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Intel

Intel Funds AMD-bashing Report 340

Jim Norton writes "The Inqwell and ZDNet are reporting that the Aberdeen group, who recently published a report attacking the Athlon XP's processor rating system, was funded by Intel to produce the report. The articles also mention that AMD claims they were never contacted for information regarding this issue." From the benchmarks that various outfits have done on the new AMD chips, their model number is actually pretty conservative.
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Intel Funds AMD-bashing Report

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  • by Neck_of_the_Woods ( 305788 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:55AM (#3240596) Journal


    Microsoft funds for reports on Linux, Intel refunds for reports on AMD. I guess if you don't like someone you just pay someone off to blast your target. I was under the stupid impression that this kind of thing was sort of frowned on.

    I really don't know anywhere that would print something hostle just because it was pro one OS or the other...opss damn..nevermind.

    • frowned upon ??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @01:22PM (#3241980) Journal
      C'mon the only thing 'frowned' upon by a corporate world is getting caught, or failing to make a profit. Frowning on an act would indicate some remedial conscience or morals, and as we see everyday corporations have NONE. That is not to say the individuals that make up those corps are bad but if everyone 'just follows orders', Lemmings Inc. will be as dirty as they come.
      • Re:frowned upon ??? (Score:3, Informative)

        by shyster ( 245228 )
        Frowning on an act would indicate some remedial conscience or morals, and as we see everyday corporations have NONE.

        While you and I may believe that, evidently others do not.

        We allow corporations to donate [commoncause.org] soft money, thereby influencing the political process, probably more so than the votes. We even allow them to give favors [opensecrets.org] to candidates and politicians. They have property rights [encycogov.com], can invent [google.com], can author [randomhouse.com] creative works, can be exempted [cornell.edu] from laws, can buy [linuxjournal.com] other laws, can be sued [medialink.com], and can even sue [eyeticket.com] for wrongs done to it! In the meantime, we also award companies [business-ethics.com] for being "good corporate citizens"!

        For something that only exists on paper, and that has no morals, ethics, conscience, spirit or life...corporations sure do have a lot of corporate rights [iisd1.iisd.ca]. As if a they were "...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." [nara.gov].

  • by Chester K ( 145560 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:55AM (#3240599) Homepage
    And in other news, business as usual continued yet again today. Analysts continue to be shocked.
    • ya got it.

      Intel has taken a page from government officials. Many "reasearch" products are funded by governement officials.

      To the researcher getting this money is generally is better to give the results that the governement official wants to see rather then the truth. That way the researcher has a higher chance of being rehired since his/her results were liked.

      Business as usual is right, Intel just got caught.
  • PR Rating Stupidity (Score:5, Informative)

    by Syllepsis ( 196919 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:58AM (#3240613) Homepage
    When AMD released the Athlon XP 1800+, every reviewer on the planet ran a battery of benchmarks and concluded that for most applications, the XP 1800+ not only beat the P4 1800 MHz, but also the P4 2000 MHz.

    When AMD released the Athlon XP 1900+, every reviewer on the planet ran a battery of benchmarks and concluded that for most applications, the XP 1900+ not only beat the P4 1900 MHz, but also the P4 2000 MHz.

    When Intel released the Northwood 2000 and 2200 MHz P4s and AMD released the XP 2000+, every reviewer on the planet ran a battery of benchmarks and concluded that for most applications the XP 2000+ beat the P4 2.0A but could not quite beat the P4 2.2A

    Then when AMD released the XP 2100+, many reviewers concluded that it tied or beat the P4 2.2A, although I really think that the 2.2A has the edge.

    Based on this data, what really happened, what is really happening, and what disinterested parties seem to believe, I would conclude that the AMD PR Rating system provides a very nice comparison of Athlon performance relative to P4 performance at the clockspeed of the PR rating. Even though AMD says the rating is to compare the Athlon XP to other AMD products, it is incredible how well it scales athlon performance to the P4 performance at the clockspeed of the rating.

    Therefore, if I wished to buy a machine, as a general purpose user, I think the best way to compare prices would be to match the AMD PR Rating against the Intel P4 clockspeed.

    OTOH, comparing raw clockspeeds would give a false conclusion that an Athlon XP 2000+ would not outperform a P4 1.7 GHz. Sure, this is true if you plan on using Newtek Lightwave (where all P4s beat all Athlons), but for most tasks you would be horribly in error.

    It would seem fairly obvious, that for this point in time, and with the current set of processors available, for the user who uses a variety of applications, the consumer would be better informed by using the AMD rating system than by just about any other comparison (other than carefully studying a battery of 30 different benchmarks)

    However, there has been a flurry of criticism of the PR rating.

    As much as I hate to cheerlead corporations, I just have to yell...

    FUD!

    ...and anyone who disagrees with me is invited to study any of the following review sites:

    Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]
    Anandtech [anandtech.com]
    XBitLabs [xbitlabs.com]
    Sharky Extreme [sharkyextreme.com]
    Lost Circuits [lostcircuits.com]

    etc... etc... etc...
    • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @12:22PM (#3241555) Homepage Journal

      I might add, this is because some Lightwave portion of the rendering pipeline are heavily optimized for SSE2. The benchmarks on tom's hardware are flawed because he uses a scene that 95% of the calculations are SSE2-based (radiosity) and it's a known fact that it's heavily optimized (so it's clearly not a balanced scenario). If they'd use standard raytracing, you wouldn't see such a jump. In fact we use lightwave where I work, I am a lightwave fan since 2.0, and I've built up a renderfarm based on Dual XP athlon solution (with tigerMP and yes it works with bios 2.03). I don't even want to touch a dual P4 solution, clearly not a good bang for the buck even if it's faster in some (clearly not all) cases.

      Again, When you look at tom's benchmarks you tend to think like if the P4 would be almost 50% faster than AMD, when you'll render balanced stuff (which is most cases I've seen and besides, nobody will do a fully animated short with "radiosity" on, it takes forever to render, so you render 1 and use the "baking" function, so you revert to raytracing or standard rendering after that), the margin grows way thinner. When you calculate the costs, Intel is way out of range for price/performance. A lot of people told tom about his LW benchmark, but as usual, he didn't acknowledge nor changed his ways (there have been benchmark data available and howto's on the net for lightwave since 4.0 on multiple platform, he doesn't seem to want to follow the "standard" thus invalidating his work to the eyes of the LW community checking the benchmark numbers. But that's another story.
    • Based on this data, what really happened, what is really happening, and what disinterested parties seem to believe, I would conclude that the AMD PR Rating system provides a very nice comparison of Athlon performance relative to P4 performance at the clockspeed of the PR rating.

      Intel funded FUD or not, the thrust of the report is because the PR ratings are based on pseudo-objective measurements, they are ultimately confusing to buyers.

