Windows RT Still Not Taking Advantage Of Nvidia Tegra 3’s Full Potential

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Windows RT, the new version of Windows that runs on ARM processors has started shipping to consumers via new tablets such as Microsoft Surface, Asus VivoTab RT, etc,. So far, Nvidia Tegra is the only ARM processor that Windows RT ships on. Some reviews of the devices like Microsoft Surface pointed out to the performance hiccups in Windows RT. This may be because of Windows RT is not yet fully optimized for Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Microsoft is still working on fully taking advantage of Tegra 3 processor in Windows RT. It is evident from the Nvdia’s own page that Windows RT is not taking advantage of Tegra 3’s key innovation 4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core with a 5th Battery Saver Core.

4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core with a 5th Battery Saver Core** – Four plus one refers to Tegra 3’s four CPU cores, plus the fifth, battery-saver CPU core. This Variable SMP architecture enables four performance cores to be used for max burst, when needed, with each core independently and automatically enabled and disabled based on workload. The single battery-saver core (or companion core) handles low-power tasks like active standby, music, and video, and is transparent to the OS and applications.

Also the Tegra3 CPUs are clocked lower on Windows RT than Android. Last week, Microsoft released firmware and OS update that improved Surface performance and I hope they will release many such updates until they fully optimize the OS for the Tegra 3 processor.

via: Mobiletechworld



About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gavin-Tom/100001144097567 Gavin Tom

    makes sense, For this launch seemingly Microsoft pushed out the hardware to make the holiday season rather than wait for the software to be finely tuned like it usually does. Hopefully it will be optimized or is already in the works of being optimized to take advantage of the 5 cores. I have faith in Microsoft.

  • Bugbog

    Step 1: Purchase Surface RT
    Step 2: Update Surface
    Step 3: ?? No need for anything; it runs smoothly, with no hiccups or other problems!

    • blackhawk556

      Bullshit! If you think the surface runs smooth and nothing else is needed, you’re in denial. I use the people app a lot and it takes a while ti refresh. Compare it to the people app in windows phone and you’ll see that it reloads much slower. They need to hurry and name sure it runs smoother than it runs right now. Also, closing a tab in the browser doesn’t do it that quick.

      • arcana112

        No it’s you who are bullshitting::

        Step 1: Open Task Manager
        Step 2: Open People App
        Step 3: Observe Task Manager. Barely a hiccup in the CPU usage.

        The People app needs some optimization on how it refreshes through the network that’s all. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Surface hardware. In fact it’s a beast of a tablet IMO.

        • bnlf

          Agreed. Except for a couple bad written apps, surface has no performance problems at all. You can run multiple HD videos at the same time while browsing the internet, playing games or whatever. There are only 2 occasions where I feel surface can improve. 1) Touch bug on some games – jetpack joyride, for example, If you use the touch to control the game, it lags. Try the cover and the games is always smooth. 2) hdmi output – When you have an external monitor connected the performance is far from optimal.

        • Ehsan Irani

          CPU usage?! Who the EF is talking about CPU usage?! The article says Windows RT isn’t complete yet, users encounter constant blank areas while scrolling, problematic frame rates in games and choppy scrolling in mail, especially music apps and you ask them to look at friggin’ CPU usage?!

      • GG002

        You know, when I’m able to watch a 1080p movie and Skype side by side, while having a radio channel stream music in the desktop browser, all without having any lag, then there really is only one person here that is bullshitting; you. Of course, why would you do this, except for testing how much multitasking Tegra 3 can handle. It’s admirable how well it handles three tasks, of which two are CPU and GPU intensive.

  • Jdrm03

    Bring the powa Microsoft!

  • alukard

    That’s a positive for me because it means there’s alto of future potential locked away ready to break out when needed. Considering how well its already running, I’m excited to see what the fully optimised OS can do. Maybe hopefully some AAA apps and games will release that power.

    • Bugbog

      Yep. Looking for some AAA games too! I’ve already played the mostly decent ones:
      Dredd vs Zombies
      Gun4Hire (a bit too arcadey!)
      Jetpack Joyride
      Hydro Thunder
      ARMED
      Angry Birds Space/Star Wars
      Cut the Rope
      Doodle God
      Reckless Racing
      Fruit Ninja
      (..and a few more minor ones). But that’s it. We definitely need those AAA games faster!!!

  • TTTed

    If so, why some people feel performance of Tegra 3 on RT better than Android?

    • blackhawk556

      I really don’t think so. Some basic stuff on the Tablet stutters. I’m a big windows fan but I’m not going to act like everything is ok and nothing is needed. Surface does need more power. Anyone who says it doesn’t, is in denial.

      • arcana112

        No it doesn’t. You are wrong. The facts contradict your opinion. Use Task Manager to convince yourself.

        • Ehsan Irani

          I have the facts; I own the fact. Surface has performance issues in many apps, and especially games.

    • GG002

      Couldn’t agree with you more! And agree with @blackhawk556:disqus less! I will repeat what I wrote above; Watching 1080p movie, video chat with Skype snapped to the side and streaming music in the desktop IE presents NO lag. Works like charm! I think that’s crazy for a tablet.

