In depth LG Optimus 2X and Tegra 2 review

Ready for some in-depth and techinal action? Anandtech has post a really nice review of the LG Optimus 2X Android smartphone and its nVidia Tegra 2 SoC. As you probably already know the Optimus 2x is the first smartphone powered by the Tegra 2 to hit the market and has been ranking high in 3D benchmarks ever since it first appeared in leaked picture a coupe of months ago. So how does it stack up against the competition? Well first off the Tegra 2 is also the first Dual-Core Cortex A9 chipset so it was interesting to see how it performs compared to the current single core Cortex A8 CPUs like Samsung’s Hummingbird , Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC’s (the Scorpion isn’t a real A8 but a highly modified version of it) and TI’s OMAP3.

First off, contrary to what I thought (and what Google has been saying) Android 2.X does support Dual-Core CPUs. But supporting something doesn’t automatically men taking advantage of it. The OS version found on the Optimus 2X does recognize the two CPU cores and apparently uses them accordingly. But which extend? This is yet unknown and it’s not yet clear if the OS is only recognizing the core or if it’s also correctly multi-threading the UI tasks etc (third-party application have to be coded specifically for multi-core support)… nVidia’s Cortex A9 implementation lacks the NEON instruction set and only opted to use the regular Cortex A9 non-vector floating point unit FPU compared to Qualcomm’s Scorpion core which includes a fully pipelined VFPv3 unit and a 128bit wide NEON (it’s 64bit on the A8 and A9). What does it mean ? Well not much to the end user but don’t be surprised when you see the 2 years old QSD8250 out-performing the Tegra 2 and obliterating the Hummingbird in some CPU benchmarks.

On the 3D side of things the GeForce ULV GPU is quite a beast mainly because of it’s relatively higher clock compared to the competition, but isn’t always a clear winner. You will see that the PowerVR SGX540 or the Adreno 205 will be faster in some cases. All in all the device seems to be really solid but nothing exceptional (video codec support is disappointing) and is held back by LG’s poor software sitting on top of Android 2.2.1. The HDMI mirroring features looks really nice though.

source: Anandtech