Entertainment, Hardware

AMD at Comic-Con 2011

As we got closer to the Omni Hotel in Downtown San Diego, we already began to see AMD?s presence on the pedicabs nearby. They were sponsoring the pedicabs to transport tired Comic-Con attendees and press to and from the Omni Hotel as well as the Hard Rock Hotel where AMD also sponsored the IGN Oasis, a place for gamers and Comic-Con attendees to cool down and relax.

AMD themselves were situated on the fourth level of the Omni Hotel in the conference rooms. They had a nice setup for press to relax which included numerous displays of AMD technology as well as some cool gaming setups to just play around with, which of course included Eyefinity. After we got a nice look at all of the demos we got a chance to sit down and talk to Casey Gotcher, Peter Ross and John Swinimer from AMD.

Several AMD Llano-based notebooks demonstrated the company's commitment to Mobile
Several AMD Llano-based notebooks demonstrated the company’s commitment to Mobile

In our conversation with them we got the idea that AMD is working hard with companies like EA to improve their developer relations and infuse their beliefs in the APU into the developers? thinking. They want to enable users to be able to play games that range from basic web 2D games all the way up to high detail 3D games that require dedicated graphics. AMD?s APU enables the re-introduction of PC gaming to users that have been using consoles for the majority of their lives. And by giving them a taste of how great PC gaming can be, AMD expects to give them a thirst for more powerful and graphically intensive games in the future.

AMD Scorpius Gaming Platform: 8-Core FX "Zambezi" Processor, Radeon HD 6900 Series Graphics
AMD Scorpius Gaming Platform: 8-Core FX "Zambezi" Processor, Radeon HD 6900 Series Graphics

Eventually moving up to a discrete graphics system which then leads them into yet another AMD technology, AMD dual graphics, which enables the user to harness the power of both the onboard GPU in the APU as well as the discrete GPU inside of the laptop or desktop. AMD definitely does not foresee the disappearance of the dedicated graphics card like Intel has been saying would happen for quite some time now. If anything, discrete graphics cards are more likely to be seen as necessary once users realize that their integrated isn?t quite cutting it for what they?re trying to accomplish. Needless to say, AMD strongly believes that their discrete graphics business is here to stay and is quite complimentary to their APU strategy in processors.

Many awesome tools have also been born as a result of the APU approach to building processors. They have applications similar to ones we?ve seen from other manufacturers that allow for the easy clean up of video and photographs. In this instance, AMD worked with MotionDSP to integrate their Vision platform into vReveal?s video improvement software to allow vReveal to utilize the CPU and GPU on both their APUs as well as their CPUs and GPUs. This relationship has allowed AMD to improve vReveal performance in a way that actually allowed it to outperform Intel?s Sandy Bridge. These kinds of examples are perfect illustrations of AMD?s Fusion strategy and their aspirations for improving developments in APU performance and utility.

AMD had two of these large globes which were powered by AMD Llano notebooks. An interesting concept.
AMD had two of these large globes which were powered by AMD Llano notebooks. An interesting concept.

Getting back to AMD at Comic-Con, they also had two massive globes running on AMD Llano laptops. We actually donned one of the headsets and played inside of the immersive globe. Admittedly it was quite an interesting experience that we had never experienced and it took some getting used to. The Llano laptops were running all day and they were playing games at a very decent frame rate and being displayed on both the monitor outside of the globe as well as in the headset.

After that experience we checked out the AMD FX comic that had just come out earlier that morning and we headed on our Comic-Con traveling ways.