nathansuchy
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A faster CPU

Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:26 pm

At some point I would like to see the Raspberry Pi have a CPU that can reach speeds of 1GHZ normally. I know that you can overclock but still would like to see those speeds. I think that Ram is not nearly as big of an issue as the CPU speed as performance is sometimes limited.

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williamhbell
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Re: A faster CPU

Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:44 am

Hi,

Using the GPU for X-acceleration for LINUX might give a clearer picture, since the CPU otherwise handles all X repaint operations. There was a plan to optimise Scratch for the Raspberry Pi too. Given these two items, the CPU speed becomes less restricting.

Regards,

Will

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diereinegier
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Re: A faster CPU

Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:03 pm

A few days ago I started to play with my brand new Model B 512 MB and just ordered 4 additional units.

I plan to build a little cluster to run MPI programs on. Surely I do not do that because the Pi is the best platform for the purpose - cause it is not. The whole point for me is to see what one can do with these little things and to share it with others.

And precisely that sharing would be spoiled by having too many versions of hardware.

So please, Raspberry foundation, be reluctant with hardware changes and put effort in optimizing the software.

I very much appreciate that at least some of the GPU driver code was recently published.

Greetings from Germany
Download my repositories at https://github.com/GeorgBisseling

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pluggy
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:10 am

The Pi couldn't have a faster CPU without a complete/major redesign. Its tied to a cheap Broadcom SOC which wasn't designed for something like the Pi in the first place. If it were meant for computers (OK , the Pi being a computer may be open for debate) , it would be a different GPU/CPU mix. The BCM2835 is 95% GPU which is what you want for streaming movies to a telly, its not so clever for general stuff which needs a good CPU. (Ever notice how demos to the uninitiated revolve around how well it plays movies using OMXplayer ? - its no accident)
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:31 am

pluggy wrote:The Pi couldn't have a faster CPU without a complete/major redesign. Its tied to a cheap Broadcom SOC which wasn't designed for something like the Pi in the first place. If it were meant for computers (OK , the Pi being a computer may be open for debate) , it would be a different GPU/CPU mix. The BCM2835 is 95% GPU which is what you want for streaming movies to a telly, its not so clever for general stuff which needs a good CPU. (Ever notice how demos to the uninitiated revolve around how well it plays movies using OMXplayer ? - its no accident)
Sorry, going to have to correct you on almost everything in your post.

The Pi is, without any shadow of doubt, a computer. There is NO debate.
It certainly isn't 95% GPU. When you run linux you are using about 5% of the GPU - the rest is done on the Arm. Note the GPU's VPU's run at 250Mhz.....about a third of the speed of the Arm.
Yes, it does play movies well - that's the point where you actually start using the GPU. But even then you are probably only using 50-75% of it.
A 700Mhz Arm CPU is powerful device. I grew up with a 2MHz BBC micro, and have had PC's that went from 8Mhz upwards. They were all capable machines. If you write decent code, you can do a HELL OF A LOT in 700Mhz. Just because people are used to hopelessly inefficiency coded applications that need 2Ghz machines just to run the splash screen doesn't mean the Raspi is not capable of good stuff.

The bits I do agree on - the chip was never expected to be put in to a general purpose compute device (no Arm chips are, tbh). And a new SoC would require a complete redesign.
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Ravenous
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:48 pm

pluggy wrote:Its tied to a cheap Broadcom SOC which wasn't designed for something like the Pi in the first place.
Correction: the Pi *was* designed for that SoC. Other way round.
If it were meant for computers (OK , the Pi being a computer may be open for debate) ,
Come on, that's not helpful. It's adequate for learning programming, which is what the designers intended.

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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:57 pm

To many people's way of thinking, if it doesn't run Word and Excel, it is not a computer.

In an earlier day, if it didn't run Lotus 1-2-3, it wasn't a computer.

BTW, is your car a computer?
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:To many people's way of thinking, if it doesn't run Word and Excel, it is not a computer.
I repeat: it does what the designers intended. Word and Excel are not quite what Eben considers to be educational. (He and others have written about the project's aims elsewhere, many times.)

