Amidst the AMD marketing spectacle announced today known as Fusion – and trust me your guess is as good as mine, AMD has also released a software download called the “AMD Fusion for gaming utility” as part of its wider campaign to promote the best possible PC gaming experience.
While it’s name is no help at all and the interface pretty much a gimmick, it is exactly what many Windows gamers have been asking for for years – a “gaming mode” that disables non-critical background services and optimizes the system for the best gaming performance. A good idea in theory but less applicable in practice.
The tool comes with three default presets, “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Expert” with respective aggressiveness towards how many optimizations are applied and background services disabled. For example, “Expert” disables Windows Updates whereas “Basic” does not. Of course you can make your own custom profiles and pick the particular services you wish to disable. After which activating and deactivating these profiles is as simple as clicking the shiny button and cue the sci-fi hyperspeed effect.
In addition, AMD has also bundled an interesting set of hardware optimizations including “AMD Boost”, “AMD OverDrive”, “ATI Catalyst Auto-Tune” and “Hard Drive Acceleration”. Before you begin to fantasize what magical secret sauce AMD is adding to make hardware faster, these are pretty generic optimizations with a flashier label. “Boost” for example disables power-saving features, “OverDrive” overclocks CPU, “Catalyst Auto-Tune” overclocks GPU and “Hard Drive Acceleration” enables Windows disk caching.
The application is, as expected, exclusive to AMD customers only via hardware detection. I’m sure it won’t take long before someone *cough*Rafael*cough* figures out how to remove that detection so all gamers can try out this handy tool. Update 2: Download the patched EXE to run on your non-AMD machines.
Speaking of which I’m going to take it for a test drive but I don’t expect much out of it. Will update with thoughts later. Update: At least on a med-high-end machine, these optimizations does not seem to make any substantial differences.