Bleep Qualcomm right in their Qualcomm-hole


See above ↑ ↑ ↑


I was actually responding to this:

Unfair to rubbish Wumpus’ software. Comparing what is essential a html driven vbulletin to a JS powered discourse with so much convenience features and then proceeding to rubbish his work. Turning what is essentially factual argument into something personal. Wumpus has easy access to his own code and could simply test it, it’ll be the same for almost any other JS heavy code. The large numbers seen are to highlight the percentage gains, which are real. Even in optimized code.

It is fair to argue whether a 500ms improvement gives a perceptible user experience, quite something else to rubbish his work.

The point Wumpus makes is this. The single core performance of each Apple’s generation is greatly improved compared to Qualcomm’s. It makes for better performance gains from a user experience point of view. Qualcomm’s approach which is to increase core count, has not seen as great improvements.

If we are unwilling to agree with wumpus, just give some evidence. It can even be personal experiences if no hard data support our stance. But to rubbish wumpus’ work and make it so personal is unbecoming of the QT3’s experience.

Edit: From my own personal experience, I like the concept of Android where I can customize everything. In practice, it gives me headaches both as a user and developer. Every device forces me to relearn some UI aspect and the expectation/experience difference is huge.

I hate the concept of Apple’s walled garden. In practice it makes both development and user experience great because of the expectation/experience is managed.

Whenever I upgrade the iPhones, the jump in performance is perceptible, and it’s not just a 0.2 or 0.3 seconds difference. Everything becomes perceptibly faster. Not so for the android devices. A 5 year old Sony Experia Z’s app performance is imperceptible compared to a new Xiaomi Max from my own experience.


For me, moving from an iPad Pro (2016) to an iPad Pro (2017) was a very perceptible performance difference. It is noticeably faster in my day to day use. But this requires the devices to be … wait for it… significantly faster in single threaded CPU perf.

And, again, I think our computing goal should be to get to a point where mobile devices are imperceptibly slower than a fast laptop, if not a desktop

Fuck “good enough”. When it comes to computers, good enough sucks. I want awesome, for everyone.


I said from the beginning that my standard is, my smartphone should have as much RAM as an ultrabook, a super-sharp 500+ PPI OLED screen, a powerful and highly customizable interface, and seamless integration with my PC and headphones. If your standards are lower than that, then fine, you have low standards. Con-fucking-gratulations.

Me too! So really, this thread should be titled “Fuck Apple right in their Apple-hole”. After all, they came up with the best mobile CPU designs, but are holding back the Web by refusing to sell or license them out to other device manufacturers! It’s like if Intel locked its chips down to only run Windows, and Mac and Linux users were stuck with AMD as their only option.


You’re kidding, right? Unlike Intel, whose business is to design and manufacture chips for sale to third parties, Apple’s choice to not sell its proprietary, product defining chip designs to ITS COMPETITORS is a “Fuck Apple” move? Hoo-boy. While you’re at it, do you damn McDonald’s for not selling you Whoppers?


The problem is that a computer is, first and foremost, a CPU. Saddling the world’s coolest peripherals and 25 TB of RAM with a slow CPU is… an exercise in futility. Once we get to obscene desktop / laptop levels of CPU speed, sure, maybe it won’t matter. But there’s no way in hell the current mobile perf levels are anywhere near obscene.

Has everyone already forgotten the iPad 3? Fantastic new retina display! Hideous performance! Well, maybe you did forget, because (cough) performance kept increasing 2x every year.

The “Apple is suddenly kicking Intel’s ass now on their home court” topic is → → over there.


I purchased this in February of 2015.

It was over a Shield. Tell me why I was so very wrong.


If you’re using it to mostly watch videos, I’d say you made the right choice. OLED is the bomb.

Now if in 2017 you could say “and now I’ll buy this updated 2017 model which is 3 times faster”, then the world is working as it should.


Yes, of course I’m being facetious. But irrational seething hatred for the way a company conducts its business is this thread’s whole raison d’être. And if Wumpus really wants everyone to have blazing fast phones, then why not rage at the company that jealously hoards that technology for its own benefit rather than the one that’s developing it too slowly for his tastes?

Hell, they wouldn’t even have to sell to their competitors, just make Boot Camp: Mobile Edition and let people load another OS on their hardware! Win-win!


Apple generated roughly 30 billion in App Store revenue last year. Opening up their hardware is not a win-win, for them.


Well, it depends.

X = # of current Android users who buy Apple hardware * profit margin per phone sold
Y = # of current iOS users who install Android on their hardware * average App-Store profit per user.

I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that Y > X.

Regardless, I don’t think there’s any way this scenario actually happens, but advocating for it would be an equally productive use of @wumpus’s time.


Oh, it’s OLED. Didn’t know that. Cool.

While I might agree, the wife will not. Not after getting the Vive and various accoutrements. Maybe next year.

Right now the wife uses it more than me. That would be Facebook and stupid silly games. After I got my iPhone 7+ I didn’t need a tablet. Weird right? One thing I noticed is that Facebook takes a shitload of space. To the point that I’ve pared down my game space to the bare minimum for her. And we still cant do an OS upgrade. It may be bye bye Facefuck really soon.


