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

SteamOS, Cooling, And The Dragonball Z Fusion Dance

Q. Has AMD considered about making Downsampling software for high end cards?

A. We are not considering any such software.

Q. You want to take full advantage of product TDP to maximize performance, and that is accomplished with “a 95C ideal operating temperature for the 290 and 290X."  So there is no benefit in performance if the card could run cooler? Wouldn't you be able to get more performance before you hit 95c?

A. A better cooler increases the watts of heat that the product can emit before the 95C equilibrium temperature is reached. In turn, this raises the maximum permissible clockspeed (within the limit of product TDP) the board can sustain.  Users with the Accelero coolers are finding they're reaching the clockspeed limit of the product at a lower temperature limit than 95C. So you can see how the experience is very customizable and interesting for enthusiasts.

Q. What are the chances of your marketing department creating a video of Jim Keller and Raja Koduri preforming the Fusion Dance from Dragonball Z in order to promote Kaveri and HSA?

A. Such a dance would take 10 conferences to complete, and may require the use of a Potara Earring.

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.

Q. Are there any graphics improvement options unlocked while using Mantle? 

A. This is up to the game developer. Mantle is a complete and high-performance graphics API, therefore the developer can use the performance boosts to increase raw FPS, or they can sustain the same FPS and increase image quality vs. other APIs.

Q. Why is AMD not giving 2 GB DDR5 version for 6670HD and 7750HD?

A. 2GB framebuffer would not be useful on these cards. The architectural implementations on these products target resolutions and image quality settings that don't require 2GB of RAM. That allows the product to hit the specific prices users in this segment expect.

Q. I wanted to ask about plans for SteamOS support. Does that have an impact on your plans for the fglrx driver? And while I'm sure it's a secondary priority, is Mantle going to be supported by fglrx? Or maybe it's too early to know that?

A.  I want to have an answer for you, but the Steam Machines are still a very young enterprise. We are working closely with Valve to answer all of these questions, but I will say this:  Expect AMD-based Steam Machines in 2014, which means a stable and high-performance driver is required. We've already been making massive contributions to the Linux 3.11 and 3.12 kernels to substantially improve performance and features, so you can see the evidence in our efforts there.

Q. Do you have any ongoing project or collaborations with Software companies such as Adobe or Autodesk, to push up OpenCL adoption?

A. It so happens we do -

  • jumpmanxt
    Does AMD have an official download link for their cleanup utility? I can't get the link in the article to work (
  • tomfreak
    I is sad.... I ask if Radeon 7790 support TrueAudio or not, my question got passed -.-

    Radeon 7790 is the same chip with 260x.
  • ronch79
    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?
  • InvalidError
    11927410 said:
    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.
  • sarinaide
    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.

  • goodguy713
    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
  • goodguy713
    all joking aside i honestly think I will buy a 290 here soon been waiting for amazon to get more in stock
  • MajinCry
    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.
  • InvalidError
    11928558 said:
    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.
  • joditas
    This is the original version

    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.