We have a couple of pieces of interesting information coming out of AMD this morning, one of them regarding AMD’s continued use of the ATI brand, the other about an inexpensive, active DisplayPort-to-DVI dongle that should make to cost of entry into multi-screen Eyefinity more palatable for budget conscious consumers.
Over the last few weeks, you may have heard rumors about AMD no longer using the ATI brand. We can confirm that this is indeed going to be the case. AMD will shed the ATI brand name soon but it is not happening immediately and will have no effect on existing product. We were told by AMD that moving forward, with the eventual introduction of Fusion-based processors and next-gen graphics cards, the ATI name will not be used.
When AMD first acquired ATI in ‘06, the ATI brand was very well respected; it continues to be today. It wasn’t something that could quickly be tossed aside. However, now that AMD has overtaken NVIDIA (according to the latest Mercury research data), further cementing its position in the discrete graphics space, and is readying its first Fusion-based processors that mate CPU and GPU cores on a single die, AMD felt it was the right time to shed the ATI brand name.
In the short term, nothing will change from a consumer standpoint. All of the existing product on store shelves will be continue to be known by the same names. Moving forward, however, graphics products will be branded AMD Radeon or AMD FirePro. Official branding for Fusion-based processors was not disclosed.
Eyefinity Just Got Cheaper
AMD is also introducing a new active DisplayPort-to-DVI dongle today. As we’ve mentioned in the past in much of our Radeon HD 5000 series coverage, to take advantage of AMD’s Eyefinity multi-display technology, at least one of the monitors in the display group had to use a DisplayPort connection. For most users, this meant buying at least one new monitor, because DisplayPort isn’t nearly as widespread (yet) as the more common DVI. If a user already had one (or more) DVI-equipped monitors and wanted to use a three-screen (or larger) Eyefinity configuration, they were out of luck. It meant either buying a third monitor that likely wouldn’t match the originals, or rolling the dice and buying an expensive active DisplayPort-to-DVI dongle and hoping that it would work, because they weren’t universally compatible.
After working in conjunction with its partners to ensure Eyefinity compatibility, however, AMD is now ready to release a $29.99 active DisplayPort-to-DVI dongle, that’ll make virtually all single-link DVI equipped monitors function as a DP monitor in an Eyefinity configuration. The single-link nature of the dongle means the resolution of the screen attached is limited to 1920x1200 or below, but that should be an issue as only a small fraction of LCD monitors currently on the market, usually 27” or larger, support resolutions any higher.
The new dongle will be sold separately from a number of AMD partners including XFX, PowerColor, Sapphire, Accell, Wieson and others, and will be included with some new graphics cards moving forward.