Is Amazon s New ARM CPU Faster than Intel?

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“Week is in an amazing announcement from amazon relates to its amazon web services in in that it now provides virtual machines using processes based on the arm architecture alongside virtual machines based on the x86 architecture. So this is a fundamental change in the server space from intel towards arm. So if you want to find out more please let me explain now when people think about arm processors. They normally think about the chips that they have inside of their smartphone.

Then quite rightly so because it is a big and important part of arms business. However arm processors are used all over the place at one end their microcontrollers are using everything from kind of like microwave ovens. All the way through to kind of medical equipment. Whereas.

They re a bigger cortex designs like the court. It s a 72 are not just used inside of smartphones. They re also used in networking equipment and in infrastructure equipment and also in servers. Now what s just happen is that amazon has a rolled out for everybody to start using servers as part of it amazon web services that run on arm chips.

Not on intel based chips. And these arm tips are just designed themselves by amazon. So amazon just like qualcomm. Just like samsung.

Just like apple have designed their own chip based on what we think is the cortex a 72 and it s designed for servers. And that means when we take design for a server that means. It s it s actually designed to run from mains power. It s obviously got to take into effect you know the cooling that that can do and it s got lots of memory.

I o. And it ll have lots of caches and it we re very good at you know kind of doing you know disk stuff. And maybe. There s even pci there you know it s designed for a server not for a mobile phone and they ve rolled it out and in fact you can use it today now of course.

This is a major major shift in what has been an area dominated completely by intel or x86 design pros as up and tall now of course. The advantages for amazon first of all is that the chips are meant to be more power efficient. Which means they re using less electricity less cooling. Okay to actually create these chips they can probably pack more servers into a smaller physical space.


Which means that you get more servers in the buildings that they re building and of course. They re designing it themselves. It means that they have full control over this full this design process. And they can manufacture the chips themselves.

And it means they get out from underneath. The shadow of intel maybe even the monopoly. We could say of intel who ve been providing up until now for decades the server chips that we use the power of the web basically so what i ve done is i ve actually created two virtual machines on amazon. One based on intel with eight cores.

One based on armed with eight cores and i want to show you the two of them running so you can see what you get with these two virtual machines. Okay so i want to show you the new arm based servers of amazon are offering in action. So here. I ve got three windows open.

Let s ignore the one here in the bottom right hand corner for the moment. We ll come to a second. But here on the left is a traditional intel based virtual server from amazon. And if we do an ls cpu.

Here. We can see that it is a xeon e5. 2. 8.

2. 6. 8. 6.

Version. 4 and according to. Intel these are built on 40 nanometer processes and they cost about 4000. Each so that s how much they re going for and they have 22 cores and 44 hyper threads and obviously we re using a virtual server here so we ve got 8 of those servers here in our machine and if we look here in this window on the right.


We can say ls cpu and it just tells us. It is ar 64. That s arm 64 architecture. And there s a lot less information.

Because of course. This is about this is from amazon. They re not giving away too much information. And again.

We ve got the same number of eight virtual cores here on our virtual machine. Now accordingly. This is meant to be a cortex. A 72 based cpu so of course after we had record it s a 73.

We ve got the court. It s a 75 and so obviously. This is a couple of years old and building development and this is what we ve got today so now. If i have got a file.

Which is my testing program which i use when i reviewed the raspberry pi recently if i do a file there we can see that it s a 64 bit x86 intel file. I ve got exactly the same c program written on here and if we just test that we can see that it is 64 bit. But now it s armed 64. So it s basically 64 bit intel versus 64.

Bit arm so let s have a look at what happens we re gonna run the program here using my testing tool and we re gonna run eight threads simultaneously to look for lots and lots of prime numbers about twelve and a half million of them in fact so there is that command. We re gonna run on each machine. So let s fire it off on each one it s being timed. So we know how long it s going to take at the end of it.

We don t need to wait on just to see which comes in first here now down the bottom right hand corner. I ve got a raspberry pi. That s done the same thing. We re talk about that a second so here are the results back now look at this look here on the intel to find those twelve and a half million prime numbers using eight threads using my program.


It took nine point eight seconds okay now here over on the arm server. The same program same c program. Twelve and a half million threads. It took eight point nine seconds so nine point eight seconds compared to eight point nine seconds.

So which almost faster. The arm processor. Now i get so many people telling me that oh. I don t think arm will ever be able to catch up with in two that s nonsense.

It s the fact that arm chips have always been built to run on mobile phones using batteries okay. But when you actually build one design for a server look at what you got now let me just compare that the one down here down here in the window. I ll bring up to the forefront. Now i have exactly the same program.

But it s a 32 bit version for arm okay. Because it s running on a raspberry pi. So this gives us four calls and when i run the same program. Look at this it took four minutes and six seconds.

Just shows you the different in the cortex a53 core. That you re getting a raspberry pi and i ve got four of them compared to a proper server chip running in a huge configuration with lots of memory lots of cashiers and all the stuff that they need so it s a difference of look at that four minutes to eight seconds and of course. The intel could do it in nine seconds. So there you go and the thing is of course.

These are cheaper you get these instances on amazon. Cheaper then you get the intel ones because they re homegrown from amazon. They use less power. So hammers don t have to pay too much electricity bill and probably i don t know maybe they re cheaper to make well.

I don t know amazon haven t told us that but they re selling them cheap and they re selling the intel ones. So the age of arm is officially here. So i don t know about you i find that really really impressive now i want to end with a tweet by john masters who s the chief armed architect. At red hat so he s responsible for all the arm stuff that red hat linux supports let me read you this tweet from today nobody ever got fired for deploying an arm server into production.


If it s good enough for amazon web services. It s good enough for anyone and wow is it good stuff. And he s absolutely right i mean for amazon to say here is production level servers. That we are rolling out running linux running on arm.

Based servers. And you can run your services off. Those today. Well.

That is an absolutely a major change. So every time someone says to you that intel chips are always going to be faster than arm chips and arm chips because of the architecture because their arm. Because i don t know what they think they know the thing with i remember is up until now you re used to thinking about arm chips because they are found in your phone. And they re not found.

In a desktop with a big fan and 240. Volts or 110 volt. Powering. The power that is changing.

So we ve got servers are now powered by arm. We ve got laptops are now being powered by armor. We re gonna see great changes in that field over the next few years as more and more laptop specific devices come out windows gets better and better running on arm. The support from third party apps get better.

We are at the edge here of a complete change in the direction. That the industry is taking hello. My name is gary sims and this is explain i really hope you enjoyed this video. If you did please do give it a thumbs up don t forget to subscribe to the channel and please share.

This video on social media. Okay that s it i ll see ” ..

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