I apologise if that sounds unfriendly, it's just a clear reminder of the project's aims.

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pluggy
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:26 pm

Is the Pi a computer or an embedded linux device ? which is what I meant by debatable. I would classify the Pi as a computer, but then most embedded linux devices are computers in my book. The distinction is very blurred especially you hack embedded linux devices to become general purpose computers. (Been there....).

It was Eban Upton who said the Broadcom BCM2835 was 95% GPU. I make no apologies.

The CPU is about the 300Mhz Pentium 2 level (Official FAQ's), Circa mid-late 90's technology, comparisons with the BBC micro from the mid 80's is meaningless. The Arduino (got and made several of those) is a closer match to the BBC Micro than the Pi.
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ski522
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:48 pm

nathansuchy wrote:At some point I would like to see the Raspberry Pi have a CPU that can reach speeds of 1GHZ normally. I know that you can overclock but still would like to see those speeds. I think that Ram is not nearly as big of an issue as the CPU speed as performance is sometimes limited.
It's most likely on Broadcom's roadmap to increase CPU core speeds for this SoC. The problem is that no matter how fast a CPU runs at, someone will always want it to run faster. People who find success in technology are the ones who are able to take advantage of what they have today rather then worry about what might come tomorrow.

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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:52 pm

ski522 wrote: It's most likely on Broadcom's roadmap to increase CPU core speeds for this SoC.
Oh no it isn't :)

Look guys, they are not going to put a faster CPU on there anytime soon. They have repeatedly said so. If you need faster then why not get a PC or something?

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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:16 pm

ski522 wrote:
nathansuchy wrote:At some point I would like to see the Raspberry Pi have a CPU that can reach speeds of 1GHZ normally. I know that you can overclock but still would like to see those speeds. I think that Ram is not nearly as big of an issue as the CPU speed as performance is sometimes limited.
It's most likely on Broadcom's roadmap to increase CPU core speeds for this SoC. The problem is that no matter how fast a CPU runs at, someone will always want it to run faster. People who find success in technology are the ones who are able to take advantage of what they have today rather then worry about what might come tomorrow.
It isn't on the roadmap to update this SoC. There will not be a pin compatible faster chip. There are already faster twin core chips with videocore 4 GPU, but they are larger and not pin compatible. There is little point, in the modibe market, to making pin compatible chips - every mobile device has a new motherboard so you just design to the chip you are using.

The only even vague possibility of upgrading is someone making a larger RAM chip - but that would be a custom job as currently none exists above 512MB.
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:19 pm

pluggy wrote:Is the Pi a computer or an embedded linux device ? which is what I meant by debatable. I would classify the Pi as a computer, but then most embedded linux devices are computers in my book. The distinction is very blurred especially you hack embedded linux devices to become general purpose computers. (Been there....).

It was Eban Upton who said the Broadcom BCM2835 was 95% GPU. I make no apologies.

The CPU is about the 300Mhz Pentium 2 level (Official FAQ's), Circa mid-late 90's technology, comparisons with the BBC micro from the mid 80's is meaningless. The Arduino (got and made several of those) is a closer match to the BBC Micro than the Pi.
That 95% is die area, which is pretty irrelevent in day to day usage of the Raspi, where you use tiny amounts of the GPU die at any one time, whereas the Arm is used ALL the time.

I agree, an embedded device (Linux or ANOther OS) is still a computer. But then the Raspi isn't really an embedded device, it is a general purpose computer.

If the comparison to the BBC micro is meaningless, then so is the comparison to the 300Mhz Pentium, or a modern laptop or a Cray XMP. Horses for courses. 700Mhz is enough oomph to do a hell of a lot of processing.
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liz
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:38 pm

Yeah, Pluggy - that 95% number is area. (Actually, I think it's closer to 98%.)
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:56 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote: BTW, is your car a computer?
Mine isn't. But, then, it was built in 1968...

