AMD to remove deceptive Barcelona benchmarks on website

AMD to remove deceptive Barcelona benchmarks on website

Summary: [Update 8/17/2007 - AMD caught passing junked benchmarks red handed]  [UPDATE 7/6/2007 - AMD intends to drag their feet on removing the deceptive benchmarks]A day after I blasted AMD for posting deceptive benchmarks on Barcelona, AMD is promising to release "honest Barcelona benchmarks".  As of Thursday afternoon 7/5/2007 the misleading Barcelona numbers are still posted on AMD's website but AMD is promising to release updated numbers in the coming weeks with Barcelona 2.

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[Update 8/17/2007 - AMD caught passing junked benchmarks red handed 

[UPDATE 7/6/2007 - AMD intends to drag their feet on removing the deceptive benchmarks]

A day after I blasted AMD for posting deceptive benchmarks on Barcelona, AMD is promising to release "honest Barcelona benchmarks".  As of Thursday afternoon 7/5/2007 the misleading Barcelona numbers are still posted on AMD's website but AMD is promising to release updated numbers in the coming weeks with Barcelona 2.0 GHz scores (slated for September 2007 release) instead of "simulated Barcelona 2.6 GHz scores".

AMD argued that the charts were created by AMD much earlier in the year, but that's really a terrible excuse since they're now heavily promoting the misleading information.  The charts might have been made earlier in the year but they were "CONFIDENTIAL" and only shown to a few people but Kristopher Kubicki of DailyTech has brought it to my attention that these charts are just now making the rounds in the press and blogsphere courtesy of The Inquirer's Theo Valich drinking the AMD Kool-AidThe Tech Report then cited Theo Valich's story as fact.

Valich wrote: For starters, SPECint_rate2006 and SPECfp_rate2006 speak the voice of doom for the 366 MHz faster clocked Xeon - and these are the reasons why Intel was downplaying performance of FP and praising the INT. These figures were from a few months ago, so things may well have changed since then. But in the Integer test, a Barcelona 2.3GHz yields 21% higher score than Clovertown 2.66 GHz, but Floating Point test leaves a staggering 50% performance deficit for Clovertown, and this is not something 45 nanometre Penryn can solve overnight. Unless, of course the clock deficit for AMD is such that Intel speeds past.

Valich made multiple errors in his story.

  • First of all he's talking about simulated Barcelona 2.6 GHz scores but he's making it sound like an actual Barcelona 2.3 GHz chip.  Neither the 2.3 nor 2.6 GHz Barcelona chip exists and a 2.0 GHz Barcelona won't ship until September 2007.
  • Second, he's citing AMD's outdated numbers and products from Intel.  Intel's 2.66 GHz Clovertown product based on the latest SPEC.org published scores is only 1% slower than the non-existent simulated 2.6 GHz Barcelona scores.  It also doesn't account for the fact that Intel has been shipping a 3.0 GHz Clovertown chip since April which has higher scores than the simulated Barcelona.

The reality is that AMD's claim of a 20% clock-for-clock advantage is completely bogus.  In fact, Nathan Brookwood (analyst at Insight 64) made a clock-for-clock comparison of Intel Clovertown versus AMD Barcelona at 2.0 GHz and found a 4% Integer performance advantage in favor of Intel.  Gartner also cast doubts on Barcelona's claims.

X-bit labs also posted AMD's simulated Barcelona scores on 7/2/2007 and claimed that the Clovertown 3.0 Clovertown wouldn't be released until September 2007.  As Kristopher Kubicki pointed out, it's simply unheard of to cite "simulated benchmarks" in the Microprocessor industry.  Kubicki writes:

So what's going on here?  Shoddy journalism and even the author wouldn't deny that. Any author willing to pad his byline with such omissions of fact would almost certainly have an alternate agenda brewing.

