVidia owns it.
ATI has responded to this by pushing the virtues of an open standard that would allow all hardware to enjoy the same effects and thus freeing the consumer from the worry of if the hardware he has supports the game in question. In doing this we see the 5000 series at the head of this charge pushing forward DX11 from Microsoft and OpenCL.
This is in the end the real crux of this fight. You see currently nVidia does not have a DX11 capable part, DX11 BTW is the new standard for computer gaming from Microsoft. nVidia is currently setup around it’s own closed standard approach and has even openly said that it does not consider DX 11 relevant. ATI on the other hand has produced a full DX 11 compliant part and has it on the market even ahead of the official release of DX11. Thus we see our battle lines being drawn.
Now as I noted in a previous article this release of the new ATI card came with some twists of it’s own. You see ATI which is now a part of AMD does not just make video cards, it makes CPUs as well. As such when the new 5000 series saw the light of day it was amazing to me that no one tested the new card using AMD parts.
I set out to find out and so tried to contact a number of the review sites, no responses. I checked the ATI presentation on the new product launch and discovered for the first time the slide with benchmarks did not contain information on the system used to get the benchmark, in other words we do not know if an AMD processor was used to get the numbers they showed.
All of this formed together for a most odd launch and even the people I spoke with from ATI where surprised by this. I posted my story and bring to you know the results of nearly a weeks worth of further investigation.
About the only avenue left to me was the use of forums and so I posted in a LOT of forums about the story to try and generate conversation. I also posted a request with a number of websites to post information about the story. No website responded or posted and I ended up banned from a number of forums, for spamming. I understand but was surprised that still this story got no attention.
The few forums that did not ban outright however did yield some fruit. The general consensus among the forums members was this was a none story because enthusiasts do not use AMD processors. This struck me as odd until you begin looking at the enthusiast mentality. You see this kind of computer user is all about one thing, the benchmarks. Their idea of fun in many cases to spend hours trying to gain 3% more in specific benchmark. When you realized the current darling of the benchmark from a platform point of view is Intel it suddenly comes clear why this direction was chosen.
I had an opportunity to present this finding to Chris Hook from ATI and he was reluctantly forced to agree that the enthusiast market does sometimes close itself into the benchmark system alone and do not spend as much effort exploring the effect the new hardware has on the actual computing experience.
He express a bit of disappointment that all these sites seemed to be ignoring the AMD product line for this launch but pointed out that they did cover the AMD platform when new chips released. He then went on to explain that ATI/AMD never tries to exert any control over the content of the review sites to ensure the tests done where fair.
Overall I was left with the impression that the official ATI position on this matter was one of resigned disappointment tinged with joy of being on top in the video card market.
Since the publication of the original article at least one site has changed their original review to include AMD processor results. I know of another site that will be releasing soon a review of the 5000 series on the AMD platform and I myself am working on a review of the 5850 even as I type this, entirely on the AMD Dragon platform.
In the end this investigation turned up nothing except enthusiast’s elitistism when it came as to a reason for not seeing AMD platform usage. This is nothing new to be honest it just came as a surprise the total level of it in this case. Could there be other factors involved, possibly but in the end this just makes for another small spin of Video Card Wars II.
Forgive me folks for this post being a bit lighter than normal, the flu bug has hit out house in full force and so I write this while under the influence of a lot of daytime cold meds.
With the news I broke Friday night this has been an interested weekend so far. I have been called names, my knowledge questioned and more. As I read the responses however I have come to realize something, that is the majority of the enthusiast market does not get the concept of computing experience being more important than the benchmark.
Most of the criticism of my knowledge seems to stem from the fact that I will at times refer people to lesser parts. Lesser BTW in this case refers to benchmarks. They do not seem to be able to acknowledge that the part, while slower in a benchmark will deliver the same experience as the more expensive part in many circumstances.
When you try to point this out to them they laugh and say that may be true today but what about tomorrow. They look down the road and speak of all the great things tomorrow will bring. Sadly it seems most enthusiasts are not good students of history. A quick examination of the history of computing shows at each step forward in technology we see a pause as the step begins. A moment where the technology has outraced the software by a pretty good pace and then everything slows down while the software races to catch up.
Also so many enthusiasts seem to have no concept of budget. They either buy the biggest baddest benchmarking part on the market or they overclock the crap out of the next level down to match it. They race to achieve maximum benchmark performance and everything else is meaning less. They seriously remind me of a man in midlife crisis that must buy a Lamborghini to drive back and forth to his construction job. He then scoffs at the other guys who are still driving their 10 year old trucks.
Now to be fair it is not all enthusiast level users that are like that. I actually work on reviews with quite a few that respect my position and in turn I respect theirs. That however is the key. Respect is to be a two way street, if you want someone to respect your position that does not mean you have to agree with them but you do need to respect them. Something it seems a large percentage of the enthusiast groups seem to be lacking.
At the end of the day though their opinions will not sway my positions or work and the same in their direction. So while they spend the day tweaking out the last two or three percentage points in some obscure benchmark I will be, once I am feeling better, actually enjoying my computer. Sure their system is faster than mine, no doubt about it, but I still play any game I put on smooth as butter, looking amazing at high detail settings, my applications move faster than I can keep up and my system is stable as a rock.
Okay folks I am off to rest now for the morning so I am sure my voice will work for the show today. Look next week here for a follow-up with Chris Hook from ATI on the article about the 5000 series launch.
It was only a few years ago during the launch of the original Phenom that AMD began the mantra of targeting the mainstream users. No more would we see a company bent on only being the best but rather a company that was bent of being the best value. With this launch we where introduced to the concept of platform computing and Spider.
