Intel CEO Says There’s Too Much Focus On Benchmarks

A recent statement from Intel’s CEO has shared some interesting food for thought on how we think about PC performance.

Bob Swan, chief executive at Intel said that the PC industry is too focused on benchmark numbers when the full picture of the broader benefits should be taken into account. He made these comments as part of the ‘Message to Computex’ video which was uploaded on YouTube.

Tiger Lake Updates

In the video, Swan also confirmed that the next-generation Tiger Lake processors for laptops would still be arriving mid-2020, right on schedule. We can expect them “later this summer” so we’d guess around August time or July at the earliest.

Swan also went on to say that these Tiger Lake CPUs would “cement [Intel’s] position as the undisputed leader in mobile computing and PC innovation”. We imagine this statement won’t go down well with AMD fans who are currently praising the tech giant for the latest line of Ryzen 4000 mobile processors. AMD’s alternatives are certainly impressing a lot of people, which makes Swan’s statement even bolder.

That being said, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Intel does indeed dominate the laptop market. Most laptops have Intel processors so it’s hard to argue with the market leader here. It will, however, be interesting to see how the laptop market changes in the future as AMD makes a lot of progress.

What Should We Focus on Besides Benchmark Figures?

Swan also said: “We should see this moment as an opportunity to shift our focus as an industry from benchmarks to the benefits and impacts of the technology we create. The pandemic has underscored the need for technology to be purpose-built so it can meet these evolving business and consumer needs.”

These comments have led to a few people suggesting that Tiger Lake won’t be the big step up in performance we were all expecting. Although that might be a more cynical take on what Swan said. However, with Intel seeming to fall short against AMD in the benchmarking department more and more these days, it makes sense that they would prefer to be judged on something else.

Another question this raises is how we’re meant to quantify performance and the differences between processors without the use of benchmark figures. However, from Swan’s comments, it doesn’t suggest that benchmarks are unimportant or should be disregarded, just that they shouldn’t be the only focus.

What other benefits we should be focusing on regarding CPUs isn’t entirely clear. However, besides performance, one other thing to think about is price. This is somewhere where Intel typically falls behind AMD so it will be interesting to see if Tiger Lake starts a shift to a more competitive pricing model.

If we hear any updates about Tiger Lake CPUs, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Swan’s comments? Do you think we focus too much on benchmarks where there are other CPU benefits to focus on? Let us know in the comments below.