Nexus 9 Benchmarked: As Powerful As A 2012 Mac Pro

Nexus 9 Benchmarked: As Powerful as a 2012 Mac Pro

The Nexus 9 won't officially ship until November, but that hasn't stopped one sneaking onto the official Geekbench rankings. With its ridiculous-sounding dual-64-bit CPU, it was always destined to be fast; but it's on par with a professional-level Mac Pro from a couple years ago, according to Geekbench. That's a little insane.

A cautionary reminder: benchmarks aren't everything! In the case of Geekbench, it's a measure of a couple of different things, including some number-crunching processor-heavy tasks and memory tests. Also, benchmarks like Geekbench aren't great for comparing x86 and ARM-based systems, or situations where you have a varying number of processors. However, they're still just about the only objective way of comparing computer power across different platforms, so from that perspective, benchmarks are pretty handy.

With that in mind: the 'HTC Volantis' (read: Nexus 9) scored 1903 in Geekbench. To put that in context: an entry-level 2012 Mac Pro, a machine designed for professional-level media editing and retailing for over a grand, scored a 1925. Heck, my Macbook Air barely scrapes over the 2000 mark. In tablet terms, that's nearly unheard of. The Nexus 10 that it's replacing scores 879, and in Geekbench world, double the score means double the performance. Even the year-old iPad Air only squeaks in at 1085.

All this is just proof, in case you needed it, that tablets are rapidly catching up to all but the most powerful PCs in terms of processing power. Not only does that mean more capable multitasking, video streaming and the like, but it also opens the door for more advanced video-editing and photo-processing apps to come to tablets. Those have normally been the PC's citadel, one of the last remaining barriers to switching operating systems. When you throw in other productivity extras like the keyboard case that's launching alongside the Nexus 9, it's really no surprise that the tablet market is taking bite after bite out of the PC world. [Geekbench via Twitter]



    My reservation about tablets catching up with PC's and maybe even dooming PC's to exinction, is that you can easily replace/upgrade PC hardware parts whereas tablets don't appear to have that option.

    Last edited 18/10/14 2:28 pm

      The same can be said of laptops to a lesser extent. When was the last time you saw a laptop with an upgradeable CPU or video card? Your upgrade options are pretty much limited to memory, hard drive and possibly wifi (assuming the manufacturer doesn't block after market wifi cards in the BIOS for regulatory compliance). Tablets take this a step further, but it isn't exactly something new.

      More worrying is that tablets are generally consume-only devices. In most cases you can't even develop an app for a tablet on the tablet itself.

      People have been saying stuff like "PC's are doomed to extinction" for years but they are still kicking and as popular as ever.

        What are you talking about, PC sales are massively on the decline. So no, they're not anywhere near as popular as ever.

          Desktop sales may be on the decline, but laptop sales have never been higher. We're also seeing a trend of people going back to desktops lately, too.

          PCs sales have stabilised. Intel sold a record number of processors last quarter and has seen growth for the last two quarters. OTOH, tablet sales have actually fallen this year.

      Who cares, I love my PC, but if you can take that big box, put it in a smaller box for the same performance. Awesome.
      All that PC's bring is performance and flexibility. If we have that in a smaller (cheaper) package, there is no loss.

    And you really need all that computing power to play candy crush. ;)

    I'm not sure this is correct - the HTC volantis scores are way lower than my crappy 2009 homemade Core2Quad gaming PC! (also, geekbench results for a 2009 Mac Pro here are much higher than the Nexus 9 scores -

    Maybe someone got their wires crossed?

    It's really worth highlighting that this is single core score only. With 8 threads on the base model, that 'old' desktop will destroy the tablet in any multi-threaded application.

      Exactly, then there's the storage interface being slower than internal HDDs from 4 years ago, not even going to think about GPUs or RAM...

    Android is too fragmented. Too much touchwiz, lag and bloat. I'd rather just get an iPad air and call it a day.

      I hate nexus.. TouchWiz lags so much

        As rilian points out below, Nexus devices don't have TouchWiz... That's kinda the whole point; they run stock Android with none of the vendor embellishments like TouchWiz.

      TouchWiz should probably be labelled as Samsung, not Android. Not to mention being part of the Nexus line, it comes with stock Android.

      Lol. I've had Android since 2.1 and never used TouchWiz :P.

      The nexus series of devices do not traditionally contain bloat. The software is core android, so as soon as an update is released nexus devices get the updates, much like iOS devices. I know I'd personally like to see Sony make a nexus device: waterproof, and looking stunning like the entire Z series line

      Android is a Operating System, Not a Device. My Nexus 5 which runs the android OS has no touchwiz, lag or bloat. A Samsung S5 also runs the Android OS but has the touchwiz, Lag and bloat. Both use the android OS but are totally different devices.

    Somethin's wrong with the GB3's posted. You have to go out of your way to find any iPad Air benches under 1400. 1085 is way too low when the average seems to be ~1460 single core and ~2500 multi. Heck the new iPhone 6 hits 1600 and the new Air 2 should be over 2k with the A8X, and the Air2 will be in customer's hands next week.

    I think that is a highly conditional result. If it were running an OS capable of runnnig advanced applications this would be relevent. But until you have photoshop or media editing its mostly a moot point.

      You have a version of Photoshop and plenty of media editing tools available for the device.
      I prefer to do advanced media creation on my laptop though, even though I do quite a bit on my tablet too these days. Unfortunately I haven't found a vector art illustration program on Android that exports PDF, .ai, svg, or eps files. :(

      Aren't mobile OSs just, or at least near to, as capable of running processing-intensive programs as desktop ones? My android phone runs emulators that are on my PC - at the same version - at similar speeds even though it has considerably less hardware grunt to support it (and despite running Java; I guess being native helps).

      And in theory, isn't that what the benchmarking is testing for?

    If I read their site correctly, no memory card slot, no IR blaster and no USB 3?

    And at full power the battery will last all of what, 45 minutes?

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