AMD is preparing for an interesting event that combines two great American pastimes: pennant race baseball and DIY-style PC building.
Prior to the Sept. 9 game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park in San Francisco, the chip vendor is bringing in a group of PC and gaming experts to help train interested participants on how to build a cost-effective home PC or home theater PC.
The event, which will be held in Seals Plaza behind the centerfield gate, is scheduled to run from 3 to 5 p.m., prior to the 5:05 scheduled first pitch. Attendees will receive a free AMD A-Series accelerated processing unit and promotional offers from computer and electronics e-retailer Newegg.com.
AMD, which announced in June that it signed a multi-year agreement to be the Giants' official technology partner, expects about 500 to 600 attendees at the event. Tickets are still available through the Giants website.
It's an interesting idea. Admittedly, there is no natural tie in between a Major League baseball game and a PC-building workshop (though it doesn't hurt that the game is a crucial one between two longtime rivals who are currently fighting for first place late in the season).
According to Phil Hughes, an AMD spokesman, AMD expects the event will draw both DIY PC enthusiasts and average baseball fans who've never attempted to build their own PC. Hughes said the company is hoping for more of the latter.
The point of the event is to reinforce the idea that building a PC needn't seem as daunting as it might at first glance. With PC pricing what it is today, experts generally agree that building your own system isn't necessarily a way to save money. But it's just about the only way to customize a system exactly to your needs. And those who have done it say it is a very rewarding experience that makes using the PC all the better.
Kudos to the Giants because they've always been hip to their tech surroundings. Recall they wired up the stadium a few years ago for Wifi which everybody scoffed at then (can't live without now). New scoreboard, etc.
I'm sure a not-insignificant portion of their fan base works in the tech sector.
And for AMD, it's a smart hey-we're-still-alive event in front of a hip crowd.
Bottom line, what will make or break this day is whether we beat the Dodgers.
I also taught my boys how to build a PC when they were young, and by high school, they were building insane gaming machines and knew all the overclocking tricks. My oldest even had a refrigerator PC case for awhile that cooled the CPU to 0 C before booting!
Besides being a fun and educational father-son activity, it had other advantages. My oldest son always stayed informed about the latest graphics cards, etc., and was willing to put in the time to find the best online prices for each component -- so he became the PC builder for everyone in the family, including my own new machines.
I think on average, he could assemble a PC in about 30 minutes, and nearly half of that time was just connecting wires to header pins on the motherboard for things like HDD and Power On LEDs, front panel USB and audio jacks.
I don't think this marketing idea is too late, but I doubt it will make any difference in sales. Desktop PCs are still popular enough, especially with gamers, but I think the percentage of build-your-own PCs relative to total desktop PC sales is rather small.
I've been building PCs since the 1990's, now my oldest sons have followed suit by building their own gaming PCs. It's mostly integration, some electrical and mechanical assembly, and loading SW drivers plus your OS of choice.