How are Intel, AMD, and Nvidia shaping up for Q4'10 and 2011? Fourteen R&D insiders talk to us about future of discrete graphics. If you’re curious about the business side of things, we have their thoughts on Sandy Bridge, Llano, and the upcoming Fermis.
Tom’s Hardware generally focuses on its bread and butter—giving you access to reviews of the latest PC-oriented hardware to help you make the right buying decisions. But today, we introduce to you a new feature that we’d like to publish on a more regular basis. Instead of going hands-on with graphics cards, CPUs, and motherboards, we are presenting business-oriented content emphasizing the hot issues relating to technology.
It’s funny—because we spend so much time going hands-on with hardware, the same analyst firms that everyone likes to cite are the ones who call us asking about this processor generation versus that one, how AMD’s graphics match up to Nvidia’s, and so on. We’ll give those companies our assessment, and you’ll often read about it later. The difference is that business analysts are often looking at larger trends from a quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year perspective. Compare this to the reviewer’s job--comparing a product to the next or last big technology to run through the labs. For example, IT administrators want to know if AMD’s new Opteron offerings provide better value over Nehalem-based Xeons. Meanwhile, business-focused readers want to know where and to what degree AMD can retake server market share.
So, on an early morning in June, Chris Angelini and I started tossing ideas back and forth, trying to figure out how to bring business content to Tom’s Hardware (he had already embarked on this quest after building a Xeon 5600-based machine). One of the ideas that I suggested stuck: start an industry dialogue about some of the most prevalent business trends and strategies.
However, we don’t want to just talk about our own opinions. This is an old and tired approach, and our insight isn’t necessarily straight from the horse’s mouth. Instead, our idea was to bring together leading industry figures directly involved in R&D, as well as the early product deployment process, to talk about hot topics.
We should make clear these are not marketing representatives sent to evangelize certain agendas. If they are, they’re pulling double duty as product managers. The primary duty of public relations is to get good press, and sometimes it is hard to get those folks out of that mode without having to resort to alcohol (Chris and I are both in agreement that it would probably be unwise to do so, anyway).
We specifically chose to talk to people in charge of the technical aspect of their company’s graphics business. Depending on the organization, we carefully selected GMs, VPs, heads of departments, and R&D engineers. It is important to note that these are people from headquarters, meaning they bring us their ideas from a global perspective.
There were no barriers in our quest. If we needed to use another language to find the people we wanted, we used it (that’s the beauty of working for a global media company). Distance did not deter us, and if you saw our international phone bill, you’d understand our dedication to this project. No stone was left unturned to find the people we needed. To our participants out there, we extend our most gracious thanks and sincerest apologies for the constant pestering.
Ultimately, we see this as a way to bring a better sense of industry dialog, answer a lot of your questions, end a lot of speculation, and hit you with surprising insights on the current and upcoming industry trends.