We normally don’t cover contests and giveaways, but this one is just a bit different than the others and sheds some light on the inner workings of AMD, so we’ll take a quick look at it.

AMD is announcing today that they’re starting up a rewards program for users of their Gaming Evolved Application. The rewards program, dubbed AMD Rewards (not to be confused with Radeon Rewards) is a point based system that will see AMD rewarding users for using the Gaming Evolved application. The points in turn will be redeemable for a number of items, including games and some 3rd party hardware items, but most notably Sapphire Radeon R9 cards. All told, AMD is apparently putting up $5 million USD in merchandise, which would be a significant expense for a single promotion.

What makes this notable is the actions that will earn points in the program. AMD’s press release doesn’t have a complete list, but using the GEA game optimization service and playing supported games are specifically mentioned as activities that earn points. As we covered back in November when the GEA launched, the ad-hoc nature of data collection being used by Raptr and AMD meant that the service started with a very limited data set for optimization recommendations, due to a lack of data to bootstrap the service. Without a dedicated group to provide at least the initial data, the service would be slow to ramp up as AMD needs users playing games and running the GEA first, and only then would they be able to generate recommendations.

This latest promotion looks to be an effort at finally solving the data problem by providing an additional incentive for Radeon owners to use the GEA. If AMD can get enough data collected to make the service widely useful, then it would be able to achieve the critical mass of users needed to make the GEA game optimization service self-sustaining. We'll have to continue to keep an eye on the service and see what this does for AMD's data set. The idea behind the optimization service is very cool, so hopefully this promotion can give AMD the additional data the service needs to really shine.

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  • MikeMurphy - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    Compatible with Steam?
  • barleyguy - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    The screen shot has Steam games in it.
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    The point earnings or the discounts? Yes on both counts.
  • The Von Matrices - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    How does $5 million compare to AMD just doing the testing itself? After all, NVidia has its own staff that tests games to find optimal settings for Geforce Experience.
  • edzieba - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    Likely a lot cheaper for the range of setups accessible by tapping consumers compared to in-house testing (with an added bonus of getting a de-facto installation survey).
    What worries me is that it implies that AMD /doesn't actually have/ a permanent testing regime for even a few combinations of cards, processors and chipsets. With the (now rectified) ball-drop over frame rating performance, I'm less confident in AMD being able to pick up potential issues before release than I am with Nvidia.
  • Morawka - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    Nvidia dont use staff for optimal settings, they use GRID, which is a array of tons of computers with tons of different gpu's inside.

    Or they could all be GK100's and software shuts certain cores off to mimick lower binned cards.
  • capawesome9870 - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    the one thing it needs is a ShadowPlay Like feature.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    I use just use DXtory while I wait for Valve to release something that works better - not that DXtory is bad, it's fantastic, just a bit complex. Shadowplay can't come close to the picture quality.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    Does seem inevitable that what Geforce Experience and Raptr AMD Edition are doing could just be done much better by Steam itself.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - link

    Indeed, given the level of hardware/software detail surveyed by Steam, they are in the best position to meet most users' needs. I removed GeForce Experience since it specifically targets 40-60fps as the acceptable range when modifying graphics settings. I had to go back and manually reconfigure all my games after installing it the first time, since I aim for 100-120fps on my CRT. GFE (or Steam or GEA) would win me over if it could conform the settings to automatically hit my desired frame rate.

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