Tegra 3

Fun fact about Apple events: You see a lot of clean slides and graphs and charts and stuff. Often, they're too clean. At Wednesday's iPad event, Apple claimed its A5X processor performs four times better than NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 processor when it comes to graphics.

And that's all it said. No real numbers, no benchmarks, nothing, a point that NVIDIA noted in talking to ZDNet.

This isn't exactly a new phenomenon, folks. Pick any example you want, but I'll take you back to the summer of 2009, when Apple looked right at a room full of people at WWDC and lied about the number of apps available on other platforms.

It's a marketing game. We get that. And we know that you Android folks are smart enough not to buy into it. 

More: ZDNet; iMore


Reader comments

NVIDIA dares to question Apple's unquestioned facts


How is this new? And how are we singling Apple out? Every one of the manufacturers and platforms fudge numbers every single day. That's called modern competition.

How Apple has fallen from grace? When was it ever in grace?

It's called a lack of integrity. Many companies indeed do this today, but I don't believe they all do, or that it should ever be accepted.
This whole mentality of, if I say it enough, or in front of the right audience, it will be reported as fact, is a scourge.
I'm glad NV called them out and that A/C reported it.


Four times better I doubt it but does it spank the tegra 3 most likely especially knowing the prime and iPad 2 are on par with each other when it comes to graphics

And if they are equivalent then the ipad3 is better.

Either way, i dont believe it, apple has always spoon fed shit to anyone who will listen. The problem is everyone believes them.

How do you figure the Tegra 3's 12-core GPU is "on par" with the iPad 2's GPU? (I don't know the core count, but I know it's less than 4)

I would be interested in a link to something to back up that claim, since the demo's nVidia put out for the Tegra 3 show it playing Xbox360 games and I've never seen anything on an iOS device demonstrate anywhere *near* that kind of graphics power.


UPDATE: I have done some searching and found the Anandtech articles with the benchmarks, which do seem to back this statement up, with at least some reliability. I will concede that the PowerVR chip does seem to have a faster graphics pipeline than the Tegra 3:


and this, my friends, i why i cant buy iOS devices. maybe, one day, if the need arises, i'll get an air, even tho i'd quicker by the asus zen book, but i cant support this company's products. im sorry.

This part was laughable, good ol Apple and the Reality Distortion Field... The only part that did sting a bit was when they displayed the Twitter and Yelp apps from the Galaxy Tab. Yea. While it's not Google's fault, that's what's hurting the Android tablets the most at the moment. The overall experience. Google's done it's part, particularly with ICS, but iPad's tablet apps are a full light year ahead, unfortunately. Developers Developers Developers...

I second your comment. Android has some very cool features for making apps great like the fandango app, just look at how well it's made. I think Android developers are a bit lazy if they step up Android experience will be complete.

if you take an old G1 running android 1.5 and compare it to gingerbread, you would have to work hard to see them as the same platform... you'll see that android and the apps have come along massively.

perhaps the only good thing about Apple's arrogance is that it keeps Android developers on their toes to work hard at improving everything and not get lazy or complacent, even though android IMNSHO outshines apple on nearly everything.

Not surprised, even during the presentation they showed a recorded version of their dictation and said it works, I guarantee you they were afraid it will not work.For now we will let them have their 15 mins of fame as Android gets ready to take over.

Wait, you mean its not true? But Apple fanboys across the word are already swearing by it. Apple said it, so its gotta be true. Maybe they meant its a whole lot faster while skiing down a hill since the units are much much bigger and heavier thus having more potential energy.

It was even posted on Slashdot as "Apple's CPU is 4 times faster than Tegra 3". They never said *GRAPHICS PERFORMANCE*. So already people think it is true, and think it is 4 times the OVERALL PERFORMANCE.

Lies, lies, lies....

I noticed that as well and went to Anandtech to look for the relevant benchmarks, but I couldn't find any about Tegra 3 vs iPad 2. I did think the a mere twofold improvement of iPad 3 vs 2 was underwhelming, and that there is more than one flavour of Tegra 3 in regard to GPU.

Thanks for keeping the marketing lies in check. It will be interesting to follow...

Thanks for the link, but on only one of the benchmarks the iPad 2 shows close to 2x the performance of Tegra 3. Overall, it seems to be 1.3-1.5 times faster, not 2x as Apple stated. It will also be interesting to see how A5X churns the unnecessarily high pixel number at 2x the A5 performance...

