AMD to retire the ATI brand

amdlogosAdvanced Micro Devices, better known by most as AMD, acquired graphics processor manufacturer ATI in 2006. The company was known best before the acquisition as the creator of the Rage and Radeon lines of computer graphics cards, and its tech provides the graphics processing power for the current-gen Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles. Under the new ownership, ATI has continued to deliver high-quality GPUs as one of the top competitors on the market (alongside NVIDIA).

Now AMD has announced its plans to kill off the ATI brand, thinq reports. The graphics cards themselves aren’t going anywhere, but AMD Radeon releases will no longer carry the ATI logo. The company cites the fact that there is a higher consumer awareness now of the AMD brand than ATI, basing the decision on polls conducted among “graphics-processor-aware consumers” in seven countries.

“We asked them straightforward awareness preference questions. It’s literally the standard battery of questions: Are you aware of this brand? Would you consider it? And then we ask a very specific form of a preference question,” AMD vice president of global corporate marketing John Volkmann told the site.

He then added that the “combination of AMD and Radeon actually proved to be a stronger combination than ATI and Radeon in the minds of processor-aware consumers, by a statistically significant amount” and that there was “a high correlation between knowledge of the merger between ATI and AMD and brand preference for AMD vis-à-vis Intel.”

“The sum total of those three things led us to believe that we in fact have permission to proceed in making a change from ATI to AMD, and that it was just a question of timing.”

While AMD’s earlier products will keep the ATI logo branding, upcoming releases — starting with the Radeon HD 6000-series — will now sport the new AMD Radeon logo. The same goes for the FirePro line. Partners will have a choice between displaying two logos, one with and one without the AMD branding (seen above).

Whether or not AMD’s finding that ATI is not as widely recognized anymore continues to be a question that knowledgeable consumers are asking. Fudzilla points out that “ATI has won more successful product rounds with graphics than AMD has with processors. It’s been a while since AMD has had dominance over Intel in this respect, and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change in the processor market until 2011.”

What do you PC gaming-savvy readers think? Is AMD making a smart move here in killing off the ATI brand? Does it even matter?