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Thursday, 04 July 2013 07:11

Bay Trail benchmarked, looks good

Written by Peter Scott

Faster, more efficient than ARM

Intel’s fortunes in mobile might be about to change for the better. The first benchmarks of Chipzilla’s new Bay Trail SoC have showed up in Antutu and the chip looks very good indeed. A Bay Trail-T part clocked at 1.1GHz ends up about 30 percent faster than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 at 2.3GHz. Intel’s little chip just gets more done per clock cycle, which means it uses less power to deliver more performance.

At the moment ARM is the king of the frugal mobile chip market, but Intel’s trump card looks a bit better. It scored 43,415 in Antutu, while Snapdragon 800 devices score about 30,000. Samsung’s Exynos 4412 used in the Galaxy S3 scores around 20,000, while Nvidia’s Tegra 3 hits 15,000. Furthermore, Bay Trail-T is expected to ship with clocks in excess of 2GHz, which means upcoming commercial devices based on the new chip could end up even faster.

It’s not just about performance. Bay Trail-T seems to use a lot less power under load than competing ARM chips. Intel claims Bay Trail-T will be more power efficient than dual-core ARMs, but at the same time it will outpace quad-core ARM chips.
There are a couple of caveats worth mentioning. Unlike Qualcomm’s, Samsung’s and Nvidia’s chips, Bay Trail-T is not ready just yet. It should launch toward the end of the year, so it will have to take on the next generation of Snapdragons and Tegras, not the current one.

Another concern is pricing – Intel doesn’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to mobile chip prices and in this overcrowded market every penny counts.

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