Android Central @ CES

We didn't get to see NVIDIA's new Tegra 4 system running on any new tablet hardware tonight at CES, but we did see it in a highly controlled demonstration by president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. In the demo, NVIDIA put Tegra 4 up against the Samsung Nexus 10, currently the most powerful Android tablet available, with each loading 25 web pages over a local network (taking Internet latency and speed fluctuations out of the equation).

The end results? Well, NVIDIA would run a demo to lose, would it? We'll still have to wait a little while for some real-world testing. But for now, Tegra 4's looking pretty impressive.


Reader comments

Tegra 4 versus the Samsung Nexus 10


Notice how they used Chrome on the Nexus 10. Well played, Nvidia. Google's dogshit slow browser for Android is quite a marketing strategy indeed.

Well, they demoed with what the device ships with. Lets hope Chrome merge with dev channel this month will bring better performance.

That means absolutely nothing. They have to use the same version of the same OS and the same version of the same browser or they are NOT comparing the hardware.

I can't believe anyone would lend ANY credibility to ANY of their claims after crap this this.

Chrome is plenty fast on my S3 and even my old Epic Touch, on my Infinity on the other hand...But that has less to do with the browser and more to do with the Infinity's inability to cache large amounts of information properly.

Yeah, but in this case it's not about what's fast, but rather what's fastest. If you were to root a Nexus 10 and install the stock AOSP browser on it the speeds would greatly increase. I know, that's what I did. And you'll notice that the Tegra 4 just so happens to be running that browser (the dark coloring and semi square tabs are an easy indicator). So in a comparison where they strictly pay attention to speed, they should at least use the same browser and the same test, otherwise the result is not fair.

I have no doubt that tegra 4 is faster, but I now have massive doubt that it's anywhere near twice as fast

Indeed, more marketing BS. They could have at least downloaded Chrome on the Tegra 4 device to make it fair, or put both on something like Dolphin browser. Their test to me said that the aosp browser is twice as fast as chrome, not that tegra 4 is twice as fast as exynos 5. Which im inclined to believe since chrome is notoriously slow, and also, at least for me, crashes the Nexus 10 constantly.

Yeah, it's unfortunate they didn't remove as many variables as possible. But then again, this is PR and not an objective test so grains of salt to all.

Terga SoCs have always looked good on specs but only to be blown away by the equivalent Exynos processors in real world experience!!
Hope that is not the case with it, this time!!

Wow, so a quad core A-15 Exynos is almost twice as fast as a dual core A-15 Exynos ?? Surprising indeed... Add to that zero details of where the web pages have been pulled from (disk? network?), different browsers... NVidia always looked good on PR campaigns...

Under the hood, Chrome is handicapped. Why not use two similar browsers? Even if nVidia's offering is still faster, we aren't left feeling cheated.

I don't think so. You can create a benchmark that runs twice as fast on a quad than a dual but in practical real-world use, four cores do not double two cores performance.


Plus, it is extremely rare that just sequential web browsing is going to use more than a few cores, anyway.

This whole thing of theirs is just an outright lie. Inotherwords, it is meaningless marketing drivel.

Yeah, the G10 has a very high resolution. Tegra 4 device?

This is PR. Clearly the Tegra 4 will bring better performance than 3. Just how much we'll see in more objective testing against competitors.

ditto...that's the important bit of info missing from this article :-P

The Nexus 10 is the highest res Android tablet currently out. Current processors are barely fast enough for it (if you want to see how resolution kills older processors, try out the B&N Nook can see the graphics repaint)-:

That's a key factor that they didn't mention as it will greatly affect rendering speed on browser. I'm pretty sure that tegra4 tablet has lower resolution like 1080p or even lower. if it's equal to N10's resolution, they probably would have said that.

Also as others noted, chrome was used on N10 vs stock android browser on tegra4. If the same screen and OS/browser was used, the difference would be much smaller though tegra4 might still win mainly due to quad vs dual cores.

That's always been the issue with me on these tablets. They should be as fast as a stock laptop in web browsing, but they clearly are not. Maybe with the Tegra 4 we almost get there?

Why should they be as fast as a laptop?

Laptop CPUs typically use 10-20 times the amount of power, with much more processing capability per clock AND higher clock speeds. Generally they also cost more. Laptops with x86 CPUs will remain faster than ARM chips for the foreseeable future.

The Nexus 10 processor is a Samsung Exynos chip. Nvidia has nothing to do with it.

But, it is a dual core chip - and this Tegra 4 is a quad. That explains the difference, the 5xxx Exynos also has quad core variants and would likely show a similar boost.

i know but people are acting surprise like they don't understand technology. Of course a newer processor will be running faster that an older one why is anyone surprised by this if it was running slower they it would be new.

No, it doesn't explain ANYTHING. Twice the cores does not mean twice the performance in the real world. In fact, most of the time, the number of cores makes little to no difference at all.

Normal, sequential Web browsing is a non-taxing, mostly single or few-threaded task.

This whole claim of Nvidia is, so far, based on nonsense technobabble marketing crap.

No way I am buying another Tegra device. I love NVIDIA products but their Tegra-powered Android stuff (Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 tablets) have always been pretty bad at day to day use. Snapdragon S4 powered GS3's run better than my Transformer 300 at pretty much everything (even GS3 on ICS vs TF300 running 4.1).

You really think that the brand of SoC in a device is a deal-breaking factor? It sounds to me like you've had some bad experiences with Tegra devices and good experiences with Snapdragon S4 devices. This could easily be due to software (Samsung has a habit of optimizing their software for performance), but another contributing factor is probably that the S4 was indeed faster than the Tegra 3.

However, that was 2012, and this is 2013. Maybe Nvidia's Tegra 4 will win this round; maybe Samsung's Exynos 5 or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600/800 will; we'll just have to wait and see. They're all A15-based chips, so the playing field's pretty level. I fully expect Samsung to make a quad-core Exynos 5 variant (as opposed to the dual-core one in the Nexus 10), so that should level the playing field even further.

Consider this: back in 2011, people were singing the praises of the Super AMOLED screens Samsung was using in the Galaxy S II models. Fast forward to 2012, and people are hailing the Super LCD2 display on the HTC One X (and its relatives) as the best thing since sliced bread, and it still remains the gold standard to which people compare all other displays. My point: Super AMOLED (arguably) won in 2011, and LCD won in 2012. Similarly, the Qualcomm S4 ruled the roost for much of 2012, but that doesn't mean its successors are assured a similar victory in 2013.

Bottom line: high-end phones and tablets released in 2013 have no excuse for being slow and laggy. This can only mean that the software is poorly optimized, which would be the fault of the OEM only. Here's to a year of super-fast smartphones.