Misleading without lies: how to manipulate the audience

One thing that i like about computers is the ability to provide objective evidence with numbers when comparing different products. It is possible to have objective evaluation of performance, without having to rely on opinions and personal “feel” – now this does not prevent customers to still make very illogical decisions as they are blinded by marketing, brand loyalty, “friend told me” and misleading media coverage. I sadly found a very sad but interesting example of the latter with some Tom’s HW reviews that were published just one day apart in the end of SEPT 2023;

990 PRO Benchmarks
Lexar 790 Benchmarks

These 2 drives have the same specs on paper, and that easily shows when you look at the results, but there is one key difference with the charts: while the 990 Pro review shows it winning almost every benchmark, the NM790 one does not, as the Crucial T700 – wich DOES NOT appear in the 990pro review – takes the top spot on every chart. I thought maybe that faster drive was also tested in the same timeframe and did not make it in time for the Samsung review – nope, the Crucial was tested back in MAY 2023.

This is clearly done to make Smsung appear as the top SSD brand even when they are clearly lacking behind in both absolute performance – they are not the fastest anymore, and have not been for a long time as Optane was already superior in the past years before it was discontinued. They are also poor value as the cheaper sn790 is basically within 5% while costing 33% less – also nothing new since Samsung became almost synonym for SSD around the time the 850Evo was the market king 10 years ago and they started to command a huge premium for brand credibility, while the Crucial MX500 was cheaper and just as good.

This is extremly sad to see, and goes along with the terrible habit of component inconsistency that goes on in the SSD market in making it very hard to

In the past i was personally contacted by a small review website to produce content for them, specialized in high end components like Asus ROG; i personally have very little interest in poor value options, but the icing on the cake was their policy to always test without comparable products – i.e. not any other 4090 against a ROG 4090, just 7900xtx and 4080, to avoid appropriate value comparison.


1 You don’t need to use fake numbers to manipulate reality, jut decide wich ones to put in the charts can change the perception
2 it is sure hard to be truly “independent” in a world where media is taken as free, as proven by the need for a huge media company like Tom’s to act that way