The industry's benchmarking soap opera official entered its kettle, pot, black phase today when a news report and photos of an AMD presentation in China showed AMD claiming performance supremacy over competing chips from Intel on the basis of test results using retired benchmarks.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about how AMD is no angel, but Intel's usage of benchmarks is feloniously misleading. The inspiration for that post came from the accusations levied at Intel by AMD senior vice president and CMO Henri Richard who, at a recent press event I attended (with video tape rolling) said:
I'm going to be straight. I think that we've been too quiet and I think that part of that is that we're trained to be very honest, grounded in reality, [and] truthful with our benchmarks. I'm sick and tired of being pushed around by a competitor that doesn't respect the rules of fair and open competition....I think its very important for us to make sure that information that's diseminated in the marketplace is fair and honest and I think that people should be able to win on the merit of their products without trying to make reality into fiction. Our industry is lacking standard metrics like miles per gallon.
In the course of working with both Intel and AMD in preparing my last post on the issue, I made it abundantly clear to AMD that, while I still feel as though Intel was far more abusive of benchmarking data than AMD had been (AMD had what I considered a single minor slip), that both companies were now basically on notice and that any benchmark Tom Foolery would be outted. I went as far as to recommend to AMD that it should have one person whose job it is to, less than 24 hours before its public display, clear any benchmark slide that's going to be shown in public. At the end of my last post, I addressed AMD's execs:
.....Messrs. Ruiz and Richard: Before you take to the stage to slime your enemies, you had better make sure your own house is in order and perfectly so. If newer benchmark data is available, then you have no choice but to light a fire under your General Counsel's ass to make sure that it gets the green light for timely inclusion in any slide that's being shown to the public. It's that important.
One of AMD's complaints about Intel was the latter's usage of retired benchmarks. Specifically, Intel had been using test results from benchmarks that have been officially retired by their authoring organization: SPEC. So, you can imagine my surprise when, from an AMD Innovation Day that was held yesterday in Beijing, China, AMD did exactly the same thing. AMD should have known better. The world is a very small place.
Shown below is a photo of one the slides displayed by AMD. The photo comes from PCPOP.COM's coverage of the event. I've annotated the image to show where AMD is citing one of the exact same benchmarks that AMD said was foul play. Apparently, what's good for the goose, is good for the gander. In his own post about AMD's original infraction (the one I believed to be minor in comparison to what Intel did), my fellow blogger George Ou asked Is AMD being hypocritical about benchmark ethics? Now that AMD is turning out to be the pot calling the kettle black, it's no longer possible to answer no. Shame on AMD.