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Vision is AMD's attempt to simplify PC marketing for consumers

A few years back when a consumer went shopping for a new computer the thing that was advertised most was how fast the CPU was. The so-called gigahertz wars gave way ultimately to other naming conventions when PC makers reached the limit of being able to claim the fastest processors.

Today consumers aren’t as concerned about how fast the processor in their PC is or how much RAM it has as they are about what the computer is capable of doing. To help better communicate what the computer is capable of to shoppers; AMD has announced a new marketing scheme for its systems called AMD Vision.

AMD reports that Vision will communicate the value of the system as a whole and demonstrate the combined processing power of the CPU and GPU for the benefit of mainstream PC users. Vision will emphasize how AMD machines are optimized for video, digital media, and content creation activities and describe what types of things can be enjoyed on the system and help the shopper make better decision on what computer will best meet their needs.

“Today’s consumer cares about what they can do with their PC, not what’s inside,” said Nigel Dessau, CMO of AMD. “They want a rich HD and entertainment experience on their PC, delivered by the combined technology of AMD CPUs and GPUs, without having to understand what gigahertz and gigabytes mean. VISION technology from AMD reflects the maturation of marketing in the PC processing industry and communicates the technology in a more meaningful way.”

AMD reports that notebooks with Vision Technology will be on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season and timed to launch along with the Windows 7 launch. That should put the machines hitting market in mid-October.

“We are excited for the upcoming launch of Windows 7, when our OEM partners will introduce some exciting new PCs that match our mutual customer’s needs and feedback,” said Mike Ybarra, general manager of Windows Product Management at Microsoft Corp. “Coupled with VISION Technology from AMD, customers can feel confident that the PC they purchase will deliver a rich, tailored PC experience.”

AMD has already unveiled its new notebook platforms that will feature Vision Technology with next generation graphics, Blu-ray, and 3D gaming capability. There are three levels of Vision Technology that represent different levels of performance. These three levels include Vision Basic, Vision Premium, and Vision Ultimate. AMD also plans to offer a fourth level of Vision called Vision Black in Q1 2010 to represent the highest level of performance for enthusiasts.

“We focus our attention on R&D and marketing communications to users that identify themselves with state-of-the-art and innovative products that can simplify life through technology,” said Gianpiero Morbello, Marketing and Branding Corporate Vice President of Acer, Inc. “VISION Technology from AMD represents an innovative PC usage and we are always ready to offer a superior visual experience to our customers for advanced HD video entertainment.”

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RE: Blah blah...blah
By MrBungle123 on 9/10/2009 11:13:29 AM , Rating: 5
If AMD wants to help consumers get a PC that fits their needs they need to educate salesmen and stop coming up with new ways to rebrand and regroup their current products. The "unwashed masses" that shop for PC's in big box stores not only don't care about gigahertz and gigabytes they probably don't even know who AMD is much less care about some new marketing scheme for AMD's various platforms.

This is going to be about as successful as past attempts along the same lines... CPU model numbers were supposed to be more meaningful and simple than listing the clock frequency, FSB speed, and L2 cache size and what happened? we get a meaningless model number and next to it the clock frequency, FSB speed, and L2 cache size... at the end of the day its not the label on the box its the specs that matter this will be no different.


RE: Blah blah...blah
By cochy on 9/10/2009 11:22:40 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like AMD is regressing with "Vision Technology".

Did Intel not start dropping their various different "Technologies"?

I do like the new branding that Intel has come out with. The "Star" ranking. That's easy to understand. This computer is 3 stars that computer is 5 stars, nice and clean and to the point with no additional baggage of obscure "Technology" which at the end of the day means nothing.

I agree, Fail to AMD on this.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By Mojo the Monkey on 9/10/2009 2:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
speaking of intel, doesnt this sound a little bit like their "viiv" idea?

RE: Blah blah...blah
By SilthDraeth on 9/10/2009 11:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
You know, I have been a follower of Anandtech for years, and I miss the old days, where there was 1 Intel, 1 AMD, and you compared the 2 based on the speed.

Maybe I don't pay enough attention, but working retail, I do get customers asking... what processor is better...

There are to many Q's, N's, Z's, dual cores, quad cores, core2duos, core2solos, celerons, turions, semprons, athlons, opterons, and on and on and on.

I fix and work on PC's for a living, even though now it is for a retail outlet, instead of the military/School I used to work for. I guess I haven't been learning as fast as the new processors come out.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By The0ne on 9/11/2009 6:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
IMO, it's not the same field as a few years back. The 3GHz speed is more than enough for most users already. Those that want the extra bit more and are concern about the A, B, C or what have you of the product are really the small sector enthusiast.

I design but unless I'm doing heavy CAD I don't really need the top of the line PC any longer. Even video cards are marginal. There use to be a huge difference between workstation video performance and desktop (the matrox days) but now you have powerful desktops that can handle most CAD tasks fine.

I have a Q6600 clocked over 3.4GHz but sometimes I question myself as to why I bother then it hits me...because I enjoy playing around with the software/hardware and not because I necessarily need it.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By psychobriggsy on 9/14/2009 2:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
How does the Star ranking differ from the Dollar ranking? Except that nobody wants to own a one-star computer, even though it's probably still more than enough. I.e., it's even worse in my opinion, marketing for upsell.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By Parhel on 9/10/2009 11:49:22 AM , Rating: 5
It sounds like you started off by saying average consumer doesn't care about specs, and then finished by saying that only the specs matter to the average consumer.

Either way, with the right ad campaign you can sell anything to anybody. Even when AMD had the price/performance lead, they stagnated through lack of advertising. This could be exactly what they need.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By MrBungle123 on 9/10/2009 2:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like you started off by saying average consumer doesn't care about specs, and then finished by saying that only the specs matter to the average consumer.