      Mhz might be a very poor buying consideration, but at least it's an objective number, unlike AMD's rating system. Thus AMD has put the informed buyer (such as yourself) in the position where you need to independently "conclude" whether it's fair or not. No matter what we all think about the P4 2.2A, we all conclude unanimously that it actually runs at ~2.2Ghz.

      Even someone like you who is informed and thinks highly of AMD CPUs have confused the PR Rating as a "Pentium Rating" -- it's actually (supposedly) a benchmark comparison with a 1Ghz K7 chip, not a Pentium 4.

      In practice though, AMD bumps up 66Mhz and adds 100 PR points every time. As you point out, everytime they do this, their lead at a particular "rating" becomes narrower over Intel. If I was them, I'd be very worried about the perception that they over-speced the PR numbers -- if the "2500+" chip benchmarks slower than a P4 2.5Ghz, they are going to be blasted to high heaven -- even it's supposedly not a directly comparsion.

      The other issue is that AMD is trying to make inroads into the server and workstation markets, and it's really questionable if "PR" ratings are needed there.
      • Intel funded FUD or not, the thrust of the report is because the PR ratings are based on pseudo-objective measurements, they are ultimately confusing to buyers.

        Mhz ratings are not only confusing, they are misleading.

        Mhz might be a very poor buying consideration, but at least it's an objective number, unlike AMD's rating system.

        AMD no doubt also have an objective formula that they use to acquire their PR rating. It's just a different one from the Mhz rating. Since Joe Sixpack doesn't really understand Mhz or AMDs rating system, both are equally arbitrary.

        Thus AMD has put the informed buyer (such as yourself) in the position where you need to independently "conclude" whether it's fair or not.

        No, he doesn't. The industry did most of the concluding for him. If the PR numbers were not fair, the press would have been howling about them.

        If I was them, I'd be very worried about the perception that they over-speced the PR numbers -- if the "2500+" chip benchmarks slower than a P4 2.5Ghz, they are going to be blasted to high heaven -- even it's supposedly not a directly comparsion.

        That's a risk that needs to be weighed against a policy of not using PR numbers.

        • Mhz ratings are not only confusing, they are misleading.

          Actually, what I would argue is misleading is the entire way that computers are sold to the Home/SOHO "Joe Sixpack" market. Wrapping up a "2000+" or "2.0 Ghz" CPU with cheap components, lowspec memory, and some doodads and marketing it as a high end system is the real point of confusion. I think we all know that a much lower-clocked system could beat most of the stuff you find at retail. Both AMD and Intel are playing that game rather than trying to improve the situation.

          For the corporate markets however, Mhz isn't as imporant as everyone's making out, and that's where AMD really needs to grow. Yet their PR scheme is causing some level of confusion and distrust among semi-informed customers. As you point out, it's risky marketing.
        • Mhz ratings are not only confusing, they are misleading.

          Not only are you correct, but I should like to point out that there are large numbers of average joes who don't even know what a megahurtz rating means. To them, it really isn't anything concreate or objective, it's just a number. If it were implicitly communicated to them that this rating was a measurment of speed, and then they bought a computer which had a higher mhz than another computer only to later see this computer perform more slowly than the other, they would feel deceived. Or at least stupid.

          C//
      • In practice though, AMD bumps up 66Mhz and adds 100 PR points every time

        In other words, they lie.

        This is why I absolutely hate PR rating schemes. They are arbitrarily set by the chip's manufacturer. Although they usually set them to what they deem a "fair" rating, they often bump the ratings up like this.

        I'm a junior studying electrical engineering, and I'm taking a processor architecture class this semester. So I know about the design issues that lead to the perceived need for PR ratings. But that doesn't bypass the fact that PR ratings sell processors as things that they are not. No, AMD isn't marketing their Athlon 2000+ as a 2000 MHz chip, but many computer stores do sell them that way (I have seen this personally, so yes it does happen). You don't help your customers by lying to them.

        Why is it not reasonable to *gasp* expect consumers to have enough smarts to realize that processors made by one company will not perform the same as those made by another company? Just sell the XP2000+ processors as 1600 MHz chips (or whatever the hell they run at), and say that they are "roughly equivalent to 2000 MHz Pentium 3." Heck, this way, customers would start to realize on their own that AMD processors are better. But using misleading PR ratings isn't going to help AMD one bit.

        Lest you think I'm just bashing AMD, let me repeat my point that AMD processors are indeed better. My current system is a 1.2 GHz Thunderbird (sold as 1.2 GHz, not some stupid bloated PR number) overclocked to 1.4 GHz. According to SiSoft Sandra, its PR is 1875. But I would have been very pissed if I was being sold a 1.9 GHz processor and found out that it only ran at 1.4 GHz.
        • Bah... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Danse ( 1026 )

          MHz can be just as misleading as the PR numbers. As I'm sure you're aware, there's a lot more that goes into CPU performance than just the MHz speed. You have to take the whole architecture into consideration. So, until and unless an objective, independent, accurrate benchmark (or set of benchmarks) is agreed upon by CPU manufacturers, I don't fault either of them for choosing to advertise in a way that is beneficial to them. While it might seem reasonable to expect people to understand that an Athlon can perform as well as a higher-clocked Pentium, consumers really don't understand anything except which number is higher, nor are they interested in learning. Sales people don't want to deal with it either. It makes them look like they're trying to hustle the customer. I think the PR ratings are pretty accurate, and even err on the conservative side. I don't see any foul here.

        • No, AMD isn't marketing their Athlon 2000+ as a 2000 MHz chip, but many computer stores do sell them that way (I have seen this personally, so yes it does happen). You don't help your customers by lying to them.

          OK then, whine at the computer stores. You said it yourself - AMD is not trying to tell you it's a 2000 MHz chip. They are trying to tell you it runs at least as fast as a 2000 MHz chip from another vendor.

          According to SiSoft Sandra, its PR is 1875. But I would have been very pissed if I was being sold a 1.9 GHz processor and found out that it only ran at 1.4 GHz.

          Assume for a moment that you have no way to measure the actual GHz of a processor. Why would you care about the GHz number anyway? It's just a number. Do you have any idea how many factors go into the speed of a system besides the clock rate of the CPU pipeline? If you see a bunch of CPUs on a shelf, labeled "1400", "1500", "1900" - why does it matter if those are GHz or some other rating system determined by the manufacturer?

          While you're at it, why don't you whine about Intel selling chips clocked at 600 MHz but "forgetting" to tell you that the on-chip L2 cache only runs at 300 MHz? Isn't that equally deceptive? Or, from another viewpoint, equally irrelevent?

          • If you see a bunch of CPUs on a shelf, labeled "1400", "1500", "1900" - why does it matter if those are GHz or some other rating system determined by the manufacturer?

