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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why are people so core / ram focused ?

Maybe I am just getting old .. but I see a lot of people complaining that the octa core variant might not be available in their country. Besides the fact that it isn't even a Octa Core (more like a slower quad dragging behind another quad helping pushing the bits and bytes around when needed), what's the difference ?

I got the S3 with 1GB of RAM and I don't see any performance issues whatsoever.

Having free memory is more like wasting memory.

Is it that people just want to be able to brag about benchmark scores ? Do people need to create CAD graphics or real time rendering on their phone ?

At the same time people want more oompf in their phone, they want a better battery and smaller footprint ..

I don't really get it to be honest.

Not a rant or attempt to flame on here - I just try to understand why there is such a hype about RAM and CPU cores

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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Marketing.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe I am just getting old .. but I see a lot of people complaining that the octa core variant might not be available in their country. Besides the fact that it isn't even a Octa Core (more like a slower quad dragging behind another quad helping pushing the bits and bytes around when needed), what's the difference ?

I got the S3 with 1GB of RAM and I don't see any performance issues whatsoever.

Having free memory is more like wasting memory.

Is it that people just want to be able to brag about benchmark scores ? Do people need to create CAD graphics or real time rendering on their phone ?

At the same time people want more oompf in their phone, they want a better battery and smaller footprint ..

I don't really get it to be honest.

Not a rant or attempt to flame on here - I just try to understand why there is such a hype about RAM and CPU cores
Having free RAM is the whole point. RAM is memory and memory is supposed to be there to absorb everything that is running. The more that's left over leaves the phone not having to work as hard per say thus running smoother.

And I don't think I need to answer why having more CPU speed is good. The CPU is the heart of the phone. The bigger and better the heart, the faster it pumps.


But if you hold a N4 that has 2GB of Ram next to your S3 with 1GB, you will notice a difference even if the same amount is "being wasted".


If you get bored you should read up on why international phones have more(Less :/) RAM than US versions. They tend to make things more clear when explaining it. Also check out computer cores and why more cores is better and how they coexist with RAM.



I used to think they same way and wonder about hype around certain things and then I bought my first REAL smartphone and then it HIT ME! If I'm gonna spend between $300 and $800 on a freaking cell phone, I want that sucker to do EVERYTHING. So I can understand wanting the best and most and complaining about it if someone doesn't get it. Who would have thought cell phones would make adults act like kids "But I want THAT ONE!!!!!" hahahaha
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Old March 26th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Having free RAM is the whole point. RAM is memory and memory is supposed to be there to absorb everything that is running. The more that's left over leaves the phone not having to work as hard per say thus running smoother.

And I don't think I need to answer why having more CPU speed is good. The CPU is the heart of the phone. The bigger and better the heart, the faster it pumps.


But if you hold a N4 that has 2GB of Ram next to your S3 with 1GB, you will notice a difference even if the same amount is "being wasted".


If you get bored you should read up on why international phones have more RAM than US versions. They tend to make things more clear when explaining it. Also check out computer cores and why more cores is better and how they coexist with RAM.



I used to think they same way and wonder about hype around certain things and then I bought my first REAL smartphone and then it HIT ME! If I'm gonna spend between $300 and $800 on a freaking cell phone, I want that sucker to do EVERYTHING. So I can understand wanting the best and most and complaining about it if someone doesn't get it. Who would have though cell phones would make adults act like kids "But I want THAT ONE!!!!!" hahahaha

1) With Linux based systems, free RAM is wasted RAM. Pure and simple. (If you were referring to a windows based system id agree, but it's not the same with Linux)
2) International phones have LESS ram than US one's, (generalising) As the S3 shows - int quad 2.4/1GB V's US dual 1.5/2GB. Think you just got a little muddled there.

