Nvidia Shield Review: Tegra 4-Powered Handheld Gaming

Results: Shield And Tegra 4 Graphics, Continued

Basemark GUI

Basemark GUI supports OpenGL ED 1.1 and 2.0, running user interface workloads on- and off-screen.

Naturally, the on-screen tests are capped at 60 Hz, which Nvidia’s Tegra 4 and Qualcomm’s APQ8064 both achieve. Tegra 3 just isn’t able to get there. Free of that cap, the Tegra 4 nearly doubles the Snapdragon S4 Pro’s score and more than quadruples Tegra 3’s result.


Ice Storm and Ice Storm Extreme are cross-platform, meaning you can compare their results on Android to the numbers your mainstream graphics card scores in Windows. Between these two tests, the Physics score doesn’t change—processor performance remains constant and the Physics component renders at 720p. However, the graphics workload does vary. In Ice Storm, you’re looking at 1280x720 with low texture quality. Ice Storm Extreme steps that up to a more intensive 1920x1080 with high texture quality.

In both cases, though, Nvidia’s Tegra 4 delivers notably better performance than Qualcomm’s APQ8064 in this OpenGL ES 2.0-optimized benchmark.

Unfortunately, we don't yet have any benchmarks written with OpenGL ES 3.0 in mind. ARM, Qualcomm, and Imagination Technologies all have 3.0-compliant hardware, and this is one area where Nvidia trails behind. Tegra 4 supports a number of the API's features, but cannot satisfy all of its requirements. Thus, it remains limited to OpenGL ES 2.0-class titles.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • esrever
    looks ok but not worth the price
  • Hazle
    impressive, especially PC streaming. but for $300, i'd rather pause the game to take a bathroom break. it's gonna take me a library of good android exclusives for me spend that amount of money, and PvsZ or Angry birds don't cut it.
  • beta212
    Meh, with the PS4/xbox coming out , and tons of more convenient phones I don't see a market for a tegra4 shield, personally I'm saving my money for a console. The tegra is also too expensive and gimmicky to boot.
  • dragonsqrrl
    When you look purely at the performance and specs $300 unsubsidized isn't all that bad considering the hardware you're getting for the price. The problem to me isn't so much price but the target market. How many people are willing to spend that much on a second or potentially third mobile device meant specifically for gaming and entertainment?
  • bryonhowley
    Looks nice but I can find things better to spend $300 on. In truth I can't see ever streaming my PC games to a 5" screen when I use 3 Asus 27" monitors on my desktop PC. Going from 5760x1080 to 720p does not sound like something I am ready to do. And if I want to game from my recliner I just use my Xbox 360 wireless controller and play the game on my Panasonic 50" 3D Plasma.
  • vaughn2k
    for U$180, I can get a nice Lenovo Phone. For U$ 500, a good Xbox.. not sure if I need a Shield where I could play anywhere..
  • slomo4sho
    Not sure why most of your benchmarks were just between the shield and the Nexus 7. I understand that the Nexus 7 utilizes Tegra 3 but the iPhone 5, Note 2, or some other tertiary figues should have been included to provide a better comparison between this device and other current generation products.

    This device feels like a universal Wii U game pad and there is almost zero reason to own one.
  • cats_Paw
    Considering that Oculus rift will cost somewhere around 300 dollars as well, id rather wait for that to spend my cash.
    Streaming is nice but if you are close toy our pc why not use the PC itself?
  • edwd2
    could be used to run a psp emulator, but phone can do that too.
  • shikamaru31789
    I'm just not seeing much reason to get one right now, not when I'm saving for the Xbox One and PS4. If it was at a lower price and if it supported AMD GPU's for PC streaming, I might get one. But they also need to get some developers to make some good Android exclusives, not just your typical mobile time wasters and ports of older console/PC titles, but some actuallAAA exclusives that are optimized for Tegra 4.