Intel Clover Trail Atom Z2760 Tablet Performance Preview - HotHardware

Intel Clover Trail Atom Z2760 Tablet Performance Preview

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To test Clover Trail's video decode performance we chose two rather strenuous 1080p HD video file formats to play back on the Windows 8 desktop.  Our first video file of choice was a 1080p AVCHD video file shot from a Canon Vixia HD camcorder.


1080p AVCHD Video Playback CPU Utilization - Intel Atom Z2760

Here we can see that Clover Trail is barely breaking a sweat, playing back HD video with only about 25% CPU utilization.  Next we chose to fire up a 1080p HD Youtube video streamed over our WiFi network.


1080p Youtube Video Playback CPU Utilization - Clover Trail Atom Z2760

In this test configuration we're looking at CPU utilization on the Atom Z2760 SoC as it not only decodes 1080p HD Flash video from Youtube but also as the 802.11n WiFi network adapter in the tablet is being exercised as well.  Here we see a bit more workload on the system with about 50% of the CPU resources consumed.  Under this condition the Samsung ATIV was still able to easily switch back and forth between the Windows 8 desktop and the Metro start screen, as well as open other applications like weather and Bing news, without skipping a beat.  As an aside, the ASUS Vivo Tab RT with its Tegra 3 chip at the helm, clocked in at 1.2GHz with the same video stream and showed ~ 60% CPU utilization.

We're just getting warmed up with testing Intel's new Clover Trail Atom Z2760 SoC, Windows 8 and the new Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T tablet.  Over the next few days we'll be delving into our full review and showcase of the Samsung product and will look further into other performance characteristics of Intel's new tablet platform.  For now, Clover Trail is impressive enough, in terms of general use performance, easily on par with what we've seen from Window RT devices driven by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC.  And that performance comes with the obvious added benefit of full X86 compatibility as well.

Under certain test conditions, Clover Trail looks powerful but we need to spend a bit more time looking at graphics performance.  The chip's on-board PoweVR SGX 545 GPU offers an interesting data point versus integrated graphics cores in both ARM-based architectures, as well as ultra low power integrated CPU/APU architectures.  Where Clover Trail continues to feel a little pokey is with respect to memory bandwidth, though in practice and during regular use, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T was snappy, responsive and capable of anything you'd throw at it for a tablet usage model.  Stay tuned as we hope to offer more insight into Clover Trail performance and take a look at battery life, in our full review, very soon.

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Good preview, only one slightly misleading inference... The Medfield Z2460 uses the much older PowerVR SGX540, while the SGX545 is the same as used by Cedar Trail ATOM series for the GMA 3600 (400MHz) / 3650 (640MHz).

While the dual core Medfield coming out early next year, Z2580, is suppose to be using the SGX544MP2...

Driver support is still limited to 32bit and like the previous Cedar Trail systems it may not yet be fully optimized. For example, Cedar Trail only allowed DX 9.0c despite the rating for 10.1... So Clover Trail may be similarly limited for now...

Unlike Cedar Trail though, Intel supposedly includes both the hardware decoder and encoder for the GMA. For Cedar Trail they only included the decoder and up till now only Medfield had both. So there may be some potential for hardware accelerated video encoding for Clover Trail.

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JD, I was speaking more with respect to the lineage of Medfield and Clover Trail and the platforms they're targeted to. Not sure where I spoke to the graphics cores in each but I'm happy to adjust if something is unclear.

I do need to push Intel on what their graphics engine is capable of in terms of actual DX functionality.  So far I haven't been able to demonstrate anything in DX10.

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Yeah, unless they can get the drivers better developed it's likely DX10.1 won't be a option for Clover Trail, anymore than it was for Cedar Trail and we'll only have 9.0c functionality (hopefully less buggy than it was on Cedar Trail)...

As to the adjustment... Quote, "Also, recall that Intel licensed a PowerVR SGX545 graphics core in Clover Trail as they did with Medfield for smartphones,"

The wording suggests the same GPU was licensed, you could either remove the SGX545 reference and leave PowerVR graphics core for a generic reference or add that the Medfield uses a similar SGX540 to not confuse anyone referencing the article for specs.

Also for the other part of the same paragraph...

"The SGX545 is one of the fastest integrated graphics cores on the market currently for tablets and smartphones, though it's out-classed by the SGX544 in Apple's A6X SoC and the newest iPad. "

It would be nice to make that a little clearer and point out that the one Apple is using is multiple GPU variant as the SGX544, like the SGX543 before it, is scalable up to quad and that's why it's more powerful.

While the SGX545 is single GPU only, but Intel clocked it much faster. So should get at least as much performance as the dual SGX543MP2 (200MHz) that the iPad 2 used, if not slightly better as it's clocked over twice as fast at 533MHz... Considering the SGX545 is suppose to be a little more powerful than the SGX543/SGX544 one to one and Imagination claims their PowerVR GPU's scale pretty well in both multiple arrangements and clock speed, and the benchmarks seems to bear that out so far.

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so wheres part two that was meant to be a few days away....

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quick correction on "The Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T is a rather large, 10.1-inch tablet with a 16:9 aspect ratio"  Its a 11.6-inch screen. See specs here

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Arggh, corrected. Thanks!

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I'm just praying that a Win 8 pro tablet with at least Core i3 class performance is available for under $800. If I'm lucky there will be like 1 model that meets that price-point and it will have a lot of drawbacks

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Hey guys. I'm hoping I can pick your brains on this one. I am in the process of acquiring tablets with Intel chipset for our executives and our business requires AutoCAD and Revit3D. Although they would not be using the full version and most likely be using the viewer, is it feasible for a light user to be able to use the latest Atom based processor? Other than viewing drafts, it would simply be basic administrative work. I'm curious as to how the latest Atom processor is compared to Core i3 performance. The Intel tablets by Samsung is nice, especially the Pro version. However, it weighs almost 2 lbs. Any help is appreciated.

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The ATOM is still multiple times less powerful than the lowest end Core i3, though that may change next year with the 22nm update but for now don't expect too much.

The ATOM architecture hasn't changed much since it was first introduced about 5 years ago. Clover Trail is mainly just the best optimized version to date and it won't be till next year before they finally provide a major architectural update with the 22nm Valley View update.

So, If you want to run the desktop Autocad then you'll need something a bit more powerful than a ATOM offers right now. Though right now Windows 8 isn't yet supported, people are reporting crashes whenever trying to run any of Autocad's software on Windows 8. While of course there is no version that will yet run on RT.

Meaning, you'll have to wait till they update support or come out with a new version.

For basic usage though you can consider Autocad WS, a cloud-based CAD editor from Autodesk. It's already available for iOS and Android, as well as a web app version for your browser. The later version being what you can probably use now, as long as you have a compatible browser and it works with Google Docs.

https://www.autocadws.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/AutoCADWS

http://designandmotion.net/autodesk/collaboration-autocad-ws-design-review/

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Hi JDiaz,

I really appreciate the clarification on this.  I assume the late Atom processor performance would be similar to what the Surface RT handles the ARMs processor?  It's a bit sluggish at times actually.

I am running Windows 8 Pro on my Intel Core i7 2nd Gen of my ThinkPad x220 Tablet.  Even this is a bit sluggish at times for some reason.  Perhaps I need to wait for the new drivers and BIOS optimized to work with Windows 8.

AutoCAD WS forum responded that they are not going to product a version for Windows 8 App anytime soon.  So I guess we are left without any options other than web and I personally is not a fan of the web apps since at times connectivity is difficult for people who travels frequently.

Thanks for all your help on this.

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