ARM Cortex-A9 PandaBoard ES Benchmarks
Phoronix: ARM Cortex-A9 PandaBoard ES Benchmarks
The performance of the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 OMAP4460 configuration as found on the PandaBoard ES is quite commendable and in this Phoronix review the dual-core 1.2GHz ARM system with PowerVR SGX540 graphics is being compared to several Intel Atom, Pentium M, and Core Duo configurations running Ubuntu Linux throughout. To spice things up, the pre-production OLPC XO-1.75 was also thrown into the testing mix with its single-core ARMv7 800MHz Sheeva processor.
PandaBoard video hardware acceleration
I bought the original PandaBoard with the aim of using it as a HTPC/home entertainment system. Apart from the PowerVR GPU, the Panda also packs hardware video acceleration from TI (called the ducati engine). The Ubuntu 11.10 PPA now has a working set of libraries (libdce etc) and firmware to play HD video. As far as I can tell only gstreamer supports libdce currently, so no ffmpeg based apps will work. Totem works ok with the occasional crash.
Nice little report but needs a few things.
First; because this is ARM it might help to clue us in on the processors structure a little bit. That is what it has execution unit wise. There is so much variability here that one needs to be reminded. In the intel world it is pretty easy to remember that say AVX is on Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer. With ARM it is hard to remember who implemented what.
Second; it would pay to explain your negativity towards the GPU. I can imagine it has to do with its closed nature, but one shouldn't have to guess.
Third; you need to include an AMD solution in the mix. Specifically a Zacate based board. We already know that Core is several times faster, what we need to understand is how processors targeting the same general market fare.
Fourth; with ARM all over the place (compared to ATOM) performance wise it might be interesting to try to determine the impact of compiler performance on the numbers. That is if at all possible build with GCC and CLang. If compiler maturity on ARM is an issue this might highlight where one compiler is weak with respect to the other. Or maybe the ARM architecture just has inherent weaknesses relative to ATOM. Which goes back to detailing exactly what is included on chip with this specific ARM implementation.
In any event keep up the good work. It is actually a bit of a shock that ARM is now delivering this level of performance. With larger caches and 2GHz clocks A9 would likely beat ATOM at far lower powers.