There's no doubt that the Tegra 3 is going to be the reigning champ of mobile chips when it's released -- its quad-core setup and brilliant design offers the best of both worlds where performance and battery life are concerned.

For low power tasks, the fifth core, known as the companion core, runs the show; as more powerful processes come into play, the high performance cores activate and deactivate as needed. For things like playing music, watching video (even streaming 1080p), the companion core takes care of the job. For web browsing, one or two main cores may activate depending on activity. For gaming, of course, all four cores will be running fifth-gear-full-throttle, to bring the best experience possible. We've already covered this in detail, but I wanted to remind you of the goods before we get into the nitty gritty: gameplay.

The Tegra 3 packs a 12-core GPU, making the graphics engine an absolute monster. You can imagine what this is going to mean for game developers, as more power means more fun. NVIDIA has now released some new details about the Tegra 3 to display its raw power, including some video footage of what game devs were able to make possible with the T3 over current architecture like the Tegra 2.


Remember the Glowball demo from the early days of Tegra 3 (then called Project Kal-El)? That was just the tip of the iceberg. Glowball has since gone back to the lab and the team added so much graphical depth it will blow your mind. Check this out:

Everything is smooth, fluid, and dynamic using the Tegra 3. Glowball is just once example of what the T3 is capable of -- check out what these devs have done with their games:

Shadowgun, Riptide GP, and Bladeslinger

Shadowgun is already among the most impressive games on Android-powered Tegra 2 devices, but the Tegra 3 brings a whole new realm of possibility the the game. New environments, enhanced physics, and more realistic graphics are just a few of the things to expect from the T3 version of the game.

The same can be said for Riptide GP -- the graphics are better, gameplay is smoother, and the effects are in full force. Enough babble, it's video time.

Like the others, there will be a version of Bladeslinger available for Tegra 2 devices, but a Tegra 3-exclusive version with enhanced features, graphics, and effects will be available as well. Rich environments, smooth gameplay, and realistic graphics? Yes, please.

Console Experience

If you're anything like me, you hate on-screen controls for games. The Tegra 3 takes care of that issue, too -- it has built-in support for a variety of game controllers, including PS3, XBOX 360, Wii, Logitech, and more. With this inclusion, you'll be able to grab your Tegra 3 device, hook it up to the closest HDTV via HDMI and play right there on the TV.

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Have a 3D TV and want to take advantage of the extra D? No problem -- Tegra 3 has 3D support built in. Watch applicable YouTube videos and play select TegraZone games while taking advantage of the added features of your 3D HDTV or monitor. Bam.


Just for fun, the NVIDIA team threw together a video of some pretty common tasks and how they fare on the T3 versus the "competitor" chip (let's assume it's the Tegra 2). Let's just say that the results are far from disappointing -- the Tegra 3 slays the other chip in basically every way.

How's that for desktop-like performance? I honestly believe that the Tegra 3 will make it possible to leave the laptop at home; the chip is just so powerful, tasks that once required traditional computers will eventually become commonplace on mobile devices.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • James Jun

    We need compelling apps to use this power. Real games. Shadowgun is just the surface.

    • Bobzilla

      Agreed. The apps are going to come because mobile gaming just surpassed portables for the first time in sales. With Sony on board there will be real games. We are definitely going to see some exciting stuff!

  • Kyle

    Really wish my Tab 10.1 had this. Know i'm gonna be real jealous when it comes out.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Such is the tech cycle - can't do anything about that.

  • Tkun

    Looks amazing. Can't wait until I upgrade from my Fascinate to a quad-core phone next year. :D

  • Dan

    Damn I just want the transformer prime even more now. I hope to god it won't be delayed

  • adam

    I want a quad core but also more ram. When will we see 4gbs ram in android?

    • enoch

      When Android goes 64-bit.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

    Now to see how long before this Tegra gets working with LTE... If they get this one right, this could help offset the battery drain from the first gen LTE modems.

  • ArunaSena

    well my greatest concern is hardware developers continue to spit out better and awesome hardware but if the apps are not up to the standards the whole idea of tabs replacing lappys will not come true. not now maybe in the next few years.

    • GraveUypo

      replacing laptops is not as easy as that. maybe for the generic user that only consumes content, but for those who create it, like me, theres a need for lots of raw power for software like photoshop and 3dsmax, not to mention the applications themselves (among others things).

