Nvidia accuses Intel of lying
By Digital News Asia August 19, 2016
- Intel accused of using outdated server benchmark
- Nvidia claims better performance using its latest GPU
GPU manufacturer Nvidia has accused Intel of promoting false benchmark figures about the performance of its Knights Landing Xeon Phi co-processor cards.
Intel's Xeon Phi is a co processor targeted at the supercomputer and enterprise markets, including servers, and workstations. It usually works alongside an existing Intel processor like the Xeon or Core i7. The Tianhe 2 supercomputer at the National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou, China, one of the fastest in the world, utilises the Xeon Phi co-processor.
Watch the video below to see how the Xeon Phi accelerates computing tasks.
Nvidia's own Tesla GPUs are aimed at the same market segment as Intel's Xeon Phi. Nvidia Teslas also power some of the world's fastest supercomputers, including the Titan at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States.
Nvidia takes issue with a slide presented by Intel at ISC 2016, a high performance computing conference. The company disputes Intel's claims that the Xeon Phi provides "2.3x faster training" for neural networks and that it has "38 percent better scaling" across nodes.
Nvidia claims that in the latest version of the benchmark, Nvidia's Maxwell-based Tesla card is 30 percent faster. The company also says that a newer version of the Tesla co-processor using the latest Pascal GPU architecture would be 90 percent faster.
The high performance computing segment (HPC) of the PC industry is a fast growing one. While sales of regular PCs and laptops are declining steadily every year, the HPC segment is growing rapidly. According to IDC, the HPC server market was worth US $10 billion last year. So it is hardly surprising that both Nvidia and Intel would want to claim performance leadership in this segment.
Also, this is not the first time that GPU and CPU manufacturers have accused each other of fudging benchmark numbers. Going all the way back to 2003, Nvidia had traded fire with Futuremark over their 3DMark 2003 benchmark. Futuremark had accused Nvidia of using driver tricks to artificially inflate final benchmark scores.
Just last year, AMD accused Nvidia of using its Gameworks suite of developer tools to sabotage the performance of AMD GPUs in Project Cars and The Witcher 3 games. You can see more details about the controversy in this video below.
Since there are billions of dollars at stake, it is likely that the benchmark-related accusations and counter accusations will continue for a long time. As some on the net describe it, it is probably better to call the process 'benchmarketing' than benchmarking.
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