Early benchmarks show the Atom falling behind a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 4 SoC in most benchmarks

There was some speculation regarding whether Intel Corp.'s (INTC) new Z2460 processor would indeed achieve its maximum clock-speed of 2.0 GHz in retail product.  For those out of the "Medfield" loop, the Z2460 is a part of Intel's ultra-mobile ("Medfield") Atom processor answer to the ARM Holdings plc. (LON:ARM) consortium.

AnandTech has offered confirmation that the Z2460 onboard Google Inc. (GOOG) subsidiary Motorola Mobility's RAZR i smartphone will indeed be clocked at 2 GHz.  Of course, like any mobile CPU -- ARM or x86 -- the chip will spend much of its time floating around 1 GHz during lighter processing, only clocking up when digesting heavier loads like video or games.

Engadget has early benchmarks, which show the Intel system-on-a-chip (SoC) facing off with the dual-core 1.5 GHz Cortex A9 ARM processor -- Qualcomm, Inc.'s (QCOM) MSM8960 (a Snapdragon 4 chip)-- found in the RAZR M.  Intel is focused heavily on the Sunspider benchmark -- a mobile JavaScript benchmark, and its faster single-core chip performed beautifully on this mark, finishing 50 percent faster than the Snapdragon 4 chip.

However, it trailed the multi-core ARM processor in synthetic benchmarks like CF-Bench and Quadrant.  It also lost in synthetic game benchmark performance, posting approximately a quarter less frames per second in the popular GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen.

Despite the losses, these tests do demonstrate that the 2.0 GHz variant of the Z2460 is a formidable challenger capable of holdings its own with high-end ARM chips.  With that said, there are some big question marks surrounding Intel's chip.
Intel Z2460

First, it features an XMM6260 baseband processor -- Intel's in-house baseband solution.  The XMM6260 only supports HSPA+, which means that while the RAZR i may be a perfect fit for an all-HSPA+ network like Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) subsidiary network T-Mobile USA, it will be unable to take advantage of the latest and greatest LTE connectivity on other U.S. networks like AT&T, Inc. (T).

Unfortunately the first network drop is on Verizon Wireless -- a Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) joint-subsidiary.  That means the handset will be placed somewhat poorly for its cellular aptitudes.

Another big question is battery life.  Early tests showed a 1.6 GHz Z2460 holding its own against ARM chips in mobile battery life.  However, with the clock speed bump it's certain there will be an amplification in the amount of power the SoC is sucking down, at least at load.

Motorola RAZR i

Otherwise the RAZR i looks like an ample entrant, featuring a E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Comp. (DuPont, for short) (DD) Kevlar backplate, 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), 1 GB of DRAM, and 8 GB of NAND Flash storage.

The device's official designation is "XT907".  A full spec list can be viewed here.

Sources: Motorola [1], [2], AnandTech, Engadget

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