Otherwise, yeah, it's simply marketing. The new S4 4+4 core is a big.LITTLE setup, and at best not yet common in smartphones, if even used at all yet. So while the two variants of the S4 have drastically different CPU's in effect, the 4+4 should still perform well, and be much more (upto 70%) power efficient. (figgure from exynos 5 website) couple that with a 25% more power efficient display and 'probably' more efficient coding and your looking at better battery life, faster CPU+GPU and a bigger display in what is essentially a 'slightly' slimmer phone than the S3.

If thats not innovative, someone tell me what is!
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Old March 26th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by XplosiV View Post
1) With Linux based systems, free RAM is wasted RAM. Pure and simple. (If you were referring to a windows based system id agree, but it's not the same with Linux)
^^ CORRECT

Quote:
Originally Posted by XplosiV View Post
2) International phones have LESS ram than US one's, (generalising) As the S3 shows - int quad 2.4/1GB V's US dual 1.5/2GB. Think you just got a little muddled there.
^^ CORRECT #2

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But if you hold a N4 that has 2GB of Ram next to your S3 with 1GB, you will notice a difference even if the same amount is "being wasted".
You cannot compare both handsets unless you a. Got both next to each other, doing the exact same thing and comparing its performance and b. Both having the same OS - which is not the case.

You can not compare Apples with Oranges. Both are different systems with different OS' - granted - it is both Android, but one is "plain" - the other "blown up" ...

It's like comparing CentOS with Gnome to Ubuntu with Unity - you will get complete different results.

The only way to see if RAM makes a difference really is using the EXACT same handset (same CPU / same OS) where only the amount of RAM is different ...

So yea - marketing really ..
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Old March 26th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by XplosiV View Post
1) With Linux based systems, free RAM is wasted RAM. Pure and simple. (If you were referring to a windows based system id agree, but it's not the same with Linux)
2) International phones have LESS ram than US one's, (generalising) As the S3 shows - int quad 2.4/1GB V's US dual 1.5/2GB. Think you just got a little muddled there.

Otherwise, yeah, it's simply marketing. The new S4 4+4 core is a big.LITTLE setup, and at best not yet common in smartphones, if even used at all yet. So while the two variants of the S4 have drastically different CPU's in effect, the 4+4 should still perform well, and be much more (upto 70%) power efficient. (figgure from exynos 5 website) couple that with a 25% more power efficient display and 'probably' more efficient coding and your looking at better battery life, faster CPU+GPU and a bigger display in what is essentially a 'slightly' slimmer phone than the S3.

If thats not innovative, someone tell me what is!
Less RAM/More cores. Always get those backwards. :/

My recently acquired N4 sits at about 575MB remaining throughout most of my normal use which is very light to some standards I suppose. I open up 3 tabs on Chrome, one of which is Youtube and it just shot up to 800MB. I open up a game and pause it and then open up facebook on another tab and I'm sitting right under a GB. My Galaxy nexus would be having a heart attack right about now with all that stuff running in the background. But my N4 is still running buttery smooth because its not topped out smothering the system with no room to move. My setup on my N4 is exactly the same as my Nexus was as well. If I wasn't careful with my Galaxy Nexus, Chrome would bring it to a stand still causing me to have to pull the battery because the lag was so terrible. But If I could make it to my homescreen to kill off Chrome, it would always say that I had next to nothing on RAM left as usage. Yes they are not the same phone, this is merely an example of having no RAM leads to a water logged phone in terms of speed.

I know how Linux is "supposed" to work but I go on how the actual phone works and how it reacts to certain things. This is why I've said what I've said.

In all aspects though, throughout my phone and app development journey I've found that I like to go by personal use and expierence instead of what Joe Blow said in a blog somewhere. Because at the end of the day, how my phone works in my hands doesn't and will never lie
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Old March 26th, 2013, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^^ CORRECT



^^ CORRECT #2



You cannot compare both handsets unless you a. Got both next to each other, doing the exact same thing and comparing its performance and b. Both having the same OS - which is not the case.

You can not compare Apples with Oranges. Both are different systems with different OS' - granted - it is both Android, but one is "plain" - the other "blown up" ...

