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General Why are people so core / ram focused ?


  1. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Well-Known Member

    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 :confused:

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  2. XplosiV

    XplosiV Master X is Watching You VIP Member

    Marketing.
    Android26, Fuzzy13 and jmt9779 like this.
  3. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member

    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
    EarlyMon likes this.
  4. XplosiV

    XplosiV Master X is Watching You VIP Member


    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!
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  5. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Well-Known Member

    ^^ 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 ..
  6. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member

    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 ;)
  7. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member



    "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.
  8. jj2me

    jj2me Well-Known Member

    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.
    Fuzzy13 likes this.
  9. Szadzik

    Szadzik Well-Known Member

    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.
    Fuzzy13 likes this.
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member

    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 :)
    Fuzzy13 likes this.
  11. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member

    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. :D
  12. Fuzzy13

    Fuzzy13 Well-Known Member

    Agreed. ;)
  13. Gearu

    Gearu Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Jerryada

    Jerryada Well-Known Member

    I am not the professinal one. But I do care about the RAM. Bigger memory means the fast speed when tranfering the files.
  15. Shocky

    Shocky Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member

    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 ;)
  17. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. markyboy81

    markyboy81 Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Well-Known Member

    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 :)
  20. markyboy81

    markyboy81 Well-Known Member

    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!
  21. jackdubl

    jackdubl Well-Known Member

    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.
  22. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Well-Known Member

    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 ...

    [​IMG]
  23. rushmore

    rushmore Well-Known Member

    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.
  24. markyboy81

    markyboy81 Well-Known Member

    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?
  25. Android26

    Android26 Well-Known Member

    But the real answer is people make a big deal about it because Samsung makes a big deal about it.

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