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ARM Cortex-A15 vs. NVIDIA Tegra 3 vs. Intel x86

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  • ARM Cortex-A15 vs. NVIDIA Tegra 3 vs. Intel x86

    Phoronix: ARM Cortex-A15 vs. NVIDIA Tegra 3 vs. Intel x86

    Last week I shared some early benchmarks of the Samsung Chromebook while running Ubuntu Linux. The Samsung Chromebook is very interesting since it's one of the few readily available computers on the market employing an ARM Cortex-A15 processor rather than Cortex-A9 or other models. The Cortex-A15 found in the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual SoC proved to be very powerful and this Chromebook was quite a good deal with it being trivial to load Ubuntu Linux (and other distributions) while costing only $250 USD for this ARM-based laptop. In the past week I have carried out additional ARM Cortex-A15 benchmarks, including a comparison of its performance the the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core ARM "Cardhu" tablet and several Intel Atom/Core x86 systems.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=18202

  • #2
    Thanks

    This is what it should have been from start. I used phoronix-test-suit to compare your benchmarks with mine (Core i3) to figure out the difference and I should say that ARM has come a long path. With Cortex A5X I think we will see something in the range of core series of Intel.

    A suggestion: I know that you need some clicks to make enough funds to keep up your very good work (and I am grateful), but I really think you need to expand your reviews to be more through like Anandtech. One have to read a lot of your articles to grasp the idea of what is going on "in a single matter". In that case your site will be more worthy of citations! This way it is more of a go to phoronix and try to find the thing that you are looking for. Which most people won't.

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    • #3
      That makes a quad-core A15 almost competitive with low-end Intel where massive parallelisation is possible, and probably significantly better for battery life. Can't wait to see how the ARM v8 cores compare.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mmrezaie View Post
        A suggestion: I know that you need some clicks to make enough funds to keep up your very good work (and I am grateful), but I really think you need to expand your reviews to be more through like Anandtech. One have to read a lot of your articles to grasp the idea of what is going on "in a single matter". In that case your site will be more worthy of citations! This way it is more of a go to phoronix and try to find the thing that you are looking for. Which most people won't.
        That simply won't happen. Aside from needing the extra clicks due to ads to keep going, AnAndTech also has a much larger staff where they can devote more time to each article... Meanwhile, I single-handedly bang out every article on Phoronix.
        Michael Larabel
        http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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        • #5
          This is really interesting. I wonder how the Apple A6 would do since it's after all the most powerfull ARM soc today. But I guess that would be difficult to test unless PTS is ported to iOS.

          If I remember correctly the Exynos 5 has a TDP of 4 W compared to the Atom D525's 13 Watt, and yet the Exynos 5 is mostly faster. And again, it's not even the fastest ARM soc available. This is after Intel has spent several years developing the atom. I can't help to think that perhaps the x86 is too complex to ever be really power efficient.

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          • #6
            Michael, to test the PPW, try using a CLI tool like dpms or xset to turn off the displays and calculate the power difference. I know there are other pieces of hardware like the motherboard that will increase wattage but overall that might be a 5W difference, which you can just inform readers.

            Anyways, so much for Otellini's dismissive behavior of ARM. I knew his attitude was naiive.

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            • #7
              I believe most of the support for Cortex A15 is going to arrive in Ubuntu 13.04, so it can probably do significantly better with Ubuntu 13.04 in benchmarks. I hope you'll do another series of benchmarks then, either with this or with whatever quad core A15 is in the market by then. I suspect the next ARM Chromebook will have that, too.

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              • #8
                Exynos 5 is beast

                Wow, Samsung Exynos 5 is beast!

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                • #9
                  Very good test!

                  I prefer dual core 2.5Ghz A15 to quad core 1.6Ghz A15.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tempestglen View Post
                    Very good test!

                    I prefer dual core 2.5Ghz A15 to quad core 1.6Ghz A15.
                    I don't think we'll really see a dual core 2.5 Ghz A15 in the market, especially in phones. It's not really possible to do that at 28nm, and by the time you go with 20nm, it's already time to switch to Cortex A57, so you're better off using that. I think we'll even see dual core 3 Ghz Cortex A57 in 2015 or so, at 14nm. 3 Ghz ARM processors should be possible at 14nm, while maintaining the same low power level.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nej_simon View Post
                      This is really interesting. I wonder how the Apple A6 would do since it's after all the most powerfull ARM soc today. But I guess that would be difficult to test unless PTS is ported to iOS.

