This article on When to use Web Workers had this good chart that shows that smartphone CPUs aren’t hitting a performance wall in the same way that PC CPUs did in 2005.
Kudos to Samuel Axon of Ars Technica for writing a very good tech review of the hardware behind Apple’s new iPad Pro (2018). As I was reading it, it reminded me of the old style of solid writing that I used to get when I bought print copies of magazines.
One of the nuggets of the article is shown in the image I’ve attached here, where you can see that the 2018 iPad Pro is faster than every MacBook Pro in existence other than its 2018 model, at least in terms of the Geekbench multi-core performance tests. If you dig through the images in the article you’ll see that the story isn’t quite as powerful in the single-core benchmark, where the iPad Pro lags the 2018 MacBook Pro by up to 16%. But in those tests the iPad Pro is roughly the equivalent of a 2018 Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 model. (The older Macs use Intel Core i7 and Xeon W processors, and the Dell model uses an Intel Core i7. The 2018 MacBook Pro uses an Intel Core i9.)
These numbers — comparing a tablet to i7 and i9 processors — make one think that Apple will be using their own chips inside Mac computer systems some time soon.
If you’re interested in computer system performance, ExtremeTech has an article titled, CPU utilization is wrong on PCs, and it’s getting worse every year. The original article was written on the same topic by Brendan Gregg in 2017, but the problem has been made worse by the Spectre and Meltdown patches.
I’m not sure why, but on April 3, 2018, the people behind the Mollom anti-spam module for Drupal basically went out of business. This meant that I either had to disable comments on this site (which I did for a while), or look at other anti-spam modules, which I did over the weekend.
Here’s a detailed talk on A brief history branch prediction in CPUs.
Following a few other articles I’ve read recently about the “AI chip market,” techcrunch has an article, The AI chip startup explosion is already here.
AndroidAuthority.com has a good, detailed article titled, How Google is powering the world’s AI.
For the last few years, Intel CPUs have included a copy of the MINIX operating system way down in “Ring -3,” which apparently has support for networking and a web server. ZDnet has one of the more detailed stories about "MINIX Inside.”
With Twitter being Twitter, I saw this image there, and now I can’t find it again. But it shows that the new iPhone 8 is significantly faster at rendering a cnn.com page.
Actually, since I can’t find the original source, I don’t know if they both rendered mobile web pages, or whether they tried several times to make sure it wasn’t just a hiccup. But seeing that the architecture in a little phone can come anywhere near the performance of a desktop/laptop processor that’s still being sold makes one wonder about the future.
Update: I think this was the original source of the image.