It's like comparing CentOS with Gnome to Ubuntu with Unity - you will get complete different results.

The only way to see if RAM makes a difference really is using the EXACT same handset (same CPU / same OS) where only the amount of RAM is different ...

So yea - marketing really ..


"But if you hold 2GB of Ram of a US S3 variant next to 1GB of Ram of a US S3 variant, both running the same ROM and apps, you will notice a difference even if the same amount is "being wasted". (Yes I know the RAM wouldn't be the same and blah blah blah)

Better? lol. Point is still the same.

Read my reply above. Once again I go by how the phone reacts and responds to real world usage. As an engineer in the real world and a very amatuer app developer in the fun world, that's something I've learned to go by. That's all I'll go into on your response as it's gotten way out of proportion.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fuzzy13 View Post
If I wasn't careful with my Galaxy Nexus, Chrome would bring it to a stand still causing me to have to pull the battery because the lag was so terrible. But If I could make it to my homescreen to kill off Chrome, it would always say that I had next to nothing on RAM left as usage.

I know how Linux is "supposed" to work but I go on how the actual phone works and how it reacts to certain things. This is why I've said what I've said.

In all aspects though, throughout my phone and app development journey I've found that I like to go by personal use and expierence instead of what Joe Blow said in a blog somewhere. Because at the end of the day, how my phone works in my hands doesn't and will never lie
I agree. That's after more than a year's worth of experience in monitoring (just as a user) my dismal amount (368 MB) of user-accessible RAM in my LG Revolution. My conclusion: Lag is inversely proportional to free/freeable RAM. At least it is/was on my phones.

It got to the point where I could predict the free RAM numbers +/-20 MB by observing lag. At about 45 MB free, the lag would often delay my answering the phone enough to miss calls.

If you see lag, go into Running Services and see how much free RAM you have. If you want to simulate what the OS would free on demand, use a utility like Superbox Pro's "Free Memory" feature. You'll see a small to moderate gain. If it's not enough, look at the running services and see if you can uninstall one that's a hog (I couldn't have an e-mail app on my phone because each takes about 50 MB). It's usually unproductive to kill apps, as the OS will fight your intent in the long run--it's better to do an orderly shut down/restart of the phone.

Remove as many widgets as you can (try shortcuts if they're an acceptable replacement).

Finally, each app needs some small amount of user RAM. As proof, uninstall 50 or so and you'll see a difference in average free RAM.

"Marketing" doesn't sound like it should be our first take of speculation. We all have experience with the traditional PC OS architectures that use RAM as the main memory where the CPU caches major amounts of data, like Windows or Mac or Linux (not speaking to possible future architectures that possibly allow any flash storage to be utilized as main memory, like Fusion-io). Is the increasing RAM supplied there just marketing? Is it just marketing that your new laptop has 4GB of RAM, rather than the 256 MB of RAM that came on your 800 MHz Pentium of 10 years ago? Have we not each experienced an increase in performance when we upgrade RAM on a PC?

Just my opinion. But with the advantage of lots of opportunity to observe and monitor lag, thanks to my stinky old RAM-limited phone and an irrepressible urge to install apps.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have an S3 with a 4-core CPU and 1GB RAM and a Note 10.1 with 4-core CPU and 2GB RAM. The difference in performance is very noticable and at this point RAM is the only thing I really need upgraded in my phone. The screen res, etc. is just gimmicks.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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RAM we can debate, but I think there is a "marketing" element to core-counting.

In the context of the S4, a lot of people got the impression that there was this octacore monster powerhouse chip. Now I'm not belittling the big.LITTLE architecture - it's potentially very interesting, and I can't wait to see what its real world behaviour is. But that's not the message most people initially picked up about it, and that I would ascribe at least in part to a marketing message.

But even without that example, we have heard similar things said about last year's phones. The international S3 got a quad-core processor while the LTE versions "only" got dual core - except that those dual cores were a more recent and more powerful architecture, something that "core counting" overlooks. There were similar things going on in HTC land as well. (GPUs complicate the picture further, but let's put them to one side for now ).

