ARM Vs. x86: The Secret Behind Intel Atom's Efficiency

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blubbey

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[citation][nom]blubbey[/nom]Which is why I said 'it may take a few years'. You underestimate what tens of billions worth of research over the next 5 years can do.[/citation]

Oh and to fuel the fire here:

To be completely candid (personal opinion disclaimer), with what I know is coming from Intel, the likelihood of ARM getting into the PC space is very low. Nevertheless, we're not taking our foot off the gas. For mobile, we have no choice but to become relevant. As for when, my personal prediction for substantial growth is Q1 2014, domination in 2015.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/15iaet/iama_cpu_architect_and_designer_at_intel_ama/c7mq4zq

That's an Intel CPU Architect and designer saying they'll achieve domination in 3 years. Let's see if it holds true.
 

silverblue

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Atom is long due an architectural overhaul, and there's always the benefit of moving from single to dual channel memory. Tegra 3 is built on an old process though, and it's only based on the A9, so Intel's biggest trump card right now is their process advantage which they haven't really explored so much with Atom.

Earlier comments about Haswell may be worth considering. If it's really that frugal and performs as well as we think it might... who really is to say that ARM will win here?

AMD haven't a hope here unless Jaguar is a big step forward.
 

ojas

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Whoever said that people are resistant to change, was absolutely true. Fan-people in droves, trolling the forums with conspiracy theories.

I knew this was the state of affairs when the Lava Xolo X900 first came out. I've read about it on AnandTech, I've used it myself for 4 months under review. It could last me over a day with ease, even with 3G.

So i expected this. Anand's been saying it for a long time, glad to see Tom's saying it too. Though i remember that Tom's had predicted Intel would overtake Qualcomm in 4 years or something.

Anyway, enjoyed the article. And to all those who can't understand that after a point, efficiency is far more important than raw performance in the mobile space, enjoy using your overpowered phones/tablet that can browse at 120 fps for the 2 hours that the battery will last. :lol:
 

hamid reza

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I guess you should add a review about AMD APUs.
Intel and Nvidia are not better choices always it was peoples support that made them strong remember the time that AMD announced X64 architecture that we all use it in our PCs nowadays.
 
G

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Does anyone care about Microsoft any more? Liker the Surface is dead. Windows 8 is uninteresting, and there are free offerings from Linux distributions and Apple for professional production. Arm dominates the tablet and phone market, Apple also with a nice share.

Microsoft is no longer relative.
 
[citation][nom]dkant1n[/nom]x86 is an architecture with long years of r&d an billions to spend on it. On the other hand ARM is a tech that is getting some attention now[/citation]

x86 is an ISA, Instruction-set Architecture, not an architecture in the sense that you're probably thinking (micro-architecture). Heck, most x86 CPUs nowadays aren't even really x86 processors. They convert x86 operations into RISC micro-operations and execute them as those RISC micro-operations.

[citation][nom]kartu[/nom]PSSo Intel spending money to enter market, which isn't at all financially interesting. Why?I guess because of fear, that one day all those non-PC thingies will finally kill PC.[/citation]

How is it fear? Intel is recognizing a potential opponent and addressing them before they are a problem. That's not being afraid, that's taking the challenge head-on and adapting to the changing world that they intend to profit from like any business does.
 
[citation][nom]Kyuuketsuki[/nom]You fail to acknowledge an important point: WinRT does not support use of Tegra's 5th, low-power companion-core. I think you noted that Android has "better" support for the companion core, but my understanding is that the companion core doesn't work at all under WinRT. That is obviously a huge downside for the Tegra which depends on that to not completely suck as far as power usage goes.Of course, that raises the question of why the hell Microsoft chose the Tegra3 for the Surface. I can only assume Nvidia is one step away from giving away Tegra3 SoCs for free, as there are other mature ARM solutions on the market they could have tapped, most notably the dual- and quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 variants. Either of which are superior to Tegra3 in terms of performance and power efficiency.Also, it has to be noted that Clover Trail's GPU is really, really awful. It kills the idea of running legacy x86 games on the tablet, except for maybe Solitaire and Minesweeper.[/citation]

Atom is supposed to get some proper GPUs with some of the dual core models that are in the works. Anandtech has some articles with a little info on them IIRC.
 
