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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 ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:16PM (#42385379)
    Neck in Neck seems like a more internet appropriate version. As in a series of images tucked away in a dark corner of imgur, briefly referenced on reddit before being removed by admins. Neck in Neck - "A filthy, gritty internet version of Neck and Neck."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:20PM (#42385391)

    If two processors are Neck and Neck in power consumption and one of them is x86. It means x86 is ahead. It's got better clock speeds and it's got more software going for it than arm. Yes we have a lot of android apps, but I would rather have my windows applications to those "apps" and their private internet. Unless Neck and Neck is for a processor intel does not produce any more, it's clearly advantage intel.

  • Doesn't mean a thing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tough Love (215404) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:22PM (#42385395)

    Even if true (watch out for cognitive dissonsoance with respect to Intel power efficiency claims) it does not mean a thing if Intel cannot match the price. Currently something like $1 goes to ARM holdings per chip. Lets see a bloated old monopolist get by on that.

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:34PM (#42385435)

    First, those articles are very interesting, thanks to Intel for making them happen.

    Second, it's a good thing that Intel is catching up. I'm not a great Intel fan (rooting for the underdogs and all that), but still, I'm impressed.

    Third, isn't the OS choice biasing the results a bit ? Would ARM fare better under a more ARM-oriented OS such as Android ? Or is power consumption profile, in the end, fully OS-independent ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:37PM (#42385445)

    Two processor are neck and neck. One costs $120 and the other costs $20.

    Which one has a brighter future?

    Especially now since people don't need to run all sorts of software. They just need android.

  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:41PM (#42385467)

    Nope, they get MORE than $1 a chip, which means they have more to plow back into R&D. Truthfully though, its an interesting question, but all told unless the price is substantially different we're not talking a big deal. If you pay $5 more for your x86 tablet you won't really care, assuming it works at least as well and happens to have the features you wanted/be the brand you like/etc.

    I think the question is whether Intel will be able to push the x86 design down to EXTREME low cycles/watt levels. x86 has a lot of baggage that ARM doesn't, and there may be even newer designs out there that can push things further. Still, it seems Intel is brutally tough to compete with. That's good for us, as long as the competition exists. I'd hope they lose now and then.

  • Poor comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Monday December 24, 2012 @11:58PM (#42385521)

    Interesting that they are not comparing to a *modern* ARM chip (Cortex-A15), like the Exynos 5 (5250) or even a Qualcom Krait S4 (perhaps MSM8960).

    So the news is that Intel has mostly caught up to an old ARM based chip based on designs/specs years older still and only running under MS-Windows. Yawn....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @12:23AM (#42385609)

    Arm draws 10% of the power of Atom at idle, and Android runs mostly at idle even when you're using it to do stuff because its designed from day one that way. Windows uses a lot more processing power, and 'idle' on those Windows, literally means not using it at all, and even when you're not using it, the Atom is still drawing > 1W.

  • by jamesh (87723) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @01:56AM (#42385811)

    I dont give a flying crap how much juice it sucks just give me 75 gigahertz CPU and a damn drive that can keep up.
    Oh and make it AMD prices not intel.

    I suspect you're in the minority here (as in wanting power regardless of power consumption). For me, desktop (and laptop) processors became fast enough about 5 years ago. Probably more. The laptop i'm using now is about 5 years old and any performance problems it has aren't CPU related. A hard drive that can keep up with my 1.8Ghz CPU would be nice - something that could keep your proposed 75GHz running without waiting would be just a little awesome :)

  • by willy_me (212994) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @02:59AM (#42385965)

    One thing to keep in mind is that the ARM is much more general purpose while the Intel chips tend to have a more complex assembly instruction set. So for adding one number to another (x=y+z) I suspect the simpler ARM architecture is going to win on power consumption. But many Intel chips have assembly instructions specifically for crazy things like AES encryption. This is used as the basis of many encryption protocols, hashing, and random number generation. So if a machine is basically serving up all encrypted data then it is possible that an Intel chip will be much faster and consume much less power while performing these operations.

    Not really important. The Intel chips convert assembly instruction into microcode - how they implement it internally (either dedicated hardware or reusing existing silicon) is up to them. You can't make a blanket statement like that unless Intel has specifically stated that hardware support is included. But in general, the Atom series trims as much off the CPU core as possible so don't be surprised if hardware support for some of those exotic instructions is lacking. And many ARM cores include instructions that are just as interesting - mostly for the embedded DSP market. A manufacturer, with the appropriate license, can include whatever instructions and dedicated hardware they want.

    What likely matters more then the instructions is the included memory and cache. Intel likely includes a larger cache - which will drive up the price. Cache is usually static and has a very low power draw when not in use. By including a large cache, Intel can minimize expensive requests to memory. Also note that DIMMs have a significant constant current draw. Low power DIMMs are available but more expensive. You can bet that Intel used the latest and greatest for their demo while others might opt for the cheaper and slightly more power hungry DIMMs.

    This demo shows how having a process 1 step more advanced then the competition can make a big difference wrt power consumption. But newer ARMs will be available soon - I believe Samsung is scheduled for roll out 28nm in the near future. Intel still has a long way to go to convince manufacturers that they should pay more for what ARM can do for less.

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