Nvidia claims Tegra 4 GPU will outperform the iPad 4's A6X

Nvidia claims Tegra 4 GPU will outperform the iPad 4's A6X

Summary: Nvidia's new Tegra 4 processor will give the company a significant advantage on Apple and its A6X processor... but for how long?

TOPICS: Processors, Hardware

While few people seem to care about processors speeds on the desktop, it's a hot topic when it comes to mobile processors, and Nvidia has just raised the stakes with its new Tegra 4 processor.

The Tegra 4 has at its heart 72 custom Nvidia GeForce GPU cores, giving it six-times the graphics processing power of the current Tegra 3. Backing up the GPU is a new quad-core variant of ARM's Cortex-A15 CPU, a chip that Nvidia claims "delivers 2.6x faster Web browsing and breakthrough performance for apps."

According to AnandTech, the Tegra 4 processor will have six-times the arithmetic logic units (ALUs) that are present in the Tegra 3. If it is assumed that the Tegra 4 GPU cores will operate at 520 MHz -- which is the fastest that the Tegra 3 could go -- this means that the GPU will be capable of 74.8 GFLOPS (billion FLoating-point Operations Per Second) compared to the 71.6 GFLOPS that the PowerVR SGX 554MP4 inside Apple's A6X.

See alsoIntel should dump x86 and make ARM chips, says executive

At CES 2013 Nvidia made the assertion that the Tegra 4 will be faster than the A6X both in 3D games and in GLBenchmark, but didn't provide further details on the matter.

This week, GLBenchmark results claiming to show Tegra 4 performance were leaked to the Web, but it appears that these are either fake or relate to prototype versions of the Tegra 4 running at much lower clock speeds.

While this seems to give Nvidia an advantage over Apple, the glory could be short-lived. Imagination Technologies, makers of the PowerVR GPU inside many smartphones and tablets -- including the iPhone and iPad -- have announced that its sixth-generation graphics core can deliver "20x or more" the performance of current-generation hardware while at the same time being five times more efficient.

Things are really starting to heat up in the mobile sector.

Image source: Nvidia.

Topics: Processors, Hardware

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  • "Things are really starting to heat up"

    Well, in mobile, we do not really want that. ;-)

    On a more serious note, I find it interesting that Nvidia picks the A6X as a comparison rather than other Android HW solutions. I am not convinced that relative benchmark performances have much impact on the Android vs Apple purchase decision. Also, as you noted, the A6X is in production and selling while the Tegra 4 is not.

    At the end of the day, performance per watt is the most important metric, but not included in the Nvidia assertion. It is not difficult to win the performance crown if you stick a big enough battery in the device. We'll see how the production silicon performs and when.
    • umm

      Tegra 4 is in production.

      And it has actually been demoed in a few units.

      Go look at Nvidia's Project Shield.
      • That is called sampling not production

        HUGE difference. By the time Tegra 4 makes it to market in products it will be going against the Exynos 5, new Snapdragons and the A7.

        NVidia is over-promise and under-deliver.
  • what's more interesting than raw performance

    In best case faster rendering means that the CPU/GPU consumes less energy overall because it can enter sleep mode quicker (where it stays most of the time).

    Los Angeles to Sydney (14h) with a single charge, that must be the goal.
  • Now if Apple unlocked the core.....

    If Apple didn't throttle their processor down there could be a fight. Real world performance test have always been close because the Tegra 3 runs close to it's maximum and the A6X runs much slower clock speed.
    • Yes and

      Tegra 3 and now Tegra 4 has specialized features for hardware assisting several common physics techniques that the PowerVR line lacks.
      • Re: hardware assisting several common physics techniques

        Like special hardware to change the laws of physics? :)

        The race is never ending. Let's hope they fight more, so that we can enjoy better products.
  • Intel Haswell at 17 watts gives 500 GFlops?

    No benchmarks just calculated but Intel since core 2 duo has often underpromised and over achieved. But 17 is still a lot more than 4 watts.

    AND Haswell is 64 bit with virtualization.
  • nVidia Should Be Reminded...

    That the A6X is already in production and shipping in millions of new iPads.
    And considering their somewhat close specs, they are on the right track for a surprise later this year.

    Some humility would be advised here.
    • Not really.

      The A Series CPUs were always slower than the Arm based CPUs in the competition and the GPUs are the strength of Apple's SoC.

      Unified Shaders were the biggest advantage for Apple but, the Tegra 4 now has unified shaders.
      • in 6 months. Yes.

        Now, not so much. At this point, the Tegra 4 is still a limited sampling part and devices are not shipping soon.
  • Who cares?

    The Tegra 4 will end up in devices that people outside of apple will want, and it won't be in devices that the fanboys will buy. Comparing it to an apple product means nothing.
    • I am sure SlikJim will be inline to buy a Tegra 4 device.

      What makes you think the Tegra 4 will be in devices fanboys won't buy?
  • That's strange

    That same site, the one that apparently has it at 71.6 GFLOPS also has it at 78.6 according to a different article. I speak of the A6X, of course.


    Which article of theirs should I trust?
    Michael Alan Goff
  • All This Proves ...

    ... is that Nvidia is a year behind Apple. the rest is all hype/spin.
  • A.K.H.

    go back to hard ware reiviews at leat you were good at that. Taht was the only reson i read your post in the past not all this poo pooing of any other than apple. You need to grow up like most of the other who bash.
    • @sarai1313

      You undermine your argument to tell Adrian to "grow up" when your post looks like it was written by an illiterate 7 year-old.
      • dyxlick

        dumb ass
        • dont have a clue do you

          Oh i am sorry you jerk. I am dyslexic. but i am able to read hold a job till i retired at the age of 47 that was 12 years ago. I own my home not the bank in one of the richest communities in road island .I have built cars, planes and computers. can you. not. so I go a little fast or miss spell a word or two excuse me. what the hell can you do . Besides being the English police
  • Real world comparison is ever so little.

    "While few people seem to care about processors speeds on the desktop, it's a hot topic when it comes to mobile processors" - Lol what nutshell you living under? Maybe in a couple more years but Desktop processors are far more interesting considering the overall performance & power of today.

    Not sure how they can even compare performance since its for different mobile OS's. Only thing you can take into consideration is more performance but less power consumption with smoother frame-rates on games & faster rendering on tasks. But they could only truly compare the previous chip that was ahead so it's barely any competition.

    Although versing other Mobile CPU/GPU that run Android based OS's would be a real comparison so this claim for out-performing the A6X is quite pointless.