Print 12 comment(s) - last by MrMilli.. on Sep 19 at 6:37 AM

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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By geddarkstorm on 9/18/2012 11:35:32 AM , Rating: 5
Sweet muffins on a candlestick, is Intel really doing it? Is it really finally getting powerful yet efficient x86 parts into the mobile market? This could really liven things up.

The original Medfield reviewed by Anandtech looked very promising, and sat around the middle of the pack in most metrics against the former Cortex A9 generations. That this frequency bump could put it above the A15 derivative, Snapdragon 4, is pretty exciting. Only question now is battery life, which was just fine on the slower clocked Medfield.

Can't wait to see what Hanswell derivatives could do.

RE: Medfield
By Manch on 9/18/2012 12:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldnt it be awesome if you could load XP onto this?! Even Win 8 would be cool.

RE: Medfield
By geddarkstorm on 9/18/2012 12:29:33 PM , Rating: 3
Not sure XP would work on such a tiny screen, and with touch, but Win 8 certainly would.

RE: Medfield
By Manch on 9/18/2012 12:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah it would be hard to read, but if you've ever seen the 10ft interfaces for media center or other similar programs, you could make it work. They have touch apps for XP too.

I just think it would be sweet if you could. Especially if this thing has video out/ or HDMI. then just use the phone as a track pad.

RE: Medfield
By elleehswon on 9/18/2012 1:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
i've seen people install windows 3.1 and 95 via dosbox. i'm not sure if xp has been done. the functionality is really lacking though as none of those OS's were ever designed for a touch input system.

RE: Medfield
By Jeffk464 on 9/18/2012 8:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldnt it be awesome if you could load XP onto this?! Even Win 8 would be cool.

I personally dont see a benefit to running xp on my phone. Same reason I dont want metro win8 on my desktop.

Did you misread the benchmarks?
By AjCazz on 9/18/2012 11:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
What I got out of the article on Engadget is that the RAZR i only beat the RAZR m on the SunSpider bench. Everywhere else it was behind.

Although the RAZR i only bests the RAZR M on SunSpider browser performance, it's a substantial score difference. Otherwise, the Europe-bound RAZR skates pretty close, if behind the RAZR M's benchmarks. -Engadget

RE: Did you misread the benchmarks?
By Manch on 9/18/2012 12:24:17 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I got out of this article....

RE: Did you misread the benchmarks?
By AjCazz on 9/18/2012 12:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
Mick's original article had the i beating the m in every benchmark. He changed it after I posted.

By geddarkstorm on 9/18/2012 12:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, I also posted my comment to the erroneous old article without checking Engadget myself. So, it's a bit different of a picture now after the revisions. More in line with previous Medfield performance, which certainly isn't bad by any means.

RE: Did you misread the benchmarks?
By Manch on 9/18/2012 12:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh OK gotcha. I thought maybe I hadnt had enough coffee.

Not the first time they've done that.

When they change the article like that, they should put a note in their or something.

By MrMilli on 9/19/2012 6:37:32 AM , Rating: 2
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.

Qualcomm doesn't use the Cortex A9 ARM processor in any of it's products. The MSM8960 uses Qualcomm's own Krait core which has a 30% or more higher IPC than the A9 core.

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