Monday, June 21, 2010

Ruminations on various benchmarks for the OMAP 3600s, Hummingbird, and Snapdragon.

EDIT 7/17/2010 - The benchmarks have been explained for the most part, see my post "Android phones benchmarked; it's official, the Galaxy S is the fastest." Or, feel free to read on, but I was probably wrong. :)

I've been thinking about some of the performance benchmarks I've been seeing on AndroidAndMe.

CPU performance from the new TI OMAP 3630 3640 (yes, they're wrong again, its 3640 for the 1 GHz SoC, 3630 is the 720 MHz one (TI disagrees) is surprisingly good on Quadrant, the benchmarking tool that Taylor is using. In fact, as you can see from the Shadow benchmarks in the first article, it is shown outperforming the Galaxy S, which initially led me to believe that it was running Android 2.2 (which you may know can easily triple CPU performance). However, I've been assured that this is not the case, and the 3rd article seems to indicate as such, given that those benchmarks were obtained using a Droid 2 running 2.1.

Now, the OMAP 3600 series is simply a 45 nm version of the 3400 series we see in the original Droid, upclocked accordingly due to the reduced heat and improved efficiency of the smaller feature size.

If you need convincing, see TI's own documentation:

So essentially the OMAP 3640 3630 is the same CPU as what is contained in the original Droid but clocked up to 1 GHz. Why then is it benchmarking nearly twice as fast clock-for-clock (resulting in a nearly 4x improvement), even when still running 2.1? My guess is that the answer lies in memory bandwidth, and that evidence exists within some of the results from the graphics benchmarks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

1337 h4x in Ubuntu... I think?

So I've decided to play around with Linux some more. I've got an Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope dual boot on my retired desktop (retired since it doesn't handle a cable attack by a 2-year-old very well) but my laptop has just been running Windows 7.

Well I got bored the other day and decided to tinker around with it some more. Downloaded Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx yesterday and got it set up. Since I'm just tinkering, I went with the somewhat lame-o "installed within Windows" Wubi install. I'm not really looking for max performance, and I really didn't feel like repartitioning my hard drive, so give me a break. :-p

Once it was done installing, I rebooted, and selected the Ubuntu boot. One thing that always bugs me is that if you do the Wubi install, you have to go through 2 bootloaders, Windows and GRUB. I might just axe one of them later today. One thing that has always impressed me about Ubuntu is it's capability to run well "out of the box". Sure enough, everything was functioning great; I had my Google Talk and Gmail all configured and was connected to the wireless in minutes. I downloaded Chrome and began surfing the web, installing Adobe Flash 10.1 on the way.

Then I noticed one little problem; tap-to-click on my touchpad was enabled. Now, I understand a lot of people like this feature. I hate it. My hand rests on the touchpad in such a way that my thumb rests on the left mouse button. It doesn't take any more effort for me to click with my thumb, and sometimes I quickly touch the trackpad to move my cursor short distances, which often gets registered as a tap. Either way, I can't stand it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Samsung Galaxy S Pro exists; fulfills my every desire.

You may have read my article, "Hummingbird vs. Snapdragon: The 1 GHz Smartphone Showdown". I definitely favored the Samsung Galaxy S in my performance review, but personally, the lack of an LED flash has been a detractor for me.

I've also preferred a hardware keyboard, and my understanding was that this was something I'd have to give up for my new smartphone. I'd dismissed rumors of the Samsung Galaxy S Pro, as there was no visual proof and it seemed far-fetched.

But the Samsung Galaxy S Pro has been outed as a reality, and the idea of getting a Galaxy S with a keyboard has been an exciting possibility, however the recent info on the Droid X has been enough to make me ponder my other smartphone options, as it sports a 4.3 inch display and supposedly a 45 nm 1 GHz TI OMAP 3640 SoC (no, not a 3630, Engadget got it wrong, that's the 720 MHz version).

Two game-changers have been dropped on me to make me change my mind, and both hit me with 1 spy shot of the new Galaxy S Pro.
And here are some other shots of the front:
The very first thing I noticed is an LED flash. Awesome! Now no more worries about taking pictures in low light. But what's that above, next to the Sprint logo... 4G?! Sweet! Wait... doesn't Sprint have a tiny 4G network? Yes. But wait... my home city of Rochester is on Sprint's 4G launch list for July?!

... Yeah, I know what my next phone is going to be. This thing is the dream device I've been waiting for since last year. Amazing processor and graphics hardware, 4 inch Super-AMOLED display, 5 MP camera with flash, front-facing camera, slide-out physical keyboard, and 4G connection (with 4G available!)

Knowing my luck, something even more amazing will show up a week before it launches... no, let's not even imagine that!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Preferred Mobile Device Operating System Poll Closed

Wow, interesting results. I think we can safely say that this poll is more representative of the type of traffic my blog gets; which is primarily Android OS users.

I think most of you are still coming here to see my Hummingbird vs Snapdragon article, (though I mostly link people directly to the article now).

Anyhow, it's below for your review. I'll try to think up another poll and get it up soon.

Thanks for voting!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

City of Chicago Service Desk...

So, as it turns out, at my new job, I'll be providing Tier 1 IT support for all City of Chicago municipal employees.

This includes but isn't limited to the Police Dept, Fire Dept, Health Dept, Aviation Dept, Water Dept, DOT, Sanitation, Parks District, and Delegate Agencies. Basically, if you work for the City of Chicago and you have an IT problem, my team and I are the ones you call first.