Tegra 3 Performance

A couple of things to remember when you're looking at this slide of projected mobile graphics performance, which NVIDIA showed us Thursday at HTC's Frequencies meetings in Seattle and has been making the rounds.

  • Tegra 3 roadmap The slide was being used to illustrate just how far mobile graphics (OK, Tegra) has come in a relatively short amount of time.
  • And, yes, ZMOG! Tegra will be as powerful as the Xbox 360 in 2013 or whenever! That's a great line. But it's not like we're talking apples to apples here, and it's also not like Microsoft's never going to refresh the Xbox hardware. (Lord knows it could use it just to kill the jet-engine fan noise.)

It's also probably safe to say that there's been more room for improvement and innovation in the mobile space. Console gaming, relatively speaking, is more of a long-term endeavor than mobile. Yes, new versions of Tegra SOCs are coming. (And, no, Tegra 3+ is not the official name for what's next.) Yes, they'll be faster and more powerful, and we'll all fawn over them when they arrive.

 

Reader comments

Yes, mobile graphics are catching up with consoles (which also will improve)

19 Comments

While this is fine and I welcome it, phone battery technology needs to keep up.

A phone battery should last close to 18 hours a day with moderate use.

What good is a sharp screen and faster graphics, if it only last 3 hours and you are not near a power source!!

The technology is there if you ask me. The manufacturers or customers don't seem to want it though. This is proven to me by looking at the razr max. It is still 9mm thin and the battery is massive. If there were suddenly 3300mah batteries than could fit in a 7mm phone people would complain that they want a 5mm phone.

Give me the EVO LTE but make it 10mm (1 mm larger than the maxx) and have a 3300mah battery in it and I would be happier than the current 8.9mm phone with 2000mah battery.

I'm with you. The obsession with thin, light phones has really held back improvement of battery life. I like my Galaxy Nexus, but if I could get extra battery life out of it by adding a millimeter of thickness, I'd be all over it. Even the relatively chunky phones are never anywhere near large enough that fitting them into the front pocket of my jeans is difficult.

Don't think that the drive for "slim" is the only reason for the low capacity batts. It doesn't matter if you are talking Lithium ion, Ni cad, or the lead-acid sitting under your car hood. Higher capacty batteries are not only larger, but *cost more money* than lower capacity batteries.

For manufacturers that have relatively fixed price pressure (the AT&Ts of the world don't want to have to subsidize an additional $20 for extra battery when they are sell it for $199 on contract) they don't want to eat the extra cost of a larger battery if they don't have to.

One way they obfuscate the issue is by constantly telling every customer that they want really slim phones. We're just the suckers that believe it.

(And don't try and hold the RAZR MAXX up as a rebuttle. Moto had to offer it with a large batt to make it compelling against the other offerings on the market - notice how it released in non-MAXX form prior to the Nexus but then jumped to the MAXX when the Nexus was released? They are eating the cost of the bigger battery to make up for the fact that it had to compete with a model with a newer OS revision.)

-Suntan

I know it sounds sacrilegious, lol, but if Apple released the iPhone 5 with a kick ass big capacity battery with the phone being a few know thicker than the iphone 4s, then the world of fanboys and tech sites would cry for a day, then rejoice at the long lasting iphone's duration. This would then give a precedent for the Android world to follow as everyone knows we do have to one up the iphone with the top end phones haha. At least if Apple does it other manufacturers will follow, sad may it be.

They are basically saying that they will replicate the ability of a machine that is 7 years old. Ps3 out performed xbox the next year so to me this is old news. Pretty sure the ps vita is also capaple of this right now.

Batteries are a very inefficient producer of energy and the way they are designed today they have met their limits for the most part. A new form of battery needs to be designed for things to get better.....

Where's Tesla when you need him!

No, Mobile Phone gaming is the future. Amazing how fast mobile technology has advanced over the last decade. Just remember what cellphones could do in 2002 compared to today.

Remember the word casual in there. Mobile gaming should be considered "casual" gaming, as you're not gonna get a game with a physics engine like frostbyte 2.0 on a mobile platform, it would melt the device. Let alone using a touch screen for input is hideous on anything fps based. PC will always be where "hardcore" gaming is, consoles "semi-hardcore/group play", mobile will push forward with "gaming for the masses/on the move/more casual based".

Graphics could look better on a phone and I would still choose a console for doing any gaming other than Angry Birds, standing in grocery line type stuff. Graphics are only one sliver of the pie as far as how enjoyable gaming is to me. Touch screen controls will never, ever be as good as dedicated buttons.

I agree. Give me a real analog stick and real controls. I don' want to have to move my fingers to make sure I'm hitting a button before I actually hit it.

