Missed opportunities

I was looking into getting a replacement gaming laptop. After Black Friday 2015 showed me what prices could be, I was waiting for a break….

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Now, when I’m looking for a gaming laptop, I’m looking for something that will support 3D Linux gaming. Normal AAA games are no longer fun. They require a constant internet connection, and the way the copy protection treats paying customers like criminals annoys me immensely. If I want to deal with copy protection, I’ll play my old DOS game collection, thank you very much.

I was planning to get definitely 15 inches (17 would mean I would actually physically move to see everything on-screen at the range I will be using it, while anything less than 15 is too small). Perhaps a Lenovo because of good physical production habits that I have seen with their desktop products.

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So back to laptop hardware. I’m looking for Intel with an NVidia 950 or 960. The 960? I figured I should be able to get one for a hair under $700 in 2016. The 950? Less than $650. Prices remained higher than that, and seemed to even inflate! So eventually, I changed my mind and decided to rearrange my fully-loaded desktop system, so that I could use it more often. Two weeks later, I finally saw a deal matching my expected price point.

Someone, somewhere lost a sale, because NVidia has been greedy, and AMD has not taken the opportunity to take the prize by offering a decent Linux driver, and thereby stealing the low-price 3D accelerator market out from under NVidia’s nose. Seriously, how long has it been since you’ve seen a sub-$100 NVidia card that was still decent tech? It’s been a while!

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AMD needs to stop trying to directly compete with NVidia (that ship has sailed) and needs to focus on niche groups more. Specifically, I believe they could really steal the show on budget cards if they really tried. 99% of the market is on Windows, so if they just release decent sub-$100 and sub-$50 cards, they could win the budget market away from NVidia. The future is not in tablets and phones. Everybody has them, but they are a pain to use on normal websites, and those little devices aren’t powerful enough to run massive 3D games. On the other hand, 3D gaming is a billion dollar enterprise.

Or maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. I am not the CEO of a graphics accelerator company, so what do I know? All I know is that someone missed a sale.

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