Toshiba Cell-based GPU trounces quad-core CPU
SpursEngine 1, Intel Core 2 Quad 0
Graphics chip buffs sceptical about Toshiba's attempt to muscle in on the market with its Cell-derived SpursEngine chip may need think again: the chip last week heartily thrashed an Intel 3GHz Core 2 Quad.
The head-to-head was hosted by Corel, TGDaily reports, which had Toshiba's SE1000 and the general-purpose processor both transcoding 1080p H.264 video into a 480p video.
Corel was using the SpursEngine reference design Toshiba announced back in April when it began releasing samples of the SE1000.
Toshiba has already said it plans to equip its laptops with SE1000 chips by the end of the year.
The SE1000 contains four of Cell's SPE cores and 256KB of memory per core. Toshiba's reference PCI Express x1 card has one SE1000 and 12MB of XDR memory. The GPU is clocked at 1.5GHz - half that of the Core 2 Quad.
Toshiba's SpursEngine SE1000 reference board
How did they both perform. We don't have specific numbers, but the SE1000 encoded the file in half the time it took the 3GHz quad-core processor. Not bad, we'd say.
It's also not known whether the Core 2 Quad machine had an alternative GPU installed and was using it to accelerate the transcoding app. We suspect not, and it would be interesting to see what difference using an Nvidia or AMD GPU to handle the transcoding would make.
Certainly, that's the kind of application the two chip makers' have in mind for their attempts to leverage their GPUs' parallel processing qualities for non-graphical apps.
What were they using to encode?
was it vista and nero or an actual quick encoder like mencoder/transcode in linux?
Why not test it against an Nvidia tesla card?
Apples != Offal
This is like trying to compare the taste of a juicy sweet apple to the taste of some animal's innards.
It'd be interesting to see the performance of the Cell chip emulating an x86 processor running Windows/Linux/MacOS.
It may have done a half-decent job of encoding video, but it'd have been more meaningful to compare the performance of Toshiba's Cell chip to the latest from nVidia or AMD/ATI.
Paris because she too is difficult to compare to a human female!
Was the Toshiba running a encoder that was written from scratch specifically for its chips? (almost would have to be)
And was the Intel Quad core running a generic X86 architecture encoder on vista or was it some optimized code written by Intel?
Because if it was optimized code vs unoptimized code of course the Toshiba would win just like the old optimized Intel, and AMD Divx codec would beat the pants off the generic X86 Dixv codec that was available at the time.
So in summary...
A Cell-based CPU, with less than half the clock speed, and half the number of SPU cores, as the PS3's Cell chip, whipped a quad-core based PC...
Paris, because she likes quickies.