You might be a PC hardware fanboy or fangirl if…

You might be a PC hardware fanboy or fangirl if…

If you became agitated when Intel revealed  benchmarks showing its Core i7 to be faster than Apple’s new M1 chip, or you know someone who did, this story is for you.

Last Friday, Intel put its spin on Apple’s new M1 chip, using the language of marketing and benchmarks to counteract a former-customer-turned-rival’s language of marketing and benchmarks. This is what companies do. It’s part of the eternal competitive war dance.

But if you or someone you know responded to this news by jumping onto the Internet and arguing hotly pro or con, perhaps in ALL CAPS, then you’ve likely tipped over into the realm of super-faithful disciples—call them fanboys, fangirls, fanbys, superfans, stalker fans (stans)—whose object of reverence can do no wrong. Any other side of the story couldn’t possibly be right. Apple, Intel, and Nvidia are three tech companies who have accumulated such diehard supporters, just like some athletes and pop stars do. And when these ardent allies dogpile onto a cause online, the shouting match can quickly spin out of control.

We aren’t telling you to stop loving these companies. We’re respectfully suggesting you recognize the symptoms of obsessive superfandom and step back from the brink, if you can. You just might be a fanboy or fangirl if…

You think every result is cherry-picked

If you see a result against your cause and you immediately dismiss it as “cherry-picked,” you just might be a fanboy or fangirl. You know why? They’re all cherry-picked. Every single result you ever see from a company about its own product is cherry-picked. Sure, on occasion you’ll see some benchmarks where the competition is slightly faster, or they’re near-even in 1 out of 20 results. But you’ll never see one where the company’s own product is getting utterly crushed.

Rather than dismiss competing results, carefully examine them to see if it they represent what you do. And yes, if you think the competition is cherry-picking results to show its products in a better light, but your favored company would never do that—you’re a fanboy or fangirl.

You think they’re ‘fake benchmarks’

You know you’ve reached peak fanboy/fangirl when you dismiss any opposing results as “made-up” or “fake benchmarks.” Large, publicly traded companies actually can’t fabricate test results, because it opens them up to potential investor lawsuits and other regulatory actions. They have to document and carefully vet results they show to the public. 

Sure, companies may present the benchmarks in a way that makes their product look better, but using contextual sleight of hand is far different from conjuring a result from thin air.

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