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NVIDIA's Tegra 3 Outruns Apple's A5 In First Benchmarks 390

Posted by timothy
from the no-processor-left-behind dept.
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA's new Tegra 3 SoC (System on a Chip) has recently been released for performance reviews in the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet. Tegra 3 is comprised of a quad-core primary CPU complex with a 5th companion core for lower-end processing requirements and power management. The chip can scale up to 1.4GHz on a single core and 1.3GHz on up to four of its cores, while the companion core operates at 500MHz. It makes for a fairly impressive new tablet platform and offers performance that bests Apple's A5 dual-core processor in more than a few tests. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime with optional keyboard dock and NVIDIA's Tegra 3 is set to be available in volume sometime around December 19th."
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NVIDIA's Tegra 3 Outruns Apple's A5 In First Benchmarks

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  • Transformer Rocks... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tsingi (870990)
    I have the first Transformer, I'm very pleased with it.
    • But (Score:5, Funny)

      by maroberts (15852) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:33AM (#38226280) Homepage Journal

      I have the first Transformer, I'm very pleased with it.

      Does it change into a car or plane when you need it to?

    • by Tsingi (870990)
      For another Apple Android stats interpretation war, read on...
    • by FunkyELF (609131)

      If the transformer could dual boot into a real Linux desktop environment or if android had a "desktop" application then it could compete with Windows 8.
      From what I've seen of Android (I've had a MyTouch and now a G2) I'm not sure how much use I'd get out of the keyboard / trackpad.
      I like the idea... hopefully these things will come. But even if X or Wayland was running inside of Android, wouldn't you still need all the GNU userland?

    • by Guppy (12314)

      I have the first Transformer, I'm very pleased with it.

      Was it more than meets the eye?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:26AM (#38226212)

    *sigh*

    Tegra 3 is faster than the A5? Whoopty-doo. You know why Apple is winning the tablet and phone market? Here's a hint: It's not about specs anymore. When it comes to tablets, people don't care about benchmarks or who's got the fastest RAM. We (Slashdot geeks) might, but the rest of the world couldn't give a flying fuck. It's about user experience. And Apple's got that all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. Whereas none of their competitors do (HP came close, and we'll see about Ice Cream Sandwich but my educated guess is "probably not good enough for the average person").

    So yeah, run all the benchmarks you want NVIDIA, but when it comes down to actual concrete sales, Apple's still going to eat you for breakfast.

    • When it comes to tablets, people don't care about benchmarks or who's got the fastest RAM. We (Slashdot geeks) might, but the rest of the world couldn't give a flying fuck. It's about user experience.

      Did you even see what Transformer actually is? There's nothing even remotely close to that in "Apple experience" today.

      And, as it happens, this story isn't about devices - it's about chipsets. If you don't care about that, why bother to post? This is Slashdot, after all. News for nerds.

    • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:43AM (#38226400)

      Apple is "winning" the tablet war for two reasons:

      1) They had a good year lead in entering the market (actually more since the first Android tablets weren't designed to be tablets and were released against Google's recommendation).

      2) They have a cult of fanboys who would literally buy anything with the Apple logo on it and those people then pressure other people to get Apple products to "be cool".

      • by bryan1945 (301828) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:53PM (#38227228) Journal

        I find it interesting that Apple users are a cult, while rabid Android supporters are just fine.
        No, I don't have Apple stuff.

        • Really neither of the rabid/cultish groups are worth listening to.

          Both Apple and Android have OSes that are pretty user friendly and both work equally well. Both pretty much do the same thing, and there is very little difference between them, since as soon as either side brings in an interesting new feature or app, the other adopts it.

          Just find the phone for the best price and the features that you want. It's only a damn phone, there will be a better one out in a month anyway.

      • by Mr Bubble (14652) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:57PM (#38227298)

        2) They have a cult of fanboys who would literally buy anything with the Apple logo on it and those people then pressure other people to get Apple products to "be cool".

        I keep hearing this, but it is not borne out by reality. There would have to be an awfully large number of cult fanboys to sustain the kind of numbers Apple is posting. At what number do cult fanboys turn into satisfied customers?

