Welcome back to another edition of hardware breakdown where we take a close examination at key features and hardware within devices that have consumer impact. In this installment of Hardware Breakdown, we adjust our attention towards the NVIDIA Shield Pro, it has garnished some positive feedback from the from many who have purchased this device. It's safe to say Amazons Fire Stick have nothing over the Shield Pro, I would even go as far as to advise anyone to ditch the Apple TV if already have one.
Unlike Roku, the Fire Stick and even Apple TV, the Shield Pro is gaming capable. I'm not talking just Angry Birds, offers a decent title of games, some of these gaming are titles are enjoyed on known consoles such the PS4 and Xbox One. For me the biggest selling point here with the Shield Pro is its ability to output 4K HD streaming, all made possible by its hardware that's embedded within this device.
About that hardware, lets crack open the Shield Pro and take a close look at each integral component. What makes this device what it is.
The entire device is operated under NVIDIAs own Tegra X1 architecture, it has a ARM CPU with 4-cores 4x A57 2MB L2 cache. The graphics is made possible by a Maxwell 256-core GPU, DX-12, OpenGL 4.5, also NVIDIA's own CUDA technology, Open GL technology and Vulkan.
When dealing with NVIDIA technology you are definitely getting quality, but you're also provided hardware that's power efficient, the Shield Pro power efficiency is made possible by its 20nm SOC-TSMC that's isolated on power rails, using a fourth generation cluster switching.
For me the most attractive feature with the Shield Pro is its ability to output video in 4k HDR right out of the box, at 60fps, 1080p video playback. This is what you'll see in highend gaming PC's.
On the storage and memory front, what makes the Shield Pro so unique in this category it presents users with a bevy of storage options, starting with a whopping 500GB of internal storage. I say whopping because it's a huge leap from the standard edition which only has 16GB of storage, if you're going to download games, you'll certianly need to staorage space. When it comes to RAM, that measures in at 3GB. As an added bonus users have the luxury to expand storage via SD card slot and USB 3.0. The Shield Pro suggested compatibility are the SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB Flash drive and the SanDisk Ultra 128GB Flash drive.
When it comes to Internet connection, there's nothing surprising here, the Shield Pro offers you the standard Internet option starting with a 802.11ac WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet hard wire. The same connection set up seen on the gaming consoles and set top devices.
If you're classifying the Shield Pro as just a set box then I'd say it trumps what Roku, Fire Stick and Apple TV have to offer in terms of hardware,which is impeccable to say the least. Though gaming capable, It's definitely not a replacement to Xbox One and PS4 as those consoles just dominates the Shield Pro with its hardware. Still the device is worth purchasing, a definite must have if you looking to add to your home theater system.