How fast are mobile CPUs these days? Well, they are pretty fast processors.
While some still consider that x86 is ten times faster than ARM, that is just not the case anymore these days, the difference is much smaller, and closer to just two times if you compare a regular smartphone to a regular laptop/desktop.
|Benchmark||ARM Samsung 550 Chromebook||x86 Pixel Chromebook||How much faster?|
If you want x86 to pull further ahead, you need to use the power-hungry Core i7, but the performance ratio still will not be ten times. On the other hand, the power consumption ratio might be closer to 100 times: a high-end Core i7 has a TDP up to 130W and really needs it, while the quad-core Krait draws around 1-2 W under load for a 4W TDP.
CPU floating-point performance
I picked another computing benchmark, SuperPI. This is a single-threaded benchmark, but it has historical results available from long ago. I’ve summarized a few scores:
- Modern Core i7/i5 at full power : around 7-10 seconds
- Nexus 4 (ARM, Krait) : 17 seconds
- 3 years ago, (AMD Phenom II) : 21 seconds
- 10 years ago, Pentium 4 @ 2.4 GHz : around 50 seconds
- 15 years ago, Pentium II @ 266 MHz : around 450 seconds
Also keep in mind that quad-core is commonplace these days, five years ago, dual-core was the standard, ten years ago, it was single core everywhere but in very expensive servers. So there is an extra 4x ratio between old CPUs and modern ones.