Forget that specs do not matter for a minute. The first bit of competitive benchmarks of the Nvidia Tegra 3 are just now hitting thanks to the Asus Transformer Prime. Nvidia’s quad-core mobile platform will likely be the de facto chipset to power Ice Cream Sandwich tablets; it will be everywhere next year. Nvidia has long touted the Tegra 3’s processing power, stating that the platform will absolutely trounce all competitors including the aging dual-core Apple A5. That doesn’t seem to be the case though. Early benchmarks are stating the A5 keeps up just fine.
The tests do show that the Tegra 3 is a big improvement over the Tegra 2.
Of course these early benchmarks could be skewed in a number of ways. The benchmark mark software might not yet be optimized for the quad-core Tegra 3. GLBenchmark’s Android app was last updated in September. Also, there isn’t a benchmark yet available on both platforms that tests CPU performance. The Tegra 3’s quad-core setup will likely clobber the A5 when directly compared.
The Tegra 3’s rendering and OpenGL performance is just one part of the chip’s appeal. The quad-core chip actually features a fifth so-called companion core for low-level and background processing that will ultimately improve battery life. The Tegra 3 also offers developers a much more robust system, which will hopefully improve the overall Android ecosystem.