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Old Aug 11, 2015, 12:31 PM   #1
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bittermann
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Default AMD R&D Research Way Down

Interesting article with AMD's CTO including R&D being down 40%. Can't spend money you don't have. And you can't get money without innovation.

http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...up-with-amd-3/
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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AMD's revenue is slowly but surely sinking R&D follows along. I don't see any way out for AMD at this point other than being purchased.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 01:13 PM   #3
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Interesting article with AMD's CTO including R&D being down 40%. Can't spend money you don't have. And you can't get money without innovation.

http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...up-with-amd-3/
Somewhat discouraging, maybe, in one sense, but as Papermaster said they've focused their R&D efforts on a particular immediate end: Zen & CGN 1.2+. He talks as if they are preparing to bring the new cpus & GPUs to market and so their need for greater R&D expenditure at present is truncated. He also said that AMD is betting the company on Zen & the next GCN iterations. All I can say is these upcoming technologies must indeed be impressive...! We'll see in a few months time...Papermaster also said that none of this information bothered him...

The author of the column seemed a bit stilted in his opinions, though, as he seemed to think nVidia is AMD's only competitor. Of course, nVidia doesn't make x86 CPUs & associated products (not even x86 core logic, anymore.) It's not clear the writer is even aware that AMD is a major x86 cpu supplier.

It was kind of odd that when asked about the server side Papermaster mentioned ARM (Seattle)...!...while admitting that the ARM segment wasn't growing as fast as AMD had expected. I thought that was an odd response to the question....especially considering this quote:

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Where we’ve been incredibly protective in maintained investment is in where we are banking the future of the Company. So it is on that next generation of CPUs starting with Zen. It is on successive generations of our graphics core next. Huge volume in what we have in not only in discrete graphics and our APU, but the game console wins are all on Graphics Core Next and we have a very strong roadmap for that Graphics Core Next IP going forward.
What AMD needs most at the moment is compelling products...there's plenty of time to increase R&D once AMD starts making headway shipping popular products again and making profits it can move into R&D.

But I'll say that I think AMD made some serious mistakes in judgement as to where the market was headed--along with Microsoft & Win8--but AMD doesn't have the kind of elasticity economically that Microsoft has and AMD made mistakes relative to ARM R&D and trimming its x86 cpu R&D--mistakes that the company could not afford to make, imo.

So...they are now in a position of having to bet on Zen & GCN 1.2+. I want them to be everything Papermaster hopes--we need competition with Intel & nVidia simply to keep the markets we all enjoy so much honest to some extent. I'll keep on buying AMD as long as I can justify it.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 01:43 PM   #4
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The core problem is AMD thinks all they need is good products and the rest will take care of itself, this attitude has decimated the company and I don't see any signs that they recognize this. At this point it looks to me that the culture of the company is broken, great engineers that have no idea how to turn their IP into a commercial and financial success.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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The core problem is AMD thinks all they need is good products and the rest will take care of itself, this attitude has decimated the company and I don't see any signs that they recognize this. At this point it looks to me that the culture of the company is broken, great engineers that have no idea how to turn their IP into a commercial and financial success.
I think the problem was more that they didn't have good products. Their CPU line-up right now is pretty bad.

That being said, the next GCN and Zen should already be close to taping out, if they haven't already. So, I think those should not be that affected by the R&D cuts, and if those are no good then AMD is probably done anyway.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 06:05 PM   #6
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I think the problem was more that they didn't have good products. Their CPU line-up HAS BEEN pretty bad.
FIFY.......

