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AMD reveals plans to retire ATI graphics brand

post #1 of 55
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AMD, the exclusive provider of discrete graphics chips in Apple's latest refresh of the Mac desktop lineup, will phase out the ATI graphics brand name this year.

AMD is prepared to make the change because it believes having two brands is unnecessary, and the company plans to offer both CPUs and GPUs combined in its forthcoming Fusion product, according to ZDNet. Existing products such as Radeon will maintain their names, but will be labeled as AMD products rather than ATI.

AMD said it conducted research that found its brand is stronger than ATI, and that consumer preference toward ATI triples when they are aware of the ATI-AMD merger. AMD acquired ATI for $5.4 billion in 2006.

Apple partners with AMD's rival, Intel, for all of the CPUs in its line of Macs. However, AMD and Apple do have a close relationship when it comes to graphics processing in the Mac lineup.

In July, Apple updated its Mac Pro and iMac desktops, and the new machines only offer ATI graphics. But soon, those same products will be labeled AMD.



AMD, in justifying the change, highlighted its relationship with Apple, noting that the company continues to "secure new design wins with major OEMs -- e.g. Apple iMac and Mac Pro." The company said it has the "momentum and data to make this change with confidence."



The chipmaker also said that with the AMD Fusion chip set to debut in the fourth quarter of 2010, it is "perfect timing" for the branding change. AMD said its "Ontario" model, which will be its first to offer a CPU and GPU in a combined package, will be a "watershed moment" for the company.
post #2 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AMD said its "Ontario" model, which will be its first to offer a CPU and GPU in a combined package, will be a "watershed moment" for the company.

Huh. A combined CPU and GPU. And a resurgent Mac marketplace. This could prove vereee interesteeeng....
post #3 of 55
Could it be that Apple prompted the Intel move so they could offer AMD CPUs in future Mac products while not cutting too much of the revenue stream that Intel enjoys?
post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Huh. A combined CPU and GPU. And a resurgent Mac marketplace. This could prove vereee interesteeeng....

Good pair of articles today about Intel's Sandy Bridge as well. Sounds like the gpu in one of the new i5s will be better (in most tests) than an ATI 5450. Yes that's an entry level card, but it showed good results at lower resolutions and quality settings. You won't be playing anything high end that way, but it might but the space needed to also fit a discrete card so their graphics switching solution can fit into 13" notebooks
post #5 of 55
Smart Move, IMO.

People don't really care about ATI vis-a-vis nVidia. However, the AMD brand has a lot of loyalty and good will attached to it, because they have always been looked at as the David in front of the Goliath, Intel. They are also, quite rightfully, credited with making Intel move towards better chip designs after the disasters that was Pentium 4, and moving the industry towards 64 bit.
post #6 of 55
I just got rid of a 5870 for a 480GTX. Too many issues with the 5870 on my machine. 2nd display corruption when viewing certain movie formats, crashes different games. Switch to nvidia relieved all those issues.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Smart Move, IMO.

People don't really care about ATI vis-a-vis nVidia. However, the AMD brand has a lot of loyalty and good will attached to it, because they have always been looked at as the David in front of the Goliath, Intel. They are also, quite rightfully, credited with making Intel move towards better chip designs after the disasters that was Pentium 4, and moving the industry towards 64 bit.

As far as graphic hardwares concerned, ATI has a heck lot more brand recognition than AMD. Especially in the descreet graphic cards market, people look for ATI, not AMD. This is going to cause very much unncessary confusion and errosion of value. Another stupid marketing move from AMD.
post #8 of 55
ArtX has come a long way! Now they're part of AMD.

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post #9 of 55
the first video card I ever got was an ATI Radeon 32MB All in Wonder lol. That brings back some memories :/
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

As far as graphic hardwares concerned, ATI has a heck lot more brand recognition than AMD. Especially in the descreet graphic cards market, people look for ATI, not AMD. This is going to cause very much unncessary confusion and errosion of value. Another stupid marketing move from AMD.

