Intel, AMD Squabble Over Speed Rating

According to a recent ZDNet article titled "Report lambastes AMDis speed ratings," the Aberdeen Group has issued a report that is critical of AMDis efforts to disassociate clock speed from processor performance. The kicker is that it was Intel that funded the Aberdeen Groupis study. AMD uses a rating system based on processor model comparisons to name its chips, rather than using clock speed for its naming scheme. Intel holds an advantage in the clock speed war because the company has specifically built its processors with this in mind, and the company has been openly critical of AMDis attempts to bypass that advantage. From the article:

Intel has launched a new broadside against AMDis policy of downplaying chip clock speed in favor of model numbers--and this time it has drawn analyst firm Aberdeen Group into the fray.

The chip giant has funded a new report from Aberdeen: AMDis Gigahertz Equivalency: Inexperienced Buyers Accept Bad Science , which heavily criticizes AMDis model-number system as confusing to consumers and as "not justifiable in the benchmark science." The report predicts that "AMD...must soon retreat from the gigahertz equivalency positioning and take another performance rating approach."

Of course, AMD believes that its rating system hold water, and says:

"They get loads of things wrong in there," said an AMD spokesman, citing the Aberdeen reportis assertion that the Athlon XP model numbers are designed to correspond to Pentium 4 clock speeds. "Weive always very firmly said that the numbers compare with the previous generation of Athlon, for consistency," the spokesman said. "Weive worked hard at explaining it and making it clear."

He also said that Aberdeen did not contact AMD in the course of making the report: "If youire writing about somebody, youid tend to ask their opinion."

Both sides agree that clock speed is not the best way to measure preformance, but Intel maintains that it is the only sensible one for consumers. The article is an interesting read.