Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Asus Transformer Drops Quad-core In Favor of Dual-core

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the four-cores-good-two-cores-better dept.

Hardware 207

MrSeb writes with this news from Extreme Tech: "In a move that will shock and disgust bleeding-edge technophiles everywhere, Asus has announced at Mobile World Congress 2012 that its new Transformer Pads — the high-end Infinity Series — will use the recently-announced dual-core Qualcomm S4 SoC. The critically acclaimed Transformer Prime, the Infinity Series' predecessor which was released at the end of 2011, used the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Why the sudden about-face? Well, the fact that quad-core processors don't really have a use case in mobile devices is one reason — but it doesn't hurt that the Krait cores in the S4 are significantly faster than the four Cortex-A9 cores in the Tegra 3, too. The S4 is also the first 28nm SoC, while Tegra 3 is still on 40nm, which means a smaller and cheaper package, and lower power consumption to boot. The S4 is also the first SoC with built-in LTE, which was probably a rather nice sweetener for Asus." The Snapdragon S4 "Krait" CPU is still a bit shrouded in mystery as far as hard specs (Qualcomm has never been one to release docs), but it appears to be similar to the Cortex-A15 in performance; how they stand up to Intel's new Medfield designs remains to be seen.

cancel ×

207 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Right tool for the job (5, Insightful)

Vollernurd (232458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183367)

In other words after carefully considering all their options and went with the one that offered the best overall package, whilst keeping the price point competetive? Not nerd willy-waving, then? Jolly good.

Re:Right tool for the job (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183599)

"Willy-Waving??? performance @ price point has always been my aim.

Re:Right tool for the job (5, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | about 2 years ago | (#39183819)

I have to agree with the article. I am shocked and disgusted beyond measure.

I'm just not sure why. Maybe I need further desensitising against run of the mill tech news.

Core count obsession (4, Informative)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183373)

Why is everyone obsessed at the number of cores? The more processors you ahve, the more complex scheduling your apps needs to perform to actually work faster. It's better to hav ea single core that is twice as fast, than two cores running in parallel.

Re:Core count obsession (5, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183393)

Why is everyone obsessed at the number of cores? The more processors you ahve, the more complex scheduling your apps needs to perform to actually work faster. It's better to hav ea single core that is twice as fast, than two cores running in parallel.

Pfff... actually, the Tegra 3 has five cores, four of them are high-performance, and one is high-efficiency. The CPU is designed to shutdown the four cores for almost nearly everything, and just use the high-efficiency core in order to save on battery life.

So seriously, most of the time, the number of cores doesn't even matter, because unless you're playing a high-end game, the cores won't even be woken up.

Re:Core count obsession (4, Informative)

Psiren (6145) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183419)

So seriously, most of the time, the number of cores doesn't even matter, because unless you're playing a high-end game, the cores won't even be woken up.

So, unless I was buying a tablet specifically to play high end games on, why would I want to spend money on CPU cores that are going to sit there doing nothing? Surely a dual core CPU is a better move?

Re:Core count obsession (4, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183453)

For 99.9% of the games, I'd say yes, if the Dual Core represents better better overall performance and compatibility with other things (like LTE) out of the box. The tablet is not made for that 0.1% that only wants to play that one game that makes use of the 4 cores... It's made for those that use those tablets for what they seem to be designed for (with a dock and everything...): Light work stations and media centers (that give it the 18 hour batteries.

I, for one, applaud this move. Core hype will get you nowhere in the long run.

Re:Core count obsession (5, Interesting)

Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183495)

The whole "core" obsession on mobile devices seems to be nothing but marketing talk. At least, as far as I have been able to determine.

I have a Droid 3 which has a dual-core CPU and using System Tuner I found that the second core was always shown as "offline". Doing some research online I found that the second core is kept offline to preserve battery life. Supposedly, it only comes online if the load is particularly high.

But, no matter what I did on the phone, I could never get the second core to come online. Using one of the tweaks available in System Tuner, I can apparently force both cores to be online all the time. However, the second core is still shown as offline and I still can't seem to get it to come online via high usage. Also, battery life doesn't seem to have changed.

So, this wonderful second core seems to be entirely useless and nothing but an item for the marketing checklist on the advertisements.

Bah...

Re:Core count obsession (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183605)

Or... System tuner is reporting the status of the second core incorrectly? Surely it's wrong somewhere: it is incorrectly reporting the second core as offline or its force option is not working correctly.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

errandum (2014454) | about 2 years ago | (#39184063)

Not sure what you meant "high load", but I guess that pushing a single thread very high won't cut it. It should be multi-threaded (or multi-process, but since it's java I don't really see it) high load.

Either that or the tool you're using has a bug.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#39184079)

You need to update your tablet. But don't worry, I have a 32-core CPU to sell you for a great price. Only, 31 of them will always be "offline"...

Re:Core count obsession (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39184189)

run a dualcore benchmark and see if it makes any difference.

pretty easy to write.

In the market for a 4 core Android tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183555)

Pity, I wanted a multi-core Android tablet to do some decent interactive number crunching on. The more pixels the better, the more cores the better.

Who says the only use for a powerful interactive tablet is games?

So what's the option for me, what's the fastest tablet, most cores, runs Android, as many pixels as I can get, needs minimum 1Gb of ram (more if possible), price not a problem, battery life isn't important.