I didn't give these benchmarks much thought when I first saw them in February, and given the confirmed top-out frequency from AMD, I certainly don't give these benchmarks traction now either.  I suggest those with interests in Barcelona wait until someone tests actual DVT or Retail silicon.

The funny thing is I cannot recall the term "simulated benchmarks" in my pre-Barcelona lexicon.  Since when did benchmarking a 1.6 GHz processor give the "simulated" performance of a 2.3 and 2.6 GHz chip?  Does anyone find it odd that Googling for "simulated benchmarks" yields only 574 entries -- all from AMD, Microsoft and Sanda.  AMD holds the number one spot.

Maybe simulated benchmarks will go down with some of the other great marketing terms of the last decade: FUD, paper launches and ship dates.

So there you have it.  AMD might have some plausible deniability here that they officially created these charts back in February, but they have this information posted prominently on their Barcelona product webpage and this information is only now making the rounds in the press as some miraculous triumph at a time when reality is a late underwhelming Barcelona product.  Shame on AMD, I'll be waiting for their "honest Barcelona numbers" to be updated on their product page.

Topics: Intel, Browser, Processors

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23 comments
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  • George, good for sticking to your guns...

    ...about time someone called these Henri spinners off :)
    thetruthhurts
  • George, don't hurt your shoulder...

    ...patting yourself on the back.
    Uber Dweeb
    • Nothing wrong with blowing your own horn...

      ...especially since it's quite obvious he won't be getting any compliments from you. Why don't you enlighten us as to how many major companies you've exposed for publishing bogus figures? Better yet, post the link to YOUR blog so we can read all your "better than George" postings. We anxiously await!
      MGP2
  • Congratulations on getting AMD to remove outdated simulated benchmarks.

    Now if only you could get AMD, Intel, MS, or anyone else to post some real benchmarks. You know, the kind that actually use the same compilers whilst comparing similar processors.

    Not that I think you won't. But if history is any indication... You either can't or won't.

    BTW - Congratulations on your being able to admit that MS uses simulated benchmarks. That's one of your tangential admissions that MS doesn't alway have the numbers to back up their claims. And yes, I'm saying that if AMD doesn't have real performance numbers, they're just as shifty as MS. Maybe not intentionally, but intentions don't mean a lot when you want real performance comparisons. Either way, the real numbers aren't available.
    Letophoro
    • Same old excuse, "everyone does it"

      First of all, the reference to Microsoft was from DailyTech and it didn't necessarily mean it in a good or bad context. Software companies have to simulate workloads for things like mail servers so it may be completely different for software companies. Simulating a workload however is not the same thing as publishing benchmarks for a simulated product that doesn't exist.

      Now if you actually have a SPECIFIC complaint about Microsoft or Intel posting blatantly inappropriate benchmarks, post the link here and I will be happy to write a scathing review of that just like I?ve bashed Microsoft and Intel before on dubious claims. But I can?t act on your speculation and cheap shots.

      Here?s an example of bashing one of Intel?s most profitable products ? Integrated Graphics Motherboard.
      http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=538&page=2

      Here?s an example of bashing Microsoft?s dubious claims on Virtualization.
      http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=549
      georgeou
      • Point to me excusing anything in my post.

        I didn't.

        I'll grant that you griped about Intel not having good drivers. Their lack of reasonable drivers for their hardware is pretty egregious. But did you do an entire article on it, or did you mention it as an 'Oh, by the way, you probably want to get something better than this' type of thing?


        As for MS's dubious claims on virtualization...That's like poking holes in a four-year old child's explanation of how the VCR came to be filled with cheese puffs. Your article at least admitted that MS was basically lying. Now all you need to do is several more ad hominem articles about it.
        Letophoro
    • Wishful thinking

      You are dreaming. AMD and Intel CPUs, while compatible for the most part, are different microarchitecturally and therefore require different optimizations to be done by compilers.