Sad really but true. AMD needs Zen and the GCN 1.3 to be good. They need to take back the server market with both product lines also. Its a lot on their plate, but its make or break at this point. For now AMD has to make a impact with the Nano. It has everything going for it if it is between the 980 and Fury X in performance, and at a $450ish price range.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 06:34 PM   #7
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I think the problem was more that they didn't have good products.
That isn't the problem. For example Intel and Nvidia have moved millions of poorly performing (or even defective) products over the years in fact said products were best sellers. AMD suffers exponentially when they are behind in performance because they don't have the brand perception to carry them through until the next cycle.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 06:48 PM   #8
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That isn't the problem. For example Intel and Nvidia have moved millions of poorly performing (or even defective) products over the years in fact said products were best sellers. AMD suffers exponentially when they are behind in performance because they don't have the brand perception to carry them through until the next cycle.
On could say Apple has inferior products on the PC side yet they sell well and make a profit. So yes AMD could do something similar to a point, Apple controls their own market is the big difference. AMD doesn't have a single market that they can control, they do compete but not control, the closest is with Consoles but they don't control those either. Anyways sells of Consoles to China should give the smoldering coal some flames.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 06:50 PM   #9
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I think the problem was more that they didn't have good products. Their CPU line-up right now is pretty bad.

That being said, the next GCN and Zen should already be close to taping out, if they haven't already. So, I think those should not be that affected by the R&D cuts, and if those are no good then AMD is probably done anyway.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 07:18 PM   #10
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I guess I've become very cynical because I don't think at this point a class leading product cycle will help AMD much. They will need at least two generations of perf/watt leadership to gain significant share and that might not even do the trick.

Look at the previous two GPU generations, AMD actually had better products they aged especially well. Didn't matter.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 08:54 PM   #11
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I guess I've become very cynical because I don't think at this point a class leading product cycle will help AMD much. They will need at least two generations of perf/watt leadership to gain significant share and that might not even do the trick.

Look at the previous two GPU generations, AMD actually had better products they aged especially well. Didn't matter.
Yeah there are just too many Nvidiots out there!
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 09:11 PM   #12
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More accurately there are not enough AMD fanatics out there.
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Old Aug 11, 2015, 09:20 PM   #13
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I guess I've become very cynical because I don't think at this point a class leading product cycle will help AMD much. They will need at least two generations of perf/watt leadership to gain significant share and that might not even do the trick.

Look at the previous two GPU generations, AMD actually had better products they aged especially well. Didn't matter.
It didn't look that way until very late in the product cycle.

Personally, I noticed no difference between my 7950s and gtx 670s at 2560x1440 in performance for the most part with both overclocked.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 06:22 AM   #14
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Yeah there are just too many Nvidiots out there!
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More accurately there are not enough AMD fanatics out there.
We don't need those.

The 7970 has aged well for me but if I'm looking to upgrade I don't see anything I really like out there at the moment.

A buyout of AMD actually seems to be the best solution so more cash can be invested into more research and development which is the only way get back competitive again.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 07:28 AM   #15
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We don't need those.

The 7970 has aged well for me but if I'm looking to upgrade I don't see anything I really like out there at the moment.

A buyout of AMD actually seems to be the best solution so more cash can be invested into more research and development which is the only way get back competitive again.
I would rather see a partnership than a buyout. Have a large corporation swoop in and pay a chunk of AMD say 30% infusing them with capital and with any luck bringing something useful to the table like a fabrication facility.

Imagine a Samsung partnership with access to the Samsung FABs.

The entirety of the GCN architecture has aged well and shows how powerful and advanced it as the core architecture has moved through 3 full generations of cards with only evolutionary steps and yet is still pushing the competition.

The issue at hand in the GPU market is more propaganda than technology. NVidia has a great spin machine, they spend tons of money on reviewers and review sites.

Want a good example, Frame Pacing, this was a mountain made out of a mole hill. NVidia dumps a ton of cash into getting the hardware into reviewers hands to show the results they directed them to. To this day I hear people talking about how AMD drivers have a micro stutter issue. I will talk to them and they think it effected ALL AMD cards.

When I explain that the micro stutter was purely a multi-card issue they seem confused. When I explain that for 80% of consumers the micro stutter was unnoticed, they are even more so. When I point out that in single card testing AMD cards where doing BETTER than NVidia cards they ask why was this never reported if true? EXACTLY!

