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Tom's Hardware's AMA With AMD, In Its Entirety

Tom's Hardware's AMA With AMD, In Its Entirety
By

After being live for a full 24 hours, the AMD Radeon “Ask Me Anything” has officially concluded!

Major kudos to the AMD representatives who took the time out of their schedule to come and answer all the great questions our community had for them.We know this was a bit of work on their end, and we and our users are deeply appreciative of the time taken to engage with the community here at Tom’s Hardware.

For answering questions, our gratitude goes out to Robert “Thracks” Hallock for responding to users and relaying the answers of his team at AMD.An epic thanks to the AMD team for helping put this together on their end and securing the time and info required to make this happen. We're grateful for all the great answers, and our community really appreciated this opportunity to engage with you.Check out the full thread here.

Tom’s Hardware Ask Me Anything – AMD Radeon

A digest of the responses:

Q. What is the rationale for AMD using stock cooling solutions on enthusiast cards at launch when more robust and effective cooling solutions have been demonstrated by your partners and other 3rd parties resulting in superior acoustics, better heat dissipation, and potentially higher benchmarks?

A. Using a 100% reference design at launch ensures that AMD can control every facet of the initial production. It minimizes the number of variables that can "go wrong."

Q. Will Mantle support all GCN GPUs, including the low-end ones such as the HD 7730 and HD 7750?

A. Anything with Graphics Core Next. Anything!

Q. With Kavari being the 3rd generation APU from AMD, what are the major improvements that we will see? How potentially disruptive is this technology to the historic relationship of CPU/GPU and system resources in a desktop environment and how does AMD plan to leverage this potential disruption into higher market share since Nvidia and Intel don't fully compete in this APU space?

A. I can't say much on our next-generation APUs, as today's AMA team is from the Radeon side of the business. But what I can say is that your question will be answered in its entirety on November 11-13 at the AMD Developer Conference in San Jose.

Q. Why did you end the HD 7750?

A. The HD 7750 is still shipping in the market for precisely the reason you've identified. Its performance falls between that of the R7 250 and the R7 260X.

Q. My question is about changing from one Radeon card to another new Radeon card. I have gotten different descriptions of the steps to go through as far as removing old software or not, with many instructions assume starting with a new install.  Can you recommend some steps?

A.  With Windows 7, this is the procedure I have always followed in one form or another: 1) Fully uninstall the driver with the AMD Catalyst uninstaller tool found here (http://www2.ati.com/drivers/amd_cleanup_util_1.2.1.0.exe) 2) Reboot your PC! 3) Install the new driver. Reboot your PC! 4) Done!  I've never had a problem following this approach.

Display 31 Comments.
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  • 1 Hide
    jumpmanxt , November 12, 2013 11:46 PM
    Does AMD have an official download link for their cleanup utility? I can't get the link in the article to work (http://www2.ati.com/drivers/amd_cleanup_util_1.2.1.0.exe).
  • -1 Hide
    tomfreak , November 13, 2013 4:37 AM
    I is sad.... I ask if Radeon 7790 support TrueAudio or not, my question got passed -.-

    Radeon 7790 is the same chip with 260x.
  • 3 Hide
    ronch79 , November 13, 2013 5:17 AM
    WHy wasn't AMD asked about the future of their CPU division? Do they plan to offer FX SKUs using the Steamroller core? What about Excavator? Any plans to continue making x86 CPUs after Excavator?
  • 3 Hide
    InvalidError , November 13, 2013 5:31 AM
    Quote:
    WHy wasn't AMD asked about the future of their CPU division?

    Because the AMA panel was from the GPU division and deferred CPU-related questions to AMD's upcoming forum and interviews elsewhere. In other words, they probably were not authorized to discuss CPU-related questions.
  • 0 Hide
    sarinaide , November 13, 2013 6:20 AM
    Nice interview, its eye opening to see how little people in position to know actually knew about AMD and its projects. The automatic knee-jerk reaction is to assume a problem when there is no problem other than the assumption of problems.