I don't think so. ATI, while known in the graphics market, is a much lesser-known brand than AMD. This will actually help raise AMD's brand awareness in my opinion, as even Intel-based computers will many times contain AMD/ATI chips in them. This will put that branding side-by-side and help raise it into higher prominence.

All in all, I think this is a smart move.
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post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In July, Apple updated its Mac Pro and iMac desktops, and the mew machines only offer ATI graphics. But soon, those same products will be labeled AMD.

Mew machines? Like the Pokemon?

In any case, I wonder if Apple will actually label their Radeon's as AMD parts. As those logo pictures in the article show, AMD is providing 2 sets of GPU logos, one with AMD branding and one without AMD branding specifically for OEMs who are using AMD GPUs with Intel CPUs to avoid conflicting AMD/Intel branding. Apple may well just stick to the AMD-less logo/branding and call them Radeons which are recognizable enough.
post #12 of 55
To me, this just reaffirms my problems in recent years with ATI cards. Not as much of a problem with nVidia. However, since nVidia is left alone trying to do more with graphics chips, wouldn't be surprised to see them go away by being bought, and incorporated into that "big chip that has everything on it", and all us old guys will wax nostalgic about buying separate hard disc controller cards, wifi cards, ethernet cards, audio cards, video cards, etc, etc to show off our superfast new PC.

Just like cars, you can't tweak computers anymore once you make the purchase (not easily, anyway).
post #13 of 55
I don't really but it. ATI does indeed have a strong brand name.

Reminds me of the whole Coors-Molson takeover. Yet another example of how foreign ownership is destroying Canada.
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Huh. A combined CPU and GPU. And a resurgent Mac marketplace. This could prove vereee interesteeeng....

"vereee interesteeeng...."

Arte Johnson, Laugh-in reference?

Is the correct response, "You bet your sweet bippy?"

I wonder how big the club of fellow oldster Mac users is these days.

Here's a double whammy blast from the past. I had and ex whose friend retired in their youth because they were one of the original AOL grunts with stock that went through the roof. One of the things they bought to keep themselves amused since they won't have to work for the next 50 years of their life was one of the original amphibious ATVs from the old Banana Splits show. I was jealous. That's like being able to smoke ganja from the "magic flute" from the HR Puff -n-Stuff prop department.
post #15 of 55
Bravo on someone realizing the marketing brand should be AMD across the board.
post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Huh. A combined CPU and GPU. And a resurgent Mac marketplace. This could prove vereee interesteeeng....


Do you think that apple is going to upgrade the graphics in Macs? They have a lot of potential for vast improvements there. And it seems Apple is trying to finally get some traction in the gaming market.

Maybe we'll finally see good graphics?
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

As far as graphic hardwares concerned, ATI has a heck lot more brand recognition than AMD.



From the story:

"AMD said it conducted research that found its brand is stronger than ATI, and that consumer preference toward ATI triples when they are aware of the ATI-AMD merger."
post #18 of 55
WTH is a watershed moment?? why do people talk like this!
post #19 of 55
I had always secretly hoped they would rename the whole thing DAAMIT.

Darn.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayparry View Post

WTH is a watershed moment?? why do people talk like this!

It means they get a bunch of cold water dumped on their heads.
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post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayparry View Post

WTH is a watershed moment?? why do people talk like this!

To cause consternation among people who write WTH.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickwalker View Post

I don't really but it. ATI does indeed have a strong brand name.

Reminds me of the whole Coors-Molson takeover. Yet another example of how foreign ownership is destroying Canada.


You need to do a little research before you opine.

It's called the Molson Coors Brewing Company, not the other way around, and it was a MERGER not a takeover. The new company has TWO HEAD OFFICES, one in Montréal and one in Denver.

Quote:
The company's binational nature has caused several sources in both the U.S. and Canada to claim the company is now controlled by interests in the other country.[5][6] In fact, while the company is nominally incorporated in the United States, [7] the company is traded on stock exchanges in both countries, [8] and control is equally shared between the Molson and Coors families.[9] The company is headquartered in Montreal, QC and Denver, CO.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molson_Coors
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AMD said it conducted research that found ... that consumer preference toward ATI triples when they are aware of the ATI-AMD merger.

