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Early NVIDIA Tegra K1 benchmarks show promising results

NVIDIA announced a doozy of a processor at CES last week, with the 192-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 stealing the show. While all the tech demos and claims say this thing is a beast, some folks were still wondering just how much more powerful this processor is up against the likes of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and Apple’s A7 chipset. Thankfully, Tom’s Hardware was able to deliver that answer.

Tegra K1 Announced

Early benchmark tests from the Tegra K1-equipped Lenovo ThinkVision 28, a 28-inch 4K monitor that runs Android, handily outclasses the competition in many different areas. In standard 3DMark tests for GPU graphics, CPU physics and the Ice Storm Unlimited demo at 720p across the board (meaning there’s no need to take resolution differences into account), the Tegra K1 runs at least a full lap around Apple’s A7, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and NVIDIA’s own Tegra 4.

While the K1 didn’t have a huge lead in physics calculations, graphics performance easily surpassed the aforementioned processors by around 25%. It’s an interesting result considering the Tegra K1′s clock speed is artificially limited (meaning even faster configurations could bring more impressive results down the line).

Of course, comparing the Tegra K1 to Qualcomm’s older Snapdragon 800 isn’t a terribly fair comparison. We’d be more interested in seeing how it stacks up to the Snapdragon 805, though no devices with that SoC are available for testing at this time.

nvidia tegra k1 benchmark

Benchmarks in Antutu show some very interesting results, with Tegra 4 beating out the Tegra K1 by a pretty decent margin. It’s worth noting that the Tegra K1 scored much higher than Tegra 4 in the user interface composition tests, though the K1 lacked in GPU performance. Everything else was pretty much neck-and-neck. It’s tough to say why these results turned out like they did. It could be due to the fact that Antutu doesn’t yet support the Tegra K1, but as it stands the Tegra 4 beats it in terms of overall score.

It’s worth noting that benchmarks don’t always tell the full story, as real-world performance can also be much different than what the numbers on paper say. We’ll have to wait for more devices and more testing to see where, exactly, the K1 stands, but things are definitely looking bright for NVIDIA’s latest silicon project.




  • Defenestratus

    >>Benchmarks in Antutu show some very interesting results, with Tegra 4 beating out the Tegra K1 by a pretty decent margin.

    Am I looking at the same graph?

    • Dan

      No. You’re looking at the 3Dmark graph and they are talking about the antutu graph.

      That said, if they were going to talk about the antutu scores, they really should have shown that graph too.

      • Defenestratus

        Ok… I admin I’m relatively ignorant about “benchmarking” programs. I thought Antutu was just a part of the benchmarking program that was used to generate that graphic.

        Thanks for the clarification.

        • KateC

          The Antutu benchmark was running a native 4K display, so it’s no surprise that Tegra 4 bested it (running a paltry 1280×800 display).

          • alexxx

            This whole article is a very bad translation of technicalities behind these tests, resolution is such a major factor!

    • AaronM

      The K1 was pushing 8.3 million pixels on the Lenovo display vs the Tegra 4 pushing 1.0 million pixels on its native display.

  • BENSTEEL

    Have you ever reviewed the Eva Tegra Note 7…?
    Don’t remember seeing it….

  • godrilla

    I would like to see tegra k1 vs snapdragon 805 chip. performance/power.

    • AaronM

      As soon as someone gets ahold of something that actually has the 805 in it and does some benchmarks for the 805.

  • Garret Broemser

    It only makes since that the tegra k1 comes out so far ahead in graphics. It has 192 Cuda Cores (Nvidia’s Graphic Processing Cores) which in terms of pc graphics brings it somewhere between nvidia’s gt 630 and gt 640. The gt 640 can probably play battlefield 4 on 720p about medium settings anti aliasing disable and get around 30 fps.

    • rstat1

      the K1′s GPU isn’t between a 630 and 640…it IS a 630 variant if you just go off the core count.

  • EP_2012

    Nvidia really tried to promote the “physics” capabilities of this chip, but looking at that graph, it’s only slightly better than the older chips… they were trying to sell this like it was on par with current gen consoles, but it really isn’t that impressive considering the hype of having “192 cores!!!!”.

    • renz

      well down the road they will bring in their gpu accelerated physx into their tegra chip which is impossible with previous tegra. game engine like Unity already have physx. the UE4 underground demo nvidia said the electrical spark were calculate in real time. most likely it is done with the help of gpu PhysX (no concrete details on UE4 yet but i believe the engine use nvidia PhysX for it’s game engine much like UE3)

  • WhoaManWtF

    Now show the 805! is it even better than that?

    • AaronM

      Ok, where are the Snapdragon 805 benchmarks????

      • WhoaManWtF

        That is what I was saying!

  • phinn

    Now show us that it does that with no increase in power consumption.

    Furthermore compare it to the Snapdragon 805 too.

    • AaronM

      We will have to wait until someone publishes some benchmarks for the Snapdragon 805. Right now there are published benchmarks for the NVIDIA K1 as tested in the Lenovo 4K resolution ThinkVision28.