*sigh* AMD really are so predictable, and not in the good way. The "Fusion" platform is great; Llano and now Trinity really help bring some decent video performance to the table without the need of having a separate video card. No matter what, Intel CPUs continue to be a pitiful excuse for onboard graphics. The problem for AMD is that "everything" else about Intel processors is fantastic.
The FX-8350 is a little bit of a bore. For the most part it's really just a speed bump that helps boost performance slightly in real-world tests, but overall doesn't do anything truly amazing. As always, though, it hits at a good price and we know from previous experience that between most CPUs we see little difference when it comes to gaming performance. It all comes down to the video card.
By going down the path of an AMD setup you can get more video card for your buck and in turn have a system that will play games faster because of that. It really feels like AMD need to promote what you can get for $1,000 for example instead of the CPU for $200. Gaming is still one of the biggest areas when it comes to the DIY market. If you can let consumers know that they could get a HD 7950 instead of a HD 7870 by going down the path of an AMD CPU setup then people can see the true benefits.
I think few people could say that AMD create a bad CPU. They really do a good job of creating a well-rounded product. You can't deny that there's a certain "stigma" that surrounds AMD CPUs, though. While most would feel that you've gone down the path of an AMD CPU because you can't afford an Intel one, the bottom line is that often an AMD CPU is going to provide better gaming performance for the same budget as an Intel setup because of the cheaper AMD motherboard and CPU.
Long term I'm not sure what's going to happen with AMD. As long as the corporate culture at AMD stays the way it is, nothing will probably change. Considering the large amount of layoffs and the large amount of higher up executives that have left recently, AMD really could go through a bit of a refresh. Instead, though, it's fairly safe to assume they'll continue to hire people with some certain degree who really are interested in getting a pay check instead of people who actually have the passion to make the company better.
Execution is key for AMD. They continue to fail at it in so many ways. It's harsh to say, but in my opinion it's the harsh reality of what's going on with AMD. AMD can fix the problems they have. Weather they choose to do it before it's too late, though, is going to determine the company's future.
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