Re:In the market for a 4 core Android tablet (3, Informative)

errandum (2014454) | about 2 years ago | (#39184087)

I'd say that the new Samsung phone with the projector has 6GB of RAM, so I'd go for it. It's not a tablet, but since you can use it as a 50" screen it should be enough for your needs?

And you have to understand, you're the 0.01%. Most people with your requirements will get a computer (any i7 notebook should fill your needs and give you 10 times the power of any tablet).

What's your specific problem? Maybe something else is more suited.

Re:Core count obsession (-1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183565)

Unless you get the typical usage scenario where one low power core isn't enough and 4 are a massive overkill. Kind of like I get on my PC all the time according to open hardware monitor's statistics.

There is a reason why most modern high end android devices are essentially tethered to nearest power outlet. That reason is power consumption caused by overpowered CPU coupled with large amount of programs running on the background. Programs that really do not need but a fraction of that CPU (but would choke on a low power one).

The "but we can run low power core" is a pipe dream until we make SOFTWARE that can actually guess power usage patterns with reasonable amount of success. Right now, it doesn't exist (at least in consumer market).

Re:Core count obsession (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about 2 years ago | (#39183773)

The average user doesn't have the slighest idea how threading works nor why having more cores might be overkill. To them, it's just yet another number that must be increased. They look to us geeks, with our multi-core and multi-socket systems, and figure that's where they want to be once the prices come down. They're like kids emulating adults, and just as stubborn when I try to explain that the average human does NOT need a 12-core workstation with 48 gigs of Ram. It's hard enough convincing them that a Gigabit router won't make their DSL go faster than a 10/100 one, and they go absolutely retarded when they find out I use 10G fibre NICs.

This is what I tried to explain to my not-so-technical friend, who would ask me if the 4-core tablet was better than the 2-core one, and then ignored anything I said. It's a tablet, you don't multitask much on it. You're not running 50 torrents in the background, while your virus scanner eats a whole core protecting you from yourself, and trying to play a Youtube 1080p walkthrough on your second display while you follow along in Starcraft II on the main screen. It's a fuckin' tablet. One app at a time. If that app is smart enough to offload background tasks to a 2nd core, I'm already impressed. It's a very different computing experience from a desktop PC, and even there, most people get by just fine with a dual-core desktop. The mere fact that almost every computing device today has a dedicated GPU, it's like an extra "core" right there, in that it frees up the main CPU to do something else.

Re:Core count obsession (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 2 years ago | (#39184009)

It's a tablet, you don't multitask much on it.

Since when?

Re:Core count obsession (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about 2 years ago | (#39184085)

The average user isn't the only one who doesn't have the slightest idea of what hardware he really needs to get the job done. If "us geeks" also knew better then any synthetic benchmark would be automatically dismissed as being irrelevant and useless, and the most important property of a computing rig would be its cost/performance ratio, with cost reflecting not only the hardware price, direct and indirect, but also operational cost. After all, it's irrelevant if a certain game runs at 100fps or 10000fps, and for regular use stuff, such as web browsing, office stuff and whatnot, any 6 year old system is overkill.

Yet, geeks salivate with stuff such as cores, MHz, a string of irrelevant benchmark numbers and even statistics on HPC usage, and this for systems which the closest they come to HPC is calculating the n-th digit of pi.

So, cluelessness isn't exclusive of non-geeks. The e-penis factor is always influencing purchasing decisions. The only difference is that some are more knowledgeable about useless numbers and factoids than others.

Re:Core count obsession (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39184109)

Holy crap, there was a fuck ton of nerd e-penis waving in your first paragraph. Unwarranted self importance much? Nobody is trying to emulate you, you sell junky computers on a terrible web page. Seriously, this is why you're forever alone.

Re:Core count obsession (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39184217)

Whoa, e-penis envy brought out the nerd rage!

Re:Core count obsession (1)

Nikker (749551) | about 2 years ago | (#39184151)

As the old saying goes "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water".

Right now the ULPC category was never fast enough to do much other than Angry Birds, polling for mail in the background and have a few web pages going. Now with more power you have the ability to output via HDMI(mini) and have multiple apps running with a simple dual core. Where will quad + cores come into play? Partly with all the pixels getting crammed into these small displays. Most of the 10" tablets are going to be coming stock with 1900x1200 or higher, while the GPU will handle most of the pixel pushing the CPU still has to coordinate where they should be pushed to. As we get faster processors we will be able to do things like real spreadsheets, some graphics editing, video editing. These devices are converging with Netbooks already and on their way to take over Laptops using the keyboard as just an accessory. So ya I myself was one of those hoping that this time out quad core would become standard before next year and I am a little disappointed I do appreciate 2 faster and more efficient cores but I will likely wait till the faster and more efficient quads come out before I lay down any dollars.

Re:Core count obsession (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39184155)

Things to try instead of not so subtly bragging about your PC specs online:

> Reading a book
> Career success (slightly different than selling 'luxury PCs', people other than your mom will be impressed)
> Exercise, join a gym
> Getting an attractive girlfriend / sex
> Having a hobby that doesn't involve hording soon to be obsolete junk like a consumer whore

You'll find you are happier day by day!

Re:Core count obsession (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#39183791)

So seriously, most of the time, the number of cores doesn't even matter, because unless you're playing a high-end game, the cores won't even be woken up.

I'm more interested in video/image editing than games. Those extra cores help a lot with tasks like that.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

snowgirl (978879) | about 2 years ago | (#39184161)

I'm more interested in video/image editing than games. Those extra cores help a lot with tasks like that.

