Writing for PCWorld.com, Tom Mainelli reports that Intel, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard have been named as defendants in a new class action lawsuit that alleges the
companies misled consumers
about the performance of Intel’s Pentium 4 processor.
Quietly filed earlier this summer in the Third Judicial Circuit in Madison County, Illinois, the case is awaiting a ruling on whether it belongs in state or federal jurisdiction, according to Mainelli, who also reports it has not yet achieved class action status.
Plaintiffs in the case claim that the chipmaker and PC manufacturers marketed the Pentium 4 deceptively, and that the Pentium 4 itself is slower and less powerful than then Pentium III or AMD’s Athlon processor.
Although no dollar amount is specified in the suit, it cites California state law that provides each plaintiff with restitution of actual damages, property and punitive damages.
Analyst Rob Enderle suggested to Mainelli that the real problem may be the ongoing marketing emphasis on clock speed — the so-called “Megahertz Myth” often referred to by Apple executives. Mac systems utilize PowerPC processors that operate at lower clock speeds than Intel or AMD processors but perform some operations more efficiently, according to Apple.
Enderle said that the PC industry should find a different way to measure computational performance. “The right answer really is benchmarks. We need to have a way that people can really see the difference between PCs,” he said.