AMD answers to controversial use of retired benchmarks in China

Earlier today, I wrote up the news of AMD's newest Opteron: the 3.0 Ghz 2222SE.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor

Earlier today, I wrote up the news of AMD's newest Opteron: the 3.0 Ghz 2222SE. In addition to news of the new 2P server-targeted dual-core processor's release, AMD also released some benchmark charts that show the 2222SE leading Intel's dual core 2P server targeted offering: the Xeon 5160. Competitive benchmark charts have been a touchy subject for the two companies as of late. During a recent press conference, AMD's senior vice president and Chief Marketing Office Henri Richard came out swinging and swinging hard at Intel for what he considered to be unscrupulously deceptive benchmarking practices. This, in addition to AMD's charges that Intel has violated U.S. antitrust law.

After digging into the issue a bit more, I concluded that Intel was indeed using deceptive benchmark charts in public forums -- charts that painted AMD in a far more negative light than could justifiably be done. Richard, and subequently, other AMD officials, were adament about the sorts of benchmarking practices that had to stop and committed to serving as a role model when it comes to the do's and don'ts of fairly presenting benchmark data. No sooner did AMD put that  benchmarking integrity stake in the ground than it engaged in the very same benchmarking malpractice (usage of retired benchmarks) that it had accused Intel of. Those retired benchmarks appeared during a slide presentation that was given in Beijing, China last week by AMD's manager of worldwide Opteron market development John Fruehe (pronounced "Free"). Additionally, as I pointed out in my earlier blog post, the benchmark charts that AMD used today in briefings with the press as well as in an advertising campaign raise additional questions about how to most fairly present benchmark data.

Today, after discussing the Opteron 2222SE news with Fruehe, I asked him whether or not that was the right thing to do. To hear or listen to how that interview went, you can use the audio center above to download or stream an audio version of it to your PC or you can play the video below. Although he's not a lawyer and admits as much, Fruehe argues that there are certain challenges when it comes to offering previously unpublished benchmark data when a public company like AMD is in its SEC-enforced quiet period (a period just before a public company officially announces its quarterly earnings results.. a period during which a company is legally muzzled from releasing certain material information). As you can hear (or see), Fruehe eventually agrees that AMD can't be seen as a pot calling the kettle black. As soon as the video version is ready, I will drop it in here.

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