So I think that a lot of people - present company excepted - just hear "2 cores", "4 cores", "8 cores" and don't hear anything else. That type of thing does easily become a simplistic marketing message, like MPixels still are to many people, and like MHz/GHz used to be in PCs before that topped-out.

As I say, I'm very keen to see how big.LITTLE works in reality, but I can't say I'd feel short-changed by a Snap 600
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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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RAM we can debate, but I think there is a "marketing" element to core-counting.

In the context of the S4, a lot of people got the impression that there was this octacore monster powerhouse chip. Now I'm not belittling the big.LITTLE architecture - it's potentially very interesting, and I can't wait to see what its real world behaviour is. But that's not the message most people initially picked up about it, and that I would ascribe at least in part to a marketing message.

But even without that example, we have heard similar things said about last year's phones. The international S3 got a quad-core processor while the LTE versions "only" got dual core - except that those dual cores were a more recent and more powerful architecture, something that "core counting" overlooks. There were similar things going on in HTC land as well. (GPUs complicate the picture further, but let's put them to one side for now ).

So I think that a lot of people - present company excepted - just hear "2 cores", "4 cores", "8 cores" and don't hear anything else. That type of thing does easily become a simplistic marketing message, like MPixels still are to many people, and like MHz/GHz used to be in PCs before that topped-out.

As I say, I'm very keen to see how big.LITTLE works in reality, but I can't say I'd feel short-changed by a Snap 600
I agree. Core counting is a totally different discussion and one that I agree with. The # of cores IS marketing. Seeing how the Octo-Core was whored out during speculation shows that.

And yes, RAM can be debated. That's why I go by how the phone acts and reacts in my hands during my usage. I could care less how much RAM is wasted. As long as it's there when I NEED it.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree. That's after more than a year's worth of experience in monitoring (just as a user) my dismal amount (368 MB) of user-accessible RAM in my LG Revolution. My conclusion: Lag is inversely proportional to free/freeable RAM. At least it is/was on my phones.

It got to the point where I could predict the free RAM numbers +/-20 MB by observing lag. At about 45 MB free, the lag would often delay my answering the phone enough to miss calls.

If you see lag, go into Running Services and see how much free RAM you have. If you want to simulate what the OS would free on demand, use a utility like Superbox Pro's "Free Memory" feature. You'll see a small to moderate gain. If it's not enough, look at the running services and see if you can uninstall one that's a hog (I couldn't have an e-mail app on my phone because each takes about 50 MB). It's usually unproductive to kill apps, as the OS will fight your intent in the long run--it's better to do an orderly shut down/restart of the phone.

Remove as many widgets as you can (try shortcuts if they're an acceptable replacement).

Finally, each app needs some small amount of user RAM. As proof, uninstall 50 or so and you'll see a difference in average free RAM.

"Marketing" doesn't sound like it should be our first take of speculation. We all have experience with the traditional PC OS architectures that use RAM as the main memory where the CPU caches major amounts of data, like Windows or Mac or Linux (not speaking to possible future architectures that possibly allow any flash storage to be utilized as main memory, like Fusion-io). Is the increasing RAM supplied there just marketing? Is it just marketing that your new laptop has 4GB of RAM, rather than the 256 MB of RAM that came on your 800 MHz Pentium of 10 years ago? Have we not each experienced an increase in performance when we upgrade RAM on a PC?

Just my opinion. But with the advantage of lots of opportunity to observe and monitor lag, thanks to my stinky old RAM-limited phone and an irrepressible urge to install apps.
Agreed.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 02:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Phones hog some ram by default, and likely the S4 I imagine will constantly use 400-500mb of the likely 1.6gb we'll get, as 2gig does not mean 2 gig, it'll be quite some less.
1 gig of ram on the S2 turned out to be 833mb, and the phone then took up 150-400mb with it's own stuff. I say 150mb because I managed to get it down to that multiple times by killing apps, but usually I settled for 200-250mb used up.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 04:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I am not the professinal one. But I do care about the RAM. Bigger memory means the fast speed when tranfering the files.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The number of cores isn't the big issue, it's how the cores are being used, 4x Cortex A15 for performance and 4x Cortex A7 for power efficiency. So are you saying you don't care about battery life and performance of your phone?

