AMD accused of falsifying number of cores in Bulldozer processors

AMD accused of falsifying number of cores in Bulldozer processors
AMD accused of falsifying number of cores in Bulldozer processors
AMD's use of "modules" and "cores" interchangeably on the marketing side may now be backfiring.

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In the U.S., a consumer has filed a class action lawsuit against AMD for marketing a 2011 Bulldozer CPU as an octa-core processor. The plaintiff claims that the processor does not utilize eight cores in the traditional sense and accuses AMD for false advertisement.

CPU enthusiasts will know that AMD defines "cores" differently than Intel. In AMD's case, certain cores are unable to operate independently from one another. Thus, instead of 8 parallel threads as one would expect from an octa-core CPU, a Bulldozer CPU may only be able to operate 4 threads simultaneously in a total of 4 "modules". This is information that the plaintiff believes should have been marketed more clearly as to not deceive less-informed customers.

So why did AMD market its Bulldozer processors as octa-core chips? For one, there is a perception that performance is directly related to the number of cores similar to how the average customer may relate camera quality to the number of megapixels. Secondly, AMD's unique naming convention and architecture allows Windows to recognize 8 separate cores even though there are indeed much less when compared to competing Intel cores.

AMD has yet to respond to the accusations. The fabless company recently announced a loss of almost $200 million USD for the third quarter of 2015.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2015 11 > AMD accused of falsifying number of cores in Bulldozer processors
Ronald Tiefenthäler/ Allen Ngo, 2015-11-11 (Update: 2015-11-11)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.