Things are not going well for AMD lately. It’s been around a long time and has released some really great products over the course of the past few decades. Back in the early 2000s, it even beat Intel at its own game, designing processors that performed better for less money. In 2006, it bought GPU manufacturer ATI for $5.4 billion and things were looking up. But since 2014, AMD’s ship has been swiftly sinking. Let’s see where it stands today…
[Fury X] AMD makes no consumer CPUs worth buying, it has a paltry 18% share of the discrete video card market, and its crowning achievement, the R9 Fury X, has been virtually unavailable for purchase since its launch in June 2015. Now comes the surprising news that AMD is declining to provide samples of its new R9 Nano to the press, including highly-respected websites TechReport and TechPowerUp. Oh, AMD, say it ain’t so!
[XFX R9 290] We’ve been big fans of AMD for quite some time, and generally feel that AMD has had the mid-range video card market nearly locked up for years. Back when the “Hawaii” family of GPUs launched in November 2013, it looked like AMD was going to steamroll Nvidia, and for a while, it did. The R9 290X and R9 290 sold like hotcakes, due in part to their low prices, but also as a result of their popularity with virtual currency miners. Many observers predicted back then that the mining craze was going to come back to haunt AMD, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what’s happening now. When Hawaii prices started going through the roof, it wasn’t AMD profiting. It was consumers selling in the used market, as well vendors like Newegg, which at one point last year increased the price of the 290X $350 over retail!
AMD sat around watching others make money off its products, while taking a shocking 18 months to release a new halo product after Hawaii, the R9 Fury X. And frankly, it’s a complete dud. Sure, the $650 Fury X can almost keep up with the similarly-priced GeForce GTX 980 Ti, which would be acceptable enough, but it’s practically vaporware, and we expect that the Nano will be too. Given that the Nano, which is slower than the Fury X, is also going to retail for $650, we can only imagine that AMD has either (1) lost its collective mind, or (2) is just really, really strapped for cash. AMD is already losing at the $650 price point, releasing another, slower product at the same price is simply ludicrous, even if it is actually really innovative in regard to size/efficiency. See the top-most picture in this post for a glimpse of this tiny beast.
We want AMD to succeed so it can keep turning out great cards like the discontinued Hawaii line as well as the current R9 380 4GB. But time is running out for AMD and consumers. If AMD’s marketing team and CEO Lisa Su don’t change course soon, AMD will follow the likes of 3Dfx and S3 into the dustbin of GPU history.