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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  • pancakes - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I heard they used Mini-HDMI because it's the most secure when moving the device around (via http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/07/30/nvidia-shi... Reply
  • VulgarDisplay - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I incredulously read the praise being heaped upon this device wondering what type of NDA had been agreed to for such an upbeat review of this odd and all but useless device and then I got to the end.

    I love the passive aggressive way of confirming what everyone already knows about the Shield, there is absolutely no reason to buy this over a smartphone. Don't worry guys, it offers minimal hitching and low latency when played on the toilet a room away from where your PC with no latency and a usable screen is sitting using up energy to stream games to a device that also uses energy. Oh, and don't forget that this brick with a fan is faster than a 10mm thick tablet that has a more usable screen that when paired with a ps3 controller would actually make a more portable gaming package.

    So many of the uninformed are going to be extremely disappointed that the only way that the PC streaming will actually provide a good experience is by using it in the same house as the PC you are streaming from.
    Reply
  • Cohaagen - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    There is absolutely no reason to buy this over a smartphone?

    If you want a smartphone, this is the wrong device. But I'm searching for a fast device, which can handle all Android games now and the next few years and has a good battery life.

    Even the actual Android-flagships Galaxy S4, HTC One and Xperia Z (both much more expensive than the Nvidia Shield) are slower than the Shield.... the PS3 controller not even counted in. Their battery life is worse.

    Due to their 1080p-displays, their performance limit will be reached much sooner by more demanding games... the same goes for the new Nexus 7. I really like the decision of Nvidia, not to follow the ppi craze, 720p is perfectly fine for a gaming device with 5"-display.
    Reply
  • Cohaagen - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Correction:
    Even the actual Android-flagships Galaxy S4, HTC One and Xperia Z (all of them much more expensive than the Nvidia Shield, the PS3 controller not even counted in) are slower than the Shield. Their battery life is worse.
    Reply
  • chizow - Sunday, August 4, 2013 - link

    Yes looking at some benchmarks around the Net, I didn't realize how fast this thing is. It's also significantly faster than the leaked Snapdragon S800 version of the Galaxy S4. Too bad Nvidia couldn't get Tegra 4's thermals under control, it's quite the performer. Reply
  • GrahamAudio - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Is there a camera? Reply
  • blanarahul - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    The last line of the article pretty much sums up everything. I wish they would do something like Project Phoenix. Reply
  • ET - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the review. The Shield looks like it right for my needs, and I'm glad it turned out to be well implemented. I might buy it at some point (if I have someone to bring it from the US), and finally get to play some of the PC games I don't get to play because my gaming time is usually away from my PC. Then again by that time I might be playing games such as Shadowrun Returns, Broken Age and Deus Ex: The Fall on my Nexus 7 and won't feel the need to buy it. And maybe, just maybe, Kainy will work well enough one day to provide decent PC streaming. Still, it's a tempting device for me. Reply
  • Heavensrevenge - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I REALLY hope they just say screw developing this too much to waste resources on it beyond now to beat this dead horse, I agree 100% Nvidia should mold this beast device into a super smartphone factor and rip Google Nexus' a new one.
    It's a cool device, but it's ~90% useless to ~90% of people (me included) .
    So if they make a super kick-ass extreme battery life super-phone, I'd definitely buy one of those!
    But Shield will never be in my wish-list of things to get ok Nvidia? If your reading this... Give us the best phones in a year or so and be done with this down-scaling prototype and get past this foreplay to the action of a beast phone which this thing dreams to grow up into.
    Reply
  • JNo - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    Sot it's of potential use to 10% of the population? That's still a huge market!

    What's with all the hate. Not every device has to have universal appeal. Those who see the value in it know who they are.
    Reply

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