            Because customers assume that all manufacturers use the same system (which, for clarity, they should). They assume AMD uses the commonplace MHz rating scheme, but AMD instead uses a misleading PR scheme.
      • for example somone could buid a core with a internal clock reducer (like the FPU in VIAs Winchip cum CIII), so even though a chip for all intensive purposes hase a external clock of 2ghz, if it has a reducer isnide that knocks it in half (like the CIII FPU), its really running a 1ghz. Now if AMD did this with a internal 1/4 reducer they could match the Intel clock & performance wise, would you be happy then.

        Or one could build a chip with a long pipeline, so when it runs at 2ghz it performs like a 1ghz chip
      • Mhz might be a very poor buying consideration, but at least it's an objective number, unlike AMD's rating system.

        I know! Let's just use the weight of the chip! That's an objective number! "Athlon 1.1 Gram" etc.

        It's just about as meaningful as MHz comparisions between unrelated processor architectures ...

    • Just look at what they did for Cyrix!

      Oh... erm... wait a minute...
  • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:59AM (#3240624)
    I really have to shake my head in amazement that Intel of all things would do such a report in the first place.

    People already know that thanks to the vastly more modern CPU core, the AMD Athlon CPU core on a true per MHz basis is way faster than any Intel CPU. The proof of the pudding is this: the current AMD Athlon XP 2100+ running at 1,733 MHz actually out-performs the Pentium 4 running at 2,200 MHz on several benchmark tests, and of course the AMD CPU is quite a bit less expensive, too.

    I think the report was done as a pre-emptive strike against the upcoming AMD Thoroughbred CPU's, which should be out very soon.
    • "People already know that thanks to the vastly more modern CPU core, the AMD Athlon CPU core on a true per MHz basis is way faster than any Intel CPU."

      I would like to inject "Technical" in the beginning of your statement. You and I might know.

      You ask the general John Doe which is faster, and AMD 1900 or an Intel 2000 and they will answer more times then not the Intel is. Most others would ask whether Dell or Gateway makes them.

      Another example (older, but still) an Intel 486 DX4/100 or a Pentium 60?

      So when reports like this come out, people do believe them.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I wouldn't really say that AMDs core is "vastly more modern". BOTH are very modern. In fact, architecture-wise, Intel's is more modern. It has trace caches, better branch prediction, etc. AMD on the other hand has continued just making bigger as better. They show that this is working though.

      The two processors are built on a different (micro)instruction set. AMD's micro-ops lead to a lower CPI (cycles per instruction) than Intel's. This is why they introduced this whole rating system.
    • You were actually shocked by this? I switched to AMD years ago when Intel first started buying off reviewers, reporters, & analysts to preach their gospel of Intel superiority to AMD...

      In some things they were right way back when (K6 days, though the K6 made a much much better bussiness or light server system). But they've kept up regardless of whether they are actually right or not...
      • However, the AMD K6 CPU's were hampered by the limitations of the Socket 7 design and the fact that the FPU unit on the K6 wasn't really that great.

        Because the Athlon borrowed a lot of technology from DEC (specifically the very fast EV6 CPU bus), the result was a vastly superior CPU. I still am impressed by the fact that except for programs that really take advantage of Intel's SSE2 extensions, the current Athlon XP CPU's are more than competitive with the Pentium 4.

        I'm going to watch with interest what AMD does with the new 0.13 micron process Thoroughbred Athlon CPU's. Don't be surprised that AMD does incorporate an on-die L2 cache of 512 KB eventually, just like what Intel did with their current 0.13 micron process Northwood Pentium 4's.
  • by prisoner ( 133137 )
    any episode of "Law and Order" or any other court show - once the horse has left the barn it's too late to all but the most informed. "So, Mr. defendant, you remember trying to stuff an Intel PentiumPro up his butt!!" Objection!! but it's too late. The Jury has already heard it. This report is no different. You will read about how bogus this report may/may not be somewhere on the web but I'll hear from my customers that they saw a report saying that AMD chips are slow/prone to failure/catch on fire/whatever.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Everyone who tried an Athlon can confirm it's superiority to Intel's model line (even with AMD's stupid numbering), but the point is, the chipsets for Athlons are mainly crap. All AMD Athlon chipsets were fine, but most boards out there are sold with VIA chipsets which lead to lots of problems. Lots of people tell me they have problems and don't want any more Athlons, and don't realize at first that their problems were all related to the chipset. The same goes for notebooks. Intel has a good chipset solution, Amd doesn't.

    So if anyone at AMD reads this: PLEASE MAKE SOME CHIPSETS, and I promise you, you'll sell more Athlons.
    • I would agree that the earlier VIA chipsets for AMD CPU's were not exactly great, but VIA has redeemed itself with the excellent VT266A chipset that properly supports DDR-SDRAM.
    • 1. Intel chipsets are not very shiny either. BX was the last great chipset. Some 815-s are kind'a OK as long as you do not use all features, but overall current Intel chipsets are not as good as HX, BX and GX used to be.

      2. Many problems are located in a pat of the chipset, more specifically in the case of most AMD mainboards this is VIA attempt at IDE. Via since the Apollo mainboards for Pentium 1 and K5 has always had problems implementing a decent IDE. If you are using linux you can simly get around this by buying a CMD649U based controller. They are usually frowned upon because of the multiple bugs in 640, but current ones are brilliant. I have used them for years on both Intel and Alpha and they solve most of the issues with having a VIA based Mainboard.Same goes for sound and network if present. In other words just ignore the Via peripherals and buy proper ones.
    • This might have been something other than FUD even a year ago, but since the 266A chipset, I think Athlon platforms took the lead in this area too. Please read up on this widely-available news.
    • Speaking of chipsets, until quite recently I was very disappointed that I could not get an Athlon based system with PCI that was 64 wide @ 66 MHz, where you could get an Intel system that way.

      From where I sit: I buy AMD for home use and have been pretty happy with the chips, but the mobos and cooling fans in my system have not been as reliable as I would like.

      Meanwhile, at work, they buy Dells time after time for their proven reliability. Never mind that the price/performance ratio is atrocious, especially after you factor in the cost of the RDRAM that is frequently part of the Intel based systems.

      If AMD wants a bigger slice of the corporate market, it should really look hard into partners that don't shove their chips into "cost-conscious" MOBOs at every turn.

    • Yes, the next computer I buy, I'll spend a lot more time evaluating the mother board/chipset than the chip. I mean, when you're talking about the speeds these days, everything has to be just so.

      Alas, when Joe Sixpack shops for a machine, the question is always "How fast is it?" (Where "fast" means raw CPU clock speed.)

      I've certainly had no problems with my Athlon 600. My Cyrix "166" occasionally had an iffy, but defintely kicked a Pentum 133's butt. Going back a ways, the NEC V20 wasn't that much faster than an 8088, but really improved disk transfers and graphics.

      AMD's numbering is stupid, but so's it Intel's raw clock speed.