  • 2 Hide
    goodguy713 , November 13, 2013 8:28 AM
    well this was pretty informative actually. the temp issue with the 290 and 290x seems like it can be solved just by gaming out side in 30 degree weather.. lol
  • 2 Hide
    goodguy713 , November 13, 2013 8:30 AM
    all joking aside i honestly think I will buy a 290 here soon been waiting for amazon to get more in stock
  • 2 Hide
    MajinCry , November 13, 2013 8:31 AM
    Gah. Forgot about the AMA. I'd have asked if there would be any performance benefit from wrapping, say, DirectX 9 to Mantle, due to the low-level aspect of the latter.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , November 13, 2013 9:56 AM
    Quote:
    Gah. Forgot about the AMA. I'd have asked if there would be any performance benefit from wrapping, say, DirectX 9 to Mantle, due to the low-level aspect of the latter.

    Sounds like a silly idea to me since the point of Mantle is to bypass DXn's complexity and overhead in the first place by giving programmers lower-level access to the hardware.

    If you make DXn libraries that translate the DXn API to Mantle, you lose pretty much all advantages Mantle is intended to provide since you have to jump through all DXn hoops on top of dealing with Mantle stuff.

    With DXn, you get: Game -> DXn APIs -> driver hardware abstraction layer -> low-level drivers -> hardware
    With Mantle, you get: Game -> Mantle -> low-level drivers -> hardware
    With "Mantlified DXn" you get: Game -> DXn API -> DXn translation layer -> Mantle -> low-level drivers -> hardware

    Converting DXn to Mantle is likely less efficient since it introduces an extra middleware layer that may not be able to execute calls as efficiently as a middleware layer that speaks native hardware language - the hardware abstraction layer has liberties in how to translate DXn calls to hardware that Mantle would not have.
  • 1 Hide
    joditas , November 13, 2013 10:18 AM
    This is the original version
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-1863987/official-amd-radeon-representatives.html

    I appreciate THG for hosting this but many questions are simply left unanswered. If AMD wants to capture more market share, not just maintain, they need to do better in areas where they are lacking.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , November 13, 2013 10:42 AM
    Quote:
    If AMD wants to capture more market share, not just maintain, they need to do better in areas where they are lacking.

    Doing better in areas they are lacking (per-core performance) is only one way to go about improving their market position. Reducing the industry's dependence on AMD's biggest weakness by heavily promoting HSA works too but does require more effort to drive market interest and adoption.

    As I have been saying for a while, most of the gaming and image/video processing algorithms that "require more cores" are embarrassingly parallel and would be perfect candidates for GPGPU. Once you remove that from the CPU's workload, most of what is left is heavily branch-dependent code that may be nearly impossible to break into threads in a sensible manner.
  • 1 Hide
    smeezekitty , November 13, 2013 11:11 AM
    Quote:

    WHy wasn't AMD asked about the future of their CPU division? Do they plan to offer FX SKUs using the Steamroller core? What about Excavator? Any plans to continue making x86 CPUs after Excavator?

    Because this is a GPU AMA with GPU reps. There were CPU questions but they were not answered (and realistically the GPU division probably didn't really know the answers)
  • 0 Hide
    mapesdhs , November 13, 2013 11:23 AM

    I second jumpmanxt's question, the cleanup utility link doesn't work, and
    searching AMD's site gives no results.

    Ian.

  • -3 Hide
    silicondoc_85 , November 13, 2013 2:12 PM
    Quote:
    Does AMD have an official download link for their cleanup utility? I can't get the link in the article to work (http://www2.ati.com/drivers/amd_cleanup_util_1.2.1.0.exe).


    Like of course ! AMD website sucks, as it always has, it's a huge pain compared to nVidia's website, which rocks and rocks and rocks.

