AMD is sort of becoming the Mac of PC hardware. That is to say, they perform well, but in the end want it to be about a final user experience, not a piecemeal selection of parts and capabilities. In this spirit of simplicity, they’re shifting the bulk of their merchandising over from Turion and X4 and all that to three labels under the brand name “Vision.”
It reminds me of when they simplified their gaming line under “Game!” On that note, it’s not clear what the fate of Game! was, but it doesn’t seem to be present in the current lineup. It’s more of a desktop thing, really, so I’m not surprised either way.
Just as “Game!” had plain Game and Game Ultra, Vision will be divided into three parts, from basic to enthusiast to advanced: Plain, “Premium,” and “Ultimate.” Those particular epithets don’t have the greatest track record (they call Vista to mind primarily), but they do bespeak the small-medium-large idea going on here. There’s also a Vision Black, but we don’t talk about that.
The features differentiating the three levels are mostly video-related. Plain Vision promises dynamic contrast and improved video quality — essentially leveraging the GPU for video enhancement. Vision Premium adds better transcoding, and Ultimate supports improved HD video editing. These rely on packaged utilities like Cyberlink’s Power Director and ArcSoft’s upscaling technology — a necessary evil until GPU acceleration can be better implemented with any app you choose.
The new stuff is looking solid, and I wish them the best of luck with it. They’re also pushing that all their platforms support everything Windows 7 will throw at them (virtualization, hardware effects), so that’s one less thing for Best Buy employees to worry about.