I suppose Samsung could have called it something else but would the average customer understand big.LITTLE? Probably not, it would just confuse them.

Memory is desirable as it helps avoid any slow down when exiting memory heavy applications and gives developers more memory to work with which is great for games.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 06:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It's been discussed in a few other threads. "dual-quad" is more accurate, but less snappy than "octa". And Samsung have never made any secret of what it is, it's just that many people didn't read beyond the words "8 cores", including bloggers and "journalists" who then propagate the misconception.

Personally I find big.LITTLE more interesting than a true octacore, but I think that's my inner engineer speaking
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Old March 27th, 2013, 07:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Android memory stack management loves stuffing ram with apps, but with 2GB it provides twice as much free ram than 1GB. That said, some issues are due to memory channel management. Examples are the current Tegra devices, which are pretty bad with bottlenecks and do result in issues that some may think are ram related.

Factor in a lot of games are huge and take up ram, plus the higher def displays like on the S4, 2GB is a need rather than marketing hype. Integrated chips like these use some of the ram for graphics.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why are people so core / ram focused ?

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I have an S3 with a 4-core CPU and 1GB RAM and a Note 10.1 with 4-core CPU and 2GB RAM. The difference in performance is very noticable and at this point RAM is the only thing I really need upgraded in my phone. The screen res, etc. is just gimmicks.
I have these 2 devices as well and this is my experience. My s3 is always closing apps on its own and running out of ram. I think 1gb is not enough in this phone.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think the point is also, once most handsets have 2GB of RAM, developer will use it and you are back at square #1. Instead of making proper use of the resources, programmer use RAM as a freeforall
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Old March 27th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I think the point is also, once most handsets have 2GB of RAM, developer will use it and you are back at square #1. Instead of making proper use of the resources, programmer use RAM as a freeforall
This is probably true. However, my note 10.1 starts out using less ram than my s3,despite having twice as much - very frustrating!
If only android were as ram efficient as Symbian!
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Old March 27th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #21 (permalink)
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People care about cores and ram for the same reason they care about horsepower and 0-60 times. You could make the same arguments that nobody drives that fast so why need the horsepower. But you can't argue that a car with 100hp performs the same as a car with 200hp. Other factors will also play a part in performance, but horsepower is still the easiest thing to refer to. As with cores, clock speeds, and ram.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #22 (permalink)
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People care about cores and ram for the same reason they care about horsepower and 0-60 times. You could make the same arguments that nobody drives that fast so why need the horsepower. But you can't argue that a car with 100hp performs the same as a car with 200hp. Other factors will also play a part in performance, but horsepower is still the easiest thing to refer to. As with cores, clock speeds, and ram.
When driving on a road with 55mph speed limit - then it doesn't matter if you drive a 100bhp or 200bhp car - you still only drive 55mph (for the sake of argument anyway haha) - BUT the main difference in that scenario ? The 200hp car uses more petrol despite driving the same speed.

Use that analogy back on phones - what do people whinge about ? Battery life .. so more oomph needs more gas or here, power.. more power drains the battery ... less battery life / gas ...

How does the saying go, what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. Bottom line - each to their own ... and I do agree - back in the PC days it was the same - including me .. I admit ...

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Old March 27th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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With a super high res display, the S4 would choke with 1GB, unless they put a big gpu in the device like A6X has that handles the display ram needs.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #24 (permalink)
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When driving on a road with 55mph speed limit - then it doesn't matter if you drive a 100bhp or 200bhp car - you still only drive 55mph (for the sake of argument anyway haha) - BUT the main difference in that scenario ? The 200hp car uses more petrol despite driving the same speed.

