Thank you all for your feedback and participation in the discussion.
This Advisory Discussion Thread is now closed and the development continues on other threads.
Advisory specification of Pyramid Flipper is now released and we will begin sourcing for the components.
click here to read the blog post summarizing discussion
click here to join the discussion regarding the summary
Original posts below.
Greetings my fellow Eve Designers!
Last time we talked about the Stylus pen and cameras. We’ll be shooting out a blog post summarizing the discussion so far. At this point we’d like to offer our thanks to all voters and participants
Today, however, marks the beginning of the discussion regarding the CPU.
Summary of this post:
- Current Intel processors divide in Y and U series. Y drains more power while delivering more of it, U drains less power and delivers less of it.
- There is a very small performance difference between popularly used Core i (U) series
- Team Eve is very strongly in favor of Core M instead of Core i to achieve great battery life and usability
- More power = More performance, Less Battery life
- Two chips with, e.g. “Core i7” chip can hugely differ in battery life and performance, depending on whether they are Y or U series of the chip.
- “Skylake” refers to sixth generation of Intel chips, where “Broadwell” refers to previous fifth generation.
Note: notice how the new Huawei Matebook is 6.9mm and Microsoft Surface Pro is 8.4mm - its because of the fanless and slim CPU architecture
- Polls are to follow, let’s first have a discussion
Let’s remind ourselves right now what Pyramid Flipper is all about:
As shown, we are after a portable device that can do basic work and excel at media consumption.
Intel, which is the market leader of x86 architecture chips (required for Windows usage), offers currently a few different chips that we could consider (intel N / celeron, Xeon and similar “out of scope” chips are left out on purpose)
Very low power mobile chips, with power consumption of 2W. Intended pure tablets and mobile phones. The latest generation of these chips were announced a bit before Skylake, and are known as “CherryTrail”. The most famous device equipped with one of these chips is Microsoft’s Surface 3 (non-pro, with x7 8700 version of the chip - the most powerful of the atoms). Geekbench score is usually around 800 for single core and 2000-3000 for multicore (depending whether an x5 or x7 version is being benchmarked).
Core i (Y & U)
After releasing the Core architecture, Intel finally beat AMD in an on-going arms race for CPU performance. Core is became the de facto performance standard for many hobbyists and enthusiasts.
Currently Core architecture offers a few different options:
Core i series CPUs (i3, i5, i7)
Core i series offers a wide range of CPUs from ultrabooks to even server class. The difference in performance depends on the TDP (Thermal Design Power - maximum amount of watts the processor can draw). The the most powerful are with wattage of 65 watts ending at the least energy hungry units @ 15watts.
The less powerful, dual core processors, with core i3, i5 and i7 brand that are mainly used in Ultrabooks are the theoretical options for Pyramid Flipper as well. They offer good performance for most tasks and reasonable battery life. Wattages are typically 15W. Most recognized device with Core i U is Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
Core M (Skylakes only available in Y)
Core M - which is our favorite - was introduced back in 2014 Q4, marked the next generation of mobile computing. The Thermal Design Power (TDP) was set at 4.5W, making designs possible without use of fan to cool down the processor. As such, very slim and sleek devices - of the most famous is the Macbook 12 inch - started to appear.
Note: notice how the new Huawei Matebook is 6.9mm and Microsoft Surface Pro is 8.4mm - its because of the fanless and slimmer CPU architecture.
Back in 2014 we felt the Core M was not matured enough: the devices were generally very heavy and performance was heavily reliant on the heat dissipating abilities of a device’s chassis. The performance wasn’t satisfying either but we were hopeful with the upcoming Skylake generation.
What is also important to take to this discussion is the fact of benchmarks: Intel Core M vs. Intel Core i
The most important thing to know is that the difference in performance between core m and core i series is not as huge as many seem to think.
Have look at the benchmarks of Surface pro 4 with i5 and Lenovo miix 700 with m5 that we have reviewed last week.
Core i5 Skylake
Core M5 Skylake
According to the Geekbench test surface Pro 4 scored 5663 points for multicore performance which is only 12% higher score. In single core benchmark test the results were similar. Most of the basic tasks are done with Single core of a processor.
The difference would be unnoticeable as real processor intensive tasks require at least score of 10 000. Both core M5 and Core i can handle most work easily, exception being heavy duty work (such as 3D rendering, 4k video rendering, etc)
Basically Core i and Core M are equally good in most of the tasks and equally** bad** at heavy duty work.
A choice between a lower powered Core i and Core M would not effect the price of the device noticeably.
Core M, however, has over three times smaller TDP, resulting in significantly better battery life. Its fanless design also makes slimmer designs possible. Devices with Core M also tend to run cooler and quieter (because of TDP and not having a fan).
Now we talked a bit more about Core M, because it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves through the massive improvements brought along with the second iteration of these chips. Read here, why Matt Smith from Digital Trends decided to take a Core M device for his mobile duty @ CES2016
Going with Core M
- Slimmer design
- Better battery life
- Slightly increased durability
- Slightly lower performance in general
- lower graphics (slightly)
- Limited chassis materials (heat dissipation)
Going with Core i
- Best in class (ultrabooks / 2-in-1s) performance
- Can run longer with higher clockspeed
- Higher clockspeed
- Intel Iris graphics (possible)
- Heavier (due to heat sink)
- Fan noise
- Runs hotter
- Less battery life
For above reasons the Team Eve feels core M will deliver the best experience.
Which one do you think is better for the Pyramid Flipper?
- 67% Core M3 / M5 / M7
- 33% Core i3 / i5 / i7
Share your opinions and use cases!