- 03-11-2013, 12:36 PM #1
I see a lot of criticisms on the net because Microsoft equipped the Surface RT with a Tegra 3. So I gotta ask, is it really that bad? I was playing Rayman Jungle Run (a really fun game) and the frame rate is extremely smooth, the graphics are colorful and the animations are great. At no point did I think the T3 was underpowered. Yet, I've heard several people say that using the T3 was a mistake. I know some apps lag but is that really because of the chip or because of poor coding?"Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
03-11-2013, 12:39 PM #2Try out my first Windows 8 app, ModernCalc! It's free and I would love to hear your feedback!
- 1,268 Posts
Phones: Nokia Lumia 928, HTC Windows Phone 8x, HTC Trophy
PMP: Zune HD 32, Zune 80, Zune 4, Zune 30, Ipod Nano 2nd gen (x4), Ipod touch 16gb 2nd gen
Tablet: Surface for Windows RT
- 03-11-2013, 01:09 PM #4
Hey Ninjaap, sorry, going to disagree with you here.
Tegra3 truly is the worst SoC still shipping in todays higher end products. It's only redeeming feature is price, which is why it was selected for the Surface RT. Those savings weren't passed on to consumers however.
An S4 Pro is what should have gone into the Surface RT. I'm one of those that believe shipping Surface RT with the Tegra3 SoC was a mistake. Not because the Surface RT turned out to be bad, but because it could have been better. Even the SoC in your Lumia 920 is superior, in every conceivable way, despite having tighter space, heat and power envelopes.
You can lookup the technical details of the competing SoCs and their benchmarks all over the internet. The Tegra3 SoC is consistently poor by todays standards.
On the other hand, technical superiority doesn't necessarily make a better product. If the Surface RT does what you need it to do, then who cares...
- 03-11-2013, 01:13 PM #5
- 03-11-2013, 02:30 PM #7
Having used a Surface RT (tegra) and a Thinkpad T2 (atom) extensively, I would say the only area the RT is faster is in graphically intensive games, such as Hydro Thunder. Even then, its very close. In every day use, the two aren't close. App opening, performance, multitasking, all are far superior in the T2.
- 03-11-2013, 05:45 PM #8
On the other hand, the only thing that matters is if it runs the software you use well enough. If it does that, then who cares...
You may also be interested in these two articles from SemiAccurate (a website that reports on the semiconductor industry):
Tegra 3 missed performance goals by wide margins
Nvidia’s telegraphs Tegra’s woes at CES
- 03-11-2013, 05:54 PM #9
SemiAccurate does tend to be a little biased against products that Charlie isn't a fan of, so I'd take those posts with a huge grain of salt, myself.
That being said, the Tegra 3 was a year old when Microsoft launched the Surface RT with it. That's just an eternity for an SoC. I have no doubt that they chose the SoC much earlier, and had already finished the Surface design. I also wouldn't be surprised if companies other than Nvidia who had zero experience with WDDM were having trouble getting stable drivers early on in the process. That being said, the Tegra 3 is blown away in performance by anything even the slightest bit more recent, including the Snapdragon in the higher-end Windows Phone 8 devices, like a5cent mentions.
It's not that I personally hate it; it's just subpar for a flagship product these days. It'll be much more interesting with Tegra 4 versus the Snapdragon 800 in the next generation of Windows RT devices.
03-11-2013, 05:57 PM #10
- 37 Posts
I've owned a Surface RT since launch day. It always felt slow to me, especially when loading up the Mail, Store and News apps. Once the programs were loaded, it generally ran fine -- with the exception of the Mail -- which always was wonky on the Surface. SO -- I recently picked up an HP Envy x2. The difference between the Atom and the Tegra 3 is massive. Everything with the Atom processor loads quickly and runs smoothly. The Mail app runs perfectly now. That's my direct comparison between both chips. YMMV. As for me, I now have a Surface for sale.
- 03-11-2013, 06:45 PM #11
Either way, my own opinions on this matter aren't based on these articles. I prefer benchmarks and my own ties to the industry.
P.S. I'd bet you are right about WDDM
- 03-11-2013, 06:47 PM #12"Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
03-12-2013, 01:01 AM #13
- 288 Posts
I think the Intel Atom Z2760 is a better package. Now its not that the Atom is an i5 in power or anything, but compared to the Tegra3 it has similar-to-better performance and better battery life while also maintaining full backwards x86 compatibility.
For the limitations presented by RT, you'd think that the Tegra3 would offer a huge advantage, and it does not.
- 03-13-2013, 06:33 PM #14
- 03-18-2013, 12:37 PM #15
While I am disappointed in the T3's performance, I'm still quite happy with my Surface. The T3's dominance in raw CPU power isn't as apparent as the GPU performance of competing chips. However, it still does many of the important things (like HD videos) with relative ease.
And while games/apps take longer to load than I like, they work fine once they're opened. My biggest gripe is when I'm outputting to 1080p. There's a very noticeable difference, with the Surface becoming slightly sluggish. Though I've found that metro IE10 greatly outperforms desktop IE10 when using a dual monitor. Of course, that could just be my perception, but sites seemed to definitely load faster with metro. Yet, The Verge takes forever to load. My phone is much faster and I don't know why. Regardless, I'm just happy that I even have the option to output to 1080p."Engineering is more than just the number of megapixels." - Stephen Elop
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