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REALLY Bad Tom's article...

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Last response: in CPUs
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January 18, 2006 12:41:05 PM

Maybe I'm missing something, so I figured I'd throw this to the community:

I'd like to direct your attention to the article, How Many Cores Do You Need To Be "Hardcore"?

They're evaluating two ubar AMD boxes. What do they use to benchmark 2 SLI & RAID AMD setups against? A P4 660 with Kingston Value RAM, a single vvid card and a single HDD. Check out the specs here:

The Test System

The only thing I'm going to say about the "Reference Platform" is that it's more than 50% less than the other 2 systems. I'll let the specs speak for themselves.

Seems like a shameless advertisement under the guise of an article to me. Anyone who skips to the conclusion or to the benchmarks (As most don't compare the test specs) would be mislead to believe that these systems are better than they really are (versus comperable systems).

Maybe I'm missing something someone else can point out (And I read the explanation on the test setup page, and it's BS).

More about : bad tom article

January 18, 2006 12:58:02 PM

I'm not going to bother actually reading the article, but from your description it sounds pretty typical of the state of affairs at THG lately.
January 18, 2006 1:09:06 PM

i think its just showing how dual-core/videocards is faster than single cards... but in that case maybe they coulda used a single 7800gtx 512 instead of the whimpy 7800gt... (not that the 7800 is whimpy, just compared to the gtx 512 it is :) )
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January 18, 2006 1:23:04 PM

Quote:
We were approached by Redmond Magazine to share with their readers (in the January 2006 issue) the latest and greatest gaming PCs that the market had to offer. Naturally, we decided to take what we learned during that testing and share it with our readers. For those of you who read our articles regularly, you will find some of the explanations elementary; bear with us though, as it has been a while since we have had something oriented towards the entry level.


and they did they found two uber AMD gamming systems, everyone knows Intel has screwed up royally, and so couldnt compete at the high end gamming level even with a high end intel results would of been basically the same :roll:
January 18, 2006 1:30:47 PM

I havnt been able to read an article on THG in a while now without rolling my eyes

they're poorly wwritten

and they're few and far between these days.... before the design layout there were at least 1 -2 new ones a day

now i've seen the same top story on the front page for almost a week. and the side stories havnt changed in longer
January 18, 2006 1:36:26 PM

I read that too and was kind of wondering what point they were trying to make. The only thing I took away from that article was if you have a ton of money to spend you can get a super fast computer. I thought it sounded like a big advertisment too.
January 18, 2006 1:54:30 PM

Yea, to have an intel machine anymore is to be shamed. I can remember when intel was it. Then AMD came along as a cost effective challenger. Now AMD is expensive. This is the reason more and more people are buying consoles anymore. They can't afford a $5000.00 computer to play a $50.00 game. But, it is like I have always said "IF YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY YOU ARE GOING TO PAY"!
January 18, 2006 1:59:15 PM

Quote:
I havnt been able to read an article on THG in a while now without rolling my eyes

they're poorly wwritten

and they're few and far between these days.... before the design layout there were at least 1 -2 new ones a day

now i've seen the same top story on the front page for almost a week. and the side stories havnt changed in longer
:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  I haven't even been able to figure out where things are since the layout change. Not that I've tried very hard though, since there's not been anything I've wanted to read there for much longer than that. :o 
January 18, 2006 2:08:58 PM

Yea, usually they build "Reference systems" so that they are below the analyzed hardware, but this time it was waaaay slower... 8O
January 18, 2006 2:13:54 PM

Quote:
I haven't even been able to figure out where things are since the layout change.
I will second that. Whoever is in charge of this department for THG should definitely NOT let his 14 yr old child do the design again. The site is horrid.
January 18, 2006 3:41:58 PM

Yes, the article is pure trash.

I think Eagle and that other enthusiast sent them test products and they had to come up with some lame excuse to review them.

They should have just reviewed the systems individually.

-mpjesse
January 18, 2006 4:03:47 PM

Quote:
For this we were asked by Redmond to use an Intel based system with high end hardware that typical consumers would be able purchase and put together themselves. This configuration included 2 GB of DDR SDRAM, a Western Digital WD740 Raptor hard drive, an EVGA 7800 GT, and an Asus P5WD2 Premium motherboard.