  • by Geek In Training ( 12075 ) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [893bc]> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:06AM (#3240677) Homepage
    Personally, I've been running an Athlon XP 1600+ (1400MHz) since the month the processor was released. It spanks my friend's P4 1.7GHz hands down, both in the "gaming benchmark" department, as well as the "look and feel" of the system during use. One unfair advantage I have, though, is that my system was built with 512 megs of DDR RAM, and he has the same amount in PC133. DDR support for the P4 is a "recent" development compared with the Athlon platform.

    I mean, let's face it... if you're building a system (which I'm sure many of us here do), how can you beat a $52 ECS K7S5A from NewEgg, coupled with a $120 Athlon XP 1700+ processor (boxed with heatsink and 3 year warranty), versus $100 for a P4 mobo and $165 for the processor? Even the MHz disparity between the rating and the actual clock is lost in price/performance comparisons.

    The only people buying Intel are big OEMs and end users who still haven't given up the idea that AMD is an "incompatible clone processor." (Yes, some of these clueless folks still exist, brainwashed by marketeers during the K5 days.)

    Intel is clearly running scared on the news that AMD has taken nearly thirty percent of the desktop x86 processor sales market. Their monopoly is in jeopardy; so quick! let's buy some negative press for the competition.

    (Full disclosure: I own stock in neither company, and run both platforms at home: AMD and Intel.)

    • Intel is clearly running scared on the news that AMD has taken nearly thirty percent of the desktop x86 processor sales market. Their monopoly is in jeopardy; so quick! let's buy some negative press for the competition.

      If AMD's share is really thirty percent, then you may need to stop calling Intel a monopoly. Buying negative press also tends to blow up in your face.

      (Full disclosure: I may own small amounts of stock in either or both companies; I don't really know.)
    • Actually ESC K7S5A is a pretty lousy board.

      Decent K7 board like Epox 8KHA+ is going to cost you about a 100$.

      And don't buy motherboards without warranty. If you get a motherboard from the web and it brakes, don't expect manufecturer to replace it. Most of motherboard manufacturers have warranty agreements with recellers not users.

      But I digressed.

      So you buy 100$ mobo for K7 and 100$ mobo for P4. You buy 120$ XP1700+ and 135$ P4 1.6A.

      You clock your XP1700+ to XP2000+ (which doesn't always work), and you clock 1.6A to 2.2A (which almoust always works).

      Now the price of the systems is almoust identical but 1.6A clocked to 2.2A runs cooler and faster.

      Who do you choose?

      It used to be that K7 systems have an edge against P4s but not anymore. The only thing that's left in K7s favour is mature DDR chipset IMHO, but Intel will catch up soon. But then, there's Hammer coming down the road. Very interesting time.

      Intel is very competitive, do not forget it. They wouldn't be in this business otherwise
      • Intel gives big price breaks to OEMs for large quantities. On the open market, AMD is a much more valuable buy.

        And with respect to your overclocking claims... I do overclock video cards, and I used to overclock Celerons. 333 runs at 500; 600 runs at 900, etc. But look at overclocking an Athlon, where you connect the L1 bridges and choose a multiplier (and voltage) in the BIOS.

        What do you do with a P4? You typically can't change the multiplier; you have to set the FSB way up. And since you're doing that, you're generally changing your memory clocks, AGP and PCI bus speeds. Oh and you'll probably end up modding your mobo to increase the DDR voltage settings.

        How many people are going to do that?

        PS _ I stand by my "lousy board," the ECS K7S5A. It may be inexpensive, but everyone's performance and stability tests, it comes out *just* behind the
        VIA 266A. I've had mine for six months with no issue, and I have on-Board 100baseT.

        And I can put a GeForce4 Ti 4600 in it, UNLIKE the Epox board! :P

  • Missing the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptainAlbert ( 162776 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:12AM (#3240715) Homepage
    AMD and Intel can argue for as long as they like about whose benchmarks are rigged, but it doesn't change the fact that, in the end, they are just that - benchmarks. They bear absolutely no resemblence to real life performance whatsoever. In the end, it doesn't matter what the graphs say or who claims to be faster that whom.

    If you're going to start sueing people for misleading the public into buying products by presenting them with misleading data, then any hardware or software vendor who uses a benchmark in their marketing literature should be prosecuted.

    The hierarchy is thus: lies, damned lies, statistics... benchmarks. :)
    • Re:Missing the point (Score:4, Informative)

      by larien ( 5608 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:17AM (#3240748) Homepage Journal
      Benchmarks prove whose processor is the fastest at running benchmarks...

      That said, a well written benchmark can give a guide to relative performance, and it's hard to argue that a quake 3 benchmark isn't measuring "real world" performance in 3D gaming (although the incident with ATi was a bit of an embarressment).

    • by Geek In Training ( 12075 ) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [893bc]> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:24AM (#3240792) Homepage
      The hierarchy is thus: lies, damned lies, statistics... benchmarks.

      This is true for proprietary benchmarks run by companies against their own products.

      But for benchmarking apps developed by third parties and used by fourth parties to compare and review hardware, I don't think this rings true. Things like Q3bench (which checks real-world performance by running timedemos) and MadOnion 3DMark (which tests graphics capabilities and performance in various areas) are very handy for testing video cards by review sites.

      I mean, a lot of people have used Prime95 and RC5-64 clients to review processors over the past four years, since they are so CPU-intensive. (Er, they take 100% of available CPU cycles.) Therefore, you can judge how well certain processors can handle certain types of operations by seeing how many blocks they can crunch in an hour.

      The problem is that certain apps are going to run better on certain processors because of a harmony between the processor design and the heavily-used commands in the app. Like the fact that a G4 (with Velocity Engine! er, AltiVec unit)will totally spank a P4 twice its clockspeed in RC5.

      So the *good* reviewers out there run a battery of tests, including graphics, processor-intensive apps, memory-intesive apps, etc. to get a good, holistic representation of performance. They can then replicate that battery of tests on other hardware to compare performance with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

      If a company says, "We used our own IntelMark tests to determine that we are the fastest processor ever," that's marketing crap. If [H]ardOCP says "We ran the P4 and the Athlon XP though 58 tests developed by third parties, and here are the results:" ... I think you can use those numbers for educating yourself before making a purchase with some degree of confidence.

    • AMD and Intel can argue for as long as they like about whose benchmarks are rigged, but it doesn't change the fact that, in the end, they are just that - benchmarks. They bear absolutely no resemblence to real life performance whatsoever. In the end, it doesn't matter what the graphs say or who claims to be faster that whom.

