Kal El benches

NVIDIA is starting to reveal some new details about the Kal-El multi-core processor that will power next-generation phones and tablets. The new chips could launch by the end of the year and show up in actual products soon after. Now it looks like we may have confirmation that one of the first devices to use the upcoming Kal-El processor may be the second-generation Asus Eee Pad Transformer tablet.

Someone’s been using a device called the Asus Transformer TF201 to run some benchmarks recently, because a series of test scores showed up at the GLBenchmark website. The scores have since been erased, but they’re still hanging out in the Google cached copy of the website for now.

The scores look at the new chip’s graphics performance, and while the Kal-El chip definitely holds its own, the results are comparable to what you’d see from a high-end smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy S II. While the Transformer 2 notched 53 frames per second int he Egypt Offscreen 720p test compared with the Galaxy S II’s score of 42 frames per second, the S II got close to 59 frames per second in the Egypt Standard test, compared with the Transformer’s 41 frames per second.

The Transformer 2 also wasn’t able to complete some of the tests.

It’s worth taking these results with a grain of salt, since they don’t necessarily measure overall performance, power consumption, or even real-world performance. But they do give us a bit of a basis for comparing devices. The Acer Iconia Tab A500, by the way, with a current generation NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor scored just 21 frame per second in the Offscreen 720p test and 17 frames per second in the Egypt Standard test.

The Apple iPad 2 knocks all other devices out of the water — but it doesn’t actually have a 720p display.

via Fudzilla

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9 replies on “Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2 with NVIDIA Kal-El processor benchmarked”

  1. I think that it bears remembering that the benchmark product is NOT optimized (and in fact may even be incapable at present) of actually making use of the new GPU integrated in the updated Kal-El design.

    And/or the hardware “driver” integration may not be completely ready to go yet.

    What we may be observing is the results of a fraction of that computing power being brought to bear.  This would also explain the crashes in the “high” settings tests as the product is unable to fully make use of the graphics/compute model.

    On the more general computing question, I think the advances have a great deal of bearing on the tablet market as a general segment.  The applications that we have seen on the tablet space have been – lets admit it – fairly light weight and often implementing a significantly reduced experience from thier more established “laptop” or “desktop” cousins.

    With more local processing resources, developers can start to build more comprehensive applications which can make use of data more readily in simultaneous and/or asynchronous activities.  In the prior generation of tablets, as an enterprise or a developer targetting a wide audience, you had to build for the lowest common denominator and let dual core processors essentially be a platform to allow for limited multi-tasking.  

    Only games would be constructed to make use of everything available and assume they are the only running application.  If you were – say – a spreadsheet application and made the choice to allow asynchronous processes for dealing with in-spreadsheet formulas and the like – or more complex features – you would always know that a segment of your user base is running single core.

    That segment would have a sub-acceptable user experience as the application “appeared” to them to hang or have lag between update activities and resolving further input.  What was really happening, of course, was that the application was working as normal but at a slower pace because of the limited local hardware capabilities.Whether you get a tablet to play games, or you are looking to develop an enterprise application, I think the move to a quad-core design – particularly one that has hopes to also deal well with low-demand/low-power – is a great step forward in the maturity of the mobile sector and tablets in particular.

    I have been holding back on purchasing a tablet, first to see what Amazon brings to the table, and now because Kal-El is so close I would rather buy in early on Kal-El and know that I will be “current” for a good while.

  2. Having had the Transformer since July, I don’t really see the need for increased performance just yet.  Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, it seems like cherry on top of an already great product from ASUS.  Then again, having a TF and a 1201N… I’m an ASUS whore.

    1. In terms of competition, it finally gives hardware advantage over products like the iPad 2 that offers significantly better graphics than the aging Tegra 2.

      Along with a general speediness of the OS and running of Applications because it’s easier for Apple to keep iOS optimized for their hardware than it is for Android to be optimized for all the different versions of ARM systems it gets to be run on.

      Remember, Tegra 2 is 2010 technology and it just took Nvidia a year to start getting products out.

      While new Honeycomb features like the Video Editing App can benefit from the additional performance, and also make room for additional improvements to be made to the OS.

