Long before several smartphone companies was accused (and found guilty) of manipulating results of its mobile chipsets in benchmarking software, Intel had been doing it with its own chips…almost 15 years ago.
Way back in the early 2000s, the threat of AMD was a lot more competitive, with the Athlon chips from AMD proving more than a match for Intel’s Pentium range. Intel were so concerned with the threat from AMD that it resorted to something unthinkable at the time: to manipulate the performance scores of Intel’s first-generation Pentium processors, making them appear to be more powerful than the AMD Athlon chips.
It took 14 years for a class-action lawsuit to finally put justice upon Intel’s actions, where Intel and HP – which has been accused of “knowing about and substantially assisting” Intel in manipulating the performance scores – will now stand trial on 23 January next year. If found guilty, Intel will have to pay everyone in the US who purchased the first-gen Pentium processor between 20 November 2000 and 31 December 2001 a grand total of $15 (about RM46) – one dollar for every year of “deceit”. On top of that, Intel will also be required to donate a much more significant sum of $4 million to charity.