The concept was simple Spider would provide this amazing platform that allowed the every day person a computer at a great price and received a wonderful computing experience. The platform would scale so as the needs of the user grew they could gradually build up the platform rather than have to spend a bunch of money at one time.
To say this was not initially well received is an understatement. Many consider this a cop out by AMD to spin of an inferior product. However a few reviewers caught the vision and saw the potential of where this was heading.
As AMD brought new products to the market the platform grew and eventually evolved into Dragon with the introduction of the 4000 series video cards. AMD did an amazing job of pricing this cards and continued with their mantra of computing experience being more important than benchmark numbers. Those reviewers from the first round felt vindicated. Now it was not just a small band of reviewers that held this up for all to see, others, big names began to jump on the wagon. This may not have had the sex appeal of the enthusiast market but it was sexy in it’s own right.
Now we are looking at the next generation of video cards from ATI. The reviewers all agree the 5850 is redefining the mainstream with the power it is bringing at a mainstream price. Yet as we look at those reviews and take a a deeper look, something is different. First with this release, unlike past releases we are not seeing any mantra of experience over benchmarks. Conspicuously absent as well is any mention of how this card impacts Dragon or for that matter if this moves the platform concept to a whole new level. AMD seems in fact kind of silent on a front they have been screaming about for a few years now.
However it is not just AMD, the review sites are silent as well. Oh sure they are excited about the card and they should be, it is an amazing card. However what was most interesting was what these reviews all had in common besides praise, they where all on Intel platforms. Not a single review I looked at (as of 15:00 CST October 2nd), and I looked at a lot, of 5850 or 5870 showed an AMD platform in the testing.
Oh wait it does not stop there, after a bit of effort I got Jay Marsden from ATI to send me a copy of the PDF with the presentation given concerning the 5000 series. I have over the years seen a lot of these and I can tell you they all are basically the same, except this time. When you get to the benchmark slides of previous briefings, at the bottom would be a quick reference of the system setup used for the benchmark, so the reviewer could have a frame of reference to work from. No where in this PDF could I find a SINGLE reference to an AMD processor or the Dragon platform. NO WHERE! The 3000 series and 4000 series made a point of tell you the AMD platform was used.
So lets put this together and see what we have. We have a company that preached a mantra for a few years suddenly out of the blue go silent on the mantra, dead silent. Next that company locks out the reviewers that where supporters of the Dragon concept and the ones that have been with this from day one. Lock out BTW is not just about not getting cards, these people did not get the press releases they have gotten normally as matter of fact over the years. Would have to send ten emails to get one reply and could not get scheduled for any kind of live briefing about the product. Remember these same reviewers had been getting this material for years on a pretty steady stream and never before had to go request it, they where approached.
Next we have AMD not link their product to their platform in ANY press material I have seen, not even on their own websites. The press material they do send out also is void of ANY links to their own platform, despite the fact this has been their standard for the last few years.
Now we come to review sites all of whom seem to do reviews only with Intel systems? I mean lets get serious out of all these reviews you cannot tell me ONE of these reviewers did not have the idea of seeing how the 4850 tied to a 965 would fill out the Dragon concept?
We are left with only ONE logical conclusion, for some reason ATI did not want AMD in the mix? I am sorry if this sounds like a conspiracy theory but get serious, all those reviews and no one did an AMD one? ATI’s own materials do not mention AMD or the platform? They will not even BRIEF people that would be pushing to see this card on the Dragon platform? WHY?
I came up with a baseball analogy that fits this scene we have right now so well.
You have a player step to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and hit a home run out of the park. His team wins the game, maybe not the pennant but the game none the less. As he rounds third the crowd goes wild and the opposing team hangs their head. A classy player upon reaching home heads straight to the dugout and high fives the team, celebrating with them the win. A no class player stands at home plate playing to the crowd and trash talking the opposition. Sound familiar?
The Dragon platform right now has something stuck in it. Not a sword from Intel or an arrow from AMD archers but rather one of it’s own claws buried in it’s chest. The wound it not mortal and the Dragon might very well live but the fact is it’s own body attack it. ATI has throw under the bus not just the reviewers that stood with them and showed the value of the experience over the benchmark, they threw the Dragon platform under the bus and let the bus run over it.
So what do I expect by writing this? Not much really but I did not write it to get something something. I wrote it because this is a LEGITIMATE technology story that I doubt anyone would have covered if I did not. I have likely ended my ability to ever receive AMD review samples again and I do still BTW. However I had to choose between letting a legitimate story die or to risk losing some reviews, I chose my integrity over potential review samples.
I openly invite AMD/ATI representatives to call into my show this Sunday. I offer them a free and open chance to discuss this story and if I am wrong I will HAPPILY retract statements that are incorrect and offer public apologies. I will also for all of you that cannot hear the show record any such calls so they can be made available to a wider audience.
Over the years AMD has tried to come to the public and say they are a different kind of company. They have claimed a higher moral ground than their competition and many of us have bought into that. We saw the potential of the mainstream platform approach and embraced it. Now is the time for AMD to do one of two things. Stop the bus, get out and pick up the wounded and show us we where not all duped, or just keep driving and prove they are like others are truly are the masters of spin.
(Chris Hook Responds: I just got off the phone with Chris Hook because I wanted to ask ATI for an official response to this story. First let me thank Chris for taking the time to talk to me. Chris explained that he thought this was a great story and he too wonders why this has not yet been reported. We got into first the reasoning for the websites and he was very plain that he could not explain this and would like to hear from the site editors as to why this has happened as well. He went on the explain that any references to the Platform where right now being held up in marketing as there are some developments underway in the current platform system.
To end with this story is being posted as it was originally written with Chris’ response on his request. I want to again thank Chris for letting me speak to him on this on short notice. )