ARM vs. Intel Atom comparison

Van Smith wrote an awesome article comparing current ARM processors and their lower power consuming x86 friends such as the Intel Atom.

Here’s the conclusion of his performance benchmark tests:

The ARM Cortex-A8 achieves surprisingly competitive performance across many integer-based benchmarks while consuming power at levels far below the most energy miserly x86 CPU, the Intel Atom. In fact, the ARM Cortex-A8 matched or even beat the Intel Atom N450 across a significant number of our integer-based tests, especially when compensating for the Atom’s 25 percent clock speed advantage.

However, the ARM Cortex-A8 sample that we tested in the form of the Freescale i.MX515 lived in an ecosystem that was not competitive with the x86 rivals in this comparison. The video subsystem is very limited. Memory support is a very slow 32-bit, DDR2-200MHz.

Languishing across all of the JavaScript benchmarks, the ARM Cortex-A8 was only one-third to one-half as fast as the x86 competition. However, this might partially be a result of the very slow memory subsystem that burdened the ARM core.

More troubling is the unacceptably poor double-precision floating-point throughput of the ARM Cortex-A8. While floating-point performance isn’t important to all tasks and is certainly not as important as integer performance, it cannot be ignored if ARM wants its products to successfully migrate upwards into traditional x86-dominated market spaces.

4 thoughts on “ARM vs. Intel Atom comparison”

  1. ARM Cortex-A8 CPU is a much better processor then the Intel Atom, the Cortex-A8 is made to reduce power and that what excatly it does compare to Atom. Intel is comming down while ARM is moving up and very fast. soon they will claim the number one sport.

  2. History is littered with incumbents with pots of cash, being beaten by Davids who come from no where. Microsoft v IBM etc. When you are on top the only place to go is down.

  3. I love Intel but, Don’t forget the lessons that DEC did or may i say didn’t Do. They are gone and were #2 In market

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