      Indeed. If you ever are buying any high-end hardware, you will typically get competing vendors to participate in a bake-off. They will both make hardware comparable to what you want to buy available (possibly they will lend it to you, more likely they will invite you on site or to send them your binaries and some instructions) and then you compare them for exactly what you want to do. Benchmarks are good for marketing headlines to establish that the vendor is in the ballpark, but no-one would make a purchasing decision based on them alone.
    • Not quite right; you just need to read the reports right. For example, Kernel compile times are not a sythetic benchmark. Encoding a 10-minute .wav file into .mp3 with LAME is not a sythetic benchmark. Neither is the encoding time for converting a MPEG-2 movie to DivX5. These are all things that many of us actually do on our computers, and sit there waiting for them to finish.

      Sure, there are absolutely meaningless benchmarks, like whether you can get 181 or 197 FPS in your Quake3. Even good monitors cannot refresh faster than 150 times per second, so this really is beside the point. But it's not quite fair to act like these online speed tests don't teach us anything relevant to normal use of our machine.

  • by Neck_of_the_Woods ( 305788 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:12AM (#3240718) Journal
    Seems that the guys over at ID software have been the paying Gamespot to benchmark Quake and Unreal.

    "It seems they have tained the pure nature of our business by funding this research into frag count. It is just, low down and dirty" said on game that refused to be identified. This is the latests in a long string of rumors about funding benchmarking test by game companies.

    The issue at heart is frag count, the dismemberment of your pray or enemy in the 3d first person shooters. "Dude, just because that artical had some lame ass gimps playing the tester and he was able to blast some ass chunks all down the air duct does not mean that that aging Hexen is a better frag fest than Quake. I got some guys at work that can't strife, it is like taking candy from a baby." spat G-spotkilla from his cubical at a trendy NY base marketing company.

    Probing for the female veiw I asked G-spotkilla's cube mate, code name HelloKitty her view on this whole thing "You know, G-spotkills is just a little gimp. He could not hit you with a sniper rifle at 30 feet let alone a g-spot!". Well it turns out she had not read the artical but she was hot, so I printed her concerns.

    It seems no matter what people just don't believe the media anymore. G-spotkilla was last heard running down the hall screaming something about toenail polish and gravity problems that "Just don't work like that man!"

  • If this were on fark.com, it would have an obvious tag.
    I suppose if your more expensive, inferior product can't compete 1:1 with its competitor, you have to resort to something like this.

    Although this appears to be a flamebait (intel's move, and yes, to an extent, my article), I think that the intel move is fairly irrelevant considering intel has a crapload of the market (i.e. OEM, businesses, etc) and it doesn't look like HPaq / IBM, etc will be switching to AMD.

    Tho I have one thing positive to say about the p4, small chip, big ass heat sink, tres cool. If intel wants to increase its market share into the
    "geek" community, sell a 4 lb copper heatsink w/ a window / light kit mounted on the chip :)
    of copper on em, along with a window kit
  • HardOCP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rosewood ( 99925 ) <rosewood@@@chat...ru> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:18AM (#3240753) Homepage Journal
    Since I can not link directly to this article I will quote Kyle from HardOCP.com - and as of 8:18 CST March 28th, this can still be found on the Front Page of www.hardocp.com.

    I just off the phone with the fine folks over at AMD and was discussing the issues over the Aberdeen Group white paper. Aberdeen, if you are unfamiliar with them, claims to be a Market Analysis company. If this is all new to you, please visit the InqWell as well as ZDNet on this issue.

    There are two situations in this issue that are fun to look at. If you go read the white paper entitled AMD's Gigahertz Equivalency: Inexperienced Buyers Accept Bad Science, published here (and you will have to sign up) you will notice that Aberdeen uses flawed logic to pick on AMD's model numbering system of their CPUs.

    Nevertheless, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) last year deliberately took a step down a slippery slope of bad science when it named its Athlon XP line of microprocessor models with clock-speed gigahertz ratings equivalent to Intel's competing Pentium 4 (P4), based on a set of application
    benchmarks audited by Arthur Andersen and fully described in AMD vs. Intel comparisons at AMD's Web site.

    And then..

    What's the flaw in AMD's equivalency ratings? There are many discussed in this Aberdeen Executive White Paper. The key flaw is that the equivalency rating is a snapshot in a moment in time -- and time surely marches on in the computer industry -- making the gigahertz equivalency subject to increasing variance over time. For example, the AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor announced last fall runs at 1.667 GHz. The 2000+ equivalency rating is aimed at Intel's P4 2.0 GHz Willamette processor.

    Aberdeen seems clueless that the basis for AMD's model numbering system is a comparison to their own TBird core CPUs and the speed they would have to run to be equivalent to a Palomino core CPU in performance. Seems as though Aberdeen did not even contact AMD in order to better understand the exact subject they were commenting on.

    The other part of this situation is this. It is now being rumored that Intel paid for the white paper.

    But the INQUIRER learned from Intel this morning that it paid for the report to be written, which certainly puts a different complexion on the thrust of the piece. Intel maintains, however, that fact doesn't affect the objectivity of the Aberdeen Group's findings. Cough.

    While I have no idea of the validity of this claim, I will tell you this. I think of all of these "market analysis" companies as no more than paid mouthpieces of the hardware industry. Some are scumbags that make a living off taking a product and making it look good to distributors and consumers. They are spinmeisters looking for a buck and will spin their "truths" to support their clients needs. If you think market analysis companies are in this hardware industry to make sure that you, the consumer, get the truth, you are sadly mistaken. Is this to say all anylysts bad and are always wrong? Of course not, but I give them about as much credibility as a 4th grader with a Geocities site. At least the 4th grader most likely has purer motives.

    I think it was one of these industry analysts that referred to sites such as our own as "homebrewed" and that we bascially did not deserve the voice that we have in the hardware community. I guess even we piss off the analysts when we uncover the truth that does not agree with their spin.

    Anyway, this is all my opinion and subject to just flat being wrong but there is one thing I will tell you for sure and that is that the hardware industry has a nasty underbelly just about like every other industry in this world.

    UPDATE: From the cards and letters we have gotten on this subject everyone seems to be missing the point of my little diatribe posted above. The rating methodology wars are over in my mind, and have been for a long time now as Aberdeen is way late to this party. The opinion I want you know about analyst companies is that they are simply all bought and paid for and expected to spin the agenda of their client.

    Also, Intel did share with us tonight that they did finance the Aberdeen research into the AMD rating system.

    As long as you guys are smart enough to form your own opinions and thoughts, which most of your are, just make sure you don't let these "analyst" companies shape your opinions as some are nothing more than a PR company that runs a couple of benchmarks. In this case Aberdeen based their entire opinion on BABPCo Sysmark 2001 and Quake III numbers.

    You guys would hunt me down and whip my ass if I ever gave you a review based on that little data.
    • based on a set of application benchmarks audited by Arthur Andersen

      Does this strike anyone as a funny thing to advertise?