      Not to mention, it allows Tegra 2 devices to be given price cuts and better justifies the premium cost that these big name company tablets are being sold at presently.

      On a side note, it also means you could always install Windows 8 on the system since Tegra 3 is compatible with the Windows 8 specification requirements. Along with other ported desktop OS like linux and Chrome, which you can get sooner and would also benefit from the increased RAM support. 

      1GB of RAM is becoming standard now for many ARM devices and while that’s plenty for Android it’s only now getting into the range to better support modern desktop operating systems.  Not to mention some linux distros like Puppy can run entirely in RAM.

      Many ARM devices don’t use SSDs as fast as laptop/desktop versions.  So that’s another reason more RAM can help.

      In terms of running a desktop OS, Tegra 2 barely could run Ubuntu without being too slow.  So Tegra 3 finally puts ARM performance in the Netbook ATOM performance range and let’s the Transformer take more advantage of its keyboard dock with usage of desktop OS for those that desire more than Android/Honeycomb can provide.

      Tegra 3 should also offer more efficient power usage with the scalable performance and that gives it another leg up over the previous Tegra 2 for better overall run times and nearly the same power usage with higher usage.

      If you want to discuss the possibilities more, the EeeUser.com forum is a good site for fellow Eee users to discuss these products with each other and has a Eee Pad section for models like the Transformer.  I go by zeo on that forum btw.

      1. Man, @CyberGusa, you don’t know how ready I am to start using an ARM processor on a cloud-synced desktop. I think I just bought my last INTEL based product w/ the $99 Google TV (ATOM). I want to switch so badly that I may just get the ASUS Transformer/dock and plug it’s mini-HDMI into my Samsung 27″ TV/Monitor in the bedroom. Because I’m addicted to synced apps now, I pretty much only use Google Docs, Zoho, and DropBox anyway.

        1. It’s a long time coming but ARM is finally getting into a position to start offering more traditional computing devices.  Though you can get synced apps with virtually any system these days.  So main reason to go with ARM is the general lower power usage and usually smaller and lighter design.  Lower pricing is also possible with ARM but there are trade offs and reasons why ARM tablets are still pricey.

          Hopefully Asus will be able to able to offer the Transformer 2 for close to netbook pricing.  Keep in mind up till now anything approaching netbook performance range has been priced much higher for ARM devices.

          This is due to a combination of the fact that other components like a Touch Screen and higher quality screens add to the cost and because ARM devices are still sold with the more standard profit margins that most of the market follows.  Basically netbooks are one of the few products sold with a small profit margin that gives them a edge that counters the normally higher build costs.

          While Netbook prices are continuing to drop and with Cedar Trail coming out we’ll see more sub $300 models, which also offer more performance than existing ATOM systems and also longer run times and new features.

          So it’s not exactly a clear cut choice yet.  There are compromises going either way.

          If however you just want to run Android and need something just for home, there are more affordable home set top ARM boxes you can get for much less than the Asus Transformer/2.  Though with Tegra 3 the Asus Transformer should be noticeably better performer and adds long portable use.

          1. Am I wrong in hearing that they just announced Transformer 2 is going to go for $499/$650 with the dock?

            At that price point, why bother?

          2. Early reports on price can be wrong, but the Tegra 3 has 3x better graphics and 5x better CPU performance.  While maintaining similar power usage for about the same run time.  Not to mention you should be able to install Windows 8 on it when it finally comes out late next year for longer period of usefulness than you’d get out of the original.

            Conversely, this means the original Transformer will get a price cut.  While increased competition likely means the Transformer 2 will likely not stay that high priced for long.

            A lot of this has to do with timing and the 40nm Tegra 3 may or may not be able to be priced at a good enough price point.  However, 2012 will see the introduction of 28nm next gen ARM processors from other manufacturers and Asus could always switch to one of them once they become available for a better priced alternative.

            Though OS and software optimization will have to be redone for whichever one they choose.

            Though Asus will also reportedly be offering a Ivy Bridge based Ultrabook for as low as $600 some time next year as well and with the pricing that close you might as well stick with Intel and the much higher performance they offer for the price, but again it depends on timing and how well they can price the final product.

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