AMD hints at more Radeon HD 7000 Series products

AMD hints at more Radeon HD 7000 Series products

AMD is sticking with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition as its flagship single-GPU product, but promises more boards even as it rubbishes the yet-to-be-released Nvidia Titan.

AMD's graphics team has promised to launch new products before the end of the year, following concerns that the OEM-only Radeon HD 8000 family - which are, at their heart, simply rebadged Radeon HD 7000 parts - meant the company would be resting on its laurels.

Speaking to press in a conference call this week, AMD's Darren McPhee, director of graphics products marketing, was quick to ask for help in dismissing claims that his company would be coasting on existing products for the coming year. 'The key difference there, that I'd like you to help in making clear to gamers, is that keeping the [Radeon HD] 7000 Series branding for the rest of the year is different from not introducing any new products. We definitely have more products up our sleeves that we will be launching,' McPhee claimed. 'The perception out there that we don't have new product because the naming is not changing is something I'd like you [journalists] to help to clear up.'

AMD's Devon Nekechuk, AMD's graphics products manager, added his own confirmation that more entries in the Radeon HD 7000 family are on the way. 'We have the best compute architecture out there at the moment, but additionally, as Darren mentioned, we are augmenting the 7000 series, and it's in that segment precisely that we'll see some additional product updates. So, some good things are coming up fairly soon.'

Sadly, neither would be pushed on a precise launch date, beyond a promise from McPhee that new products would be appearing in the first half of this year. Nekechuk was slightly more verbose, indicating that a reference version of the dual-Radeon 7970 design found in the Asus ROG Ares II is in the works. 'We definitely do have more 7990 goodness for you guys coming up in the next couple of months. We're definitely not sitting still there, but we're in a very good situation right now with the world's fastest graphics card - partnering with Asus on that - and we'll continue to hammer on that drum, bringing really cool SKUs [Stock Keeping Units] to gamers all over.''

However, if fans were hoping for a single-GPU product to better the company's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, the news isn't good. Confirming rumours, McPhee admitted that there would be no replacement single-GPU product coming in 2013, meaning that by the time the design is replaced it will be two years old. 'We launched the 7970 in December of 2011, and then we followed up with the GHz Edition in July of 2012. The GHz Edition has been out there for the better half of a year now, and that will continue to live on until the end of 2013. This is purely for marketing and performance reasons, nothing technical.' McPhee claimed, allaying concerns that AMD can't come up with anything faster in the short term.

Perhaps the most telling section of the call came during a question about rival Nvidia's upcoming GeForce Titan, a high-end single-GPU graphics card based on the same GK110 chip as its Tesla high-performance computing (HPC) accelerator boards. 'Early indications are that [the GeForce Titan] is not something which was designed to be a graphics card,' claimed AMD's Roy Taylor, vice president of component channel sales at AMD, in response to a question from an attendee, setting the tone for some very defensive comments from the rest of his team. 'Based on what we know so far, I don't think [the GeForce Titan] is a threat to our business.'

'We have the world's fastest GPU now with the [Radeon HD 7970] GHz Edition, and as Roy mentioned the GK110 is coming but is something Nvidia is leveraging from a completely different space. It's a Tesla product, it's a workstation product, it really was never intended for the consumer market, and I think they're kinda shoe-horning that product into their GeForce stack,' added McPhee. 'So, we took them by surprise by having the world's fastest GPU and you see all these kinds of reactions from them right now, but we're very confident that the 7970 GHz Edition is the best GPU for enthusiast gamers out there.'

The remainder of the call was filled with other slaps at AMD's biggest dedicated graphics rival, with Taylor stating, tongue firmly in cheek, that 'Nvidia is a good company, and we respect their attempted transition into being a smartphone company' - a clear reference to Nvidia's recent Tegra-heavy earnings call.

'Frankly from a marketing perspective, you know we're tied up with all the latest AAA titles at the moment, so how can Nvidia compete? They're launching GeForce Titan as a reaction to us being signed up with all the best game developers right now,' added Nekechuk. 'Also, as a marketing point, I assume everyone's seen the game bundles that Nvidia has launched recently, right? I thank them for launching their game bundle, because it goes to show how great our 'Gaming Evolved' [programme] has become. Just look at the titles in the 'Never Settle Reloaded' bundle versus their 'Free to Play' bundle, and you'll see which company is more serious about gaming for desktop and PC users.'

With Nvidia clearly weighing heavily on AMD's mind, it remains to be seen if the executives' comments will please fans or make them wonder if the company doth protest a little too much.


