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AMD: We Turn Bad PCs into Super PCs!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 64 comments

The first bit of “Fusion” that AMD is releasing today is an in-house designed software utility that was described to us as being able to “turn a mainstream PC into a lean, mean gaming machine.”

Essentially, this Fusion Gaming tool is a utility that automates many of the tweaks that hardcore enthusiasts carry out in order to free up system resources for the purpose of maximizing gaming performance. The utility works by temporarily disabling background services and processes, freeing up memory and CPU cycles in an effort to make games run more smoothly.

AMD demonstrated the application to us clicking the gigantic “Fusion” button on a Windows Vista desktop, which immediately shut down usually active applications such as Skype, Google Talk, as well as many other background services. The utility will not, however, override any applications that have a shutdown or save dialog, meaning that clicking the button will still allow Microsoft Word to prompt if you wish to save before closing.

This utility would be of great use to those who use shared computers, whose family members may have installed many unwanted, useless programs that clog up the system. Those with prebuilt machines with preloaded bloatware may also find that the Fusion button does wonders to free up system resources. AMD told us that the software is careful not to disable any crucial services that might make the system unstable, but does carry with it a disclaimer that it may disable security and antivirus software – though the utility setting does allow for custom settings so that the user may fine tune to his or her liking.

Besides just reducing system overhead, the Fusion tool also helps to boost performance by incorporating other tweaking tools, such as Auto-Tune for both CPU and ATI GPU, overclocking with AMD Overdrive. AMD also introduced a “Hard Drive Acceleration” setting, which enables the SATA mode of performance over quiet.

The AMD Phenom X4 9550 Black Edition processor used as part of the demo went from a stock 2.6 GHz to 2.8 GHz, which is a conservative and safe measure for mainstream users. Those wanting to go a bit more hardcore can set more aggressive settings.

The enthusiast user, however, likely won’t find as many advantages in using the tuning utility. The extreme PC gamer will already run a tight ship with tweaked settings and a lean OS free of excess processes.

While not being marketed as such, the tuning tool may also be applied in the other applications when pure speed isn’t the main goal. AMD said that users can set up profiles where the goal is to achieve low power consumption or decreased noise output for applications such as a home theater PC.

Regardless, the AMD Fusion tool makes isolating the full power of the system easier than ever, and is the first demonstration of the chipmaker’s new company direction.

Those with AMD and ATI systems can download a beta version of the utility here, found on the new AMD Fusion site. Be sure to share your findings in the comments below!

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  • 4 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , September 18, 2008 5:38 PM
    Sounds good for people that are not familiar with OCing or there system utilities and such.
  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , September 18, 2008 5:50 PM
    I'll give it a try right now. May be a good option for my computer illiterate family.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 18, 2008 5:54 PM
    This is useless to anyone savvy enough to read Toms.
  • Display all 64 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , September 18, 2008 5:56 PM
    Well it seems like I need a AMD CPU just to get it running it doesn't care that I have a AMD/ATI videocard. I wonder if this means it won't work with a AMD CPU and a Nvidia videocard... If they expect people to go 100% AMD products and for this software to become popular than they are out of their minds.
  • 6 Hide
    nezuko , September 18, 2008 6:13 PM
    LOL, just the word fusion means you must use all AMD brand in order to use this software, and read those sentence: Fusion is a new brand campaign that AMD hopes to promote a combination of technologies, both with CPU, GPU and software tools. Means that if you want to use Fusion then you should use CPU from AMD, GPU from AMD, and Software from AMD, in this case the software is Fusion Driver Utility itself.
  • -4 Hide
    NuclearShadow , September 18, 2008 6:29 PM
    nezukoLOL, just the word fusion means you must use all AMD brand in order to use this software, and read those sentence: Fusion is a new brand campaign that AMD hopes to promote a combination of technologies, both with CPU, GPU and software tools. Means that if you want to use Fusion then you should use CPU from AMD, GPU from AMD, and Software from AMD, in this case the software is Fusion Driver Utility itself.


