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Intel Silvermont leapfrogs best ARM chips in benchmarks

by Mark Tyson on 8 July 2013, 09:15

Tags: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), ARM

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An AnTuTu benchmark result for an Android system powered by a 'Bay Tail T' processor has been leaked. The Bay Trail processor under test was a part with two 1.1GHz Silvermont cores running at 1.1GHz, it scored 43,416 in the AnTuTu benchmark. Compare this result to Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 800 chip with four cores and a clock speed of over 2GHz - Android devices with these chips score around 25,000 to 30,000 in the AnTuTu benchmark.

Less than a fortnight ago HEXUS wrote about the upcoming premium smartphone and tablet processor battle. Both Intel and ARM seem to truly believe they have the ammunition to claim victory in this next mobile performance tournament. Intel claims that ARM's fastest in-production chip, the Cortex-A15 SoC "is not even close to [Intel] Silvermont. They are higher power and much behind us on performance which means they are on the wrong scale." ARM says that, it is "more than a generation ahead [of Intel Silvermont]. We've maintained out leadership in this place".

Now we have this leaked Silvermont benchmark result it does seem that Intel's Silvermont is almost twice as fast as a current generation top of the range ARM chip. The 43,416 AnTuTu score is very impressive for the Intel based part considering it is clocked so much lower and has only two cores compared to many ARM quad core SoCs. For reference, popular mobiles such as the LG Nexus 4 score 16K in AnTuTu, the Samsung Galaxy S3 scores 15.5K and the HTC One scores 24.3K.

The 'Bay Trail T' looks also like a big improvement on previous Atom processors. Its next-gen microarchitecture, built using the 22nm process, offers manufacturers a choice to balance approximately 3X performance against 5X lower power consumption. Intel's Silvermont chart illustrating this performance vs power is embedded below.

Devices using Intel's Silvermont cores will be on sale by Xmas this year according to previous reports. Investor news site Seeking Alpha thinks that the new Atom chips could bring a big change to the mobile processor market where Intel has previously struggled to compete.

HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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About time though to be honest. ARM need someone to keep them honest, wonder what the graphics are like generally
Arm need someone to keep them honest?! I think you're looking at it backwards mate :p

ARM license their technology so there is a lot of competition between ARM chip manufacturers. x86 on the other hand… hmm well there is Intel, AMD and Via?
About time though to be honest. ARM need someone to keep them honest, wonder what the graphics are like generally

I though it was “Intel needs someone to keep them honest”, past form and all that.

Anyway as was already pointed on other forums AnTuTu is a very poor benchmark indeed. The current Atom does really really well in AnTuTu but that's not an indication of it doing well elsewhere. Over on the AT forum krumme managed to dig up this review:

Notice how the old Atom Z2560 trails or is last at almost all the benchmarks but is the second fastest at AnTuTu. For some reason Intel does really well with AnTuTu but the x86 code is not compiled with the same compiler nor is it using the same options (possibly the ARM code is not using NEON or similar).

So until the chip is actually released and properly reviewed this should be taken with a major grain of salt.
… until the chip is actually released … this should be taken with a major grain of salt.

This and more this :) Are we really surprised that an intel product that won't be shipped for almost 6 months is faster than a product that's already been shipping for more than six months? Intel may get to the punch first, and release a good mobile Atom that's both power efficient and high performing, but ARM partners will be following up in 2014 with A50 parts, and given the huge market lead ARM has Intel need to be both early and excellent to overcome the inertia. And we won't know if they've managed that until devices ship and are benchmarked.
This reminds me of the days people would buy a GPU purely based off it's 3DMark ranking….Only to find out it was actually not that good in games.