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Nvidia claims Intel cheated in their Xeon Phi benchmarks

By Scorpus ยท 17 replies
Aug 17, 2016
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  1. Nvidia is not happy with the data that Intel has presented in a recent keynote involving the company's Xeon Phi compute processors. According to Nvidia, Intel has used old benchmarking software and hardware to paint Xeon Phi in a more competitive light against Nvidia's compute hardware.

    On a slide presented at ISC 2016, Intel claims that their Xeon Phi hardware is up to 2.3x faster at neural network training than a competing Nvidia GPU. Xeon Phi is also allegedly up to 38% better at scaling, according to the data and comparisons that Intel used on the above slide. Nvidia has disputed both of these claims in a recent blog post.

    Intel has apparently manipulated these benchmarks by using an out-of-date version of the benchmarking software Caffe AlexNet, the latest versions of which give Nvidia a 30 percent training performance advantage over Intel. Nvidia also says that Intel compared Xeon Phi to older Maxwell-based products; had they compared to modern Pascal parts, Nvidia would have a 90 percent advantage.

    The scalability claim is also disputed by Nvidia, with the company saying that Intel compared 32 Xeon Phi servers to 32 servers using Nvidia's four-year-old Kepler-based Tesla K20X hardware. Had Intel used Maxwell cards, which aren't even using the latest architecture, workloads would have scaled in a near-linear fashion up to 128 GPUs.

    Naturally Nvidia believes that GPUs are a better solution for deep learning workloads, however Intel disagrees, and has defended their benchmarking in a statement to Ars Technica:

    It is completely understandable that Nvidia is concerned about Intel in this space. Intel routinely publishes performance claims based on publicly available solutions at the time, and we stand by our data.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,216   +398

    Lol Nvidia is use to doing that to AMD/ATI now when a bigger guy does it to them they cry priceless :)
    Nobina likes this.
  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,762   +435

    Well Intel needs a solution in that space and for a function such as this, they have been epic failures in the GPU space and GPGPU by extension. It's not surprising they need to compare their unreleased tech to things that are several years old.

    I think any IT company that doesn't check benchmarks for modern GPUs and CPUs only has themselves to blame for falling for this stuff. But yeah... Intel can only win this battle in their marketing releases which fits with their response.
  4. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 252   +103


    WTF Intel?!
  5. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 292   +118

    That was my reaction as well hahaha.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,167   +3,261

    While you point fingers and Intel and nVidia, I'm sure AMD is completely innocent. Right? I didn't think so.
  7. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,314   +537

    A company generally only responds in the public forum if they judge that the other company is a threat... regardless of the truth of the benchmarks, I think it's fair to assume Nvidia deems Intel a threat in this area... funny how they rarely bother to call out AMD - maybe because they don't see them as a threat :)
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
    cliffordcooley and Evernessince like this.
  8. trajan2050

    trajan2050 TS Rookie Posts: 17   +6

    Nvidia did the right thing exposing Intel's disingenuous test results. Now let's see tests with CURRENT Nvidia technology and see what's what. There is a reason the 2 fastest US computers are being built using Nvidia. Their software CUDA based eco- system is well entrenched for many applications.
  9. poohbear

    poohbear TS Addict Posts: 119   +67

    Intel tried to make their own GPU and after spending billions they retired the project. It was a disaster. Pascal is light years ahead of what anyone has, including Intel. I doubt Intel is a threat at all given their track record going into new projects.
    wastedkill likes this.
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,762   +435

    Intel was effectively claiming their perf was 2x what it really is compared to NVIDIAs offering. It is much harder for AMD to come up with that sort of BS due to the quantity of gaming reviews out there.
  11. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 465   +77

    It takes one to know one
    Nobina likes this.
  12. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,136   +624

    Thank god for our holy overlords at Nvidia that never did anything shady expose a dirty giant such as Intel.
  13. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,314   +537

    Actually, it turned into Iris, and a VAST quantity of PCs and laptops use it exclusively...

    And the actual project turned into Phi of course... which is powering servers and other supercomputers quite impressively....
    Oh, and Phi has been released for quite some time now... it's just meant for big companies, not personal users....
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  14. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,216   +398

    Nobody is totally clean.

    But NV has a history of benchmark cheating, driver shenanigans, vendor lockins,propriety everything!,

    Where as AMD tends to be more open source and does things that benefits the whole industry and not just their own pocket book.

    NV may have faster hardware currently but I know which company I prefer when its comes to ethics and being open minded, and doing things to benefit everyone.

    And that is why its ironic they are crying when intel gives them a taste of their own medicine.

    And I should have put a disclaimer on my first post because the inner fan boys in most people will take it the wrong way :)
  15. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 535   +210

    Dude, Larrabee was a fail in all fronts, they borrowed things from it for Phi, but Phi is not a GPU; it's a co-processor -now a fully fledged processor. Iris has nothing to do with Larrabee; Iris are modified implementations of Imagination Technologies IP -since Intel didn't really know about graphics.

    The Phi co-processor didn't turn out to be that powerful, that's why Knights Landing changed the focus to be bootable and try to gain some market share from NVIDIA. Even Intel acknowledged [internally] months ago that NVIDIA is the true top dog in supercomputing space and they're trying to go for it. Go check the market share figures and NVIDIA has a position in supercomputing similar to Intel in servers; Knights Corner is OK for the industry, but they aren't holding their breath.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  16. That Other Guy

    That Other Guy TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +13

    This is what happens when marketing gets involved... numbers can be used to tell any story they want.

    this story pretty much has no bearing whatsoever on the vast majority of ppl. anyone looking at which technology they are going to use are likely to look at more than just a single slide from Intel before investing.

    This is just the nVidia marketing team throwing bits o-poop at the Intel marketing team... who cares?
  17. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Daddy how was NVidia able to overshadow 3dfx decades ago?

    Futuremark quote:
    "We have now established that NVIDIA's Detonator FX drivers contain certain detection mechanisms that cause an artificially high score when using 3DMark 03. We have just published a patch 330 for 3DMark03 that defeats the detection mechanisms in the drivers and provides correct results".

    nVidia had no comments on this matter.
  18. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,314   +537

    And where is 3dfx now?

    Guess it worked....

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