AMD Adds a New CEO, Slashes R9 Graphics Card Prices

AMD Adds a New CEO, Slashes R9 Graphics Card Prices

AMD Lisa Su CEO 310x

Lisa Su replaces Rory Read as AMD CEO, shortly after Big Red drops prices on several R9 GPUs.

In what many consider a surprise overnight move, AMD has ousted current President, CEO, and board member Rory Read, and replaced him with former COO Dr. Lisa Su.

Su will take over as President and CEO immediately, while Read will remain with AMD through the end of 2014 in an advisory role. Read exits the positions after three years as AMD's chief executive.

Read's tenure with AMD has had both successes and failures. While AMD's x86 server chip market share has dropped into the low single digits, and its presence in the laptop/notebook space has also suffered, Big Red has its APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) hardware inside both the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One. Its graphics hardware is used in Nintendo's Wii U console as well, alongside an IBM PowerPC CPU. Its APU business is stronger than ever, too, thanks to an emphasis on graphics punch alongside multi-core CPU design.

Dr. Su has a long history in the semiconductor space, earning her doctorate in electrical engineering from MIT. She has served in management and executive roles with AMD, Freescale, and IBM, and has a strong background in mobile -- something desirable if AMD decides to make an aggressive push into the smartphone, tablet, and ultraportable arenas.

Now that the executive shuffle is out of the way, let's talk hardware, shall we? In the wake of Nvidia's GTX 900 series launch, AMD has decided to slash prices on its R9 290 and R9 290X graphics cards.

The R9 290 was selling for $380-$420, but models on Amazon are now going for $299.99. Meanwhile, the R9 290X is now $375-$400, despite being a $500 card earlier this month.

These price adjustments put AMD's top-end single-GPU offerings alongside the $329.99 GTX 970, and $499.99 GTX 980. The group is now a well-rounded price-performance quartet, and anyone looking for a high-end/flagship GPU should be able to find exactly what they want now.

Source: PC Perspective | Image Credit: Sweclockers

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From what I have seen in benchmarks, the 970 can still beat out the 290X in most cases, and even more when overclocked. It would seem that AMD will have to reduce the prices a lot more if they want to compete with that. At least it is nice to see AMD seeing a competing product and then responding to it.

That's actually pretty cool about the price changes; nvidia typically has a reputation for being the better hardware (performance wise, probably due in part to how they are often paired with intel) while radeons are usually considered better budget options (I know it isn't actually like that, but that's the reputation I've encountered for the last few years amongst my colleagues). The only way to get some of that desktop market share back in the high end sector is to deliver more bang for buck.

Considering how much market share amd has lost only the last few years, I would agree that they need to shift their focus. Putting Dr. Su in charge sounds like a great business move. Hopefully, she'll be able to make some moves on the mobile and enterprise fronts (seriously a really good graphics chip for mobile would be a game changer). I hope it pays off for them as I'm tired of seeing the AMD section shrink at my local micro center.

Are those the cards that they basically doubled the price of back when they learned that they were good at Bitcoin mining? Because fuck whoever made that decision.

Laggyteabag:
From what I have seen in benchmarks, the 970 can still beat out the 290X in most cases, and even more when overclocked. It would seem that AMD will have to reduce the prices a lot more if they want to compete with that. At least it is nice to see AMD seeing a competing product and then responding to it.

I've always been hesitant to entirely trust benchmarks. From my experience (and I have used both Intel/nVidia setups and AMD/ATI setups) nVidia only pulls marginally ahead of AMD except in lower resolution settings in which nVidia is more stable, whereas ATI really starts to shine as you start demanding more from it. Like I mentioned though, this isn't typical findings from a mere benchmark and I usually only experience this is real-world application of the GPU's, which is what led me to building an AMD/ATI system... for those extra-long high-performance gaming sessions.

Of course, however, I AM an idiot and quite ignorant to much of the industry so I am prepared to be dead wrong if that's no longer the case or if my perspective was out to whack over minor pricing-biases (in which ATI is typically cheaper).

GTX 970 is still probably a better choice. However, what makes AMD an attractive choice is their inclusion of free sync and adaptive sync. All you need is an AMD card and a monitor with DisplayPort 1.2a. Nvidia won't support those. They have their own solution called g-sync, for which you have to pay a premium for a monitor that supports it. So if that's one of the features that you're interested in, you would probably want to go with AMD. If not, then by all means, go with Nvidia.

Hmm, ive actually been thinking about upgrading my two sli geforce 460's.
And i have a spare $300.

Hmm,

Steve the Pocket:
Are those the cards that they basically doubled the price of back when they learned that they were good at Bitcoin mining? Because fuck whoever made that decision.

That was not a decision made by AMD, rather by their partners, and resellers, due to high demand.

