What a mess! This is exactly what happens when a group of engineers try to outperform rivals via means of mass media, without consulting marketing strategists of the company. Although it is not obvious as to why such a lame statement was produced at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), a back fired marketing approach to tackle the rival is a possibility.
Customers are loyal only until they get best value for money. If somehow they find out another similar product is on the market that outperforms the one being used, they will switch to the best performer specially when it proves cheaper than the existing one. This is the common mindset of the customers of any product in any market. What Intel has done with the produced researched paper is to confirm the existence of a faster GPU and create more awareness in the market about it. This was a goal supposed to be scored by NVIDIA, not Intel.
Would you confirm to a claim of your rival with a research paper, even if it is true? definitely not. Intel in fact wanted to prove NVIDIA wrong, which they did in a narrow scope, but lost sight of the bigger picture. If NVIDIA says their GPU is faster by 100x or 1000x, and in reply Intel says NVIDIA is wrong and it’s faster only by 2.5x to 14x, it sounds like a big hole in the marketing strategy of Intel. On the other hand this also suggests lack of transparency with the claims of NVIDIA too.
Who would care whether NVIDIA has taken 2 years or 12 years to make their GPU’s faster than the Intel Core i7, or who would care how short a period of time was taken by Intel to produce Core i7? The answers are obvious. The only aspects where users are interested are the performance of the product and the price of it. So simple.
What should have been done?
Intel should not have taken the initiative for a counter attack on this particular issue. If somehow the statistics were by products of a totally different case, why bother reinstating the advantageous position of NVIDIA. After all both companies compete in the same market. Alternatively a good response would have been to produce a better performing GPU or at least a quiet non-friction marketing strategy pointing out the capabilities of Intel Core i7.
The other side of the story
The remarks from NVIDIA in reply to this paper are not so vivid either. NVIDIA started with all sorts of reasons justifying their position, which some experts believe that they did not have to. However NVIDIA too was in the middle of a gray period when the report paper was submitted in late 2009. Because their latest GPU versions were still in the mills, they looked like bit embarrassed as well.
Everything said, this whole deal put both hardware giants in difficult situations.