Tech Ramblings: Windows 10, AMD Survival?

I haven’t really done a technical ramblings and speculation post on my blog before but I felt inspired after watching “Tech Talk” on Youtube from JayzTwoCents and Barnacules Nerdgasm. Two of the topics they touched on were the Windows 10 release and will AMD still be around in five years time?

Starting with Windows 10, I was quite excited by Microsoft’s latest OS based upon the “Technical Preview” I have tried out on a VM. But after Jerry (Barnacules) explained that Microsoft have fired their internal QA department in favor of relying on ‘real world’ beta testers, which would explain why (it’s rumored) technical preview users will get a full copy of Windows 10 with the caveat that they will remain ‘testers’.

Based upon his experiences at Microsoft, Jerry expects Windows 10 to be full of bugs come it’s release date of July 29, 2015, many of which will be security vulnerabilities. Which has made me think twice about upgrading to Windows 10 even if it will be free for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users. Maybe I will sacrifice one of my older laptops to test it out before I make the jump to Windows 10 on my work machine.

I do like the new start menu which integrates the classic and modern UI elements and no longer takes up the whole screen (unless you want it to) and the new windowed modern applications makes it feel like a single operating system rather than two separate operating systems like Windows 8 and 8.1. The good news is that I have a year from release to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, so I don’t need to jump now.

Moving onto AMD’s survival odds, Jerry and Jay (of Tech Talk) seem to think AMD will not be around, at least in it’s current form five years from now. I find this prospect really disturbing as it will only leave one major player in the desktop CPU and GPU markets, which could mean higher prices for consumers. I have always been a bit of a AMD fan, I really like their bang for your buck performance Vs Intel and Nvidia.

Admittedly AMD haven’t exactly been on the cutting edge for a while with a non-APU processor, the last dedicated AMD CPU was the FX8350 released in 2011, four years ago now. And AMD have been lagging behind in the GPU stakes as well with their latest Fury X cards being touted as a Titan X killer falling well short of the mark and their R9 3xx cards turning out to be slightly enhanced R9 2xx cards.

The idea of having only one CPU and GPU maker bothers me because there will be no options as far as affordable performance, Intel Celeron or Atom processors don’t count. And I have never created a build with an Intel processor because I didn’t want to spend out double the cash for similar performance.

I simply like AMD as they offer the best value for money, but Nvidia has slowly but surely eroded AMD’s market share in the GPU market at competing price points and Intel have taken over the CPU market because of AMD’s lack of CPU releases in the last four years. AMD has it’s new Zen CPU coming in the next year, but after the hype and subsequent disappointment from the R9 3xx and Fury X cards, it could be too little, too late to save AMD, but I truly hope that I am wrong and Zen becomes the new benchmark.

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