    • by nedwidek (98930) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:52AM (#38226516)

      It's about user experience. And Apple's got that all wrapped up in a pretty little bow. Whereas none of their competitors do (HP came close, and we'll see about Ice Cream Sandwich but my educated guess is "probably not good enough for the average person").

      I keep trying to figure out what people mean by iOS's user experience. I've got a transformer with the dock. Absolutely love it. Notifications are simple and unobtrusive. There is a back button that works.

      I borrowed an iPad for a week and had to keep reminding myself NOT to throw it against the wall since it wasn't mine. At any point the damned thing needed to open a browser or map from one app the way back was not apparent and I ended up hitting the home button and needing to navigate back to where I was in the original app. In Honeycomb, I just hit the back button and I'm back. I guess if all you do is play Angry Birds it would seem pretty simple.

      Don't take this as a flame. I'm really interested in why someone who uses both iOS and Android on a regular basis would say that iOS has a better user experience. I develop on and use both, but my personal iPod Touch is used for nothing more than a source of music on my alarm clock and in my Jeep. I dread using it for anything else.

      And as an owner of the original Palm Pre I can certainly say that WebOS beats them both by a mile. Too bad the hardware was such shite and the limitations in the API were woeful.

      • by Pope (17780) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:07PM (#38226696)

        Open a handful of apps. Switch between them. Now lock it and put it away for a couple of hours. Now unlock it: quick, where does "Back" take you?

        Double-click on the iOS home button and you get the application switcher, so you can get back to any other running app, exactly in the state you left it.

        • by slyrat (1143997) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:36PM (#38227010)

          Open a handful of apps. Switch between them. Now lock it and put it away for a couple of hours. Now unlock it: quick, where does "Back" take you?

          Double-click on the iOS home button and you get the application switcher, so you can get back to any other running app, exactly in the state you left it.

          At least on my android you can hold the home button down to get the app switching you are talking about. I'm not sure what this comment was supposed to be showing...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            The back button is a design mistake. Having a dedicated back button does not fit all scenarios and leads to ambiguous choices the user can't resolve without having to tap it to see what happens or suboptimal app behavior. A good example is Android's camera camera roll switching which is/was (I haven't looked at ICS) fundamentally broken and not user friendly. Stepping back a bit and thinking about it, it's pretty clear the culprit is the back button and the UI flow that it forces.

        • by chill (34294)

          Or single-tap the Android application switcher icon, so you can get back to any other running app, exactly in the state you left it.

          I have a Transformer and love it. The optional keyboard with full-size SD slot, USB ports and extra battery is a real plus.

        • Irrelevant; if you wanted to go somewhere specific, you'd use the home button just like an iOS device, or if its something you used recently, you'd hold down the home button and pick from the MRU list.

          The Android devices can do the same behaviours as the iOS devices, but the inverse is not true.

      • At the outset of the IOS vs Android wars, i think IOS was clearly better in terms of experience. It made a priority out of indicating to the user that it was working on their request ex: touching an app icon immediately launched the splash screen for that app, vs android just kind of freezing for a bit while the app was loaded. It was streamlined without a lot of confusing options or paths you could take.

        I don't think that's the case anymore. Android has improved a lot, and the phones and tablets i've se
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Tegra 3, an unreleased chip that you won't be able to actually get in a shipping product for several months at least, is faster than the A5, a chip that's been in shipping products for the last six months.

      Seriously. Apple's not doing too badly on specs either, apparently.

    • It doesn't help that Android phones also seem to be advertised to adolescent boys who like robots and women in tight black jumpsuits fighting in a dark rooms.
    • by vawwyakr (1992390)
      I personally just don't understand the user experience that is so nice about iOS. I have two iOS devices in my household (a iPod touch and my wife's iPhone) and they don't seem in any way better than my Android phone. They actually seem more tired and less interesting to me. There's nothing that is easier to me about using them (in fact some things seem harder to me as they tend to have a deeper/more confusing menu system for system settings). The main screen is just a bunch of icons/folders all sorted
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MikeBabcock (65886)

      No offense, but Apple's got marketing ... the experience side I've experienced is different.