Use that analogy back on phones - what do people whinge about ? Battery life .. so more oomph needs more gas or here, power.. more power drains the battery ... less battery life / gas ...

How does the saying go, what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. Bottom line - each to their own ... and I do agree - back in the PC days it was the same - including me .. I admit ...

This is interesting. My dad's car has the same engine as mine, yet his is 150bhp and mine is 120. The fuel economy is the same but his would use more fuel if he drove it harder and made use of the extra power. Could this be the same with the s4 and HTC? Both have the same processor but the s4 has the potential to use more battery if the tasks are demanding enough?
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Old March 27th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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But the real answer is people make a big deal about it because Samsung makes a big deal about it.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 06:56 AM   #26 (permalink)
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But the real answer is people make a big deal about it because Samsung makes a big deal about it.
Some people anyway
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Old March 28th, 2013, 07:19 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Anybody wants to see how big a fail a high res dsiplay is with 1GB, read the currrent reviews of the always sub-standard Archos and their new 9" tablets.

An overused term, but "epic fail" fits Archos like a custom designed glove.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Anybody wants to see how big a fail a high res dsiplay is with 1GB, read the currrent reviews of the always sub-standard Archos and their new 9" tablets.

An overused term, but "epic fail" fits Archos like a custom designed glove.
Really? I've only seen the hype about them but haven't looked into anything further.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The only person you will probably see praising the Archos tablets is the forum host at Archosfans.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #30 (permalink)
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1 GB of RAM? Only 1 GB of RAM? On a tablet? What the **** were they thinking?

I only have 1 GB of RAM in my phone and I definitely feel it in the form of random lag because of the limited RAM in the phone. I can't imagine how it would feel in a tablet.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #31 (permalink)
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1 GB of RAM? Only 1 GB of RAM? On a tablet? What the **** were they thinking?

I only have 1 GB of RAM in my phone and I definitely feel it in the form of random lag because of the limited RAM in the phone. I can't imagine how it would feel in a tablet.
Damn dude, tech is an ever evolving market, 1GB of system ram is NOT the end of the world, get over it. If it bothers you that much get something else.
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Old March 28th, 2013, 09:17 PM   #32 (permalink)
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This is interesting. My dad's car has the same engine as mine, yet his is 150bhp and mine is 120. The fuel economy is the same but his would use more fuel if he drove it harder and made use of the extra power. Could this be the same with the s4 and HTC? Both have the same processor but the s4 has the potential to use more battery if the tasks are demanding enough?
The SGS4 when using the same Snapdragon 600 as the One is clocked higher, that's a potential for more battery use.

Clock speeds aren't constant, they vary with the load of running apps.

The screen in the SGS4 would be expected to perhaps use less power than the One.

After that comes any differences in the radio circuitry for power draw, and it's too soon to know anything about that.

If you use either hard, it's going to draw power faster than using either moderately.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 09:11 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I just hope they fixed the HDMI out issue the LTE GS3 has. You can not use the HDMI function if the data radios are on. It only works with wifi. If you turn the radios on, the video signal goes in and out every few seconds on the output display. Something to do with the integrated HDMI design and radio interference that impacts the video signal. Nuts.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I just hope they fixed the HDMI out issue the LTE GS3 has. You can not use the HDMI function if the data radios are on. It only works with wifi. If you turn the radios on, the video signal goes in and out every few seconds on the output display. Something to do with the integrated HDMI design and radio interference that impacts the video signal. Nuts.
Is it possible to switch the lte radio off and just use 3g? I don't really know how these things work
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Old March 30th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Curiously speaking, would it make a bigger deal if each app was capable of running a single dedicated core? So 8 cores = 8 dedicated apps running its own core without spill over. I heard Intel was trying to work on muticores that would do this. One being a 48-core beast. But again assigning each app to its own dedicated core.

Now would that matter to an end user if that ever happened? And of course, you would have to wonder about efficiency and battery drain too.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 01:30 PM   #36 (permalink)
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That's an incredible waste of a lot of computing power.