    I just bought a brand new high end SB950 AM3+ board and guess what ?
    AMD HOSTS NO DRIVERS FOR IT - FOR THEIR OWN CHIPSET.

    You get links at the bottom of the page after the massive runaround - to manufacturers of motherboards...
    See it would cost amd money to have drivers for their products online... they prefer to laythe burden upon their "partners" or should I call them abused spouses ?

    Yeah, I thought I knew how much amd sucks which is to the far reaches of the universe, but then I saw even greater suckage from them.

    I give mantle about a 3% chance of not being a huge pain in the rear 99% of the time for dubious and very "massaged" benefit, with many unstated caveats and issues, only to be told a couple years later, in passing, while proclaiming "the new solution" and bashing the superior competition, since that's how it's been done for a decade plus now.
  • 0 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , November 13, 2013 3:11 PM
    Quote:
    Q. How much in the way of performance increase are we looking at with Mantle-enabled games?

    A. I cannot give you a precise answer now, but the first performance numbers will be revealed during the AMD Developer Conference next week. Keep your eyes open on the 13th.


    It is the 13th, I wanna see Mantle performance numbers! :-)
  • -2 Hide
    silicondoc_85 , November 13, 2013 3:37 PM
    Quote:
    Gah. Forgot about the AMA. I'd have asked if there would be any performance benefit from wrapping, say, DirectX 9 to Mantle, due to the low-level aspect of the latter.


    Allow me to answer that.

    YES ! There will be huge gains ! Think of it as BF6 or BF8 !
    Think of very expensive items on your fireplace's mantle !

    Of course all that will come "in the future" with "the game dev partners" "doing all the work", and after the gigantic flops and artifacts and visual anomalies and embarrassing fragolific fallout, the amazing promises will then come "in the future", when " the great advantages can be put to use! ", so of course, BUY IT NOW !, because years down the road the benefits will "materialize" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wow I amd so fired up !!!!!!

  • 0 Hide
    Shankovich , November 13, 2013 5:31 PM
    "Such a dance would take 10 conferences to complete, and may require the use of a Potara Earring." Best AMA answer ever
  • 0 Hide
    ihog , November 13, 2013 7:10 PM
    Quote:
    Using a 100% reference design at launch ensures that AMD can control every facet of the initial production. It minimizes the number of variables that can "go wrong."


    Apparently, their production design just sucks then. The reference cooler is awful. AMD did a bad job, and they should feel bad.

    Also, Tom's, these mobile ads are beyond annoying. Sure, one is fine, even though none should show up since I'm a member, but every single time I click out of one, another pops up. Mod edit for language. Keep it family friendly please!
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , November 13, 2013 7:33 PM
    Quote:
    Apparently, their production design just sucks then. The reference cooler is awful. AMD did a bad job, and they should feel bad.

    The reference cooler should be fine for the most part but the fan design is very odd. I'm sure it could be improved substantially with very minor tweaks. For example: the fan blades are practically perpendicular to the rotation tangent. This creates high resistance in front of them and turbulence around them instead of making the blades shove the air outside the centrifugal fan. Simply rotating the blades about five degrees counter-clockwise should improve that a fair bit by making the inner edge slice into air in front of it with the blade curve guiding that outwards, assisted by centrifugal force. A very minor tweak but I bet it would significantly improve airflow and noise.
  • 0 Hide
    Christopher Shaffer , November 13, 2013 11:06 PM
    All of this was very interesting, especially the favorite color question. However, this is my favorite response:
    A. Mantle is a full graphics API. Anything indie developers are doing with other APIs today can be done on Mantle, plus you get direct hardware access. Anything with a GCN graphics core can leverage Mantle. We're open to working with any developer on Mantle! Please contact us.

    It would rock to see Indie devs able to pump out better products with AMD support. DX11 isn't exactly Indie-friendly.

    Here's to Indie games getting wide-spread attention and support due to Mantle. I'm excited (and I'm running a 770 4GB right now.... don't tell anyone!).
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