[citation][nom]e8hffff[/nom]Does anyone care about Microsoft any more? Liker the Surface is dead. Windows 8 is uninteresting, and there are free offerings from Linux distributions and Apple for professional production. Arm dominates the tablet and phone market, Apple also with a nice share.Microsoft is no longer relative.[/citation]

Microsoft is still a bigger impact on the market than any other one company and that isn't changing any time soon even from the looks of things. They could do better, but they are somewhat adapting to the changing market and they aren't going to go away. They do still matter. They make software used by pretty much every company with a computer and make the OSs used in almost all laptop/desktop computers and a good portion of the server market. They're also slowly gaining traction in the tablet and smart phone markets, granted they do have more work to do there in some things.
 

somebodyspecial

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I'm not quite sure how fair it is to compare Intel's chip to an ancient tegra3 on 40nm. Unfortunately MS chose this, but you really should compare it to something with AP37, which is the 28nm die shrink of Tegra 3 before saying anything regarding power. You're not comparing LIKE products. They were able to bump the speed up 300-400mhz and the gpu went up also. I'm pretty sure a die shrunk tegra3 running at Surface 1.3ghz speed would look pretty dang good compared to the Atom. Also consider it will be a different animal in 3-4 months with Tegra4 as that gpu will just slap Intel silly for a while. They couldn't catch the Tegra3 gpu as they went single core gpu, so if it didn't come in lower I'd be shocked and call Intel's chip a piece of trash.

40nm vs. 28nm. Far more powerful gpu, vs wimpy one...And the smaller processed wimpy chip wins on power...WELL DUH. If it didn't this would be a MAJOR failure on Intel's part correct? I'd like to see you run this all again with some Tegra3 at 28nm at 1.3ghz. Even then it's OLD tech from NV, with Tegra4 around the corner at 6x more power gpu than tegra3. Even in a tie power wise, what moron would take home an Intel vs. (at worst) a 6x more power gpu in Tegra4 in a few months (though it will likely take longer to get into anything)? A phone has already been announced so power must be better than a tegra3 which had a hard time in anything but tablets until the 28nm shrink that got it into a HTC OneX+. It's kind of saying something that the first product announced was a china phone, not some tablet. Of course right now I'd want a exynos 5 but for this comparisons sake I'd rather see 28nm tegra.

Maybe it's just me, but as soon as I saw the comparison to this crappy old version of Tegra3 I thought to myself, I don't need to read this to know what the outcome will be. Intel shouldn't do too bad here. Not really Tom's fault that MS chose an old model, but you really shouldn't be glorifying a 28nm less powerful chip beating an ancient process that has already been shrunk.

AlanDang: If the A15 from NV is 2x the power consumption we wouldn't see a phone being announced first :) NV's version must be fairly efficient much like Apple's in house soc. I think that would mean it was pretty much tablet only if it wasn't better than tegra3. On the gpu side exynos5 is far more than 2x faster than Intel easily as it already clobbers the tegra3 you compare here correct? It really shouldn't be a surprise it uses more power to do this.

Tegra 3 at 40nm is junk by today's standards, but the die shrunk one fares much better as demonstrated by the onex+. Still slow but 20-30% faster than what we're seeing here. Pity MS didn't offer the 28nm at 1.6-1.7ghz, that would have made it much more attractive. Then again the price still sucks for what you get. I'd rather have my dad's nexus 10 until a tegra4 tablet comes along. Still I think you guys really need to test a Tegra3 28nm before drawing any tegra vs. Intel conclusions or claiming Intel did a great job IMHO.
 

AlanDang

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@somebodyspecial. That's the point of these asymmetric comparisons. A year ago, people would say that it was crazy that Intel is within striking distance. Today they are beating Exynos A15 and 40nm Tegra3. The point is that Intel is catching up and in certain comparisons, even faster.

Tegra 4 is impressive. Power is the question, but it's brilliant for something like SHIELD. I've already signed up to get one. Like AMD vs. Intel, the war won't be won with a single battle. We saw what happened with Athlon/Athlon64 and then Core.

