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 Mar 04, 2005 - 09:00 AM - by Michael
* Problems with AMD's performance marks?

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Sudhian's got an editorial today saying that AMD should dump the performance ratings because they're hurting more than helping.

Something of a point there, as they go through the three types - AthlonXP, Sempron, and Athlon64 - and find out that a "3200+" rating on each doesn't equate into the same performance across the board.

Far too much emphasis has been placed on asking whether or not AMD?s individual ratings on any given product are ?fair?; I?m not contesting these points. Whether or not a Sempron 3000+ is equal in performance to a non-existence Celeron 3000+ (or whether the ratings hold up once you step outside of the narrow benchmark range AMD has specified) is not the issue.

The bigger issue here is that the precepts on which the model rating system was built no longer hold true. The model rating system as it stands today no longer clarifies performance, it obscures it. In attempting to break down a huge variety of platforms, FSB frequencies, and clockspeeds into a single-number metric, AMD only obscures real information that consumers may need to know. The entire need for a comparative metric is called into question by Intel?s abandonment of MHz as a formal rating system.
While it's true that it might need some reform, we still need a reliable system - and I disagree with Sudhian, because I've found the Athlon markings to be at least a reliable predictor of performance as Intel's old clockspeed quoting, especially when Intel deliberately reduced their chips' per-cycle performance in favor of meaningless clockspeed ramp-ups.

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