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Asus Transformer Drops Quad-core In Favor of Dual-core 207

MrSeb writes with this news from Extreme Tech: "In a move that will shock and disgust bleeding-edge technophiles everywhere, Asus has announced at Mobile World Congress 2012 that its new Transformer Pads — the high-end Infinity Series — will use the recently-announced dual-core Qualcomm S4 SoC. The critically acclaimed Transformer Prime, the Infinity Series' predecessor which was released at the end of 2011, used the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Why the sudden about-face? Well, the fact that quad-core processors don't really have a use case in mobile devices is one reason — but it doesn't hurt that the Krait cores in the S4 are significantly faster than the four Cortex-A9 cores in the Tegra 3, too. The S4 is also the first 28nm SoC, while Tegra 3 is still on 40nm, which means a smaller and cheaper package, and lower power consumption to boot. The S4 is also the first SoC with built-in LTE, which was probably a rather nice sweetener for Asus." The Snapdragon S4 "Krait" CPU is still a bit shrouded in mystery as far as hard specs (Qualcomm has never been one to release docs), but it appears to be similar to the Cortex-A15 in performance; how they stand up to Intel's new Medfield designs remains to be seen.
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Asus Transformer Drops Quad-core In Favor of Dual-core

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  • by Vollernurd ( 232458 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:16AM (#39183367)
    In other words after carefully considering all their options and went with the one that offered the best overall package, whilst keeping the price point competetive? Not nerd willy-waving, then? Jolly good.
  • by snowgirl ( 978879 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:23AM (#39183393) Journal

    Why is everyone obsessed at the number of cores? The more processors you ahve, the more complex scheduling your apps needs to perform to actually work faster. It's better to hav ea single core that is twice as fast, than two cores running in parallel.

    Pfff... actually, the Tegra 3 has five cores, four of them are high-performance, and one is high-efficiency. The CPU is designed to shutdown the four cores for almost nearly everything, and just use the high-efficiency core in order to save on battery life.

    So seriously, most of the time, the number of cores doesn't even matter, because unless you're playing a high-end game, the cores won't even be woken up.

  • by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:39AM (#39183453)

    For 99.9% of the games, I'd say yes, if the Dual Core represents better better overall performance and compatibility with other things (like LTE) out of the box. The tablet is not made for that 0.1% that only wants to play that one game that makes use of the 4 cores... It's made for those that use those tablets for what they seem to be designed for (with a dock and everything...): Light work stations and media centers (that give it the 18 hour batteries.

    I, for one, applaud this move. Core hype will get you nowhere in the long run.

  • by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:48AM (#39183487)

    In a website like this, yes, people care about that. You seem to be lost, the appstore is that way --->.

  • by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:57AM (#39183511)

    Your SGS2 is configured wrong. You should be getting a standby drain of about 1%/hour (or less) with sync enabled.

    Two things are at fault here, of course:

    1. The awful apps that keep the phone awake and active during standby - for instance: Facebook
    2. Android, for not telling the user THIS APP IS KEEPING YOUR PHONE AWAKE, KICK THAT CRAP!

    In your specific case: Check your battery usage (in your SGS2's settings), and find out which process is keeping your phone awake, either with the old battery history (Gingerbread and earlier, accessible via Spare Parts, apps like BatteryMonitorWidget or a dialer code that varies from handset to handset) or (ICS only - because someone at Google decided to remove the battery history) with an app like BetterBatteryStats.

    The interesting part is usually partial wake usage. Eliminate the apps causing the most partial wake usage, and you'll have a power draw of next to nothing. Standby battery life with Google sync, a few IM clients (I run Skype and, Whatsapp, Viber and so on, should be around 4-5 days.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @07:24AM (#39183605)

    Or... System tuner is reporting the status of the second core incorrectly? Surely it's wrong somewhere: it is incorrectly reporting the second core as offline or its force option is not working correctly.

  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @08:11AM (#39183773) Homepage

    The average user doesn't have the slighest idea how threading works nor why having more cores might be overkill. To them, it's just yet another number that must be increased. They look to us geeks, with our multi-core and multi-socket systems, and figure that's where they want to be once the prices come down. They're like kids emulating adults, and just as stubborn when I try to explain that the average human does NOT need a 12-core workstation with 48 gigs of Ram. It's hard enough convincing them that a Gigabit router won't make their DSL go faster than a 10/100 one, and they go absolutely retarded when they find out I use 10G fibre NICs.

    This is what I tried to explain to my not-so-technical friend, who would ask me if the 4-core tablet was better than the 2-core one, and then ignored anything I said. It's a tablet, you don't multitask much on it. You're not running 50 torrents in the background, while your virus scanner eats a whole core protecting you from yourself, and trying to play a Youtube 1080p walkthrough on your second display while you follow along in Starcraft II on the main screen. It's a fuckin' tablet. One app at a time. If that app is smart enough to offload background tasks to a 2nd core, I'm already impressed. It's a very different computing experience from a desktop PC, and even there, most people get by just fine with a dual-core desktop. The mere fact that almost every computing device today has a dedicated GPU, it's like an extra "core" right there, in that it frees up the main CPU to do something else.

  • LTE? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @08:37AM (#39183883) Homepage

    What the hell is an LTE? Nowhere can I find what this acronym means.

  • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @09:04AM (#39184009)

    It's a tablet, you don't multitask much on it.

    Since when?

  • by Haxagon ( 2454432 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @10:20AM (#39184613)
    Okay, you made a whole hubbub about choice, but still haven't explained why quad-core would be a good choice. I think the debate is over whether or not quad-core is worth it, not if there should be a right to choose.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer