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  #46  
Old 05-08-2010, 04:49 PM
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I guess I shouldn't have made such a throw away comment about CPU / GPU on web browsing, without explaining a bit further.

As has been said there multiple factors involved in determining speed. There's also some good comments of this article (on browser speed).

The above test were done on a WiFi connection and goes to show how a simple CPU / RAM interpretation will get you nowhere.

Browser speed can apply to more than one thing. At its simplest its about how long it takes a page to appear. However in real world usage that's not the only factor. Speed moving around the screen, speed of the UI, responsiveness, stability etc.

Compared to the N97 one the big differences in the N8 will come from the GPU. This is partly to do with the Symbian^3 NGA too of course. My understanding is that this will have benefits in both the general UI, as has been mentioned (the oft quoted 3x improvement in speed), and in screen rendering in general.

In practise I would still expect data speed to the limiting factor most of the time.

In terms of way the N8 will be better than previous Nokia devices (e.g. N97) for browsing.

- Symbian^3 - NGA and new networking architecture.

- GPU - important more because of its absence previously, but also has bigger -than-you-might-expect impact because of NGA.

- Capacitive screen - better for moving round the page (in my opinion on the relatively few areas where capacitive has a clear advantage).

- CPU and RAM - but in most cases this is not a limiting factor.

All of these factors will likely be over shadowed by the new browser (i.e. it will offer the biggest performance improvements).
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  #47  
Old 05-08-2010, 06:51 PM
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I have to agree on Will81 what he said when Rafe made this statement "The CPU isn't that big an issue when browsing actually, but the graphics co-processor will make a difference."

Rafe. I don't know about you but that article doesn't tell us anything anymore. Then were all phones with ARM11s from the 300 to 500mhz range where the fast cpu isn't 100% faster than the slowest.

Its different now. Snapdragons, A4s, Hummingbirds all have A8s that several times faster than the N8's ARM11. If you're so about rendering limit, why don't you do an updated test comparing Nexus One android 2.2, Galaxy S android 2.1, Iphone 4 with N8s. But I think we all know the answer anyway.

New browser. Android, iOS4, Rim all use Webkit powered webbrowsers but Nokia is always behind the others in using the most update to date branches and same with javascript engine.

And that list of improvements the N8 has over the N97? Well thats all it is. Improvements over the N97. Something it didn't have while others already had.

  #48  
Old 05-08-2010, 07:29 PM
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N900

looking forward to this on my N900. love this phone

  #49  
Old 05-08-2010, 09:16 PM
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Nokia haven't even given N900 voice navigation.

  #50  
Old 05-08-2010, 09:43 PM
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We'll probably do an update on the browser etc once the N8's out. I pointed to that article as its a good a illustration as any that there's not the direct correlation between browser speed and resources that people seem to think there is. It much more about the software... relatively speaking basic browsing is not that intensive (obviously there are exceptions like Flash video playback in a browser).

Clearly there is some impact, but, in general, other factors are far more important, even when do lab tests. Even more so when doing real world tests (which after all are what really counts). I'd also point out that, as we said before on this site, even looking at pure processors speed / families is a misleading.

People are equating the N8 architecture with the older generation of the ARM 11 chips... clearly they are in the same family, but they do not have the same capabilities. There's a good reason the N8 can encode / decode HD video - something the earlier phones can't do. The N8's overall processor architecture is significantly more powerful than the previous generation of Nokia devices (N97, 5800, E72 etc etc). And I mean more powerful in terms of creating a better user experience, rather than just stats and benchmarks.

And yes I was just listing the improvements - trying to clarify what I said originally, which seems to have sparked some debate.

Ultimately though I'm not sure how much this matters. It an interesting technical debate, but what matters is what it like to use. How the average user gets on with it. That remains to be seen.
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  #51  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:53 AM
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My god.

