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Kabini vs. Clover Trail & ARM

Kabini is a difficult SoC to evaluate, primarily because of the nature of the test system we're using to evaluate it today. Although AMD's Jaguar cores are power efficient enough to end up in tablets, the 15W A4-5000 we're looking at today is a bit too much for something the size of an iPad. Temash, Kabini's even lower power counterpart, will change that but we don't have Temash with us today. Rather than wait for AMD to get us a Temash based tablet, I wanted to get an idea of how Jaguar stacks up to some of the modern low-power x86 and ARM competitors.

To start, let's characterize Jaguar in terms of its performance compared to Bobcat as well as Intel's current 32nm in-order Saltwell Atom core. As a reference, I've thrown in a 17W dual-core Ivy Bridge. The benchmarks we're looking at are PCMark 7 (only run on those systems with SSDs), Cinebench (FP workload) and 7-Zip (integer workload). With the exception of Kabini, all of these parts are dual-core. The Atom and Core i5 systems are dual-core but have Hyper-Threading enabled so they present themselves to the OS as 4-thread machines.

CPU Performance
  PCMark 7 Cinebench 11.5 (Single Threaded) Cinebench 11.5 (Multithreaded) 7-Zip Benchmark (Single Threaded) 7-Zip Benchmark (Multithreaded)
AMD A4-5000 (1.5GHz Jaguar x 4) 2425 0.39 1.5 1323 4509
AMD E-350 (1.6GHz Bobcat x 2) 1986 0.32 0.61 1281 2522
Intel Atom Z2760 (1.8GHz Saltwell x 2) - 0.17 0.52 754 2304
Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz IVB x 2) 4318 1.07 2.39 2816 6598

Compared to a similarly clocked dual-core Bobcat part, Kabini shows a healthy improvement in PCMark 7 performance. Despite the clock speed disadvantage, the A4-5000 manages 22% better performance than AMD's E-350. The impressive gains continue as we look at single-threaded Cinebench performance. Again, a 22% increase compared to Bobcat. Multithreaded Cinebench performance scales by more than 2x thanks to the core count doubling and increased multi-core efficiency. The current generation Atom comparison here is just laughable—Jaguar offers more than twice the performance of Clover Trail in single threaded Cinebench.

The single threaded 7-Zip benchmark shows only mild gains if we don't take into account clock speed differences. If you normalize for CPU frequency, Jaguar is likely around 9% faster than Bobcat here. Multithreaded gains are quite good as well. Once again, Atom is no where near AMD's new A4.

The Ivy Bridge comparison is really just for reference. In all of the lightly threaded cases, a 1.7GHz Ivy Bridge delivers over 2x the performance of the A4-5000. The gap narrows for heavily threaded workloads but obviously any bigger core going into a more expensive system will yield appreciably better results.

For the next test I expanded our comparison to include an ARM based SoC: the dual-core Cortex A15 powered Samsung Exynos 5250 courtesy of Google's Nexus 10. These cross platform benchmarks are all browser based and run in Google Chrome:

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark (Chrome)

Here we see a 14% improvement over Bobcat, likely closer to 20% if we normalized clock speed between the parts—tracking perfectly with AMD's promised IPC gains for Jaguar. The A4-5000 completes the Kraken benchmark in less than half the time. The 1.7GHz Ivy Bridge part is obviously quicker, but what's interesting is that if we limit the IVB CPU's frequency to 800MHz Kabini is actually a near identical performer.

Jaguar seems to be around 9-20% faster than Bobcat depending on the benchmark. Multithreaded workloads are obviously much better as there are simply more cores to run on. In practice, using the Kabini test system vs. an old Brazos machine delivers a noticeable difference in user experience. Clover Trail feels anemic by comparison and even Brazos feels quite dated. Seeing as how Bobcat was already quicker than ARM's Cortex A15, its no surprise that Jaguar is as well. The bigger problem here is Kabini needs much lower platform power to really threaten the Cortex A15 in tablets—we'll see how Temash fares as soon as we can get our hands on a tablet.

AMD’s Kabini Laptop Prototype Kabini vs CT/ARM: GPU Performance
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  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    -Finally!

    -BTW, some pictures still missing/not loading...

    -Thanks for the article, but when Anand's architectural deep-dive will come out?

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    -Sorry, I missed the link on the main page, and all pictures load correctly now.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • codedivine - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Kabini looks interesting. Somewhat surprised that the max bandwidth (10.5 GB/s) supported is less than even Exynos 5 Dual (12.8GB/s).

    Wondering whether the GPU supports fp64 and at what rate?
    Reply
  • codedivine - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    I guess Anand answered the fp64 question in the other article already :) Reply
  • axien86 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link


    Wow...the AMD Jaguar Temash and Kabinis cost about the same as Atoms (~$30-$50) and perform many times faster than Atoms.

    I wonder why Anandtech did not compare the Kabinis against Atoms/Celerons instead of i3 and i5 that cost around $200 to $225+ ?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Sadly (not really -- Atoms are trash), we don't have any recent Atom/Celeron/Pentium laptops around. No one has ever sent us a Celeron or Pentium laptop for review, and the last Atom netbook we tested was probably almost two years back. Anand does have Clover Trail covered, but there's no real point in running our heavy laptop suite on that. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    In the mini-ITX DIY segment, Kabini may compete against the Celeron 847 boards (which currently run about $75). I'd be interested to see how it stacks up there. The AMD solution would have a clock speed advantage (847 only runs at 1.1 GHz) but the Sandy Bridge-based 847 almost certainly has better IPC. Reply
  • MrMilli - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Here you go: http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/prozessoren/201... Reply
  • BushLin - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Thanks for that, my German isn't great but from what I can tell this chip is a great choice compared to Intel's actual competing products. Such a shame Anand's review is with a Pentium consuming over twice the power and i5/i7 products costing many times more.

    My interest is in the low power desktop boards and hope to see a useful comparison on here at some point. I'm sure Zotac or some other manufacturer with such a leaning would be happy to supply comparable boards to cover Kabini and the lower power Pentium and Celerons.
    Reply
  • jagd - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    Dual channel may not help to CPu but you are forgetting GPu , this is a shame for anandtech . Reply

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