Upgrade the processor?

Upgrade the processor?

Anyone get brave enough (or stupid enough...depends on how you look at it) to locate and upgrade the processor? The slowness is making me crazy....
Thinking about dropping a Haswell in there.

KendallPB | 22 August 2013

What, specifically, is slow for you?

Brian H | 22 August 2013

Interesting; wonder if TM has provision for future upgrade.

chrisdl | 22 August 2013

First time I read that the UI is slow. Could you elaborate on that a bit?
I've seen map updates to be slow due to the 3G speed and maybe the zoom speed, but have not heard anything else. The browser perhaps?

The only way to upgrade the processor is with 95% certainty to replace the system board. In embedded systems all components, including memory and cpu, are mounted straight on the pcb. Sockets are way to unreliable, especially in the "harsh" environment of a car.

That said, I'm sure its quite easy for Tesla to replace the system board. DIY I'm not so sure :-)
Maybe you could open up your dash to check?

TiburonTesla | 22 August 2013

Try pinching/zooming anything on a web page. See how slow it is and how the screen "jumps" as it resizes?
Search for a song or watch the nav system draw out the area map,
Pretty much anything that requires computing power.
And I mean even when you have full 3G signal, so it's not a signal issue.


chrisdl | 23 August 2013

Probably most of that can be solved by software optimizations.
It may not be that easy though, because it even took Google a few attemps to get it right in Android.

Of course, I'd expect Tesla to upgrade the cpu board regularly, but only in newly produced cars.

Neppis | 23 August 2013

What's Tesla's policy on such upgrades? Do they just issue them occasionally drop by drop or are they only included in major facelifts? Or maybe it's just too early to tell?

Neppis | 23 August 2013

I meant hardware etc upgrades by Tesla.

JC1 | 23 August 2013

I would love to see you try and drop in a Haswell in there and kiss your warranty on your 100K car bye-bye.

The car is not running a PC running Windows. It is run by multiple systems. The main display is driven by a Tegra 3 processor. The Tegra 3 and Haswell are entirely different architectures. It will never work.

It's like trying to plug in a GPU into a CPU slot. It will never work.

I agree with chrisdl. I've seen Tegra 3 tablets work pretty well, so I'm pretty sure Tesla has some wiggle room to improve its performance. It's probably not a priority for them at the moment unless everyone screams about it in the forums.

bp | 23 August 2013

The underlying hardware should be fast enough to provide reasonable response time for all of the applications.

The network connection may be a major culprit in performance issues. If resizing a browser display causes the browser to go back to the Internet to redraw - that's going to be slow - because (at least where I am) the browser takes a long time to bring up new pages.

Satellite mode for the map display can also be very slow - again, probably due to speed of accessing the map data over the Internet.

The map display performance should be improved in 5.0 - by caching the maps locally - reducing network access.

The browser is a decent "first pass" solution - and has a number of areas needing improvement (for example, it won't properly display the Tesla website!). And probably could benefit from some software optimization.

If there's any hardware improvement needed - replacing 3G with 4G may have a larger overall impact - and the new tethering in 5.0 coupled with a 4G/LTE smartphone may show significant improvement in overall performance - for anything requiring Internet access.

EVMD | 23 August 2013

I don't think is hardware, is the 3G. Att 3G 4-8 mbps, Att LTE 23-30 mbps. It makes a huge difference

jq5073 | 23 August 2013

It's not the signal. It's not the link. It's the processor. Dog slow, I agree. | 23 August 2013

Also, bear in mind wireless signal strength and actual throughput are different things. There have been many times in SF where I have had 4 or 5 bars and still had pitiful bandwidth.


wolfpet | 23 August 2013

Tegra 3 is getting old very quickly. And no, you won't be able to swap it. Not only you cannot put Haswell as it's an Intel x86 architecture CPU, you won't be able to swap it to any faster ARM processor either (S4 and such). On the other hand, we must appreciate that gadgets aging much faster than cars and we shouldn't expect the web site rendering speed to be on par with your latest tablet.

AmpedRealtor | 23 August 2013

I believe the CPU and GPU in the Tegra 3 are more than capable. I believe what you guys are describing is more of a software/driver issue than a CPU/GPU bottleneck. Tesla built its on OS for the car, and I would be surprised if we didn't see improvements in that regard.

