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Monday | August 2, 2021
AMD Advantage: What does it do?

AMD Advantage: What does it do?

If you’ve been following the latest Computex, you must have heard about the AMD Advantage program. This program demonstrates AMD’s ambition to offer a “controlled” ecosystem to better develop on the Laptop PC market. And it is high time, we explain why.

As for desktop PCs, the advent of Ryzen has profoundly reshuffled the cards of the laptop market. It is particularly with the arrival of Zen 3 that we can say that AMD has really marked the spirits with high level performances. However, AMD’s success on this market is not as good as the one on the desktop. Of course the reds have gained market share but Intel’s domination is far from being shaken… Why?

AMD: a backward ecosystem in terms of laptop design

AMD’s goal with this program is to define a technical envelope, dictating a certain number of rules and prerequisites to manufacturers. It’s a way of imposing a certain set of specifications on brands and ensuring, through a label, a certain level of quality for end customers. Because we have to admit it, AMD has a problem on this subject. Indeed, a laptop manufacturer can use an AMD CPU and do almost anything he wants around it. This is a situation that leads to a very strong disparity of quality but also of performance according to the brands with however an identical CPU. This is the opposite of Intel, which has years of experience in this area. We can see that with time, Intel has been able to push different programs like the Centrino a long time ago or the Evo today. But in any case, each time, Intel is not satisfied with providing a simple CPU. This is almost always accompanied by peripheral components to ensure the homogeneity of the machine, but also by strict requirements to reassure the customer. From a marketing point of view, Intel financially encourages (in the form of various discounts) its partners to follow its programs. The customer is regularly “educated” by marketing and advertising actions for years. Finally, through its NUC range, Intel has been practicing for a while, the complete design of a laptop that it delivers to some key partners in white label. Another way to gain experience.

What is the AMD Advantage program?

While Intel puts forward EVO (professional positioning), AMD focuses on machines for gamers. And that’s good, it’s a market that explodes. The other difference, that Intel can not bring (for now) is that to have the certification, it must have a processor and a graphics solution of the brand. A smart way to counter Nvidia which also imposes its law on this field. On the technical side, AMD emphasizes the fact that the combination of a CPU and a GPU from the brand gives excellent results. The first feedbacks prove it right.  AMD Advantage But AMD goes further than the CPU-GPU combo. The other prerequisites are its display of course, with the use of Freesync, connectivity, heating (and therefore the design of the chassis), autonomy, a storage type SSD PCIe NVMe … AMD’s roadmap is therefore very precise with some details that could lead to a smile if they were not experienced on some ‘gaming’ machines. We will think in particular of the obligation made to the manufacturer to control the keyboard of the machines. The latter should never exceed 40°C during a game session. prerequis AMD advantage

An ambitious program but does AMD have the means to control it?

AMD’s proposal is ambitious and will undoubtedly allow it to take another step forward in the laptop market. In the gaming market in particular, this certified offer (and even packaged with the GPU) will also allow it to bypass Nvidia, whose GeForce brand has undeniable marketing clout today. At the same time, Intel is advancing a denser peripheral ecosystem such as Thunderbolt, Wifi6 and soon 5G… In a few months it will also have its GPU. So we can say that AMD is ready. But does it have the means to make manufacturers respect its specifications? Rog Advantage-Edition The first problem comes from what should be the flagship of the launch of this program, the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition. This laptop with the latest RX6800M works wonders and respects the whole AMD proposal…But does not escape the technical fault by using “low cost” memory bars that penalize its operation. Games could see improvements of up to 28% more fps with a faster RAM kit. The same goes for disabling the graphics part of the CPU, which also penalizes performance. https://youtu.be/8XCeAdFqsKg These details show that AMD still has a long way to go and that its position as a “challenger” may not give it all the weight needed to impose such an ambitious quality standard on brands.

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Edited by Calliers

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