I rather see mobile UI advance further in graphics than gaming. I'm with cowboys2000, if I want to game, I'll use my console. Mobile gaming simply to waste time while in the bathroom or on a commute. I'd never have the patience to sit through a Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls type game on my phone.

Now, here's what may change my mind. Have my phone be the intermediary between my TV and a remote. Let it BE the console that I hook up to my TV. That would be something. Almost like carrying around a fully functional Google TV.

Mobile gaming has come a long way in that the graphics look closer to consoles than they have in the past. The question really is "Is there a point where mobile gaming looks good enough that it won't need to catch up?" Meaning sure the xbox 720 will be much more powerful, but will the same game be able to be played on an iPad with lower graphical bells and whistles and still feel like the same game?

The one problem the iPad has is that the screen is such high resolution that it takes a lot of graphical power to push that many pixels. Consoles only have to be 1080p max unless a new TV standard comes out. Other problems include comparatively meager storage, lack of HDMI out (to play on a TV or computer monitor), and a lack of a physical controller.

Console style game design also has to be a lot better. If you look at the current console games, none of them have the depth of game play of, for example, the original Deus EX. The most sophisticated games are ports from older consoles/PCs like GTA3, Max Payne, and the upcoming Baldur's Gate. One of the reasons is the cheap price of iPad games. Ports take much less time to develop, but developers can't make a profit on new $6 games that are as long and complex as console /PC games. Pricing is going to have to increase or the most complex games will be older console ports (not necessarily a bad thing). If Sony were smart, it would port many PS2 games playable only on a Sony Android tablet on a much larger scale than it has done on its phones.

^^ This, I'm in video game hardware for a living - and you're so right. Today's consoles can't even pull off ported down versions of PC games at ANYWHERE near acceptable levels of performance at that's at a stupidly low-upscaled resolution - get me to the point that I believe a console could run Crysis 2 (the better performing version) - on a console at 19*1080 with 4xAA and 16xAf at above 60fps average- and then we'll start talking about slowing down game design to let hardware catch up - until then, what a joke. As if mobile SOC's had even a 10th of the instruction set of an even midrange GPU, and operated at anywhere near those resolutions. Face it guys - we're another 10 years off from mobile SOC's being able to pull off what our consoles CAN do today - much less migrate the platform (and that's just for Android, which is a game-centric OS, don't get me started on the mess that is GL instruction set for IOS - let alone rendering at native resolutions that even PC's don't do for the iPad)

That's good to hear, I hope these new chips will be out by the time I might consider replacing my Atrix

Now, when the mobile GPU becomes powerful enough to be on bar with the current gaming consels (Xbox 360 & PS3), they better do something about the Storage capacities!!!!

With games like Asphalt 6 HD (almost 1GB), SC : Convention (had the lite version on my iPod 800MB), GTA III (close to 650MB), the upcoming Max Payne ... etc. You get the point

Pretty soon we won't have enough storage & we wont be able to put few games (if not less) on the phone before we get "Low Storage" for instance :
-can u imagine downloading GTA IV (console version) on a 16GB phone ??? GTA IV alone will take at least 7GB & not even including the DLCs
- or Battle Field 3, Battle Field alone (without the HD texture package) is 17GB !!!!!! You can't fit that on a 16GB phone, maybe 32GB but you will barely have enough space left for your music

this is way the Xbox 360 have a 250GB of storage

I understand when People say "If I want console grade games, than I'll play Xbox" , but here's the problem some people travel allot for whatever reason & may not have access to Gaming consoles all the time, for instance :
I go to college in anther country & I spend 9 months per year there & I can't take the Xbox with me, there for my Atrix is my Xbox 9 months a year

Honestly, Tegra isn't the only "system on a chip" solution out there. Yes, it is the most well-known, but the Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon used in the One S and One X has technology purchased from AMD for the GPU portion of the system.

And it is worth noting that most phones have 1 gig of ram, which is double the RAM found on the PS3 and Xbox 360. However, the storage space is still way too limited, even if you have 64 gigs of local storage. A lot of Xbox 360 games come on multiple DVDs for a reason: They need a LOT of space. The Witcher 2, for example, takes 15 gigs of space. with a console, this is mitigated by a dedicated storage method (DVDs, game cards, etc). Without the dedicated storage, there will be an inherant limitation to what you'll see on a mobile game. Even the 3DS has game cards that store 4 gigs, which is more than you'll see for any mobile game.

So besides graphics, for a good console/dedicated game PC experience, mobile phones are still missing the control options and the storage space. And the final trump card that consoles have (and this includes over PCs too) is a standard system spec that won't change for that console for that generation, and a standard set of API commands. Without the need for Direct X or having to program for each individual device, more development time goes into the game itself.