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ARM Reveals First PC Roadmap, Aims to Best Intel by 2020


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Anand has the details, and while some of their performance and power numbers are questionable, it's a big deal that they're officially going after Intel on Intel's home turf. 



a Cortex A76 based system running at up to 3GHz is said to match the single-thread performance of an Intel Core i5-7300U running at its maximum 3.5GHz turbo operating speed, all while doing it within a TDP of less than 5W, versus “15W” for the Intel system.


While Apple and ARM threaten Intel in the low power laptop arena and with AMD threatening on the other end of the spectrum, the once invincible Intel could soon be in deep trouble.

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14 hours ago, Dre801 said:

I think x86 baggage is overblown at this point anyway.


LOL, on MacRumors' forums, all you'll find are these ARM fanboys;  suddenly, so many of them are anti-Intel and are dying for Apple to go ARM for everything.


I'm pretty sure they will anyway.

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15 hours ago, Reputator said:

That's nice, but it's a little unfair. We're talking RISC here. The whole point of RISC is to be more efficient, without the baggage of x86 support. And the drawback is always the same: you're not going to have nearly the same application support.

I think there will always be a price in terms of legacy application support, but it's very easy to compile to either architecture right now. Apple moving some of their laptops to ARM feels inevitable, and Microsoft is starting to get serious about Windows on ARM, with a full emulation layer available for legacy apps.


One of the biggest problems with those kinds of efforts in the past was that even if you designed an entire device around ARM, it just wasn't good enough to compete with Intel's offerings. We've seen it quite often with Chromebooks as well. They were primarily ARM based, but moved over to Intel more and more for the high end. If ARM can deliver chips that are good enough to actually compete with a modern i5, I think we'll quickly see those devices gain traction.

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To make a case against my own argument, it only really matters if ARM actually hits their performance numbers, and so far it's not looking great. Qualcomm promised that the Snapdragon 850, their first chip designed for the new Windows on ARM, would best the 835 (a high end smartphone chip) by 30%. The actual tests didn't get near that, with improvements of 23% in single core and only 7% in multi core.


Of course, this is an early try, but it doesn't bolster the idea that ARM can really provide the kind of performance they need to in order to challenge Intel in any real way.

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