Apple A4 vs. NVIDIA Tegra 2

What's the Difference?

The Apple A4 and NVIDIA Tegra 2 are both system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs used in mobile devices, but they have some key differences. The Apple A4, introduced in 2010, was designed specifically for Apple's products like the iPhone 4 and the first-generation iPad. It features a single-core ARM Cortex-A8 processor and a PowerVR SGX535 graphics processor. On the other hand, the NVIDIA Tegra 2, released in 2011, was designed for a range of Android devices. It boasts a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GPU. While the Apple A4 may have been more power-efficient and optimized for Apple's software, the Tegra 2 offered better performance and graphics capabilities. Overall, both chips were significant advancements in mobile processing at the time of their release.


AttributeApple A4NVIDIA Tegra 2
ManufacturerApple Inc.NVIDIA Corporation
Release Year20102011
Process Technology45 nm40 nm
CPU Cores12
CPU Clock Speed1 GHz1 GHz
GPUPowerVR SGX535ULP GeForce
Graphics PerformanceUnknown8 GFLOPS
MemoryUnknown1 GB
Max Display ResolutionUnknown1920x1080
Wireless ConnectivityWi-Fi, BluetoothWi-Fi, Bluetooth

Further Detail


When it comes to mobile processors, Apple A4 and NVIDIA Tegra 2 are two popular choices that have made significant impacts in the industry. Both processors have their own unique attributes and capabilities, catering to different needs and preferences. In this article, we will delve into the details of each processor, comparing their key features, performance, power efficiency, graphics capabilities, and overall user experience.

Key Features

The Apple A4 processor, introduced in 2010, was designed specifically for Apple's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad. It is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that integrates the CPU, GPU, and other components onto a single chip. The A4 features a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, which provides a balance between performance and power efficiency. It also includes a PowerVR SGX535 GPU, offering decent graphics capabilities for gaming and multimedia applications.

On the other hand, the NVIDIA Tegra 2, released in 2011, is a powerful SoC primarily used in Android-based smartphones and tablets. It features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU clocked at 1 GHz, providing enhanced processing power compared to the A4. The Tegra 2 also incorporates an NVIDIA GeForce GPU, which delivers superior graphics performance, making it ideal for gaming enthusiasts and multimedia-intensive tasks.


When it comes to performance, both processors offer impressive capabilities, but the NVIDIA Tegra 2 takes the lead due to its dual-core architecture. The dual-core setup allows for better multitasking and improved overall responsiveness. It can handle resource-intensive applications and games more efficiently, providing a smoother user experience. The Apple A4, although a single-core processor, still delivers solid performance for everyday tasks and applications, but may struggle with more demanding workloads.

Power Efficiency

In terms of power efficiency, the Apple A4 has an advantage over the NVIDIA Tegra 2. Apple's focus on optimizing power consumption allows their devices to have longer battery life. The A4 processor is known for its energy-efficient design, ensuring that users can enjoy extended usage without constantly needing to recharge. On the other hand, the Tegra 2, while powerful, tends to consume more power, which can result in shorter battery life, especially during intensive usage scenarios.

Graphics Capabilities

When it comes to graphics capabilities, the NVIDIA Tegra 2 outshines the Apple A4. The Tegra 2's NVIDIA GeForce GPU offers superior performance, enabling smooth gameplay, high-quality visuals, and support for advanced graphics technologies. This makes it a preferred choice for gamers and those who heavily rely on graphics-intensive applications. While the Apple A4's PowerVR SGX535 GPU is capable of handling basic graphics tasks, it falls short in comparison to the Tegra 2's more advanced graphics processing capabilities.

User Experience

Both processors contribute to a positive user experience, but the choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and requirements. Apple's integration of hardware and software allows for a seamless and optimized experience on their devices. The A4 processor, specifically tailored for Apple's ecosystem, ensures smooth performance and efficient utilization of resources. On the other hand, the NVIDIA Tegra 2 provides a more versatile experience, particularly for Android users who value customization and a wide range of device options.


In conclusion, the Apple A4 and NVIDIA Tegra 2 are both powerful processors that have made significant contributions to the mobile industry. The A4 excels in power efficiency and optimized user experience within Apple's ecosystem, while the Tegra 2 offers superior performance and graphics capabilities, making it a preferred choice for gaming and multimedia enthusiasts. Ultimately, the decision between the two processors depends on individual needs, preferences, and the specific device ecosystem one wishes to be a part of.

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