Early Tegra K1 benchmark results are encouraging

One of the biggest stories to come out of this year's Consumer Electronics Show was the introduction of Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor. The SoC combines ARM-compatible CPU cores with DirectX 11-class integrated graphics based on the Kepler microarchitecture. The onboard GPU has 192 shader processors, and early graphics benchmark results are very encouraging.

Tom's Hardware has the first batch of numbers; they suggest the Tegra K1 has substantially more graphics horsepower than the latest mobile SoCs, including Apple's A7 chip. The performance data comes from a handful of benchmarks running on an unusual source: Lenovo's ThinkVision 28 monitor. This Android-based 4K display reportedly features the quad-core Cortex-A15 version of the Tegra K1. The system's high native resolution evidently handicapped the K1's performance in some tests, but the chip scored extremely well in off-screen benchmarks that give a better sense of raw GPU power.

The second set of scores comes from NotebookCheck (via WCCFTech), which compares the Tegra K1 to not only a collection mobile SoCs, but also a handful of PC processors. In this case, a "Tegra K1 reference tablet" is credited as the test platform. That device is reportedly faster than a couple of Haswell-powered ultrabooks with Core i5 chips—at least in one of GFXBench's off-screen rendering tests.

The data may be too limited and too preliminary to draw any conclusions, but the initial results are promising. The Tegra K1 looks like it will take a huge step up in graphics performance over its Tegra 4 predecessor, if not rival SoCs, as well. Interestingly, all the results appear to come from the Cortex-A15 version of the Tegra K1. We haven't heard much about the dual-core variant based on Nvidia's own ARM-compatible "Denver" core, but I'd be very curious to see how it measures up to the competition.

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