Graphics, Hardware

What the Heck is AMD doing?

It’s a valid argument that 3D has become the new HD. Everyone is racing their 3D monitors and TV’s to the market while studios are pumping out 3D movies left and right. On the PC side of things NVIDIA is the 3D juggernaut thanks to their 3D Vision technology, having enjoyed a lonely reign at the top of the heap all but unchallenged.

AMD plans to change that with their ecosystem – HD3D.

Glasses for viewing content using AMD's HD3D technology
Newcomer: Glasses for viewing content using AMD’s HD3D technology

The company subtly launched their own flavor of 3D enablement under the HD3D moniker in the last quarter of 2010. The launch was so subtle in fact that few took note of it and only now is AMD’s true plan coming to light.

The boys from Markham recently paid us a visit to make sure there was no mistake as to their commitment to take on the green giant. In their arsenal they wielded a 40" Samsung 3D LED TV, a custom AMD-based (of course) rig wrapped in a sleek Lian Li case and an armload of 3D content, erasing any thoughts that they were tepidly stepping into the 3D market. The HD3D demo ranged from 3D Blu-ray movies to the latest gaming titles and even some stunning 3D pictures.

HD3D Test rig: Compact AMD HTPC and 40" Samsung LED TV display
HD3D Test rig: Compact AMD HTPC and 40" Samsung LED TV display

During the visit we spoke with AMD at length about HD3D, its roadmap and plans for the future (Could Eyefinity HD3D be coming down the pipe?) We also got the scoop on AMD’s open approach to 3D and its stark contrast to NVIDIA’s more heavily managed approach with 3D Vision.

We will examine all of these points and more as part of an ongoing series entitled "Living with 3D". We will be testing multiple 3D technologies over the coming weeks as well as speaking with industry experts to determine if 3D is a technology you want to live with, or merely a novelty that loses its appeal after your third or fourth 3D movie.

The product demo is done, the hand-picked content has been cast aside and over the next few weeks AMD’s HD3D solution will undergo the true litmus test in our labs. In order to make sure HD3D doesn’t get lonely, we are also testing an NVIDIA 3D Vision setup as well and will look to compare and contrast these different approaches to 3D.

So, what the hell is AMD doing? They are taking on a established 3D giant in a big way. And yes, we will be there to let you know the outcome.