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Mobile NVIDIA Tegra K1 Outperforms Intel’s PC-Class Haswell Graphics



NVIDIA stunned the mobile world last week at the Consumer Electronics Show by announcing its 192-core Tegra K1 mobile processor that’s based on ARM Holdings’ ARM Cortex A15 architecture coupled with Keplar graphics designed for mobile computing. Just how good is the NVIDIA Tegra K1? For starters, it won the Gotta Be Mobile Best of CES 2014 award for bringing desktop-class performance to mobile.

And for comparison, GFXBench benchmarking site did a comparison between the raw performance of some of the best graphics chips on the market today, including Apple’s A7 processor inside the iPad Air and iPhone 5s, the Snapdragon 800 CPU from Qualcomm that powers the Galaxy Note 3, and Intel’s Haswell CPU with its integrated HD4400 graphics inside Ultrabooks and laptops.

The GFXBench chart was reported on Phone Arena.


And according to the results, the Tegra K1 doesn’t disappoint, blowing away the Apple A7 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 flagship CPU by a factor of over 2X in terms of graphics performance. And thanks to its Keplar engine, the Tegra K1 also edged out Intel’s HD4400 graphics performance.

This is quite the accomplishment for NVIDIA, whose mobile ARM CPU business had lagged behind that of Qualcomm’s recently. Given that the Tegra K1 bested Intel’s Haswell integrated graphics, this really shows that the mobile computing power on mobile smartphones and tablets running consumer OSes is not only just catching up to PC-grade rivals, but is beginning to out-muscle the PC devices in the post-PC era.

Not only that, but the low-power ARM architecture of the Tegra K1 also has the potential to disrupt the gaming console business. With Android, gaming boxes built around the Tegra K1 could become cheaper and more affordable, with the flexibility to add peripherals and download content and games from Android’s open ecosystem. This could make $400 or $500 console boxes seem bulky and expensive, and devices like the NVIDIA Shield are already showing the power of mobile gaming.

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