Now the whole Gsync vs Freesync mess. A great deal of time has been spent showing how Gsync is so much better at 30 FPS and below. No one is talking about at 30 FPS and below the game will suck. With modern cards keeping the minimum FPS above the sync threshold is EASY!
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 07:33 AM   #16
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This is true but AMD has to let the past be and start getting competitive.

If Samsung can fight Apple in smartphones imagine what they could do in GPU and CPU with AMD against Intel and Nvidia......
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 07:50 AM   #17
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Uh samsung is a much bigger company than apple with far more diverse products and has much bigger potential market size

Apple is just an anomaly built on the legacy of single man that happened to know what some people wants.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 07:54 AM   #18
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Uh samsung is a much bigger company than apple with far more diverse products and has much bigger potential market size

Apple is just an anomaly built on the legacy of single man that happened to know what some people wants.
Uh I know that ....my Refrigerators are both made by Samsung.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 08:04 AM   #19
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I''m wondering if a lot of these companies are reluctant to step in knowing that it will create a sh*tstorm of controversy and lawsuits from Intel if they try to continue producing X86 cpu's according to their cross licensing agreement with Intel?
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 08:06 AM   #20
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Frame pacing wasn't an issue?!

Its the reason why I had to sell my 7950s. This was before fcat and all of the backlash as well. I couldn't use. Crossfire without a framerate cap. It made installing the 2b pcb in my catleap useless.

I didn't realize that the reason why my 4870x2 felt slower than a gtx280 was due to microstutter until after I had sold the card.

Nvidia spotted an issue, addressed it over time. Once they got to a place where they were happy with frame times advertised the **** out of it. I'm sorry but that ended up being good for all of us. In fact amd appears to be doing even better in the frame pacing and scaling department these days.

I'm glad that issue finally got fixed.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 10:23 AM   #21
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I find it astonishing that AMD allowed itself to be in such as bad position today and not do anything about it. Like a deer stuck in headlights watching the car about to run it over.

AMD seized the opportunity when Intel hung on to the mundane Pentium 4 for so many years. AMD's processors on both desktop and server were more powerful than their Pentium counterparts, cost less, and much more efficient. AMD was quite literally King of the Hill with it's Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, ruling the high end all the way down to entry level. AMD was even cocky enough to take out full page ads taunting Intel on the server and desktop markets.

The Pentium 4 was like Nvidia's FX series and AMD seized marketshare and mindset. But then, after years of embarassment by AMD against their P4 lineup, Intel began showcasing it's next gen Core processor. And what did AMD do? NOTHING??

AMD had a good year to respond while Intel began to showcase its new Core processor. Intel was doing this by OVERCLOCKING AMD's fastest processors by 100Mhz or more, and pitting it against a moderately clocked Core processor, and was beating AMD by a good margin. Intel was doing this months before widescale release. And what did AMD do? Just sit idley by... Did they think these benchmarks were cherry picked? No indicative of real world applications?

And once Core was released, it literally shat on everything AMD had to offer top to bottom, while AMD never responded and fell ever since to this day. I blame the initial technological lethargy on Hector Ruiz, but it has been how many years now?

Oh, the days of being an AMD fanboy and justified for it.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 10:46 AM   #22
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I find it astonishing that AMD allowed itself to be in such as bad position today and not do anything about it. Like a deer stuck in headlights watching the car about to run it over.

AMD seized the opportunity when Intel hung on to the mundane Pentium 4 for so many years. AMD's processors on both desktop and server were more powerful than their Pentium counterparts, cost less, and much more efficient. AMD was quite literally King of the Hill with it's Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, ruling the high end all the way down to entry level. AMD was even cocky enough to take out full page ads taunting Intel on the server and desktop markets.

The Pentium 4 was like Nvidia's FX series and AMD seized marketshare and mindset. But then, after years of embarassment by AMD against their P4 lineup, Intel began showcasing it's next gen Core processor. And what did AMD do? NOTHING??