It actually said up to 2X times as fast. Which means anywhere from 1 to 2. One of those benchmarks shows the ipad 2 being near twice as fast which would make the A5X up to 4x times as fast. That's nuts. If Apple came out with a processor months after the competition that was slower and half the in some test you fanboys would be jumping all over them. The A5X is new and already near 4X times as fast and you guys still won't give them credit...PLEASE!

The problem here is that the whole "already near 4X times as fast" is merely speculation at this point. If I can see something that truly shows the A5X being something *close* to 4x as fast, I will be the first to eat my words. But, at the moment, all we have is Apple's claim with *zero* evidence (or event details to replicate) to back that up and it's more than a little difficult to buy.

I'll be more than happy to give them credit when they present something worthy of credit. Right now all we have is more misleading marketing tactics from a company that has made a fortune by marketing uninformed users.

It's not that the A5 outperforms the Tegra 3, it's that the Tegra 3 has to push more pixels. That's why you get the fps drop. The iPad 2 runs at 1024 x 768 wheras the Transformer Prime is at 1200 x 800. It's got 1.22x as many pixels, which is why you see that approx 1.3x difference.
Now consider that the new iPad has 4x as many pixels. Even if we're to strictly believe a 2x increase in power (no doubt derived from having 4 cores for graphics instead of 2, but you never actually get that ratio of performance, it's always quite a bit less due to synchronization costs and parts that can't be parallelized), that means the new iPad will perform 1/2 as well.

You don't bother to read, do you? All those benches are off screen rendered at the same resolution. Fail.

You are exactly correct, Gee. Which means that they are purely a measurement of pipeline performance and have no *actual* bearing on *real-world* performance. You'll also notice how each of those graphs on Anandtech list the exact parameters of the test, which application was used, etc. Most benchmarks contain this information so that you know what you're actually looking at, which is why Apple's single frame with no details seems suspect. Especially since it almost makes it look like the *overall* performance is 4x faster (as is already being announced on other sites).

Again, this is how Apple's marketing strategy has worked for years: misleading information aimed at uninformed users. Apple caters to the non-tech-savvy. They *always* have. And even *if* their processor out-performs the Tegra 3 on paper (or even in off-screen pipeline rendering), it's still not enough for me to want to give up all of the extra functionality I get with Android over iOS.

I don't care how fast the processor in the iPad is, if it isn't capable of doing the things I want to do on my tablet. And I'm willing to bet the same is true of most people on this site.

Which renders this whole argument kind of pointless, don't you think?

To give credit where credit is due, the ipad2 has pretty competitive components, and it isn't unreasonable to think the newipad will be above that.

However, blatantly saying 4x times better is pretty disingenuous to their customers. Especially since it is only a matter of time before Anandtech gets a hold of all the contenders and compares up, down and sideways.

That said, the person that gets in line to buy the newipad on day one will never bother with anandtech comparisons and has already been told it is 4x better by the only people that matter.


all true, but lets not forget that most people who buy apple products don't really care about the clock speed of the processor in the device they are buying vs what the competition has. they are buying it for the apps and the fact that they know apple products "just work." to be honest, if i were to buy another tablet (i have a Touchpad, got it on firesale) i would def get the New iPad. having the most powerful processor is only one of the many selling points of a tablet. a processor is only as good as the programs it processing. the New iPad is going to be running applications at that new riiiidiculous resolution. i doubt many Android devs are going to take advantage of the upgrade screens the newer tabs are coming with anytime soon... that is what sells me, i don't know about you. (none fanboy here, EVO 3D user)

"all true, but lets not forget that most people who buy apple products don't really care about the clock speed of the processor in the device they are buying vs what the competition has."

Then why did your man go out of his way to proclaim that it is (4x) faster than the compitition?


Because "4x faster" is an idea that anyone can grab hold of. You notice that they're not talking about clock speeds, RAM, GPUs, etc...just "4x faster".

THIS. There are many, many other reasons to buy an iPad over other tablets than just raw performance. As long as there is one benchmark where the new iPad GPU is 4x faster than the Tegra 3, they are not "lying". They are just selecting a truth to benefit themselves. This is what every company does. And for the general public, they will not care if the New iPad is 1.5x faster at this and 4x faster at that, and 2.7x faster at the other thing. The fact will remain that overall it will probably be faster, if not, AS FAST. Once you get past that and realize that it's not the man reason, but A reason, people are buying an iPad the better.

Yes, I would buy an iPad before I bought an Android tablet. The iPad is, for me anyway, a much better tablet than any of the competition by a long shot. The new iPad fixes the main problem I have with the iPad/iPad 2: the crap display.

