I am sure we can all agree that AMD has never been good at PR and marketing. We have seen plenty of examples throughout the years of missed opportunities to illustrate their incompetence in this department. AMD however chooses to pitch it differently, as CEO Hector Ruiz has been quoted several times stating that any good product will sell itself, hence needs no media onslaught to generate sales. This must leave a rather bitter aftertaste by now for a company that has been unable to launch any class leading products in the past two years or so. Frankly, a company without such products can easily just quietly fade away into oblivion.
Well, AMD's PR department and associated press agencies are certainly paving the way towards that rather dim outlook on AMD's future. The case in point is the illustrious K10 architecture - the engine behind AMD's upcoming quad core Phenom processor. When you throw a prestigious event such as last week's AMD Analyst Day and bring out all the goodies from the labs you want to make sure you leave a good impression on the assorted press, but more-so on concerned shareholders that have been dibbling over AMD's red financial pages for who knows how long.
Apparently AMD has a different take on the matter as at some point during the AMD Analyst Day presentations AMD demoed a PC brimful of all the best the company has to offer: a 3GHz quad-core Phenom, triple HD2900 graphics cards, fitted onto a motherboard featuring AMD's own RD790 chipset. You'd think that this would be the defining moment, the instance in time that would mark AMD's return as a viable competitor to archrival Intel. If AMD ever had a window of opportunity that they desperately needed to cash in on, a golden opportunity so to speak, to impress the media and shareholders present, this certainly would have been it.
But true to their dismal PR record they choose to ignore this golden opportunity to show to the world that they have indeed got the goods and 'will deliver', as everything concerning the performance of said demo PC is kept under wraps or explained away with silly excuses that nobody cares about. Sizzling hot emails, faxes and phonecalls could have been traveling the globe in mere minutes if benchmarks of this PC had shown that the 3GHz quad-core Phenom runs circles around Intel's offerings, or that this processor teamed up with triple HD2900's makes silly faces at Nvidia's SLI by single handedly putting down a new 3Dmark2006 high score.
But no, AMD disappoints again and further solidifies the notion that the company is in serious trouble product-wise. A favorable demo of the upcoming Phenom processor could well have put new wind into AMD's sails, but the product appears to be on the road to be a dud as AMD skimps away from releasing any benchmarks for it. This automatically leads me to conclude that the K10 architecture is indeed falling well short of expectations as that is the only explanation that can be given for missing out on such a golden opportunity. Sadly, AMD's inability to execute seems to be the disease that is no longer contained to just the PR department but has spread throughout the company, apparently affecting other departments as well. All we can do now is hope that this was just another class leading PR and marketing screw-up and that the actual product is performing as expected. However there have been so many 'ifs' and 'buts' regarding AMD's new architecture that things are just starting to fall apart at the seams. I am gradually starting to believe that AMD is trying to convince the world plus dog that one plus one equals three and that will be a rather tough sell, especially for AMD's rather incompetent PR department.