The ARM11 has almost nothing to do with video encoding/decoding nowadays. Its the specialize blocks that handle it and from that point yes the N8/N900 more capable HD blocks has that all other Nokias don't. (you'll have to ask Nokia why they choose not to utilize the HD ready block on N900)

But an ARM11 on the N8 is still basically the same as an ARM11 in N97/N95/...

Not looking pure processing speed is also misleading. Webpage decoding/basic rendering is probably the most CPU intensive task on phone nowadays and nothing will make an lower clocked ARM11 render near the speed of higher clocked A8s especially when Nokia continues to use the older Webkit versions.

As Will81 pointed out earlier http://www.anandtech.com/show/2798/6 Anandtech already did webpage speed tests on wifi and utms between the iphone 3G and 3GS. If you compare those results with the ones you did on AAS which also has a iphone 3G, you can clearly see how much difference extra resources make.

Your AAS article(after you filter out the phones with old webkit versions, different resolutions), the difference isn't that big because those CPUs are just too close in performance. But when you compare it to something that is several times faster then of course you can see. The iphone 3G and 3GS use the same software/resolution, it must be due to mostly CPU/RAM.
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  #52  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:54 AM
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Ok, then. Can you then explain why there are several examples of the ARM11 based N97 (non-accelerated) loading web-pages faster than the ARM11 based accelerated iPhone 3G?
In what way is it "accelerated"? The GPU? The GPU does not impact the website loading/rendering speeds.

How variable are these load times? Are we talking a few percentage difference or the huge 100%+ difference between the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

Can you please show me the tests?

Quote:
I live in and around a major UK city. And I get good 3G coverage, though not 3.5G. Downloads average around 100kb/s on a good day.At busy times, or when travelling more than 10 miles from the city centre, I'm often staring at EDGE if I'm lucky.
3GPP Rel 99? Really? Is your carrier still in the dark ages? It is called Release 99 for a reason... it was meant for the last century!

If you don't mind me asking, which city? If you're not comfortable answering that, at least give us an indication of how big population wise. What network are you on? O2? Three?

I find it unusual that a large UK city does not have decent HSPA coverage. While I was travelling around the UK for work (and fun), I certainly did not run into any problems accessing the net using my prepaid Vodafone SIM in major centres (London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh, etc).

The only times I remember having problems accessing the net (via 3G) is in regional towns or on the highways between towns. Actually I don't even remember running into any problems while I had a long stay in Harrogate which certainly isn't a big town.

Quote:
Stuck in Somerset at my parents house (only 5 miles from a major town, no hills in the way), I get three bars of GSM and GPRS only for data. What use a 1GHz processor then???
The 1 GHz processor will allow you to use far richer applications *cough* games *cough* to pass your time because you don't have decent access to the net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
I guess I shouldn't have made such a throw away comment about CPU / GPU on web browsing, without explaining a bit further.

As has been said there multiple factors involved in determining speed. There's also some good comments of this article (on browser speed).

The above test were done on a WiFi connection and goes to show how a simple CPU / RAM interpretation will get you nowhere.
The comparison made in that article has so many uncontrolled variables (and not to mention that they're all ARM11 SoCs) it doesn't tell you much. You have different OS builds, different browser, and even different screen resolutions.

The beauty about the iPhone 3G vs iPhone 3GS comparison is that the only difference is the SoC, a 400MHz ARM11 vs a 600 MHz Cortex-A8. They are both running the same build of iOS 3.0 and the same Mobile Safari 3.0 browser.

Quote:
Browser speed can apply to more than one thing. At its simplest its about how long it takes a page to appear. However in real world usage that's not the only factor. Speed moving around the screen, speed of the UI, responsiveness, stability etc.
I don't dispute that and yes I think UI responsiveness (zooming, scrolling) is important but I think loading/rendering speeds is just as important, especially if you're constantly browsing complex sites like Engadget.

