Tegra 3 GPU: Making Honeycomb Buttery Smooth

The bigger impact on the overall experience is the Tegra 3's GPU. If you remember back to our initial analysis of Tegra 3 you'll know that the GPU is not only clocked higher but it also has more execution resources at its disposal. To further improve performance, per "core" efficiency is up thanks to some larger internal data structures and tweaks. The end result is much better gaming performance as well as a much smoother UI.

Tasks like bringing up the apps launcher or even swiping between home screens are finally far above 30 fps. While Tegra 2 didn't have the fill rate to deal with some of the more complex overlays in Honeycomb, Tegra 3 does. The move to Tegra 3 makes the Honeycomb experience so much better. This is what it should've been like from the start.

Gaming performance is also significantly better as you can see from our standard collection of Android GPU benchmarks:

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen 720p

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen 720p

BaseMark ES2.0 - Hover (1024 x 768)

BaseMark ES2.0 - Taiji (1024 x 768)

Performance is still not quite up to par with the iPad 2, but if we look at GLBenchmark's Egypt test Tegra 3 doesn't do too bad. The gap grows in more texture bound tests but in a heavier shader environment Tegra 3 isn't too shabby. While it's clear that Tegra 2 wasn't enough to deal with the 1280 x 752 resolution of Honeycomb tablets, Tegra 3 seems well matched.

Note that the BaseMark ES2.0 tests run at FP16 on Tegra 2 and 3 vs. FP24 on the PowerVR SGX 543MP2.

CPU Performance The Display: Perfect
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  • Mumrik - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I get the feeling Anand didn't enjoy the 39 hour thing :)

    Btw:

    "The resolution is a Honeycomb-standard 1280 x 752. The 16:10 panel measures 10.1-inches diagonally,"

    Huh? 1280x752?
    That's not a 16:10 resolution...
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It's technically 1280 x 800, the 752 is what you get when you remove the Honeycomb nav bar. Reply
  • mwildtech - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Great Review Anand! Much better than Engadget's. We are lucky we still got nice sunny skies in Raleigh! Reply
  • SpacemanSpiff13 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Awesome review, Anand. I already had one preordered, but your review makes me really comfortable about my impulse buy, and it's not just a play for page clicks. Really solid, in-depth. Thanks. Reply
  • jwcalla - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    very well done review Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Nice to see a decent tablet and glad they didn't dropped (like some nutjobs) the microSD slot.
    Asus should really sell the keyboard much cheaper would help them gain considerable market share and maybe make one without the battery for 50-70$.And ofc bundle realVNC or Logmein with it.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I agree that a cheaper keyboard option (or bundle w/ keyboard) would help sales.

    Regarding a version without the battery: the thing is already dangerously top-heavy when plugged into the dock. Can you imagine how bad it would be without the weight of the battery in there? They'd probably have to put some kind of weight near the front edge. Or use a design that connects the tablet further inward on the dock, as has been done on other tablets, which would ruin the laptop-like aesthetic (which is pretty nice).

    Just my 2 cents.
    Reply
  • jjj - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I was aware of that problem and amusingly enough i was also thinking about the same 2 solutions..The version without battery would be just to bring the price down a lot.The battery costs 20-25$ and that adds 40-70$ to the retail price so it would make a big difference. Reply
  • joe_dude - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Personally, I'm not so interested in comparisons to the iPad. What I really want to know is how it compares to a tablet + netbook/ultrabook/MBA???

    If it can do a decent job in both roles, then it would really make life easier. Wouldn't need to sync files or deal with two different OSes. Save time and money.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Better than a netbook (what isn't? :-P) but not as good as an ultrabook/MBA for getting actual work done.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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