The Asus Transformer Prime is home to Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC that has a 4-PLUS-1 architecture that incorporates five ARM Cortex A9 cores; four high performance cores and one low power core. Keeping this running smoothly is a full gigabyte of RAM.
Asus have also bundled in a small collection of power profiles in order to gain maximum performance, maximum battery or a balance of both. These profiles can all quickly be selected from the quick settings tool and change the chipset’s clock speeds near instantly.
For the battery lovers among us, power saving mode maxes the CPU out at 1 GHz with 1 or 2 cores active, 760 MHz with 3 cores active and 620 MHz with all four active. Balanced mode is the middle of the line profile and restricts the processor’s clock speed to 1.2 GHz. Those wanting every last drip of performance from their Prime will turn on the performance profile which hits a wall at 1.4 GHz for single core operation and 1.3 GHz in every other scenario.
For the hardware performance tests we ran the Prime on all three profiles, while later on for the browser performance tests we only tested with the balanced profile.
The Asus Transformer Prime is by far the most powerful device we have gotten our hands on and the benchmarks reflect this. The quad core Nvidia SoC is untouchable when running one of the two upper performance profiles in Antutu, GL Benchmark, Nenamark2 and Quadrant.
Things get a little closer in Linpack with the dual-core OMAP 4460 in the Motorola Atrix 2 closing the gap between the two, at least in single threaded performance. I did not include multi-threaded Linpack results as it was impossible to get a precise and reliable result on the Prime.
Going from the balanced to performance power profiles results in roughly 8% higher performance results. The effects of the power saving mode is more obvious, with performance dropping significantly, although it still manages to beat out the Motorola Atrix 2 three times out of five. In fact, the only noticeable downfall of running the power saving profile in real usage was the Tegra 3 optimised Glowball demo slowing down greatly in performance.