"It just isn't conceivable that you can design a program strong enough to beat players like me."

July 5, 2014

Looking for more knps with Snapdragon 800: Mission fails!

Since the day i'd bought my Samsung Galaxy Note 2, i've always been satisfied with the Exynos 4412 cpu, until the moment news and releases about Snapdragon cpu over 2GHz started to rise.

Used in LG G2, Sony Xperia and some Samsung tablets, the Snapdragon 800 has 4 cores working at 2.26GHz speed. So, it's very attractive for higher chess performance on an Android device.

In 2014, we have recently seen SD801 which pushes the limit even higher, to 2.46GHz.

It was enough for me to be exicted because every new cpu put price pressure on the previous one and this could be an opportunity for me to upgrade to SD800 at least.

I started to search and swallow every bit of information on internet to learn more about this new booster and to discover whether a SD801 or SD800 can break 1 million nodes per second barrier on Android with Stockfish engine.

The verdict is highly disappointing. I've found many forum posts stating the LG G2 delivers LESS KNPS than Galaxy Note II (Galaxy Note III as well but latest Exynos' are another story!!!).

In theory it's ridiculous that 2.26GHz x 4 cores perform worse than 1.6GHz x 4 cores even if the cpu's are not the same brand. There's a gap between them anyway. How could this be true?

I've seen the bare truth with my own eyes during a quick manipulation i could practice in a store a couple of weeks ago, on a Samsung Galaxy Pro 8.4" tablet which had that SD800 cpu.

It was connected to internet and i was quick enough to download and install Droidfish app. After setting 4 threads and 64MB hash, i've started the analysis mode. At the end of a one minute run, there were only 635kNps.

Stockfish 5 on Android delivers less kNps than DD version on Android, in contrast to PC versions. But it's not the answer because i have 680kNps on Note II with SF5 already.

Finally i'm sure SD800 performs worse than Exynos 4412. This is valid for chess at least and i must keep waiting for 3GHz octacore cpu's.

Technical explanation of the disaster is the way manufacturers manage cpu performance vs consumption. They always advertise using peak values that you will very hardly obtain in real life. This commercial trend is getting nastier than ever.

LG G2 for example has an ultra compact design which would cause overheating of the cpu. The Samsung tablet i've been testing was also highly compact.

The cpu's come with more and more core every year with higher GHz but it's not easy to taste the fruit unless manufacturers support them with better working conditions and better batteries. Until then, they will be selling bits of utopia to the customer.  

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