Friday, July 14, 2017

Moore's Law is Dead

My current laptop is three years old, a then top-of-the-line Dell XPS 15. After three years, I felt I could use an upgrade, so naturally I went to to check out the latest and greatest XPS 15. The newer edition sports a nicer screen and the RAM is up-gradable to 32GB instead of 16, but the other specs are pretty similar.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the newer XPS 15 laptop is the CPU. The new XPS 15 uses an Intel Core i7-7700HQ, whereas my three year old XPS 15 uses a i7-4702HQ. According to, the newer chip gets a speed score of 8987 whereas the older chip gets a speed score of 7523. That's less than a 20% improvement in speed after three years of R&D. Even worse, the newer chip uses a 45W of power whereas the older one used 37W, which is more than a 20% increase in power usage and battery depletion. Obviously, it's unclear whether we can rely on as a linear description of performance, but that is ostensibly the purpose of the benchmark.

I pretty saddened that after three years of developing the latest and greatest chips, it seems that Intel has only increased speed to the detriment of power usage.

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