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Intel Atom Z3000 Series Review - Bay Trail and Silvermont Arrive

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors, Mobile
Manufacturer: Intel

Windows 8 Performance - SiSoft Sandra

Performance Evaluation

A couple of days before the start of IDF, Intel invited some of the press to sit down with the new Bay Trail processors in a reference platform (not a retail-ready unit at all) in both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.2 software environments.  While I did not get enough time to fully evaluate the performance of either operating system in the way we would normally strive to reach at PC Perspective, the results we were able to obtain were done without intervention from Intel and without restrictions on allowed benchmarks.

The reference platform was in the form factor of a 10-in tablet with some impressive specifications.  Some items like the camera, speakers and stability still had some room to improve, but the performance and capability the platform showed minimized those problems.  Here is the specification breakdown for the hardware, used for both Windows 8 and Android testing.

  • Intel Atom Z3770 Bay Trail SoC
  • Burst frequency up to 2.4 GHz
  • 2GB DDR3L-1067
  • 2560x1440 display
  • Windows 8.1 OR Android 4.2.2

The 2560x1440 display is going to affect things in interesting ways in some of our testing, particularly with Android.  Some benchmarks run at the native screen resolution only and our other tablets are running near that screen resolution.  We’ll discuss it during our Android results when appropriate.

Windows 8 Performance Results

Using Windows 8 with Bay Trail is a totally different experience than with Clover Trail.  Anyone that has used a tablet with the Atom Z2760 SoC in it will likely remember plenty of slow down and sluggishness in the system while doing some basic tasks like web browsing and interacting with the Windows UI.  That is no longer the case with Bay Trail and the performance claims of Intel from our initial Silvermont dissection look to be spot on.

I was able to run a handful of tests under Windows 8 to compare to other platforms in tablet and notebook form.  From Intel we have Bay Trail, Clover Trail and an Ivy Bridge ULV processor.  From AMD we have the Kabini test platform we reviewed earlier in the year as well as new numbers from a dual-core Temash-based HP TouchSmart notebook. 

  • Intel Clover Trail
    • Lenovo Tablet 2
    • Atom Z2760 dual-core / four threads
    • 2GB DDR3
  • Intel Ivy Bridge
    • Acer Iconia W700
    • Core i5-3317U
    • 4GB DDR3
  • AMD Kabini
    • Kabini Reference
    • A4-5000
    • 4GB DDR3
  • AMD Temash
    • HP TouchSmart 11z
    • A4-1250
    • 4GB DDR3

The Acer Iconia powered by the Ivy Bridge processor is the most expensive platform in our comparison and is also features the highest expected thermal levels.  AMD’s comparison points are the latest APUs from AMD for the low power segments and I was able to run tests on both a quad-core and dual-core version.

We’ll talk more about power later but you should keep in mind some things about the expected thermal levels of these processors.  Intel didn’t want to talk about TDP or SDP with Bay Trail and instead wanted to discuss how much more efficient they are than Clover Trail; which they certainly are.  In truth, the TDP / SDP of Bay Trail looks to be very close to Clover Trail though the new platform will have much higher performance.  A good estimate is that Bay Trail will have a TDP around 2-3 watts depending on implementation.  (We did see the SoC pulling 2.6 watts under a full load of CineBench 11.5 in Windows 8.)

Why bring this up now?  AMD’s Kabini SoC has a TDP of 15 watts and the Temash SoC is around 4 watts.  The Core i5-3317U TDP is 17 watts.  So, Kabini and the Ivy Bridge part share similar TDPs while the Clover Trail, Bay Trail and Temash are in the same ball park (though 4 watts vs 2-3 watts is enough to separate as well).  

Let’s look at some results.

 

SiSoft Sandra 2013

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Our first synthetic test to look at the x86 CPU performance paints a very positive picture of Bay Trail and the Atom Z3770 as it is passes up the AMD Kabini platform running at a significantly higher TDP level.  Without a doubt the performance of Clover Trail and the Temash systems are a big step down and the hope we had of AMD’s A4-1250 being competitive in this low power market is in question. 

The multimedia results are a bit more kind to Kabini, but Bay Trail has a strong result.  The dual-channel DDR3 memory controller on Bay Trail can push nearly 9 GB/s in our testing which is almost 3x as fast as Clover Trail.

September 11, 2013 | 12:15 PM - Posted by brians (not verified)

What is the clock speed of the z3770 you are testing?

How could let Intel not talk about TDP... is it that bad?

