"Why you should seriously consider an AMD PC" Opinion from techradar's Jeremy Laird
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October 5, 2012, 05:50 AM
HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Join Date: Feb 2007
I find the argument is quite hollow in many ways and lacks substance.
I fail to see why a user should be happy with a processor that's "fast enough" when there's an alternate option, with better performance within a few dollars. AMD has cut some extensions out of their Bulldozer and Piledriver architecture and that limits performance in some applications. When you hit one of those -and yes, they may be older extensions-, the performance degradation can be substantial.
On the other hand, I find the GPU argument is partially mute and at worst, completely off-base. Any video transcoder worth a damn has OpenCL acceleration which means performance benefits for AMD, NVIDIA and Intel. Due to their architecture, most video transcoders actually work BETTER on the Intel HD4000 IGPs than they do on AMD's new Trinity processors. Essentially, anything that supports OpenCL should work on any of Intel's new IGPs, provided it has the necessary support through their SDK and drivers.
Meanwhile, if you DO care about gaming, you won't be using an IGP anyways...in which case AMD's APUs (for the time being at least) are a very poor choice from a perf / $ standpoint.
Where AMD excels however is looking into the future and seeing where the CPU segment is going: towards on-chip integration. Right now, they are fighting an uphill battle as their architecture is geared towards software changes that won't become a reality for a few years at least. This means taking a performance hit now while laying the groundwork for future generations. And let's be honest, the future doesn't care about serial processing, parallelism is where its at.
What people DO however seem to forget is that AMD's Athlon and upcoming Vishera non-APU products will offer a phenomenal price / perf ratio for budget-minded gamers and general computing users. For the time being though, I think the APUs are simply ahead of their time and may have an issue finding traction in the desktop market. In the mobile space though.....that's another story.
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