10-03-2012 12:27 AM
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  1. Gungzwei's Avatar
    I would express my opinion on the matter, but I don't want to hear another "mom lecture" from a5cent.

    "Dangit, kids! I told you to be happy with 2 processors!"
    Last edited by Gungzwei; 09-11-2012 at 02:05 PM.
    09-11-2012 01:57 PM
  2. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    Dual cores are just fine, more cores are just ruining battery life (I don't know for sure, but I've read that a few times)
    09-11-2012 02:15 PM
  3. dreester's Avatar
    At this moment we simply don't know how WP8 will perform on the S4 dual-cores because the phones aren't released yet.
    But based on this video it's safe to say that NT kernel runs pretty smooth:
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1oMa3ZJt5M[/YT]

    Video description
    A comparison of two identical prototype phones. The phone on the left is running the Windows CE kernel, the same OS kernel used in Windows Phone 7. The phone on the left is running the Windows NT kernel, the same OS kernel used in Windows Phone 8.

    Dubbed "Experiment 19", the prototype system on the right proved that the Windows NT system could achieve better performance than Windows CE on identical hardware. The system was first demonstrated at MSR TechFest 2009. Filmed in 2009, this demonstration proved for the first time that Microsoft could use the same core windows components for both PCs and phones.
    Last edited by dreester; 09-11-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: added video description
    09-11-2012 02:45 PM
  4. Reflexx's Avatar
    Specs lie.

    I think the main point being expressed by a5cent is that if a person wants the most computational power for the tasks that phones will be performing, then we can't look at core count.

    When you rely on things like core count, then you are being fooled by the spec sheet. You've been fooled by marketing.
    Simon Tupper and a5cent like this.
    09-11-2012 02:52 PM
  5. a5cent's Avatar
    I would express my opinion on the matter, but I don't want to hear another "mom lecture" from a5cent.

    "Dangit, kids! I told you to be happy with 2 processors!"
    This thread never was about a certain number of cores. Like Winning Guy said, what I've tried to explain is why performance doesn't directly scale with core count. This is not an opinion, but a fact you can find many references to on the internet (although you will need to feel comfortable reading very technical and scientific material). As I've previously stated, you might want to google Amdahl's law.

    What I've attempted to do here is offer a simpler explanation (still definitely not simple though), as to why core count isn't the be-all-end-all to CPU performance. I hoped this would be appreciated, particularly because WP devices never were the ones to chase specs in the way android devices do. I didn't just want to state: "the dual-core CPU's in our WP8 devices are the most effective/powerful CPU's we can currently get (including any available quad-core CPU)". I also wanted to explain why.

    I'm sorry if my writing style was too intense. However, I'm sure you would agree that it is frustrating to have words put in your mouth (like "I told you to be happy with 2 processors!"), which Gungzwei wasn't the first to do. Particularly after putting a lot of effort into trying to be clear and precise.

    I don't understand why my statements are being misinterpreted to such a degree. They don't seem difficult to me. I'm guessing people are commenting here without having read the entire thread, but who knows? This thread differs somewhat from others, as it doesn't lend itself well to just jumping into the discussion, without having read it from the beginning.

    At least on a forum like this, I value truth over harmony. I hope most of you agree. But I am a reasonable guy and I'm very open to constructive criticism if anyone has such to offer.
    Last edited by a5cent; 09-11-2012 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
    09-11-2012 06:00 PM
  6. brmiller1976's Avatar
    Think about it from a marketing perspective.

    Customer: "Tell me about these two phones."

    Salesman for Motorola: "This is the Motorola ATRIX MegaQuad XXL! It has FOUR cores. That's FOUR microprocessors for FOUR times the performance!"

    Salesman for HTC: "This is the HTC 8X."

    Customer: "How many cores does it have?"

    Salesman for HTC: "Two. But two cores is more than enough. Let's look at this demo and at this performance curve chart which..."

    Salesman for Motorola: "The HTC only has two cores! Our ATRIX MegaQuad XXL has FOUR cores -- twice the power, for the same price!"

    Salesman for HTC: "But that's not technically tru..."

    Customer: "I'll take the Motorola. Twice as much capability may come in handy, even if I never use it, for the same price."
    09-12-2012 12:48 AM
  7. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    Think about it from a marketing perspective.

    Customer: "Tell me about these two phones."

    Salesman for Motorola: "This is the Motorola ATRIX MegaQuad XXL! It has FOUR cores. That's FOUR microprocessors for FOUR times the performance!"

    Salesman for HTC: "This is the HTC 8X."

    Customer: "How many cores does it have?"

    Salesman for HTC: "Two. But two cores is more than enough. Let's look at this demo and at this performance curve chart which..."

    Salesman for Motorola: "The HTC only has two cores! Our ATRIX MegaQuad XXL has FOUR cores -- twice the power, for the same price!"

    Salesman for HTC: "But that's not technically tru..."

    Customer: "I'll take the Motorola. Twice as much capability may come in handy, even if I never use it, for the same price."
    This is why I don't listen to salesmen, I go in a store, pick a windows phone tell him about it and I make it clear that I don't want a Motorola Razr even it's good...
    Last edited by Simon Tupper; 09-12-2012 at 06:32 AM.
    09-12-2012 06:09 AM
  8. Gungzwei's Avatar
    If there is a quad core Windows Phone available, and it doesn't eat battery apprecialbly faster than a single or dual core phone, I'll buy it over it's lesser core counterparts.

    The reason being i'll most likely have it for 2 years like I have with all of my other phones. The OS will be able to manage 4 cores and once software/apps start to be written to take advantage of more cores, I will already have 4 cores.

    Most programs still only use one cpu and still run in 32 bit, but it doesn't make me want a single cpu running at 1.21 jigawatts. It makes me seek out software that can take advantage of the hardware that is available.