      • Why does anyone even trust Aberdeen reports? They're just a marketing company. You pay them money and then they write you a favorable report in proportion to the amount of money you give them. So who reads this crap anyway?
  • by Hnice ( 60994 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:20AM (#3240763) Homepage
    In my early-morning haze, that's how this headline reached my cortex. You can imagine how disappointed I am right now.
  • by cOdEgUru ( 181536 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:21AM (#3240772) Homepage Journal
    Intel :

    Pros :

    Stability - Rip out the CPU fan, these would still run till kingdom come.
    Heat Dissipation - As explained above, its above par than AMD cpus
    Research - Constantly comes up with new technology. For e.g. AGP Pro and improvements to Chipset comes to mind.

    Cons :

    FUD - Like to propogate FUD about competitors. Hence I have no sympathy towards them when they cry wolf at Microsoft.
    Speed - If you look beyond the constant Mhz bumping is what they all been doing..

    AMD - The Underdogs (Obviously a Slashdot fave because of the same fact :) )

    Pros :

    Speed - Raw RAW SPEED!!!.. Enough said. Whoops Intels ass on a wide range of benchmarks.

    Cons :

    Stability - Needs improvement. But then again, if you have a decent CPU fan and if you are not too keen on Overclocking, then you are good.

    Chipset Issues - Quite obvious. AMD needs to improve on this.

    Heat Dissipation - Stories about guys making scrambled egg on the CPU are not exaggerated.
    • by BlackSol ( 26036 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:33AM (#3240839)
      You missed the biggest point: Cost/performance.

      AMD chips have been shown over and over again to provide greater performance at less cost than Intel.

    • Speed - Raw RAW SPEED!!!.. Enough said. Whoops Intels ass on a wide range of benchmarks

      Yup...and when I need a machine for benchmarks, I'll go AMD :)

      But beyond benchmarks, looking more at real-world uses, off the top of my head you have
      Flasking a DVD
      MP3 Encoding
      Lightwave
      3DS Max

      Right now, most benchmarks put AMD ahead in the MP3 and 3DSMax render/encode times. The P4's are ahead in the LW and DVD times - because those apps have been written/optimized for the P4.

      I'm not sure if 3dsmax 4.2 w/ performance pack (ie - p4 optimizations) will push that in Intel favor. And I'm betting that more and more stuff will start coming out "Intel Optimized" (gee...a new logo for boxes?)

      For the average end user who just wants a computer to e-mail, play games, etc... AMD is much better bang for the buck.
      • Lightwave used to be an AMD benchmark til Intel funded their 'development' of 'optimizations'... Flask with optimized executables for both cpu's still shows AMD trailing by only a couple points, with non-optimized executables the Athlon wins...

        Intel is just realizing that they can fund their way into supremecy by heavy optimization for their systems alone...

        AMD is still the champ for power users as well... I know an entire forum of people with OC'ed Athlon's competing to see who can get their system running the fastest... a Athlon XP @ 2 Ghz (not to uncommon) can beat an OCed P4 Northwood @ 2.6 Ghz (somewhat uncommon) in almsot all benches...
        • The question is - how much optimization can Intel force down everyones throats?

          If everything is eventually Intel optimized, then the fact that AMD wins with non-optimized becomes a non-point.

          But one thing you said brings up a good point:
          shows AMD trailing by only a couple points

          Most of the graphs may show bars for AMD being twice as big as Intel or vice-versa. However, a lot of the benchmarks, the graphs may cover a rang of 10 points like from 270-280, with Intel at 271 and AMD at 279. So an 8 point difference looks huge.

          I dunno...I'm sticking wtih my PII for now :)
    • If AMD made most of their own chipsets for their cpu's then you could ciritize their chipset issues... But they don't 3rd parties make their own athlon/DUron supporting chipsets based on specs AMD gives them... If they don't live up to those specs then AMD isn't at fault. AMD's own chipsets have been very stable overall with less erratia than Intel's average chipsets...

      As for Intel's 'R&D'... LOL, Intel has been lossing ground in the only way we have of evaluating this.... AMD has outpaced them in this area consistantly for the last 4 years now! Not to mention AMD's open standards (such as 3dnow!) compared to Intel's restricted 'standards' (such as SSE)... There are more examples, but please... This being listed as a positive aspect of Intel is laughable...

      & please, please, stop spreading that FUD about AMD chips running so hot that it can't loose it's HSF or it will just instantly die is such complete & utter crap... It just needs to die... I have (more than once) accidently not had my fan powered up for a number of reasons (like forgetting to reconnect the power cable to it, etc. during an upgrade). Has my cpu died? No. Sure in my case I had a heatsink on it, but please we haven't been able to not have fans on cpu's since the early 486 days... I've started up my Athlon system, booted the OS, proceeded to use my PC for hours, & even played UT! with out my fan running... Eventually playing UT (not anything else) caused a bios screen to pop-up stating the cpu was exceeding it's maximum temp specified in bios & the system would now shutdown...

      Please reasearch before posting...
    • Stability - Rip out the CPU fan, these would still run till kingdom come.

      This is the biggest pile of shit ever to come out of the Intel fanboys. Let's get the story right: Intel CPUs cannot run without a CPU & heat sink. If you are so sure that it will, why don't you try it on your pentium 4?

      Now I want to preempt replies from morons who will point out the Tom's video. I saw it. The heat sink and fan were removed for 2 seconds and subsequently put back. There is simply no way you can run pentium 4 without HS & fan for an extended period of time.

      Speaking of which, I do not understand Tom's point. Heat sinks & fans do not spontaneously "fall off". But that's anoter rant altogether...

    • You're probably just thinking of the Tom's Hardware video, which only demonstrates that the Thunderbirds and the earliest Athlon 4's don't have proper overheating control without special support from the motherboard. The heat dissipation issue is just a myth. A P3/P4 of equivalent performance to an Athlon (TB or XP) will produce about the same amount of heat.

      Check the chip specs at Intel's and AMD's web site, if you don't believe.

      Also, if the fan dies, there is more than enough time for the motherboard or even a temperature monitor program to realize the situation and shut down before it's too late. I've personally stopped the CPU fan on my TB-1333 for up to 15 seconds and the temperature didn't rise more than a few degrees C, still well below the safety limits. Additionally, a P3 would *not* happily run until the end of the world if you ripped out the fan, but it would probably graciously freeze rather than overheat.
  • by Gary Yngve ( 416254 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:23AM (#3240786)
    SPEC [specbench.org]

    see the 1st quarter 2002 results for CPU2000
  • by olympus_coder ( 471587 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:29AM (#3240812) Homepage
    We use dual processor machines to run simulations (particle physics). We have 3 dual 1.7gig Xeon/RDRAM setups and several 1800+ MP/DDR setups. The 1800+ setups will complete the same amount of work as the xeons in 75% of the time! I thought they were better, but I didn't think they were that much better. That is a 1.53gig machine completeing the same work as a 1.7 gig machine (with faster memmory) in 75% of the time.

