New report says Tegra 4 will be faster than Snapdragon 800, but is it?

March 12, 2013
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qualcomm-nvidiaA newly published analysts report has investigated the potential performance of the the upcoming processors from Nvidia and Qualcomm and concluded that the Tegra 4 will outshine the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. However the caveat is that the conclusion is based on projected performances and manufacturers benchmarks!

Since the real chips aren’t out yet and can’t be tested or benchmarked, the¬†analysts¬†at¬†Linley Group have written a report based on performance¬†data released by Nvidia at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona along with projections about the Snapdragon 800’s¬†performance¬†based on the Snapdragon S4 Pro.

Running at full speed and without worrying about power consumption the report concludes that the Tegra 4 will beat the Snapdragon 800. To get an estimate of the Snapdragon 800’s speed, the team took the benchmark data for the Snapdragon S4 Pro and then factored in the speed bump from 1.7 GHz to 2.3 GHz plus added a 10% performance increase due to improvements to the Krait 400 core.

But I question the findings of the report. The Snapdragon 600 is already proving to be a formidable processor. Although recent benchmarks have shown that the  Tegra 4, which scored 16,436 in the general-purpose Quadrant v2 benchmark, is faster than the Snapdragon 600, which scored 12,417, the Snapdragon 800 should be faster still. Here is some maths. The Snapdragon 600 is running at 1.7 GHz and the 800 should run at 2.3 GHz. Taking the 12,417 result for the 600 and factoring in the clock speed difference means that the 800 should score over 16,799 without considering any performance gains in the Krait 400 core.

Ultimately the only way to really see which CPU will be faster is to wait for both processors to hit¬†manufacturing¬†and to trickle down into real world devices. Even if the Tegra 4 is faster than the Snapdragon 800, the report notes that Qualcomm’s chips are¬†designed for power efficiency, whereas Tegra 4 delivers high performance but with high power¬†consumption.¬† If that is true then the Snapdragon will challenge Tegra 4‚Äôs performance in smartphones, but in tablets, Tegra 4 will most likely win.

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