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Tesla’s new onboard computer is twice as fast as the older version, shows test

Tesla recently confirmed having updated the onboard media computer (MCU) in the new Model S and Model X, which is resulting in an evidently faster and smoother experience.

Now owners have tested the response time of the new MCU and it seems to be as much as twice as fast as the older version.

As we previously reported, Tesla developed a new dual computing platform for Autopilot and the Media Control Unit MCU on the Model 3.

For Model 3 owners who also owned Model S or Model X vehicles at some point, it was clear that it resulted in a much faster and smoother touchscreen experience on the center display than it Tesla’s two older vehicles.

Now Tesla is bringing the same experience to new Model S and Model X vehicles.

A Model S owner with the new MCU did a series of controlled comparison tests with the navigation system, vector map responsiveness, dash buttons responsiveness, and web browser performance.

Here are the results:

As you can see, aside from the dash buttons responsiveness, the new MCU appears to be about twice as fast as the older version.

Tesla’s MCU has long been powered by Nvidia GPUs just like its Autopilot computer, but the company moved to Intel for the Model 3, which first showed sign of more performance and responsiveness.

While it’s unconfirmed at this point, Tesla could have also moved to Intel for the Model S/X MCU processor to get that kind of performance and use the same processor and board for the MCUs in all its vehicle programs.

Electrek’s Take

That’s some impressive improvements, but it was also overdue in my opinion after seeing little improvement on that front over the past 5 years.

Tesla has also been promising several updates to the media center for a while now, like a new browser and a new navigation and map engine, but those are supposed to also work with older models with upcoming software updates.

I think we are going to see Tesla take more advantage of the new MCU with future software updates, but I’m afraid it might result in older version seeing fewer improvements.

Tesla also never confirmed whether or not a retrofit of the new MCU would be made available to Model S and Model X owners despite our inquiries about it.

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