    A single CPU that has the ability to process as much data as 4 cores will likely generate as much or more heat as a quad. Same reason overclocking your CPU generates more heat and the reason why microwave ovens work. More mega/gigahertz isn't the answer any more than more cores. It's a balance. If gigahertz were the answer, AMD and Intel wouldn't have given up on the clock wars. I was a lot easier for marketing to throw a single performance number at people.

    Developers aren't always effecient in the way they use the hardware, which is why it's so tempting to throw more of everything into a computer.

    If you want to simplify it, this is how...
    How many cores? It depends...
    09-12-2012 09:33 AM
  9. a5cent's Avatar
    @brmiller1976

    Hello brmiller1976, assuming your analogy reflects present day sales tactics, then this is my take on it:
    Motorola Guy: "twice the power, for the same price"
    The Motorola guy is flat out lying, because in reality the quad-core is weaker than the dual-core under almost all circumstances (this statement applies to present day smartphone SoC's and nothing else).
    HTC Guy: "Two. But two cores is more than enough.
    This is where the HTC guy makes a stupid mistake. He shouldn't be talking about cores but about processing power. I'm sure you would want the Motorola guy to get called out on his lying, so what's the problem? Anyway, in your analogy the customer believes that "bigger numbers on a spec sheet must always mean better" and walks out having paid the same price for an inferior product (that will run his apps slower). Pretty bad if you ask me...

    IMHO, it appears that you doubt a dual-core CPU can be faster than a quad-core CPU. All I can do is ask you to look at the benchmarks I've linked to in a previous post.

    Surely there is a problem with my writing style, but your analogy hasn't helped me see it. I appreciate the attempt though. In this case I think it would be better to just speak plainly. I have no problem with people being direct.
    Last edited by a5cent; 09-12-2012 at 11:12 AM.
    09-12-2012 11:04 AM
  10. brmiller1976's Avatar
    This is why I don't listen to salesmen, I go in a store, pick a windows phone tell him about it and I make it clear that I don't want a Motorola Razr even it's good...
    Alas, you're quite rare, as WP sales illustrate. The average consumer goes in with only a vague sense of what he or she wants, and is "navigated" towards something that fits the carrier's agenda (and the sales rep's agenda), with the exception of Apple products.

    Apple's also helped by having its own stores -- if you want an iPhone, you can skip the whole "buy a Droid/Evo/whatever" pushy sales spiel and just buy your phone with your preferred carrier at Apple retail. That's an important reason why Microsoft should grow its sales presence.
    09-12-2012 11:48 AM
  11. Reflexx's Avatar
    That's why many of us believe that there should be a strong marketing and campaign push focused on performance instead of specs. If customers can be led to look for performance, then fancy sales speak about specs won't be as relevant.

    Smoked by Windows Phone was just the start. There needs to be more of this type of campaigning.
    a5cent likes this.
    09-12-2012 12:00 PM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    @Gungzwei

    Hello Gungzwei, I agree with most of what you said, but we differ on two counts:

    Most programs still only use one core <snipped>, but it doesn't make me want a single core cpu running at 1.21 jigawatts. It makes me seek out software that can take advantage of the hardware that is available.
    That is certainly a good approach, but it won't always work. The very first thing I attempted to explain in this thread is that it isn't always economically/technically feasible to distribute an apps computational load across an arbitrary number of cores. It's not simply that developers are to blame for "not being efficient in the way they use hardware".

    For many smartphone apps you would be hard pressed to find a way to make good use of two cores, and making use of any core beyond the second becomes increasingly difficult. There is only so much you can do with certain types of software to better adapt them to multi-core CPU's. At some point you need to start thinking about the opposite approach... how to better adapt the hardware to the software that customers want to run. Do you doubt this?

    It is much easier to find desktop applications that can make good use of more than two cores, and Intel could easily give us desktop CPU's with 16 cores, but we are still only at four. Why? Server, desktop and smartphone software differs, and the hardware we use in those environments should reflect those differences.

    A single core CPU that has the ability to process as much data as 4 cores will likely generate as much or more heat as a quad.
    Generated heat doesn't have much to do with the number of cores in a CPU. Rather it revolves around the number of transistors that went into building the entire CPU, how many of them are active (applied current), how those transistors are built (materials and node) and clock frequency.

    A desktop CPU with twice as many cores will usually have about twice as many transistors, have a higher TDP and cost more. For mobile CPU's that is not true! Due to thermal and power limitations all high-end mobile CPU's built at a similar node (28nm - 32nm) use a similar number of transistors, have a similar TDP and cost about the same. Whether or not those transistors are invested into two or four cores won't change thermals much, unless most of those cores remain idle which isn't our goal. For this reason, high-end mobile CPU's, where price is less of an issue, will (for the foreseeable future) make us choose between fewer high-performance cores or more lower-performance cores. Based on the types of software we run on our smartphones, the former is the better choice.

    I don't have a hotline to Samsung's SoC developers, but I'm certain the things I've mentioned above are part of the reason why the iPhone 5 and Samsung's next high-end Exynos SoC will both be dual-core and not quad-core offerings. According to your logic, at least how I understand it, they should be going quad-core, but they aren't.
    Last edited by a5cent; 09-12-2012 at 01:19 PM.
    Gaichuke likes this.
    09-12-2012 12:31 PM
  13. Gaichuke's Avatar
    Amazing stuff, a5cent. Just amazing.

    Your posts have been the best versed explanations about the irrelevance of core count in smartphone industry I've ever read. This thread should be mandatory read for everyone.

    I really admire your patience, how do you do it? People keep misunderstanding or even missing your points completely, but you simply start again and have another go at it...
    a5cent likes this.
    10-03-2012 12:27 AM
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