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How A Raspberry Pi 4 Performs Against Intel's Latest Celeron, Pentium CPUs

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  • #41
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    ARM isn't built to be performant. It's built to be efficient.
    Is it really?
    ARM is an architecture that is supposed to scale up into the high-performance too.

    The Raspi and embedded devices in general are designed to be efficient, but there are high-end ARM CPUs that really need a real heatsink.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
      ARM isn't built to compete with desktop performance.
      This is your own idea.
      There is higher end stuff from Marvell and NXP and whatever that is using high-performance CPU designs licensed from ARM, there are Apple ARM designs where they are designing their own cores from scratch and are actually pretty decent for desktop/laptop. There are custom ARM designs from Amazon, again nothing like ARM's CPU designs.
      NVIDIA's jetson and whatnot boards too.

      That guy is talking about SPECIFIC CPU core designs from ARM (the ones that are licensed to third parties) being inferior, which is at least somewhat believable at face value.

      You are just assuming a whole architecture/ISA is the same just because it has the same interface for software, which is complete bullshit.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by vladpetric View Post
        Unfortunately the microarchitecture of the RPi4 is still a bit of a joke.
        The broadcom chips that the raspberry pi foundation selected were always very specific cost optimized designs, typically not even available to other vendors. Price, price, price, and price, was a core consideration (and it is generally believed that broadcom offered a sweatheart pricing deal such that broadcom may have made little profit on the chips). The RPi foundation never started with a plan to offer general purpose computing, they offered a maker item, to teach computing, and building simple experimental devices. Sure, they pivoted a bit once they got successful, but even they never quite expected for the RPi to be a widely used general purpose desktop (there were, and still are, better solutions for that, even in the ARM space), even while understanding that for their target audience they had to offer a GUI. I am glad the RPi exists, but it is somewhat unfortunate that its mindshare crushed some alternative solutions that were more flexible.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
          There are custom ARM designs from Amazon
          Amazon bought Annapurna Labs around five years ago to get their ARM tech, and their current (branded) Graviton2 processors (a variant on the Neoverse N1) are quite appropriate for many scale out use cases, and the pricing is very very good for those use cases (well, AWS very good pricing). I only wish AWS would offer graviton processors in their lightsail offering so the entry to experiment effort was low enough so more people would consider them (spinning up an EC2 instance is not especially hard, but if you are starting from little AWS knowledge, it seems like a mountain to climb). I am hopeful that will eventually happen (the AWS people I talked to at the last ARM TechCon seemed receptive).
          Last edited by CommunityMember; 07 August 2020, 08:47 PM.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
            ARM is an architecture that is supposed to scale up into the high-performance too.
            According to what? Just because there are scaled-up models, doesn't mean the core architecture is supposed to. Bear in mind, the context here is scaling up in clock speed, not instructions.
            The Raspi and embedded devices in general are designed to be efficient, but there are high-end ARM CPUs that really need a real heatsink.
            I'm aware, but they're practically a wholly different product, as are Apple's CPUs. So it doesn't make sense to compare a low-end SBC like that, which is what's going on here.
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
            That guy is talking about SPECIFIC CPU core designs from ARM (the ones that are licensed to third parties) being inferior, which is at least somewhat believable at face value.
            If performance is what you seek, yes. But these aren't the products you buy for high performance.
            You are just assuming a whole architecture/ISA is the same just because it has the same interface for software, which is complete bullshit.
            You are assuming that I don't know that, yet you ignore the fact that we're talking about a $35 computer here. To compare it to high-end stuff is complete bullshit.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
              There are custom ARM designs from Amazon
              Also don't forget the Ampere 80 core processor (designed for the hyperscale cloud providers). It was supposed to ship around now in volume (but, again, only to the hyperscalers, and I would not be surprised the schedule has been "adjusted").

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              • #47
                During the summer, it's just too damned hot to use anything other than my Raspberry Pi for computing. I don't care how much more performant an Intel x86 might be, the Raspberry Pi manages to play video, browse the web, and let me write code without breaking a sweat. The Pi not only saved me a few bucks in purchase price for a new computer, but on-going it is saving me a ton in electricity for running the A/C.

                It also seems to be a lot more reliable. My old Intel quad core laptop will occassionally spontaneously reboot, while my RPi4/4GB has pretty much never done any crashing, aside from Out of Memory situations (which isn't really a crash per se, but Linux gets so slow when it runs out of memory that it might as well be locked up).

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by vladpetric View Post
                  Unfortunately the microarchitecture of the RPi4 is still a bit of a joke.

                  I've had a lengthy (and peppered with the occasional insults, of course) discussion earlier on phoronix forums.

                  It's not just the clock speed. The IPC of the RPi4 is mediocre.

                  The RPi4 chip (Cortex A72) doesn't have a proper Load Store Queue, to allow it to issue loads out-of-order with respect to earlier stores (so all prior stores need to complete before issuing a load). This would require machinery to detect and correct potential misspeculations, of course.

                  It can only decode 3 instructions per cycle, and issue 5.

                  Actually the venerable Alpha 21264 from 1996 had better microarchitecture. Granted, that was a trailblazer chip, but still ... 1996!

                  So, this is not about nm. It's about a toy microarchitecture.
                  Sure is is a toy or more accurately a cell phone architecture but still it has come a long way.

                  This is one reason why I'm very interested in what Apple delivers as far as a performance ARM processor goes. Hopefully we can see what ARM can do as a mainstream processor then.

                  Frankly I'm a bit disappointed that Micheal didn't spend more effort to configure the intel machine like the Pi. That is minimal RAM and slow SSD. On the other hand I really doubt if the PI even comes close to the power usage of the Intel beast.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by AJenbo View Post
                    Interesting that the pi was faster at exporting to PDF. For the rest it looks to be about 1/4 the speed of the Intel chip. I wonder if the price is matched at that level for general use.
                    Don't forget a vastly slower storage and limited RAM.

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                    • #50
                      Pi 4 is a toy no doubt, but it is a toy that can run a full desktop, and drive two 4k display (though at 30hz).
                      Many low end laptops can't do it.

                      It is a great toy to play. And a lot gadgets now is powered by similar ARM SoCs.
                      I put SSD on the USB3 port and it becomes quite good for practical use now.

                      It will get better also. But I don't expect it to be close to or even just half fast as mobile CPUs from Intel or AMD.
                      Apple will have fast ARM SoC but they will never publish it or even allow anybody else to use it.
                      Right now pi4 is quite good for me. Maybe in future a toy Pi5 Pi6 with same power consumption and a little faster will be more attractive.
                      But I really won't expect it to double the performance and maintain same power profile.

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