[LAU] Box under £400

Gabriel M. Beddingfield gabrbedd at gmail.com
Thu May 31 05:16:09 UTC 2012

On 05/30/2012 09:21 AM, Sciss wrote:
> thanks for the link and the info. so you think atom processors are
> fine enough? the latency actually doesn't matter in my case. i'm more
> worried that i'm going to through a lot of CPU heavy stuff on it, as
> this will run experimental software I wrote myself (and I won't have
> any time for performance tuning of the software itself).

I have an Atom N450 netbook.  In practical terms, its limits for a 
single task are:

   * Time-stretching a clip in realtime to 50% to original
     time span.

   * A set with 4-5 monophonic synths, and 4-5 pure audio

   * All of the Renoise sample programs

   * Most anything you can throw at Mixxx.

While it has very good audio performance -- it has significantly less 
headroom than a Core2 or i-series processor (feels like a factor of 2 or 4).

Other non-audio tasks:

   * Large compiles take 4-6x longer (e.g. kernel, Qt)

   * Number crunching tasks are very slow.  It's like the
     floating point stuff is driving drunk.

   * Processor has a high performance hit for inefficient
     memory access (compared to Core2, i-series).

   * Processor doesn't benefit as much from SIMD (SSE)
     optimizations.  E.g. you're lucky to get a 2x performance
     boost using SIMD instructions... whereas a Core2 or i-series
     will see at least a 2x performance boost.

   * Most Atom devices have only 1GB RAM (2GB if you're lucky).
     I've not seen an Atom device with more then 2GB.

Finally, all this experience is in 32-bit mode.  I've been running in 
64-bit mode recently, but haven't done much audio with it.  Overall, it 
feels about the same.


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