Nvidia Tegra 4: The first benchmarks

We are currently testing the HP SlateBook x2, the first device with the Nvidia Tegra 4 chip that we've been able to lay our hands on. The full review will follow shortly, but we want to share the benchmark results first. It's an incredibly powerful chip, so let's see how the Tegra 4 SoC holds up in practice.

The Tegra 4-SoC from Nvidia, codenamed 'Wayne', was announced earlier this year at CES. The powerful chip is aimed at so-called 'superphones' and tablets. For more affordable smartphones, Nvidia will release the Tegra 4i, which was previously called 'Gray'.

While the two chips carry similar names, they are in fact very different SoCs. The Tegra 4i has four Cortex-A9 cores, but the Tegra 4 has four much faster Cortex-A15 cores. That's ARM's fastest core design, positioned above the Cortex-A9 used in many of the common ARM chips. The GPU of the Tegra 4i also has fewer cores than the Tegra 4 (60 instead of 72). You can find more information about the Tegra 4i here.

The new processor from Nvidia has four Cortex-A15 CPU cores, and, like the Tegra 3, an energy-efficient 'battery saver' or 'companion' core. That one is also a Cortex-A15, but with a lower clock frequency. Nvidia claims it's been tuned for efficiency rather than performance. The Tegra 4 has six times the number of GPU cores (72) compared to the Tegra 3. It of course supports the NEON instruction set, and contains hardware video encoders and decoders for up to 1,440p. The maximum supported resolution is 2,560 x 1,600, even if the refresh rate is limited to 24fps at that level. In 1,920 x 1,080, the Tegra 4 is capable of 120 fps, which is great for 3D games.

The Tegra 3 had a single channel DDR3 memory controller, and in the Tegra 4 that has become a dual-channel memory controller. The latest version of Tegra 3 supports up to DDR3-1600, and the Tegra 4 pushes that to DDR3-1866. You can read the rest of Nvidia Tegra 4: the first benchmarks on Hardware.info.