NVIDIA Tegra K1 benchmarks depict the fastest ARM graphics (so far)

NVIDIA’s upcoming Tegra K1 chips will be the first to bring the company’s notebook-class Kepler graphics to smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. NVIDIA Tegra K1 chips have 192 graphics cores paired with some of the fastest ARM-based processor cores available.

But what does that mean in terms of performance? A couple of early benchmarks help paint a picture.

nvidia tegra k1 benchmark (Tom's Hardware)

The folks at Tom’s Hardware and WCCF Tech ran a series of tests on some of the first prototypes with K1 chips found at the Consumer Electronics Show, including a new NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 prototype and Lenovo’s ThinkVision 28 smart display.

While these benchmarks aren’t always representative of real-world performance, in just about every test the devices with the Tegra K1 outperformed the Apple iPhone 5S with its Apple A7 chip as well as products with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and NVIDIA Tegra 4 chips.

In fact, WCCF Tech shows the K1 outpacing laptops with Intel Haswell processors and Intel HD 4200 or HD 4400 graphics in at least one test.

In other words — notebook-level graphics are on their way to devices with low-power, ARM-based chips. That could include mobile devices such as phones and tablets. And as the Lenovo ThinkVision 28 shows, it could also be a sign that ARM-based chips may be just about powerful enough for notebook and desktop devices.

On the other hand, that ThinkVision 28 also happens to have a high-resolution, 3840 x 2160 pixel display, and while the Tegra K1 chip scores top marks on “off-screen” benchmark tests which run at lower resolutions, it takes a lot of power to pump that many pixels, and frame rates and performance are less impressive when running at the display’s native resolution.

via Phone Arena and Engadget

  • George

    Still a long way to go, and many questions unanswered: Such as

    - is the K1 capable of driving extended resolution (> 1920 x 1080)
    displays at their higher resolution at acceptable frame rates?

    - devices using the K1 are priced y times non-K1 equipped devices.
    Are these devices y times better than their non-K1 counterparts?

    - how long will it take for desktop-class operating systems and
    apps to emerge, to give x86 Windows a decent run for its
    money. This means desktop-class apps and operating system
    (with proper windowing), a 64 bit ARM architecture, and beefier
    underlying hardware (such as RAM and internal flash storage)

    As has been shown in PCs many times over, a breakthrough in one
    area doesn’t translate into meaningful real world performance

    improvement overall.

    • Sarah

      > is the K1 capable of driving extended resolution
      > (> 1920 x 1080) displays at their higher resolution
      > at acceptable frame rates?

      Driving displays, yes. One of the CES K1 video playback live demos had a development board driving a primary 4K display at 60Hz and a secondary 4K display at 24Hz. Doing useful things with those displays is obviously another story.

  • Michael Thompson

    I look forward to seeng what these things can do in the real world.
    I tend to like nvidia stuff for the most part.

  • Kyle

    Really with all they were boasting, i expected better scoress

    • renz

      the lenovo think vision 28 were using lower clock K1 score 48FPS in GFXBench. most likely it is based on early silicon from nvidia (Lenovo were the only company with real product sporting Tegra K1 in CES). but at full clock nvidia claim it will be able to get 60FPS in GFXBench

  • bbkm

    These benchmarks and the potential of ARM to become a real competitor to Intel processor power is why Microsoft will not abandon RT.

    • https://www.facebook.com/justin.c.reback Justin

      Yeah. Especially if the K1 really is more powerful in some respects than the 360′s processing power alone. Would make a great chip for the Surface 3. I think NVIDIA doesn’t care about low tablet and phone adoption with Tegra anymore. They might just want to be at the front of the line of high performance ARM computing and graphics – which with 64 bit processing in the Denver architecture, could lead to some interesting set top boxes and other implementations of future Tegra chipsets.

    • JackFrsot

      I wonder what Intel have planned for this year, they have been silent as of late. I would expect something from them Q3 this year, not sure what though.

  • min009

    But are there going to be games taking advantage of all those core?

  • beomagi

    Any reason why the on-screen performance is so far behind?

    • https://www.facebook.com/justin.c.reback Justin

      “On the other hand, that ThinkVision 28 also happens to have a high-resolution, 3840 x 2160 pixel display, and while the Tegra K1 chip scores top marks on “off-screen” benchmark tests which run at lower resolutions, it takes a lot of power to pump that many pixels”

      That’s why. All of the other devices being benched against are running much lower resolutions (especially the Tegra Note 7, which has a 1280×800 screen). Meaning these benches could be a whole lot better if done with a device running a 1080p or 1200p screen.

      • Nathan Hubbard

        Actually the iPhone is even lower than that (1136×640), which helps explain its very high on screen scores.

      • https://www.facebook.com/justin.c.reback Justin

        Yeah I know that. I missed that in the benchmarks because I saw A7 skimmed the device thinking it was a comparison from an iPad Air or mini Retina benchmark.

    • Guest

      Apple: 1136 x 640 = 0.73 million pixels
      Lenovo display: 3840 x2 160 – 8.3 million pixels
      The Nvidia K1 was driving a screen with over 1000% more pixels. (11.3x)

    • AaronM

      Apple: 1136 x 640 = 0.73 million pixels
      Lenovo display: 3840 x 2160 = 8.3 million pixels
      The Nvidia K1 was driving a screen with over 1000% more pixels. (11.3x)

      • sebastian giacana

        Thats why anandtech rates A7 as faster than android but he never points that apple devices need less power to drive a smaller screen, thats blatant bias

  • Daniel Lundh

    Maybe Android will finally stop lagging?

    • captain irrelevant

      At least it’s getting better. My iPod 5th gen still gets disconnected from the wifi router 2 meters away from me, just like any other Apple device.

    • Xedhadeaus

      Never. They’ll continually launch updates that make you wish you backed your apk files, or push devices with resolutions the ram can’t handle.

  • Manny

    At CES they say some devices will ship in Q2. Forth times the charm for Tegra?