Nice to see a healthy competition leading to better offers for the costumers.

Adam Jensen:
Snip...

I agree with all of this - the smart money if you're looking to upgrade right now is still on the GTX 970. When the prices drop in six months to a year, get another one and throw it into an SLI setup; this outperforms a Titan for a fraction of the cost and 4Mb of VRAM is enough for anyone at the moment.

Speaking of which, the 290 and 290x worked well with 2560x1440+ setups precisely due to the fact that Nvidia has always been a bit stingy with their VRAM compared to AMD, but they're on a par now. They are a good buy at this price-point but the fact that I could cook my breakfast on them when they're spun up at full chat has always put me off a bit.

We have both AMD and Nvidia rigs for testing in the studio but, at this moment right now, if I were buying for my own machine, I think the greens have it. If only g-sync weren't proprietary - I've tried it and it works superbly but the few monitors that currently support it are woefully overpriced.

If AMD takes another $50-$100 off those 290 prices, it will be a different game altogether...

Devin Connors:

Steve the Pocket:
Are those the cards that they basically doubled the price of back when they learned that they were good at Bitcoin mining? Because fuck whoever made that decision.

That was not a decision made by AMD, rather by their partners, and resellers, due to high demand.

That's good to know. I really didn't need another reason to be mad at AMD.

Man, I'll bet those resellers were pissed when other resellers kept the same price and snatched up all the customers, then. Because... surely not literally everyone did this.

Ask me if the prices dropped here in Brazil.
Just go ahead and do it.

double, sorry

Hm, this is good timing since I've been thinking of getting another 280 to complement my other one, but at that price I may as well get a 290 instead.

Looking at newegg.ca some of the cards do reflect the change....I was going to wait for the U.S. Thanksgiving to see if there would be a sale, but the price is very tempting.

That's still too much out of my price range, let me know when it hits $200, which is what I dropped on my 7850 last April.

IndieForever:
[quote="Adam Jensen" post="7.862532.21485951"]4Mb of VRAM is enough for anyone at the moment.

4 megs? Phhhhhhht! Even with the 6 gigs in my Titan Blacks I still have have to chop up my Beauty-Pass into several layers when HD rendering in Cycles lest I run out and crash.

Tempting. Maybe after I upgrade the old processor though. FX 4130 just slows things down a hair these days. Could use something 6 or 8 cores.

The price drop was unavoidable. Nvidia released a more powerful hardware and if past is anyi ndicator it will be a year or so till AMD can release equal power hardware, so everyone going for top of the line will go Nvidia, so AMD cery much needs that budget build market.

Adam Jensen:
GTX 970 is still probably a better choice. However, what makes AMD an attractive choice is their inclusion of free sync and adaptive sync. All you need is an AMD card and a monitor with DisplayPort 1.2a. Nvidia won't support those. They have their own solution called g-sync, for which you have to pay a premium for a monitor that supports it. So if that's one of the features that you're interested in, you would probably want to go with AMD. If not, then by all means, go with Nvidia.

Nvidia actually announced its going to support free-sync too. not sure whether it already does with the 9xx.

Strazdas:
Nvidia actually announced its going to support free-sync too. not sure whether it already does with the 9xx.

That was a rumor. It isn't true. Look at the update on this article: http://wccftech.com/nvidia-promises-support-freesync/

And it makes sense from a business standpoint. They invested a lot of money into making this propitiatory technology. It's a chip that goes into the monitors and it costs $100 more than a monitor without g-sync. They need a return on their investment, and they're not gonna get it if they add the support for free-sync. Why would anyone buy a g-sync monitor if they can get the same result with a regular monitor that supports DP 1.2a and is $100 cheaper?

Adam Jensen:

Strazdas:
Nvidia actually announced its going to support free-sync too. not sure whether it already does with the 9xx.

That was a rumor. It isn't true. Look at the update on this article: http://wccftech.com/nvidia-promises-support-freesync/

And it makes sense from a business standpoint. They invested a lot of money into making this propitiatory technology. It's a chip that goes into the monitors and it costs $100 more than a monitor without g-sync. They need a return on their investment, and they're not gonna get it if they add the support for free-sync. Why would anyone buy a g-sync monitor if they can get the same result with a regular monitor that supports DP 1.2a and is $100 cheaper?

ah. sucks. i like the free sync idea. though personally i just go uncapped nowadays and avoid the problem altogether.

As far as why would people buy it, well G-sync has more advantages than Free-sync. thats pretty much the reason to buy Nvidia nowadays - way way more features. all those tiny things make your life easier. ALtrough AMD was playing catchup on that front too, maybe one day it will outshine Nvidia too. well i guess they have to, they relly need those profit margins.

 

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