Ah yes, indeed.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39184263)

Then a tablet is not likely what you need. And just because the tablet *has* extra cores doesn't mean the software is *using* the extra cores. Adobe still has problems getting multi-core and/or CPU/GPU to work together properly all the time on desktops, so I can't imagine the tablet situation is any better.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

thereitis (2355426) | about 2 years ago | (#39184043)

I've got a Transformer and one thing it is in need of is much longer battery life. If I charge it and let it sit on a table, it lasts 2-3 days. So whenever I reach for it, it's battery is usually dead. Fricken useless.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#39184095)

Hey, did you know that you can save even more battery life by shutting down all cores---just don't use the device at all!

Re:Core count obsession (5, Funny)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183395)

Everybody knows more cores = more bitches. Nobody wants to be 'that single (core) guy' who is forever alone at the bar.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

pinfall (2430412) | about 2 years ago | (#39183687)

Everybody knows more cores = more bitches. Nobody wants to be 'that single (core) guy' who is forever alone at the bar.

Not all cores are coreated equal.
I have a single socket, single upper layer core, which combines the power of 128 microprocs in an 8 core assembly for a whopping 1024 hidden 1mhz cores - almost 1 Ghz of raw power!
# of cores ftw!

Re:Core count obsession (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 2 years ago | (#39183875)

It's not the number of cores that matters, what matters is how you use them.

Re:Core count obsession (2)

Zilog (932422) | about 2 years ago | (#39184027)

That's what she tells you, but that's not what she really thought.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183447)

That's generally true, but it's increasingly difficult to get large performance improvements on a single core, particularly on the desktop (mobile was lagging for a long time, though it's catching up now). It's relatively easy to add extra cores, and they provide a substantial boost in performance - provided applications can make use of them, of course.

Having two cores is immediately pretty beneficial regardless of application multithreading, since it means that any background grumblings can be shunted off to a second core and don't get into contention with the foreground task. There's less case for four on mobile right now because few programs are written to use that many threads, but I'm sure we'll be moving that way eventually.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 2 years ago | (#39183827)

On a tablet, I don't see us needing more than 2 cores for the time being, because of how we use them as toys. It's kind of hard to use a desktop or even laptop while laying on the couch, at least without some type of foldable stand or unnaturally ergonomic beer belly. As a stupid little "I don't wanna get off the couch" internet machine, a tablet kicks ass. For that basic usage, 2 cores is more than enough.

If/when we start using them as true laptop replacements, with a keyboard and stand/dock, that's when we'll start finding uses for more cores. The day I whip out a tablet at the bar, unroll a keyboard and fire up Eclipse for some billable hours, is the day I'll sing praises for a quad or hex core tablet.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

Mithent (2515236) | about 2 years ago | (#39184057)

I agree; the Transformer Prime is an interesting example here, though, since it does have a keyboard dock accessory [asus.com] with integrated trackpad, extra keyboard, and USB host port, which holds the tablet itself like the screen on a laptop (hence the name "Transformer" - it's a major feature of that tablet). The hardware has the potential to be something closer to an Android netbook, although the software isn't there yet. LibreOffice is supposed to be coming to tablets, but I don't see a port of Eclipse any time soon. What with Ubuntu for Android [ubuntu.com] coming out, that kind of future might not be so far away though.

Re:Core count obsession (4, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183449)

More cores means better multitasking since threads can run in parallel. Also, even for handheld devices you are unlikely to find, for example, a single-core CPU that is four times faster than each core of a quad-core CPU.

Another major advantage of multi-core systems is if a poorly written piece of software locks up it is highly likely to also be single-threaded and your system will chug along nicely despite the misbehaving program, allowing you to kill the process (by comparison, on a single-core system you're likely to suffer through five minutes of waiting for the system to respond before you are able to kill the process). Sure, in an ideal world this wouldn't happen but when it does happen it's nice to not be locked out of your system because of a single process misbehaving.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 2 years ago | (#39183825)

More cores means better multitasking since threads can run in parallel.

In my experience, many of the cases where people thought they need to use threads were really cases of doin' it wrong.
When you have properly designed asynchronous APIs, inter-process communication, a decent kernel scheduler, and a GPU to offload graphics to, you can do non-blocking UI even on a single CPU, and the difference between single and multiple cores only manifests in performance improvements, often fairly marginal, and hitting different bugs (which good software should not have, of course).

Also, even for handheld devices you are unlikely to find, for example, a single-core CPU that is four times faster than each core of a quad-core CPU.

I've been searching for someone to answer to a simple question: what are the tasks at which you feel your high-end smartphone should be faster, that are not attributed to things like network roundtrips where a faster proc is irrelevant? "Four times faster than good enough" just does not equal to "four times as good" to me, especially if it comes with a larger price point.

Another major advantage of multi-core systems is if a poorly written piece of software locks up it is highly likely to also be single-threaded and your system will chug along nicely despite the misbehaving program, allowing you to kill the process (by comparison, on a single-core system you're likely to suffer through five minutes of waiting for the system to respond before you are able to kill the process). Sure, in an ideal world this wouldn't happen but when it does happen it's nice to not be locked out of your system because of a single process misbehaving.

Unless we are talking of processes with privileged scheduling which should be part of the system and therefore should be well-written, which modern smartphone OS can't preempt a process that has locked up?

