Newegg's 600 Series P4 Claim Deceives
Customers taken for a ride

Written By Mario Rodrigues

Date: March 1, 2005

With Intel's launch of its 600 series P4 processor, Newegg, the award winning on-line IT retailer, has gone overboard on its promotion of the chip giant's 32 and 64-bit capable device.

Newegg has taken out on-line ads which claim that the 2MB of level two cache, which the 600 series P4 is endowed with, means just one thing - "devastating performance". But major hardware Web sites that have reviewed Intel's latest model do not mirror Newegg's claim.

Anandtech, for example, concludes: "The 600 series is more about feature set than performance. Decreasing the cache miss rate and increasing the cache latency isn't exactly the best path to follow in the consumer market. Most PC workloads don't push enough threads or large enough data to really take advantage of the larger cache. We can see the potential improvement in the 43% increase under Maya, and looking back at the Irwindale benchmarks, it's obvious that strapping 2MBs of higher latency cache onto NetBurst has its place. But that won't be the draw of the 600 series on the desktop."

THG determined: "If we directly compare the 500 and 600 series families, the conclusion we arrive at is very clear: the new version clearly is the better processor, even though its doubled cache size does not make that much of an impact."

X-bit labs reported: "As we see, in most cases the twice as large L2 cache memory doesn't allow improving the processor performance by more than 5%. That is why Pentium 4 570 working at 3.8GHz core frequency and featuring 1MB L2 cache should be regarded as a higher performance model than the new Pentium 4 660 working at 3.6GHz and featuring 2MB L2 cache."

The Tech Report says: "All told, the Pentium 4 600 series represents good progress for Intel. Power consumption is down, performance is up a bit, and some of the new features are important developments, like 64-bit support and SpeedStep. Unfortunately, the jump from 1MB of L2 cache to 2MB doesn't seem to offer big returns in most desktop applications, but it doesn't hurt, either."

So Intel's latest addition to its line-up is clearly not about "devastating performance", especially for the people that Newegg sells to.

Newegg has rightly won accolades for the service and value it offers its customers. But wouldn't misleading advertising break the relationship of trust? Especially for the less informed. If Newegg wants to continue to build on the successful foundation that it has already established, it needs to go the extra mile to accurately inform and educate its customers. Advertising that deceives will only harm Newegg and its less informed clientele.

So far, I've seen this ad on Ace's Hardware, Anandtech, THG, Hard OCP, Sudhian Media, The Tech Report, Hot Hardware, Hard Core Ware, and The Inquirer. It has probably been run on other Web sites as well.

If this ad was run in the UK, I'm sure the Advertising Standards Authority would pull it.

If Newegg is truly customer-centric, then it will quickly remedy this deception. Let's hope it doesn't take our readers to force the IT vendor to act.

If you should decide to complain and Newegg has the courtesy to respond, drop me a line. I'm sure those in the know would like an explanation for this gaff.

Maybe Newegg will learn a lesson from this experience: Read the reviews before running the ads.