E3 2011: AMD

by: John -
AMD has been I company I've worked with for a while. I used to love, love, love their processors when they were really competitively priced and ran circles around the Intel offerings. They've been a little behind in the CPU area (the GPU sector's been pretty good for them though), but at E3 they are looking to change that.

A big step for them in their "comeback" is the FX brand. Yes, they are rebooting the FX brand and looking to make AMD the cool CPU to own again. AMD's positioning the FX brand to be their top tier line of products. Initially, it will be their Scorpius platform, which consists of an AMD 9-series motherboard, a 6000 series of graphics card, and a very cool 8-core CPU that'll be coming soon.

The Zambezi processor is an 8-core unlocked CPU from AMD. In fact, all FX line of CPUs will be unlocked out of the box. Initially, this was limited to the Black line of CPUs, but it's great to see AMD doing this for all FX CPUs. It's a socket AM3+ processor, but like their previous ones, will be backwards compatible with AM3.

At the booth, AMD showed off the packaging and it was in this really cool tin. Yes, packaging as no bearing on performance and value, but it's another step for AMD to re-brand themselves and to make themselves cooler for gamers and PC enthusiasts out there.

AMD was showing two 3D technologies at their booth. The passive 3D example still needed some work as there was a lot of cross talk going on, but the proof of concept shown was there to let everyone know that they are working on it. The active 3D example worked well and I was able to play some Deus Ex Human Revolution in smooth 3D.

One of the more impressive sights at the booth was the 3 projector setup for Dirt 3. This Eyefinity display really put you in the middle of the game where from left to right with your peripheral vision, you see nothing but the game. It's a setup that any gaming enthusiast would be dying to have in their home.

While Intel might have taken the CPU crown the past few year, AMD's looking to come back and E3 is the start of their strategy. Rebooting the FX line and making unlocked CPUs with up to 8 cores is good start and we'll see if AMD can continue with solid product releases as I'd love to see them offer up some competition as the CPU of choice for gamers again.

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