                      If I remember correctly the Exynos 5 has a TDP of 4 W compared to the Atom D525's 13 Watt, and yet the Exynos 5 is mostly faster. And again, it's not even the fastest ARM soc available. This is after Intel has spent several years developing the atom. I can't help to think that perhaps the x86 is too complex to ever be really power efficient.

                      It's only 2.5Wp.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Krysto View Post
                        I don't think we'll really see a dual core 2.5 Ghz A15 in the market, especially in phones. It's not really possible to do that at 28nm, and by the time you go with 20nm, it's already time to switch to Cortex A57, so you're better off using that. I think we'll even see dual core 3 Ghz Cortex A57 in 2015 or so, at 14nm. 3 Ghz ARM processors should be possible at 14nm, while maintaining the same low power level.
                        28nm LP extra, can give a 2.5Ghz dual core ARM A15 @2.5ghz. And even a quad core (2*A15 + 2*A7 @2.5Ghz), in a smartphone.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Krysto View Post
                          I don't think we'll really see a dual core 2.5 Ghz A15 in the market, especially in phones. It's not really possible to do that at 28nm, and by the time you go with 20nm, it's already time to switch to Cortex A57, so you're better off using that. I think we'll even see dual core 3 Ghz Cortex A57 in 2015 or so, at 14nm. 3 Ghz ARM processors should be possible at 14nm, while maintaining the same low power level.
                          Actually Nvidia is planning 3GHz desktop parts for 20nm with Project Denver. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Denver I wouldn't be surprised if more ARM partners tried their hand at desktop/server AA64 parts(AMD has already announced they'll be working on ARM Opteron parts).

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                          • #14
                            I don't understand cpu archtecture enought, maybe you guys will help clarify. How much o the CPU modern CPU archtecture is linked to the ISA? I mean, would it take too much work to say port Piledriver/Steamroller/Excavator to accept ARM ISA? Would the same apply to Haswell/Broadwell/etc? ARM is constantly bashed by being too low performance, but does the performance has anything to do with the ISA or is it simply because nobody has released a high power ARM chip yet?

                            The way I see it, its not about technology, it's abou business model. ARM business model allows for the creation of an infinite number of SoCs with different building blocks that all run the same Apps. x86 does not. If you are writing x86 Apps you are bound to run on the limited range of chips sold by Intel and AMD, so in the long run, ARM is a no-brainer simply due to the sheer variety and innovation possible in the ARM space, as long as they keep fragmentation in check.

                            In view of the above, I'm very curious to know if we can expect something like a 125W Steamroller ARM chip in the near future. With everybody but intel on the ARM bandwagon, I can't see Intel's big custumers being very happy having a single supplier...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                              I don't understand cpu archtecture enought, maybe you guys will help clarify. How much o the CPU modern CPU archtecture is linked to the ISA? I mean, would it take too much work to say port Piledriver/Steamroller/Excavator to accept ARM ISA? Would the same apply to Haswell/Broadwell/etc? ARM is constantly bashed by being too low performance, but does the performance has anything to do with the ISA or is it simply because nobody has released a high power ARM chip yet?
                              I think it's mostly that no one has released a high-power ARM chip yet. Most modern x86 processors decode the ISA (x86/x86-64/etc) into something that the processor can handle more efficiently. It used to at least be that you'd decode x86 into a RISC-like instruction set, and then have the rest of the processor use that decoded instruction stream. I believe that's still the case for most CPUs on the market. With enough work on a new instruction decoder, it could be possible for the high-performance guts of an X86 CPU to be re-used in an ARM product. Beyond the raw instruction set, you'd also have to take care of floating point, and neon instruction decoding (probably translate to some version of SSE).

                              Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                              In view of the above, I'm very curious to know if we can expect something like a 125W Steamroller ARM chip in the near future. With everybody but intel on the ARM bandwagon, I can't see Intel's big custumers being very happy having a single supplier...
                              I don't know if I'd hold out for a 125W ARM server chip, but I could see a high performance 30-70W chip being released in the next few years.

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