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ATI / AMD Vision Event

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sam Posten, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    On Monday I was invited to NYC to meet with the folks at ATI/AMD to learn about some of their new and upcoming products in the "Vision" product line which are aimed at both gamers and media creation / consumption users, ie HTPC buffs. They had a variety of systems set up and basically let us go to town on them in a Trade show booth kind of environment set up in a cool SoHo night club called Greenhouse.
    http://www.greenhouseusa.com/

    Note that I attended this event on my own dime and not as a representative from HTF, tho I certainly went there with the HTF mindset and hoping to bring back some news that fellow forum participants would be interested in.

    If you recall my interview with Charlie Boswell from AMD a few months back (which WAS done as an official HTF reviewer at the time!) this is definitely an area AMD are trying to grow into more, and we are starting to see the fruits of that investment. AMD's Vision software adds some pretty easy to use front ends on top of things HTPC buffs will want to investigate, including DVD upconversion, media transcoding, and other similar activities which Apple has a big lead in and which companies like Intel and Microsoft are fast catching up on.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/274892/htf-interview-mr-charlie-boswell-of-amd

    AMD has a lot of work to do to catch Microsoft Media Center let alone Apple's efforts, but they are clearly investing in this and building things up as time goes on. What those companies don't have that AMD thinks it does is a leg up in the whole pipeline, from content creation through the hardware it is displayed on down to the UI in which it is consumed. It's an interesting concept, but the question I posed for them is does it stretch them so thin that they can't focus enough on one area to create something so compelling as to be anything above 'competent'.

    This is where I think their secret weapon can be found: The new Eyefiniti technology which uses the ATI product line to put facemelting 3d graphics not just onto a single monitor but on to 3 side by side screens or an 3x2 array of 6 screens at the high end. And because of ATI's PC gaming (consoles too don't forget!) their drivers are at the front of the pack as these companies rush to show multimonitor is more than just a niche market but something everyone can enjoy.

    All I know is it was a LOT more fun playing Left for Dead with 2 side views in a nearly panoramic view than it was on a single screen. It's a true competitive advantage in death match. The racing games and flight simulator similarly impressed me big time.

    Pictures from the event plus my epic walkabout up to the 5th Ave Apple Store & back down to B&H can be found here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/sets/72157622797032660/

    I also ran into some characters claiming to be watching YClef Jean's SpiderMan bike from Orange County Choppers. Seemed legit to me!

    Anyway, I'm off to a 3 day bachelor party after having been on the road all week so I will try to add more thoughts to this when I get back. If you have any Q's about the event or the tech they showed off, let me know!
    Sam
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    OH! And one thing we got to see early (tho not running) was Dell's new Zino line. I'd love to try one of these guys out with a built in BluRay drive, that would be a BADASS little HTPC, don't you think? Much better than the driveless Apple TV I just bought and ahead of the Blu-less Mac Mini Apple keeps dragging their feet on adding.
    http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/12/dells-inspiron-zino-hd-on-sale-now-in-america-starts-at-229/

    http://blogs.amd.com/home/2009/11/12/the-dell-inspiron-zinohd/
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    For those looking for more info on these products, check out these AMD blogs:
    http://blogs.amd.com/play/
    http://blogs.amd.com/home/
     
  4. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Looks interesting. I still say they could take a loaded laptop without the keyboard and screen and make a great HTPC out of it. Give it an i7 chip with 12G of RAM, 5700 ATI with HDMI 1.4, 8 USB 2.0 and Firewire 800. Hook this all up to a Media Server. Run 4 USB AverMedia Volar Max tuners and give it a nice HLDS combo drive. Without having to pay for the screen and keyboard it should make the price drop by over half.

    I wish you could install Media Center by itself without all the rest of the software. Then you would have an HTPC that wouldn't take up a lot of space in your rack, play back all your media and not cost a ton of money.

    Parker
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Interesting ideas Packy!
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Folks at HardForum consider buying the Cheap Zino with BluRay, sounds interesting!
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1470148
     

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