    Well I certainly didn't expect it to alter my CPU performance in any form of way but the whatever its not like I need the software anyways. Clearly anyone dumb enough to buy a AMD CPU is though :p  (thats a joke)
  • 3 Hide
    kcherdch , September 18, 2008 6:45 PM
    Well first off, it doesn't support vista x64 yet so I can't really test it.
  • 6 Hide
    eklipz330 , September 18, 2008 6:46 PM
    this actually sounds really great for those computers that are completely filled with bloatware
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 18, 2008 6:52 PM
    I think it's cool for those who don't care about OC'ing or those who don't know how. It doesn't really bother me that it only does it's stuff with AMD CPUs and GPUs... They should have to test and develope for the competition. It seems like a brand-loyalty feature. You don't have to use this software to get the end result, but it's a little benefit for purchasing AMD/ATI hardware. I, for one, am just glad to see AMD trying to push outward in so many areas. They haven't been able to keep up with intel's performance-per-clock since the unveiling of the core-2-duos, so they're trying to make up for it in other ways in the meantime. I think they're on the right track. Keep up the innovation AMD.
  • -6 Hide
    dagger , September 18, 2008 7:00 PM
    Frankly, the background programs that it disables just run off spare cores in a quad anyway. Does this have anything to do with AMD not having good quad cpus?
  • 2 Hide
    kidswithguns , September 18, 2008 7:18 PM
    Quote:
    The AMD Phenom X4 9550 Black Edition processor used as part of the demo went from a stock 2.6 GHz to 2.8 GHz, which is a conservative and safe measure for mainstream users. Those wanting to go a bit more hardcore can set more aggressive settings.


    There is an Phenom 9550 BLACK EDITION @ 2.6GHz?
  • 2 Hide
    GlItCh017 , September 18, 2008 7:34 PM
    kidswithguns

    I think they mean 9950 but one number can make such a difference...Oh TH you so silly!
  • 0 Hide
    GlItCh017 , September 18, 2008 7:37 PM
    Apparently I can't quote kidswithguns >_>
  • -6 Hide
    Area51 , September 18, 2008 7:39 PM
    I guess if you can't make a good enough CPU, you can always put a script together in order to turn off background services and call it an application.... Wait a minute... it's not even a real application... I wonder how long it's going to take until someone posts a similar tool to do this with all PC's since this has ABSOLUTLY nothing to do with the hardware inside the PC. This must be so embarrassing for the hardware engineers at AMD.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 18, 2008 7:57 PM
    OK. HAVE ANYONE OF YOU TRIED IT?
    IT'S PRETTY COOL. lET'S SAY YOU HAVE A BRANDED LAPTOP WITH INTEGRATED ATI X 1XXX(250 OR 300 OR WHATEVER). There is almost no possibility to overclock it whatsover. Even for gurus the crash will happen.
    On the other hand press that fusion button and see what happens.
    It's pretty OK.
  • -8 Hide
    Area51 , September 18, 2008 7:57 PM
    I guess If you can't make a good CPU's then just write an application in 1/2 hr to turn off services and call it revolutionary. This must be a bit embarrassing for the AMD hardware engineers that they have nothing to show and this is all that the company can come up with.
  • -7 Hide
    Area51 , September 18, 2008 7:59 PM
    anonymous5OK. HAVE ANYONE OF YOU TRIED IT?IT'S PRETTY COOL. lET'S SAY YOU HAVE A BRANDED LAPTOP WITH INTEGRATED ATI X 1XXX(250 OR 300 OR WHATEVER). There is almost no possibility to overclock it whatsover. Even for gurus the crash will happen.On the other hand press that fusion button and see what happens.It's pretty OK.

    I wouldn't know.. I have a C2D Laptop and because of this fact I don't have to turn the background services off to get a good performance. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    armistitiu , September 18, 2008 8:27 PM
    You don't have to brag about it C2D guy. It's just an application for the new brand 'Fusion' . just wait until the real thing comes out. I guess AMD fanboys will have the last laugh then.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , September 18, 2008 8:29 PM
    Remember the AMD rhetoric several years ago about AMD being all about choice as they railed on Intel for their platform/bundling approach?

    Now I'm not saying AMD should be responsible for validating the software on all platforms (why should they be) - but I'm curious if the software has hooks which prevents it from operating with non AMD hardware (like an Nvidia card).

    AMD has every right to do this - but just don't preach to me about enabling the ecosystem and enabling choice anymore.
  • 0 Hide
    godmode , September 18, 2008 9:19 PM
    i really hope the real fusion processor is still coming out in 09........

    otherwise...WTF AMD!?
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