But to me, the world doesn't revolve around performance alone. That's just too black and white. There are many things that go into deciding what card to buy and it's more than just performance and money. Upgrades, driver updates, new games etc. all play a role. I want to consider the "nature" of the company as well.
This makes no sense whatsoever as neither firm is committing genocide, or wiping out a species. There's performance, there's usable vendor specific features, and there are drivers for the most part.
I'm using this example of how AMD is interacting with the public not as a specific data point that shows their product is better than another. It speaks to showing what they are trying to accomplish and how. AMD isn't trying to make parts for you and all 15 of your rich/affluent free part getting friends.
Since they've had such a low market share for so many years, they're either asking people to switch from Core2 platforms (no reason) or save a few measly bucks and get less performance and upgrade path than they would going i7.
They are trying to get to Joe 6-pack that wants to game, transcode video for their iPod/iPhone and the other things that MOST people do.
Wouldn't Joe be far better off with any of the CUDA driven transcoding programs than anything AMD has going?
What better way to do that then to engage directly with those people? No, they don't need a focus group of fanbois to pick up torch and spam up forums all over the place. They are talking to whoever shows up. If those people choose to spread what they learn, great. If not, great. While there will most likely be some positive marketing affect from what they are doing, it WON'T happen because they are rewarding people with special titles, privileges, signatures or anything else other than reporting their feedback over to the dev team so that what some random guy off the street said would be cool actually makes it into a real product.
The people talking to them KNOW they're going to get an AMD-centric spin on everything, so the information is of limited value. I'm sure AMD would be happy to tell you the Phenoms are the cheaper equivalent of Intel products, and that no one needs CUDA, PhysX, or 3d Vision- but that's what they're PAID to do.
I've seen NV folks at LAN parties and other events and it almost makes me sick sometimes. Up on stage trash talking or blathering on about things that don't really interest anyone on any kind of scale. I was at a LAN in Oregon and caught an NV guy explaining how NV was Intel's exclusive launch partner with the Core2. That simply wasn't true and the Intel guy had to go up on stage to explain that it wasn't true flat out refuting what NV had said. Are you serious? Sheesh.
So you've decided to recommend we go check out AMD trash talk? To what end?
I see NV getting caught hiring marketing firms to roll out "shills" into forums on a major scale. I understand that both companies have some fanbois that do a lot of posting and they take care of those folks. Nothing wrong with that as long as it's reasonably transparent and they aren't putting out false info.
AFAIK NVIDIA's only forum reps are the NFG who have displayed their affiliation for several years. Can't say the same for ATi "High Road" viral marketers.
In my mind NV and I, more often than not, don't see eye to eye on how one treats other human beings. I've been dealing with them internally for many years and I haven't seen much change even though they've cycled different people through the marketing positions.
Are vague allusions to NVIDIA being "mean" to people supposed to be a criteria for hardware purchases? Why?
What is important to me is understanding what NV or AMD are trying to accomplish, why and how they are going to go about it. Benchmarks don't tell the whole story. I've seen slide decks from both companies showing their product beats the other and vice versa. Change this driver, use this RAM, bench this app and you can show almost anything you want. Different review sites can review the same part and get surprisingly different results.
Amazingly enough, the slides from AMD always show their products winning- so I guess we know what we'll hear from these "rebel bloggers"- that AMD always wins and offers the best value! Errrr....wait.....
So what do we do? We read more than just one review and check out more than just one opinion and kind of average them together.
OK- sounds good.
But one data point that is almost always overlooked is INTENT. Why did THG even show the relative performance between the i7 stuff and the 955? It isn't in that performance bracket. The 920 costs about $35 more so it's close on pricing but you have basically rebuild your entire system to use it. If you bought an AM2+ mobo a year ago there's a good chance the 955 is a drop in replacement. Can you do that with a 920?
Like I said, AMD's problem is so very, very few people were buying AM2 motherboards a year ago, and with very good reason. So you're building a system either way if you're 80% of the people, or just upgrading your Intel CPU and calling it a day.
Intel has a different model than AMD because they have so many different products i.e. motherboards. They gave a us bit of a break from having to buy a new mobo EVERY time we upgraded to a new chip. No one ever really liked doing that but they didn't move away from that model until customers starting moving to AMD who didn't make them do that. There was never any compelling reason for Intel to provide a nice upgrade path especially considering they would get to sell a new mobo and chipset on top of the CPU. AMD didn't make you do that because there's no sense in it.
Apparently there is as my i7 965 pretty much tramples all things AMD.
That's a pretty big statement, "because there's no sense in it." How can I back that up? Besides the fact I was working there when A64 came out, I know some of the people responsible for making these kinds of decisions but the conversation ends there. That's just my opinion and I have never had any way to back it up until now. Now you can go read what these folks have to say. You can ask them questions and you can make comments and suggestions.
Those glory days are pretty much behind AMD, they haven't even caught up to the QX9770, let alone 965. Intel is beating or equalling them even in their bargain basement, and that's bad news for the firm that never had the mindshare or marketshare.
Furthermore, it's all public. You can save the link to where you posted and go back in a year to call them out if they didn't do anything about your issue. These guys have a right to be proud of what they do ESPECIALLY because AMD isn't the market share leader. AMD's demise has been predicted to be six-twelve months away for the last ten years. You're predicting their demise as well. If you took the time to engage with them on Twitter or in their blogs you might find out that these guys are fanatics.
Have they ever been closer? Have they ever been forced to liquidate their fabs? Write down billions? Been worth so little? Been at a disadvantage on all fronts? Been servicing this much debt? Had such a low average cost per unit on all fronts? Been doing business in a recession of this magnitude?
You point out that they should be pissed because they got hit with a pay cut. Pffft. While I'm sure they aren't happy about that, they still managed to start this new effort of interacting with the public in spite of that.
Errr what did this effort cost? Pocket change? Twitter is free, blogging is as well?
While NV enjoys a greater volume, their stock price fell and got downgraded. I'd be willing to bet that's going to affect pay checks at some point if they can't get out of their slump.
You mean even though they had almost enough to buy AMD/ATi outright in the bank at the end of last year and no debt?
How will NV react to adversity? My guess would be another model name change.
Hmmm. And AMD/ATi has never renamed parts to match their current naming scheme?
Just to confuse you I'll let you in on a little secret. Right now I'm writing all this on an Intel-based system and an NV video card.
Why would that "confuse me"? I have an AMD rig as well, that I use frequently. I don't currently have an ATi graphics card, but it's not uncommon. (used to have a 4850)
Lots and lots of spin here, and a person who isn't adept at reading such things might come away from this thinking," Hey, this guy is a smart industry insider! (which I'm sure you are) He seems to be saying we shouldn't trust reviews, or Intel and NVIDIA reps! We should listen to those good guys at AMD who are passionate about hardware, and treat people well!"
Nonetheless, I'd rather speak with smart people, so I can appreciate your craft and persuasive writing style.