AMD, Roy Taylor, the Nano, and the Press

One thing is for sure in the GPU market, sooner or later some company is going to pull a full-on screw-the-pooch moment and continue to spiral down even after someone realizes the mistake. We have seen is happen in the past, and it just happened this week to AMD. Poor little Nano.

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AMD's Roy Taylor Speaks

I don’t read a lot of Twitter, and I very rarely post. Possibly Roy Taylor is one of those guys that live and dies by how many people are listening to his spin, and while that may not be, it sure looks to be part of his job at AMD. This was posted to Roy’s Twitter account while I was writing this.

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Whatever the reasons behind Roy’s posting, he does a lot of it, and AMD signs off on it 100%. One of the readers in the HardForum posted a link to one of Roy Taylor’s tweets that truly got my attention. Three tweets actually, and are in context below.

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When approached about Tech Report not getting a Nano to review, Roy’s response is that there will be "plenty of fair reviews to read." Now that sort of says to me that Tech Report did not get a card because AMD thinks it would not give a "fair review." But OK, you could read that a couple different ways, so we move on. Then Roy gets asked if TechPowerUp did not get a Nano to review because of supply, and Roy states, "it’s not that."

Then another Twitter-er gives a emoticon about TPU not getting the card and Roy Taylor states "reviews need to be fair." Now, while it was a bit undercover in his previous tweets, there is no doubt in my mind that AMD is not sampling hardware review sites because it thinks it will not get a "fair review." When pushed, AMD told me that HardOCP did not get a card because:

"We always look at every outlet for sampling new products case-by-case – we look at audience profile, focus, methodology and product value prop. You’ll agree that you guys got product from us that fit your profile very well, like the Fury and Fury X. So this isn’t a sign of things to come, this is simply how we roll out Nano from a sampling perspective.

I hope this clarifies things, that’s all there’s behind this decision."

Now, I think that explanation is a lie at this point given Roy Taylor’s public statements. I would go so far as to point out that AMD sampled a Nano card to HardForum member (Elmy) so that he could post the build in our own forums! (Which I have since removed. Given that our community does not have a Nano focus.) I was fine with our "Nano-less" review state before I read what Roy Taylor had to say this week. I asked and included Roy in on the email chain with Antal.

"Now why don't we get Roy on this thread and get his explanation of his public statements?"

I never had a doubt that Roy would not stay silent....

"Hi Kyle, happy to.

I was responding to a user who asked me about reviews. Antal isn’t being difficult, he’s telling the truth. I stand by the statement that the world needs fair reviews, I am sure you agree, pretty strongly I’d have thought!

There isn’t anything more to this. That’s the honest truth.

I did see some of the other retorts on twitter today and I ignored them as I could see this going down this road and since it wasn’t my intent I am keeping away.

Hope that clears this up for you.

Best regards

Roy

Roy Taylor

Corporate Vice President | Alliances

7171 Southwest Parkway, Austin, TX 78735 USA "

This is what I was thinking..... "The clearest bunch of bullshit I have read today Roy. Thanks for that pathetic reply of trying to not look like AMD is fully cherry picking review sites for "good" Nano reviews. And we all know, you should have just shut your goddamn mouth and none of this would have ever happened." And from what I have read, there are more than a few others that saw Roy’s statements to be exactly this as well.

Roy responding directly to questions about two specific review sites and to why those were not sampled cards, and his response both pointing to reviews that need to be "fair" doesn't fully gell with his answer quoted above. In fact, I think it is an outright lie and he is trying to pull his responses back into the line of that of AMD’s PR flunkies at this point because he realized he was not towing the AMD public line in this instance.

Given my thoughts above, I responded to Roy Taylor (and the rest of the PR team) with this question:

"So please explain to me what exactly constitute these unfair reviews you are finding that are seeming connected to AMD not sampling Nano?"

And Roy’s response:

"Kyle, my position is that we need fair reviews. I doubt there is anyone in our entire industry who would disagree. That's the beginning and the end of this."

Roy’s backtracking here seems humorous at best. Uh yeah....reviews need to be fair.....especially from those sites mentioned that AMD did not sample. I especially like the "That's the beginning and the end of this," part of his response. This may be one of the best "fuck off" lines I have ever had delivered to me in a corporate correspondence. {Golf Clap}