      Nearly every person who sees my wife using her new Motorola Droid3 or me using my Dell Streak 5 ask which IPhone we have (lol). Then we show them our customized home screens with information instantly visible, from calendar appointments (I use S2 calendar widgets) to recent friend updates to weather forecasts. Then she slides out the very nice keyboard on hers, or more likely demonstrates how fast it is to enter t

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:26PM (#38227756)

        I work for a company that does marketing for both Apple and Android manufacturers. Trust me, they all have great marketing teams and big budgets. The success of the products isn't as simple as marketing.

        The difference is that Apple takes the time to do both hardware AND software specifically so that they can build a unified consistent experience. Whereas Android manufacturers just slap the Android OS on the hardware and hope for the best.

        To counter your anecdotes, time and time again I hear people bitching about their Android devices because it's slow, or software is buggy and inconsistent, or UI is confusing, etc. I think it's pretty telling that the "touch" event in the Android API is called "click".

    • by Nursie (632944)

      It's not about specs anymore. When it comes to tablets, people don't care about benchmarks or who's got the fastest RAM. We (Slashdot geeks) might

      And where is this reported? And where are you commenting right now?

      Is it slashdot? Do you think some people here might be interested then?

    • This isn't even exciting anyway:

      This just in! New hardware faster than existing hardware! Read all about it!

  • News just in: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    New, unreleased processor faster than old, widely available processor.

  • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:26AM (#38226216) Homepage Journal

    Really? Comparing benchmarks? All this time, and you people still don't get it.

    • by IICV (652597)

      I know for a fact that you did not RTFA, because that link is broken :)

  • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:27AM (#38226222)
    A quad-core (technically quint-core) processor with 30% higher clock rates (40% higher for single core applications) is faster than a dual-core processor - I think saying "stating the obvious" is beyond redundant.
    • by stephentyrone (664894) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:39AM (#38226364)

      If anything, the news is that the iPad2 actually *wins* in half of the linked benchmarks.

      • Exactly, chances are the iPad3 will be faster then the the iPad2. The fact that the iPad2 still outperforms this chip in some areas is a testament to Apples design. Chances are the iPad3 will beat out the Nvidias. Besides metrics of measurement are often used to prove any ones point. You just mix in the metrics that are "Important" to you and toss out metrics that are "Insignificant" and there you have it you can usually prove most things, and let your competitor win a few just to make it seem fare.
    • Since when is quad-core cpu A 'automagically' faster than dual-core cpu B? Of course 2x the number of cores helps a lot, but it still depends on how much work each core can do @ a given clock speed (and that's ignoring the issue of how well existing apps' performance scales across multiple cores).

  • Misleading summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:30AM (#38226250)

    Of the linked benchmarks:

    LINPACK: "Unfortunately, the iOS version of Linpack is different enough that we couldn't compare iPad 2 numbers in this test, and still get an apples-to-apples match-up (no pun intended)."
    BrowserMark: Transformer is 11% faster than iPad2
    SunSpider: iPad2 is 9% faster than Transformer
    GLBenchmark Fill: iPad2 is 230% faster than Transformer
    GLBenchmark Egypt: Transformer is 25% faster than iPad2
    An3DBench: "This is an Android-only benchmark, so unfortunately the iPad 2 couldn't play here."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Better headline: "Tegra 3 CPU on-par with a year-old processor; GPU woefully inadequate."

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      here's a better headline:

      "Stupid site releasing meaningless benches to get hits - too lazy to ask a developer to run meaningful benches".
      how hard is it to take a multi-threaded mandelbrot calculus example and compile it? not very.

      seriously, anandtech by now should have their own fpu/int tests and have a developer go check that the opengl benches are meaningful. the js benches are particularly useless as multi-core cpu metric.

      what I'm trying to say, the site is stupid and it's choice of rivals for the benche

