Cellular PC (ARM64 Powered Desktop Windows 10) Oddities

Discussion in 'Smartphones and Tablets' started by msintle, Jan 7, 2019.

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Do you think the new ARM64 Cellular PC Platform will catch on?

  1. Nah, its going to be another abandoned platform.

  2. Maybe - but I would hardly count on it.

  3. For sure! This is the future of PCs.

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  1. msintle

    msintle Notebook Consultant

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    At the company where I work, we've recently completed qualifying our product for the exciting new ARM64 platform. So I'm finding on my hands three exclusive ARM64 PCs to play with...

    This platform isn't the failed ARM32 experiment of yesteryear - anyone remember the non-Pro Surface 1 device? Someone had even jailbroken it, but basically it was useless for anything outside of the Windows Store. You couldn't run any Desktop apps on it at all, so it was essentially a dead-on-arrival device.

    Not so with this thrilling new ARM64 lineup. An ARM64 PC runs Windows 10 S - which you switch out of "Store" mode with just a single click - it doesn't even take a reboot! So, on these exciting new devices, you get:

    - 25+ hours (advertised) battery life
    - Cellular Qualcomm modem, so always-connected (and you can share your Internet over WiFi too!)
    - 8 core modern Qualcomm CPUs
    - Ultra-fast SSD drives
    - x86 application compatibility! YES!!!

    I have at my disposal:

    ASUS NovaGo TP370QL: 6GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, 128 GB SSD
    Samsung Galaxy Book2: 4GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 CPU, 128 GB SSD
    Lenovo Yoga C630: 8GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 CPU, 256 GB SSD

    I have been playing around with these devices for the past couple weeks over the holidays, and overall, I am thrilled to say they work as advertised. I can run ALL my Windows apps on these devices. The performance is very smooth, no hiccups. And with native ARM64 apps coming soon, the future is SUPER EXCITING!

    So my thoughts are to come up with full reviews for each device. Each have their own pros and cons. Does anyone have suggestions for a testing suite? I'd like to run:

    - HDD tests
    - CPU tests
    - GPU tests
    - Battery tests

    The catch is, there's no native testing software so far. I know Futuremark announced they're working on native ARM64 GPU benchmarks, but I don't know of anyone else who's got native tests brewing in their pipeline.

    For HDD testing, I don't imagine emulation is going to be a huge deal. But for GPU, battery, and CPU testing, I can and do see it making a huge impact.

    On that note...here's my foray into the oddity I discovered. I ran 3DMark06 on each of these three devices, it being the only old GPU benchmark I thought of to run well under Qualcomm/Microsoft's x86 emulation. While apps like Word run at near-native speed, you really get to witness how slow emulation is while running 3D software. So 3DMark06 tests would barely run at 24fps, if ever, during my testing. But that's not an oddity - its to be expected. The oddity is the scoring:

    Asus - featuring the worst CPU of the lineup - scored 3k 3DMark06s.
    Lenovo - the best configured device - started scoring only 2.5k 3DMark06s, maxing out at 2.7 after ALL Windows updates were installed.

    Samsung - scored 3k 3DMark06s, despite having a superior CPU compared to the Asus.

    WOW! How come the best configured device performed worst?

    Take a look at these Task Manager screenshots:

    asus.png
    Asus's Snapdragon 835 - with 768 KB L1 cache and 3 MB L2 cache.

    lenovo.png
    Lenovo's Snapdragon 850 - with 768 KB L1, 384 KB L2, and a whopping 4 MB L3 cache.

    samsung.png
    Samsung's Snapdragon 850 - with a 768 KB L1, 1.5 MB L2, and 2 MB L3 cache.

    Do you notice anything strange above?

    In case you don't, let me repeat that for you:
    Asus's Snapdragon 835 - with 768 KB L1 cache and 3 MB L2 cache.
    Lenovo's Snapdragon 850 - with 768 KB L1, 384 KB L2, and a whopping 4 MB L3 cache.
    Samsung's Snapdragon 850 - with a 768 KB L1, 1.5 MB L2, and 2 MB L3 cache.

    This is the first time I've ever seen an identically branded CPU come with different cache sizes!

    I figure the performance variance is accounted for primarily by this fact - that the Lenovo, despite being great on paper, is no more than a paper tiger - its very poor L2 cache causes it to perform worse than the previous generation's CPU.

    And the Samsung, despite having the next generation CPU (advertised by Qualcomm to have 30% better performance), is also hampered by its 50% smaller L2 cache, compared to the previous generation CPU - resulting in it barely matching the legacy CPU performance.

    Has anyone encountered this type of scenario before?

    I'd love to hear your input!

    And please, let me know what sort of testing suites you'd like to see me run on these devices!

    If anyone has Visual Studio source codes for CPU/GPU/Battery benchmarks, I can even try recompiling them with Visual Studio for ARM64. I know people have recompiled stuff like 7-Zip for ARM64 already.

    Overall, despite these oddities...I REALLY love this new platform!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  2. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Try Antutu,Crystal disk mark and GFXBench.
     
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  3. msintle

    msintle Notebook Consultant

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    It seems Antutu is incompatible with ARM64, at least that's what Windows Store says.

    The good news is, Crystal seems to have an ARM64 specific build!

    Downloading that and GFXBench now, and will keep you posted with my progress.
     
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  4. msintle

    msintle Notebook Consultant

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    Crystal is saying "disk not found" despite having dedicated ARM32 and ARM64 binaries (I've tried both).

    Got any other suggestions in lieu of Crystal and Antutu?

    Pity, Antutu looked pretty...
     
  5. msintle

    msintle Notebook Consultant

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    Uh-oh...GFXBench seemed to install the wrong platform binary, which doesn't launch at all.

    Wow, that's three misses!

    Do we not have anything better to try than legacy SuperPI and HDTune?

    Please let me know if you think I should use them in the absence of all else...
     
  6. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Haha.. Never expected that from MSFT when they claim ARM 64 support out of the box!
     
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  7. msintle

    msintle Notebook Consultant

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    Well I am the *last* person to defend MS.

    But I would like to set the record straight.

    The GFX installer is buggy (probably mistakes ARM64 for AMD64).

    I don't know if the Crystal app or the emulation is buggy, as I have no way to speculate on why it couldn't detect the OS drive.

    Antutu simply doesn't seem to have an ARM64 binary - presumably that is what the Microsoft Store tries to find when a package install is requested - this is speculation though, based on the assumption that the Store does not install x86 binaries on a different, emulation-compatible platform.
     
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  8. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Are you sure you installed Antutu v6? https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/a...activetab=pivot:regionofsystemrequirementstab
    So I'm thinking you have installed Win 10 for ARM and not standard editions?
     
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  9. msintle

    msintle Notebook Consultant

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    Yes, it seems Antutu v6 is ARM32 only (that is, it would run on devices like the first non-pro Surface device which was ARM32), but it does not have ARM64 support.

    Actually, Windows 10 for ARM64 can emulate ARM32 apps just like it emulates X86 apps; but the Store will not allow to install it, simply mentioning that the app is incompatible instead.

    You cannot install X86 or X64 Windows 10 on an ARM64 device. You can only install Windows 10 for ARM64, which has built-in x86 emulation. This doesn't mean you can boot the device off a 32-bit Windows 10 image.

    So in this sense, it is good to point out once again that, where the AMD64 platform can be booted off a 32-bit Windows 10 image, the ARM64 platform cannot. The platforms are completely different.

    Please, let me have some other benchmark suggestions - battery, HDD, GPU, and CPU...
     
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