Also, just to disclose, I am not an Apple "Fanboy", I own a Galaxy Nexus, and I will continue to buy Nexus devices until such time that they are not what I consider to be the right device for me. I will say I am somewhat tired of my Stock GSM 4.0.2 Galaxy Nexus rebooting randomly, but I love the phone so much I can overlook it.

Yeah because we all love watching 1080p content on a 4:3 ratio device, like I am living in 1992, The 1080p video doesnt fit the screen and it will run much better on a 1920x1200 resolution tablet. Did I mention 4:3 ratio?? haha. Oh yeah still no OnLive on IOS either.

i am sure video on the screen will look just fine... i cant wait to see games that are optimized for that screen though. they will prob look insaaaane.

"It's a marketing game. We get that. And we know that you Android folks are smarter enough not to buy into it"

Unfortunately everyone else isn't so apple will end up selling 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 ipads because of it. LOL

Just the other day, I had an iPad 2 owner come up to me and watch me use my TF201. He said, "HUh, I thought that tablets that weren't the iPad were all just budjet tablets. That actually looks pretty good." When i pulled out the keyboard and attached it, he asked where he could buy one.

This is why bothers me about Apple. I think they have some good devices but I would never buy them because they're such a shady company. I get the whole competitive nature thing for businesses, but to flat out lie about something that can easily be proved otherwise?

Come one Apple. You're making yourselves look like idiots.

Only you don't know it's a lie, because you haven't seen the actual benchmarks of the new iPad yet.

Remember, there are objective, existing benchmarks that show a Tegra 3 isn't any better than an iPad 2. What makes you think the 2012 iPad won't clean the Tegra 3's clock?

It very well may, but not by as much as claimed. That's why nVidia wants to see the benchmarks, not some marketing slide. Fair enough?

Very fair. I'm more concerned that the reaction is going too far in the other direction among some here, that they assume the Tegra 3 is faster only because they don't like Apple.

Apple's marketing has always been "how many lies can we get away with?" Remember the old mac vs pc ads. They were almost nothing but lies.

Apple smoke and mirrors. The demo of apps that look/work better on the iPad was also typical. I am not surprised they didn't compare Google Latitude on the iPad with the Android version! Apple don't pick their facts very carefully. It may well be that the A5X is faster than the Tegra3 but, almost certainly, for a very restricted benchmark that was deliberately chosen to favour the A5X.

There are some very nice apps for the iPad and they do have a more consistent "feel" than Android but there is no argument that you can do far more on Android devices than you can on an iPad.

The "New iPad" looks to be a stopgap measure. The average user does not need the expense of a retina display and outside the USA, LTE is not of much interest. Even when 4G is more widely available in Europe, it won't work even with the "new iPad" - it will still use 3G.

Anyone who really wants an iPad might consider an iPad2 now that new and second hand prices have dropped.

I'm sticking with Android as I don't like being tied into one manufacturers range of products which are, for the most part, "closed" and incompatible with devices from other manufacturers.

Not "almost certainly." Also, Apple doesn't need Latitude given that it has Find My Friends, which is definitely optimized for the iPad's screen.

And it's somewhat foolish to say there's "no argument" you can do more on an Android device. You can *theoretically* do more on an Android tablet. But there's hardly any tablet apps for it. No Djay. No Flipboard. Many cross-platform apps that have an iPad-native version don't get any optimization for Android tablets.

You have a point on device compatibility, no doubt, but freedom has to be something that works in practice, not just inside your head. I'd liken an Android tablet's freedom to Richard Stallman's attitudes towards open-source software. He may think he's free, but there's so many things he refuses to use that he's actually the most enslaved, trapped, limited technology advocate you'll find.

Merely as a point of clarification, I believe when he says that you can do more an on Android tablet, he's referring to the more open configurability of Android. For instance, I don't like the keyboard on iOS. I don't like the keyboard on Android out of the box, either, but Android gives me the ability to change it. Same for the SMS application, the homescreen, the dialer, camera, etc.

Apple builds there devices around the concept of "this is how the phone works, and you're going to like it". Many people are gravitating towards Android because of the openness. That's not to say iOS doesn't have its place. My father and girlfriend both have iPhone's and, for them, that's the way to go. They don't *want* to have to worry about which keyboard or SMS application to use.

But, for a lot of us, the processor speed matters very little in the choice between iOS and Android because the root mentality behind the design of the systems is completely different.

