AMD responds to the controversial use of outdated benchmarks in China.

AMD responds to the controversial use of outdated benchmarks in China.

AMD’s Opteron 2222SE – A Benchmark Battle

AMD Opteron

Earlier today, I wrote up the news of AMD’s newest Opteron: the 3.0 Ghz 2222SE. This release brings fierce competition to the market as AMD goes head to head with Intel’s dual-core server-targeted processor, the Xeon 5160. But the story doesn’t end there – the battle is not just about the hardware, it’s also about benchmarking practices, integrity, and fair competition.

AMD vs Intel: Benchmarking Integrity

Competition between AMD and Intel has always been intense, and recently, it has become even more fervent. During a press conference, AMD’s senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Henri Richard, publicly criticized Intel for what he considered deceptive benchmarking practices. He accused Intel of using benchmark charts that unfairly painted AMD in a negative light.

Digging deeper into the issue, it became clear that AMD’s claims were not unfounded. Intel was indeed utilizing misleading benchmark charts, tarnishing AMD’s reputation. Richard demanded a change and pledged that AMD would become a benchmarking role model, setting an example for fair and accurate presentation of benchmark data.

However, it didn’t take long for AMD to stumble and contradict its own commitment. John Fruehe, the manager of worldwide Opteron market development at AMD, presented retired benchmarks during a slide presentation in Beijing, China. This action mirrored the very practices that AMD had accused Intel of.

The Dilemma of Benchmark Data Disclosure

In a conversation with Fruehe about the Opteron 2222SE, I raised the issue of whether using retired benchmarks was the right approach. During our discussion, Fruehe explained the challenges faced by a public company like AMD when it comes to releasing previously unpublished benchmark data. The company is bound by a quiet period enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before quarterly earnings announcements, restricting the release of certain material information.

While Fruehe acknowledged that he is not a lawyer, he recognized the importance of maintaining consistency and avoiding hypocrisy. Ultimately, he agreed that AMD should not be seen as “the pot calling the kettle black.”

The Need for Fair Benchmarking Practices

The benchmarking battle between AMD and Intel underscores the importance of fair competition and honest presentation of performance data. Both companies have a responsibility to provide accurate and meaningful information to consumers and enterprise customers. Deceptive benchmarking practices not only confuse the market but also undermine customer trust.

To ensure fair competition, it is essential for both AMD and Intel to adhere to a set of benchmarking guidelines. These guidelines should include using relevant and up-to-date benchmarks, avoiding retired benchmarks, and providing transparent methodologies for testing and comparison.

Conclusion

The release of AMD’s Opteron 2222SE and the ensuing benchmarking battle with Intel’s Xeon 5160 bring excitement and competition to the market. While AMD initially called out Intel for using deceptive benchmarking practices, it found itself in a similar predicament. This situation highlights the need for benchmarking integrity and fair competition in the technology industry.

As consumers and businesses, we rely on accurate benchmark data to inform our purchasing decisions. Companies like AMD and Intel must prioritize transparency, consistency, and honesty when presenting benchmark results. By doing so, they not only gain customer trust but also contribute to a healthier and more competitive market.

Audio Interview with John Fruehe

Video Interview with John Fruehe