Tuesday April 17, 2018

Scott Herkelman on NVIDIA GPP

I was just about to fire up the old keyboard and write about Scott Herkelman's very passionate and scathing blog that went public here earlier today, entitled "Radeon RX Graphics: A Gamer's Choice." Then I read what Evangelho had written, and just decided to link you guys over, because he did a great job of covering it. I do have a few things I would like to add that you might want to think on for a bit.

If you don't know the name, "Scott Herkelman," I would not be surprised. He has never truly been in the public eye of the enthusiast community when it comes to GPUs. What I can tell you is that Scott is, and has always been an avid PC gamer....I am talking LAN gaming type of guy from back in the day. I know Scott from the good old days, just around the time we saw the last commercial gaming card built in the United States. In fact, Scott worked at VisionTek. Scott was also one of the founding members of BFG Tech. You remember those guys, right? Its entire business model had one goal, and that was to deliver kickass video cards to gamers. Nothing more, nothing less. After BFG he took a couple years and worked out of the hardware world, but soon found himself back in. Not surprisingly, he landed at NVIDIA where he worked as "General Manager of GeForce" for five years. While there, Scott kept NVIDIA in tune with gaming. And now he is doing the same thing at AMD as Vice President & GM of Radeon Gaming. My point in all of this is to relate to you, while you could easily read Scott's blog post, and shrug it off as marketing drivel, Scott truly understands his audience and his customers. He has seen the GPU business from just about every angle and remains plugged in to the gamer aspects of it. I doubt he still has a lot of time for Excessive Quake now days, but at least for today, he is taking the time to wear his PC gamer heart on his sleeve in front of all of us. And this is exactly what AMD needs. A gamer making gaming products.

All that said, hopefully AMD gets the help its needs on the marketing side moving forward in preparation for its Navi GPUs.

News Image

But back to Jason's thoughts, and he makes some very good points that are hard to argue against.

Finally, Herkelman hits the big target Nvidia has painted on its back. "We work closely with all our AIB partners, so that our customers are empowered with the best, high-performance, high quality gaming products and technologies available from AMD," he writes. "No anti-gamer / anti-competitive strings attached."

While not mentioned by name, this is a very transparent attack on Nvidia's not-so-transparent program, which allegedly pressures board partners into joining by promising marketing funds, extended promotional support and premium allocation of GPUs -- and revokes them for non-partners. I'll remind my readers that none of that is confirmed, but until Nvidia informs their community which partners are on board, and proves that these allegations are false, they're doing more damage than good to their reputation.

As for Herkelman's post, it's a really interesting development. It's rare to see AMD go on the offensive like this, but it's overdue. And at this point it's required. AMD's back is against the wall with pressure from both GPP and lack of a high-end GPU to compete with Nvidia's upcoming Turing lineup later this year. An appeal to the community is a smart move, but they need to do more.