Androydz has made a few comparisons between various SoCs that are commonly used in Android mini PC and tablets. From the many comparisons, the Rockchip RK3188 quad core SoC seems to hold an advantage over most of the other SoCs. However, some of the SoCs that the RK3188 was compared against like the Nvidia Tegra 3 have been around for quite some time. Nvidia now has a new generation Tegra 4 chip that will see its debut in many devices this year including Nvidia’s very own gaming console, the Nvidia Shield. There is no comparison benchmarking yet that pits the Tegra 4 versus RK3188. However, we may get a rough idea of the performance of the Tegra 4 versus RK3188 by comparing benchmark results that have been done independently.
For the Tegra 4, benchmark results have been trickling out including one done by Engadget at the Mobile World Congress using reference tablets. There is also another one that has been floating around which is supposedly Antutu benchmark scores for the Nvidia Shield.
Since the Rockchip RK3188 has been around for awhile, benchmark scores for it are more easily available and can be found from a quick search on Google. The benchmark that I have extracted are from RK3188 tablets like the popular Cube U30GT2 and Pipo M9.
Before we analyze the benchmark scores, let us take a look at both chips on paper. The Rockchip RK3188 is a 1.8 Ghz quad core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU that is paired with a 600 MHz Mali-400 MP quad core GPU. It is manufactured using the 28 nm process which gives it higher clock speeds with lower power requirements. From tests, the 4 Cortex-A9 cores are excellent performers but the Mali GPU seems to lose out to some of the other GPUs like the Power VR SGX544MP2 on the Allwinner A31.
The Tegra 4 on the other hand, is a 1.9 GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU that is paired with a 672 MHz 72 core GeForce GPU. It is also manufactured using the 28 nm process. The Cortex-A15 is ARM’s latest ARM v7 design. ARM has claimed that the Cortex-A15 is 40% more powerful than the Cortex-A9 with the same number of cores running at the same speed. Furthermore, Nvidia is of course one of the top graphic card designers in the world so this will definitely be reflected in the design of the GeForce GPU in the Tegra 4. The GPU is rated at up to 96 GFLOPS.
Tegra 4 versus RK3188 on paper definitely seems to in favor of the Tegra 4. Now let us look at the benchmark scores extracted from the sites mentioned above.
As you can see from the results, the Tegra 4 absolutely blows away the RK3188 in every single benchmark (Sunspider benchmarks browser loading speed so the lower the score, the better). Of course the scores are influenced by the actual firmware and also certain aspects of the hardware such as screen resolution and memory but generally, scores usually differ about 10-20% at most running on different hardware. Real world performance may also tell a different story so we may only take benchmark scores and comparisons with a pinch of salt.
On the other hand, as anyone who has used an RK3188 based device can tell you, the RK3188 is no slouch when it comes to real world performance. Looking at the benchmark scores, I can’t help but be excited over what the new generation of ARM SoCs has to offer.