PaceyWhitter | 23 August 2013

Part of the slowness of the khtml browser as well.

Why on earth they used that rather than chromium I may never know

cloroxbb | 23 August 2013

Full bars of 3G doesn't mean shyte. That only tells you that you have good connection to the cell tower. It has little to do with the speed of your connection. The speed of your connection has more to do with HOW many people are currently connected to the same tower, how congested it is.

Everything that people have claimed is "slow" has to do with the cell connection.

TiburonTesla | 23 August 2013

@jq5073 gets it. Looks like you and i are the only ones who are getting bad performance.

This slowness has nothing to do with 3G signal. Nothing. Although to eliminate and lingering doubt it can easily be checked once i'm on 5.0 and can use wifi.

So everyone else has great, fast performance on their touch screen? K, means i can take it in for service and have them fix it for me. Even better!

Longhorn92 | 23 August 2013

I think the performance could be improved. 3G is definitely slow, but I also think there is a bit of lag with the screen in general.

Vall | 23 August 2013

It sounds like there are no 3D acceleration drivers for the GPU. The symptoms described are common on linux systems that run the open source drivers who provide only software rendering, which does most of the job on the CPU. Even if you put in the latest tegra 5 or somesuch, if there are no proper GPU drivers, it will still be slow. There are some examples on the youtube of people running android on Palm devices, and everything is a lagfest, even though the hardware is powerful enough, without drivers, it is not utilized.

David Trushin | 23 August 2013

EVMD, i think your numbers are optimistic. At&t 3g averages about 3.5Mbps download outdoors and stationary (or walking speed) and decreases by about an order of magnitude at car speeds. Point made is that a better test is with LTE or wifi to a fast connection.

skulleyb | 23 August 2013

Anyone have firmware 5.0 and wifi see if it runs faster?

optimistic | 23 August 2013

The browser is dog slow at every task. Still, it's way better than the one on my last car. Oh, wait, my last car didn't have one.

Fastest production car, slowest browser. Somewhere in the middle is the Tao.

create | 23 August 2013

Anyone know the resolution of the screen (sorry to lazy to search)? I am guessing it is more pixels than a tegra3 is used to pushing around on a standard tablet.

bp | 24 August 2013

With 4.x, performance seems to be impacted by using the satellite images in the maps. Not only can the downloads be slow at times, but the entire system will become sluggish at times - possibly a problem with how the software is managing the satellite data locally. Hopefully this will be fixed in 5.0.

The browser is very, very slow - the network performance is probably part of the problem - though the software is a more likely source of the problems - which should be fixable in a future release.

wolfpet | 24 August 2013

I realize that developers are there to develop software and not answer forum questions, but sometimes I wish we could get some feedback. Why on earth would one use a non-webkit browser for this? And yeah, 1080x1920 is too much for Tegra3 I think. Also, some optimization is probably possible, but I wouldn't expect any dramatic improvement. On the other hand, let's remember that we are talking about car. The web browser project must be a low priority there and I respect that.

chrisdl | 24 August 2013

I'm not sure if full HD is too much for a Tegra 3. After all, the Ouya game console uses a Tegra 3 to play games in full HD. Of course, that's like comparing apples and oranges, but it still shows what the little chip is graphically capable off.

Dramsey | 24 August 2013

And yeah, 1080x1920 is too much for Tegra3 I think.

No, no, no...although I don't have a Mod S (yet) the Tegra 3 is more than capable enough of providing excellent, lag-free performance on a 1080x1920 screen.

After all, my two-year-old Retina iPad has a much higher resolution screen (2048x1536, more than 50% more pixels than the Mod S screen) and a much older CPU (Apple's A5 CPU, an ARM variant). And if you've used a Retina iPad you know the UI is smooth, fluid, and instantly responsive in almost all situations. This is because Apple knows that such smooth responsiveness is a very important part of the user experience, so they seriously sweated the details on that part of the system. The UI threads in iOS have the highest priority and the display and interaction functions are very highly optimized.

(FWIW, I've a lot of other tablets-- Win RT, several Android, etc. None of them can hold a candle to the iPad in terms of UI responsiveness.)

So why can't the Mod S, with fewer pixels and a better CPU (especially better graphics) work this well?

