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AMD to come clean on Barcelona performance

AMD to come clean on Barcelona performance

An AMD spokesperson has promised honest Barcelona benchmarks in the coming weeks.

According to a report, a spokesman from AMD has promised honest Barcelona benchmarks "in the coming weeks".

Earlier this week, some feathers were ruffled when simulated performance data for AMD's upcoming Barcelona processors reared its head on the net. Of all places, the source of the information was actually AMD's own website (the data has since been removed).

The problem with the so-called benchmarks was that they were not only based on "internal AMD simulations" at a clock speed that will not be available at the time of launch, but also the comparisons made by the company misrepresented the competition with out-of-date results.

At 2.6GHz, the simulated Barcelona benchmark claimed to be 21 percent faster than Intel's Xeon 5355 in SPECint_rate2006, but Intel has since released a new compiler that helps improve performance on its processors and it reduces the gap in performance to almost nothing (102 for Barcelona @ 2.6GHz, 101 for Intel's Xeon 5355).

If you also take into account the fact that Intel is soon to release a 3.0GHz Xeon 5365 (it's already available in the Mac Pro), which yields an even higher score of 106 in SPECint_rate2006, Barcelona already looks behind the times and we've not even talked about Penryn yet.

AMD's Phil Hughes claimed that the information was correct when it was published early this year, but then added that "[AMD is] working to remove that stuff from our website now. It is not an accurate reflection of the highest performance [Intel processors]."

Thankfully the offending data has now been removed and the tech world can return to some kind of normality. However, the real problem is that while the information was potentially accurate earlier this year, when AMD revealed last week that its fastest Barcelona processor at launch would be clocked at only 2.0GHz, the data was already a long way off what early adopters will see when the processor launches.

For now, there's a cloak of uncertainty surrounding AMD's Barcelona processors and I'm fairly sure that we're not going to see the real answers until independent benchmarks are published after the CPU's launch later this year. For now though, I guess we'll live and hope that AMD's next-generation processors will be competitive with whatever Intel has up its sleeves.

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9 Comments

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Amon 6th July 2007, 18:41 Quote
I found AMD's comparisons to be perfectly fair. I'm glad that they didn't pull the marketing stunt that Intel did when comparing their 5355 Xeon against dual-core Opterons.
bubsterboo 6th July 2007, 19:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
I found AMD's comparisons to be perfectly fair. I'm glad that they didn't pull the marketing stunt that Intel did when comparing their 5355 Xeon against dual-core Opterons.

What marketing stunt would that be?
Amon 6th July 2007, 19:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubsterboo
What marketing stunt would that be?
This one.
bubsterboo 6th July 2007, 19:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
This one.

Interesting, can barely read the fine print since its so low-res.
Anyways, this kind of thing happens all the time.
Amon 6th July 2007, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubsterboo
Interesting, can barely read the fine print since its so low-res.
Anyways, this kind of thing happens all the time.
Not in defence of AMD, but there are a glaring inconsistencies and incorrect data about AMD processors in that presentation as well. In a live Powerpointless presentation, the audience wouldn't be able to verify that data on the fly, allowing for the misrepresentation to pass in support of Intel.
trig 6th July 2007, 20:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
I found AMD's comparisons to be perfectly fair.

you'd be the only one. im not saying intel has never done it, because they have, but 2 wrongs dont make a right. i just think its hilarious that it is getting all this publicity. so they "set-up" some benchies...are you surprised? im not. i was hoping for them to blow the doors off the xeon's, but o well. hopefully they can stay afloat for now with price cuts...
identikit 6th July 2007, 21:30 Quote
Well I've voted...with my wallet...

You'll have to wait and see if I'm either A) chuffed to bits or B) gutted.
completemadness 7th July 2007, 21:04 Quote
i thought this was an internal thing or something ? that was leaked onto the Internet, so really, as it wasn't meant to be for external viewing, i don't see the problem (assuming it was internal)
f00dl3 8th July 2007, 19:31 Quote
It's no surprise they are using an older chipset model to compare the quad core to. After all, Intel had the quads out the door almost 6 months ago and here we are still waiting on AMD.
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