It clearly states that for a reference system they wanted to use a system that "TYPICAL CONSUMERS WOULD BE ABLE TO PURCHASE AND PUT TOGETHER THEMSELVES". Obviously clarifying the reason they "only" used a Intel CPU and a single video card. And if you ask me the system they put together is certainly a typical system that almost anyone can purchase and put together. They accomplished exactly what they said they wanted to. Whining on forums at this point is pretty ineffective to say the least.
January 18, 2006 4:12:57 PM

Quote:
Whining on forums at this point is pretty ineffective to say the least.
And griping about people whining is any better? :lol: 
January 18, 2006 5:47:45 PM

Quote:
For this we were asked by Redmond to use an Intel based system with high end hardware that typical consumers would be able purchase and put together themselves. This configuration included 2 GB of DDR SDRAM, a Western Digital WD740 Raptor hard drive, an EVGA 7800 GT, and an Asus P5WD2 Premium motherboard.


It clearly states that for a reference system they wanted to use a system that "TYPICAL CONSUMERS WOULD BE ABLE TO PURCHASE AND PUT TOGETHER THEMSELVES". Obviously clarifying the reason they "only" used a Intel CPU and a single video card. And if you ask me the system they put together is certainly a typical system that almost anyone can purchase and put together. They accomplished exactly what they said they wanted to. Whining on forums at this point is pretty ineffective to say the least.

I just wanted to point out to people who normally rely on THG for accurate, unbiased information this shady article. I don't care to troll forums, normally, nor do I care to whine. I read the explanation you quoted, which in and of itself is inaccurate. The specs you quoted contradict the table below it. I had also hoped posting this would raise enough of an uproar to ring a bell in THG that the community isn't accepting of those articles.

Along similar lines regarding their 'reasoning', I'd like to note that there is no (valid) reason to compare the reference system to the test systems: it's like comparing a Ford Taurus to a Nissan Z. You know the Z is faster, but anyone interested in buying the Z isn't going to want to see the Z versus the Taurus; they're going to want to see the Z versus the Mustang.

We all know that AMD is whomping the P4 in most areas gamers are concerned about, but a good 'Reference' would have been the Falcon versus an air-cooled FX-57 and/or a P4EE. The X2 would have been good against an air-cooled X2 or an Intel 8xx. Moreover, both test systems had RAID at 10k and SLI. The reference system a single HDD at 7200 and a single vid card.

I'd also like to reference the 'Good' THG articles, like the recent one about the new Intel EE. It compares the system oc/non-oc against a plethora of other Intel and Non-Intel products, allowing a reader to truly compare the new processor against its predecessors and competitors.

At any rate, the point I'm trying to make is when someone is looking to buy one of these computers, their search engine may lead them to this article, and it's very misleading, especially for someone who wouldn't understand what RAID and SLI mean, or the difference between RAM with a 2-2-2-5 timing and RAM with a 4-4-4-8 timing ( :!: ). For those of us who are educated buyers, just knowing that the ONLY reference platform these AMD system were pitted against was an Intel, would leave someone to believe that THG was intentionally skewing the benchmarks.

No whining, just a (detailed) cautionary note, and hopefully a red-flag to those in THG that their readers won't be duped so easily.
January 18, 2006 5:52:20 PM

I completely agree with everything that you said except one thing: The Ford Taurus SHO, with the right customization, is quite the fun car. :mrgreen:
January 18, 2006 5:54:21 PM

Quote:
I completely agree with everything that you said except one thing: The Ford Taurus SHO, with the right customization, is quite the fun car. :mrgreen:


HAHA. I stand completely corrected (and humbled :wink: ) The SHO was one of the best sleepers ever manufactured.
January 18, 2006 5:58:17 PM

One day, you know, when money grows on trees and time like a river flows, I'd like to do some serious work on my Mercury Sable. You know, new engine, new transmission, new suspension, better brakes... The little things. :D 

I figure since I've put 205K miles on it, it's due for some major work, right? :wink:
January 18, 2006 6:28:03 PM

Quote:
One day, you know, when money grows on trees and time like a river flows, I'd like to do some serious work on my Mercury Sable. You know, new engine, new transmission, new suspension, better brakes... The little things. :D 

I figure since I've put 205K miles on it, it's due for some major work, right? :wink:


The sad part is, I read that as "Time flows like a river."

