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Roy Taylor Blog: The real price of productivity

by Guest Author on 12 June 2014, 09:30

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacfkv

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This is a guest blog by Roy Taylor, corporate vice president of global channel sales at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

Fair benchmarking

Over the last year we have seen that when making comparisons between AMD and Intel APUs using a fair and independent benchmark like PCMark 8.2, our products offer better performance for less cost than competing products in the same class.

This fact is gathering an increasingly larger audience around the world and causes many to give AMD a fresh look.  However, I believe that it is doing a much bigger service than helping AMD and our channel partners to be successful.  I also believe that the use of a fair benchmark to make these comparisons is righting a fundamental wrong.

Let’s take a look at the price comparisons between us and our competitor.

AMD PIB PCM8 Work Intel PIB PCM8 Work Difference
A10 7850K $170 4,287 i5 4670K $240 4,243 $70
A10 7700K $160 4,175 i5 4670T $220 3,857 $60
A10 6800K $120 4,071 i5 4440 $195 3,972 $75
A8 6600K $105 3,828 i3 4340 $160 3,677 $55
A6 6400K $65 3,331 Pent. G3430 $100 3,542 $35

The prices were taken on the morning of June 11, 2014 from Newegg.com and the PCMark 8.2 Work scores were taken from our latest Competitive Line Up (CLU) report.  The CLU report is an AMD internal report whereby AMD Labs benchmarks our offerings against those of our competitors. I used the PCMark 8.2 “Work” test since, conservatively speaking, it does not focus on graphics performance and thus is usually perceived by reviewers as the toughest PCMark test for AMD.

We can see that the differences are significant. If we were to multiply these differences in price by the difference in market share for each SKU, there can be no doubt that quite literally hundreds of millions of dollars are being overspent around the world.

At a fundamental level we understand this. But spare a thought for a moment to consider that among potential overspenders are people and organisations that either cannot afford that difference or could spend it in better ways. Schools and universities, hospitals, government departments, transport authorities, train and bus companies come to mind as some of the many examples.

Why waste money?

Why are schools around the world spending money on technology that could be better spent in classrooms and extracurricular activities for children? We could ask why our hospitals are spending money on pricey technology could be spent on extra beds. In the pharmaceutical industry, there is a debate about overcharging for life-saving drugs but I believe a similar debate should take place about the premium that our competitors are charging for APUs that simply should not exist.

Encouraging and communicating the serious need for everyone in our industry to adopt the use of an independent benchmark like PCMark 8.2 is pressing. No discussion about APUs should take place without reference to it. For too long consumers and IT authorities have been without a true and fair means to make comparisons between technologies and that is no longer the case.

Every one of us at AMD and all of our channel partners stand at a crossroads in our industry. Ahead of us is the chance to make a real difference to the world, a real chance to right a fundamental wrong, focus on the true price of productivity and show how fairer benchmarking can bring about change that can affect millions of people for the better. Please join us in taking up this challenge.

Do you agree with Roy's stance, or do you think it's marketing hyberbole? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the HEXUS.community forums.



HEXUS Forums :: 42 Comments

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So how much does it cost to get a “Guest Post” on here?

This just looks like AMD whining that their chips get slaughtered in most benchmarks, and that review sites should only use a benchmark that narrows the gap.

Just my thoughts, I'm not biased to one brand or another, got a mix of Intel and AMD (and ARM) where appropriate.
It costs nothing for a guest post from a VP-level executive in a company that all enthusiasts are very familiar with.

Roy likes to foster debate by stridently putting forward his views, much as he did in a previous post - http://hexus.net/tech/features/cpu/59489-roy-taylor-blog-the-importance-amd-apu-category/ - and it's up to you to agree or disagree with it. We allow him to post because he really does have an opinion on matters and doesn't hide behind bland corporate speak.

My personal opinion is that he has a point, but over-reliance on the one benchmark you do well in isn't perhaps the best strategy.
virtuo
This just looks like AMD whining that their chips get slaughtered in most benchmarks, and that review sites should only use a benchmark that narrows the gap.

No, I think he's making the point that if you use a benchmark that reflects the corporate world rather than the enthusiast world, there's nothing to choose between Intel and AMD in terms of performance, yet everything to choose in terms of price. Roy makes an excellent point here; one I can relate to from my time spent as a self-employed IT consultant. And interestingly he goes through a whole article about the cost of workplace PCs without even mentioning the AM1 platform - perhaps because there's no real competitor to it from Intel, pricewise (even the cheapest Celeron is more expensive than the quad core Sempron 3850).

I'm always pleased to see these kinds of articles on hexus, because the channel and business side of the site has dipped off significantly in recent years compared to when I first joined the forum (one of the things that used to bring me here was Scott Bicheno's excellent analysis of the corporate and channel side of things). I always used to appreciate that Hexus didn't just focus on enthusiast and gaming, and while the channel/corporate side has taken a back seat over time, it's nice to see it's not being ignored completely: a lot more computers are bought to sit on desks in offices than to play the latest AAA games, after all….

EDIT: just to add that I don't think there's a benchmark out there that really addresses standard workplace usage, as the computer - and in particular the processor - is rarely the bottleneck. For workplaces PCs pretty much any modern platform will be “good enough” - benchmarks won't really tell you an awful lot.
I also agree that relying on one benchmark isn't perhaps the best strategy. The consumer (informed) will always look at different benchmarks, as they want to get the best performance and efficiency for specific scenarios. However, I also think that for desktop work, processors have hit a plateau, that for most cases increasing processing power won't really make much difference to the end experience. A good SSD over a HDD will be a better investment in a lot of cases!

I personally am interested in the next release of APUs for use in steam boxes (also when decent looking itx cases are made, that would sit nice next to the TV), as I think they still struggle a bit with 1080p gaming (look at ps4, xbox one). I know they are slightly different being Jag cores, but I still don't think they are “next gen”, and it was a bit of a mistake not using a discrete graphics chip in the latest gen consoles.
Thanks Tarinder, I'm used to seeing guest posts being thinly veiled, paid-for marketing spots on other sites. I do think it's good that the thoughts of people high up in these companies are made available. I do appreciate the content as well, just my opinion at the end of it was that it came across a bit whiney.

I'll check out Roy's other post now.

Does the “channel” buy from Newegg?