AMD calls for more realistic notebook benchmarks

Chip firm AMD said here in Austin today that the current model of
benchmarks for notebooks, on both speed and battery performance are
fatally flawed.

It is taking steps to redress that balance.

Leslie Sobon, worldwide VP of product marketing, said: “If you go to a retail store, selling PCs are still very much marketed as utilitarian devices and there’s nothing done to help people understand they have an entertainment device.”  She said that focus groups show that there’s a delicate balance between explaining technology and reassuring people they don’t have to fully understand that technology.

She continued: “Intel has made the processor component the hero above all else, but we know mainstream consumers don’t think about processors nearly as much as they used to. In some countries it’s not even in the top 10.”

She said: “Intel has spent lots of money with Intel Inside and making that try to make that matter above all else. It may be working for Intel but it’s not working for anyone else, including the OEMs. The OEMs have been there for a couple of years… and their marketing and advertising show they know this is is the place to go. Intel is continuing to market like it’s 1995.”

She said that AMD is using the 3Dmark06 benchmark for Q4 of this year, but eventually AMD will get to usage battery life times, similar to those used in cellphones. She said the expectation of mainstream consumers is that they’re going to get longer batter life and they don’t.

Joe Macri, senior director of ASIC/layout design at AMD, added: “It’s a goal to get to a more realistic set of measurements.”

AMD aims to create a benchmark in the near future that mainstream users really understand, added Scott Shutter, senior manager of product marketing at AMD.

Consumers aren’t seeing the kind of battery life they expect, said Sobon.  She said that AMD wants to give people an idea of how muc battery life they can get out of using a particular application, whether it be video editing or games. “That’s ultimately what the industry needs,” she said.