AMD accuses Intel of VW-like results fudging

Revives ancient SYSmark dispute

AMD has revived one of the oldest feuds in the industry, once again accusing Intel of fudging benchmark results and comparing Chipzilla's practices to VW's falsified diesel engine emissions tests.

The world's other x86 booster has slung slings, arrows and FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) at Intel for more than a decade over the SYSmark performance benchmarking software.

It's mostly been a joyless and lonely trek, but a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action in 2010 saw AMD win some relief. That joust saw Intel forced to include the following words in the fine print when it cites benchmark results:

“Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.”

Now, AMD has savaged SYSmark yet again, in the YouTube video below featuring John Hampton (director of computer client products) and Tony Salinas (engineering manager at AMD Labs).

Youtube Video

The pair reckon the SYSmark 2014 shows a 50 per cent gap between AMD and Chipzilla machines, but the same machines running Futuremark's PCMark8 tests showed only a seven per cent gap.

In SYSmark, Salinas claims “there is an excessive[ly] high amount of CPU tasking being done – that is, that the benchmark is only evaluating the CPU side of the system.

PCMark8, on the other hand, has “activity going on on the CPU, GPU and video sub-components of the system”, he said.

AMD also ran up a set of custom scripts using Microsoft Office, to demonstrate a start-to-end result set in which the Intel platform completed the tasks in 61 seconds, and the AMD in 64 seconds – a six to seven per cent gap, in line with PCMark8.

At a guess, The Register reckons AMD is gearing up for more legal action, and this is just a first shot.

The FTC's full 2010 decision is here. ®

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