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

Radeon Case Stickers, Linux Drivers, And Fan Control

Q. Where can I get AMD Radeon case stickers?

A. See here.

Q. Any improvements forthcoming to Linux drivers?

A. Of course. We've already been making massive commits to the Linux 3.11 and 3.12 kernels to substantially improve performance and features for Radeon on *NIX. Steam Machines only encourage that process.

Q. What can TrueAudio do outside of gaming?

A. I love this question.  First and foremost, TrueAudio is a programmable DSP. Its most obvious use is signal processing for gaming audio, but you could conceivably program it to do audio filtering, voice control, biometrics or anything else a powerful DSP is capable of.

Q. Are you planning to raise the Fan PWM Target when the GPU sound solution detects loud sound/music?

A. No, but we do plan to switch to direct RPM control vs. PWM very shortly. PWM control does not always yield the exact RPM you're looking. Converting an electrical pulse to a mechanical rotation isn't an exact science! It's subject to the design variances of the fan and the PWM module, so we're going to make it the exact science it deserves to be.  Not a literal answer to your question, but a fun fact I wanted to share.

Q. Is the necessary equipment to measure the Back-EMF or an encoder for detecting the speed already on the current boards? That makes me wonder why it wasn't feedback-controlled in first place. Or are these plans for the future hardware revisions?

A. We can already monitor the speed and adjust accordingly, but direct RPM control is simply smarter.

Q. How do you convince developers to use Mantle when other APIs are vendor neutral?

A. We haven't had to convince them. Every single one of them has come to us and asked for it without prompting!

Q. What's your position on Mantle and OS X? (currently Apple use nVidia GPUs, so it may not make much sense, but without Mantle AMD GPUs might be a hard sell for future Macs)

A. Right now we are concentrating on the PC platform for Mantle, so that's our position on OS X.

Q. Mantle has been talked about and mentioned in the same name as some big AAA studios. What can Mantle offer to indie developers and would the API be able to use some of the same optimizations on lower-class products? (e.g. the G-series chips with GCN graphics)

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.

Q. GSync got tongues wagging in spite of the fact that people wouldn't be able to see the difference on a compressed Youtube video. Is AMD considering a similar solution, or working towards one that's more open than GSync? Also, AMD still does not support PLP (portrait-landscape-portrait) monitor setups for gamers - will that ever change?

A. You'll hear more from us on G-Sync soon. Bezel compensation is designed to treat the bezels of matched-sized/resolution displays as an object game content passes behind, rather than an object that chops game content in half. The feature is not intended to support for mixed-sized or mixed-resolution configurations. With respect to PLP, that is a feature we have in development, but I don't have an ETA at this time.

Tom's Hardware News Team

Tom's Hardware's dedicated news crew consists of both freelancers and staff with decades of experience reporting on the latest developments in CPUs, GPUs, super computing, Raspberry Pis and more.

  • 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.