Nvidia announced and showcased their latest mobile processor, the Tegra X1, at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. The Tegra X1 is an octa core processor that combines four relatively low powered, but high efficiency ARM Cortex-A53 application cores with four higher powered, but somewhat thirstier, ARM Cortex-A57 cores. However, Nvidia have not used the traditional big.LITTLE architecture, whereby the less powerful cores give way to the more powerful cores, but instead have a customized processor core interconnect and migration driver, which means the processor behaves like an octa core unit, giving a particular task the most suitable processor core(s) for the job. These application cores are also joined by a very powerful GPU, graphics processor unit, which includes 256 individual CUDA cores. All said, the Tegra X1 appeared to have the makings of a powerful System-on-Chip, SoC, but until today we only had Nvidia's say-so and the paper specifications. But now, a tablet with a 4K display has been benchmarked using the popular AnTuTu application and it scored just shy of 75,000 points.
To put this into perspective, current flagship models with half the number of pixels to drive (such as the Nexus 6) score around the 50,000 point mark. The up-and-coming generation of flagship devices, powered by either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 or Samsung Exynos 7420, have benchmarked around the 61,000 points with a 2K screen. The Tegra X1 is significantly quicker dealing with twice as many pixels on the display: this is one seriously fast processor! Nvidia's other claims included reduced power consumption and cooler running compared with the predecessor processor too.
Currently, there are no devices available that are based on the Tegra X1 but we believe this is set to change at the Nvidia's announcement on the 3 March. The chipmaker is promising to "redefine the future of gaming." We don't know what this means, but a likely candidate is a successor to the Shield Tablet (which is based on the 32-bit Tegra K1 processor). The original Shield Tablet was sold at a very competitive price and thanks to the requirement for gaming, has a relatively high capacity battery and the design featured an integrated heat shield and front facing speakers. We'll know more in two weeks, but meanwhile what do you think to the benchmark scores? Are you impressed? Or would you rather see a commercially available device tested first? Let us know in the comments below.