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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:00 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Joe Schmoe wrote: BTW, is your car a computer?
Mine isn't. But, then, it was built in 1968...
A car is not a computer, regardless of when it was built.

A car is a car.

A computer is a computer.

A microwave is a microwave.

And so on.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

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Re: A faster CPU

Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:05 pm

The 300 Mhz pentium 2 is an approximate equivalent of the power of the ARM CPU, its what the FAQ says, I have no reason to doubt it, it feels like a 300 MHz Pentium 2. Since Liz says its 98% GPU die area I'm not going to argue with that either. The die area is closely related to the number of transistors and hence the approximate power. The GPU is approximately the same power as a first generation X Box, again FAQ, again I have no reason to doubt it. But, a lot of people are expecting something approaching the CPU power of a relatively modern computer. A lot of noobs complain it is slow, which it is along side any PC built in the past 12 or 15 years. The desktop experience (LXDE) is built around it running on a slow,old computer. Gnome/Unity (ala Ubuntu) and a real world browser like Chromium or IceWeasel (Chrome or Firefox in the real world) would bring it to its knees. I'd trade all the GPU for 50% more CPU power. (I'd trade all the GPU for USB without the issues it has as well but thats another tale)

I'm typing this on a Linux PC with a dual core Intel Atom, which is something of a joke for its pitiful performance. Its only used on Netbooks in the real world. Its an order of magnitude faster than a Pi though............
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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:14 pm

If you want to use your Raspberry Pi to its full capabilities I would suggest switching from Linux to RISC OS.

The speed jump is quite large and it becomes a lot smoother to use.

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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:29 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:A car is a car.

A computer is a computer.

A microwave is a microwave.

And so on.
Define computer

I'm sitting in front of what many people call a computer.
But if a car is a car and a microwave is a microwave regardless of how many processor cores it has in it, then what I'm sitting in front of isn't a computer, it's an e-mail device cum web-surfer

And the thing in the clear plastic box with some cables connected and an SD card sticking out isn't a computer, it's an experimental electronic real-world interface.

Alternatively, if my laptop is a computer which I use for e-mail and web-surfing and trying to be irritating, and my Pi is a computer that I use to experiment with, then the Volvo sitting outside the door is a computer that sometimes gets used to take my canoe down to the sea

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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:33 pm

diereinegier wrote:A few days ago I started to play with my brand new Model B 512 MB and just ordered 4 additional units.

I plan to build a little cluster to run MPI programs on. Surely I do not do that because the Pi is the best platform for the purpose - cause it is not. The whole point for me is to see what one can do with these little things and to share it with others.

And precisely that sharing would be spoiled by having too many versions of hardware.

So please, Raspberry foundation, be reluctant with hardware changes and put effort in optimizing the software.

I very much appreciate that at least some of the GPU driver code was recently published.

Greetings from Germany
Hello diereinegier:

I've been buying RPis at the rate of one a month for various purposes, including a Beowulf cluster (currently at 4 nodes). So I have several hardware versions, some with 256 Mb, some with 512 Mb, and have not experienced any integration problems. You can read about my progress at the cluster
forum at http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... &start=125 .

I'm interested in the fact that you plan to use MPI. What programs to you intend to run?

(Perhaps we should continue the discussion over at the cluster forum.)

Happy New Year from Scotland!
IT Background: Honeywell H2000 ... CA Naked Mini ... Sinclair QL ... WinTel ... Linux ... Raspberry Pi.

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diereinegier
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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:13 pm

jardino wrote: Hello diereinegier:

I've been buying RPis at the rate of one a month for various purposes, including a Beowulf cluster (currently at 4 nodes). So I have several hardware versions, some with 256 Mb, some with 512 Mb, and have not experienced any integration problems. You can read about my progress at the cluster
forum at http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... &start=125 .

I'm interested in the fact that you plan to use MPI. What programs to you intend to run?

(Perhaps we should continue the discussion over at the cluster forum.)

Happy New Year from Scotland!
Likewise!

