Apple has their A5 processor that is pretty speedy and decent in what it does, but that does not mean the others in the industry are not going to up the ante and come up with something zippy as well. One of the first few competitive benchmarks of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 has already rolled out onto the Internet thanks to the presence of the Asus Transformer Prime (read our review). This quad-core mobile platform will most probably end up as the main choice to power tablets running on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform, and it is said to be the king of the hill, including the aging dual-core Apple A5.While the Tegra 3 has been proven to be a monumental leap over the Tegra 2, it does not exactly blow away the Apple A5 in certain tests. Interestingly, you should keep in mind that Browsermark and Sunspider (another Javascript benchmark) are not really multi-core friendly, so they are mostly comparing one A5 core against one Tegra 3 core. If using a benchmark (like CoreMark) that truly scales, Tegra 3 should pull ahead nicely. That said, in the real world, applications aren’t always multi-core friendly, so the takeaway is that while more cores can be a excellent way to scale performance – it’s also very difficult for software to use them. To learn more about those processors (called SoC), read SoC the force that powers smartphones and tablets.

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