Does anybody else find this fishy? I would very much like to see the (loaded) questionnaire that produced this tripling.

This basically says that for every person who prefers ATI (presumably over nVidia), there are two other people who didn't already know AMD owns it, who initially preferred nVidia over ATI, but who like AMD so much they then switch their preference to ATI on the basis of that knowledge.

It also implies that ATI is a disliked brand. The initial ATI vs nVidia preferences must have been hugely skewed in favor of nVidia (since ATI's virgin number has to have room to triple, and there's no way in hell that the number tripled from 33% to 99%, or else they'd have told us. It probably tripled from 20% to 60% or 15% to 45%... could ATI really be that disliked????).

I call shenanigans. You'd have to be a pretty serious AMD fan to switch preferences like that (unless the questionnaire was VERY craftily crafted), and what serious AMD fan didn't already know they owned ATI?
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayparry View Post

WTH is a watershed moment?? why do people talk like this!

For much the same reason that some people don't. It's been shown that the size of vocabulary has a fairly high correlation with intelligence.
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

From the story:

"AMD said it conducted research that found its brand is stronger than ATI, and that consumer preference toward ATI triples when they are aware of the ATI-AMD merger."

Ask your parents about one of the most famous examples of market research in history--New Coke. Market research showed that people thought that New Coke tasted better that the old Coke. When Coca Cola made the switch, it turned into one of the greatest marketing disasters in history. In the minds of the buying public, AMD makes processors. AMD processors are the only alternatives to Intel. Many computer nerds argue that AMD processors are better than Intel processors. Nobody argues that AMD graphics chips are better than anything because there aren't any AMD graphics chips.

ATI and nVidia are peer rivals. In making this move, AMD switches its brand from one of the two recognized leaders in the graphics market to an brand that is unknown in the market for graphics processors. The move is both arrogant and unnecessary.

There is another problem with this move:

[FUD]
AMD graphics chips don't work with Intel processors.
[/FUD]

You know it's coming. When it comes, the FUD will be corrosive to AMD's marketing efforts. A lot of Intel processor buyers will not purchase AMD graphics processors precisely because they fear that AMD is incompatible with Intel.

While AMD combats the FUD, nVidia will step just a bit farther ahead.
post #26 of 55
Amazing. While I was a PC gamer I was an AMD/ ATI fan. Both custom and non custom PCs I had were all ATI/AMD. That changed when Intel came out with Core and Core 2 especially, and I had no choice but to go that way. Apple made the right choice by going with Cores at the time.

Now I feel like AMD is making a slight comeback with the newer Opetrons and Athlon IIs. Not to say that there is a complete parity, but is much closer now I feel then a couple of years ago. We'll see if Apple and AMD join forces, but I will be pretty excited if they do.
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post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

As far as graphic hardwares concerned, ATI has a heck lot more brand recognition than AMD. Especially in the descreet graphic cards market, people look for ATI, not AMD. This is going to cause very much unncessary confusion and errosion of value. Another stupid marketing move from AMD.

I would agree with you, but I think the Radeon brand is powerful as well. AMD's market research seems to make sense to me. With the Radeon brand, and the red logo, I think it will be very clear to consumers what happened to ATi and what they are getting.

They also need a singular brand to fit their fusion product strategy. How can you claim that your GPU and CPU, and chipset are integrated and designed to work together when you use two brand names for them?

Enthusiasts aware of graphics cards are likely to be aware of the merger, especially if they have downloaded drivers in the last few years. This change mostly benefits non-enthusiasts who only know of AMD and Intel.

At the end of the day, if AMD's new CPU/GPU combo reduces power consumption, you'll be seeing it in a lot of new computers and that in itself will aid the brand the most.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

When Coca Cola made the switch, it turned into one of the greatest marketing disasters in history

Really? The "cola wars" were at a pretty big stalemate at that point in time. The whole "New Coke" fiasco provided some much needed fodder to make soft drinks interesting again.

