A little fun with linpack

It’s a bench mark thingy for Android. Basically you push the single threaded or multi threaded button and it gives you Mega FLOP’age for solving some equations.

Running at a fairly idle load for just sitting at the end of my desk, my phone scored about 3 and 3 1/2 MFLOPs. Nice little Optimus T, and a device I know doesn’t have a lot of processing power in general. In fact, it only has like a 600Mhz CPU.

Now, Andrea on the other hand is running a full load: instant messenger client, client for our internal IM system, web browser, Samba, terminal environment (btep, openssh server, several bash, several openssh client connections, and a long running vim instance). Plus whatever is in the background, WiFi and syncs are on—plus TexTab is linked to my phone over Bluetooth. In short, it’s pretty much at a typical load for me. The results were about 30 and 50 MFOPS.

I really would be curious to take a freshly setup and stripped Transformer, and see how high that might go. AFAIK the best super computers top out near 10 Peta FLOPS and the most powerful x86 chips around 100 Giga FLOPS, and top notch graphics cards blow that away. I’m not sure I want to know what the various x86 chips I have laying around, but ~50 Mega FLOPS sounds good to me lol. Most stuff I saw on linpacks website seemed to range from 25 to 100, and often big gaps, e.g. while some people might rack up 80~100 MFLOPS most would get 60~65 MFLOPS.

What really impresses me though, is the “Experience” offered, I could care less about Floating Point Operations per Second but quite a lot about being able to *use* my system while under load. For years, Firefox+Flash was enough to almost overheat my laptop (and nearly did on several occasions, just with Firefox!), throwing on a compile would generally make me worry about my laptop halting and catching fire. Andrea on the otherhand, has been managing the same task set without even blinking an eye.

I can surf, chat, stream music, code, and compile without blinking an eye.

What somewhat irks me, whatever this Android tablet/netbook is doing in it’s architecture and with this ARMv7. It puts to shame any x86 system I have used….except for the development server at work, and that has  multiple multi-core Xeon processors and a shit load more of memory lol.

I really would love to try an ARM powered system in a desktop config. Maybe run Linux or OpenBSD, and try for something like the next gen processor cores and as much RAM as she will stuff. Hehe. Andrea is powered by a Tegera 2, so that’s basically a 1Ghz dual cored ARMv7, sans NEON, if I remember correctly.