AMD has announced that it has ended its membership in BABCo. The decision was made after the organization refused to renew the testsuit SYSmark and be open with the tests used and the weight of the scores used when marketing on the PC market.
BABCo have been heavily criticized for its synthetic test suit SYSmark and even if the organization consists of several independent companies that all have a chance to contribute to the development of the new tests several major companies have now decided to leave after BABCo refused to update itsefl.
AMD is one of the companies that decided to leave and has in a combined press release and blog entry announced that it is not only disappointed in BABCo but also its way of developing SYSmark 2012. AMD’s Nigel Dessau writes in a blog entry that AMD have been trying to get BABCo to adapt open standards for over a uear and really look at how modern chips are made, which it belives should be taken into consideration when a PC test suit like SYSmark is being developed.
SYSmark is used to market PC systems by computer builders and OEMs. That main competitor Intel is deeply involved in BABCo have been clear for some time and it no doubt Intel’s chips that have proved the strongest in SYSmark. Something AMD claims is due to faulty development and weighing of the scores, something that was not changed with SYSmark 2012. Among others it uses older applications like Internet Explorer 8.0 and Firefox 3.6 that neither support HTML5 or GPU acceleration.
AMD wants GPGPU functionality to become a bigger part of the suit and that BABCo should consider the power of the GPUs used also in regular applications, which is currently not reflected by SYSmark, which will weigh in Intel’s favor.
”The heart of our complaint is this: the SYSmark benchmark is not only comprised of unrepresentative workloads (workloads that ignore the importance of heterogeneous computing and, frankly, favor our competitor’s designs), but it actually generates misleading results that can lead to very poor purchasing decisions, causing governments worldwide to historically overspend somewhere in the area of approximately $8B!”, kommenterade Nigel Dessau i ett blogginlägg på AMD.com
AMD has decided to cancel its membership and remove itself from the organization in protest, which earlier also NVIDIA and VIA has done. Synthetic tests have been criticized in all times, and we have always made sure to have a solid mixture of synthetic and more realistic tests and certainly put the emphasis on the latter.
BABCo SYSmark has never been a part of our test suit and it is hard to agree with either side without having a more detailed view into the software, but more companies seem displeased with how SYSmark is developed.
Since AMD’s official statement BABCo has released a reply where it says that AMD has suppported 80% of the changes made to SYSmark 2012 and that it never threatened to expel AMD, which AMD claimed it did. The official statements can be found below;