Thursday, October 22, 2009

You’ve Got Windows 7, Now What? | Free Choices | Useful AMD Fusion Applications « AMD at Home

So you’ve got Windows 7, now what? The first thing I did when I installed Windows 7 was install the latest ATI Catalyst™ Drivers and download some of the useful, free software from AMD that helps me get the most out of my hardware. I have written about Fusion Media Explorer before, but we have just added some cool features to celebrate the Windows 7 launch. Also, we have a Fusion Utility for Desktop and Fusion Utility for Mobile that help you better balance performance and energy consumption so you can get the most out of your PC.* I talked to AMD’s Wesley Faulkner, on our Fusion applications team to get the latest.


Setting up Fusion Media Explorer Explorer to view photos of Facebook friends.

Wesley, we have written about Fusion Media Explorer but I understand we have some new features including integration with Facebook. How does that work? It’s simple really. Facebook provides software tools that help integrate it into other applications. We have used these tools to add a really cool new feature to Fusion Media Explorer, the ability to see and navigate the photos from your friend’s Facebook pages as well as an easy to use Facebook upload feature.

So we can see photos from all of our friends without navigating to each one? Yes, and you can do a lot more. Since you now have access to all of your friend’s pictures at once, you can do some pretty neat things. You can sort all pictures by date or name. So you can have James’ pictures show up next to John’s, or see everyone’s September’s pictures next to October’s. We also allow for searching on top of that. If you only want to see pictures from birthday parties, it can be as simple as typing that into our search box. If I know that Selena goes to Hawaii every year with my other friends Tristan, Chris, and Lisa, I can now see all of her Hawaii pictures from all her albums in total. All I have to do is use the sort drop-down and select to order by date, then type in “Selena” in the search box. Now I can see every picture in a nice timeline. Or I can see all the Hawaii pictures from all my friends, including Selena, Tristan, Chris and Lisa, by simply searching for the word “Hawaii” in the search box. I just couldn’t do that before.

I know a lot of people have been looking forward to this feature and its’ great to see it in action. In addition, the latest version of Fusion Media Explorer has a refined, 3D interface for browsing your photo, video, and music library and it looks stunning.


 Browsing music and video with many useful views with Fusion Media Explorer

If you want to download Fusion Media Explorer with Facebook integration, you can get it here.  Another tool is Fusion Utility for Mobility which is designed to extend your laptop’s battery life. Wesley, how can Fusion Utility for Mobility save battery life? Computers are really smart, but they can’t read our minds. We use our laptops in many different environments and with different applications. It is more of a Swiss Army Knife than a Samurai sword. Fusion Utility for Mobility makes it easier to turn off the stuff you don’t need for the task at hand. If you are on an airplane and you want to watch a movie, you probably don’t need Windows Update trying to find an internet connection. It’s the same with a Power Point presentation. Do you really need to defragment your hard drive at the same time? These are simple choices that are obvious to you and me but aren’t to your PC. This tool from AMD helps take some of that control and puts it back in your hands.

With Fusion Utility for Mobility, you can help maximize your battery life just by using the tool to shut down functionality you don’t need at the time. It’s easy to use and you can download it here. Extending these capabilities, we also provide Fusion Utility for Desktop which allows you to increase performance and save energy.

Tell me how Fusion Utility for Desktops is different from the Mobile utility? Fusion Utility for Desktops is geared for performance and power savings. With supported hardware we can really boost the muscle of a machine. We can improve the performance of your processor and graphics card on top of shutting down what you’re not using to create a lean, mean workhorse. This enables games to run faster. Songs can rip quicker. Video can encode in less time. When you’re done, it is just as easy to bring your system back to a normal state. It saves time, power, wear and tear.

How do profiles work with Fusion Utility for Desktops? Profiles are either task oriented, like surf the web; or mode-specific, like max performance. Included with the application you will find some of the most popular tasks and mode profiles. If they don’t suit your need you can always create your own. Profiles are simple to create and use. Just check what you want to turn on or off, and you’re done.


Usage Profile Configuration with AMD Fusion Utility for Desktops.

Thanks Wesley. You can download the Fusion Utility for Desktop here. I am using Fusion Utility for Desktops to control my settings for gaming and general use and I think it’s very useful!

If you haven’t thought of it already, you can also go and download the brand new ATI Catalyst 9.10 display drivers for Windows 7. The ATI Catalyst drivers are designed to help you get the most from ATI Radeon graphics, and there is a great blog on the new ATI Catalyst 9.10 drivers here.

And if you are reading all of this and thinking you need a new PC running Windows 7, I suggest you visit a retail shop and check out the new notebooks touting Vision technology from AMD, and AMD-based desktops at retail or online. Or if you need a holiday do-it-yourself project, you may want to build a custom desktop or a home theater PC, and we have great videos that can help you through the process.

This is the second in a three part series.

<<– Read Part 1 of the series So You’ve Got Windows 7, Now What?

* These utilities may disable security/antivirus software, or adversely affect your system. Review accompanying documentation carefully before installing.

Simon Solotko is a Senior Advanced Marketing Manager at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied

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