Not that I think Coke was smart enough to plan it out, but it certainly didn't hurt them - they had a market share bump *after* the whole "New Coke" thing and it let them change out cane sugar to cheaper HFCS when they brought Coke Classic as well.

Crazy like a fox...
post #29 of 55
This just makes me sad.

When I hear ATI I think of performance. I still think of low rate pentium upgrade chips every time I hear someone mention AMD. It doesn't inspire much confidence.

Also, I don't think AMD and Apple will ever team up. Intel is the pioneer. AMD has and always will be a step behind. AMD is for budget minded consumers.
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by doc362 View Post

When I hear ATI I think of performance. I still think of low rate pentium upgrade chips every time I hear someone mention AMD. It doesn't inspire much confidence.

Only because you are ignorant of history. For example, Intel copied their scheme for grafting 64 bit support onto the x86 architecture from what AMD did. AMD was first to have true multi-core CPU's. If there hadn't been pressure from AMD, the entire Pentium 4 fiasco would have probably drug on longer and the core series wouldn't have come to market as quickly. AMD lit a real fire under Intel that snapped them out of some pretty heady arrogance!

Quote:
Also, I don't think AMD and Apple will ever team up.

They already have and do. I'm anxiously awaiting the 5870 upgrade kit to be released for my Mac Pro!

Quote:
Intel is the pioneer. AMD has and always will be a step behind. AMD is for budget minded consumers.

Intel has the marketing hype. AMD has been ahead of Intel many times over the years. Intel just has many more resources and lots more marketing and hence mindshare - but AMD can and does hold their own on the hight end. AMD's weakness (much like Motorola and IBM) has been in lower power chips for laptops. This is probably the biggest reason we don't see Apple offering AMD chips - however if that were to change with AMD producing a good mobile CPU and Apple had to worry less about offending Intel, don't think Apple wouldn't start shipping Mac's with AMD chips in an instant. Apple was the first major manufacturer using Intel chips to not go with the whole "Intel Inside" marketing...
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by doc362 View Post

This just makes me sad.

When I hear ATI I think of performance. I still think of low rate pentium upgrade chips every time I hear someone mention AMD. It doesn't inspire much confidence.

Also, I don't think AMD and Apple will ever team up. Intel is the pioneer. AMD has and always will be a step behind. AMD is for budget minded consumers.

I've Had awesome gaming rigs with AMD inside. In some ways they were even faster then Intel with hypertransport, 64 bit, more L2 cache, though often less clock cycles (intel had 32bit P4s at the time)

Only with intro of Core 2 did intel blow away AMD, because AMD did not have the money to move to 45nm and reduce the heat. AMD pushed dual core and 64 bit before Intel (though intel had some 64 bit processors before core 2, they were not marketed as such).

If AMD had a customer like apple that worked with them i I think AMD could be quite the contender at desktop CPU crown.
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post #32 of 55
I hate how graphic card model numbers increase and decrerease without apparent pattern. It is very counter-intuitive and you must be aware of all the different families to tell if a card is better than the other!
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post #33 of 55
This is probably a smart move. AMD should have done this a while ago.
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post #34 of 55
All I've ever known growing up was ATI vs. nVidia.

I'm an nVidia fanboy and ATI was often known to have driver issues.

I'm guessing with the advance of laptops offering discrete graphics, sales of discrete graphics cards for desktop machines could be falling. If people aren't going out and looking for a graphics card, AMD has no reason to keep the ATI name.

Just an uneducated guess though...
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post

All I've ever known growing up was ATI vs. nVidia.

I'm an nVidia fanboy and ATI was often known to have driver issues.

I'm guessing with the advance of laptops offering discrete graphics, sales of discrete graphics cards for desktop machines could be falling. If people aren't going out and looking for a graphics card, AMD has no reason to keep the ATI name.

Just an uneducated guess though...

