AMD: x86 Benchmark Supremacy Just Doesn?t Matter


Godfrey Cheng, one of AMD’s lead men when it comes to Fusion APU posted a no holds barred article on AMD’s official blog page, criticizing x86 performance benchmarks and elaborating on the new course for the company.

In his post, Godfrey wrote about the ever changing computing scene, noting that
Perhaps the most controversial statement of them all was explaining why AMD is giving way to Intel in terms of CPU performance, "Our CPUs are not x86 slouches, but our goal is not to achieve x86 benchmark supremacy because it just doesn?t matter. x86 performance no longer determines a consumer?s overall experience with their computer. The ability to handle graphics and video are much more critical."

In order to prove his point, Godfrey posted a video comparing AMD’s upcoming Llano-based Fusion APU squaring off against Intel’s Sandy Bridge-powered Core i7-2630QM.

Even though AMD did not disclose the clocks, we believe that Godfrey was trying not to disclose the true performance of Llano, since AMD’s A8-3510MX processor was a low clocked engineering sample running at 1.8GHz, while Sandy Bridge was running at 2.0GHz.

Back 2005, I started writing (and often got criticized, especially by the blue people from Santa Clara) about the computing workload shift towards visual computing and that having a powerful GPU is a necessity for 21st century computing. It is a good feeling to see all the major vendors recognizing hard at increasing their graphical processing power. Godfrey’s conclusion was quite simple, yet powerful: "We are no longer chasing the Phantom x86 Bottleneck." Also, the post about insignificance of x86 performance benchmarks comes at a very interesting moment, when AMD is finalizing the long awaited Bulldozer CPU architecture, which should re-take the crown as the fastest x86 architecture. At least, that’s what leaked slides with benchmark numbers are saying…