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Hustler 19th February 2013, 10:36 Quote
I wonder if lack of new cards is down to the new Playstation 4 and Xbox taking up all the capacity at the foundry's for the next 6-8mths or so, getting enough of them manufactured for the Christmas launch window.?
MjFrosty 19th February 2013, 10:48 Quote
I'm not sure why he felt he needed to bring so much attention to their Gaming Evolved marketing. As a consumer it doesn't really bother me what appears before the title screen. Too busy pressing Esc.

The Titan may well be a response to current AMD affairs, still seems like an awesome bit of kit.
dyzophoria 19th February 2013, 12:08 Quote
might be due to the current reshuffling of resources at AMD as well, development might have been slowed down a bit due to the extremely low sales of the CPU side of AMD, might be a good reason to up research on their GPU parts though, from what is happening, its the only "real" point that is driving the company now. (yeah yeah, I know alot will be defending the "fusion and the low cost AMD cpus is where they are strong)
Xir 19th February 2013, 14:49 Quote
Nvidia needs to get the pricing of the 670 down, the 7950 Ghz is scraping at it's heels, and the 7970 is at the same pricepoint.
aggies11 19th February 2013, 16:57 Quote
Weird time for the Discrete Graphics chip/card market now. Nvidia focusing heavily on mobile (with mixed results) and AMD in it's ever changing corporate direction (Graphics, CPUs, embedded... ?).

And the two definitely can't stop taking shots at each other at least in terms of PR.

The market definitely seems to be in a "wait and see" period before the ramp up of the new consoles at the end of the year. Possibly waiting for better graphics in the living room to stoke a desire for PC users (and PC game makers) to want better graphics in the desktop too.

Yet we have Valve with Steam pushing the PC as a platform harder then it ever has (Steambox etc).

Strange times indeed, not sure how it will shake out. I do love the PC as a plattform and all the flexibility it provides (mods, tweaking, SweetFX, FXAAInjectors, custom shaders, ENBSeries etc), so I'd hate to see all that come to an end.
ksyruz 19th February 2013, 19:09 Quote
I bet AMD is reconsidering renaming the 7000 series design into the 8000 series and bringing a whole new design.

Secondly the Titan is named appropriately, it's a big piece of kit for a godly sum. You can get 3 way crossfire or 3 way sli for the same price, and perform better.
Snips 20th February 2013, 11:57 Quote
Wow, the beauty of the AMD PR machine facepalm is quite hilariously sad if it wasn't so tragic for the company.

Why not fire the entire marketing department and put that money into the development division.
BlueFalcon 22nd February 2013, 02:15 Quote
Why would it be tragic for AMD? How many people buy $1000 GPUs? <1% of the entire discrete GPU segment. AMD currently has the best game bundles and the best price/performance at almost every level on the desktop. NV is riding the hype train with the Titan instead of dropping prices on GTX600 cards to appropriate levels. It's just a marketing stunt.

HD7900 clocked its best selling month in January. The Titan is an awesome card but it costs more than 2x for less than 40% performance increase, much less at 1600P and triple monitor gaming. Ironically the Titan makes HD7970 Ghz look even better since its means you can get 75% of its performance for less than half price! If NV brings out GK114 or cut-down GK110 chips, then AMD should be worried.

What's a real shame here is NV more or less doubling the price of flagship large die chips and there are going to be plenty of fanboys who will pay those prices which would allow NV to sell mid-range chips at previously high-end prices with 20nm GPUs and beyond. Not a great development for PC gamers.
Snips 22nd February 2013, 10:27 Quote
It's so tragic for AMD since the marketing department has to spend the conference call talking about a better product and a better manufacturer instead of their own product. Hiding their own shortcomings behind cheap shots is on old but common ploy by the AMD marketing department. As in this case and every other case, the egg has been left on their faces. The Titan, as quoted by Bit-tech themselves "Yet, given the choice between Titan or a multi-GPU setup, we’d opt for the reliability of the Titan every time." You cannot argue with that truth and AMD know this. The Titan was never released in any response to whatever AMD are doing. Nvidia didn't need to since there is no competition to the Titan.

AMD should stick to the console market since their product only ever seems to manage console ports anyway. How many console port developers have they jumped into bed with? I wonder why?
Ghast 24th February 2013, 06:23 Quote
The amount of future revenue AMD has secured from console productions seems promising for investing a lot into development (refinement?) of their graphics arm.
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