Mobile SoC graphics performance to soar past Xbox 360 by 2014

By on April 20, 2012, 1:00 PM

Nvidia is predicting that by 2014, mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) GPUs will be more powerful than Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console. In fact, mobile GPUs are expected to equal the graphics processing power of the 360 by next year.

Nvidia provided the slide shown below to Anandtech that highlights how far graphics performance has come since 2001 and where they expect it will go by 2014. The solid lines in the chart are estimated performance while the dotted lines represent trends.

The console line starts with the original Xbox in 2001 and continues with the Xbox 360 released in 2005. Mobile GPU performance starts in 2007 with the first iPhone and moves through Tegra 2 and into existing Tegra 3 parts. We assume that the PC line follows various Nvidia GPUs throughout the years.

The slide paints an interesting perspective, and I have little doubt that mobile GPUs will become more powerful as the years pass but the chart itself seems a bit unfair. Here’s what I mean.

Notice how the console lines are completely flat through the entire lifespan. This indicates that they are gauging performance solely on the power of the hardware. Now have a look at the mobile line, especially the Tegra 3’s performance. It continues to rise through the life of the GPU, suggesting that performance is being tallied not by sheer hardware capability (like with the consoles) but by the performance that software developers are able to squeeze out of the hardware through games over time.




User Comments: 16

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nugnamnivek said:

"but the chart itself seems a bit unfair"

Not really though...Throughout the mobile line it shows an increase each year as new hardware was released, As mentioned in the article "starts in 2007 with the first iPhone and moves through Tegra 2 and into existing Tegra 3 parts."

Each year newer and greater gpu's have been released showing a fairly steady increase year to year as well. Only the Originla xbox and then the 360 have been released from Microsoft since 2005 as shown in the graph. It seems apparent that the graph was plotted on a year to year basis with only hardware used as a metric.

nugnamnivek said:

.......Or....more simply, The green line is obviously not just the Tegra 3. You even said so yourself in the first half of the article. lol

Guest said:

So, in other words Nvidia is forecasting a slow death for gaming consoles? With console type gaming moving to mobiles? Atleast the age old Console vs PC debate is going down.

ikesmasher said:

now its gonna be touch screen vs actual gaming, am i rite?

aspleme said:

Who approved that chart? The chart uses an exponential scale on the y-axis, clearly distorting the scale. Furthermore, as has been demonstrated by the new iPad, increased graphical power is not necessarily going to result in increased performance due to the increase in screen resolutions.

Besides, I thought we were expecting new consoles before 2014...

My other problem... does anyone remember a point, no matter how brief, that the XBox was more powerful than the PC? Because I certainly don't.

EEatGDL said:

Who approved that chart? The chart uses an exponential scale on the y-axis, clearly distorting the scale...

My other problem... does anyone remember a point, no matter how brief, that the XBox was more powerful than the PC? Because I certainly don't.

Well, first that's a logarithmic axis, we use that a lot in engineering (no electronical engineer can deny the use of semilogaritmic charts on Bode plots).

Second, in the PC chart they should mention if that's the performance of the series' top GPU or mid-range, 'cause yeah: 360 beated which graphics card under what test? 'Cause let me tell you, ports like Halo 2 and GoW are horribly optimized for PC: a lot of CPU usage and a ridiculous demand of a mid graphics card [a GT 240, 'cause it doesn't run well maxed with a GT 220 and is very poor with something like a 8500 GT] while other games look better and demand less with lower cards.

Jibberish18 said:

Nvidia, especially, has been saying this for years now. Funny that they of all people with their comparatively low performing (graphics wise) Tegra chip sets should mention this.

killeriii said:

"My other problem... does anyone remember a point, no matter how brief, that the XBox was more powerful than the PC? Because I certainly don't."

Yah, I had a problem swallowing that one too.

Besides that, it looks like a marketing slide. No real data.

Ultraman1966 said:

How is this a surprise? The Xbox 360 was released in 2005... following Moore's Law this is well within the bounds and could've happened already!

mosu said:

Even Tegra 3+ is already beaten, both in computing power and graphic power by the rest of the crowd so I believe too this is only a marketing slide.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

If I'm reading this graph right the original Xbox has a performance of 1, the 360 has a score of ca 14 and then PC has a score of ca 300.

But it's very difficult to make out due to the logarithmic scale and also the fact that the scale for PC ends in late 2009?

But name one single FPS game that has been released since the 360's introduction which is actually good in: story, AI, gameplay and graphics? (Listed in order of importance, highest first)

M1r said:

No pressure on next-gen consoles...

MrAnderson said:

The game consoles will not have pressure... they will leapfrog. The graph will be more like a staircase because they are in service for so long, and developers have time to milk them.

Mobile has to worry about battery... battery life and size is on a very flat curve compared. Even with the SoC shrink. Battery life pretty much will hold things back until some major discoveries in battery tech are implemented comercially. We see how Apple had to add the larger battery to accomidate all that extra power. Nothing significant, they struck a good balance, but how far will it go next refresh.

Guest said:

oh blah blah

what a load of boring BS.

can the crapple tablet play ummm halo or gears ? no ! would I want to play it on some dumb mobile device ummm hell no !

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Couple the advances in performance and the openness of the mobile market compared to consoles, and I'm sure more and more good games will appear there (the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter is one example but there are others). I'm sure that even those looking for shooters will get some satisfaction a couple years from now.

I won't say that consoles are dead, but, well, I can't see a possibility that the next gen will be the last one.

Guest said:

Xbox 360 has an ATI GPU in it the first Xbox had nvidia, must have skipped that tidbit in article. fair and balanced !!!!

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