Thursday, December 6, 2018

iPhone 6s+ processor speed

Way back when I had an iPhone 4, I tried running the chess program Stockfish on it in analysis mode, and it was examining around 250,000 nodes per second, which at the time seemed to me to be pretty good for a handheld device.  This was not as good as my desktop, but still a good substitute for it.  Two years later when I got the iPhone 5, the speed had improved to around half a million nodes per second.  Two years after that with iPhone 6+ I was impressed to reach a million nodes per second.  However, I have just upgraded to the  iPhone 6s+, which is a three year old phone, and the same Stockfish program on this phone is examining an amazing two million nodes per second.

Compare this to my late 2009 iMac with a quad core 2.8 ghz core-i7 processor.  For its day it was a top of the line desktop computer, but today it is about average.   Using one core, the Stockfish program examines around 450,000 nodes per second.  If I use all 4 cores then the program sees about 1.5 million nodes per second.  The iPhone 6s+ only has two cores, but it is outperforming my desktop computer by a good margin.  

Since the iPhone 6s+ came out, Apple has released the iPhones 7, 8, 10, and 10s, all of which are faster than the previous generation.  (The 8 and 10 are part of the same generation.)  The 10s is only slightly faster than the 10, because we are reaching a point where the laws of physics won't allow them to make the circuits smaller, therefor faster.  I personally wanted an iPhone 10 or an iPhone 8, because I knew that the processor on those phones kicked ass, but I didn't want to spend a fortune for a phone, so I settled for the good enough iPhone 6s+, which I got on a Black Friday sale for $300.

Speaking of kicking ass, Apple has been doing that with their processor development.  No other mobile phone manufacturer comes close.  Apple is using a 7 nanometer process with their latest phones and tablets.  Compare that to Intel, the world's largest microprocessor manufacturer, who recently backed off of their 10 nanometer chips because of problems and instead released 14 nanometer chips.  AMD, who is already kicking Intel's butt, is scheduled to release 7 nanometer chips early next year, with a whole new line of processors that undercut Intel on price.

This is an exciting time because of how much progress has been made in computer processing power.  It is also impressive how much power Apple has been able to put in mobile devices.  The latest iPad Pro's, which use the same processors as their latest phones, outperform many desktop computers.

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

AT&T "You Will" Commercials (high quality)

These commercials go back to 1993, and everything they predicted has come true, although the company that brought it to you might be Apple, among others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2EgfkhC1eo&feature=share

Friday, September 28, 2018

Cheap computers

The golden era of video games and 8 bit home computers was in the 1980's. As a side note, it was also the golden era of chess playing computers. Around 1995 the shift started moving toward PC compatible computers, but rather slowly at first, because they were still very expensive. I got my first PC compatible around that time, but at enormous cost. Prior to that I had used 8 bit computers and one 16 bit Atari ST. Even worse, around 1990 I was still using a "dumb terminal" with the slowest modem in the world (maybe 150 baud) to connect to my workplace.

The kind of computer speeds we were talking about in the 8 bit era were typically around 1 megahertz, with some systems going up to 4 MHZ. In 1995, my first PC compatible computer ran at 16 MHZ, and when I would later upgrade it to 32 MHZ I thought it was a miracle

Compare that to today, where you can buy various versions of the Raspberry PI for $10 to $35. Each of these is a full computer, but you also have to buy some cables and accessories to make them work. These computers cost next to nothing, but depending upon the model run 1 to 4 cores (processors) at 1 to 2 *Gigahertz.*

I am seeing a ton of video game products that run classic video games from the 1980's and early 90's. These are hot consumer items right now. They use processors similar to the Raspberry PI, but usually just one core running at one gigahertz, which makes them very cheap, but that is all it takes. Likewise, these types of processors are turning up in all sorts of devices, like refrigerators with LCD displays.

We live in an interesting era where moderately powerful computing devices can made really cheaply. Of course, for your home computer you are going to want to spend more money to get something more powerful.

I also find it interesting that many high end smartphones rival desktop computers in terms of computing power. The Apple A11 chip, from last year's iPhone, benchmarks better than my 2009 $2,000 core-i7 iMac. Amazing.

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Apple says that they charge so much because they make the best phone.

Apple wants to make the best so that they can have the most margin. It probably costs around $350 to make this phone, and maybe $400 for the maxed out models, but Apple screws the customer on price anyway. They could charge $750 to $800 for any of these phones and be doing well.

This is deliberate. Apple will continue to do this only as long as people are willing to throw their money away. If nobody bought the XS Max, with the ironic name, Apple would be forced to offer discounts and be more reasonable in their pricing structure.

I am still happy with my iPhone 6+, but these prices are so insane that I will not buy the latest models. I could be just as happy with a cheaper 1 to 2 year or model, or a different brand. There are $500 phones that people can be just as happy with.

A dollar per day will not pay for this phone in two years. Maybe three years, but some models would take four years.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

iPhone prices

I guess all those rumors that Apple was going to cut prices turned out not to be true.  Anybody want to spend $1300 on a smartphone?

https://youtu.be/vjxvrG_t-Rs

Apple's new ad is cool.


That's what it looks like when you spend 5 billion dollars on a building.