Damn my slysdexia 8)

I could buy a nice BMW if I never spent the money on my (many) computer parts. It's an addiction... In the mean time, I like my Civic lol.
January 18, 2006 6:40:09 PM

Yeah, at the moment if my Sable keels over dead (god only knows why it hasn't yet) I may just pick up a cheap used Civic myself. At the moment, what I'd really like is a hybrid Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix, but first one of the two manufacturers has to make a hybrid version. :lol:  And then I have to find the money for a brand new car. :o 

But I've really enjoyed the heavy feel of my Sable. I don't know why, but I just really like the way it drives. It'll be a shame when I finally have to put it down. But I really need better fuel efficiency right now, and some decent cargo room certainly wouldn't hurt.
January 18, 2006 6:50:36 PM

Yeah, the feel of the car is important. I drove a malibu, and it felt like driving a tank. I couldn't stand it.

I like the responsiveness of smaller, foreign cars. I really hope the domestic market picks up: they've been slacking and I'd prefer to buy american, especially in these times.
January 18, 2006 7:28:31 PM

i already forget what the old layout looked like :) , at first this one is pretty confusing but ive been able to find all ive been looking for, sure it could be a lot better... but also a ton worse. and i agree that the articals lately have been crap... maybe they should do some affordable/easy mods for cooling computers since every1 seems to be into that :p .. and if theyve done it maybe its time for a revise or a part 2!... just a suggestion
January 18, 2006 7:35:40 PM

THWG needs to hear us out on this. They claimed they needed the layout change due to the overwhelming content anyway, but also claim it was designed based on reader feedback. Guess what? THIS IS READER FEEDBACK! I WANT THE OLD THWG BACK! :x :evil: 
January 18, 2006 8:49:17 PM

I Only Paid A Total Of About $1600.00 For My PC And It Smokes PCs That Are Twice As Much (Factory Build Gaming Machines And Other Homebuilts Alike) Moral Of The Story.... If You Choose Wisely You Can Have A Super Quick Ass-Kickin PC Thats Lite On Your Bank, Dont Have More Money Than Brains
January 18, 2006 8:52:56 PM

or u can buy an xps pay 4 grand and get crap performance :D ... or buy from alienware and get a decent comp for the same as an xps! or go to falcon-nw spend 6k for top of the line and get performance the same as urs... i find it to be a tough choice...
January 18, 2006 9:06:28 PM

LOL, Exactly, LOL
January 18, 2006 9:14:33 PM

Quote:
I Only Paid A Total Of About $1600.00 For My PC And It Smokes PCs That Are Twice As Much (Factory Build Gaming Machines And Other Homebuilts Alike) Moral Of The Story.... If You Choose Wisely You Can Have A Super Quick Ass-Kickin PC Thats Lite On Your Bank, Dont Have More Money Than Brains


Out Of Curiosity Why Is Every Word In Your Post Capitalized?
January 18, 2006 9:16:32 PM

Thats Just My "Trademark" Typing Style
January 18, 2006 10:11:18 PM

Quote:
Thats Just My "Trademark" Typing Style


ugh, i stop at every word like im about to read a new sentence...im gonna hate reading your posts.
January 18, 2006 10:22:33 PM

Sorry
January 18, 2006 10:24:11 PM

Quote:
Thats Just My "Trademark" Typing Style


ugh, i stop at every word like im about to read a new sentence...im gonna hate reading your posts.

rofl it is kinda weird seeing someone type like that... but i didnt notice until u pointed it out :p 
January 19, 2006 1:50:07 AM

maybe they should publish good stuff before people stop reading :) ... i dont believe that thg is biased but i do believe that the articals they have been putting out are dull and uninteresting...
January 19, 2006 2:27:47 AM

Quote:
I Only Paid A Total Of About $1600.00 For My PC And It Smokes PCs That Are Twice As Much (Factory Build Gaming Machines And Other Homebuilts Alike) Moral Of The Story.... If You Choose Wisely You Can Have A Super Quick Ass-Kickin PC Thats Lite On Your Bank, Dont Have More Money Than Brains


See My signature system $1900 sans monitor & sound card
Bob
January 19, 2006 8:20:07 AM

I really don't like the current THG. I used to read good review about games in their Games & Entertainment section. Now this so called TWATGURU section just filled with boring rants of some deranged column writter and the oldie moldie Retro Arcade/Console memorabila thingies, nothing about what's good or what's not about the new games people want to read. And Now they even write about retro movie posters!!! What the hack have that have to do with twitch factor? Is it about how fast you can rub your Willie in front of a retro porn movie poster??

I have to register just to express my opinion about THG. If Tom is not doing anything about the baboons he hired to tear this site down, I may soon delete the THG link from my Favorites in the browser.
January 19, 2006 8:36:04 PM

As with many entities, corporations and web sites alike, without proper leadership, the foundation on which the entity is built is lost amiss a sea of opinions and ultimately distorted by a lobbying for power (and prestige).

