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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  • Suhail_kapoor - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Anand, Intel said 3 out of 5, you said one magic device, I think they have one sorted out ... NOKIA is a company needing revolution and this partnership is Nokia's hope for smart phone market.

    Also outside US and to some extent Europe Nokia has a very strong foot hold, combined with essentially free software such as MeeGo the road looks good, only IF and a big if, they can deliver on software front.
    Reply
  • WaltFrench - Sunday, May 09, 2010 - link

    “…NOKIA is a company needing revolution and this partnership is Nokia's hope for smart phone market.”

    Only problem: Nokia needs a polished solution fast—its average sales price is imploding and the shareholders are restless. A solution that would require them to throw away all the development work to date would be suicidal.

    If it takes 12-24 months to implement a totally new architecture, with new software (seems a bit optimistic), only a smartphone maker whose roadmap is in great shape today can afford to make the switch; that'd be Apple. But they have just bulked up with PA Semi and Intrinsity; it'd be hard to imagine much Intel Inside.

    Not to mention that Intel's i-series CPUs seem to have been designed to derail Apple's plans of running with a graphics-centric, well-supported CPU. The extra silicon & design time seems to have kept the i3 out of Apple's 13" notebook, while the 15" and 17" have just-a-bit-rocky auto-switch technology to fire up the NVidia GPUs. It doesn't seem that Intel has exactly been courting Apple's product intentions of late.
    Reply
  • Lord Banshee - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Intel First SoC based on Atom is not Moorestown, but CE4100(codename Sodaville) is: http://download.intel.com/design/celect/prodbrf/32...

    http://intelconsumerelectronics.com/

    Where is the love for Intel's CE product. Anand you should look into reviewing some products based off these products too.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Sure, is there a shipping product based on the CE3xxxx or CE4xxxx series?

    I remember there seemed to be something like the Yuixxx from Conceptronix or some similarly named Dutch company.. Did they ever ship?
    Reply
  • Lord Banshee - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    I am not sure what products have CE products in it... CE devices typically don't advertise this kind of info.

    Lots of rumors when searching for ce4100 on engadget

    http://www.engadget.com/search/?q=ce4100&invoc...
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Most of those CE4100 results are Intel announcements announcing platform updates or availabilities.

    The TiVo Premier result, I am not sure why it is even there.... TiVo Premier teardown revealed it is fully Boradcom based, IIRC.

    I am very interested to know whether there are any CE4100 products out in the hands of the customers right now... Any Intel employees / PR guys care to offer this information?
    Reply
  • zdzichu - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Seeing that GPU part is descendant of Paulsbo... I foresee similar fiasco with opensource drivers as with GMA500. Too bad, it really damages Intel reputation. Reply
  • beginner99 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    funny gma 600. Even if intel like improves gm drivers 100x fold, they will still suck...So you can pretty much say it depends on that.

    And there go my dreams for useful drivers for my menlow device...it's a PITA. slowing hardware by deliberatley? making horrible drivers.
    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Intel's graphics performance as they begin integrating into the CPU improved significantly, to the point of competitive. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2952/2

    Your view point is strictly from a desktop running pixels number as high as 1900x1200 (too much for even the best IGP from nVidia or ATi/AMD), on a smartpone the graphic intensity is not nearly enough... it does not need to win on the highest FPS, it just needs to get 30 FPS or better for a fluid experience.

    The graphics component should be fine, no real reason to suspect otherwise.
    Reply
  • rahvin - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Given the abysmal Linux support of the GMA500 I foresee a complete piece of crap again that will result in this being used in NO android phones. For me Android is the future of the cellphone and frankly what happened with Paulsbro foreshadows the complete crap that this platform will be on Android and other Linux based platforms (like WebOS). The concerns of the OP are completely justified and I had exactly the same reaction when I read the GPU is based on PowerVR like the piece of crap GMA500.

    Intel cannot succeed in the Phone space if Linux is treated with the same disdain they presented with GMA500.
    Reply

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