AMD this month has agreed to pay compensation that totals $12.1 million to users who purchased FX-8000/9000 CPUs via its website or in the state of California. The case comes down to AMD advertising these processors as having 8 cores, and the claim that a shared FPU unit within a 'dual core' module does not constitute an actual core of performance similar to a separate core/FPU unit. Users who qualify for the compensation are estimated to recieve in the region on $35, depending on the exact uptake, and no one person can claim more than $7500.

AMD’s Bulldozer microarchitecture used 'dual-core modules' containing two independent ALUs and a shared FPU. AMD believed that such design allowed it to call its FX-8000 and FX-9000 series processors as the industry’s first eight-core desktop CPUs, yet the latter were quite often behind their quad-core rivals from Intel in terms of performance. As a result, a group of people from California filed a class action suit that accused AMD of false advertising back in 2015.

In early 2019, the Northern District Court of California sided with the plaintiffs and ruled that AMD’s FX-8120, FX-8150, FX-8320, FX-8350, FX-8370, FX-9370, and FX-9590 processors were incorrectly advertised as having eight cores. On August 23, the court published the class action settlement agreement under which AMD agreed to pay plaintiffs and the settlement class a compensation.

Under the terms of the deal, AMD has to create a $12.1 million settlement fund that will cover compensations to the end users, attorney fees, and settlement administration fees. The Class Counsel agreed to limit its petition for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses to no more than 30% of the fund, or $3.630 million, whereas the costs of settlement administration will be between $350,000 and $700,000. As a result, the pot to share between the actual purchasers of AMD’s select FX processors will be between $7.77 million and $8.12 million.

Purchasers entitled for up to $7500 total, have a confirmed purchase(s), and to have purched one of the processors while living in California or from AMD's website. It is noteworthy that people who bought AMD’s FX-8000E series CPUs with reduced power consumption are not eligible to get a reimbursement, and neither are people who purchased AMD’s six-core and quad-core FX-6000 and FX-4000 products.

It is hard to estimate how much money will each owner of AMD’s FX-8120, FX-8150, FX-8320, FX-8350, FX-8370, FX-9370, and FX-9590 processors will get, but considering the fact the settlement is limited to select CPUs and residents of California and those from AMD.com, actual sums may be quite sizeable. Should the actual value per unit be over $300, this will be subject to court approval.

AMD and the Settlement Administrator are order to crease a website at www.AMDCPUSettlement.com that should include the ability to file claim forms online. At press time, the website was offline, but it should be up shortly. We are awaiting AMD's official press release on the matter.

Update:

AMD has given an official comment on the result:

"AMD is pleased to have reached a settlement of this lawsuit. While we believe the allegations are without merit, we also believe that eliminating the distraction and settling the litigation is in our best interest."

 

Related Reading

Sources: PACER, The Register (click through for document filing)

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  • eek2121 - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link

    It's actually rather sad. I say this for both Intel and AMD. I remember when an FPU was optional. Why AMD settled for this I will never understand. Reply
  • ABR - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    When I first saw the Bulldozer architecture I thought they were going to market, for example, these "8-core" chips as having 4 cores. Each one packing two integer pipelines together with unified fetch/decode, FP, and cache. If they'd actually done this they might have actually looked pretty good next to Intel. The two integer units would have supported better hyperthreading, and IPC would have been far more competitive. But for whatever reason they decided to present each unit as two cores, perhaps feeling they could win some kind of "core wars" marketing competition that way. They got slaughtered, and the rest is history. Which is too bad, because Bulldozer was a real attempt to innovate. Good to see them get their mojo back with Zen. Reply
  • eek2121 - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link

    Except they were weak, even against dual core Pentiums or Core i3s. I'm not one that likes to debate either way. However, I've owned so many CPUs over the past few decades that IMO it's AMD's fault for not taking a stronger stance on this one. I get why they would want to settle, but honestly, they likely would have won in the end. AMD need only rely on the 486SX or 386SX to establish their case. I suspect none of the parties involved are even old enough to remember when a CPU lacked an FPU. My first Windows 95 machine lacked an FPU FFS. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, August 29, 2019 - link

    It's not 1993 anymore. The definition of "core" has changed. AMD didnt advertise a quad core with quad runt cores, it advertised an 8 core, as in 8 identical cores, which they were not. Reply
  • Cakemaster - Friday, August 30, 2019 - link

    Yes. It's totally fucking absurd. Not only did the court believe the lie that these chips didn't really have as many cores as advertised, they also believed the lie that people were being convinced to buy them because they had more cores.

    The truth is that the way AMD marketed these CPUs made people think that they were WORSE than they really were, not BETTER than they really were. The people who did buy these CPUs either did know what kind of performance they were gettting, and anybody who didn't know what they were getting was buying them based on pricing, not the number of cores. For what they cost, they were perfectly decent CPUs. The only people getting ripped off would have been people who trusted lying sales representatives who tried to claim that more cores= always better, but you can't hold AMD responsible for that! Anybody who claims that they were mislead by AMD is themselves a lying scumbag who just wants to cash-in on lies and an incompetent legal system.
    Reply
  • Smell This - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    Interesting the '8-core' was included with 6- and 4-core omitted.

    I've got an FX-6350 in a rig that purrs along at 4.5GHz/1.3v ... tested at 4.8GHz/1.35v without breaking a sweat (I didn't want to get greedy!). Works just dandy on a 4K Vizio TV.

    It will work a lot better in 6 months when the RX 5700-series OEM cards start slugging it out with nVidia in a smack-down price war ;-)
    Reply
  • plewis00 - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    This travesty of an architecture is why IPC basically didn’t move for 7 years til Zen because Intel didn’t need to put anything substantially better out. It was blatant mis-selling and they should be penalised. If Intel had done this, people would be out for their blood. At least AMD can turn it around with Zen, which let’s face it, surprised us all - an amazing piece of design and architecture. Reply
  • RedGreenBlue - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    This lawsuit is the result of companies with IT departments that didn’t understand computer architectures. Nothing about the core design was hidden from the public, AMD was very clear about it, and anyone with half a brain would have looked for a review like the one on anandtech and would have understood the floating point side would function as a full 2x128 up to 4 threads and then 128 on 8 threads, assuming the FP was actually being used.
    They would have won this lawsuit and they should have stuck it through to get the term “core” solidified as an integer core, preventing frivolous lawsuits for future architectures. 12 million is less than the cost of the lawyers. I’m amazed this lawsuit was still going after all these years. Somebody must have slow-walked it.
    Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    ^^^this

    I read most of the class members are, in fact, corporations. They basically bought cheap shit HP's and Lenovo's with AMD CPU's and wondered why Pentiums and i3's were blowing them out of the water in performance, and IT just shrugged saying "they play our games fine so we thought they was moar bettr"
    Reply
  • Arbie - Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - link

    Gotta love it when people blame AMD - who struggled through everything, including Intel's illegal dealings, to miraculously come back from the edge and save the desktop world - for Intel's sloth and mismanagement. You're mad because you got very little improvement for ten years. But you're blaming the company you should be thanking. Intel is the one that screwed you, not AMD.

    Who says AMD doesn't get an even shake?
    Reply

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