We can definitely answer Tegra in Surface (where 4+1 isn't operational and it's 40nm) against Atom in W510 (and Samsung's ATIV RT with Snapdragon S4). The only conclusion you can draw about Intel vs. NVIDIA vs. Qualcomm is that Intel is a force to be reckoned with.
 

hector2

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[citation][nom]Anonymous[/nom]Intel has done much to get its power hungry CPUs sipping little power at idle, with power gating, but start up all those grains and see how they compare to ARM.[/citation]
You haven't been paying attention. There have been plenty of tech web sites lately publishing comparisons not only of Atom vs ARM Idle power but dynamic power as well. Dynamic power of Atom is generally lower than ARM as well
 

somebodyspecial

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Ok...Atom is catching a chip that is not functioning properly in surface (4+1 not working so power out of whack) and on an old die size (40nm) instead of it's current on which runs on 28nm and is 30% faster.

Further, Intel is getting it's A$$ handed to it by all GPU's from current offerings...Striking distance?

The only conclusion you can draw is, they have a lot more work to do but they at least showed up to the playground. ;) If they get competitive graphically they'd look worse in power vs even what is tested here, but even worse vs the newer 28nm Tegre3+ running at the tested mhz of surface (WHICH IS STILL SLOW, but MS chose 1.3ghz not me - the chip can do 1.7 at 28nm).

Explain to me why you didn't use the HTC ONE X+ (tegra3+), Ipad4 (A6x), Nexus 10 (exynos 5250) and anything else new I'm leaving out? I see old versions of all the chips in this review. You excluded it's entire REAL competition from the review if you're comparing SOCS...LOL. I'm wondering if intel pressured you to exclude everything it REALLY is competing against? Just saying :) It's odd there isn't ONE current chip in the review. Things that make you go hmm....Intel's been a force in the gpu room for ~15yrs and have failed miserably on all. The finally gave up the cards with the i740, and the integrated stuff has always been terrible. What worries me most is they're going IN HOUSE for the next chips. They should stick to slapping in PowerVR until they beat it.

What is Intel beating the Exynos5 in that really means anything? It's not the gpu A6? same story :) Haswell will be competing against both of these chips replacements NOT THESE CHIPS themselves (tegra4 also). There's a phone announcement already out there for T4, so it must be capable at some level, of running in a phone correct? Never mind that was rhetorical. :) Intel's got a good chip, but if you don't bring decent gpu to the party I can't be bothered to consider you with so many other much FASTER options around.
 

Chamie

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Btw, Tegra 3 has a 40 nm lithography while Z2760 is 32 nm, isn't that the main reason of their power efficiency difference?
Are there any 28nm (Exynos 5 Octa? Tegra 4?) performance and power consumption tests I can check?
 

cirdecus

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I've been reviewing and testing all Atom Z2760 based tablets since the beginning of the year as an IT admin for my company. We have an extensive mobile sales force who would benefit tremendously from the tablet form factor. However, we've been unable to redevelop our custom x86 software for iOS, Android or even RT.

The results in this review are precisely what I've experienced so far. Especially in the HP ElitePad 900. I've reviewed the Acer 700 Iconia, Latitude 10, Thinkpad 2 and all have similar traits:

Super light, super fast and have amazing battery life with a Full windows operating system that can run all of your regular desktops programs.

I almost wish that Intel would have re-branded this processor. It's so easily dismissed as just a crappy atom. It's a whole new animal and if they're roadmap is accurate, the processor is on schedule to double performance by this fall.

It's really amazing guys, just pick up one of these tablets and you'll be convinced that Apple and Google are both going to hit a wall when it comes to bringing in the desktop world of applications. The only thing up in the air is whether Microsoft can keep up with Intel's design changes. Windows 8 is a great start, but they still have a lot of road to make up and they're still not attracting any developers for their app store.

The tablet form factor really revolves around apps for the general consumer mass. Without apps, people will never take this Acer out of the keyboard dock.
 

Richard Ellicott

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this is fascinating but at the moment really i think APPLICATION SUPPORT..... the age old reason lol xD..... i hate monopoly and in software i want to work towards platform independence, however for what I carry around I need my old stuff
 

majkels

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Doskonały! Zastanawiałem się nad tym przez jakiś czas. Również błąd <a rel="follow" href="http://serwislaptopowitabletow.pl/serwisdell">serwis laptopów dell</a> myśląc Intel był za na telefony komórkowe ... Brawo Toms.
 
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