The average consumer doesn't care or understand specs, but before buying a computer will ask about them because they will want to know what makes one system better than the next.

If joe average guy goes into office depot to buy a computer and sees 3 computers sittng next to each other one labled basic, one premium, and one ultimate, what does that tell him? Nothing. This person is very likely not going to recognize anything on a spec sheet, they probably don't know who AMD is, and they probably don't know that Radeon means "brand name" video card. They're clueless... thats what I meant by they don't care about specs... But when it comes time to buy a new computer they're going to ask the sales man what differentiates A Basic, Premium, and Ulitmate system and they're going to need to see a component list and have a salesman that knows enough to explain it.

All that this new marketing scheme does is put another level of branding between the consumer and the relevant information.

If AMD wants to run an ad campaign they need to push their existing brands... Phenom for their "high-end" Athlon for their "mainstream" and Turion for notebooks... This coming up with new classifications is hard to follow even for a computer enthusiast like myself... There are too many classifications and too much overlaping.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By StevoLincolnite on 9/10/2009 6:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
The Athlon looks like it's being phased out for the "Phenom 2 X2" brand, which might simplify things for the consumer, so it would more than likely be:

Low-End: Phenom 2 X2
Mid-Range: Phenom 2 X3
High-End: Phenom 2 X4

Then you have the overlapping clock speeds and price points to add into the confuzzle, and the Black Edition versions.

Personally they should stick with the Athlon Brand for the low-end segment, as unlike the Phenom it DOES have more brand recognition considering the amount of different variations and clockspeeds that we have had over the years under that banner.

However, I actually had a friend who had computer troubles, they actually thought they had a Pentium 4 2ghz processor, when in-fact they had an Athlon XP 3200+ processor, the funny part is they never even knew who AMD was, it took some explaining to them on how superior the Athlon XP 3200+ was over the Pentium 4 2ghz despite similar clock speeds.

I actually built a new rig to replace that Athlon XP with under a budget, and because they had the Athlon XP for so many years and was happy with it's performance they asked if I could build the system around a newer model Athlon, so they ended up with a 7750 Black edition Athlon X2, and are tickled pink, especially where 3D performance is concerned being powered by a Radeon 3300 instead of a Geforce 2 MX IGP.

I just get amazed how little the average joe knows about computers, I get phone calls asking "Is this better?" or "How do you do this?", it's gotten better over the years, but some people just don't know where to get the information they need to learn more about it.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By Taft12 on 9/11/2009 8:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
Personally they should stick with the Athlon Brand for the low-end segment

Yours was an interesting post, but not everything AMD does is as confusing as you seem to think it is. The Athlon brand *IS* staying put for the low end segment. AMD currently sells the Athlon II X2 and will begin selling Athlon II X3 and Athlon II X4 alongside Phenom II X2/X3/X4. It's not as straightforward as one line, but a lot less convoluted than what Intel is doing.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By gstrickler on 9/10/2009 12:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
its not the label on the box its the specs that matter this will be no different.
Actually, specs only matter to geeks. What matters is performance, capacity, and capability.

However, as anyone who has ever tried benchmarking a computer knows, there is no single number you can give that indicates how fast a computer will be. You need multiple "performance" numbers to rate the various aspects of performance. CPU, GPU, and storage (HD) being the 3 primary components of performance.

Likewise, you need multiple numbers to represent capacities and capabilities.

Clock speed, FSB speed, cache size, etc are all irrelevant, that much AMD got correct. Where they have failed is giving an alternative that was any more useful. Until someone comes up with something better than these specs, we're pretty much stuck with specs which the average consumer will need a geek to translate into something that will meet that consumer's needs.

As for educating salesmen, good luck with that. Salesman change jobs frequently (reasons too numerous for this discussion). Salesmen are also being "educated" by the marketing departments of various competitors, and you know how reliable that info is. Compound that with the fast pace of change in computer technology, and you've got a huge training issue that isn't going away in the foreseeable future.

We've got the same issue with cars, lots of specs, lots of prices, lots of different features. Ultimately, the consumer has to choose something that works for them, and most of the specs get ignored as irrelevant. The difference is that consumers know cars better and they can get a good sense of whether or not a car meets their needs with a short test drive. That's not the case with computers.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By Regs on 9/10/2009 1:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Product differentiation cannot just simply be talked about, but actually produced. 4 core AMD X4 965 that is less efficient than 4 core Intel Q9550 is simply that.

I don't know what AMD is trying to prove here. Either that their product is so different than Intel that they need to make a marketing campaign for it, or that Anand has been lying to us all this time and AMD has more features than we thought.

I'm really baffled here.

RE: Blah blah...blah
By jonup on 9/11/2009 7:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, I can't agree more with you. I might off a little, but the only branded platform that was successful was the Intel Centrino. However, when Intel was pushing Centrino you could not turn around with out seeing its commercial.
To be successful with this technology, AMD has to drop a lot of money it doesn't have in advertising. But first they have to do the same with the AMD brand. Most people think that there is Intel and then there are generic processors whatever they are called.
What AMD did instead is, sending an e-mail to people like me informing us about their "Vision". I do have 3 AMD systems. (For two of them I need an IGP so AMD is the way to go and I was being cheap for the third one.) I am well aware of the CPUs and GPUs on the market. AMD just wasted marketing money on the wrong demographics.
AMD, if you have our e-mails, it means that we are geeks and we care more about numbers than a catchy marketing branding! Do not waste your money on lipstick, we are pigs!

RE: Blah blah...blah
By The0ne on 9/11/2009 6:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Both ATI and Nvidia have done the same gimmick with their products. Consumers are truly lost if they're not up to the task. Hell, I get lost if I don't keep updated myself.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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