Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th May 2012 14:05 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "As the Raspberry Pi started to ship the Sinclair ZX Spectrum turned 30 years old, and comparisons were being made between the two and their role in providing access to affordable computer hardware. Given the phenomenal advances in computing since the birth of the ZX Spectrum, I thought it might be fun to compare the Raspberry Pi with a computer that was closer to the state of the art at around that time, and to see if the Raspberry Pi could fill its shoes..."
Thread beginning with comment 518430
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[9]: Yeah,
by Neolander on Wed 16th May 2012 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: Yeah,"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Be careful with that comparison though. MAME is mostly about CPU, whereas I would expect Quake to be more GPU-hungry than CPU-hungry, like other hardware-accelerated 3D games.

The reason why this difference matters is that the Raspberry Pi uses a SoC that has a very weak CPU by modern standards, but tries to compensate for it with a good GPU.

To quote http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs...

"Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics."

(PS : Could a hardware guy please explain me how x86 CPUs manage to do twice more stuff per clock cycle than ARM CPUs, if we are to trust these numbers ?)

Edited 2012-05-16 18:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[10]: Yeah,
by Morgan on Wed 16th May 2012 18:39 in reply to "RE[9]: Yeah,"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Ahh, I was under the impression that MAME could benefit from a better graphics card/chip. I'll definitely look into that further before attempting it.

As for the ARM vs X86 thing, I'm certainly no expert on the matter but I think ARM chips are RISC, which means "reduced instruction set computing", versus x86/x64 being CISC or "complex instruction set computing". That means RISC processors aren't wasting transistors on extra cycles and are allowing for pipelining. Here's some further reading on the matter:

http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~eroberts/courses/soco/projects/...

On a personal note, I see a return to RISC for general computing in the years to come. Yet another reason I'm excited about the Pi. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[10]: Yeah,
by renox on Thu 17th May 2012 08:11 in reply to "RE[9]: Yeah,"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

PS : Could a hardware guy please explain me how x86 CPUs manage to do twice more stuff per clock cycle than ARM CPUs, if we are to trust these numbers ?)


It could be the way they process the instructions (in order vs out of order), the number of instructions treated at a time, the processing of branch instruction (very common instruction which can disrupt the pipelines unless the CPU has a good branch predictor)..

Not all x86 are efficient per clock: P4 are notoriously inefficient..

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[11]: Yeah,
by Morgan on Fri 18th May 2012 04:21 in reply to "RE[10]: Yeah,"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not all x86 are efficient per clock: P4 are notoriously inefficient..


I've heard that before as well, but I find it curious that the Pentium 4 machine to my right can convert a 45 minute XviD movie into an h.264 a good bit faster than the dual core Athlon 64 X2 on my main desktop. Granted, the P4 is clocked at 3.2GHz as opposed to the AMD's 2.3GHz, but the AMD is a generation newer and has two cores.

It might be that I'm using Handbrake under Windows, and I'm not sure if it is optimized for multiple cores. It may be taking advantage of the hyperthreading in the P4 as well.

The P4 will convert said file at approximately 45 frames/second, giving me the new file in around 25-35 minutes. The AMD will convert the same file at about 25 frames/second, which is slower than real-time for that particular video. Of course, both are shamed by my quad-core i5 at my part time job, I get the same video in under six minutes. If only I could afford to buy it from the boss (he's already approved it but it's out of my range given more important household needs right now).

Reply Parent Score: 2