The average program, even on a PC, barely comes close to utilizing the full computing power of a CPU core. More often than not, a CPU core is doing nothing, idling, etc.

Take my desktop PC for instance, an Intel Core i5 CPU with 16 GBs of RAM. 99% of the time each core's utilization percentages sit below 10 to 15%. And I've got a lot of programs running but still CPU utilization is very very low.

Now, take your typical smart phone app. Those apps pale in comparison to the average desktop app in terms of complexity and capabilities. So yes, having a CPU core dedicated to an app would be incredibly wasteful.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 10:59 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Curiously speaking, would it make a bigger deal if each app was capable of running a single dedicated core? So 8 cores = 8 dedicated apps running its own core without spill over. I heard Intel was trying to work on muticores that would do this. One being a 48-core beast. But again assigning each app to its own dedicated core.

Now would that matter to an end user if that ever happened? And of course, you would have to wonder about efficiency and battery drain too.
This is a dual quadcore, only 4 run at a time, and the job model is called preemptive multitasking, because Android runs on Linux.

It's far more efficient than what you're describing, plus it's possible. One app per core isn't.

The operating system and services need to run somewhere.

Plus, multiple cores are already being exploited by threaded apps as well as the threaded operating system.

The blogosphere articles teaching you that apps are optimized for multicore processors are being written by ignoramus weenies who've never coded an app in their lives, have no clue whatsoever about how operating systems work (more to the point, they understand how Android really works much the same as how a giraffe knows how his home zoo works) and ought to be punished for starting this with people.

Your multicore Android device, be it dual, quad, or dual quad (being marketed under the outrageously flaming octa lie) knows how to exploit the cores just fine.

As do the apps.

The idea that you need to get optimized apps is so ridiculous that it doesn't even rise to the level of being wrong.

Nothing is broken here.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 12:13 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Sorry, I understand it is a dual-quad core. But it is an interesting concept if it was truly an octacore CPU (which it is not).

Right now apps don't exploit the raw processing power of a single core. Now if it was able to would that not be better than having it try to run through multiple cores? I (by all means) am not an expert. It was just an interesting thought I came across.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 12:50 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Sorry, I understand it is a dual-quad core. But it is an interesting concept if it was truly an octacore CPU (which it is not).

Right now apps don't exploit the raw processing power of a single core. Now if it was able to would that not be better than having it try to run through multiple cores? I (by all means) am not an expert. It was just an interesting thought I came across.
Ok, I understand where you're coming from.

Many apps are not just simple programs. Developers often build them with what we call threads, each thread controlling a certain function.

Take a music player. One thread can be dedicated to playing the music (by tying a stream to audio services) while another is providing the display with your controls and sensing your inputs. The operating system, if hardware is available and the dev wrote the app correctly, will run those two threads at once on separate cores. Now the audio services has threads to play the tune, and maintain routing as well as interruptions, say for a phone call. And the streaming bit is also divided into threads.

Some threads must run in a particular order, others can run in parallel.

On a single core, all of those things have to take turns. So now the operating system gets a thing called the scheduler and that has to run at a higher priority than anything else.

Distribute all of that to high speed multiple cores and everything not only runs much more smoothly, but the cores run slower by not being tasked so hard, thus allowing a high-speed multicore to use less of your battery than a single core.

And because Android is actually running a LOT of support services at once, each core in a multicore system is being managed exactly like a single core phone, because each core is executing more than one process or thread from within a process.

So, the key to higher performance isn't forcing things that could be parallelized across cores onto taking-turns on a single core - the key to higher performance is more intelligent thread control and process scheduling distributed across more cores.

To say that apps don't exploit the power of a single core is a point of view problem.

If they did, then they would not parallelize, and the operating system could not magically allow them to run better just by putting them on a more powerful phone. You'd have to actually start re-writing things as core count increased.

The way iPhone apps had to when they went dual core.

The way Around apps never had to because the design principles don't make the developer work that way.

