Big. If AMD can compete again, expect lower price.
Principle Technologies responded to the benchmarking controversy surrounding its recent gaming benchmarking report. The report, which was paid for by Intel, pitted AMD’s Ryzen processors against the Intel’s new lineup of Coffee Lake Refresh processors. A closer examination of the results revealed a few test conditions that obviously could skew the results in favor of Intel’s processor, including using a less-capable CPU cooler on AMD’s chip, disabling half the cores on an AMD Ryzen processor, and a listing in the test notes that said the firm overclocked the RAM on Intel’s platform only. The company says that it is retesting the processors to correct the errors.
The firm responded to all three allegations, but the most important revelation revolves around AMD’s Game Mode. This feature essentially disables half of the processors’ available cores to circumvent the eccentricities of the Threadripper architecture, but isn’t designed for use with the mainstream Ryzen processors. Principled Technologies admitted that it did test the Ryzen 7 2700X in Game Mode, which turns the eight-core processor into a four-core chip, thus crippling it in gaming tests that respond well to extra cores and threads. The company is working to retest the Ryzen processors with the chip in its native eight-core mode.
The company also explained its decision to use a less-capable cooler with the Ryzen 7 2700X. As we know, less-capable coolers can impact performance, but the company stuck with the stock AMD cooler because “AMD said it was a good cooler.” That will certainly need to be rectified during the company’s retests, as the beefier Noctua cooler on the Intel processor could afford it an advantage. As we’ve proven in the past, improved cooling benefits both AMD and Intel’s chips by allowing the processors to operate at their Boost frequencies more frequently, and then maintain the heightened clock speeds for longer periods of time.
The company also clarified the memory settings. Principled Technologies used the XMP profile, which automatically assigns tight timings for the Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200 memory (running at DDR4-2666) installed in the Intel system. However, its initial report did not disclose that the company actually used the D.O.C.P. settings for AMD’s XMP-equivalent, meaning that the memory tests were in fact fair.
The firm also clarified the motherboards it used for testing the AMD systems, which were initially listed incorrectly. We’ll follow up as more information becomes available.