Quote:
In practise I would still expect data speed to the limiting factor most of the time.
I think we'll have to agree to disagree here then. We'll just have to wait for Nokia to release a Symbian^3 device with a Cortex-A8 SoC. The comparison won't be as good as the iPhone 3G vs 3GS comparison (as they'll probably be running different OS and browser builds) but I bet that browsing speeds will get a significant boost nonetheless.

Quote:
In terms of way the N8 will be better than previous Nokia devices (e.g. N97) for browsing.
- Symbian^3 - NGA and new networking architecture.
- GPU - important more because of its absence previously.
- Capacitive screen - better for moving round the page (in my opinion on the relatively few areas where capacitive has a clear advantage).
These 3 points will improve the useability of the browser after the page has loaded. Unless the network stack on Symbian^1 is horrendously broken, I wouldn't expect this to make a difference to browsing speeds.

Quote:
- CPU and RAM - but in most cases this is not a limiting factor.
Going from a 400 MHz ARM11 to a 600 MHz ARM11 is definitely going to make a difference.

Quote:
All of these factors will likely be over shadowed by the new browser (i.e. it will offer the biggest performance improvements).
The new HTML and Javascript rendering engine should improve speeds but isolating how much each factor makes to the browsing speed will be impossible.

Quote:
People are equating the N8 architecture with the older generation of the ARM 11 chips... clearly they are in the same family, but they do not have the same capabilities. There's a good reason the N8 can encode / decode HD video - something the earlier phones can't do. The N8's processor is significantly more powerful than the previous generation of Nokia devices (N97, 5800, E72 etc etc).
The N8 may have upgraded co-processors to do video HD encoding/decoding but the general purpose CPU, the unit responsible for doing webpage rendering is still the same ARM11 CPU in the N97. The clock speed is faster but architecturally, the general purpose CPUs are identical.

If browsing websites on a PC is slow, you don't upgrade to GPU to speed things up. You upgrade the CPU.

  #53  
Old 06-08-2010, 01:17 AM
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"Ok, then. Can you then explain why there are several examples of the ARM11 based N97 (non-accelerated) loading web-pages faster than the ARM11 based accelerated iPhone 3G? "

Sandbox.

  #54  
Old 06-08-2010, 09:40 AM
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I for one welcome a head-to-head with N8 vs. Nexus One in various performance categories.

Judging from the OpenGL tests, the Nexus One gets quite a severe beating from the N8!

Look here:

http://www.glbenchmark.com/compare.j...%20Nexus%20One


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post

Its different now. Snapdragons, A4s, Hummingbirds all have A8s that several times faster than the N8's ARM11. If you're so about rendering limit, why don't you do an updated test comparing Nexus One android 2.2, Galaxy S android 2.1, Iphone 4 with N8s. But I think we all know the answer anyway.

New browser. Android, iOS4, Rim all use Webkit powered webbrowsers but Nokia is always behind the others in using the most update to date branches and same with javascript engine.

And that list of improvements the N8 has over the N97? Well thats all it is. Improvements over the N97. Something it didn't have while others already had.

  #55  
Old 06-08-2010, 10:48 AM
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Some great comments coming in here.

I have used Symbian devices with the A8 cores (e.g. Samsung i8910, recent Sony Ericssons) and the browsing speed is a bit faster (maybe 10% - would have to test more formally) on these, but not dramatically so. To be fair I think some of this may be down to the older browser version (though that itself rather illustrates the point about software being a factor)...

I do think the iPhone test is a good bit of data, but it can only tell you about the iPhone. You can't read a general pattern into that really - not on a statistically rigorous basis anyway. There may be other reasons - for example it might be that the iPhone is less efficient in terms of OS and software and therefore the increase in processor speed has a bigger impact (I doubt that is the reason personally, but it may be a factor).

I think some of the difference in opinion here is coming from a theoretical debate on performance. Perhaps what matters most is real world usage - this includes things like performance, ease of use, in addition to performance - and here I think we can all agree there's no single over riding factor.