It's my belief, from my experience, that there's a lack of proper leadership to route the company to common goals. These goals had, in the past, appeared to be:

- Unbiased Articles
- Well-written, well-edited articles
- A wealth of information to allow a reader to draw conclusions specific to thier needs
- Fast, realiable information about bleeding-edge technologies (It keeps the readers coming back regularly).

How many of these points have we seen fall by the wayside? One can only specualte about the reasonings, but again, the blame should fall squarely on the leadership.
January 19, 2006 8:43:18 PM

its all of those plus one more, stuff that is actually interesting whether or not its bleeding edge as long as it interests us. reading about movie posters from the 1930's may be interesting to 10 people at most. i found myself falling asleep while reading the artical then skiping to the end just to see what the summory was, theres no reason to be posting this stuff!! x1900's are comming out nvidia is launching the 8000 series socket M2 is comming out intel is changing from 90nm to 65nm theres TONS of stuff to be writing about. it is just my opinion and im pretty new to THG but people dont want to read about stuff that happened 60 years ago, they want current computer stuff and perhaps advise on current stuff, maybe thg can do a comparison on pciexpress and agp? thatd be a good artical, it could show whether or not its worth buying an entire new computer to get pci express. i like that idea maybe they could do somthing with it :) .. comparing ati xX00 series and nvidia 6X00 series!
January 19, 2006 8:57:03 PM

Quote:
Yea, to have an intel machine anymore is to be shamed. I can remember when intel was it. Then AMD came along as a cost effective challenger. Now AMD is expensive. This is the reason more and more people are buying consoles anymore. They can't afford a $5000.00 computer to play a $50.00 game. But, it is like I have always said "IF YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY YOU ARE GOING TO PAY"!


The thing is, most people with the sense to check sites like THG before buying or building a PC know that they can put together a $1200 system with performance to match those Uber PCs and just as long a lifespan. Plus, PC games drop in price quicker than console games....consoles have a shorter shelf life and minimal upgrade capacity. Plus, you have to pay to even play online with LitterBox360! What does that mean for MMORPG fans already chipping out their monthly dues!?
January 19, 2006 8:59:45 PM

I agree totally. The mid-range market right now is full of quality products but finding the best deal can be challenging and some good old fashioned comparisons of nvidia vs ati products in this area would be nice. The 6800GS AGP has been out for a couple of weeks and nowhere online is there a proper review and definitely no comparison of the rival cards in that market. I couldn't even tell you what is going on in this area with ati cards!
January 19, 2006 9:10:19 PM

thats what i tell my friends when they try to get me to get xbox live, its 50 bux for 6 months i think, which doesnt seem horrible considering wow is more than that and its just 1 game, xbox live lets you play any games online... the thing is everygame with the exception of maybe 20 titles are out on pc and offer online play for free!
January 19, 2006 10:29:49 PM

That is what kills me about MMORPG and even xbox live. You buy a game for $40-$60 and then you have to pay to play them?
Tomshardware doesnt write about these types of ripoffs.
January 19, 2006 10:33:16 PM

well id consider it a ripoff if it was a bad mmo, but right now the mmo i play is wow, and to me its wroth 12 dollars a month.. that game is incredable, they need money to run the servers and keep patching it... if people had to buy servers then itd be free :) 
January 19, 2006 11:10:56 PM

Quote:
All hell broke loose when Tom went back to be a doctor and handed the site over to David(current chief editor).


Why is this site still being called Tom's hardware, then?
January 19, 2006 11:27:44 PM

Quote:
well id consider it a ripoff if it was a bad mmo, but right now the mmo i play is wow, and to me its wroth 12 dollars a month.. that game is incredable, they need money to run the servers and keep patching it... if people had to buy servers then itd be free :) 

Im not saying its not worth $12 dollars a month but to charge you $50 for the game and then charge you a relatively high rate per month, just doesnt add up to me.
Correct me if wrong but everquest was a free game and charged a lot less to play.


