Early benchmarks show NVIDIA's Tegra K1 outperforming Apple, Qualcomm chips

Following the announcement of NVIDIA's new mobile chip, the Tegra K1, during CES last Sunday, many have speculated as to what it means for mobile processors. According to early benchmark tests conducted by Tom's Hardware, the Tegra K1 outperforms similar chipsets made by Apple and Qualcomm in almost every category.

The Tegra K1, which sports a quad-core, 32-bit ARM Cortex A15 CPU clocking in at 2.3 GHz, as well as a 192-core GPU with Kepler architecture, was tested at CES 2014 in comparison to two other mobile processors: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, and the Apple A7, which powers the iPhone 5S. NVIDIA's processor managed to outperform both chipsets in almost every category. Above is its comparison in terms of graphics and physics, wherein the Tegra K1 scored a 24,971 (graphics), relative to the Snapdragon 800's score of 17,995 and the Apple A7's score of 18,995.

The second benchmark tested the Tegra K1's ability to maintain a framerate while rendering a scene including multiple effects, physics and lighting. According to the graph, the Tegra K1 performed slightly below average onscreen, but ranked nearly twice as high as Apple offscreen.

While it's still very early to tell, it looks like NVIDIA's new mobile chip is shaping up to be a big competitor in the mobile world -- potentially even elevating the platform to the performance level of PC and console systems.

Source: Tom's Hardware | Images via Tom's Hardware

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laserfloyd said,
Only nice if it's ready to go in the next couple of months.

Knowing Tegra it'll launch in 6 months, on 1-2 phones, maybe a tablet. By the time it gets out the gate there will probably be a new generation of phones with the next-gen Snapdragon processor which will be equal or better.

Jaybonaut said,
192 cores that only need 5 watts.

WOW! that is huge watts for only a GPU... If that is the case I think it will not work good for mobile devices this year, probably next year or until a company releases a new battery that be thin, lighter and powerful to last at least 1 full day in 4G internet browsing.

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics," to paraphrase Mark Twain. Still, I'm sure it'll perform nicely, although I'm wondering when we'll get to the point of "more than enough" when it comes to mobile SOC power for the average user.

This is all likely irrelevant.

It is based on upcoming silicon and tested against available hardware.
Competition will have something ready for this time frame. Sorry. This is how it works.

What a surprise, a new chip on a huge ass tablet with no thermal or battery constraints being compared with mobile phones.
It's always the same crap with Nvidia.

This is what every Tegra release yet has looked like. Then it takes them so long to actually get it out the door that they end up behind everyone else. Numbers aren't too impressive considering it's being compared to last gen tech.

AJerman said,
This is what every Tegra release yet has looked like. Then it takes them so long to actually get it out the door that they end up behind everyone else. Numbers aren't too impressive considering it's being compared to last gen tech.

I've heard it before with Tegra. In the real world it's not quite up to it or outdated by competitors. Fool me once.

shamilbear said,
The iPhone 5S isn't last generation technology.

It is when you're talking CPU development. Any CPU already in consumer plastic is last gen.

deadonthefloor said,

It is when you're talking CPU development. Any CPU already in consumer plastic is last gen.

Technically the "next-generation" is already last generation. What is your point? There's no use comparing what isn't generally available yet.

trogenda said,
I don't understand the second one. What is onscreen?
I'd have to guess offscreen involves doing all the calc's etc. but not drawing whereas onscreen involves also drawing. I'm await a more informed answer to tell me I'm a moron.

Copy/pasting, looks like it's rendering to an internal buffer for the offscreen test to keep things on a level playing field, onscreen is as it sounds, to the device's display.

3DMark is a multi-platform graphics benchmark that contains both graphics and physics tests. The Unlimited version runs at an off-screen resolution of 720p, allowing for chip-to-chip comparisons, rather than forcing us to take each device's panel into consideration, too.

This multi-platform test renders a scene where a lot of effects interplay along with some physics and additive lighting. Off-screen is tested at 1920x1080, while on-screen relies on the display's native resolution.

To add to what Max has posted:

"These tests run off- and onscreen. The off-screen tests gauge performance irrespective of the attached display, allowing us to compare the SoCs in various devices with differing screen sizes and resolutions. Meanwhile, the on-screen tests illustrate how devices with attached screens perform in real-world usage. "

I think that quote makes it a bit clearer.
(from here: http://www.tomshardware.com/re...yf810-8g-review,3492-6.html )

I just registered so I could post something similar -

The off-screen tests gauge performance irrespective of the attached display, allowing us to compare the SoCs in various devices with differing screen sizes and resolutions.

(figured I went to the trouble of registering, so might as well post)

This Lenovo device with the new NVidia chip runs at 4k, so onscreen means its pushing more pixels, a lot more pixels.

http://www.tomshardware.com/ne...tegra-k1-android,25733.html

One of the more unique products at CES 2014 was Lenovo's ThinkVision 28. Positioned as a 4K (3840x2160) 28” LCD “pro monitor”, which happens to also run Android, the ThinkVision 28 will be available in July, starting at $1000. The ThinkVision 28 is part of the PC Plus movement, and while marketed primarily as a display (hence the ThinkVision moniker), this is a full system here, folks.

I'm not surprised the K1 is fastest by a long shot, it's looking like a beast. It also has DX11 and OpenGL 4.4 support, so it's now equal to desktop graphics in features. No other mobile phone/tablet SoC has this.

BTW even though it's been explained, i just want to make it clear that "onscreen" results in these tests are irrelivant if you want to compare each device fairly. Onscreen renders the benchmark at the devices native screen resolution, and each device often has a different res, so it shouldn't be compared.

The iPhone always does well in onscreen tests because of it's pathetically low res screen (1136 x 640), it wont have to push anywhere near as many pixels as other high-end phones which are usually 1080p now.