Intel insists Xeon vs Epyc benchmark fight was fair, amends speed test claims anyway

Chipzilla says it didn't intentionally mislead anyone


Intel on Wednesday disputed a news report that Chipzilla had intentionally published misleading benchmarks in a comparison between the Intel Xeon Platinum 9282 and the AMD second-generation Epyc 7742 processors.

The accuser, after, ahem, discussing his concerns with Intel, moderated his criticism somewhat.

On Tuesday, Intel issued a blog post on Medium – rather than its own website, oddly enough – that presented figures indicating its Xeon 9282 chip outperformed AMD's Epyc 7742 in tests.

Later that day, ServeTheHome, a site focusing on reviews of servers, storage, networking and other data-center systems, challenged the validity of Intel's testing.

"We checked Intel’s work and found that they presented a number to intentionally mislead would-be buyers as to the company’s relative performance versus AMD," wrote Patrick Kennedy, editor-in-chief of STH.

Intel is facing real competition from AMD for the first time in years, a threat made more acute by Intel's past 10nm manufacturing delays and its ongoing inability to fully meet customer demand for processors. So Chipzilla is highly motivated to present its wares in the best light.

In its test (#31), Intel claimed its "56 core Xeon Platinum 9282 ranges from 8 per cent to 84 per cent better performance (31 per cent higher geomean) than AMD’s 64 core Rome-based system (7742) on leading real-world HPC workloads across manufacturing, life sciences, financial services and earth sciences."

Kennedy initially said the fight wasn't fair because Intel's benchmarking relies on GROMACS 2019.3, a version of the chemical simulation software that didn't support AMD's latest Epyc architecture, codenamed Rome.

In a followup post, Kennedy said after discussing matters with Intel, he had been told the GROMACS 2019.3 test in fact utilizes AMD's AVX2 vector math engines, giving the Rome chip a fair chance to flex its muscles. And he said that a discrepancy in the threads per core figure for AMD, listed as one, was in fact a typo, according to Intel: two hardware threads were actually used per core.

Intel simultaneously updated its Medium post to clarify that its GROMACS 2019.3 test had the best optimization for both platforms, and that its benchmarks using GROMACS 2019.4 were not appreciably different.

"Intel is committed to always provide fair, transparent, and accurate performance results and would not intentionally mislead," said Steven Collins, Intel Datacenter Performance Director.

A medieval archer

UK govt snubs Intel, seeks second-gen AMD Epyc processors for 28PFLOPS Archer2 supercomputer

READ MORE

Asked whether he accepts Intel's benchmarks as fair, Kennedy told The Register in an email that he's willing to consider it a "reasonable marketing effort" once the company updates its post to reflect concerns he raised. "Not what an independent agency would setup for a fair test," he said, "but probably OK for marketing [after Intel clarifies everything]."

This is not the first time Intel has been challenged to defend the fairness of its benchmarks, which perhaps explains Chipzilla's eagerness to vindicate itself. In 2005, Intel was accused of engineering its compiler to cripple code running on non-Intel x86 hardware. In 2014, Intel settled a lawsuit alleging that the microprocessor maker in the 2000-2002 period relied on misleading benchmark figures to make its Pentium 4 chip appear to be faster than AMD's Athlon.

Though Intel settled [PDF] AMD's unfair competition claim in 2009 (and the FTC's claim in 2010), the two companies continue to spar, as can be seen in this 2016 AMD video criticizing the SYSmark benchmark test.

The Register asked AMD to comment. An AMD spokesperson replied with a link to a webpage containing various Epyc benchmarks. "There are 107 World Records here last I checked," AMD's spokesperson said. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels
    The little lander that couldn't (any longer)

    The Martian InSight lander will no longer be able to function within months as dust continues to pile up on its solar panels, starving it of energy, NASA reported on Tuesday.

