Fuck Qualcomm right in their Qualcomm-hole


#121

@Wumpus I really enjoy reading these threads and your posts, so don’t feel that everyone is disagreeing with you. I have a Nexus 6 and the time to switch between apps or try a particular CPU task, particularly in heavy use scenarios when I want to snap a picture or switch between several apps, can be very frustrating. It’s also funny that those times I really want it to be snappy and others are looking over my shoulder, match the times that it decides to take a dump and bog down.

I also have an ancient Core i3-2120 desktop CPU, and I’ve been amazed that pretty much every single game for the past five years runs just fine. It cost $110 in late 2011, and is about 40% slower than a $330 i7 - 7700 released in late 2016. In other words, 40% faster for triple the price after five years. While it is finally needing replacement, single threaded performance really does matter the most.

Besides, the debate is fun to read.


#122

But isn’t that the whole point? Systems are more than one single number on one single chart. They are a balance between a lot of factors. A system can have lower single core performance and higher battery life or a better camera and be a better fit for various users based on their use case. It is facile to attack one platform on the basis of one number while giving the other platform a free hand wave away for the things it is deficient in. There’s clearly balances of resources at play or else there would be an option that was the best at everything. And even if there was one that was the best at everything, if it was more expensive than the alternatives it still might be the best. A whole hell of a lot more Priuses sell than Bentleys.

For my desktop, this is the single most important graph:

It makes a real practical different to my day. A 7700k would be measurably, productivity decreasingly negative for me. But I realize that for 99.9% of people out there, a 7700k (at the high end, something less expensive for the vast majority) is a way better option. If you’re happy with a i3-2120 I’m not going to rage against your shitty unusable computer and act like you’re ignorant of technology just because it works for you. Not spending money on things is a good thing. Being happy with what works for you is a good thing. Not needing to buy every new electronic thing is good for the environment.


#123

FWIW

On my Galaxy S8 I get a 157 with a +/- of 3


#124

Great reply. And guys, we have someone simulating nuclear fusion over here.


#125

Yes, that’s precisely what I’m telling you. Why… it’s almost as if single-core performance benchmarks aren’t a perfect proxy for the most common activities I do on my phone! But, as we all know, that’s utterly

FWIW, I went ahead and ran that benchmark on both phones myself, and got 115 and 201, so it looks like software improvements may be closing the gap a bit.

[quote=“cicobuff, post:120, topic:129747”]I think it’s quite unfair.

I use android devices for work and have an iPhone6+ for personal use.
Most content heavy sites load noticeably worse on even relatively new Android phones than the iPhone6+. It’s perceptible.

It may not justify Wumpus zeal for Apple’s product. But at least be fair to concede a point. Especially when it’s a valid one. And it’s easy to prove. Just pick up comparable generation of iPhone vs Android and pick any random sites with moderate to heavy content.
[/quote]

What is unfair, and who is refusing to concede that point? I’ve agreed several times that Apple devices have better single-core perf, and that the difference is noticeable in several applications; I don’t recall seeing anyone claim otherwise.

The disagreement is simply in how much weight to put on that data point in purchasing decisions – is it permissible to recognize the relatively small proportion of ordinary usage that is constrained by processing tasks, and accordingly place a higher priority on interface preference, screen, battery life, headphone jack, device cost, expandable storage, app ecosystem, connectivity options, etc.? Or is that a rank betrayal of the holy cause of single-core uber alles, tantamount to single-handedly stopping all technological progress in 2005?


#126

Correct, in the same way even Ye Olde iPhone 6 would be a better smartphone option for most people, since the performance is dramatically and obviously better.

The problem with Qualcomm is that for the entire history of computing the story has been this:

Every year, computers get dramatically faster and cheaper!

But for the last 5 years, if your device is from Qualcomm – and good fucking luck buying any Android device that isn’t from Qualcomm – the story has been…

Every year, computers get … barely faster and barely cheaper!

To the average person today, a smartphone is all the computer they need, and maybe all the computer they will ever use. So if anything is carrying the banner for computing right now, it’s smartphones, in the pocket of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Not tiny obscenely fast cheap computing devices, as the entire history of computing would dictate, but … tiny … slow… cheap computing devices, courtesy of Qualcomm.

I definitely acknowledge, to @jsnell’s point, that there is a place where more CPU power becomes not that important, because you have obscene amounts already. We’re there on desktops for sure and have been for 5-7 years. But on mobile? Far from it. Far far far far from.

I said from the beginning that my standard is, my smartphone should eventually be as fast as an ultrabook. If your standards are lower than that, then fine, you have low standards. Con-fucking-gratulations.

When it comes to the history of computing, and computers in general, which I think it’s fair to say I have basically dedicated my life to – I have high standards. Look me up on Wikipedia if you question my commitment to what I do and the motivation for what I do. I apologize to nobody and no one for giving a shit about this stuff. Because to me, it matters.

Computers get wildly faster and smaller all the time. That is an industry truism, an essential part of what makes computers great, in every form … unless the sign outside your company reads “Qualcomm”.

A Geekbench single core score of ~1900, the BEST FUCKING RESULT that Qualcomm can muster today – and barely an improvement over the ~1500-1600 result they had 2 years ago, is FAR from good much less great in terms of day to day computing performance. Forget “obscene” performance, you’d need an iPhone 8 and A11 SoC for that.


#127

Except that iOS sucks.


#128

If it was possible to run Android on iOS hardware, I’d be fine recommending that.

Also, if it was possible to run Android on non-Qualcomm hardware that was actually fast, I’d recommend that too…


#129

Sure, but the fact is most folks using Android devices care about the usability limitations of iOS way more than the single core performance metrics.


#130

I think most folks using Android care more about getting a cheap smartphone than anything else.

That’s also part of the problem, because cheap should also mean fast in computing…


#131

Well then Apple could sell their phones cheaper. Wouldn’t expect it though.


#132

The sad thing is, a used iPhone 5s is faster than probably 75% of all Android devices you could buy off the shelf right now. And it’s about $100.

But yeah, of those two scenarios

  1. Apple suddenly decides they just loooove selling things super cheap

  2. Android gets a viable hardware platform other than Qualcomm, which is actually fast

I think #2 is a lot more likely… and it’s supposed to be the way Android works today. If you wanted hardware lock-in, you’d buy Apple, right? Yet show me where I can buy a non-qualcomm Android device in the US today?


#133

My tablet is an Nvidia device, but it is still low by your metrics I think.


#134

See above ↑ ↑ ↑


#135

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.


#136

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.


#137

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.


#138

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?


#139

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.


#140

I purchased this in February of 2015.

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