UK body slams Cyrix/IBM for clock speed adverts

When is 300MHz really 225MHz?

The UK advertising standards authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Cyrix/IBM and its re-seller Time Computer Systems, for claiming that a chip that in reality clocks 233MHz is being sold as a 300MHz part. In an adjudication delivered in its latest monthly report, the ASA upheld a complaint from someone who said that Time, a subsidiary of the Granville Technology Group, had advertised a processor called the IBM/Cyrix MII-300. But when the complainant tested the chip, he or she measured it at 233MHz and "objected to the impression that that the package contained a 300MHz processor." The ASA, in its adjudication, said: "The advertisers thought that they had made no performance claims in the advertisement. '300 M-II' was simply the name of the processor. "They sent literature from IBM that explained the chip had been designed by Cyrix and manufactured by IBM. IBM called the processor the 'IBM 6x86MX PR-300' and the '300' in the name was the MHz equivalent Performance Rating (PR) of the chip... "The Authority understood from IBM that the true MHz speed of the processor was between 225MHz and 233MHz. It noted, however, that IBM no longer manufactured the processor and Cyrix had changed its name to 300 M-II. "The Authority considered that the letters 'PR' gave a helpful indication that the '300' in the name was a performance rating and not the MHz speed. "Because the letters 'PR' were no longer included and because naming chips after the MHz clock speed, as Intel and AMD did, was so commonplace in the industry, the Authority considered that readers were likely to infer that the true MHz clock speed of the advertisers' processor was higher than it was. "It asked the advertisers to make clear that the '300' was the performance rating of the processor or to give the MHz clock speed in the advertisement." Ahem... ®

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