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From overclocking components to shutting down unnecessary software running in the background, most PC enthusiasts – myself included – have tinkered with their PC settings in a quest for better performance in games.
However, while historically, these tweaks have had to be made manually with the help of bespoke tools or through trial-and-error, random crashes and instability, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have addressed the need of gamers to be able to eke out as much additional performance as their systems can cope with and have launched a tool called Fusion, which has been designed to optimise AMD-based systems for better gaming experience.
AMD claim the utility will enhance the PC gaming experience by fixing problems and shutting down anything that could cause your PC to become unstable or insecure. One click of a rather large button is all it takes for Fusion to do its thing and turn your PC into a gaming behemoth – or so it is claimed.
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What Does AMD Fusion Do To Your System?
AMD Fusion has three modes offering different levels of optimisation for users, and the level required will centre around the user’s level of competence. The three modes are Basic, Advanced and Expert.
Basic level optimisation is relatively low-key and involves closing down background processes, while the CPU performance is subject to a process called AMD Boost which shuts down some elements of the PC’s operating system. Examples of these elements include the CPU Temperature tool, Cool N Quiet and power state switching. AMD claim the basic level can enhance performance between 2 and 5 percent depending on the PC’s specification.
Advanced level optimisation is a bit more thorough and in addition to performing the function of the basic level, also takes a more hardline approach to what it shuts down. Advanced level will close down such applications as your web browser and email, but in instances where a user intervention is required such as saving a document, the Advanced level won’t override the save request, meaning unsaved work won’t be lost as a result. Advanced level also overclocks the CPU, GPU and the system’s hard drive, but details on how this is done are pretty sketchy.
Expert level optimisation gives some level of user control by allowing the user to specify overclocking settings and which processes to close or keep open, such as Skype or X-Fire for in-game chatting. AMD reckon this can boost system performance by as much as ten percent.
AMD Fusion also makes a nice ‘whoosing’ sound while it performs the optimisation process.
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Who Can Use AMD Fusion?
AMD Fusion for Gaming is only compatible with systems built around AMD components, including the CPU, GPU and motherboard chipset. The application won’t work on Intel-based systems, even if an AMD GPU is installed.
This means that for users of Intel’s CPUs and/or Nvidia GPU users this tool is pretty much redundant. It’s AMD only which severely hampers its appeal for many enthusiasts. With Intel’s Quad-Core CPUs proving highly overclockable, they are the preferred choice for many PC enthusiasts, especially in light of AMD’s Phenom CPUs proving lacklustre in comparison.
Furthermore, AMD Fusion is currently only officially supported on 32-bit Windows Vista operating systems, although AMD claims it will run on Windows XP despite not being supported. Vista 64-bit support will be added in the future.
Fusion will, however, be free and forms part of AMD’s marketing strategy to highlight its new corporate tagline: ‘The Future Is Fusion’ which seeks to highlight the performance benefits of an all-AMD platform.