If you bought an AMD “Bulldozer” CPU and didn’t quite agree with AMD that it was an actual 8-core chip, congratulations: A judge has agreed with you, and you may be eligible for a small bit of compensation as a result.
As originally reported by The Register, AMD has agreed to pay up to $35 per chip for those who bought an FX-8120, FX-8150, FX-8320, FX-8350, FX-8370, FX-9370, or FX-9590, as a result of a settlement of a class-action suit brought in 2015. Unfortunately, the settlement hasn’t moved past the stage where both sides publish details of how to obtain compensation. (You can read our original AMD Bulldozer review, here.)
The litigants originally filed suit because they disagreed with AMD’s claims that its four CPU modules, each with a pair of cores inside them, combined to create an eight-core chip. The defendants argued that because the CPU cores shared resources and a single floating-point unit, the affected chips weren’t an eight-core chip at all. After four years of back-and-forth in the courts, AMD agreed to settle in exchange for a release from all future claims.
The total compensation is just $12.1 million, however, which will need to be split between the litigants and the members of the class—basically, any customer who bought a Bulldozer chip and can attest to it. The settlement assumes that 20 percent of affected customers will actually apply for the settlement fee. Put another way, the pot of money doesn’t guarantee $35 per chip; it merely makes some guesses as to how many people will apply for compensation, and divides the money accordingly.
The Register correctly refers back to the Equifax data breach, where the $125 in per-customer “compensation” quickly shrank once all of the affected customers—pretty much everybody?—began applying for their fair share. It’s hard to say whether the same thing will happen here, too.