It’s no secret that AMD recently has been posting losses. In fact, just two years ago, AMD reported massive losses of about $1 billion in an earnings report. This was the catalyst for layoffs and organizational “restructuring.”  AMD’s (NASDAQ: AMD) large losses were not unique, though -- both Intel and AMD saw their stock price plummet in 4Q12. Rumors of PC death abounded, but the story wasn’t over quite yet.


In 2013, AMD had much lower losses of about $83 million. AMD may have overall losses this quarter (and already predicted them) but their $1.4B revenue for this quarter is a 28% increase over last year. Losses are down 86% from this time last year and the company even beat out analysts’ predictions; much of this can be attributed to the growth of APUs and console deals, though the largest portion of AMD’s profit comes from its GPU division. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) also recently reported that they had a revenue of $1.9B for 1Q14 that, when compared to the 4Q13 revenue of $2.6B, seems numerically bad, though it still beat out analyst predictions for revenue and is above par for this part of the year.

After offering reddit's computer hardware & buildapc sub-reddits the opportunity to ask us about our nVidia GTC keynote coverage, an astute reader ("asome132") noticed that the new Pascal roadmap had a key change: Maxwell's "unified virtual memory" line-item had been replaced with a very simple, vague "DirectX 12" item. We investigated the change while at GTC, speaking to a couple of CUDA programmers and Maxwell architecture experts; I sent GN's own CUDA programmer and 30+ year programming veteran, Jim Vincent, to ask nVidia engineers about the change in the slide deck. Below includes the official stance along with our between-the-lines interpretation and analysis.


In this article, we'll look at the disappearance of "Unified Virtual Memory" from nVidia's roadmap, discuss an ARM/nVidia future that challenges existing platforms, and look at NVLink's intentions and compatible platforms.

(This article has significant contributions from GN Staff Writer & CUDA programmer Jim Vincent).

dram-modulesIt wasn't long ago that we reported on the price-fixing scandal involving the liquid crystal component used in LCDs, where the LCD industry was bolstered to $71.9 B over a five year period. Price-fixing happens all the time -- constantly -- it's just a matter of who gets caught and if the legal system cares enough to give it any attention. In the case of major memory & Flash suppliers Samsung, Micron, Hynix, and several others (Elpida, Hitachi, Infineon, Mitsubishi, Mosel, Nanya, NEC, Toshiba, Winbond), they were caught and the evidence stacked against them.

We recently connected with DFC Intelligence to talk about their latest gaming industry brief, a document plotting trends in the gaming industry across all platforms. DFC retains a lot of its deeper analytical information as part of their analysis tool (useful for industry analysts and game publishers), but releases a spoiler each year that gives a summary of core statistics.


After reaching out, we were able to obtain some relative statistics for MMOs, MOBAs, FPS games, and RTS games; some of the stats provided were relative to each other and we were encouraged not to share specific numbers due to the nature of the collection process, but you can glean an idea from the charts below.

Most noteworthy, though, is that the global gaming industry's revenue is marked at nearly $80 billion, with global gamers counting at 1.4 billion; if we exclude the casual games market, we're still left with 270 million "core gamers," as defined below.

It seems that both the gaming and hardware industries are in good health, given our recent reports on record-high game industry revenue and AMD's surge in net revenue. Adding to the gaming world's boom is Minecraft's success, which has placed it in the top two most-selling games ever (or first, depending on how you count it). Today, Activision Blizzard (NYSE: ATVI) welcomed record-high share prices after its Thursday afternoon investor meeting, despite an overall negative outlook on 2014.



DFC Intelligence reports global PC gaming software market growth from $22 billion to $25 billion in 2014, while Gartner predicts PC gaming software sales to increase to $20B from $17.7B. Either way, we're seeing nearly $3B in growth over last year. Combined console hardware and software sales are expected to reach $49B in 2014 (PS4, XB1, and respective games sales). This is a $5B growth over last year and is a totaling of PlayStation, Xbox, Wii, and other console hardware and software sales.


The total combined video game market revenue is projected as raking in $101B in 2014.

Update: AMD has commented on the slide.

Rumors abounded earlier this year that AMD would be ditching high-end / enthusiast-class CPUs in favor of a heavier focus on APUs and mainstream CPUs. With large thanks to its console adaptation, AMD posted its first profit since 2012 in Q3 this year, making for a promising future for the company. The same earnings report indicated that AMD's desktop computing solutions have dwindled in profitability over the course of the last year, meanwhile their GPU and APU solutions have nearly doubled in revenue.


Given this information, the rumors earlier this year made sense: If AMD can pump its R&D into graphics and hybrid solutions (Mantle, HSA, and Hybrid Graphics are all promising), then perhaps the best move would be to cut the FX line. Intel hasn't produced a mainstream mid-range or better processor without an IGP in several years (the i-series CPUs are effectively APUs, though Intel doesn't define the fusion as such); buying one of the go-to Intel CPUs (4670K or 4770K) also means you're getting an IGP with it that, frankly, very few readers in our audience even want or care about.

A new leaked slide allegedly from AMD could indicate that the company is terminating their FX line of CPUs and the AM3+ socket type, and with speculation whirling, let's bring some reality to the scene.

Everyone reads reviews. Not everyone lives and dies by them, but at some point in life, we've all listened to the advice or criticism found in a reviewer's opinion or friend's personal experience.


This article seeks to analyze the important parts of a general video game review and see what makes it solid. In the analysis, we'll focus on the aspects that make a review dependable, so readers know how to spot a good reviewer who approaches the game (and the review) like a professional. The goal is to show what makes a reviewer trustworthy when weighing that next $60 purchase. Along the way, we'll discuss some of the more common complaints that crop up in the torrid debate surrounding video game reviews.

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