____________________________edit____________________________

to each his own.
January 20, 2006 12:00:09 AM

wouldnt know about eq cause i didnt paly it much, and ur missing the point... wow took years to create and they have probably close to 30 servers running and since the game is pretty graphically demanding the servers need to be pretty powerful, plus theres a lot more bandwith being used than in eq making it a more expensive game to make, meaning higher prices/monthly fees, this is also the reason why next gen games retail for 60, they simply take more time and manpower to make
January 20, 2006 2:18:04 AM

Quote:
wouldnt know about eq cause i didnt paly it much, and ur missing the point... wow took years to create and they have probably close to 30 servers running and since the game is pretty graphically demanding the servers need to be pretty powerful, plus theres a lot more bandwith being used than in eq making it a more expensive game to make, meaning higher prices/monthly fees, this is also the reason why next gen games retail for 60, they simply take more time and manpower to make


Pardon me but, a graphically enhanced client does not require an espacially powerful server. All the server does (in a simplified contrast) is collect changes in location and states of the players and the non-players and process them and then broadcast these info to all the clients that is connected to the server. The server doesn't even need to render the scene at all. All the mucho-macho graphical effects are done in the client locally. Even a game makes tonnes of animated background props (i.e. trees and grass that sway around reacting to the virtual wind sweeping through), lets say Players A and B are looking at the scene at the same time from the same spot, B wouldn't complaint "Hey, how come your tree is already swinging to the left and my tree is still at the middle position?!", nope, the server doesn't need to synchronize the background animation, so it need not to be as powerful (in grpahics or not) as the clients have to be. The server can even run on a machine that has no 3d hardware! All it need is just a small 100x16 dot matrix LCD display to show "All Status: O.K." to the server admin. The processing power needed by a server is measured in terms of how many players are connecting to it and how many data needs to be processed per connection and the complexity of the world. Graphics is never a concern.
January 20, 2006 4:30:02 AM

haven't read the artical in question but I have been left confused after reading the articals as they don't have info in them I can relate to or are to much apple to orange comparisons to be usefull to be able to use to draw my own conclusions from (maybe im dense?)for my personal reserch into what current/noncurrent items, justifiable expense are the right choice for the PC I would like to replace......what can I say the old p4 2g 478 pin aint cutting it any more!

ps2 xbox or what have u? reply..IMO ...pc game not entirely free it still takes a internet connection and if your playing anything current DSL at the least! cables better! unless you like major lag or like being ejected from game rooms for XXXX ping. I not sure what everyone else is doing for internet but I don't have cable possable here so dsl is my only choice, and between the phone company charge and the server charge its a little over $50.00 a month for my 1.5meg DSL, of corse the rest of the internet comes with that ...this forum and the rest of the web plus e-mail and so on but free not really! all that is avaible for $10.00 so the extra $40.00 is just to play the game!
$12.00 a month dosen't sound that bad if the game play is satisfying?
just personal choice I think. Or what it takes to be able to interact with your friends! If you can afford it and like it, do it! but I guess if you cant afford it you wouldn't be reading here?
sorry so long
Slo
January 20, 2006 11:29:48 AM

Quote:
IMO ...pc game not entirely free it still takes a internet connection and if your playing anything current DSL at the least!


You should be buying your PC games, too. If you like good games, pay for them. Don't be a cheap shmuck.
January 20, 2006 11:36:42 AM

Doesn't matter.

The point is that playing monopoly on your xbox doesn't require a server. WoW does, and that server requires active maintenance. Not to mention, WoW comes out with regular content updates.

Is blizzard making stupid amounts of money? Yes, and it's well-deserved. They took the risk of investing millions of $$$$ into a game and succeeded where most others failed.

$15 is reasonable, and pretty standard for MMPORGS with 'active' content.
January 20, 2006 2:18:04 PM

well then theres still the cost of devolopment and the cost to keep30+ servers running and paying for amount of bandwith that the people are using... even if the server doesnt need to be that powerful a lot of bandwith still travels backand forth...
January 20, 2006 5:10:33 PM

Ok obviously your guys dont pay for this and your parents do.
Lets put this into perspective.
Last I saw WOW had something like 1 million subscribers. At $12/month that 12 million a month. 144 million a year, do you really think it takes that kind of money to run some servers and a couple of patches? The developement cost was more than likely taken care of by everyone who bought the game at lets say an average of $35 per game. With 1 million people $35 million dollars to make a game and distribute it.
You cant tell me they are not over charging.
January 20, 2006 5:18:13 PM

absolutely NOT

how much does a fiber channel cost to run? do you know? what type of servers do you think a WoW server is?

I pay for my own accounts. and i'm proud ot help out Blizzard because well. face it they made a great product (yes, debatable).

and yes, they have costs they need to maintain. how much do you think they must pay their tech support people? how about software developers. testers? coders? managers? hardware technitions? and how many of these do you say they have?

they are making a killing and they deserve it but they are paying for the game to exist as we know it. and for that to continue we need to pay for it.
!