This is why multicore optimization that I ranted about is just so wrong.

And why you don't want dedicated core processing for your apps.

There are industrial systems that split out as you suggest - I've written them. But those involve completely different problems, and that doesn't apply here.

Hope this helps!
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Old March 31st, 2013, 06:27 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Hope this helps!
Thanks for the explanation.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 03:03 PM   #41 (permalink)
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The key bottleneck issue is usually the memory channel and the stack/register algorithm used to minimize bottlenecks. Case in point is the Tegra 3, since they built a fast engine (chipset) into a car with bald tires (memory channel).

Any bottleneck along the process chain is same result- a bottleneck. The new Sammy chip apparently has to juggle between two quad cores, so might have weakness in some tasks.

The more I mess with the iPad 4 and its chipset, the more impressed I am, so something that is even 50% faster- real world, NOT lame (IMO) synthetic benchmarks- I will be VERY content If even faster, butter on the biscuit!
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Old March 31st, 2013, 03:29 PM   #42 (permalink)
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The key bottleneck issue is usually the memory channel and the stack/register algorithm used to minimize bottlenecks. Case in point is the Tegra 3, since they built a fast engine (chipset) into a car with bald tires (memory channel).

Any bottleneck along the process chain is same result- a bottleneck. The new Sammy chip apparently has to juggle between two quad cores,...
Interesting statement. Since the two quad cores are there for different situations - processing power vs battery, the moment you start using cpu intensive apps it will use the faster cpu and have no reason to switch until you are done. Do you think you will be able to notice the moment of switching and treat that as a slow down?
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Old March 31st, 2013, 05:32 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Do you think you will be able to notice the moment of switching and treat that as a slow down?
We don't know and I think that's the part that scares some people.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 06:09 AM   #44 (permalink)
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We don't know and I think that's the part that scares some people.
I think this might be due to some conception of switching involving having to "fire up" the second CPU and wait until it's up to speed, or something. (I had this image )

In fact what would likely happen is that from the moment the system has decided to switch cores, the next program instruction would be processed on the second CPU and it would be a hiatus-free transition.

However, a potential for lag could be a failure of the system to decide in time that it needs to switch, therefore remaining on the lower powered CPU for longer than is advisable, causing the phone to be under-powered momentarily...
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Old April 1st, 2013, 08:21 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Is it possible to switch the lte radio off and just use 3g? I don't really know how these things work
I have not tried that..... LTE radio on kills the video signal. That is for sure. Works great if off. The cable maker confirmed the problem is with the LTE version. Happens with any cable- OEM or not.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 08:23 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Interesting statement. Since the two quad cores are there for different situations - processing power vs battery, the moment you start using cpu intensive apps it will use the faster cpu and have no reason to switch until you are done. Do you think you will be able to notice the moment of switching and treat that as a slow down?
I would say it will be a benchmark issue and users will not notice (IF there really is an issue). Perhaps from a programming standpoint, the stars would have to align in a bad way for the user to notice- if ever.


Added:

As far as discrete function for each core set, they still have to traffic upon the same memory channel. My near worthless guess is this is a tech speak issue and users would be oblivious. Seems only Nvidia has the habit of functionally bottlenecking their chipsets
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Old April 4th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Right, must be the first time but my S3 run out of juice for the first time. Music kept stopping to play and I presumed corrupt MP3s. After a while I noticed that it mainly seemed to be doing that when I was browsing the web. Look at memory usage showed almost 800MB used out of 832MB available. Cleared RAM and all good.

Having said that though. Clearly down to bad programming as it made no difference whether apps were running in the background or not. Only active apps are chrome and music player. So same point really. If an app has a memory leak then more Ram would just mean the app can use now to 'leak'

It's like Microsoft SQL Server. You got 4GB of Ram, it uses 100%. You upgrade to 32GB of Ram, it uses it. So unless you know that you can limit SQL to use x-amount of Ram, you will always think it runs out and you throw more DIMMS at it (real life example happened two days ago).
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