      Quit whining about wanting to make comparisons with similar compilers. It's not just about compilers: it's about the platform (Operating System, CPU, Software, memory subsystem, etc). Yeah right: let's go ahead and get AMD and Intel in the same room agreeing to deploy CPUs at the same frequencies and power envelopes and at the same time just to appease you.

      Puh-leaze...
      thetruthhurts
      • Zero expectation.

        I'm actually not concerned about AMD or Intel doing comparisons. I read third-party comparisons for that type of thing.

        What I was implying with my post was that George will not attempt to hold Intel or MS to the same standards as AMD, Apple, or Linux. He may not be a paid shill for MS and Intel, but you'd generally have a hard time figuring that out from the tone of his posts.
        Letophoro
  • Congrats on making a difference

    AMD has been called out on being wrong. Now we will see if they respond properly and place their benchmarks online even though they may not perform as well.
    nucrash
    • So far they're dragging their feet to maximize the bogus publicity

      So far they're dragging their feet to maximize the bogus publicity that they've been getting from all those websites citing AMD's bogus numbers on AMD's website.
      georgeou
      • Scientia

        George, perhaps you can use Scientia's latest blog entry to maximize your side of the story

        "On The Quality Of Things I've Said"

        http://scientiasblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/on-quality-of-things-ive-said.html
        thetruthhurts
        • Do not mind Scientia

          http://roborat64.blogspot.com/2007/07/posts-scientia-doesnt-want-you-to-see.html
          Scientia has been shilling for years. Here is a recap of his apologies (to AMD), delusions, inaccuracies, hope, just within the last year. If you are in anyway mean to AMD, be prepared to have a novel written for you. Remember, don't mind someone that's crazed and never right!
          narsos
  • Incorrectness on your part

    1. You are calling the numbers "bogus". NOT TRUE. These numbers were accurate in April, when they have been shown. It's just outdated now.

    2. You made a comparison using fresh numbers (done using more optimized code, by the latest compiler) on Intel's part, but much outdated numbers on AMD's! So you did exactily that what you accusted AMD with...
    dess3
    • They're VERY bogus today yet AMD is dragging their feet removing it

      They were bogus in April because a Barcelona 2.6 doesn't exist. They're VERY bogus today and AMD is dragging their feet removing it.
      georgeou
      • Are you spying on AMD?

        Or how you could know if it exist or not? Following your logics, no any performance numbers could be published before a product actually sells in the shops.
        dess3
        • Do you have proof that the 2.6GHz parts exist and are salable?

          If these parts did exist then AMD would have not needed to state they were 'simulated'.

          Next thing you will say is that AMD is waiting until the very last minute to unleash these simulated CPUs onto the OEMs and channel to catch Intel off guard.

          What a maroon.
          thetruthhurts
  • george george.....

    you must not get out nuch or read anything. this is old news from feb 2007...get a life. as a poster said earlier...dont't break your arm reaching for the pat....geez
    gdude@...
  • Debunking George Ou's rabid attack on AMD

    ..
    See:

    Debunking George Ou's rabid attack on AMD
    http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-10533-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=35931&messageID=661568&start=-1
    TechExec2
    • Same old TechExec2

      Say it with me slowly, SIMULATED BENCHMARKS ARE BOGUS.
      georgeou
      • Same old George Ou, ESTIMATED BENCHMARKS ARE ESTIMATES

        ..
        Say it with me slowly, ESTIMATED BENCHMARKS ARE ESTIMATES.

        I don't expect you to agree with me.

        It is reasonable that you hold the view that AMD should not be publishing clearly-labelled estimated benchmarks. I disagree with you, but it's a reasonable position. A normal person would just say that, AND THAT WOULD BE THE END OF IT!

        What is really pathetic is that you make up so many provably false claims, pile that on, and wrap it in lots of rhetoric and hype to make your argument sound like more than just a simple opinion. And, then you carry out a four-day rabid frothing-at-the-mouth blog-a-thon attack on AMD with all of this garbage.

        You are attempting to defame AMD in a most disgusting way.
        TechExec2