If you're a PC gamer with an Nvidia graphics card, you might use Nvidia's GeForce Experience to help you keep your drivers updated, to optimize the graphics settings for some of your games, or maybe even to stream to your Nvidia Shield handheld device.
If you're an AMD user, there's no longer a reason to feel left out! AMD has partnered with Raptr to offer a similar service for you. Raptr, in case you're unfamiliar, is a social network for gamers that lets you chat with friends via an overlay, as well as tracking your time and issuing rewards based on how much gaming you do.
The new product mixes the old Raptr client with some AMD magic dust to offer AMD Gaming Evolved. It does all the stuff Raptr did, plus it does that same graphics settings optimization for AMD users that the GeForce Experience does for Nvidia users.
Raptr and AMD apparently come at optimization from a different angle than Nvidia though. They (partially, at least) crowd source it. The FAQ says:
Along with expert testing of various CPUs, GPUs, and resolutions, The AMD Gaming Evolved App Powered by Raptr utilizes collaborative filtering from millions of PCs in Raptr's Cloud to determine the optimal settings for each configuration. The more the app is used while playing, the more data is collected and analyzed, and the better the recommendations become.
If you're not an AMD user, you can still get all the other Raptr benefits, including broadcasting your gameplay to Twitch.tv (a feature Rapt apparently slipped past me a few months ago), though it isn't immediately clear to me that the Gaming Evolved client offers anything to us Nvidia users that the standard Raptr client doesn't. I have an Nvidia graphics card and the optimization portion of Gaming Evolved said "This game does not yet have enough data from the AMD community to suggest optimal settings. Please check back soon." Whether that was due to my hardware or the fact that Gaming Evolved is brand new wasn't clear to me.
Anyway if you want to give the beta a try it's available at http://raptr.com/amd and do note that it will replace your existing Raptr client.
If you want to learn more, Engadget has a post up along with a full press release.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.