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Nvidia has recently unveiled their Tegra X1 mobile processing chip. It's being hailed by the company as a “mobile superchip”. The chip can do approximately 1.1 teraflops worth of calculations per second and is claimed to be as powerful as today's home consoles and PCs.
CNET caught the story from a stage presentation that Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang held during a presentation at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to Huang...
“This little tiny thing here is a mobile superchip," … “"We're able to run any application that relies on the architecture of Maxwell,"
CNET notes that the X1 is capable of running games powered by “top-end PCs and home console”.
It was just two years ago that Electronic Arts' CTO, Rajat Teneja, commented about the Xbox One and PS4 being “ahead of the highest end PC[s] on the market”. Both the Xbox One and PS4 are pushing just over 1 teraflops each. According to previous benchmarks, neither the Xbox One or PS4 are all that high-end when it comes to CPU output. However the PS4 and Xbox One shine when it comes to RAM and memory access speeds, especially the PS4 given its GDDR5 shared pipeline. Due to the memory and GPU setup, the PS4 managed to outpace the Xbox One when it comes to GPU benchmarks.
However, one thing should be made clear: the X1 for mobile devices, the Xbox One and the PS4 are all horribly outdated compared to even most mid-to-high range PCs today. In fact, high-end PCs two years ago stomp a serious mudhole in the aforementioned devices, especially with cards like AMD's 7990 Malta.
Just last year AMD's Radeon R9 290X came barreling onto the scene with a massive 8.2 teraflop reach. I mean, that's several generations of ahead of anything happening in the mobile market.
This means CNET would be incorrect if they were implying that the X1 could handle high-end games at top-end settings like today's PCs. Any game that pushes the limits of a top-end CPU/GPU combination on PC would simply not be playable on a weaker device unless serious sacrifices were made.
Epic Games, of course, will be supporting Nvidia's latest mobile processor offerings and they have already tested out the Unreal Engine 4's Elemental Demo on the Tegra X1.
Over on the Nvidia blog, Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, commented about the new X1 chip and the Unreal Engine 4 demo running on it, saying...
“We built Elemental to push high-end PC and console features, and also to show early capabilities of Unreal Engine 4,” … “As seen with today’s demonstration of Elemental on Tegra X1, NVIDIA continues to extend what developers can create with striking results. With its Maxwell architecture, Tegra X1 is equipped to run rich, beautiful experiences not previously seen on mobile devices.”??
CNET notes that despite all the power that Nvidia brings to the mobile table, Qualcomm still has greater market share valuation on mobile processors. This raises an interesting predicament: if majority of the people interested in mobile devices don't care as much about what's under the hood, then who are these high-end mobile devices targeting exactly?
As mentioned in previous reports, the mobile market has a “fragmented” and “broken” ecoystem as far as consistency and sustainability goes for gaming apps. A lot of developers have come and gone in the mobile arena, and some of the bigger successes like Angry Birds and Temple Run caught on with casual gamers because they were easy to pick up and play. Core gamers have shown very little interest in the mobile side of gaming, so it makes you question how well Nvidia's Tegra X1 will do in a market where majority of the movers and shakers in the mobile space don't care about graphics all that much?
(Main image courtesy of Nvidia)