Continueing my dubious legacy of AMD related tech predictions – I give you the Vega Gigahertz Edition! It almost certainly won’t sport the moniker “Gigahertz Edition”, but it will in many ways mirror the re-release of the 7970 some six years ago. It’s what you do when you don’t have anything new in a market that expects a twelve month product cycle.
This is not to say it will be a bad product.
I give my consent that you may govern in my name, and assent to be bound by the actions you take in my name as if they were my own.
However, the authority to govern that you possess in consequence is never to be leased out to a third party, and I will not deem those actions as were they my own.
What it boils down to is who ‘us’ is.
If so, how does this work with AMD’s upcoming high-end Summit Ridge CPU’s? It is widely accepted that HSA does not deliver on its promise (at least under current architecture) if there is not a tight coupling of the CPU and GPU with a shared memory allocation, and also affected by latency problems with PCIe. Hence, i can buy a £300 laptop which supports HSA, but I cannot build a PC that leverages the power of my £600 graphics card and £300 CPU. Either they sort out this limitation of shared memory pool and latency over PCIe, they stick shaders on Summit Ridge, or, HSA has no part to play in their high-end offerings.
At least that is what I used to think, but perhaps I have been looking through the wrong end of the telescope.
A few 2015 predictions no doubt swiftly to be proven wrong.
On the usual themes of politics, foreign policy and technology:
AMD has a problem: The AM3+ platform with its 9xx chipset is an evolutionary dead-end whose feature-set is not going to be improved and is barely competitive in the low-end, let alone the mid-range where it purports to belong. Worse still, it is tied to a processor ranger that does not have the performance to compete at the mid-range (>£120), and no longer has the cachet of a halo product in public consciousness. Taken together, CPU and chipset form a platform that is heavily integrated into technologies now defunct on the desktop, such as hypertransport, with high manufacture costs combined with low returns.
In short, it does nothing for its future, represents only a support cost in the present, and some nostalgia in the past. AM3+ is dead.
And lo, the promised land hove into view, and the future looked brighter for PC games. First there was the Steam gamepad/controller, then there was the Steam linux beta, after that followed Steam big-picture for a console style interface on HDTV’s, now the final piece of the puzzle falls into place that ties them all logically together. Console hardware. Who will make it, what will it contain, and how will you buy it?
Valve will retail their ‘own’ hardware, it will contain standard PC hardware and software, and you’ll find 3rd party licensed versions.
Q – Why do consoles massively outperform their PC equivalent hardware?
A – Because they use a streamlined software stack and optimised hardware.
Let’s ignore the former for it doesn’t tell us anything interesting, for while every real console (i.e. not ouyu), will seek optimised software and hardware only the latter will help us with the big questions. Consoles are machines specifically designed to pump out graphics so the determining factor will be the GPU, and from a console vendors perspective what is the prime consideration when choosing a GPU?
Price/performance. A combination of the number of transistors and their clock speed.