Intel in Hot Water Over Xeon/EPYC Benchmark, Claims It Didn’t ‘Intentionally Mislead’ Consumers

Hot on the tail of Intel’s claims that its Xeon Platinum 9282 was 84% faster than AMD’s EPYC Rome 7742 CPU, the microchip giant raised its head above the parapet to clarify the parameters of the test and explain that it didn’t ‘intentionally mislead’ consumers.

Original Intel Benchmark

The results read; ’56 core Xeon Platinum 9282 ranges from 8% to 84% better performance (31% 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.’

The benchmarks used for the test ran an older version of GROMACS that wasn’t optimized for AMD Zen2 chips, and the results were consequently skewed in Intel’s favor from the get-go. The consensus was that Intel had intentionally misled consumers in an unfair comparison between the two CPUs.

Intel’s Apology

ServeTheHome report that after a brief chat with the company following the controversy, Intel said the GROMACS version used did incorporate AMD’s AV2 vector math engine, which by its own accord, made the test fair on the AMD EPYC Rome CPU.

Intel also amended the Medium post that highlighted the benchmark results to state that the GROMACS test had been tooled to work equally well for both processors (it calls it ‘best-known optimizations’), while even saying that results with the latest 2019.4 version of GROMACS produced very similar results.

The Medium post now reads; ‘We appreciate the passion and engagement of this community for bringing issues to our attention. Intel is committed to always provide fair, transparent, and accurate performance results and would not intentionally mislead. We will continue to share our latest technology developments and findings with you.’

Final Word

While AMD has remained silent throughout the debacle, an AMD representative sent the following benchmarks to The Register when prompted for a comment. The benchmarks show that AMD EPYC chips still hold over 100 world records for performance. AMD is evidently not shaken by Intel’s dubious marketing ploy.

As AMD continues to encroach of CPU market share across the board, it’s clear that Intel is feeling threatened and adopting some questionable tactics to frame its products as superior in any way possible.