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Old Mar 9, 2013, 06:14 PM   #201
spinedoc77
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Originally Posted by sexiewasd View Post
Intel's latest Atom chips barely out perform the latest cortex a15 based chips, odd enough they win on power consumption, and not processing power. They are still miles behind chips like the A6 in terms of power usage though, and not very far ahead in performance. That leaves you with chips that are slightly faster than the more reasonable ARM chips, and a lot worse in power usage. Now compared to a proper x86 chip, even against a low end one like an i3 the atom is entirely spanked in computational power, and miles ahead in power usage, so it's harder to compare to other x86 chips than it is to compare the Atom to ARM.

The only big advantage that Atom has over ARM is that it can run proper x86 software an ARM cannot without it being ported to ARM (like ubuntu). That also happens to be it's biggest problem though. The popular ARM based OS's (iOS, Android, and Chrome) are written with ARM's performance in mind. Windows, Desktop Ubuntu, and OSX are NOT performance optimized for phone grade CPU's. The fastest Atom tablets are at most barely usable with windows 8, and curl up into the fetal position at the mere thought of running any software that one would actually need a desktop OS to run.

You are absolutely 100% correct that Atom is more than capable of running anything that the majority of users need, but even 4-5 year old phones can check Facebook and use google.
Once again though it's simply academic, as you reiterated what I said, Atom CPU tablets are more than capable of running the vast majority of what a windows tablet user would want. The fact that the Atom chip obviously underperforms versus a x86 cpu is not particularly relevant.

As for an Atom tablet being "barely usable with windows 8" that's blatantly FALSE, I can directly attest to that as I have owned several Windows 8 Atom tablets, specifically the Samsung 500t, Asus vivotab smart, Acer w510, and the Lenovo thinkpad tablet 2. I have run FULL Office 365 for example quite smoothly on an atom tablet, I've also run Photoshop, but only with light use and I'm sure medium or heavy use of Photoshop would not work well, but once again now we are talking about something the vast majority of tablet users would never use. It does bring up some great strengths to the atom tablets in comparison to other tablet OS, 1st the fact that you can run the full software on them in this example Office and Photoshop. 2nd that everyday consumer programs run better with windows memory management in my experience, for example opening a ton of tabs in a browser on an ipad is a less than pleasant experience but I can easily open a dozen or more tabs on IE10 on my windows atom tablet, AND have a couple of programs running in the background and my tablet is smooth as butter, no stuttering, no checkerboarding of webpages, no browser memory crashes, etc.

I think you are dead wrong in comparing an atom tablet to a 5 year old smartphone. I'd be much more inclined to compare an android or iOS tablet to a 5 year old smartphone, and that's not even considering the toy-like OS they have or the toy-like "apps" they have. No an Atom powered windows tablet is nowhere near being toy-like. You seem like a logical person, you should try out Windows 8 on an atom tablet, sounds like you would be pleasantly surprised.
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Old Mar 9, 2013, 07:29 PM   #202
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Once again though it's simply academic, as you reiterated what I said, Atom CPU tablets are more than capable of running the vast majority of what a windows tablet user would want. The fact that the Atom chip obviously underperforms versus a x86 cpu is not particularly relevant.

As for an Atom tablet being "barely usable with windows 8" that's blatantly FALSE, I can directly attest to that as I have owned several Windows 8 Atom tablets, specifically the Samsung 500t, Asus vivotab smart, Acer w510, and the Lenovo thinkpad tablet 2. I have run FULL Office 365 for example quite smoothly on an atom tablet, I've also run Photoshop, but only with light use and I'm sure medium or heavy use of Photoshop would not work well, but once again now we are talking about something the vast majority of tablet users would never use. It does bring up some great strengths to the atom tablets in comparison to other tablet OS, 1st the fact that you can run the full software on them in this example Office and Photoshop. 2nd that everyday consumer programs run better with windows memory management in my experience, for example opening a ton of tabs in a browser on an ipad is a less than pleasant experience but I can easily open a dozen or more tabs on IE10 on my windows atom tablet, AND have a couple of programs running in the background and my tablet is smooth as butter, no stuttering, no checkerboarding of webpages, no browser memory crashes, etc.

