AMD Clarifies: Project Quantum is Configurable with AMD Processors – Devil’s Canyon Present in Flagship Model

Usman Pirzada
Posted Jun 25, 2015
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AMD unveiled its Project Quantum SFF PC recently and one of the more interesting things to to note about the product was the fact that it contained an Intel Devil’s Canyon processor inside the tiny chassis. Some people understandably took it as a very counter-intuitive move since AMD itself is a CPU maker and had chosen to use its only competitor’s product inside a brand new lineup. The answer, according to AMD, is a simple one.

AMD Project Quantum_3A slide from Project Quantum’s press deck. @AMD Public Domain

AMD admits their compute weakness – puts gamers before its pride in Project Quantum SFF PC

The fact of the matter is that the Project Quantum SFF PC is a configurable product. If a particular AMD fan would like to go with a completely red build then he would most certainly get that choice.  But the problem is that for the enthusiast gamer, AMD CPUs no longer cut it and this is something that Red has finally admitted in good grace. In a statement to Tom’s Hardware, AMD revealed the following.

We have Quantum designs that feature both AMD and Intel processors, so we can fully address the entire market. I’m sure you’ve heard AMD leaders speak before about how we’re driving growth in the company and our key businesses, and that one of the key strategies we have for doing that is listening to customers.

You may have heard at the recent AMD financial analyst day that Lisa Su described Job #1 as “Build Great Products.” In the case of buyers for systems like Project Quantum, there is a clear preference for choice; they’re not interested in a narrow range of computing solutions – they want to pick and choose the balance of components that they want, that are hand-tailored in a world of off-the-rack-suits. (via Tom’s Hardware)

Contrary to what most AMD investers might think – this is actually a very very good move. AMD is finally focusing on producing the best product for the Gamer and if that means incorporating an Intel CPU – so be it. Swallowing their pride is a very admirable gesture and something that means the difference between Project Quantum as just another AMD product and a world class Gaming SFF PC. Red also mentioned that they consider the dual Fury GPU housed inside Project Quantum as the star of the show – and if priced right, the Quantum SFF could indeed be an amazing buy.

As the source correctly points out, its also possible that once AMD brings out its first non-bulldozer architecture in 2016, a Zen based processor might be spotted inside a future variant of the product. In such a compact casing, the thermal envelope, TDP and performance per watt are everything – and Zen with its FinFET technology could finally be close enough to Intel counterparts to justify a transition to an AMD only Project Quantum. Till then however, hats off to AMD for putting gamers before their pride, not to mention the SFF PC wouldn’t have sold very well with an AMD processor inside.

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