Hangouts Launch

Moving away from browser-based scenarios, we move onto real application use-cases. We start off with Google Hangouts. The first scenario is simply launching the application from the home-screen. The application was not cached in memory, so this is a cold launch.
 
First we open the app itself, and then we open up a chat conversation activity.

The duration of the test this time is only 3.6 seconds. During the initial application launch, we don't see much activity on the little cores. Cores 1-3 are mostly power-gated and we see that there's little to no threads placed onto the cluster during that period. Once the app opened, we see the threads migrate back onto the little cluster. Here we see full use of all 4 CPU cores as each core has threads placed on it doing activity.

This is the perfect burst-scenario for the big cores. The application launch kicks in the cores into high gear as they reach the full 2.1GHz of the SoC. We see that all 4 cores are doing work and have thread placed on them. Because of the fine granularity of the load, we see the CPUs rarely enter the power-gating state in this burst period as the CPU Idle governor prefers the shallower WFI clock-gating state. As a reminder, on the Exynos 7420 this state is setup for target residency times of 500µS.

In general, the workload is optimized towards 4-core CPUs. Because 4x4 big.LITTLE SoCs in a sense can be seen as 4-core designs, we don't see an issue here. On the other hand, symmetric 8-core designs here would see very little benefit from the additional cores.

Browser: Chrome - BBC Frontpage App: Hangouts Writing A Message
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  • TylerGrunter - Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - link

    In fact you are in the right place to ask that question, as one of the profets os the mantra was Anand Lal Shimpi himself:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-r...
    Quoting from the article:
    "two faster cores are still better for most uses than four cores running at lower frequencies"
    You can read the rest if you are interested, but that´s how much of the mantra started.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - link

    I wont hold that against Anand, he was lobbying toward a job at Apple ;)

    But seriously, it was 2 years ago. At that time ""two faster cores are still better for most uses than four cores running at lower frequencies" may well have been the case. Also, no matter how you slice it, an 8 core big.little is not a true 8 core CPU. It's really still 4 cores.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - link

    /edit. I do remember alot of people crying "you dont need 8 cores" but again, that was people misunderstanding ARM's big.little architecture made worse by marketing calling it "8" cores" in the first place. Reply
  • TylerGrunter - Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - link

    I agree with you, and he may not have been THAT wrong at the time. But with the current implementations of power gating and turbos most of what he said has been rendered false.
    AFAIK, big.LITTLE can be a true 8 core, it actually depends on the implementation.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Sunday, September 6, 2015 - link

    "Also, no matter how you slice it, an 8 core big.little is not a true 8 core CPU. It's really still 4 cores."

    An 8 core big.LITTLE chip running in HMP mode (like the Exynos 5422 onward) is in fact a "true" 8 core chip in which all 8 cores can be running at the same time. You're thinking core migration and cluster migration setups in which only 4 cores (or a combination of 4) can be running at the simultaneously.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Sunday, September 6, 2015 - link

    "can be running at the simultaneously."
    *corrected: can be running simultaneously.
    Reply
  • osxandwindows - Friday, September 25, 2015 - link

    If i run all 8 cores at the same time, wood it affect battery life? Reply
  • mkozakewich - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    If the option is really four weak cores or two powerful cores, I think the two powerful ones would make a better system. If we could have two powerful cores AND four weak cores, that would be even better.

    So I think he was probably justified.
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Just everyone who's easily influenced, really. I heard it from pretty much everyone. Someone I was talking to apparently "knew someone who designed a Galaxy phone." He claimed they wanted to design it with two cores, or something, but the marketers wanted eight. Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - link

    Very interesting, thank you. Reply

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