GPU Benchmarks

On the GPU side, the Tegra K1's GPU is derived from the same Kepler GPU architecture we've seen in notebooks and desktops - albeit in a single SMX configuration. There are some power focused changes to mobile Kepler, and I’d reference our initial article on Tegra K1’s architecture for those interested in learning more. In this device, the GPU can run anywhere between 72 MHz to 852 MHz.

I included Surface Pro in a couple of the tests below just to show how far NVIDIA's Shield Tablet and Tegra K1 get in terms of pushing the envelope in gaming performance. Tegra K1 can deliver better GPU performance than the original Surface Pro, and given its price and thermal constraints isn't too far off of the newer Surface Pro tablets as well.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

When it comes to GPU performance, there’s really no question: the Tegra K1 is easily the fastest in all of our GPU benchmarks. It handily beats every other ARM SoC, including the newest generation of SoCs such as the recently introduced Snapdragon 805 and its Adreno 420 GPU. It's worth noting that the Snapdragon 805 is likely aimed more at smartphones than tablets, although we are looking at its performance in Qualcomm's tablet development platform here. Until we get a look at Snapdragon 805 power consumption we can't really draw any perf/watt conclusions here. Ultimately, the only thing that can top the Shield Tablet is Surface Pro line, which uses more powerful laptop-class hardware.

CPU Performance NAND Performance
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  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    I think the tablet on its own is decent. Although it is very heavy for its size (Which BTW this review does not mention its weight anywhere).

    The controller is what I end up scratching my head over. In their release photos they show a girl gaming with the tablet, but sitting like 3ft away. As if being that far away would be enjoyable.

    One other thing that is not clear, if the tablet is NOT on wifi, will the controller still work? The article makes it sound like you have to be on wifi.
    Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    WiFi *Direct* is a straight connection between the tablet and the controller using the WiFI protocol. It most certainly doesn't need a network to work. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    Hm, ok. But he specifically said it depends what type of wifi network you are on. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    That's for the connection band. Meaning that if one of the two Wi-Fi bands is in use for Wi-Fi, then the other one is the one that'll be used for the Wi-Fi direct. Reply
  • halca - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    Really? That's it for the directstylus review section? I'm disappointed. I hoped to see more comparison between the old and new, and compared to wacom's tech on samsung note line. Reply
  • scbundy - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    Shame about the screen, but with my old Nexus 7 broken and me looking for a gaming tablet replacement, this one appears to fit the bill perfectly. Especially since my gaming PC has a 780 GTX. Can't wait to try it out. Reply
  • dabotsonline - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    "In essence, this device is already ready to serve as an Android TV device."

    I thought that Google are mandating a very specific UI design for Android TV devices - one which is very different from this? Do you have any inside info regarding the final version this fall / autumn, Josh?
    Reply
  • aamir147 - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    I think he means nvidia can eventually add an android TV mode when connecting via hdmi just like you can get a console mode. Reply
  • SpartyOn - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    Personally, I love my Shield Portable (or whatever they're calling the 1st Gen device). Sitting in bed or on the couch streaming the game I just turned off at my desk is fantastic. It's also the best Android emulator device out there.

    The recent updates to allow outside the home streaming (which this article incorrectly states as only allowing in-home; please change) and 1080p Console Mode streaming via wired Ethernet, have made this a killer mobile gaming device. Instead of carting my mITX build back and forth when I want to play a game via controller on my HDTV, I can now simply hook up the Shield and stream the game, in full 1080p, to the TV and can hook up an XBOX 360 wireless controller with USB OTG. No more hauling a computer around the house or having to settle for a laptop! Seriously awesome.

    My wife and I continuously fight to use the Shield when heading to bed, she for her emulators and me for streaming from my gaming rig. I REALLY want to pick up another one so that she can have her own, so I was hoping this was going to be a self-contained device like the 1st Gen, just with the K1 and maybe some weight balancing, an extra miniUSB port, and a 6" screen with less bezel (the bezel with the 5" is HUGE and I'm sure they could creatively get a slightly bigger screen in there).

    Unfortunately, the new Shield device as a tablet is... underwhelming. Sure it has snazzy bells n' whistles for a tablet, but with the larger form factor and lack of handholding ease, this really kills a lot of its portability. I prefer the fully contained controller/screen of the original; plus, it was different and really created a new market. Now it's just another tablet in a crowded field. Seems like a dumb strategy to me.

    Until they release a refreshed Shield Portable with the K1, I'll be keeping my money. Kudos to NVIDIA though for the 1st Gen device - I love it.
    Reply
  • fivefeet8 - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    Unfortunately, you're probably in the minority at this point and I do understand why some would prefer it that way. One of the reasons I didn't get the original shield is because you couldn't do much else with it besides gaming. Even though I loved the hardware and software, I wanted something that could encompass more. Something I could use for both work and play on mobile. The new Shield Tablet fits that almost perfectly. Reply

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