An early benchmark of NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 system-on-chip (SoC), which was announced at CES 2014, shows the new mobile processor may potentially be “the next big thing in SoCs” this year, as Tom’s Hardware puts it. “Based on our initial looks at Tegra K1 in Lenovo’s ThinkVision, the SoC far outperforms any of its competition,” the site says about a 3DMark test, “posting 25%-higher results in the GPU-heavy graphics workload and CPU-limited physics test.”
The Tegra K1 processor, which has four ARM Cortex-A15 cores, a low-speed companion core, and a Kepler-based GPU that packs no less than 192 cores, will equip various mobile devices later this year, and will ship in a 64-bit version (codenamed Denver) as well. The publication tested Tegra K1 against several processors including the Apple A7 chip inside the iPhone 5s smartphone, the NVIDIA Tegra 4 inside the Tegra Note 7 tablet and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 inside the Google Nexus 5 handset.
Interestingly, the Tegra K1 SoC that was tested by Tom’s Hardware was an underclocked version of the 32-bit model that will ship later this year. Or at least, that’s what the publication believes it tested, as it didn’t receive clear confirmation aside from “knowing winks and smiles” regarding the processor inside the Lenovo ThinkVision 28 4K test monitor – the device also happens to run a full Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system. While overall, the new NVIDIA processor outperformed rivals, the 4K resolution of this $1,000 28-inch smart monitor shown at CES explains why the chosen competing devices, that have significantly smaller screens running at lower resolutions, managed to beat the Tegra K1 in certain tests (see the GFXBench 2.7 onscreen scores below).
According to the website, the Tegra K1 can be a “game-changer for mobile graphics,” as it could offer “high detail levels in content previously only seen on the PC and consoles.” It is believed that the final 32- and 64-bit Tegra K1 versions will offer even better performance. More images from this first Tegra K1 benchmark test follow below.