more on ARM vs Intel


First, read Paul’s “This is When Windows 10 on ARM Will Finally Make Sense” if you haven’t already. Qualcomm’s 2019 offerings will be significantly and noticeably better than Intel’s, particularly in tablets. I will be shocked if the Surface Go 2 doesn’t use a Qualcomm chip. Here’s why: Intels 10nm situation isn’t the only thing hurting it. Because of the way Intel works, they can’t move to their next microarchitecture (Ice Lake) without 10nm, so we are stuck with the now vintage Skylake microarchitecture (they just keep renaming it every year, kaby lake, coffee lake, whiskey lake etc.). That’s a double whammy. And to make matters even worse, this platform doesn’t support modern LPDDR4 RAM, which is very important in mobile devices. 

So next year, the Surface team will have a choice between the successor to the Pentium Gold, which will not be significantly or noticeably better in any way (I’m not even sure Intel is making a successor to the Pentium Gold!) or an upclocked Snapdragon 855, which will be made on TSMC’s 7nm process (which is significantly better than Intel’s 14nm++ process in power efficiency and heat output). Also, the Snapdragon 855 will use “LPDDR4x” RAM, which is even more power efficient than LPDDR4 RAM. The difference between the Snapdragon 855 platform and Pentium Gold will be almost shocking. I hope Intel can get 10nm figured out ASAP but we’ll just have to see…

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