Indeed that applies in general the interaction between the various element (software, hardware, connection, context) make it quite difficult to identify bottlenecks and the importance of each factor. Context in particular is interesting because its not just connection speeds, but also what you're browsing.

Anyway roll on the N8 - we'll do some performance stuff as an when.
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  #56  
Old 06-08-2010, 11:52 AM
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Thats an easy one. The snapdragon's gpu isn't that fast.

  #57  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:12 PM
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acrimony Sufi,

You do not say.

For a 1 GHz CPU/GPU chipset, it is abysmal!

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Thats an easy one. The snapdragon's gpu isn't that fast.

  #58  
Old 06-08-2010, 04:39 PM
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I think you clearly don't understand the Snapdragon is a System on a Chip with lots of blocks in there. The Snapdragon pairs a very fast 1ghz A8 based CPU with the GPU is not so fast.

On the net you can find videos of the Samsung Galaxy S (also with a 1ghz A8 basec CPU) vs a Snapdragon Nexus One/HTC Desire and the Galaxy S runs circles around it 3D frame rate wise because Samsung uses their own custom SOC and put the fastest shipping GPU core in there along with a fast CPU. The N8's CPU and GPU is nothing special compared Samsung's own SOC though matches the Snapdragon's slow 3D core performance.

And really Ralf isn't helping either.

A GPU really isn't going to help webpages render faster. Can it draw accelerate 2D text rendering, some lines or cache bitmaps? Yep. But the GPU draws what its asked to do and right now the CPU is the bottleneck decoding webpages and running javascript.

  #59  
Old 06-08-2010, 05:10 PM
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I just thought of a perfect example for those that still don't get it.

The N93/N93i/N95/N82/E90 had a GPU compared N96/N85/N86/N97/etc which don't.

So did the former render webpages faster because of it? Nope. It didn't even have ScreenPlay for basic 2D acceleration.

And please people, we don't even have full hardware rendering webpages on desktop computers though it is coming on ie9 and future browsers.

  #60  
Old 06-08-2010, 09:16 PM
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Some comments here are astonishing.
I agree that getting fired up on megahertzs and judging device based on that is unreasonable.
But Nokia seems to have a sort of tradtion in making underpowered smartphones. I prefer to stay on the cautious side and not make any excuses for Nokias potentially problem-generating design decisions.
And making an excuse that 1GHz CPU is useless because you don't use it's power when out of 3G range is just shocking. Why make a device that, compared to the competition, is limited by design? Remember that N8's hardware won't be loaded only by rendering a single webpage. What about tabbed browsing? Widget's? And task switching? Mind you - Symbian is a multitasking OS. So you'll possibly have something running in the background (that is if N8 will be powerful enough to actually make multitaskig viable) And as Will noticed, what about gaming?
I'd like to be proven wrong but Nokia seems to play it (too?) safe again.

One more thing. It seems a lot of people here have "a few seconds" here and there to spare. That's fine but wasteful by my standards. I don't want to waste time, waiting for a device that is supposed to make my life easier and actually save my time. Miliseconds add up to seconds, seconds to minutes and so on.
I ride a bike a lot. And there are a lot of situations few seconds is all I have to check an e-mail or a messege that just came in and react to it, change a playlist or post some "brilliant" thought that popped to my head on facebook when waiting for the traffic lights to change from red to green. This is how I want to use my device. I don't want to plan in advance: "Okay, so if tap this e-mail now and put my phone to my pocket it will be ready for me to read on the next crossing" - that is if I'll not forget to confirm a connection to the Internet...
If you are willing to take more time to complete every task - fine. But from my point of view you are just making another excuse for Nokia. Besting N97's performance is not a great feat. Nokia is racing against iPhones and Androids.
Having faster CPU is not a universal solution to Symbian's problems but having a lot of power is better than having just enough.
 

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