    Our application, as you can imagine, is very floating point intensive.
  • I use Athalons, Pentiums, MIPS and PowerPC machines routinely and all these CPU benchmarks being pushed around mean absolutely nothing except in direct comparison to other CPU's in identical motherboards with identical RAM, hard drives, bus speeds etc etc etc... with overall performance depending upon RAM controllers, amount of cache and its integration and control, and OS latency among other reasons. For instance, if one were to examine the bandwidth of the different bus designs one would see that Athalon XP's with a 200Mhz bus and DDR DRAM push about 700 MB per second whereas the P4 designs can more than double that for the simplest of operations. However, sustained activity for the P4 is actually lower than the Athalon, perhaps 600 MB per second revealing why slower P3's can actually outperform the latest P4's.

    As an aside, the latest G4's from Apple typically move around 1000 MB per second sustained and can push even faster when using Altivec. Why Intel did not go after Apple, Motorola, IBM, Sun, and MIPS with their FUD about clock speeds I don't know. This whole thing was probably started by someone in marketing.
  • by unsinged int ( 561600 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:56AM (#3240977)
    From the ZDNet article:

    AMD's insistence on IPC is also misguided, Dunford says, since the Pentium chip has to execute fewer instructions than the Athlon XP.

    Okay, they've got to be referring to the fact Athlons are really a CISC-to-RISC architecture that translates the x86 instructions into an internal RISC ISA. One CISC instruction would typically correspond to more than one RISC instruction, so yes, it would be executing more RISC instructions than a Pentium would execute CISC instructions...but this is deceptive.

    I'm a user running a program who wants the program to finish ASAP. To me, the processor is a black box that takes instructions from my program and does whatever it needs to so the program finishes ASAP. As a user I DO NOT CARE that it changes to RISC internally. All I care about is it executing my program, which is a set of CISC instructions. If you run the same program on an Athlon and a Pentium they will both execute the same number of CISC instructions...they have to...otherwise one of them is not correct. So as long as the IPC number AMD is using is in terms of number of CISC instructions per cycle, they certainly do have a valid comparison and are not misguided as this guy says.
    • If you run the same program on an Athlon and a Pentium they will both execute the same number of CISC instructions...they have to...otherwise one of them is not correct. So as long as the IPC number AMD is using is in terms of number of CISC instructions per cycle, they certainly do have a valid comparison and are not misguided as this guy says.

      You are ignoring the fact that many CPU-intensive programs are optimised separately for Athlon vs P4. Vendors often use MMX, SSE, SSE2, and 3DNow! instructions to speed up critical algorithms. The P4 doesn't support 3DNow! and the Athlon doesn't support SSE2.

      (OT: Even when a CPU does support a specific extension package, it may or may not provide a benefit. You'll see this if you dig into the internals of the Linux software RAID code, specifically RAID5. A RAID5 array stores not only your disk data but also one copy of "parity" information, which must be tediously calculated for all blocks of all disk writes. Ingo Molnar wrote several RAID 5 parity implementations for MMX etc, and at boot time, the code takes a couple seconds to automatically benchmark which is the fastest for the current CPU. It turns out that (if I remember correctly) the 3DNow! version isn't used on the K6-2 since, oddly enough, the code written for non-MMX Pentium is faster. The 3DNow! code is used on the Athlon, though.)

  • by nlh ( 80031 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @11:02AM (#3241024) Homepage
    I ran a software company for a few years, and we had many run-ins with Aberdeen. These guys are a total farse -- they've got this absolutely beautiful office in downtown Boston, and they try to make it very clear as soon as you sit down with them that "we're not for sale -- we're an honest analyst firm".

    But, of course, as soon as you actually talk to them they launch into a huge sales pitch and basically admit that if you become a client, they'll write whatever you want for whoever you want.

    This, as it happens, is not totally unlike other analyst firms (heck, it IS their business), however other firms do a much better job of mixing the for-hire stuff and the real-deal analyst work (i.e. Gartner, Yankee, Tower, etc.). It's gotten to the point where pople actually joke about Aberdeen and their policies.

    --noah
  • by Trekologer ( 86619 ) <[ten.regolokert] [ta] [bda]> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @11:12AM (#3241091) Homepage
    I've always wondered why Intel keeps grapling to the Megahertz scale for processor speeds. I can only imagine that it is to woo those who don't know any better. To the average Joe, higher numbers seem better to them.

    Clock speed in a computer is similar to the rotational speed of an engine in a car. If the car salesman said that a particular car can run at 6000 RPMs, someone who doesn't know about cars would probablly think, wow, this car must be fast. Those who know how cars work would probablly respond "So what?" (If you don't know, RPM (rotations per minute) is how fast the engine runs, not how fast the car runs).
  • by Ogrez ( 546269 )
    There is a common saying, "nobody ever got fired for buying Intel" much the same as "nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft" I believe that until those of us in the corporate world can change the common misconceptions about Intel and Microsoft, our lives will continue to be a hell of overpriced processors, and bug ridden software. I have shown my boss benchmarks, prices, and performance increases using AMD processors. But he still wont give in, we still buy Intel, we still buy Microsoft. Its the people like me that keep AMD in business, we get peoples home computers 1 at a time... showing them better performance, but how long will it take to get the corporate world to embrace a better product at a lower price?
  • by instinctdesign ( 534196 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @11:55AM (#3241387) Homepage
    I'm not sure if this has been said or not (I didn't see any posts, but I might have missed one.) so I'll say it anyway.

    How much will this report will really matter? In the average consumer sector, where the PR rating was really intended for (to combat the perceived performance vs. megahertz gab with Intel), they probably will never see or hear about this report.

    Its not going to have much effect in that case, but even in the business sector, what's the chance it will make a difference? AMD has been working on building a business end to their products for awhile now, and I doubt that this would make much of a difference to those efforts. Most if the people that would be in the marked for an AMD from that area ought to know about the PR and likewise would be more likely too actually look at reviews/benchmarks/etc than base all their decisions off of what really amounts to just hype, which this report, and notably enough, the AMD PR rating both are. Though perhaps I'm giving business buyers too much credit...
  • Who honsetlycares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stubear ( 130454 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @11:57AM (#3241401)
    Who really gives a rat's ass? I run a dual PII Xeon 450 system on a motherboard I got from Supermicro (case too) and it just goes. I have NEVER had a problem with this system. My next systemis going to be a dual P4 Xeon running on a motherboard from Supermicro because I'm happy with the stability my current system provides. The difference in times tasks are completed in these benchmarks aren't enough to make me want to switch to an AMD. Who cares if a 3D scene finishes 5 minutes later? I set my machines to render during downtimes anyway. Who cares if Photoshop can perform the lighting effects filter 1.5 seconds faster? I surely don't. What I care about is not having to worry about the latest VIA drivers wrecking my system or hoping the bargain motehrboard I purchased for my AMD CPU won't gie me problems in 6 months. I stick with Intel because it just plain works, no worries.
    • While the above post sounds like flamebait to me, i feel a factual correction is called for. As a custom system designer for 7 years now, i've worked with, built, and personally owned all the major amd and intel systems during this time. Such as P5-mmx, k6, k6-2, PII, PIII, K7, Thunderbird, Athlon XP, duron, etc.