AMD had a good year to respond while Intel began to showcase its new Core processor. Intel was doing this by OVERCLOCKING AMD's fastest processors by 100Mhz or more, and pitting it against a moderately clocked Core processor, and was beating AMD by a good margin. Intel was doing this months before widescale release. And what did AMD do? Just sit idley by... Did they think these benchmarks were cherry picked? No indicative of real world applications?

And once Core was released, it literally shat on everything AMD had to offer top to bottom, while AMD never responded and fell ever since to this day. I blame the initial technological lethargy on Hector Ruiz, but it has been how many years now?

Oh, the days of being an AMD fanboy and justified for it.
While you have sort of a point, Intel has something AMD doesn't. Namely a big wad of cash to throw at anything. Intel can develop 2 or 3 arches at a time, fuse parts of it when an arch "fails", slap it together and still turn up a profit. AMD can't (and never could) afford a second, let alone a third arch in development. When **** goes sour, it goes sour bad. No backup plan can be kicked into effect when the competition shows up something. You can bet your asses that they went a collective "Oh ****" when Intel showed off their new toys. AMD was well into development of it's own new arches and couldn't just call it a day, throw it out and start anew. Possibly AMD only had theoretical numbers and it wasn't looking to bad. But with Intels supremacy on nodes kicking into high gear and widening the gap it went tits up. They can't just recover like that. When the arch after that also went tits up well...the rest is history and I can only hope this isn't the end of AMD.

Maybe the best thing that could possibly happen is that it goes down the drain. A new owner picking up the tech, patents and name. Dumping the depts and start over. But with all problems of licensing that will likely not happen and the death of AMD will mean only 1 x86 provider will exist. which will be a sad day for all.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 10:46 AM   #23
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I find it astonishing that AMD allowed itself to be in such as bad position today and not do anything about it. Like a deer stuck in headlights watching the car about to run it over.

AMD seized the opportunity when Intel hung on to the mundane Pentium 4 for so many years. AMD's processors on both desktop and server were more powerful than their Pentium counterparts, cost less, and much more efficient. AMD was quite literally King of the Hill with it's Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, ruling the high end all the way down to entry level. AMD was even cocky enough to take out full page ads taunting Intel on the server and desktop markets.

The Pentium 4 was like Nvidia's FX series and AMD seized marketshare and mindset. But then, after years of embarassment by AMD against their P4 lineup, Intel began showcasing it's next gen Core processor. And what did AMD do? NOTHING??

AMD had a good year to respond while Intel began to showcase its new Core processor. Intel was doing this by OVERCLOCKING AMD's fastest processors by 100Mhz or more, and pitting it against a moderately clocked Core processor, and was beating AMD by a good margin. Intel was doing this months before widescale release. And what did AMD do? Just sit idley by... Did they think these benchmarks were cherry picked? No indicative of real world applications?

And once Core was released, it literally shat on everything AMD had to offer top to bottom, while AMD never responded and fell ever since to this day. I blame the initial technological lethargy on Hector Ruiz, but it has been how many years now?

Oh, the days of being an AMD fanboy and justified for it.
Intel were legit and fair right?

No they were not....

http://www.dailytech.com/Intel+Loses...ticle35051.htm

http://www.extremetech.com/computing...es-against-amd

http://money.cnn.com/blogs/legalpad/...illion_15.html
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 11:20 AM   #24
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Intel tried every tactic yet AMD was still profitable during the Pentium 4 years. Why? Because their products were simply better.

AMD simply couldn't come up with a better product once Core was released. They went into a mode of simply clocking up their processors, arch after arch.

You can blame Intel for tactics, but the bottom line is the fault lies with AMD for not being able to keep up with the competition. They've had how many years now?
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 11:24 AM   #25
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Some people just refuse to think, give Intel AMD's R&D budget and see what they will come up with. We can argue all day as to why AMD doesn't have the cash on hand but that doesn't change the reality of the corner they are backed in to. It is beyond obvious that the less cash you have the less you can spend on future products, marketing and all that.

