On Friday boutique desktop builder Origin PC (opens in new tab) stopped offering AMD Radeon GPUs in its customizable pre-built systems. In an emailed statement, CEO and co-founder Kevin Wasielewski said the decision to drop AMD GPUs was based on a combination of many factors including customer experiences, GPU performance/drivers/stability, and requests from the Origin PC support staff.
"Based on our 15+ years of experience building and selling award winning high-performance PCs, we strongly feel the best PC gaming experience is on Nvidia GPUs," he said. The title of his email stated that Origin PC is "going green!"
Origin PC's discontinuation of Radeon GPUs is just another blow to AMD this week. On Friday Valve Software finally revealed the specs of its prototype Steam Machine "console," and we cautiously use that word because the form factor is similar to the Xbox One. All prototype models shipping to 300 testers will include Nvidia "Kepler" GPUs and Intel Core CPUs.
Yet to AMD's defense, the Xi3 Piston will ship November 29 with a quad-core AMD "Trinity" chip clocked at 3.2 GHz and a Radeon Series GPU. This will likely be a Steam Machine as well, although the company hasn't made an official announcement. This "console" is also upgradable, allowing users to pull out a processor card and slide in a new one with an upgraded chip.
AMD also supplies APUs for both the upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4, both based on the company's Graphics Core Next architecture. AMD is working on a unified gaming front thanks to its new Mantle low-level API that will supposedly give developers direct access to the hardware. Thus it will be possible to have games with the same AMD-exclusive features on both consoles and PCs with GCN-based Radeon GPUs. However, now it appears that Origin PC will be one less vendor supplying the latter.
Typically, boutique system builders stock AMD, Intel and Nvidia components to appeal to everyone. But as of this writing, the company seems to be clearing out all references to AMD in the system spec lists although there are still a few options during the customization process like the AMD FX-9590 "Vishera" chip (Genesis desktop). As it stands now, the company seems to be going all Nvidia and Intel.
Origin PC was also just revealed to be one of Nvidia's Battlebox partners (opens in new tab), offering the Millennium and Genesis customizable high-end desktops with GTX 690, GTX 770, GTX 780 and Titan GPUs. Both will provide dual and triple SLI options along with the company's "professional" graphics card overclocking, whereas the Genesis adds a quad option as well (four Titans for $3,173!). The Genesis Battlebox will also use Origin PC's Cryogenic liquid cooling.
We've reached out to Origin PC to get more information regarding the problems that led up to abandoning AMD GPUs. So far we haven't heard anything back, but we'll provide an update here or in a second article.
UPDATE: Technical Support Manager Alvaro Masis had this to say: "Primarily the overall issues have been stability of the cards, overheating, performance, scaling, and the amount of time to receive new drivers on both desktop and mobile GPUs."