Not two years ago everything in the smartphone world worked nicely on a single core, and everybody except extreme performance junkies were happy with that (can't vouch for Android users, their pain tolerance threshold appears to be higher), what happened since then?

Re:Core count obsession (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#39184013)

What are you talking about? Two years ago phones ran like absolute pieces of crap. Even one year ago, for the most part. There was constant stuttering, things weren't that smooth, etc. While apple's UI was smooth, actually running things at first? Not so much. Funny how people can't remember two years ago well.

Only since december or thereabouts have phones actually been getting towards powerful enough to handle everything smoothly.

Four processors on a smartphone is fairly trivial in cost, so no it doesn't include a significantly larger price point. At the end of the day we're talking a $12 chip versus a $25 chip (maximum) for example. Don't think fudsters wouldn't hype that as "100% more expensive processor!" though.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | about 2 years ago | (#39184021)

I've been searching for someone to answer to a simple question: what are the tasks at which you feel your high-end smartphone should be faster, that are not attributed to things like network roundtrips where a faster proc is irrelevant? "Four times faster than good enough" just does not equal to "four times as good" to me, especially if it comes with a larger price point.

Gaming at sufficient graphics quality to make full HD gaming possible when I hook up to larger displays. I want PS3 level graphics at the least, and that's coming via a) lots of GPU CUDA cores and b) lots of CPU helping out as with known hardware much of the effects rendering (physics etc) can be pushed back on the CPU cores. It's not like consoles don't use them, and that kind of customisation is the whole benefit of having known SoCs used widely.

Re:Core count obsession (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#39184127)

More cores means better multitasking since threads can run in parallel. Also, even for handheld devices you are unlikely to find, for example, a single-core CPU that is four times faster than each core of a quad-core CPU.

According to Amdahl you're looking at 1 / [( 1 - P ) + (P/N)] where N = number of processors and P is the percentage of a program that could run parallel. So if 75% of a program can be made to run in parallel on a quad-core processor we are looking at 1/[(1-0.75)+(0.75/4)] = 2.29, so we are looking at a maximum speed increase of 2.29 times the speed of a single processor not 4 times.

Another major advantage of multi-core systems is if a poorly written piece of software locks up it is highly likely to also be single-threaded and your system will chug along nicely despite the misbehaving program, allowing you to kill the process (by comparison, on a single-core system you're likely to suffer through five minutes of waiting for the system to respond before you are able to kill the process).

I haven't seen this. In fairly modern operating systems you'll have multiple services in operation. This means you'll most likely have more threads in execution than there are cores. Context switches between threads within a core of a multi-core processor will still need to be made. I've had a misbehaving program slow down an embedded multi-core processor board because we were "unlucky" that the OS scheduler was running on one of the same cores and other resources on the processor board were being committed by the errant process (eg. Memory, I/O ports, etc.) so the system is not as foolproof as you'd like since memory takes time to to swap, and deadlocks across cores can happen when a computing resource is shared.

Sure, in an ideal world this wouldn't happen but when it does happen it's nice to not be locked out of your system because of a single process misbehaving.

It really is a speed versus power issue. In an embedded environment, where one would hope that the system was well tested prior to being released to the public, such a safety net is really not required.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 2 years ago | (#39184191)

...so the system is not as foolproof as you'd like since memory takes time to to swap, and deadlocks across cores can happen when a computing resource is shared.

I didn't say it was foolproof, nor did I think it. I merely pointed out that one advantage of multiple CPU cores is when a runaway process tries to use every available CPU cycle (not any other resource, just CPU, some programs do stupid things like this) and the underlying OS allows it to do this it is a good thing to have more cores so you don't have to sit around and wait for the device to register user input (I had a Nokia smartphone which had a few programs that seemingly did this, they'd begin to process data and lock up the whole phone when they hung).

Re:Core count obsession (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#39184317)

What you are describing is more of a function of the OS (Preemptive vs. Cooperative) multitasking.

The OS being used on the ASUS transformer is fairly modern and preemptive. By being preemptive the scheduler is a high priority process that uses an interrupt signal to trigger and perform context switches (switching between process threads). This is not as foolproof as you'd think because I've had Linux slow down to a crawl because of an errant spin-lock without a yield (sleep) which caused the scheduler to wait the full 10ms between context switches and of course the ready/wait issue on the process list which caused the other processes to starve due to the errant process always being ready and therefore selected again. When this happened the response time was slooooow but I was still able to kill the process it just took a while. I do not believe the number of cores would make much difference, since I had this happen on a quad-core processor board.

Preemptive multitasking on an OS that enforces real-time constraints or a much simpler embedded OS that simply gives each process a time slice without checking status are more resistant to this error. However, the likelihood for needing this foolproof of an OS is low which allows Linux and Linux based OS that are soft-realtime to be an acceptable choice in 99.9% of the other cases.

Re:Core count obsession (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183489)

The more processors you ahve, the more complex scheduling your apps needs to perform to actually work faster.

Well, sort of. All you need to do is make sure you run each process long enough between breaks so that the ratio of scheduler time to actual processing time is small (fractions of a percent, say). You need a scheduler even on a single core to get multitasking to work anyway. Getting coders to take advantage of multiple cores is the actual problem here since writing bug-free parallel code is often very hard.

It's better to hav ea single core that is twice as fast, than two cores running in parallel.

