After months of anticipation, Google finally revealed its Nexus 9 tablet the other day, and overall, it looks sweet. Aesthetically, it's pleasing to the eye, and under-the-hood, it sports a 64-bit SoC, courtesy of NVIDIA's Denver-based Tegra K1. And, if you love pixels, the Nexus 9 sure has a lot of them: 3.1 million, to be exact. All-in-all, an impressive offering.
At the time of announcement, though, we weren't given performance metrics, and that's kind of a big deal given the fact that the Nexus 9 sports the first 64-bit SoC backed by a 64-bit OS. It's also the first device with NVIDIA's 64-bit Tegra K1, as well, and even though its a dual-core, most people figured that the architectural enhancements would help negate its lacking multi-threadedness.
Well, thanks to a leaked result at Geekbench, we can see that's largely true. To start, the 64-bit Tegra K1 scored 1903 in the single-core test, which is a mile ahead of the 32-bit quad-core Tegra K1 found in the SHIELD Tablet, which scored 1129. Here's where things get really impressive: Despite having just two cores, the 64-bit K1 scored 3166 in the multi-core test, which falls just 274 behind the quad-core 32-bit variant (the 32-bit version is 278MHz slower, but that's not enough to warrant that much of a performance difference)..
It might not be the most expected of comparisons, but NVIDIA's Denver-based K1 also performs well against a circa 2011 MacBook Air, one that sports Intel's Core i7-2677M dual-core processor. That machine hit 1940 in the single-thread test - so, roughly the same - and peaked at 3833 in the multi-core test. Yes - the K1 fails to hit that one, but we're talking about a robust mobile GPU versus an SoC here.
It's not as though we needed more proof, but seeing numbers like this really highlights just how powerful these small mobile chips are becoming. We almost hit the performance of a good Intel mobile CPU from three-years-ago - and there's just no stopping. Had this Denver-based K1 been a quad-core, just imagine the performance results we'd be seeing.