I'll be the first to agree that all the customization ability in Android (not to mention the multitude of different hardware) causes "fragmentation" in the experience (which is exactly why Apple won't allow that customization) but to say that iOS is better just because the CPU of the iPad is faster is overlooking that fact that we don't buy a tablet to run benchmarks. We all (myself included) find it a little fun to try and show off how our phone or tablet is a little faster than our buddy's, but the real appeal of Android is being able to "tinker", even without having to root or jailbreak.

In the end, the discussion of whether iPad hardware is "better" than one of the Android tablets is really moot, since most of us prefer Android the OS, not the hardware we find Android on.

"average user does not need the expense of a retina display"?

It's the same price as lower resolution displays on other tablets and only $100 more than a lower resolution iPad2 display. It's a bargain because nothing like this currently exists...closest thing I know of is Sony's 13.3" Z series laptops which are 1080p displays for $2K!

The Transformer Infinity is probably going to be priced higher than this if the Transformer Prime is $500 and the original Tranformer is aimed at $400. I'd bet Asus was aiming at $700 for the Infinity and hoping Apple was going to increase the iPad prices....Apple pretty much screwed their pricing and profit margins ;-)

The display itself is almost certainly not the same cost as what a lower resolution screen would be. The tablet as a whole is priced the same as the old model. There is a difference.

And if they didn't include 4G everybody here would be ripping them for being behind the times. Even then adding a retina display to a tablet doesn't satisfy people, come on what else can you expect them to do besides fulfill every single rumor to the max possible lol wtf.

So let's see we put a retina display, 4G, a processor atleast 2X as fast as the fastest one to date (exclude A5), upgrade the cameras to a decent extent, keep or extend the 10hr battery, keep it running smooth as silk with tons of apps and supporting ecosystem, and keep the same price point...still not happy. If I were Apple I wouldn't even attempt to please consumers like you. Your only valid point was ur favor of iOS being closed in which is a BS argument seeing how honeycomb/ICS isn't fully open. Lol @ "THE AVERAGE USER DOESN'T NEED A RETINA DISPLAY."

I really doubt its that much faster if at all, otherwise there would have been some solid benchmark comparisons. Just like how the dual core A5 was supposedly way faster than the Exynos in the Galaxy S2. I call BS.

Ah I see the fanboys are back in town. But fair enough, the numbers speak the truth. Its probably because iOS is just an app drawer, no actual UI to put a load on the GPU :P


That out of the way, why is it so hard for people to admit the iPad is a great device. It is. Anyone who says it's not is just not living in reality.

Ya my last comment was admittedly harsh. I'm not saying the iPad is a bad device, I've owned one and it was a great tablet. Just a little joke get be too mad lol

Yep even though all the testing was done off screen with all the same resolutions...mmhhmmmm. Peep the anandtechs link btw

Instead of blindly calling apple liars in the same way apple says their processor is 4x better than the Tegra 3, I'd like to see an explanation from apple about how they arrived at those numbers. I'm sure they somehow twisted the numbers to get to the result they have now. Perhaps the A5X is 4x faster on the in the midwestern states on the 2nd day after a solar flare erupts on the sun.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to Apple fanboys. They could come out with an ipad 1/2 as fast as the original ipad, but call it the ipad 3, and would not lose a single sale. Sad, really.

I don't know about 4X, but there's hard data to at least show that Apple's not entirely kidding here.

AnandTech ran benches showing that the iPad 2 was about as fast as (and possibly faster than) the Transformer Prime with a Tegra 3. You know, a facts-based site that likes Android as much as anyone. By extension, a new iPad with much faster graphics, more RAM, and likely a faster underlying processor should stay clearly out in front.

Apple should come clean on its methodology, but don't let an unswerving religious devotion to Android trick you into thinking that your hardware must be better simply because it says "quad-core" on a box that's not made by Apple.

LOL. The irony of an Apple fan-boy accusing people of having an "unswerving religious devotion" to their preferred OS aside, as I've said before in these comments:

I don't care if the iPad *is* 4x faster than the Tegra 3. I don't like iOS. That doesn't mean that the iPad is "a piece of crap", it just means I prefer being able to configure my device the way I want and to be able to use peripherals that I didn't have to buy from the Apple Store.

That's not "religious devotion" to Android. That's called spending my money on the device that most appeals to me. If you prefer the iPad, then I say go grab one and enjoy it.

The point, here, is that Apple love throwing out numbers with no evidence to back them up, and some people prefer actual facts. Anandtech did a great job with that article (as they always do, in my experience) but that doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly decide the iPad is "better".

I buy Android devices for Android, not the hardware.

