The tom’s Hardware team had their hands on a Lenovo ThinkVision 28 which is an Android display powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 chip (aka Tegra 5), and ran some benchmarks on it. We posted a short teaser earlier, but here are the charts, courtesy of tom’s hardware, followed by my comments:
There are really two distinct performance components here: CPU and graphics. I recommend you to read my previous post about Tegra 5 from this summer, and the more recent Tegra K1 post from CES 2014, but basically, Tegra K1 has a CPU setup which is similar to Tegra 4 (4+1 ARM A15 cores) and a brand new graphics processor (GPU) based on the Kepler architecture, the same found in GeForce PC graphics cards.
In the Futuremark 3dMark scores, you can consider that the “Physics” portion is a multi-core CPU test. NVIDIA is doing pretty well at this one, and easily beats Apple’s dual-core setup, and gets a 10% better CPU score than today’s quad-core champions: Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 — not totally surprising for a new chip, but still impressive. This shows some incremental architectural CPU improvements, but nothing groundbreaking. This was expected and the incremental gains are welcome.
The graphics side is a bit more interesting with a 38% jump over Snapdragon 800, and a 46% jump over Tegra 4. This is what NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture is really about: a much higher compute density and better performance per watt than previous generations like Tegra 4. NVIDIA also claims to beat Snapdragon 800, and if the power envelope is within comparable range, this would be true. Unfortunately, we are not able to completely confirm this independently at the moment, but in theory, I think that their claim is valid based on what I have seen from the development hardware.
If you look at the GFXBench v2.7 scores, you will see very similar results in which Tegra K1 easily gets the lead over current generation of hardware. First I want to point out that the red bars are the important one, because the black ones are scores taken at different resolution. The red ones are using the same resolution and can therefore be compared from a performance point of view. Tegra K1 is 77% faster than Apple’s best hardware, 108% faster than Qualcomm’s best chip, and 140% faster than its own Tegra 4 in this particular test. Now there are obvious things to take into consideration before digesting these results:
1/ the Lenovo ThinkVision 28 may have very different thermal characteristics than any phone or tablet. I have not cracked it open, but suffice to say the potential for a much better cooling system is there. Also, the chip may not be in close proximity of two very hot items: the LCD display and the battery.
2/ These benchmarks are not actually using the new features that OpenGL 4.4 has over GL ES 3.0. On the other hand, there are no OpenGL 4.4 games on Android today, so it doesn’t matter much right this instant. As more PC titles make their way into the Android eco-system, this will get very interesting.