    Launched from Earth in 2018, the six-metre-wide machine's mission was sent to study the Red Planet below its surface. InSight is armed with a range of instruments, including a robotic arm, seismometer, and a soil temperature sensor. Astronomers figured the data would help them understand how the rocky cores of planets in the Solar System formed and evolved over time.

    "InSight has transformed our understanding of the interiors of rocky planets and set the stage for future missions," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. "We can apply what we've learned about Mars' inner structure to Earth, the Moon, Venus, and even rocky planets in other solar systems."

    Continue reading
  • The ‘substantial contributions’ Intel has promised to boost RISC-V adoption
    With the benefit of maybe revitalizing the x86 giant’s foundry business

    Analysis Here's something that would have seemed outlandish only a few years ago: to help fuel Intel's future growth, the x86 giant has vowed to do what it can to make the open-source RISC-V ISA worthy of widespread adoption.

    In a presentation, an Intel representative shared some details of how the chipmaker plans to contribute to RISC-V as part of its bet that the instruction set architecture will fuel growth for its revitalized contract chip manufacturing business.

    While Intel invested in RISC-V chip designer SiFive in 2018, the semiconductor titan's intentions with RISC-V evolved last year when it revealed that the contract manufacturing business key to its comeback, Intel Foundry Services, would be willing to make chips compatible with x86, Arm, and RISC-V ISAs. The chipmaker then announced in February it joined RISC-V International, the ISA's governing body, and launched a $1 billion innovation fund that will support chip designers, including those making RISC-V components.

    Continue reading
  • FBI warns of North Korean cyberspies posing as foreign IT workers
    Looking for tech talent? Kim Jong-un's friendly freelancers, at your service

    Pay close attention to that resume before offering that work contract.

    The FBI, in a joint advisory with the US government Departments of State and Treasury, has warned that North Korea's cyberspies are posing as non-North-Korean IT workers to bag Western jobs to advance Kim Jong-un's nefarious pursuits.

    In guidance [PDF] issued this week, the Feds warned that these techies often use fake IDs and other documents to pose as non-North-Korean nationals to gain freelance employment in North America, Europe, and east Asia. Additionally, North Korean IT workers may accept foreign contracts and then outsource those projects to non-North-Korean folks.

    Continue reading
  • Elon Musk says Twitter buy 'cannot move forward' until spam stats spat settled
    A stunning surprise to no one in this Solar System

    Elon Musk said his bid to acquire and privatize Twitter "cannot move forward" until the social network proves its claim that fake bot accounts make up less than five per cent of all users.

    The world's richest meme lord formally launched efforts to take over Twitter last month after buying a 9.2 per cent stake in the biz. He declined an offer to join the board of directors, only to return asking if he could buy the social media platform outright at $54.20 per share. Twitter's board resisted Musk's plans at first, installing a "poison pill" to hamper a hostile takeover before accepting the deal, worth over $44 billion.

    But then it appears Musk spotted something in Twitter's latest filing to America's financial watchdog, the SEC. The paperwork asserted that "fewer than five percent" of Twitter's monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the first quarter of 2022 were fake or spammer accounts, which Musk objected to: he felt that figure should be a lot higher. He had earlier proclaimed that ridding Twitter of spam bots was a priority for him, post-takeover.

    Continue reading
  • Pentagon opens up about its database of 400 smudges that may or may not be UFOs
    'We're open to all hypotheses, we're open to any conclusions' says official

    A US House of Representatives subcommittee on Tuesday heard from Pentagon officials on reports of and investigations into unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) – a category that encompasses unidentified flying objects (UFO) and saves room for optical illusions, lens flare, smudges in photos, and other possibilities like meteorological events.

    The US military has researched UFOs in the past through initiatives like Project Blue Book (1947-1969), and the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) (2007-2012).

    Following a New York Times report in 2017 about the shutdown of the classified $22m AATIP program, public pressure and Congressional interest led the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last June to release a preliminary report on UAP [PDF] dating back to 2004.

    Continue reading
  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022