This has been pointed out many times but I still read posts about how AMD dropped the ball and how their products suck. So what do you suggest AMD does differently? Going forward let's hear a plan that will allow AMD to become a major player.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 11:27 AM   #26
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While you have sort of a point, Intel has something AMD doesn't. Namely a big wad of cash to throw at anything. Intel can develop 2 or 3 arches at a time, fuse parts of it when an arch "fails", slap it together and still turn up a profit. AMD can't (and never could) afford a second, let alone a third arch in development. When **** goes sour, it goes sour bad. No backup plan can be kicked into effect when the competition shows up something. You can bet your asses that they went a collective "Oh ****" when Intel showed off their new toys. AMD was well into development of it's own new arches and couldn't just call it a day, throw it out and start anew. Possibly AMD only had theoretical numbers and it wasn't looking to bad. But with Intels supremacy on nodes kicking into high gear and widening the gap it went tits up. They can't just recover like that. When the arch after that also went tits up well...the rest is history and I can only hope this isn't the end of AMD.

Maybe the best thing that could possibly happen is that it goes down the drain. A new owner picking up the tech, patents and name. Dumping the depts and start over. But with all problems of licensing that will likely not happen and the death of AMD will mean only 1 x86 provider will exist. which will be a sad day for all.
They had numerous arch cycles since the original Core duo to "catch up."

Prior to their dominance over the Pentium 4, AMD enjoyed a gamers niche with their older first gen Athlon and K-6 processors. They offered 90% the performance of Intel processors while costing quite a bit less. Now they don't even have that.

AMD CPU's aren't worth a buy regardless of segment.

It's APUs however, are a great deal for those who need that application. Unfortunately this only puts AMD in a competitive advantage at the low end, not even midrange let alone high.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 11:43 AM   #27
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Intel tried every tactic yet AMD was still profitable during the Pentium 4 years. Why? Because their products were simply better.

AMD simply couldn't come up with a better product once Core was released. They went into a mode of simply clocking up their processors, arch after arch.

You can blame Intel for tactics, but the bottom line is the fault lies with AMD for not being able to keep up with the competition. They've had how many years now?
I see you call Intel's cheating as a 'tactic'....
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 12:10 PM   #28
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If AMD was suddenly in a financial position to use "tactics" against Nvidia we'd see a whole lot of people squealing and squawking about how unfair and terrible the whole thing is. Heck AMD got blamed for things like TressFX not working perfectly out of gate on Nvidia hardware, but when HairWorks runs like poop on AMD cards well that's on AMD's driver team.

You can't make this stuff up.
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 12:53 PM   #29
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If AMD was suddenly in a financial position to use "tactics" against Nvidia we'd see a whole lot of people squealing and squawking about how unfair and terrible the whole thing is. Heck AMD got blamed for things like TressFX not working perfectly out of gate on Nvidia hardware, but when HairWorks runs like poop on AMD cards well that's on AMD's driver team.

You can't make this stuff up.
too true

98% of people b*tching about mantle were nv only users because it didn't work on nv cards

can't wait for dx12 games on GCN, like hopefully star wars battlefront 3
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Old Aug 12, 2015, 01:28 PM   #30
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I see you call Intel's cheating as a 'tactic'....
Tactics, cheating, unfair practices, bulldogs and ding dongs, whatever you want to call it.... didn't stop AMD from growing profitable and toppling Intel on top while Intel fumbled with the Pentium 4. And in the end AMD won all its lawsuits and Intel paid huge fines.

But what are you trying to say? That it was Intel's fault AMD sat on it's laurels and did not have the foresight to see past what Intel was bringing after the P4 despite having a 1 year lead to adjust? Are you blaming Intel, who paid AMD millions (1.25 billion to be exact) for their "tactics", and not AMD leadership for the lack of a competitive product (or direction) over the past decade?
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