Nexus 9 storms through Geekbench, Tegra K1 outperforms Apple iPhone 6's A8

The Nexus 9, a device previously referred to as the HTC Volantis, is the first to come with Nvidia's 64-bit Tegra K1, a dual-core chip with two large Nvidia Denver CPU cores, and a Kepler GPU with 192 shader cores.

This sounds good on paper, but we now have the first benchmark scores from the Nexus 9 to see if the K1 lives up to expectations. The benchmark used is Geekbench, a CPU and memory-testing app (it does not test graphics performance).

The score is in, and it smokes the competition. The Nexus 9 with Tegra K1 and Denver CPU has nearly double the single-core performance of even top Android devices like the Galaxy Note 4, and it finally closes the gap with iOS devices, the recent single-core performance champions. We cannot do a full apples to apples comparison until we see Apple's new iPads, but since we do expect them to feature a chip similar to the Apple A8 in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it's safe to assume that the Nexus 9 will be in the same league when it comes to CPU compute.

Nvidia unveiled the Tegra K1 in two version early this year, and the Nexus 9 is the first to arrive with the 64-bit variation of the K1. The curious narrative around the Denver CPU core used in it, is that it was originally planned as a desktop-grade solution. Hence, it has a large, 7-issue design with a wide, in-order pipeline. 

Interestingly enough, though, the benchmark lists the Tegra K1 as running at a clock speed of 2.5GHz, while we have seen the Nexus 9 officially unveiled with a 2.3GHz clock speed. This is yet another fact that should remind you to take these preliminary results with some reservations.

You can see the breakdown of the Nexus 9 performance in each of the tests in Geekbench in the slideshow right below, and do keep in mind that those are preliminary results that we'll confirm once we have the device in our hands. For the time being, though, these promising scores show a lot to be excited about.

Thanks for the tip, Tyler and Jawad!

*Nexus 9 results are preliminary

Higher is better
Google Nexus 9
Google Nexus 6
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6

*Nexus 9 results are preliminary

Higher is better
Google Nexus 9
Google Nexus 6
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6

source: Primate Labs

Related phones

Nexus 9
  • Display 8.9" 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.6 MP front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra K1, Dual-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 6700 mAh



1. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I knew the Nexus 9's Nvidia's 64-bit Tegra K1 would out perform Apple's A8. Google is killing it & the rest of the world is on notice!

3. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

i'd wait for the A8x first. I doubt any of them will oust the other in day to day use.

10. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

because ? we are talking about CPU , not GPU .. (until now AXx versions only had better GPU's )

16. slh163

Posts: 140; Member since: May 19, 2014

whaat! say it again.. A8x have better GPU!! the K1 is known for how great his GPU is with his 192 cores that can even play some consoles games like Serious sam 3 and Trine 2. do you think that A8 or A8X can run these games like K1 do??

22. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

:facepalm: I'm talking comparatively to non-x version, not comparing to K1 GPU - > A6x better GPU than A6 , A5X bettter GPU than A5 ...

24. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I think you just missundestood what brrunopt was saying. He never meant A8x will have better GPUs than Tegra K1. He only meant that AXx GPUs only have GPU improvemnts over the AX versions, not CPU ones. EG: A8X will have a better GPU than A8, but the same CPU.

12. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Did you read the article? They are implying that the A8X based on these numbers might not be able to topple the Tegra K1. This is a BEAST processor. Finally taking the single-core performance away from Apple. Imagine if this had 4+ GB of RAM instead of 2GB...

4. Benoit

Posts: 57; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

A tablet that outperforms a smartphone, good job... Wait for the comparison with the new iPad before claiming supremacy

40. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That's a weak first post.

53. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Its still the same hardware whether its in a tablet or phone. The Apple A8 is the phone CPU, the A8X is the tablet version. Same CPU but with a slightly high clock speed...the GPU will liley also be the same but maybe with a slightly higher clock speed. Taking the same chip and making run faster is no big deal. After all the iPad is just an iPhone without cellular capabilities and a larger display with more pixels. That is why Apple makes the processor slightly better as far as speed. The iPad also has a bigger battery. Increasing the clock, surely increases the drain.

88. Rokkun

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 22, 2014

You must be feeling pretty silly right now given how powerful the A8x is. And yes i made an account just to reply to you.

75. g2a5b0e unregistered

Your noob is sticking out. You might want to tuck it back in.

77. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

lolololololololololololololololol +1

8. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

I'm also happy to see some real competition in single-core performance. Let me just say this here as well (I mention it in the article): keep in mind that those are preliminary results. The final Nexus 9 should run at 2.3GHz, while the Geekbench score registers it at 2.5GHz, so there might be some slight variation.

13. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Competition is always good. Apple is already modding the A8 & turning it into the A8X. Imagine what a modded Tegra K1 will do...

25. Iodine

Posts: 1480; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

If there would be an A8X it will definitelly not be a derrivate of A8, but a SoC developed in paralel with it, there is no "modding" in there. If we take the A6 and A6X for example, the only part that was the same were CPU cores.

35. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Thus modding cause they share something. It's NOT a 100% completely different unit.

28. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Geekbench on Android shows the max frequency read in the kernel, that can be different from the max frequency of the OS. Or that 2.5GHz is a turbo boost used only by the SoC in single threaded tasks, but in dual core mode it runs @ 2.3GHz

29. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

We will see that when it comes, but the preliminary results are promising. By the way, are you sure Denver is 9-issue or is it a typo? I always read it is a 6-issue (6-fe wide) core. Ah, and remember that is is geekbenk for 32bits, so some performance increase is expected when the 64bits version is out (even I doubt it will be more than a 5-8%)

34. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Is the 9-issue related to the number of instructions per cycle it can do? Since the Denver K1 can do 7 instructions per cycle (the Apple A8 6 and Snapdragon 810 can only do 3)

37. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Is related to the number of paths an instruction can take, so how many instructions could be issued "in parallel" (6-issue wide) So Denver should be 6 or 7 (I read both, 7 at first and later 6), instead of 9. That's why I'm asking if it's a typo or he has more information about the internals of Denver. The intructions per cyle (IPC) relates to how good the OoO engine is dispatching instructios, not only about how wide the core is. In other words, the width tells you some "theoretical" maximum IPC under perfect conditions (that are never to be met). More or less, as I'm not 100% sure about what I'm writting ;D

42. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Than it's 7, since it's a 7 way superscalar cpu :) Dunno how he came up with 9 though. That would be stellar. lol I know the feeling, have that all the time lol

64. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Fully on target, it´s seven. I must have mixed it with something else. I would have been wonderfull to have a 9-wide one though, performance would have gone through the roof! One word about it: they are not ARM cores, but transmeta, so in reality the performance is about half. Let´s say that is is the equivalent of a 3.5 wide ARM core with 64 bits. Which taking into perspective that A57 is still 3-issue, 3-dispatch wide is great news.

43. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

6 per cycle for the A7/A8, I thought. I might be wrong.

48. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yup, the A7/8 has 6 per cycle, double the amount of the standard ArmV8 guidelines.

46. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Typo! I must have been thinking about the Nexus 9... It's 7.

85. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

The XiaoMi MiPad also has a Denver Tegra K1. You may want to test that.

11. masi0

Posts: 6; Member since: May 19, 2012

note apple is dual core 1.4ghz CPU - this Chihuahua is mad as pitbull :)

27. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

and that means exaclty what ? until you measure the power consumption of booth you you cant make any assessment about witch one is more power efficient...

45. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

We already know the K1 is not cool running or power efficient. If it was, the Nexus 6 would be 64-bit K1 instead of 32-bit SD805.

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