I think you are dead wrong in comparing an atom tablet to a 5 year old smartphone. I'd be much more inclined to compare an android or iOS tablet to a 5 year old smartphone, and that's not even considering the toy-like OS they have or the toy-like "apps" they have. No an Atom powered windows tablet is nowhere near being toy-like. You seem like a logical person, you should try out Windows 8 on an atom tablet, sounds like you would be pleasantly surprised.
I wasn't really comparing an Atom tablet to an old smart phone. What I meant was that Windows software isn't ready for the most part to be run on such low power devices, where as iOS and Android apps are.

The problem with the low power x86 approach is that x86 desktop CPU's will continue to increase performance at the same rate, and developers are going to be targeting the mid-high end performance wise for the most part, not the bottom of the barrel, You target the future, it's a rule written down somewhere i'm sure of it. With Android and iOS as a developer you are pushing the limits of the hardware, and they will continue to push it as far as they can. It's a much cleaner approach to the problem that I believe will work it's self out naturally as time progresses.
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Old Mar 9, 2013, 07:50 PM   #203
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I wasn't really comparing an Atom tablet to an old smart phone. What I meant was that Windows software isn't ready for the most part to be run on such low power devices, where as iOS and Android apps are.

The problem with the low power x86 approach is that x86 desktop CPU's will continue to increase performance at the same rate, and developers are going to be targeting the mid-high end performance wise for the most part, not the bottom of the barrel, You target the future, it's a rule written down somewhere i'm sure of it. With Android and iOS as a developer you are pushing the limits of the hardware, and they will continue to push it as far as they can. It's a much cleaner approach to the problem that I believe will work it's self out naturally as time progresses.
I understand where you are coming from, but I still think it's a moot point, developers don't target the high end, they target either where most consumers will be thus ensuring the most sales, or if they do target the high end it's because they have a specialized market to answer to. Besides what apps on iOS and android push the limits of the hardware besides gaming?

By the same token if an Atom tablet can run most of the heavy duty legacy stuff then what in the future can developers run which will tax it. Of course this is ignoring the obvious fact that the Atom processors will also be upgraded in the future to match this, in fact we have Bay Trail coming soon which is a true upgrade to the Atom architecture, where Clover Trail was not a true upgrade but is still pretty powerful. So if you have the future in mind you will really like the Atom CPU in about a year. It's very short sighted to think that Atom processors will not be upgraded just like x86 processors will be, in fact seeing all the pressure on Intel, seeing how important the tablet market is, and seeing the true shortcoming of a x86 cpu being battery life I'd say we will most likely see more emphasis put on low power chips like Atom in the near future.

It's a great discussion, but I HIGHLY disagree that Windows software is unable to be run on a low powered system such as an Atom tablet, it runs great. I won't disagree that the form factor of Windows 8 itself isn't ready to be on a tablet, but that isn't the case with the Atom CPU/systems.
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Old Mar 9, 2013, 09:10 PM   #204
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I was going to buy a Windows RT tablet, but it was too limiting.

Ended up buying a $499 Asus Windows 8 Tablet. Wished it had a digitizer with stylus.

Now, I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't just bought a $499 Asus Windows 8 Laptop with touchscreen. Has a more powerful CPU and lots more storage.
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 10:13 AM   #205
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My experience with my ThinkPad tablet 2 says that yes, atom is fine for tablet use, including Office which works remarkably well. It does slow down badly when you try to do normal computer stuff, including installing programs.

I think the real issue is that when you give people a full computing environment, they end up wanting to use it for the same things their full size computers can do because the entire environment is there. That's where the Atom tablets start to bog down and show their weaknesses. Atom is also currently way behind in graphics, but that will change quickly.

I'm excited to see where Windows tablets will be in two years!!
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