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  AMD's Barcelona, cheaters never win? 
  Jul 06, 2007, 10:00am EDT 
By: Sander Sassen

Not that long ago during an AMD press conference AMD's executive vice president Henri Richard took to the stage to deliver a complete and no holds barred trashing of Intel for a series of what AMD executives claim to be unethical business and marketing practices. However, now that Barcelona seems to have been pushed back considerably and seems underwhelming in clockspeed and performance is AMD making a 180-degree turn in that regard?

For some reason the AMD propaganda machine has been switched into high gear when it became obvious that Barcelona will not be launched in time, nor will it deliver the performance that is expected from it. What does AMD's marketing department, under supervision of the same Henri Richard mentioned above, resort to? You guessed it, the same unethical practices they accused Intel of earlier. How is that for a prime example of corporate hypocrisy?

In corporate documents sent to their prospective clients and advertisements that were even featured in the Wall Street Journal AMD uses both fictitious processors as well as comparisons to outdated Intel processor benchmarks to make their own results look favorable. The benchmarks show processors such as a 2.6GHz quad-core Barcelona, which will not be available neither at launch, nor shortly after, compared to Intel Xeon 5355 and 5160 processors with outdated benchmark data.

In reality the phantom 2.6GHz quad-core Barcelona appears to barely keep pace with a 2.66GHz Xeon 5355 when running the SPECint_rate2006 benchmark discussed here. However the fastest Barcelona processor we will see in September is only a 2.0GHz, not a 2.6GHz, which will be severely handicapped in performance when compared to Intel's offerings. AMD's situation appears more abysmal when you factor in that Intel already launched a faster Xeon 5365 at 3GHz clockspeed back in late April, widening the gap in AMD's comparisons.

So, is this simply a cherry picking of benchmark results and then some harmless manipulation of data to make a point during a sales pitch, something a well informed journalist would poke holes into upon first glance? Well, no, there is more to it, this is a deliberate act to misinform their prospective clients, and the general public, as said journalist has to be well aware of the current performance levels of processors and what is currently shipping or not. I think it is downright deceptive, bordering on criminal, when an executive vice president during an earlier press event condemns Intel of practices that have yet to be proven in court but then indulges in similar practices just to be able to sell an underperforming product.

Sander Sassen.


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Re: AMD's Barcelona, cheaters never win? Sander Sassen 170 replies Aug 15, 2007, 03:04pm EDT


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