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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  • blanarahul - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Get the new Nexus 7. It has a larger screen so on screen controls won't be too bad. OpenGL ES 3.0 support is a big plus too. Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    On screen controls suck even on the much larger iPad. Emulators support RF controllers like the Wii Controller, but not enough official games do. Reply
  • varad - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Gamestop will probably have both devices on display. So you should be able to play with both and decide which one you like better! Reply
  • psuedonymous - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Much as I love the idea of the local streaming feature, you might be better served at this point with a Nexus 7, a DualShock 3 and a Gameklip. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Thanks for mentioning the Gameklip. I hadn't heard of it, and just ordered one with cases for my Nexus 7 and Galaxy Note, in case the Nexus 7 is too top heavy to game comfortably. Reply
  • Subzero0000 - Thursday, August 01, 2013 - link

    You should get Nexus 7. 'cus you can read online comfortably, and play some games occasionally. Buy a Android compatible controller if you must.

    Reading on the Shield is not going to be nice with the controller attached (unremovable) to it.
    Reply
  • boozed - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Probably should rephrase the beginning of that second para to "It’s no secret that Tegra isn’t exactly the success that NVIDIA probably hoped it would be." Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Brian. The delay of Tegra 4 most likely not the main reason why Google didn't go with them this time. There are other more important reasons, such as"

    1) no LTE for Tegra 4, and Google wanted LTE for Nexus 7, one that works on all carriers

    2) no OpenGL ES 3.0 support - was one of the main features of Android 4.3

    3) S4 Pro is probably close to half the price of Tegra 4. If they wanted a more expensive chip, they could've gone with S600 at the very least

    4) Power consumption might've played a role there, too. We need to see how Tegra 4 does in a tablet, although I honestly can't consider a chip a "mobile chip" if it can't be put in a smartphone because of too high power consumption.
    Reply
  • SydneyBlue120d - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Well, let's take a look at the comments about Toshiba Excite Pro, the first sipping Tablet with Tegra 4 onboard, Toshiba Excite Pro http://amzn.com/B00D78Q2NQ :

    - I would have most definitely kept the tablet, had it not overheated. I realize that some overheating will hsppen under normal use. However, I was quite concerned when the unit overheated a lot after only 20 or 30 minutes of use.

    - Runs extremely hot. After 10-15 mins playing light games or watching Netflix, its crazy hot

    - It's overheat when play any game for 10mins

    Ok, we don't know if it is Toshiba fault, however the fact that event on the shield it is running a fan, should sound quite dangerous...
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    My thoughts exactly. I can't for a second believe that the chip can hold up its performance levels in a thermally constrained without something giving; something either being the ability to run cool or the performance itself. Reply

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