Analyst claims Nvidia Tegra 4 ‘clearly outperforms’ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Analyst claims Nvidia Tegra 4 ‘clearly outperforms’ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Analyst claims Nvidia Tegra 4 ‘clearly outperforms’ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
A market analyst for The Linley Group claims Nvidia’s Tegra 4 is currently the fastest ARM-based processor, faster than Qualcomm's Snapdragon APQ8064 and Snapdragon 800.

Qualcomm’s Rob Chandhock may not have explicitly mentioned Tegra 3 last year at MWC 2012, but the world plus Nvidia knew exactly which chip he was calling slower than the Snapdragon S4. Not to be outdone this year, Nvidia had some claims of their own to make at MWC 2013.

The company published benchmarks showing the Tegra 4’s superiority over Qualcomm's S600/S800 series. Obviously Nvidia’s own benchmarks are most likely biased in its favor, but even if that were not the case the data is missing TDP values. In other words, it is still unclear how much energy the Tegra 4 was consuming to achieve these numbers.

These apparently optimistic performance figures have now been analyzed by Kevin Krewell of The Linley Group in the company’s latest Microprocessor Report. Relying solely on Nvidia’s benchmarks, Krewell claims “Tegra 4 rates as the highest-performing mobile ARM processor.” The report goes on to say the 4th generation Tegra is faster than Qualcomm’s APQ8064 and most probably the upcoming Snapdragon 800 too. However, this only holds true if the processor cores are not being throttled.

Krewell aptly points out that mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are unlikely to be able to sustain all four Tegra cores at full throttle, due to thermal limitations. In conclusion, real-world performance is unlikely to be close to Nvidia’s benchmarks, though it remains to be seen just how large the gap will play out to be.

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Author: Ronald Tiefenthäler/ Alex Storey, 2013-03-12 (Update: 2013-03-13)