Following the controversial Aberdeen report, Intel have really turned on the heat on AMD. Intel are now offering their customers a "training class" which aims to demonstrate how flawed AMD's naming policy is.
Last week Intel begun accepting applications to join the set of online seminars, their introductory note reads We've developed a training class to help you understand the facts behind AMD Athlon* processor naming methodology. Attend the training through our Internet broadcast, where you can choose from several one-hour sessions over the next several weeks. We'll address your questions during the session, via e-mail.
Your class attendance will entitle you to receive a summary document, and eligibility to win one of four Pentium 4 processor-based systems.
The seminars focus on a comparison between the Athlon XP at 1.67GHz and the Pentium 4 2.2GHz. Intel use two main sets of benchmarks. One set from SPEC, an industry-standard ranking, and another set testing features such as content creation, gaming and video rendering. A spokesman for AMD, when asked about the SPEC benchmark results said "It doesn't relate a lot to either consumer or business use, unless you're in the scientific community."
Further criticism of Intel's "course" may arise from their choice of systems. The choice of systems used is a Pentium 4 Northwood with Rambus memory, while the AMD system uses DDR DRAM, which offers less bandwidth for memory-intensive applications such as video rendering, but is much cheaper. Most Intel systems however, do not carry the rambus option while in benchmark tests, when both systems use DDR, AMD's 1.67GHz often outperforms Intel's 2.2 GHz P4.
The point remains that even if everything Intel mentions in its courses is true, they have chosen the wrong way of bringing it to our attention. With the Aberdeen report and now these courses, Intel faces the danger of being viewed as a spoiled child afraid of losing attention rather than the serious processor manufacturer that it is.