      • XMAN

        Stupid man who works for Microsoft will lie to us all, how smooth is Tegra 3 on windows rt. The IE lags all the time and i got usually wrong gpu rendering.

  • http://twitter.com/whojiayi Hu Jiayi

    are you guys sure a firmware update can enable surface to take advantage of the 5th core?

    • Smity Smiter

      Yes, why would it require a hardware change to make use of the existing hardware?

      • http://twitter.com/whojiayi Hu Jiayi

        will they ever release such an update? I mean ms never said anything abt it..

        • Smity Smiter

          I don’t know, I just said that it is possible to improve performance (by overclocking, proper clocking or doing anything to the processor) with a firmware update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/travisbrowny Travis Brown

    Hey Pradeep, I like what you’re doing with the site. I keep seeing much needed updates to the design. I thought you presented interesting and engaging news when you first launched this site, and it’s gotten even better; but the design of the site was really holding the site back. Now it’s looking more official every day. I don’t want to tell you what to do with your site, since I’m sure it’s your baby, but I believe it would benefit from a logo (I can help you design one if you’d like). Back to topic, also hoping this is the case.

  • Rallicat

    I’m wondering at this stage how the whole thing will work. The Tegra 3 is the /current/ CPU out there for RT devices … but more will likely be released that use other ARM chips. Windows RT would need to be ‘optimised’ for every one of those, with the ability to detect which chip it’s running on, and adjust accordingly.
    In the meantime, my /hope/ is that Microsoft are planning to pump out a big update at some point that ‘wows’ people with a major performance boost, and hammers home the point that they’re looking after the Surface / Windows RT customers. … that’s my hope at least.
    Not to say I’m disappointed with Surface performance though – I’m extremely pleased with my decision to purchase one, I’m loving it!

  • Michael Hansen

    in order to take advantage of the full speed you got to have an xbox live contract with microsoft , this is how big publishers can make a differance in games in there ecosystem
    the sdk is fully open to everyone same dev kit and so on

  • MeWhoElse

    Hadn’t Microsoft already stated that they use the 5th processor whilsr in sleep mode?
    The 5th CPU running at half speed, once engaged shuts down the 4 other CPUs.
    It may be a 4+1 design, but it’s impossible to have all 5 CPUs active at one time!

    • http://twitter.com/whojiayi Hu Jiayi

      when did they mention that? it would be good if it’s true.

  • The__Truth__Hurts

    What I would like to see is a Windows RT tablet with the 1.5 Ghz Quad Core S4 CPU.

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    I had all kinds of issues in the beginning with the Surface. I regularly look at the reliability monitor to get a visual of the red x’s. Lately I am having a really hard time finding anything wrong. A few hiccups, but the Surface has become an extremely integral part of my life. I have no intention of ever using it in portrait mode, and I have no intention of trying to use the desktop with my fingers.
    Any performance adjustments to come, and I know there will be many, will be icing on an already tasty cake. Pretty soon, Lenovo and all the other clueless OEM’s will be getting calls about their line of Surface tablets (I realize they don’t make Surface tablets) as MS has garnished the ability to get that name into the public ear. It’s looking pretty damn good from where I sit.

  • CX1

    I would guess it is done for battery life. Apple has under clocked cpus on laptops for years to gain battery life.

  • http://twitter.com/HIGHDEFJUNKIES HighDefJunkies

    I honestly don’t understand the sluggish issues. I had mine for three weeks and I haven’t seen any. Just seems strange people experience this.

  • http://twitter.com/msanda_77 Mak San

    my god. can you people not read.. The tegra 3 processor on Android has the 4Plus 1 Chip design. the tegra 3 used on windows rt is nto the same chip it has only 4 cores. not 4 plus 1. . I mean seriously its says it on nvdida’s site and its there clear as day on the screenshot pradeep took. I have no idea how you can make this stuff up when the evidence is starting at you in the face..

    • http://twitter.com/msanda_77 Mak San

      and before anyone says well it says support will be added eventually. means you have little understanding of the hardware industry. The tegra 3 chip used is a custom made chip nvdia made for windows rt devices. Windows rt development cycle is going to take into consideration newer chips with NVidia being one of them that might have either a far lower clocked sleep state or a separate low powered cpu to handle when a device is at sleep. The very fact that the chip is a custom made chip proves beyond reasonable doubt that the chipdoes not have a locked 5th core but rather the 5thcore has been reduced to save on cost and to decrease probable manufacturing issues that will have resulted from an increased demand on the chips. nvdia’s problems ahs always been about supply. and if msft is not using the 5th core its pays to have it removed until the ability is added at a later time. Firmware updates to bios do not unlock processing abilities they rather enhance capabilities.

  • redtidal

    Seriously? You mean the current RT is really just a beta?

  • mmsbludhound

    The 5th core is in fact used by Windows RT. Have a look at your Resource Monitor and you’ll see.

  • Bearox Sun

    I have a question. You said that windowsRT still not taking advantage of nvdia tegra3’s full potential? It’s up to the OS? Now windows8.1 is avilable. Has the problem been solved? My English is so worse, I hope you can understand what I say.

    • XMAN

      NO! Sometimes worse than before!

      • Bearox Sun

        I bought a surfaceRT about a month ago. I think it’s really worse then. But after some updates, now I think it’s much better.