Not quite:

  • Qualcomm can’t manage reasonable competitive performance increases, so they are fundamentally bad at their jobs

  • Qualcomm dominates the entire Android ecosystem such that there are no viable alternatives or viable competitors

If I am raging at anything, it is those two things. Computers get faster and smaller and cheaper, every year. But not on Qualcomm’s watch. They are not just holding Android back they are holding computing as a whole back, due to the dominance of smartphones.

And that, as I said, is some bullshit.


Intel, NVIDIA, and MediaTek couldn’t hold a foothold in that market and Exynos doesn’t seem to be anything special in terms of performance, so is there really something uniquely shitty about Qualcomm, or is it just a really hard problem full of painful tradeoffs?

Granting both of your penises, exactly one company has fast mobile CPUs available today and could save the onward march of computing tomorrow by opening them up to the rest of the industry in some fashion. Why aren’t you griping about them refusing to do that? Of course Apple has every right to pursue the path they think will make them the most money rather than the one that puts a supercomputer in every pocket, but then why doesn’t the same apply to Qualcomm?


Per first post

Nvidia was quite strong, albeit in tablet form which implies higher TDP. Witness the outlier perf of the Nexus 9.

As to why Intel could not get their shit together, probably insistence on x86, remember the x86 Android phone? That died fast.

As to why Apple seems to be the only mobile SoC vendor able to do this, we discussed the technical details mid-topic. Part of it seems to be Apple’s willingness to have huge L3 caches. Die size and process seems roughly comparable. I highly recommend the earlier posts on this, search for die size.


Are those JetStream benchmarks comparing Chrome to Chrome, or is it Safari vs Chrome? How much is hardware and how much is Apple has much better javascript engine in Safari than anything you can find on Android?


True. I was actually at NVIDIA at the time (though on the GPU side of things), and the familiar excuse for the lack of phone design wins was always that we were way ahead of Qualcomm on raw performance, but phone companies wanted low TDP, integrated modems, and low cost, and weren’t willing to compromise on any of those for perf. I can’t say they were wrong, either – battery life is bad enough on high-end phones as it is.


Yes but then we’d have to use an iPhone 5s and all the bad that goes along with that. If you’re going to shower us with meaningless numbers then at least use some that have some kind of relevance to actual users. For example, if you said, “Even an iPhone 5s has a camera that focuses 10x faster than any current gen Android!” then I might say to myself, gee maybe I SHOULD switch to iPhone and their wonderful processor.


Yeah good point, you’d be giving up a lot on camera by going back 2 generations. At least current Android devices have (mostly) great cameras. But this topic is really about overall performance as a, y’know, computer.

Integrated modems is where Qualcomm puts the screws on, if you read the anti-trust complaint article. (And there may be something to this low cost argument if you read on.)

Nothing would make me happier than Qualcomm releasing a SoC in 2018 with double the perf of the Snapdragon 835. That would be fucking awesome. Even more awesome would be credible competition of any kind, but I’d take it, and gladly.

Let’s consider the current SoCs, and their geekbench 4 single threaded scores…

  • Apple A10
    3.3 billion transistors, 16nm, 125mm2
    2.34 GHz, 2 + 2 cores (presents as dual)
    L1: 64kb, L2: 3MB (shared), L3: 4MB (shared)

  • Snapdragon 835
    3 billion transistors, 10nm, 72.3 mm2
    2.45 GHz, 4 + 4 cores
    L1: 64kb, L2: 2MB + 1MB, L3: none

Nothing in there really jumps out to me, other than

  • physical size (but, qualcomm is on a smaller process!)
  • presence of huge L3 cache on the Apple side

Both devices have “performance” and “efficiency” cores, so technically that “eight core” Android device isn’t really eight cores. Apple hides this implementation detail in hardware, presenting as a plain dual core CPU and the internal CPU hardware decides whether or not it should be using the performance or efficiency cores at any given time. I guess Android makes this decision at the OS level?

It also seems Qualcomm has backtracked from custom ARM cores with the 835…

We also know that the actual CPU cores are not of Qualcomm’s own design, but more closely based upon ARM reference cores (the 820 used Qualcomm’s full-custom Kryo cores)

… whereas Apple is in full bore “we customize the hell out of these CPUs” mode and has been for a while.

Well, one of these companies is definitely incompetent, that’s for sure.

Is it a fairy tale? Is it @jsnell? Since Apple has yet to go below 16nm, and Qualcomm has been on 10nm for a while now and is going to 7nm with the 845… plus, if you add Apple’s pretty damn amazing track record on custom mobile CPU design to the mix… I think it’s a very safe bet that with A11, Apple is gonna knock it out of the park. Again.


It depends on the benchmark, for common stuff like Octane (now deprecated), it was mostly hardware. Apple does have a top-notch JS engine in Safari and they do a great job optimizing it for the modern web. However lately Chrome has (finally) gotten serious about this, such that they’ve doubled their speed on things they were weak at before, and closed the gap a fair bit.