      For a long time, the majority of the intel motherboards were MUCH more stable then the majority of the amd motherboards, though intel boards had their share of turkeys as well (820 anyone?). The trick had been to find the rare stable amd motherboard, learn every aspect of it, make sure the bios was up to date, etc. The tyan trinty 100 AT was a great k6-2 board, and my email server to this day runs on it without any problems. Most of the k6-2 boards werent very good though :( When the kt133 and kt133a chipsets started coming out, I noticed that there was a LOT more in the way of stable amd boards. In fact, very few were "unstable" after a few bios revisions. Also, the VIA 4-in-1 drivers improved radically as well.

      At the current state of processors and motherboards, i feel that the AMD/VIA platform is as reliable as the Intel/Intel platform. The majority of current market VIA boards are quite mature and reliable and when problems are encountered, often a simple bios upgrade resolves it quickly. The intel 850 and 845 boards are also equally reliable. So the decision comes down to the 3 P's, preference, price, and performance. Some people refuse to use Intel for political reasons, and thats ok. Some people refuse to use AMD because of bad experiences with previous generation motherboards, and thats understandable too. Most of the expericened hardware consultants that i know of are currently pushing AMD solutions due to the better price / performance of AMD solutions now, as well as the fact that the P-4 on the vast majority of benchmarks is no faster then a competing Athlon XP, and often slower on high performance benchmarks such as 3d rendering.

      The point of my whole rant.......With 90% of modern motherboards and processors, your going to have a stable platform as long as you configure it correctly (yes, even Intel stuff will crash on you right and left if you have a poorly configured bios, and a lot of default bios options are cruddy). It all comes down to the 3 P's.

    • "I stick with Intel because it just plain works, no worries."

      For which the stockholders of Intel thank you for being a consumer who apparently cares less about his money than they do.

      Why would anyone buy this nonsense? Do Fords work better than Chevrolet? Toyotas better than Honda? Maybe you have some uber-comfort-level you have to have with your chips, but I'd rather save 50% of the cash, thanks.
    • Who cares if a 3D scene finishes 5 minutes later?

      I do. That 5 minute rendering difference is on a typically 20 minute render. Take a 3 hour render (much more typical when rendering 36"x48"@300 dpi renderings for architectural presentations), and thats a half hour difference. An extra half an hour for Photoshop touchup before needing to print for the client meeting is invaluable. Granted, I agree the extra Photoshop speed is mostly usesless (untill you try to do filters on a 36" x 48" @ 300dpi image). 3D modeling and photoshop is what I do for a living. The faster the machine renders, the more time I have to fix problems between test renders, and the more time I have for layout and touchup at the end. Those 5 minutes add up, fast.
  • AMD myths debunked (Score:3, Informative)

    by defile ( 1059 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @01:02PM (#3241831) Homepage Journal

    The exciting sequel to MySQL Myths Debunked [bacarella.com] is AMD Myths Debunked [bacarella.com]! Laugh, cry, maybe share your experiences?

    All of the people that shared their experiences with MySQL helped turn that document into a very useful weapon against nuisance naysayers. I'm hoping the same will happen for AMD.

  • Of course it is no surprise when you have headlines like

    "Vendor Says Competitor's Products Suck."
    since most consumers have a clue that there might be some bias in such claims.

    But I have to really wonder about the mentality of Intel executives that approved of paying money to Aberdeen "get an independent outside assessment to say that our competitor's products suck."

    Not to mention that Aberdeen's reputation as "an independent outside assessment source" has been pretty well sullied by this whole snafu. If they didn't make a lot of money from Intel on this story, then they made a bad business decision.

    Intel can't hope to help its reputation among knowledgeable IT people with this kind of a move. Meanwhile, the more gullible and dupable market won't read this report because they don't really care to see "so much technical detail". Besides, the g&d market is already sold on MegaHurts as the The One Number of Comparison.

    Initially I had figured it was like political mudslinging ads, but the more I look at this one it seems to be a case where the mud slinger is ending up coated with more mud than the slingee.

    Intel needs someone with more common sense to be put in charge of their public relations.

  • poppy cock! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Phokus ( 192971 )
    My favorite: Via Aberdeen: Whats the flaw in AMDs equivalency ratings? There are many discussed in this Aberdeen Executive White Paper. The key flaw is that the equivalency rating is a snapshot in a moment in time and time surely marches on in the computer industry making the gigahertz equivalency subject to increasing variance over time. For example, the AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor announced last fall runs at 1.667 GHz. The 2000+ equivalency rating is aimed at Intels P4 2.0 GHz Willamette processor.

    Via HardOCP: Aberdeen seems clueless that the basis for AMD's model numbering system is a comparison to their own TBird core CPUs and the speed they would have to run to be equivalent to a Palomino core CPU in performance. Seems as though Aberdeen did not even contact AMD in order to better understand the exact subject they were commenting on.

    You think AMD would say "we put out that number to show how fast this is in relation to Intel's chips"? Of course not. This is a MARKETING GIMMICK, plain and simple, and if it refers to AMD's own internal numbers on their own chips, or directly toward Intel's offerings, it really makes no difference. The numbers aren't that far off, Intel advertises *clock speed* (too bad the Intel chips don't execute a full instruction per clock), AMD advertises some performance number based on a benchmark, what's the difference? They're both full of shit.

    I say they publish MIPS/MFLOPS, but that's probably more technical than most people would be interested in. Some of the benchmarks actually show this, I think the AMD has about the same MIPS/MFLOPS scores in core x86, the Intel MIPS score is a little higher but its MFLOPS score is a little lower and I think that's where the balance comes out (although both of these CPU's would probably advertise MIPS/MFLOPS using their proprietary instruction sets instead of core x86 instructions).

    Big bad Intel for paying for this report, we should be happy to have a choice between CPU vendors. MS uses much more active methods to beat their competition (not that this crowd loves MS) but I don't see the masses whining their way into writing a check at the local CompUSA for a boxed Linux distro (the XP/2K hating crowd around here is a small group I'd bet). So if you think the masses don't give a shit about this little Intel/AMD debacle, cha-ching you're right. Dell and Gateway will still keep selling cheap Intel systems and up-charging for AMD's from guys interested enough to request one but who don't have the balls to build one themselves, Intel will maintain their market share and AMD price cuts will still keep Intel chips a hell of a lot cheaper than they were when Cyrix was around.

What sin has not been committed in the name of efficiency?

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