So if I had to bet, I'd say the reason the Mod S doesn't provide the same ultra-smooth experience is that their software isn't as optimized as Apple's. That said, it could still be hardware related: perhaps Tesla skimped on the RAM, forcing the system to page frequently out of whatever it uses for a backing store. Maybe the interface to display RAM is only four bits wide over a slow serial connection. Maybe it's the 3G. Who knows? Without detailed knowledge of the system, we're never going to be sure.

The one thing we can be pretty sure of is that it's not going to be possible to upgrade the hardware. It's never happened before on any other car ever, so absent any specific declarations from Tesla, don't hold your breath.

chrisdl | 24 August 2013

Can someone please try if the browsing experience is significantly better when connected to your home broadband through wifi?
That would give an instant idea if the perceived slowness is due to the connection speed or not.

chrisdl | 24 August 2013

Dramsey: Although I tend to agree with you, it's a risky claim to say that what other car manufacturers used to do is what Tesla is going to do. Break the mold, you know.

michael1800 | 24 August 2013

The issue with browsing the web has more to do with the browser and content than the processors, although the 3G *may* be a factor if you have poor service in a given area. Most of the time, it's just the browser. You can google browser benchmarks, peacekeeper (test) or whichever you prefer to confirm for yourself. Also, remember to benchmark its javascript performance (it's baaaad).

Replacing the processor isn't much of an option. As another poster said, the car isn't running Windows or a canned Linux distro. You'd have to reinstall the OS...I don't see that happening without losing all functionality (assuming you could get at and replace the processor in the first place). Sure, TM could upgrade the processor themselves but I don't think that's where any focus is presently. A browser upgrade...much, much more likely, cheaper, effective for the OP's problem, et al.

Dramsey | 24 August 2013

A few more comments:

-- Haswell (and other Intel) CPUs do not run ARM code (the Tegra 3 is an ARM CPU. Five of them, actually: four general purpose cores and one low-power core for low-demand operations.) So even if you had an x86-based plug-in replacement CPU board, none of the software in your Model S would actually run.

-- The software and operating system (QNX?) would have to be recompiled to run on x86. Add testing and validation and you're looking at months of effort. Furthermore, Tesla would then have to maintain two parallel code branches for the different CPU architectures. No company would ever do this voluntarily. That way lies madness.

-- Embedded computing applications are much, much different than your desktop computer. There is specialized hardware for things like running touch screens, compiling data from the various car sensors, and such forth. The Tegra chip itself is an "SOC"-- a System On a Chip. To get the same functionality using a desktop-class Haswell CPU would require many other chips to replicate the functionality that's built into the Tegra. So your CPU board would be much larger, use more power, and be much more expensive. Which is why nobody does this.

-- Again, the Tegra 3 is more than capable of doing everything the Mod S needs.

DigitalSavant | 24 August 2013

I'll +1 that the processor seems slow with the current software. I'll agree that a slow link has a part to play. On the other hand, I've used my MacBook Pro and tablets on a tethered 3G Internet connection and was quite satisfied. I've never had nearly the same level of satisfaction on the car's screen, even on its best 3G connection behavior...FWIW.

DigitalSavant | 24 August 2013

...for that matter, Google maps on my android smartphone over 3G performs better.

Garth | 27 August 2013

The hardware is definitely a Tegra 2 in the instrument cluster and Tegra 3 for the center console.

It feels like to me that interface is already accelerated... It's my understanding that OS is a custom Linux set-up. Early on there was mention of Adobe Air for use of the interface.

I suspect the biggest performance increases will come from optimizing WebKit's rendering speed (provided the hardware has enough RAM to do it). WebKit powers the browser directly, and most likely the Nav Maps screen as well (it's essentially google maps from what I can tell; though once Wifi/Tethering is enabled someone should be able to sniff the network traffic to confirm).

NKYTA | 27 August 2013

@ chrisdl
The nav maps load _much_ quicker connected to my home WiFi. I've not tried comparing say, for both 3G and WiFi. Of course that is flash based, so maybe I'll give a try, though not sure how much HTML 5 the S browser supports. Will report back.

Brian H | 28 August 2013 gave me 3.4; gave me 13.0. Just sayin'.