I was always an ATI fanboy, but yea outside of windows their drivers were really shitty. Mostly because they were smaller and had less resources to code for linux. I think they've had a share of Mac driver problems with iMacs I believe but I think so did nVidia.
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post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Really? The "cola wars" were at a pretty big stalemate at that point in time. The whole "New Coke" fiasco provided some much needed fodder to make soft drinks interesting again.

...

Crazy like a fox...

I didn't know for a fact that there were people who thought that the New Coke fiasco was a good thing, but I always believed those people existed. Buy this logic, AMD is switching its graphics card brand to AMD in a devious scheme to revitalize the ATI brand.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

I was always an ATI fanboy, but yea outside of windows their drivers were really shitty. Mostly because they were smaller and had less resources to code for linux. I think they've had a share of Mac driver problems with iMacs I believe but I think so did nVidia.

nvidia has done nothing but shoot blanks on the Mac platform. It wasn't long ago that $75 ATI cards were destroying $400 nvidia cards on basic Mac benchmark tests. Recently my brother showed me two tests of a 2009 Mac Pro with nvidia 285GTX versus a first gen Mac Pro with a Radeon x1900. In gaming the new rig was way faster than the old one, as expected. But he then showed me a couple of benchmark tests in which the 2006 machine was faster. There has to be something seriously wrong with your drivers when a card that's 3 times as fast as your competition loses any test.
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayparry View Post

WTH is a watershed moment?? why do people talk like this!

It's a turning point for them. AMD and ATI used to be separate, then AMD bought them and the turning point or watershed for the company is that they put the CPU and GPU together into one package and rebrand as AMD.

Ultimately, all computers will work this way. When integrated graphics get to the point where Crysis-level graphics can run at native resolution and high quality, that's good enough for pretty much everyone and dedicated chips will be relegated to the very small enthusiast crowd. The 320M and 5650 are fine at medium quality so if AMD can equal that inside a quad CPU, possibly exceed it, it's only maybe 2 or 3 iterations away from being the ultimate low-end chip.

Memory manufacturers will do the same so SSD and RAM will be on the same chip or even be the same chip if they can get NVRAM in high enough densities and low enough price.

NVidia are done for in all this though. Once they get shunted to the enthusiast crowd only, their revenue will plummet and then in 5 years, they will be bought up for a low price for their IP. It's a shame really as they've done a lot for the industry.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Ask your parents about one of the most famous examples of market research in history--New Coke. Market research showed that people thought that New Coke tasted better that the old Coke. When Coca Cola made the switch, it turned into one of the greatest marketing disasters in history.

Let's assume that the Coca Cola company has no citrusey lemonadey type drink on the market.

Coca Cola buys Lilt, and continues to sell it as Lilt. Brand recognition of Lilt remains fairly low, but high in the citrusey lemonadey fan area of the market.

Coca Cola rebrands Lilt as Lilt from Coca Cola. Market perception changes - Coca Cola make Lilt, I might try this, I like Coke. The Lilt fanboys cry for a little, but the larger market brand of Coca Cola is better for Lilt overall.

Now if the Radeon HD6xxx series coming out later this year turns out to be rubbish (leaked benchmarks suggest otherwise), then it will be a New Coke level of failure
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by doc362 View Post

This just makes me sad.

When I hear ATI I think of performance. I still think of low rate pentium upgrade chips every time I hear someone mention AMD. It doesn't inspire much confidence.

Also, I don't think AMD and Apple will ever team up. Intel is the pioneer. AMD has and always will be a step behind. AMD is for budget minded consumers.

You appear to have missed out on the years 1999 to 2006, when AMD offered better products than Intel. Innovations included, but weren't limited to:

HyperTransport (Intel used limited FSB until Nehalem).
64-bit x86 (Intel forced to adopt, IA64 died as a result).
Multi-core (true dual-core Opterons in 2005).
Cheap scalable servers (enabled by HyperTransport, use of commodity memory like DDR2, etc - Intel chased expensive FB-DIMMS and the like instead).

Intel did wake up eventually.

"Low rate pentium upgrade chips", it's not 1997 anymore.
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