Tegra 4’s Awesome Performance? Qualcomm Isn’t Too Worried

Posted on February 28, 2013 12:10 PM by Rob Williams

When NVIDIA let some performance information loose on its Tegra 4 processor earlier this week, it seemed like it had the goods to ride-high for the rest of the year. The numbers we saw were down-right impressive – some, about 5x that of Tegra 3. Could the competition possibly compete? Well, if you ask Qualcomm, absolutely. In fact, it believes that where Tegra 4 is concerned, it could “beat it easily“.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Tablet

Whew, those be fighting words. They came from Qualcomm’s Senior VP of Product Management Raj Talluri, who also believes his company has a major edge because its flagship product, Snapdragon 800, is “so much more integrated” on account of the fact that it includes an LTE modem built right in. By contrast, NVIDIA’s Tegra 4i shares the same design, but performance-wise and $$$-wise, it’s not going head-to-head with Qualcomm’s top-shelf offering.

 Tegra 4Snapdragon 800
CPUQuad-Core Cortex-A15, 1.9GHz
L1: 32+32KB, L2:1MB
ARMv7, 28nm
Quad-Core Krait 400, 2.3GHz
L1: 16+16KB, L2: 2MB
ARMv7, 28nm
GPU72 Tegra Cores, 96 GFLOPSAdreno 330, Unknown GFLOPS
Memory32-bit LPDDR3 1866MHz32-bit LPDDR3 800MHz

Based on specs alone (which are rumored for the most-part on Snapdragon’s side), it seems that Qualcomm could beat out NVIDIA on the CPU front. Krait 400 is built similarly to Cortex-A15, so we’d suspect that the additional 400MHz on the CPU is all that’s needed to make that happen. On the GPU side, it seems likely that NVIDIA will have the upper-hand, unless Qualcomm also manages to quadruple (or more) its graphical performance in a single generation step.

It’s not clear when the first Snapdragon 800 phones will first hit the market, but we assume it’ll come close to Tegra 4’s; Q2 and Q3. It might take a little while longer before we find out who’s really going to come out on top.

  • madmatTG

    With the ram speed advantage the Tegra has I think the 400mhz CPU speed the Krait has will be more than evened out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner Rob Williams

      In straight benchmarks (not gaming or RAM-focused), the Snapdragon should still win overall. But there’s a -huge- difference between 800MHz and 1866MHz, so you’d HAVE to imagine that real-world – along with gaming, would rule Tegra the winner. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

      • madmatTG

        Yeah, if it’s only hitting the CPU cache during the run it won’t show the difference in the ram throughput but how many real world apps never get outside the cache on a CPU? The ram speed will be a deciding factor in the real world.

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