September 11, 2013 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It's not great.  The Z3770 bursts up to 2.4 GHz with a base clock of 1.8 GHz.

September 11, 2013 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Timex (not verified)

Given that all the reviewers are benching and testing what is top of the line Atom Z3770 (with dual channel mem and turbo of 2.4Ghz), it is reasonable to expect that the current OEMs using the Clovertrail Z2760 in pricey tablets/hybrids would utilize the new top line Baytrail in similar pricey products?

Another thing to consider is how well or not well Intel has supported the current Atom lineup with buggy crash prone drivers that has ticked off a large number of owners for the past few years.

To top it off, Intel claims that the new Atoms will be found in low priced tablets by the end of the year and if so, those Atoms will be very low spec low clock single channel CPUs.

As you say, the proof of viability of Intel's new Atoms will be in the price of their product pudding.

June 4, 2014 | 11:11 PM - Posted by how to watch the fat loss factor video (not verified)

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September 11, 2013 | 12:38 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

Would be nice to see this on say a low power server system, perfect for File/Media Storage/Streaming as an option to a 35W TDP CPU.

September 11, 2013 | 03:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

maybe get rid of the h.264 encoder/decoder and make the GPU even smaller?

September 11, 2013 | 04:13 PM - Posted by EndTimeKeeper

Poor AMD it looks like they have lost this round already. :( Well if we look at the bright side, it at least appears that their new chips seem to be producing decent performance numbers in graphic intense applications.

September 12, 2013 | 07:42 AM - Posted by WantT100 (not verified)

This is a stunning upgrade from clovertrail .. Intel has finally arrived in this space.

September 12, 2013 | 08:21 AM - Posted by justme (not verified)

interesting to see the higher 3dmark performance on android!?

also, ST performance on cinebench looks equivalent to a A64 3000+ from 2003, but obviously 4x cores and the power efficiency can justify the 10 years difference.

December 8, 2013 | 03:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Considering that this isn't a desktop chip and has much lower power consumption, I think your comparison is a bit ridiculous.

September 12, 2013 | 06:41 PM - Posted by razor512

Is it possible to do a NAS benchmark for the CPU?

I currently use a DIY NAS and it can easily max out a gigabit connection, but it is using a a CPU (AMD APU) that pulls 65 watts. Handling NAS loads and media streaming, and VPN access does not put high load on the CPU.

I don't like premade NAS devices because there are many that cost $1000 with no hard drives and still perform worse than a $550 NAS including 6TB of storage.

It would be awesome if this CPU can work well in a low powered and near silent NAS build

September 12, 2013 | 08:44 PM - Posted by jmasta111 (not verified)

What he said. I am also very interested in the prospect of this technology being used in this way

September 13, 2013 | 07:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What kind of test would you like? How could I get a benchmark that is relavant?

September 13, 2013 | 02:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Isn't the temash HP laptop based on HDD? Did you change the Temash to a SSD to compare against BayTrail?
Also, how about PCMark / Vantage results for comparison?

Thanks.

September 14, 2013 | 08:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

untill i dont know die size of this Atom and its max TDP I cannot apreciate it. Intel avoided to give those numbers, so something is strange.

lets consider that in this moment AMD Jaguar A4-5000 get a die schrink at 22 nm . Then will beat hard the ass of Intel in power, graphics, performance and whatever you want.

September 15, 2013 | 11:37 PM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

Beat Intel?really?better hope Intel doesn't offer this with 3.5 w.if Intel does I'm pretty sure they could up GPU frequency.at 3.5 they would beat and in all but heavy gaming .nobody do hardcore gaming on tablet.

September 17, 2013 | 12:51 AM - Posted by Roman (not verified)

Are your benchmarks using a single core, or all available cores? This is very important, as you directly compare to AMD's competing Temash 1250, which is only a dual core part. You also fail to specify that it's dual core in the spec breakdown, though you give Clovertrail that privelege.

Not getting my tinfoil hat out or anything, and my point is moot if the benchmark only tests a single core, but you should probably highlight (and bold, and underline) core counts as they play a huge role in benchmark results if multithreaded...

September 17, 2013 | 12:53 AM - Posted by Roman (not verified)

Sorry, I should revise my comment to say this is only based on reading the first page - though the points are still valid for that page.

September 17, 2013 | 12:59 AM - Posted by Roman (not verified)

Wow, apologies. I meant the first page with benchmarks (SiSoft Sandra). On a roll tonight..

October 25, 2014 | 01:13 AM - Posted by Claudette (not verified)

Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to generate a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.

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