Again, sort of. For tasks that do not parallelize well, obviously a single 2x-speed core is better than two 1x-speed cores. Power usage increases non-linearly with clock speed, though, so those two slow cores will use significantly less power than the single fast core, all else being equal. On a mobile device that savings might be worth the performance hit.

That said, four cores seems excessive on a tablet. When are you ever running four different CPU-bottlenecked processes/threads? A few games?

Re:Core count obsession (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39184035)

More cores theoretically means more performance per watt.

Run the same task instead of one CPU on two CPUs with half the clock.
Half the clock means lower voltage, and you can use slower switching transistors with less leakage.
Not speaking of the advantage you gain, by being able to simply turning of a whole CPU.

What happened with odd-core configurations? (3, Funny)

OliWarner (1529079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183425)

I thought 3 and 5 core tablets were supposed to be coming out, where the "odd" core is so underpowered it can be left on when the screen and other cores are off, using practically no battery but still letting the tablet run its background processes.

I'm surprised more emphasis isn't being put on improving "standby" battery time because that seems to be the real killer in so many mobile applications these days (like my 14h SGS2 battery of doom).

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (2)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183457)

Tegra 3 has 5 Cortex A9 cores, of which one is low power and used for light loads. The other 4 make up the full-power quad-core, and each core is power-gated so they're only used when required. This means that despite it having 5 cores, battery life is as good or better than the dual-core Tegra 2.

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183469)

The tegra 3 does that... But the prime never had that much battery problems, since it got up to 18 (or more like 15) hours of battery if you had the dock. On the other hand, since there are very few devices with 4 cores, almost no application make use them, turning them useless.

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (5, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183511)

Your SGS2 is configured wrong. You should be getting a standby drain of about 1%/hour (or less) with sync enabled.

Two things are at fault here, of course:

1. The awful apps that keep the phone awake and active during standby - for instance: Facebook
2. Android, for not telling the user THIS APP IS KEEPING YOUR PHONE AWAKE, KICK THAT CRAP!

In your specific case: Check your battery usage (in your SGS2's settings), and find out which process is keeping your phone awake, either with the old battery history (Gingerbread and earlier, accessible via Spare Parts, apps like BatteryMonitorWidget or a dialer code that varies from handset to handset) or (ICS only - because someone at Google decided to remove the battery history) with an app like BetterBatteryStats.

The interesting part is usually partial wake usage. Eliminate the apps causing the most partial wake usage, and you'll have a power draw of next to nothing. Standby battery life with Google sync, a few IM clients (I run Skype and imo.im), Whatsapp, Viber and so on, should be around 4-5 days.

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39183645)

I want mod points! If someone had told me this about my SGS (not 2) ages ago it would have saved me a lot of hassle.

Just like the the OP I couldn't get through a day, even on standby. Now (properly configured with the suckware banished) I get 2-3 days of normal usage. The key is to really pay attention when you notice a battery drop. In addition to poor configuration, I had several buggy apps that would just occasionally go nuts. Replacing them with equivalents made a huge difference.

Hmmm... just realized... I would probably have better luck getting mod points if I logged in...

Skype on standby (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 2 years ago | (#39183917)

Standby battery life with Google sync, a few IM clients (I run Skype and imo.im), Whatsapp, Viber and so on, should be around 4-5 days.

I wonder what Skype did to achieve this. On N900 and N9, the Skype engine is the monstrous wakeup hog that drains your battery in a day and exchanges packets with various hosts on the network all the time.
Did they subscribe to some push wakeup mechanism where the app can be launched on incoming activity that needs user interaction?

Re:Skype on standby (4, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 2 years ago | (#39183987)

Android has some sort of a built-in low power push-like mechanism that was implemented starting with Android 2.2 (Froyo), called C2DM. It's not quite real push, but the battery life is stupid good.

I'd assume Skype uses C2DM, as do most IM apps...

http://code.google.com/android/c2dm/ [google.com]

Re:Skype on standby (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#39184025)

not on Windows Phone it doesn't. [arstechnica.com]

Skype calls can be made and received when it's running in the foreground, but as soon as you switch away - even mid-conversation - the application goes offline. Want to check a detail in an e-mail so you can tell the person you're calling? You'll have to hang up first.

$8.5bn for Skype, shame they couldn't chuck a few dollars at getting multitasking for the phone working.

Re:Skype on standby (1)

TonyMillion (545370) | about 2 years ago | (#39184083)

Because of the way the Skype network works (its a p2p mesh system), depending on whether the client elects to be a leaf, a node or a super node will depend on the amount of network activity you see.

The protocol was *really* not designed for mobile devices, and we are starting to see how badly it can treat the battery. There isn't much room to expand it to use push notifications either.

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 2 years ago | (#39184179)

I have this problem, but even spare parts doesn't seem to give me any useful info. The battery starts dropping like crazy after I turn my wifi off. Something is staying on, and spare parts says that the ADW launcher is using the most cycles and has the highest start count. I've been turning off random widgets to no avail.

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39184395)

Considering that the S4 eval board clocked at 100MHz faster than the Asus Prime did half-again better in a multithreaded computational benchmark thrown at it, I'd say that you're probably looking at the differences between an A9 and an A15- and you might have found a CPU that's considerably faster single-core than Tegra 3's single cores at clock. If so, there's an explanation for the move. The S4's cheaper. It consumes less power doing what it does at peak. And...if it's faster doing most of the things users do while doing the other two...win.

