AMD is confident that its 7800 series will steal the show from the competition. Namely, Nvidia.
Evan Groenke, product marketing manager, wanted to let TechEye know that despite the trend in ultra-thins and tablets that we saw explode last year, the desktop PC is very much alive and that the enthusiast market is still, well, enthusiastic.
AMD foresees a lot of demand following the launch. "A lot of people have said that numerous times," he said. "How many times have you heard that in the last 10 years? Consoles are fantastic but you have fixed hardware. They have excellent longevity but everybody is looking to PC games as well."
"Consoles are great," Groenke said, "but there's always going to be a very, very strong demand for enthusiast gaming components. The visual quality is going to keep going higher and higher as you go along. PC gaming is not dead."
This is why, then, the market for AMD and its rivals is so fierce. We've covered the 7800 launch here, but the main point we felt AMD was trying to get across, was that it beat Nvidia to the post. And even with Kepler, it might struggle to catch up.
Some of the 7800 series' features, Groenke says, are not always going to be in use, but like AMD Steady Video, when you need them they're good to have on board. Others, like AMD's morphological anti aliasing, will be more evident when side by side with the current competition.
The nearest competitor in the channel to the 7800 series, AMD says, is the GTX 570. Groenke showed off some comparison benchmarks where AMD's models trounced Nvidia's offering. "This is all playable framerates too," Groenke said.
Our sources tell us that, for Nvidia, there have been a fair few problems with getting Kepler to market and that the company has entered "holy sh*t mode", partly because components on the 32nm had to be redesigned for 28nm, but there was trouble en route with packaging and interconnects.
Getting to 28nm has been an achievement for AMD. The company had some problems with fabs at its spin-off chipmaker, GlobalFoundries, to get products to market on time. Groenke denied that GloFo's trouble with moving to lower processes was why it went to TSMC. "It was always the plan to be with TSMC," he said, "because they were ready with 28nm - these things are planned for a considerable time in the future."
But what is going to happen in the future? It doesn't look good for GloFo now that AMD has got rid of its remaining shares in the company. Groenke couldn't comment specifically, but he did say that AMD must be "very flexible" on its product delivery. "Wherever it fits, we're going to produce our products there."
While AMD's comparisons to the GTX 570 have it way ahead of the finish line, it comes across a little cocksure to chest-beat before Kepler really makes its mark. "We can always guess and make assumptions about what our competitors are doing," Groenke said. "Right now we have the most comprehensive stack top to bottom.
"Obviously, as things change, we'll be ready to react - and we think our product stack will stand up very well."