EDIT: Also, the CPU itself is the same. 1Ghz dual-core. They just upped the GPU's, which is why they're pushing them so hard. And, as far as I can tell, they haven't officially announced the amount of RAM. Everyone is simple assuming it'll be 1gig.

OMG! Apple got caught lying! Quick let's write an article on how awful Apple is and how they always get caught deceiving. Good thing us Android users are so smart and can recognize these lies so easily. What dumb Apple sheep. I am so glad I am on a system that it's parent company doesn't lie to me. Oh wait, Google does lie http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=2fc97be89... about it's features of it's phones. Well we don't have to report on this. This is not news, everyone knows how great Google is and how they get to do whatever they want and can refuse their customer base's cries for help on issues http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=1c21a7e36... . It's Apple people that are stupid, not us for being huge hypocrites.

Interesting I wondered if NVidia would stay quite. Now if they can show numbers to prove Apple is wrong.

They can't, because Apple isn't (at least, not in the basic "it's faster" claim). NVIDIA's an expert in PC graphics, but it has a while to catch up in mobile graphics.

has anyone showed NVIDIA this:


? if that iPad 2 is considerably better than the Tegra 3, why wouldn't the new one with twice the GPU run miles around the T3? (Taken from Gee)

I'm not a troll as I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a Galaxy Nexus, but come on. The iPad is the best tablet out there because of the overall experience with all its apps. And this is probably due to developers lack of interest in Android tablets, there are barely any apps for Android tablets when you compare the two.

First off, Apple is not my favorite company. However, they are great at marketing a product, creating huge demand and they make a damn good product usually. They took a microsoft product and after several years became the first movers in the market. One they still hold, although an increasingly smaller share every year.

Apple DOES make great products, but like a spoiled child, they want to control everything about it. It's theirs...so, everything has to be their way. If you think I'm wrong, good luck proving it...

I have several friends with IPad2s and comparing them against my Prime I don't find a real difference. Similar in both size, weight, ect... I suspect when REAL benchtesting is done with the newest OSs, I suspect the IPad HD (3?) will be similar to the newer Android Tablets.

I have found that Apple products are well liked by those who want to keep up with the Jones',have little idea how computers work or don't want large customization features. Stereotyping, a little, but most people fit in there.

At the end of the day, if you like Apple and their products, by the IPad...if you enjoy customization and adaptability, there are other devices better suited to your purposes, be it Android or a Windows platform.

As for me, I prefer open-source and all the benefits and restrictions it imposes upon me.

nVidia do not play by the rules remember. Its GPUs dont excel at standard OGL 2.0 because they want the games to be exclusive, as such they do things differently with custom paths and the end result is graphics that are MORE than a match for anything Apple have.

They did this for years in the PC market as well. Non standard extensions, the TWIMTBP scheme that gave devs a route to optimize for the Geforce so that speed and features favoured them over ATI.

Remember THD games tends not to work properly with other GL compliant GPUs, and its not just because the game checks for a Tegra and refuses to run.

Even if the Tegra 3 is slower in games (hard to say since they aren't on the same OS), the Tegra CPU should spank the A5x.

Unless I'm missing somethign, those benchmarks at AnandTech don't seem to take into account software optimized for the respective hardware.

Of course, consumers don't either.

You can't explain that to people. I've tried over and over, but they get obsessed with the numbers that come from benchmarks.

Good to see Apple's native C (almost native anyway) applications benchmark higher than the same applications ran through a virtual machine coded in Java! 

To benchmark a processor, you need a breadboard and an oscilliscope. Not a tablet.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember that Apple said the new iPad's GPU is twice as powerful as the GPU in the iPad 2. But, the new iPad has 4x the pixels. Wouldn't that mean that overall graphics performance on the new iPad would be HALF that of the iPad2? Sounds like a step backwards if that's how it is... congrats, Apple

Nvidia is focused on cpu's in their business and A5 twice as fast and A5X 4 times as fast I really really doubt that. When we see real results instead of nice looking charts and numbers I am going to stick with tegra 3 godness.

But that's the thing! Apple isn't targeting Android users; it's targeting other consumers who aren't as informed as others. Sadly, it's working too.

Hm, Nvidia sure has a lot of faith in their Tegra 3 if they're willing to benchmark it against the new iPad's A5X.

I would like to see the numbers. I would like to see someone put both phones to the test. Apples got some really big ones to announce that their A5X processor performs four times better than NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 processor when it comes to graphics. If Apple is so sure that their graphic is so much better than have a benchmark competition with NVIDIA quad-core phone and let some third parties decide the out come.