I'm a big AMD fan, or, perhaps, used to be a big AMD fan. Here lately, I'm not sure where their head is at.
Now, if you've followed PC hardware, particularly graphics cards, you've probably heard that ATI (now AMD) cards have had lots of driver issues. If you're like me, you've heard this but haven't had any issues, so you just brushed it off. I always just assumed those were kind of... urban legends.
Well, it would seem not. I've had a hell of a time lately with PC gaming, mostly due to AMD graphics cards. You've probably heard of Skyrim, one of the biggest games of the last 10 years, easy. It suffers from negative crossfire scaling. What that means is, if you're using more than one graphics card/gpu the performance in the game actually goes down instead of up, as it should. This is due to the graphics drivers not handling the game the way they should. AMD promised a fix for this, "ASAP." As of this writing it's been 2 weeks and a day with no working fix for this issue.
Their competitor, Nvidia, had an SLI (their version of crossfire) fix for Skyrim the day before it released. That's just baffling, imo. Oh and about that fix... I follow CatalystCreator on twitter. He's one of the guys who make the drivers for AMD cards. He posted a tweet with a link to the new driver, that promised to enable proper crossfire support for Skyrim. It didn't, but the interesting thing here is that the web address he posted doesn't work. He says to check it in "a few hours" but here we are, as of this post, 23 hours since and the address doesn't work. No updates, nothing. He just posted that and stopped. No explanation whatsoever. That boggles my mind.
Another issue is Saints Row The Third, one of the biggest games to release this year. It performs fine on Nvidia cards, but of course, it performs like shit on AMD cards. They've promised a fix soon, but who the hell knows when we'll get that, I sure don't. These two games being hindered by my AMD cards is depressing, not just because I'm a fan of AMD but because of my setup. I have an AMD 6990 and an AMD 6970. That's 3 GPUs, 3 powerful GPUs even and I can't run these two games nearly as well as I should.
It may seem minor, not being able to run these two games well, or at least as well as I should. The problem is, not only are these two MAJOR releases, especially Skyrim, but Nvidia customers aren't having these issues. If both companies were struggling with these two games, I would understand. But just AMD having issues really bothers me. They've been known for having driver issues for a long time now, but this is the first time I've really experienced it.
The recent release of the Bulldozer CPUs by AMD have also let a lot of people down. Now, for me, they're ok. You pretty much have to overclock the shit out of them to make them a worthy upgrade from the last series of chips. But a lot of people were expecting a lot more from them. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with all the turmoil at the company or someone has just been asleep at the wheel.
I'm really starting to wonder about these guys. I'm sad to say, but I'll definitely be going Nvidia when their new "Kepler" cards release in, so I hear, early 2012. Unless, of course, the new 7000 series of AMD are absolutely mind blowing.