Who Has The Big One?

A recession has arrived in the most economically developed parts of the world, and tech sales are falling.  What to do when you’re a CPU company?  (Warning: Genital analogies abound.)

Apparently, you get out the LN2 and start a size contest.

I’m not going to start linking to various items because nobody seems to agree on the exact details, but AMD apparently had a private demonstration showing an LN2-enabled Phenom II doing well over 5GHz in Crysis, and over 6GHz doing something that showed some sign of CPU life. 

At least some of the results seemed to have exceeded independent Nehalem attempts, so the maybe official, maybe not Intel engineer overclockfather may or may not have made a number of comments that may or may not be accurate about what he may or may not have done privately with a Nehalem or what he may or may not have Intel do shortly to beat whatever AMD did. 

Now if Intel and AMD want to have a “mine is bigger” (in GHz) contest, that’s fine by me, but so far, any and all attempts have been downright droopy, if not acutely flaccid.  Why?  Because these folks aren’t exposing themselves to the public, or each other. 

If these folks really had, well, the companion partners to the outsized extremity they claim, they would both whip out their equipment in public and let everyone see the total package, touch them, play with them a bit, and most importantly, compare them.  How can we possibly figure out who has the biggest one unless we see them side by side in action?

Is this what we’re getting?  No!!!  So far, at best, we get limpy displays behind closed doors.  Really, if you were wooing a prospective partner, would you have that person sign an NDA before show time, just so you can control the exact details of what comes out?  Bad as that is, even that’s better than whatever it is that Intel guy is trying to do. 

Do you know what the problem is?  All these characters are trying to simulate tough guyness, but deep down inside, the people running the show are wimpy control freaks.   They won’t, they can’t lay it out on the line; they can’t have a real contest with real people watching.  They have to control everything.  Nothing says teeny-tiny like public relations.  If these people prayed, this would be their prayer:

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling the transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear.

They can’t be real. 

Think I’m wrong; think I’m being unfair?  Very well, here’s a modest proposal:

CES is next month.  Everyone there will probably be moaning and groaning about the recession from beginning to end, so entertainment is definitely called for.  Let some independent third party announce a competition to all comers, make some simple ground rules governing what can and cannot be done and creating a test a little more involved than a sub-ten SuperPi suicide run.  Have somebody spring for a trophy for the winner, and make this a yearly event at CES.   

This would generate huge publicity, this year and every year, but of course, it would be real, and being real, either party could lose (after all, equipment does break down).  Can we have that? 

Let’s see who shows up and brings some game, and let’s see who turns into whiny little girls.  Let’s see something real for a change.   


About Ed Stroligo 95 Articles
Ed Stroligo was one of the founders of Overclockers.com in 1998. He wrote hundreds of editorials analyzing the tech industry and computer hardware. After 10+ years of contributing, Ed retired from writing in 2009.

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