Re:What happened with odd-core configurations? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#39183985)

3/5 cores - this is a Tegra thing, the snapdragon does it differently.

Tegra has a 'companion' core that is low, low power for standby tasks, then it switches the main cores on individually as they are needed. Note that the Tegra main cores are on/off designs.

The Snapdragon doesn't do this, it varies the power to each core individually, so they are all running in a low-power mode all the time until they need more. This means it doesn't need a 3rd core. Its debatable which is better, but the snapdragon can run its cores at half-power unlike the Tegra which is probably more efficient overall (when you use limited resources doing boring tasks like reading your messages).

Here's a nice article on the subject [extremetech.com]

Who gives a damn about cores, does it work? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183471)

Maybe I've been using Apple devices for too long, but honestly do people still obsess about this stuff, really? I don't even know how much ram I have in my iPad, all I want to know is that the system works well. Jeeze, get a life already and get on with actually using the stuff.

Re:Who gives a damn about cores, does it work? (4, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183487)

In a website like this, yes, people care about that. You seem to be lost, the appstore is that way --->.

Sac LV Monogram Empreinte (-1, Offtopic)

lin rose (2364422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183479)

Louis Vuitton t-shirt [louvisvuitton-store.com] cheap louis Vuitton jeans supplier [louvisvuitton-store.com] Men's Belts Louis Vuitton Belt [louvisvuitton-store.com] pas cher shoes [louvisvuitton-store.com] Louis Vuitton Sneakers [louvisvuitton-store.com] women shoes [louvisvuitton-store.com] Chaussures Femme Louis Vuitton [louvisvuitton-store.com] youths shoes pas cher [louvisvuitton-store.com] Sac LV En Cuir Epi [louvisvuitton-store.com] Sac LV Monogram Multicolore [louvisvuitton-store.com] Sac LV Monogram Verni [louvisvuitton-store.com] sac LV Damier Azur [louvisvuitton-store.com] Sac LV Damier Ebene [louvisvuitton-store.com] Sac LV Monogram ldylle [louvisvuitton-store.com] Louis Vuitton Monogram Denim [louvisvuitton-store.com] cheap louis Vuitton Sac LV En Cuir Epi [louvisvuitton-store.com] Sac LV Monogram Empreinte [louvisvuitton-store.com] pas cher mahina sac [louvisvuitton-store.com] Louis Vuitton Sac LV Ailleurs [louvisvuitton-store.com] monogram ldylle lv sac [louvisvuitton-store.com] sac ordinateur portable Louis Vuitton [louvisvuitton-store.com] bagages lv pas cher [louvisvuitton-store.com]

Summary wrong again? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183497)

From what I articles I saw yesterday I gathered that there would be two levels of the new Asus pads. One with the Tegra and the other with the new Krait. Here is one article that talks about it: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5586/the-asus-transformer-pad-infinity-1920-x-1200-display-krait-optional

Of course we won't know anything for sure until Asus releases the product details.

Re:Summary wrong again? (1)

Monoman (8745) | about 2 years ago | (#39183823)

Mod parent up. Another incorrect summary on /.

Interestingly, (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183501)

the one outstanding product to come out of the MWC, Nokia's 808 "Fuck everything, we're doing 41 megapixels" PureView, is ignored by Slashdot for whatever reason, while tiny product differentiations that don't warrant attention at all are posted.

Re:Interestingly, (1)

errandum (2014454) | about 2 years ago | (#39183655)

No, that is the dumbest of them all. Symbian is dead for smartphones (anyone can see that), why on earth would they not add that to their windows mobile line? It's like saying "look, we have this 500bhp engine, lets fit it into a horse carriage".

Re:Interestingly, (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 2 years ago | (#39183723)

Sure, it's so dead that it sold more than six times as much as WP7 in Q4 2011 and almost half as much as the iPhones. Any blind and gullible person can see what they're told they should see, and the idiots will repeat it ad nauseam to show how perceptive they are.

Fact of the matter is, Nokia just released some interesting technology. This site is supposedly about "news for nerds", not news for gadget consumers who feel they need to prove themselves by buying whatever "experts" in the social media tell them is the next big thing.

Re:Interestingly, (1)

errandum (2014454) | about 2 years ago | (#39183783)

Ok, then tell me how many of those were smartphones. Symbian sold in low end normal phones (where it actually fit), the symbian adaptation for touch is a fiasco that even Nokia has seen already (why on earth would they bow down to windows phone when they had, at least, 2 other OS choices).

I don't know if you're trolling me or actually being serious, but there is a reason Nokia (even though they sell that many phones) has been downsizing left and right.

Re:Interestingly, (1)

Mithent (2515236) | about 2 years ago | (#39183731)

I agree, it was a strange decision. 41 megapixels is a huge headline-grabber, and they use that to promote the platform they're killing off rather than the one they're trying to build up?

Re:Interestingly, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39183851)

No, that is the dumbest of them all. Symbian is dead for smartphones (anyone can see that), why on earth would they not add that to their windows mobile line? It's like saying "look, we have this 500bhp engine, lets fit it into a horse carriage".

As posted elsewhere (in a different site), this was 5 years in development. But now that it's up and running (sort of a proof of concept I guess), they are rolling it out on their future (WP) phones.

