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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  • ervinshiznit - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Is it possible to run a battery life test with a H.264 encoded video being played back AND streamed over Wifi somehow? I feel like that would be a better simulation of the battery life under PC game streaming without having to sit there and play the game outright until the battery dies (although I'm sure that would be a lot of fun =))
  • Crono - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    The problem with this kind of gaming device is that it's guaranteed to be selling well only in a niche market.

    It's too big to be portable, not powerful enough to be a console or desktop killer, and not versatile enough or the right form factor to be competitive against tablets. And then there's the obvious fact that mobile gaming is being dominated right now by smartphones and smaller tablets and more traditional handhelds.

    The comparison picture tells a lot: larger than an Xbox 360 controller is too large.
  • darkich - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Desktop killer??
    Did you even read about this device at all??
    This is a desktop EXTENSION in the best way possible
  • PNN - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    How is it not versatile enough to compete against 7 inch tablets? If you can spare those 2 inches, you get:
    - It's probably going to have more power than any 7-inch tablet released in the next year.
    - Excelente battery life.
    - Kickstand/gamepad
    - Great speakers (except from the BB Playbook, I haven't seen a 7-inch tablet with decent audio).

    Weight is the only major disadvantage over a 7-inch tablet.
  • geniekid - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Crono's point is that this device is a mobile gaming device. It won't replace a tablet, a smartphone, a laptop, or anything with a virtual/physical keyboard. It's most direct competition is the DS/Vita, which have much higher quality game libraries.

    So who's going to buy this thing? Enthusiast gamers with a need for mobile gaming that aren't satisfied with their DS/Vita. That's a pretty small market these days.
  • PNN - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    It obviously won't replace a smartphone or a laptop, not even 9/10/11 inch tablets, but I can imagine people buying one of these instead of an iPod Touch, iPad Mini or a 7 inch Android tablet. It offers similar functionality for a similar price. Again, only if the weight is not too much of an issue.
  • Jumangi - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    It doesn't offer anywhere near the functionality when you take into consideration the form factors with something like the Nexus 7. And saying it will sell over an Ipad mini/ Wow the bizarre reality some people live in to justify weird tech.
  • PNN - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    You're not getting my point. Bye.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Form factor is a huge consideration too. You will not fit this in a jacket pocket or small bag as easily as any of the devices you mentioned, and you're certainly not going to use it comfortably with one hand. I'm not saying your point is entirely invalid, but you're arguing this thing will fit into niches where it's not an ideal match.
  • darkich - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    "much higher quality game libraries" ..oh man what a load of horse s!it.
    You are obviously completely ignorant about iTunes and Google Play games.
    There's still so much prejudice going on about that among you pc dinosaurs.

    Let me break it down:
    The vast majority of Games on google Play cost up to 7$

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