CPU Performance

Tegra 4 features the fastest ARM CPU configuration of any device we've ever tested. There are four Cortex A15 cores inside running at up to 1.9GHz. Note that 1.9GHz is the max CPU frequency even with all four cores active. Tegra 4 is an absolute beast. Do keep in mind that the Tegra 4 is actively cooled via a fan inside Shield, which does give it a bit more thermal flexibility than what we'd normally find in an Android tablet.


CPU-Z incorrectly identifies Tegra 4 as Tegra 2, the cores and frequencies are accurate though

Looking at even our limited CPU performance suite, the combination of ARM's first 3-issue out-of-order architecture, incredibly high clock speeds and a big chassis to dissipate heat is extremely evident. SunSpider performance is in downright low-frequency Core territory, and it just blows away anything else we've seen from any device running Android or iOS. The comparison in Google's Octane benchmark is still strong, although the Nexus 10 comes very close. Finally, we see great performance in Kraken as well. It's a shame we haven't seen Tegra 4 used in more places, because honestly this thing could make for a killer Windows RT device.

I threw in some of our early Snapdragon 800 performance data, and it looks like Tegra 4 still pulls away with a win in that comparison as well. ARM's Cortex A15 is just insanely quick. Again, there is a fan in Shield - that definitely helps make this possible.

For what it's worth, there's no funny CPU clock boosting going on upon launching any of these tests.

SunSpider 0.9.1 Benchmark

Google Octane v1

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark (Stock Browser)

Gaming on Shield - Android, PC, AR Drone 2.0 GPU Performance - 3DMark & Basemark X
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  • Revdarian - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I am sorry but you really felt comfortable with a "mobile" gaming device that weight over half a kilo for how long?
    How comfortable/uncomfortable was it reported by anyone else who actually tried it for prolonged time?
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Because it spreads a lot of its area out, it really isn't that bad. I definitely spent at least two hours playing nonstop Borderlands 2 without thinking about it. And lots of time outdoors with the AR Drone 2.0.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • zebrax2 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    For a gaming device review i find it a little disappointing that it seems like not a lot of time was spent playing with the device Reply
  • jasonelmore - Friday, August 02, 2013 - link

    He's been playing With shield for over three months including all of these expos him and anand have went to. I think it's safe to say he's had more playtime than any other reviewer. Reply
  • blanarahul - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I too want a Nvidia designed phone. Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Who knows, after Tegra 4i launches, if Shield does well enough, that may be the next step for Nvidia. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, August 01, 2013 - link

    If anything, this great review proves Shield is a technology showcase for Tegra 4, and how excellent it will be in a phone. Obviously active cooling will be nixed so the clocks will drop, but the battery life is substantial. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, August 01, 2013 - link

    I don't understand the logic here. The clocks will have to drop so performance will as well. Power will drop as well probably - depends on leakage) but then you'll be dealing with a much, much smaller battery. To be honest it's a massive unknown at best. Reply
  • PC Perv - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    You can't be serious. So now weight is relative to shape, in your hands? And talk about the shape.

    Unbelievable how far reviews would go to put gloss on stuff that reviewers themselves will never pay for. The ranting at Google in the last page is pure gold. Talk about "entitlement mentality."
    Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Why isn't it serious? How weight is balanced and distributed across a surface plays a HUGE impact in how it feels in the hand. This isn't a foreign concept to just mobile devices, look at how knives, daggers, even guns are critiqued in this respect. Reply

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