  • Slow news day? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dswskinner (630472) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:30AM (#38226254) Homepage
    So a new chip beats a 9 month old chip in more than a few tests? What a shocker.
  • So a newer platform beats out and older one: this is not news. It is likely that whenever the iPad 3 comes out, with whatever processor (some sort of quad core A6? faster-clocked A5? off-die coprocessors?) it will have a slight edge over this Tegra 3 platform. Competing technology companies leapfrog each other (or themselves) for bragging rights (and when comparing two different tablets with two different OSes, running different native apps, that's really all this is). Such has been the march of computin
  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:38AM (#38226354)
    Seriously? This is on the front page? First of all, should that really be a surprise that a brand new, quad core chip can beat a 9 month old, slower, dual core? Secondly, Apple's success has NEVER been due to its high performance, it has always been about the shiny factor and the intuitive software design. I am personally excited about the arms race we are seeing in tablets, and hope to see high end Android tablets gain more traction, but this is just silly.
  • They're comparing something that's coming out soon (TM) vs something I've had for over 8 months! I sure hope it beats the ipad2 in benchmarks. All these numbers games are silly. It used to matter when I was building 486 DX50 desktops vs a 486 DX2-66 ... but not so much these days. There's a very very very small percentage of people that would care and/or notice.

    Wow, I guess I've become an old man! Complaining about you kids are your silly games. My apologies. </rant>

  • Tegra 3 is comprised of

    "Comprises" would suffice. The proper usage of "to comprise" != that of "to (be) compose(d of)".

    Tegra 3 comprises a quad-core primary CPU complex with a 5th companion core for lower-end processing requirements and power management

    To confuse the two is to hasten the now-seemingly-inevitable death of a perfectly good word.

    A useful guide: if you think you can substitute any uncommon word or phrase for a more common word or phrase with no change whatsoever in meaning or the structure of

  • by alexandre_ganso (1227152) <surak@surak.eti.br> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:51AM (#38226496)

    They need faster processors to deal with CarrierIQ's overhead on looking at everything you do and sending them every keystroke.

  • by Tau Neutrino (76206) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:54AM (#38226532)
    Uh-huh. And what effect does all this high performance have on the containing tablet's battery life?
    • Uh-huh. And what effect does all this high performance have on the containing tablet's battery life?

      If we're talking about the Transformer Prime, the first Tegra 3 tablet, it's equivalent in battery life to the iPad 2 and roughly double it when you add the keyboard dock. It's also thinner than the iPad2, lighter, and the screen is much higher resolution, a better form factor, and nearly twice as bright, with blacks good enough that contrast ratio is also better than the iPad 2. The iPad's advantages are in number of apps and GPU speed. I wouldn't get either because even in iOS there are hardly any non-

  • True performance (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I own the Samsung Galaxy tablet. At launch it had high specs and all.. But yet, the experience is laggy with occasionnal freezes.. is hardware the real performance, or it's the actual responsiveness that matters most?

    I'd rather have lower specs but smoother response....

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:14PM (#38226782)

    Pardon the pun but we are comparing Apple and Oranges. The Asus Transformer is designed to be a laptop/tablet hybrid so I can see this chip being used to its potential. But to make the assertion that faster is better in a purely tablet form is a stretched because for things that I actually use a tablet for (yes I have an iPad 2) the CPU is being wasted. How fast do I really need my calendar, email, iSSH, Rhapsody, Netflix, HBOgo, and notepad to go? They perform exceptionally well now.

    As a embedded systems guy, I'm interested in the Tegra 3. Outside of the Intel family, our shop has two classes of custom boards. The ones based on actual ARM or PowerPC cpus this is where the Tegra3 has a shot, and the other being boards designed around the Virtex series FPGAs that our FPGA guys are smitten with and it would take extinction event to be able to pry that out of their cold dead hands. :P

  • Shouldn't a quad core + "companion core" beat that A5 on *all* tests?
  • ...film at 11.

  • Is it really 2011? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @12:58PM (#38227312)

    The fact that anyone is even making ePenis comparisons like this shows how embarrassingly out of touch the "nerd" (versus "geek") population has become. None of this matters. It hasn't mattered for years. To cling to it as some basis for decision making, as if the ultimate Asperger's-addled answer to any question is to overlay a rational conceit even if it doesn't make any sense, is absurd.

    None of this is relevant, as much as those of you who fear the evolution in the technology market would like to believe otherwise. The more you cling to this as a basis for building products, the more you'll lose in terms of influence. We've worked too hard to have a seat at the table -- do you really want to be shoved back in the server closet again? I don't know, maybe some of you would.

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