The scepticism that surrounded AMD's acquisition of ATI two years ago is starting to subside.
With the release of new products that truly begin to leverage intellectual property advantage the company now has in its possession, by all accounts, the 'new AMD' is shaping up to be a very strong competitor to Intel on the platforms front.
"The net effect of these new product releases," says Tyrone Gruner, AMD and ATI product manager at Ingram Micro South Africa, "is that the sentiment in the market has made a 180-degree turn.
"We're finding customers are becoming more accepting of AMD platforms and that they're discovering the superior backwards compatibility, power consciousness and price performance AMD has on offer to be a compelling reason to investigate it as an alternative," he says.
Gruner says although the coming together of AMD and ATI has delivered technologies like Crossfire and its ability for systems with more than one ATI graphics card to be bound together to create a single, more powerful graphics engine, the company's future plans make these advances look tame.
"It's only taken two years for AMD and ATI to build a set of technologies that allow a vast array of customers – right from price conscious home users to power-obsessed gamers – to get want they want from generic 'computing building blocks'," Gruner says.
"With more time, it's clear that the combination of AMD's platform and processor knowledge; and ATI's graphics know-how will produce an even more dynamite set of solutions," he enthuses.Gruner says that there are two technological reasons why the coming together of ATI and AMD will yield good news for the market.
"Firstly, the graphics performance of a system is heavily dependent on the speed of the graphics processing unit it has at its disposal and by pairing up with a processor giant, such as AMD, the benefits are obvious."
Secondly, Gruner says that the isolated parts of a computer system are becoming far less important in the greater scheme of things.
"How efficiently those parts interact with each other makes a huge difference – both to the performance of the system and its ability to conserve power.
"By bringing together the three most important aspects of a computer system, i.e. its platform architecture, its processor and its graphics subsystem; AMD will be covering all bases and in doing so, strongly position itself to overtake Intel in the overall performance and power consumption stakes," Gruner adds.
"I believe that once AMD takes the number one position, it will only increase its lead. The next couple of years are undoubtedly going to be interesting to observe," he concludes.