AMD has been getting more and more attention in the media lately and it’s not because they’d like to be within it’s good books – the company has just been doing and announcing so many things that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up. Over the weekend starting late on Friday, the company showed up in lots of articles that I couldn’t do one for each topic. So hit the jump to get back up to speed and see a new direction the company is now taking in cosying up to developers.
Sim City is being bundled with select APUs
It looks like one of the developers that AMD is talking to is EA and Maxis. Starting in a week’s time in the US and Europe and later going to other countries and participating distributors, AMD will stick Origin codes for Sim City in with their A-series of APUs, namely the A8-5500, A8-5600K, A10-5700 and A10-5800K. Those are all quad-cores with integrated GPUs that are, at the very least, faster than Nvidia’s GT430 and capable of playing the game at 720p with low to medium settings.
This is an interesting turn for the underdog because it means that the company is now firmly in bed with EA, possibly giving both hardware and special treatment for their partner studios to make some optimisations for their hardware. Up until now AMD has only ever embraced open-source projects like OpenCL, Havok physics and TressFX, which can be run on any hardware that supports these technologies. While they may elect to have some special optimisations for GCN architecture, this should level the playing field nicely.
Battlefield 4 will be in the next Never Settle bundle
In an interview with Heise.de, AMD Vice President of Global Channel Sales chief Roy Taylor confirmed that in a future Never Settle bundle, another EA-controlled studio, DICE, would be including it’s next AAA title, Battlefield 4, in the promotion. Battlefield 4 is based on the Frostbite engine just like it’s predecessor. Similarly, Medal Of Honor: Warfighter, also distributed by EA, was based on Frostbite 2.0 and was also a part of the Never Settle promotion.
We know already that the 17-minute gameplay feature was run off the upcoming Radeon HD7990. We know that if Battlefield 4 launches this year closer to Christmas that it’ll also be on the PS4 because EA would naturally like to target every platform available with good support. Given that EA now loves AMD, it’s easy to assume that we’ll see more of their titles appearing in tbe bundles in future. After all, what does Nvidia have to offer these days? Assassin’s Creed 3 and a couple of monetary bundles for online free-to-play, pay-to-win titles.
In that same interview, Taylor admitted that there wasn’t any ongoing development for DirectX 12 and that all indications were that attention was now on consoles.
Adobe’s Premiere Pro now supports OpenCL on Windows
OpenCL has been supported on the Mac platform for a while now and it’s been largely ignored by Adobe until they started to include support for it to give AMD users some love. For ages Premiere Pro supported CUDA-compatible plugins and more benefitted Quadro owners, or those of you with those amazeballs dual-socket Xeon rigs. You can either scale up with more cores, or sink your money into something from the Quadro family and for many that’s not an option, which is why Adobe began supporting Nvidia GPUs from the Geforce family.
Unfortunately, this leaves AMD users out of the picture and that’s a bit unfair. Adobe began supporting some GPU acceleration in Photoshop using OpenCL, which gave Radeon owners some advantage, but that wasn’t enough. This weekend Adobe and AMD jointly announced that the next version of Premiere Pro on the Windows platform will fully support OpenCL. Better yet, it’ll apply to both the Radeon and the Firepro graphics families, which means it also supports AMD’s APU families as well. Its an important milestone for the company because this validates all their work in getting HSA into the market.
According to Adobe, OpenCL acceleration using AMD hardware could enable, with the right hardware, real-time rendering of 4K content. That’s quite something and would be a big change from the way things are done now.