For lack of anything better to do, Phil Hester climbed on top of a downtown Manhattan building and told the world about AMD’s super-secret Spider platform and how it can render the original frames of the first Spiderman movie in real time, a task which the original studios had to do at a blazing fast 1.15740741 x 10-5 frames per second or so.  While this does seem to offer some hope as to the power of the Phenom and Quad Crossfire, AMDs other move with the Spider platform seems suspicious.

Canned benchmarks are not acceptable to PC Perspective or hardware sites in general.  As The Inquirer points out, there may have been a time in the infancy of hardware websites when that would have worked, but not anymore.   Unfortunately that is exactly what AMD has decided to do with the new Spider platform.  Read through the list on The Inquirer’s page, and you will probably notice that the only game on the list is Call of Juarez, snuggled in amongst the artificial benchmarking tools.  That inclusion brings back memories of the Yet Another Driver Optimization Rant and Kafuffle, where AMD was accused of tainting the Juarez benchmarks at the same time nVIDIA was supposedly doing the same with Lost Planet.  I can’t help but wonder if that is exactly what we are going to see here, in the form of severe limitations on the software that can manage to use Quad Crossfire, and a system that has been tweaked to excel in certain areas, while skimping on others.

So, I would suggest you treat any Spider benchmarks you see as PR until they let reviewers test the system properly.

“IF YOU ARE AMD, what do you do to counter Intel’s Penryn launch last Monday? Well, you get a satellite truck, a CTO, and a rooftop in NYC, and get the word out to the unwashed press.

AMD did just that, and the pitch was about ‘game supercomputing’. Basically if you take the Spider platform, a 790 mobo, a Phenom of one flavour or other, and four RV670 GPUs, you can run the art assets from the original Spiderman movie in real time. All this for under $2000, or it will be under $2000 when it officially comes out in a week.”

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