Jan 13 AT 4:04 PM Nick Gray 17 Comments

NVIDIA Tegra K1 outperforms current generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Apple A7 chips


The unveiling of the NVIDIA Tegra K1 at CES was accompanied by an impressive spec sheet and a number of charts showing how much power the new SoC has under its hood, but you should never blindly trust a chip maker. The good news is that Tom’s Hardware managed to run a few benchmarks on the Lenovo ThinkVision 28, which is equipped with the NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip. Running on Android 4.3 with 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 28-inch 4K display, the Tegra K1 SoC was able to produce impressive benchmark scores that give it a significant lead over devices running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip and Apple’s A7.

It’s always nice seeing what the next generation SoC will be capable of, but the results are unsurprising. What most of us really want to see is how the NVIDIA Tegra K1 stacks up against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, which will be used in many of the flagship Android phones later this year. Paired with the all new Adreno 420 GPU, the Snapdragon 805 is expected to improve graphical performance by 40 percent over previous Snapdragon models. Performance of the Snapdragon 805 will most likely be in step with that of the Tegra K1, so it all comes down to availability. NVIDIA is making a big bush into the PC+all-in-one segment, while Qualcomm will most likely continue to dominate the traditional smartphone and tablet market.

If you could choose, would your next Android device be powered by the NVIDIA Tegra K1 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805?

Source: Tom's Hardware

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • redraider133

    I would be very surprised if it didn’t outperform those current chips. Will be interesting to see how it compares to the snapdragon805

  • fdgdgdg

    Any company that expects performance specs to correlate with sales will be sorely disappointed.

  • Lox

    Nvidia benchmarks have always been great but in real life usage they’ve always shown bad performances, except in games. Poor drivers, short-life support… I will not ever buy an Nvidia equipped handset again.

    • AaronM

      I’ve had 5 tablets now and my old Tegra 2 powered tablet works the best of my old ones. I’ll go with a new NVIDIA K1 powered handset!

      • Paul

        Right you must had great tablets then for the best one beeing a Tegra 2.

  • Paul

    Isn’t this the same pattern? When the Nvidia Tegra 2 came out it dominated all the single cores and some dual cores. Then Qualcomm comes out with something, a few months later, that beats the Tegra 2. Then the Tegra 3 comes out, again dominates, but a few months later Qualcomm releases something that beats it. Tegra 4 comes out, yeah it’s amazing but it wasn’t very long til the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800 came out and killed it. Now the newest Nvidia chip, the K1, outperforms the 800? I’d hope so, it’s newer. But how many months until Qualcomm releases a chip that stomps the K1 into the ground? Nvidia gets props for getting to market first and with a processor that beats the others at the time, but Qualcomm gets credit for taking their time and releasing a processor that one-ups Nvidia. Where the hell did Motorola and Texas Instruments Go? And why did Samsung’s Exynos stop making the news, I had a lot of high hopes for Exynos and now they seem relegated to a select number of international versions of Samsung handsets and thats it.

    • Abram730

      The Tegra 4 beats the snapdragon 800 in most benchmarks. The problem was it was mostly used in very cheap products. Compare the shield to devices with the snapdragon 800.

    • Paul Neal

      Thats the way it works, they could make a portable Ps4 if they wanted, but small steps keeps people buying until someone makes a big leap, like nvidia, the quallcom makes something slightly better, so everyone buys quallcom.

  • Subx

    I agree with Lox. I have and Asus T700 with Tegra 3. Games amd movies run beautifuly on it. It is an awesome table that rips all the iPads apart however the general running of Android is some what choppy. Opening and closing of apps can be choppy. Scrolling from screen to screen can be choppy. Scrolling through the settings list can be choppy as well as scrolling a webpage in any browser.

    This is not due to Android or GPU power, it is due to the Tegra having trouble processing the OS.

    I know that some developers have tweeked some custom ROMS to help reduce the lag however my tablet is still under warranty and as no time before it ends will I flash a custom ROM. Still, I read the even with the custom ROM’s, the OS in general can still be slightly choppy.

    That said, it is not a major issue at all. The tablet is still super fast and IMHO, is still the best Android tablet to even be created.

  • AnthonyS

    I don’t get that, we all now tha nexus 5 performs worse tha G2 in benchmarks when they both have snpdragon 800, this isn’t fair for the Qualcomm chipset

    • AnthonyS


    • 30filla

      It is not only the cpu chipset that matters in benchmarks, it is ram and software too.

  • Stu7″UD14nm64bit

    This years big gains will be in 14 nm, ideally 7″ UD 4k and best performance will be in 64 bit, as 4/6 GB of GRAM will be available in 14nm. More transistors, running at higher frequency, using less battery power, coupled with screens at the same PPI as 5″ 2k equaling 4k in 7″. We’ve already seen UD touch screens running kit kat, at CES 2014, with these kinds of multiple GPUs, Nvidia and AMD have the best knowledge, including 64 bit use.

  • dfgdfgdfsg

    You make it sound like their s series aren’t among the most popular android phones around the world.

    I’m guessing you live in the United States.

    • dfgdfgdfsg

      Edit: That was directed at Paul

  • donger

    Pure awesomeness.

  • JuanOne

    Yo pienso que la Comparación de Nvidia con Qualcomm ha sido injusta ya que yo creo que le ponen componentes mas Caros y de alta gama como serian:
    Placa base
    Almacenamiento de clase alta…
    Entre otras…
    En fin no niego que sea un Gran Chip de hecho si lo es pero ha sido injusta la Comparación…
    Seria interesante enfrentarlo con S805…