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Intel Power Stats

Intel Challenges ARM On Power Consumption... And Ties 163

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-too-shabby dept.
GhostX9 writes "Tom's Hardware just published a detailed look at the Intel Atom Z2760 in the Acer Iconia W510 and compared it to the NVIDIA Tegra 3 in the Microsoft Surface. They break it down and demonstrate how the full Windows 8 tablet outperforms the Windows RT machine in power consumption. They break down power consumption to include the role of the CPU, GPU, memory controller and display. Anandtech is also reporting similar findings, but only reports CPU and GPU utilization." Despite repeated claims that x86 is beating ARM here, they look neck and neck. Assuming you can make a meaningful comparison.
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Intel Challenges ARM On Power Consumption... And Ties

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  • by arbiter1 (1204146) on Monday December 24, 2012 @10:26PM (#42385407)
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-arm-processor-soc-atom,17476.html [tomshardware.com] When that story was posted i said that all ARM was doing was poking the bear. Didn't take long for Intel to get there either. Just shows you don't piss off a company with a lot of $ for R&D
  • technology node (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blackC0pter (1013737) on Monday December 24, 2012 @10:36PM (#42385441)
    The only issue here is that this is not an apples for apples comparison. 40nm vs. 32nm should give a huge benefit to the 32nm Atom. We need to compare the same technology node for this to make any sense. Also, looking at the idle cpu power consumption from the anandtech article, the Atom SOC used 10x more power.
    So the real question is what do most tablets spend the majority of their time doing? Running a benchmark at full /half speed or with the SOC sitting idle?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2012 @10:39PM (#42385457)

    Samsung will be presenting at the ISSCC on their 28nm "big-little".
    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4401645/Samsung-big-little--no-Haswell--Project-Denver-at-ISSCC
    >Samsung will detail a 28-nm SoC with two quad-core clusters. One cluster runs at 1. 8 GHz, has a 2 MByte L2 cache and is geared for high performance apps; the other runs at 1.2 GHz and is tuned for energy efficiency.

    Need to see how it matches up to Samsung latest 14nm proto.
    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4403838/Samsung-14nm-FinFET-test-chip-pushes-ecosystem
    One of the interesting part aside from the smaller geometry process is their "big-little" low power architecture.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2012 @10:49PM (#42385489)

    Example numbers: ARM CPU 0.0038 W vs.. Atom 0.02.
    NVidia GPU 0.21 W vs. Imagination 0.11 W
    The part that wins isn't from Intel, and it is available for ARM and it probably is the part that would lose badly in any benchmark.
    Yay for biased benchmarking.
    So far Intel wins by undersizing the GPU.

  • by steveha (103154) on Monday December 24, 2012 @10:51PM (#42385501) Homepage

    I have said it before [slashdot.org]: with ARM, you can choose from multiple, competing chip vendors, or you can license the ARM technology yourself and make your own chips if you are big enough; with x86, you would be chaining yourself to Intel and hoping they treat you well. So, if low-power x86 is neck and neck with ARM, that's not good enough.

    Intel is used to high margins on CPUs, much higher than ARM chip makers collect. Intel won't want to give up on collecting those high margins. If Intel can get the market hooked on their chips, they will then ratchet up the margins just as high as they think they can.

    The companies making mobile products know this, and will not lightly tie themselves to Intel. So long as ARM is viable, Intel is fighting an uphill battle.

  • Re:technology node (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jiteo (964572) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:18PM (#42385585)
    One of Intel's weapons has always been process size. So while it's not a fair comparison if you're doing science, it's a fair comparison if you're wondering what tablet to buy.
  • by JimCanuck (2474366) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:28PM (#42385625)

    No, it doesn't.

    Why doesn't it mean x86 is ahead? Because x86 has had years of development ahead of ARM. Also because x86 uses proprietary microcode.

    So having them equal means ARM is a significant benefit.

    The original x86 was introduced in 1978.

    The original ARM was introduced in 1985.

    That is just 7 years more over the ARM with 27 years of development since the first implementation. Plus all of the /. crowd and other self described "experts" have been saying for years that a neck and neck tie between them for power consumption would never happen. And well it did, so obviously this is a win for the x86.

  • by Morgaine (4316) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:22AM (#42385747)

    One area in which Intel is significantly more open than any manufacturer in the ARM ecosystem is in graphics hardware. Although Intel hasn't opened all their GPUs fully yet (from what I've read), this seems to be mostly because providing all the documentation takes time, not because they are against making everything open.

    This contrasts dramatically with every single ARM license in existence. ARM's own MALI GPU is tightly closed (probably because MALI was a licensed technology) so the Lima team is having to reverse engineer a Linux driver. All the ARM licensees who provide GPUs seem to be either unable to open their GPU information because their GPU core has been licensed from a 3rd party, or else are simply disinterested in doing so, or else vehemently opposed to it for alleged commercial reasons in at least a couple of cases. So, the prospect of open documentation on SoC GPUs appearing from ARM manufacturers is vanishingly small.

    This gives Intel at least one possible opening through which they can be fairly certain that the competition will not follow. Although that may be worth a lot to us in this community, the commercial payback from community support tends to be very slow in coming. Still, it's something that Intel might consider an advantage worth seizing in the mobile race where they're a rank outsider.

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:43AM (#42385791) Homepage

    Actually all those iOS apps already run on Intel, XCode simulator runs Intel code not ARM code. Android also runs on Intel but I believe most apps are emulated during development so they might have slightly more tweaking than an iOS app to get running on intel.

  • by Ocker3 (1232550) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @04:16AM (#42386195)
    I think you're confusing Surface RT with Surface Pro. The RT uses a different chip and requires different coding. Win8 Pro runs on any machine that runs Win7.
  • by iserlohn (49556) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:35AM (#42386355) Homepage

    If the execs and the sales guys want their Apple devices, or Android devices for that matter, what the IT organization thinks is 100% irrelevant. I've seen this happening already in quite a few large organizations that aren't particularly famous for being early adopters in new tech. Next thing to go are the standard windows images - corporate images are normally poor quality that people complain about constantly.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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