The Inquirer says it has seen some documents which outline how AMD wants to manage and control the Athlon FX/Athlon 64 review process. The exact phrase used is “conduct all reviews directly with reviewers.”
This ought to bother you, a lot. You’re going to inevitably end up with a biased picture with Big Brother one way or another sitting on your shoulder.
In a world where integrity mattered, AMD would be universally told to take their systems and shove it. But I fantasize.
The sad reality is many, if not most people, both reviewers and reviewees, don’t want the truth. Truth can hurt. Truth doesn’t respect your biases and prejudices.
What many, if not most people want is to be told what they want to hear. They want their biases and prejudices reinforced. They want to be told, “See, I was right,” and when they are, they’re not going to look too closely at the details.
How To Be Manipulated, A Little At A Time
What we are beginning to see and will continue to see are subtle manipulations, slants and biases in the reviews. Since the average person really doesn’t read with 100% accuracy or memory or comprehensions, those manipulations will take advantage of that.
The idea is to create this generalized warm, fuzzy feeling of AMD being back on top again, and where do I sign up?
The reality is an Athlon FX running at 2.2GHz will probably do a little better overall (somewhat to rather better in some things, somewhat to rather worse in others) than a 3.2GHz PIV, and a little bit better than that for games, and an Athlon 64 running at 2.2GHz will do a little bit worse, and not that little bit better for games (single-channel memory, you understand).
That’s not bad at all, and better than we thought even a month or so ago, but it’s hardly enough to cause a feeding frenzy.
So good isn’t good enough. Time to get biased.
It can be as simple and crude as using mostly or entirely benchmarks that unduly favor the Hammer setup, or disfavor the PIV.
You’ll likely see a lot of Athlon FX comparisons, and not too many socket 754 comparisons. This will leave the average gamer with that warm fuzzy feeling when looking at socket 754 systems when it really shouldn’t.
Rather than compare a Hammer to a 3.2GHz PIV, you’ll see comparisons with a 3.0C processor.
It’s going to be a matter of a few percentage points here, a handful there, but when you have a situation where:
a) in reality, it’s close and
b) the two processors being compared don’t really consistently compare well against each other (each processor has pronounced strengths and weaknesses compared to the other)
. . . it’s easy to slant a case heavily in favor of either.