Re:Interestingly, (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 2 years ago | (#39183959)

Spot on. Also, this is a more ingenious use of the resolution than just throwing in megapixels for the spec sheet value with no difference to actual image quality for the tiny lens and the respectively constrained matrix size. Without multisampling or other processing, higher resolution matrices may actually produce worse results because sensitivity of individual elements gets lower as they get smaller.

Re:Interestingly, (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 2 years ago | (#39183855)

They're binning the samples, for an actual resolution of 5mp. And they have to; a lens that size is unable to create an image of sufficient resolution for anything like 40mp being useful. You go above 8mp or so and you'll only get better pictures of the lens blur.

And it's not at all clear that binning several individual photosites is better than simply having larger sites in the first place either. Of course, being able to write "41mp!! *woot* *Munchkin FTW!* " in your promotional material is a likely sales improvement even if the technical improvement is nil.

Shock and disgust? (1)

GPF(BSOD) (871212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183507)

What in the hell? How can anyone be shocked or even disgusted at something this trivial?

Exciting! (1)

scotjam (1876182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183523)

I'm not shocked or disgusted, but I am rather excited. I have the Transformer, and its one big shortcoming for me is the lack of 3G. A high-end LTE version sounds awesome. Number of cores be damned.

Next on my wishlist: better support for Office documents and shared calendars

Does this mean I don't get to be classified as a "bleeding-edge technophile"?

"Bleeding edge technophiles" are a bit sensitive! (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183621)

If all it takes to "shock and disgust" "bleeding edge technophiles" is a technical decision to pick a CPU with faster cores instead of more of them, then these "bleeding edge technophiles" must not get out of Mom's basement very often and are in need of some serious therapy.

It's got the standard Qualcomm hypervisor (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#39183637)

They run it to be able to run the radio on the same hardware. But that means that it won't necessarily run anything in bounded time, hence the need for more than one core. Oh, it also comes in 2 and 4 core packages.

-- Terry

The reason is LTE (3, Interesting)

Sollord (888521) | about 2 years ago | (#39183643)

The Tegra3 isn't compatible with any LTE modems and won't be for several months so ASUS opted to use the S4 for all 3g/4g transformers so they could have something for carriers to sell nowish. The Wifi only models will keep using the Tegra3. Either way this isn't really something ASUS can fix itself since Nvidia never bothered getting its product to support any LTE modems.

Re:The reason is LTE (1)

Sollord (888521) | about 2 years ago | (#39183673)

Also... Based on Anandtechs review of the S4 vs the Tegra3 Prime there's not much benefit to having a quad-core vs dual-core as the Tegrra3 lost almost every test save for some of the GPU tests and the linpack test was just brutal to the Tegra3 compared to the S4

Re:The reason is LTE (2)

Sollord (888521) | about 2 years ago | (#39183683)

Re:The reason is LTE (1)

YoopDaDum (1998474) | about 2 years ago | (#39183927)

Yes, and the summary is sensationalist (par for the course I guess) and misleading (more annoying).
The story is just that Asus preferred the Tegra3 when having to chose a platform without LTE. And when taking into account LTE, it preferred the new Qualcomm S4 combined AP and LTE solution.

Now when you say:

The Tegra3 isn't compatible with any LTE modems and won't be for several months

It can be misunderstood as an issue on the Tegra3 side, which would be unfair. There's nothing special to do to hook a LTE baseband to a T3. It's all Android and very common interfaces. The issue is more on the LTE modem offering side: the current chips are either not available (internal developments at Samsung, Moto, ...) or not attractive enough. We'll have to see a new generation of LTE modems arrive to see a nice combo based on an NVidia chip, and this is a problem for NVidia for sure. But all the work will be on the modem provider side, and it's not much work to support a T3. All modem vendors nowadays are targeting Android and from the modem support software point of view there's not much difference between one AP running Android and another.

Re:The reason is LTE (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39184275)

That and the S4's got a higher performance profile with a lower power consumption for actual ICS usage. It's as much about battery life and perceived performance as it is LTE support out of box.

First HTC drops its quad core chip for a dual core (4, Interesting)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | about 2 years ago | (#39183657)

First HTC suddenly drops its quad core chip for a dual in a phone that
was supposed to have a quad core chip since it was leaked back in July.

And days later, Asus drops a quad in favor of a dual core.

Same chip was dropped.

Someone... is keeping a secret. There is a problem with the quad core
chip and 'something' new(er) that is appearing in the phones. I read that
an LTE chip appeared in the "One X", while the quad core disappeared.

Is LTE and quad core not playing nice? Are there production shortages?
Overheating issues, battery issues?

The whole story isn't out. I'm curious what it is. I've been waiting
and salivating at the promised "Quad" core offerings for smartphones.
The Samsung SIII is supposedly going to have one, but from a different
company, their own Exynos chip. So, we won't see that quad be cut in half.

Hopefully.

Regardless of what the non-power users say about not needing more cores,
I see my dual cores maxed out regularly. I need the extras, I was willing to
sell my life, I mean soul, I mean sign a new 2 year contract for it.

-AI

Re:First HTC drops its quad core chip for a dual c (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39183691)

The problem is Tegra does not support LTE - this is a problem for sales in the USA.
Europe will continue to get the full spec, full speed, Nvidia Tegra3 devices

Re:First HTC drops its quad core chip for a dual c (2)

Sollord (888521) | about 2 years ago | (#39183701)

It has nothing to do with the quad core aspect of the Tegra3 and everything to do with Nvidia being stupid and not bothering to get it supported/certified by any of the LTE chipset manufacturers.