  • Namuna

    If technology history has taught us anything, it's that the first out of the gate is usually also the first and fastest to be outdated.

    It will be most interesting to see the competing response from TI, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung to this.

    I'm hoping though, that unlike my Nexus One that is 2 years old and won't be getting ICS due to lack of hardware spec... That when I get my quad-core phone it will indeed be so ahead of the curve that even 3 years afterward it's still plenty relevant and still getting all the latest and greatest.

    • Pesticle

      Though if the history of Android hardware has taught us anything, NVIDIA with its Tegra Zone will become the de facto standard and developers will first optimize their games for Tegra 3. Even if the competition's chips are more powerful in theory it won't matter if there is no optimized, or even available content for them.

      It will not be NVIDIA vs Samsung vs TI vs Qualcomm. It will be "The way it's meant to be played" against the lower quality not-so-hardware-optimized games.

  • AppleFUD

    I guess I don't get this.

    When dual-core ARM chips were hitting the market there were all these articles bragged about how multiple cores in an ARM chip saved power. They saved power by running both cores constantly but at a lower speed thus a lower voltage. ARM argued that having many cores was much better than one because you could run 4 cores at 250MHz and that would do the work of the a single core running at 1GHz but would only use the power of a 250MHz chip.

    Watching these videos this isn't happening at all. Other cores only come on once other cores are maxed out. You will notice that core 1 & 2 will be running while 3 & 4 are doing nothing, the later only coming on when everything is near 100%.

    Shouldn't all 4 cores come on and share the load equally then turn off and allow the companion core to run?

    And with the above theory. . . why do they need a companion core at all?

    Sounds to me like ARM either spread a bunch of BS before about multiple cores or someone doesn't know how to take advantage of them properly. . . ..

  • L boogie

    With Tegra 3 looking like this, gotta wonder what's coming up from TI Omap 5, Qualcomm S4, next-gen exynos and the like. Also can't wait to see the games, live wallpapers, & various apps that's gonna utilize the aforementioned SoCs.

  • Chad

    Tegra 2 cannot play high profile 1080p videos. This was the biggest problem I have with that chipset. Will Tegra 3 be able to?

    • Cameron Summerson


  • Mr. Mark

    that HD video clip that was playing looked kinda choppy. what gives?

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    Hate how the mobile industry is on the path to '1Ghz' like the computer industry used to be... I mean, I love it, but I always want the latest! This sucks for me!

  • Tashlan

    This would be the perfect replacement for the family computer IF and only IF Android had multi-user support. I guess that will have to come from Windows 8 in about 7-8 months, no?

  • Eludium-Q36

    Ugh, so our device will basically run on some slow ass "companion" single-core until it determines when to activate the quad-core. Two problems here: there'll be home screen(s) scrolling stutter and there'll be stutter latency until the quad-core kicks in. Remember how we all hate turbo-lag in cars, that's what I fear will happen on these devices because of this "companion" core architecture

  • Peter Fares

    Why do you all want to REPLACE your laptop with a smartphone OS powered device? Full computers are so much more than these toy tablets. Windows 8 will be the only somewhat productive tablet OS since it is actually a full computer OS.

    I bought the Samsung Series 7 Slate and installed Windows 8 preview on it. It's very smooth, but without the keyboard it is quite frustrating to do anything other than browser the web or watch videos. It doesn't hold itself up either which is annoying. A kickstand would be immensely useful, but none of the Android tablets have them either.

    • Bobzilla

      Have you checked out the Asus Transformer?

    • http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1281528 Lokifish Marz

      A Tegra 3 based phone is more than capable of replacing mid tier netbooks. For example; I'm posting this while editing a spreadsheet in OpenOffice AND running auto levels in GIMP on a Tegra 2 phone running UbunTop.

      The main problem is that most consumers can't grasp technology convergence. That's why, at it's core, we are still not much further along than we were 10 years ago with the Toshiba E740 w/ PA3188U expansion pack.

  • jamal11

    NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core Tablet LEAKS?! Sick 1920x1200 Resolution!
    WATCH ON YOUTUBE http://adf.ly/3ytGh

  • sluflyer06

    Funny my Nexus plays HD video wihtout slowdown, it can also do the 50 fish WebGL demo through Firefox about as smooth as the Tegra 3 as well...all with 2 cores, and not even anything as good as teh Exynos Mali-400 GPU.