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Nvidia Tegra X1: the impressive new chip that destroys Apple’s A8 processor

At CES 2015, Nvidia led the launches by unveiling its impressive new 256-core mobile processor, the Tegra X1, which is considerably more powerful and energy efficient than Apple’s A8 processor, found in the latest iPhone and iPad Air 2.

Talking about mobile processors can be a bit of a snoozefest, akin to entertaining hapless friends with a slideshow of your two-week trip to the Orkneys. However, the Tegra X1 from Nvidia really is worth shouting about as this teeny chip packs some serious power and can do some pretty magical things.

Most impressively, the Xperia X1 can handle 4k video streaming at 60fps and with 10-bit colour, great news if you’re hoping to enjoy Netflix’s swanky new 4k service on your tablet. We saw the X1 in action, playing a 4k video clip alongside Apple’s A8 processor, and the difference was obvious. While Apple’s playback suffered some slight stuttering and motion blur, the Tegra gave silky smooth playback that was as good as real life.

Another great slice of news is the Tegra X1’s power efficiency. The X1 is 1.7 times more efficient than Apple’s A8 processor and substantially better than Nvidia’s own Tegra K1 processor, which was launched this time last year.

We had the chance to benchmark the Nvidia Tegra X1 behind the scenes of the official Nvidia launch and the results were suitably impressive. The likes of AnTuTu spat out a score of 60,000 (along with the verdict ‘wow, monster’) and 44,000 on 3D Mark.

We also saw some of the latest games such as Tainted Keep playing with 50-60 frames per second and they looked great for mobile games, with smooth and sharp graphics including real-time lighting and other slick effects.

In fact, we can’t help but think that it’ll be a while before the Tegra X1 is truly tested by mobile apps, although the smooth 4k streaming will undoubtedly be a great feature and we’re sure that some games developers will be teaming with Nvidia to port PC titles to any new devices (such as Valve crafting Nvidia Shield versions of Half Life 2 and Portal).

We can’t wait to get our hands on the first Nvidia Tegra X1 tablet, hopefully coming early in 2015.


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