Re:First HTC drops its quad core chip for a dual c (1)

fearofcarpet (654438) | about 2 years ago | (#39183939)

I bought a Prime as soon as they were available where I live. The first time I switched it on, it updated to ICS--great. I headed over to XDA-developers to see how to root it, and found stickies dedicated to the various problems that the devices have--random reboots, lockups, terrible WiFi performance, and so on. It seems that these problems are related to the serial numbers, too. ASUS even has an "official" support thread on XDA in which (what I presume is) an engineer fields questions about said random problems. The long and short is that there appears to be some serious quality control issues, not just with the aluminum cases (and the antennas not making contact internally) but with the chipset.

I am by no means saying that there is something wrong with Tegra 3, but it would explain the seemingly-binary mix of "my Prime works great" and "well, it hasn't rebooted in three hours since the update--damn, there it goes again," the frequent (twice just last week) OTA updates, and the apparent correlation to serial numbers; and now ASUS dropping it altogether. I've been lucky in that my Prime only suffers from terrible WiFi and nonexistent GPS reception (but, really, GPS in a tablet?), but the WiFi is getting better with each update (even though ASUS claims the cause is the aluminum case.)

Whatever--two cores, five cores, 11 cores--my Prime is faster than greased lighting, doesn't eat the battery, and multitasks like a boss. I can't imagine ASUS would release an improved version that wasn't even faster.

Re:First HTC drops its quad core chip for a dual c (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#39183951)

The problem for nVidia is that, the microsecond someone comes out with a similarly-performing platform on a smaller process, the larger process product is obsolete.

Halving the process size equates to a quartering of cost, because 4 times as many elements can be placed in the same area. So, shrinking from 40nm to 28nm about halves the cost for the same performance, and increases battery life, which we all know is everything in the tablet market, for some stupid reason.

Tegra is a flop. (1)

mykos (1627575) | about 2 years ago | (#39183659)

Maybe not in sales, but the Tegra continuously lags behind many manufacturers both in performance and power consumption every generation. Nvidia's adventures in SOC Land might be profitable, but they're always the bottom of the barrel when it comes to performance.

Re:Tegra is a flop. (3, Informative)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 2 years ago | (#39183813)

Ummm Tegra 2 was the fastest platform for Android for quite some time. The G Tablets are still pretty blazingly fast. The issue is just that Tegra 2 was released for such a short time before Tegra 3 came out that it never got much saturation, and then Tegra 3 came out with a bunch of faster options close on its heels.

NVidia has great hardware engineers, but awful software driver people on their mobile platform. They have done a terrible job supporting their chipsets after release with Android, or getting good manufacturers to adopt them.

Re:Tegra is a flop. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39184137)

Ummm Tegra 2 was the fastest platform for Android for quite some time. The G Tablets are still pretty blazingly fast. The issue is just that Tegra 2 was released for such a short time before Tegra 3 came out that it never got much saturation, and then Tegra 3 came out with a bunch of faster options close on its heels.

NVidia has great hardware engineers, but awful software driver people on their mobile platform. They have done a terrible job supporting their chipsets after release with Android, or getting good manufacturers to adopt them.

so is it fast or is it not? the terrible sw excuse was employed by intel for many years as to why their gpu's sucked since they weren't as fast as their promises..

Misinformed (5, Informative)

TheBogBrushZone (975846) | about 2 years ago | (#39183741)

They announced two Infinity models. Once of them has LTE/3G and the dual-core S4, the other is Wi-fi only and is still toting a 1.6GHz Tegra 3.

Re:Misinformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39183949)

^^ This. Completely - see here http://www.everythingabouttablets.net/2012/02/27/asus-launches-new-transformer-pads/

"shrounded"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39183753)

Really?

Substandard abstract now standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39183767)

>In a move that will shock and disgust bleeding-edge technophiles everywhere

You obviously don't know what technophile even means. Why would they be shocked and/or disgusted by someone using the latest and greatest in technology.

LTE? (1, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | about 2 years ago | (#39183883)

What the hell is an LTE? Nowhere can I find what this acronym means.

Re:LTE? (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#39183935)

It's the "latest and greatest" 3G cellular data network.

Re:LTE? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#39183941)

seriously?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=lte [lmgtfy.com]

its a network technology like GPRS, but better. They call it "4G" in some places, but it should be considered 3.5G.

Re:LTE? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39184171)

hspa(+) is more like 3.5G, been for years marked like that on actual selling shipping devices.

if what's commonly called LTE had things like.. well, voice spec, standard way to handle video and all that, then it would be more like 3.5G. it's just another network for the yank operators to ask for mo' money whilst not upgrading their hspa network to bearable levels where they could sell it without transfer limits..

a more proper name for currently out there LTE networks would be short term evolution though! it's so unfinished spec that it's not a spec..

Parallelization Overhead (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 years ago | (#39183997)

It is a net application performance increase if you can halve the number of CPUs and double the performance of each CPU.

Mem BW limited (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39184235)

Based on actual real world performance analysis memory bandwidth was an issues already with a single core A8, no wonder they have scaling issues with quad A9s.

Asus is failing me (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39184335)

Transformer prime with a shitty GPS antenna, now the descendants with hopefully fixed antenna have an inferior CPU. I personally want lots of cores, they make sense for me. Asus is being really creative at finding ways not to take my money.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>