The BAPco Fiasco. I’m sure you heard about it by now. If not, here’s the TL;DR version:
- BAPco, makers of SYSMark, released the 2012 version recently
- AMD didn’t like that the benchmark is very CPU centric, and basically accused them of putting together the benchmark to favour Intel CPUs. This is due to using programs that do not make use of GPU acceleration (which is an important part of their direction, which includes a GPU on the chip).
- They cited programs like OCR programs and archiving utilities to be too heavily favoured, and that only 10% of the 390 variables and 7 of the 18 apps make up for too much of the score.
- AMD, Nvidia, and VIA all left the BAPco consortium.
- BAPco responded, saying that AMD didn’t have any problems with SYSMark 2012 for over 2 years, until now. “AMD voted in support of over 80% of the SYSmark 2012 development milestones, and were supported by BAPCo in 100% of the SYSmark 2012 proposals they put forward to the consortium.”
So once again we have one company trashing a benchmark they don’t like. In this case, it doesn’t use enough GPU to call itself a “System Benchmark” and is more of a “CPU” benchmark. But because today’s (or should I say tomorrow’s) CPUs all contain GPUs, it is really just a “Half CPU Benchmark”. Or whatever.
The way I see it, it is still useful as a benchmark of how its particular applications perform on a system. If you want to know how various groups of applications perform on a system, then it is of some use. For instance, the Office Productivity suite uses the following applications, and gives a score for performance:
- ABBYY FineReader Pro 10.0
- Adobe Acrobat Pro 9
- Adobe Flash Player 10.1
- Microsoft Excel 2010
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 8
- Microsoft Outlook 2010
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
- Microsoft Word 2010
- WinZip Pro 14.5
Those are all pretty common programs used in “office productivity” if you ask me, so that would be a pretty useful score. The problem is, we don’t know how much each application affects the score… It wouldn’t make much sense for “ABBYY FineReader Pro” to make up 95% of the score, for instance (not that it does, just an example).
We will still be using SYSMark in our reviews, but with the caveats noted. On top of that, we always include plenty of real world applications – something we have been focusing on for a long time – to give a better idea of how each component performs. To me, this is far more important than giving a simple aggregate score that came out of who-knows-where.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at today’s hardware reviews!
- Gigabyte 990 FXA-UD7 Review @ Guru3D
- NZXT Havik 140 CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
- Logitech Z906 Speaker System Review @ HotHardware.com
- Razer TRON Legacy Gaming Mouse And Mat Bundle Review @ RWLabs
- Enermax EMG700AWT Modu87+ 700W @ Rbmods
- EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AC Ryan PlayOn!HD2 Media Player Review @ TweakTown
- NZXT H2 Classic Silent Mid-Tower Case Review @ OCIA
- OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Technology RevoDrive X2 100GB PCI Express SSD Review @ Bigbruin
- Logisys 12V Remote Kit Review @ Hardware Pacers
- Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 @ PureOverclock
- Corsair HS1A Gaming Headset Review @ Techgage
- Mushkin Blackline Ridgeback 2000 MHz DDR3 8GB review @ Guru3D
- ASUS MATRIX GeForce GTX 580 1536MB Platinum OC’ed Video Card Review @ Tweaktown