As good as web forums are they miss crosspost and follow up like in the news groups...so I will continue with a short answer here:

First I will of course run my MPI tutorial http://www.bisseling.de/georg there to get some numbers that prove just how slow the raspi is. Well I already did this on one node and the serial program runs about 20 times slower than on a modern PC...but let's see how it will scale.

I just started a project following the material presented at http://www.artcompsci.org/kali/ simulating stellar cluster dynamics, to put it in a very geeky way. I started doing everything in C# using VS 2012 Express to make it very available for any Windows skript kiddie. That was before I bought the Pi. The source is available on github https://github.com/GeorgBisseling/nbodysketch. Currently I try to insert some C code to speed it up a little.

I consider to convert that to a C(++) code using MPI, if I find the time that is.
Download my repositories at https://github.com/GeorgBisseling

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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:29 pm

pluggy wrote:The 300 Mhz pentium 2 is an approximate equivalent of the power of the ARM CPU, its what the FAQ says, I have no reason to doubt it, it feels like a 300 MHz Pentium 2. Since Liz says its 98% GPU die area I'm not going to argue with that either. The die area is closely related to the number of transistors and hence the approximate power. The GPU is approximately the same power as a first generation X Box, again FAQ, again I have no reason to doubt it. But, a lot of people are expecting something approaching the CPU power of a relatively modern computer. A lot of noobs complain it is slow, which it is along side any PC built in the past 12 or 15 years. The desktop experience (LXDE) is built around it running on a slow,old computer. Gnome/Unity (ala Ubuntu) and a real world browser like Chromium or IceWeasel (Chrome or Firefox in the real world) would bring it to its knees. I'd trade all the GPU for 50% more CPU power. (I'd trade all the GPU for USB without the issues it has as well but thats another tale)

I'm typing this on a Linux PC with a dual core Intel Atom, which is something of a joke for its pitiful performance. Its only used on Netbooks in the real world. Its an order of magnitude faster than a Pi though............
If that's what you need, you need something like a cubieboard. That has the faster processor you need, but a less powerful GPU.

I notice you've mentioned USB again. Couldn't stop yourself, eh!

Todays interesting GPU fact : It has 24GFLOPS (ish) of total performance, but you could never use it all at the same time because of the way its spread over CPU cores, HW blocks, display scalers, LCD interface etc. It does have an awful lot of peripherals.
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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:04 pm

All the more interesting ones aren't easily available here. The Hackberry A10 looks to be further along the development path, but its quite expensive by the time you've added international shipping.

I don't recall ever promising not to ever mention USB. I've toned it down so you don't accuse me of mentioning it every post. I do take note of what you say James. ;)

You'd miss me if I disappeared......
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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:23 pm

pluggy wrote:All the more interesting ones aren't easily available here. The Hackberry A10 looks to be further along the development path, but its quite expensive by the time you've added international shipping.
There are quite a few peripherals on the GPU that are not even pinned out on the Raspi. 2nd camera interface for example.
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Wizard
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Re: A faster CPU

Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:18 pm

I can only agree with jamesh and others that MHz is not the magic solution.

Back in the days when an Amiga 500 ran at 7.14 MHz (PAL version) that was - and still is - loads!
Due to its clever architecture with co-processors it was all that was needed for stunning performance.

At a certain point in time hardware became cheaper than software and that's when the real MHz race started. (we all remember Cray e.g)
It meant that high-level macro languages with gigantic code-creation overhead became "the s**t" and we assembler programmers no longer were needed in the same way...

Result: The crap that the various drag-n-drop editors, pre-compilers, compilers, linkers etc churned out ran a wee bit faster than last week but only due to the installation of another 24 CPU cores in the rack...

Raspberry Pi runs more than fine @ 1GHz which is more than plenty as long as you bare in mind that this SOC is not your average home-computer and never was intended for this either.

If your code is slow - refactor, rewrite, rethink. There's plenty!
Raspberry Pi - finally a worthy replacement for A500!!!

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