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Re: So no Octa-Core from the S4!
The word "eventually" is probably the key word. Although Jelly Bean can take some advantages of multi-core architectures and I do expect improvements with Key Lime Pie but, honestly, I do not expect Android to be fully multi-threaded and able to truly handle multiple cores until "Muffin" at the earliest. And by then, I will have upgraded to the Galaxy S5 or Note 4 or whatnot, very possibly running some sort of multi-core ARMv8, 64-bit chip.
Originally Posted by jeffreii
Moreover, aside from the software today not taking advantage of multiple cores, most users don't take advantage of multiple cores. What I mean by that is that very few applications that users actually use require constant CPU activity; games, movies and possibly music being the most notable exceptions. Indeed, games and movies are more dependent on GPU "horsepower" and even music does not overly tax most smartphone CPUs today. Most times, when the user needs to do multiple things at the same time, the CPU can be time-sliced: with a single-core processor, applications (or more precisely, application threads) are placed in a wait state and register settings saved and reloaded as needed. Obviously, this is less efficient than running multi-threaded applications on a multi-core processor (or even running several single-core applications on a multi-core processor) but for most people, it is more than enough.
Bottom line, for me I am much more concerned about GPU power than the number of core the CPU in my smartphone has. Of course, everyone's mileage may vary but I suspect -- despite the marketing hype that most people seem to be buying into -- that really is the case for most people.