CPU Performance: Moorestown Rocks?

In my iPad review I pointed out the huge gap between the performance of today’s 1GHz smartphone SoCs and an Atom powered netbook.

It’s impossible to estimate the performance of Moorestown without functional hardware, but we can assume that it’s somewhere in between the ARM based SoCs and the netbook in the chart below.

Intel provided some SPECint numbers comparing Moorestown to various smartphone application processors shipping in 2010 (either now or later). Keep in mind that SPECint is just as much of a compiler benchmark as it is a hardware benchmark, so real world performance could very well differ. We won’t know how well Moorestown stacks up until we can evaluate it ourselves. But if Intel’s numbers are even remotely accurate, this is the sort of leap in performance we honestly need in the smartphone space:

The slowest member of the Atom Z600 series will run at 1.2GHz, the fastest (for smartphones) will run at 1.5GHz. While multithreaded performance on a dual Cortex A9 at 1GHz approaches that of a 1.2GHz Moorestown, nothing can touch the 1.5GHz part. Single threaded performance is just as impressive.

The Sunspider score is super impressive as well. Intel is posting a sub-2s Sunspider score, the best we've seen thus far on a ARM based platform is ~10 seconds on the iPad:

These numbers are from Intel so we have to take them with a grain of salt. And as I already mentioned, we’re looking at pure CPU/compiler performance here - real world application performance is a different story entirely. But it’s a safe bet to assume that Moorestown will at least be faster than any application processor on the market today.

A high clocked dual Cortex A9 could give it a healthy challenge though.

GPU Performance: Moorestown Rules?

Intel provided three numbers to instill confidence in Moorestown’s graphics capabilities. The first was a claim of over 100 fps running Quake 3. I saw this in person so I can confirm that you can actually run a timedemo of Quake 3 at above 100 fps on Moorestown. NVIDIA claims over 40 fps on the Tegra 2 at 720p with AA, but it’s unclear how comparable these numbers are.

The next two numbers are from 3DMark Mobile ES 2.0 using the Taiji and Hoverjet benchmarks:

This is comparing the performance of Moorestown to the lower clocked SGX 535 among other GPUs. The performance improvement is more than 2x.

Again, these came from Intel directly so we can’t vouch for their applicability to the real world.

The Intel GMA 600 by Imagination Technologies Availability and Medfield
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  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    No, I think he is asking for Windows 7, not Windows Phone 7. WHich I can see being useful on a tablet, but not at all on a phone. It would take so much effort to turn the standard version of Windows 7 into something usable on a phone that I would imagine if x86 does take off in smartphones Microsoft would be better off just making a completely new OS that can run windows programs. Reply
  • logdrum - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - link

    There are Moorsetown tablets running Windows 7, As long as the chipset has a PCI bus Windows 7 heck even Windows 2003 server shuld install. The smart phone do not have a PCI bus therefore you cannot install Windows 7 Reply
  • logdrum - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - link

    It is not a limitation of x86. Windows needs a PCI bus to install and run. There is no PCI bus in Intel embedded systems or ARM for that matter. Having said that you can install VMware on the Linux OS and install Windows as a Virtual Machine. Some people even say hacking the firmware of the embedded hardware to fake a PCI bus so Windows would install. It could be done. Take one of those WindRiver classes on fastboot and kboot and maybe you could make it happen. Reply
  • logdrum - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - link

    I am talking here purely x86 Windows, the one on desktops and netbooks and even tablets. Tablets have a PCI bus usually. The phone factor of Moorsetown does not have, Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Dual-boot Windows 7 and Android on a 10" tablet. Please? Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    I think getting 3 out of 5 will be very hard for Intel, especially Apple because that company has sunk so much of its own money into chip IP. Apple is not content with just getting the best hardware out there in ARM world but wants to actually design the chip around its own OS so I dont see them using the Atom series.
    Intel says Win7CE & Win8CE are both out so that leaves them in a bad place. However, Microsoft is working on a micro OS kernel inside its labs called Menlo( I am not sure about the name) which Intel could try and effectively market to. Basically in Menlo Microsoft is trying to shrink NT to super small size and footrpint.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Intel offered the ability to create custom atom SOC's via TSMC fabs about a year ago. It was withdrawn due to lack of interest; but if apple was interested I'm certain they'd make it available again. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    People will forgive lots of things if the thing just looks HOT and works as it should. It has been a long time since I have been wowed by any of the new smartphone devices, including the iphone. It is sleek and well built but a little to chunky and roundish for my taste. However they get the style look down. Reply
  • geniekid - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Would it be possible to leverage Moorestown in a way that yields 2x the battery life with the same performance as today's top end smartphones? Most 3GS/N1 users today would rather have more battery life than HD playback ability. Unfortunately, as I think about it, I believe that the battery sucking features of the phone are the peripheral devices - wifi/3g radio, camera, display, things which are outside the scope of Moorestown. Reply
  • Mike1111 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    If the Z600 only support 1024x600 or higher, how come the Aava reference platform has 800x480?

    And even though I think the performance is very good, Z600 is still too big to compete in the Smartphone market (3-4 chips instead of 1)? I don't see how that could work with something as small as the iPhone 4th-gen's mainboard, which is incredible tiny.

    Also Intel talks about combining Lincroft and Langwell into one chip, but no official word on memory in the same package? Only Anand speculates about it.

    But if they Intel can integrate at least these three chips into one package with Medfield and offer some additional improvements plus @32nm, and have actual Medfield smartphones on the shelves by the holiday season 2011, Intel can finally start to compete in the smartphone market.
    Reply

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