Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro – Which One Should You Buy

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro, When it comes to video streaming and online gaming, you cannot go wrong with an Nvidia Shield media player. 

However, for most avid streamers, a dilemma arises when choosing between the base and the pro version. 

Although the difference between the two is not as day and night, each has advantages and disadvantages. 

Using both models, I have compiled a comprehensive Nvidia Shield vs. Shield Pro comparison to help solve your dilemma.

Table of Contents

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro: Overview

While Nvidia corporation released its first Shield TV in 2015, It was in 2019 that the company announced two improved versions. 

Both Nvidia Shield and Shield Pro use the powerful Tegra X1+ processor boosting excellent performance that can play even games. 

You can stream games from GeForce or use an emulator to get classic games with any device.

Another similarity is that both devices run on a regularly updated Android TV 11 OS with an inbuilt Chromecast. 

You also can use voice commands since they both support Google Assistant, Alexa, and Amazon Echo. 

Regarding video quality, both versions are the same, supporting 4K, Dolby Vision, and HDR streaming. 

You also get to upscale the quality of your video, thanks to the AI upscaling feature in both medial players. 

They all have a common sound quality supporting Dolby Digital, Dolby Atoms, Dolby Digita Plus, and DTS-X.

Nvidia Shield TV

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro: Design

Before the 2019 redesign, both Nvidia Shield and Shield Pro featured a similar box-shaped design. 

After 2019, the base version assumed a cylindrical shape which is more compact and can fit into tight spaces.

 While this design became a trademark for the device, it has some drawbacks, such as port placement and overheating. 

However, the pro version retained the box shape to improve the port selection and heat dissipation. 

Additionally, both models feature a design that does not support IR remotes.

 In this regard, you must use the original remote or one that uses WiFi or Bluetooth. 

Therefore, if a compact design is your motivating factor, the base model would be ideal.

Nvidia Sheild Vs. Shield Pro: RAM and Storage

Extra storage space is vital depending on how you want to use your device. 

In this regard, Nvidia Shield Pro is the better option, boasting 16GB of storage. 

This storage is handy when you want to install apps, download games, or store large files.

 The Shield Pro also comes with two 3.0 USB slots to connect external storage devices and boost memory further.

 The device also features 3 GB RAM, which is vital when streaming 4K videos and playing advanced games.

On the other hand, the base version comes with 8 GB of storage, which is half the pro version. 

However, it comes with a MicroSD slot to extend the storage, a feature lacking in the pro version.

 Note that this base version does not have USB ports to connect external devices. 

Regarding RAM, the base version comes with 2GB of RAM, which hinders its performance when streaming heavy games.

 Therefore, while you can extend the ROM of both models, if you are an avid game, consider the Pro version. 

It has an extra 1GB RAM and 8 GB more internal storage than the base version.

Storage Representation 

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro: Features

While both versions have similar features, the Nvidia Shield Pro edges the base model in this department. Let’s look at some of the main features of both versions:

  • They both support AI upscaling. The base model supports upscaling up to 30fps, while the Pro version upscales up to 60fps.
  • Both devices support GeForce and other Android game streaming, but the pro model is better for gaming due to extra RAM.
  • There is no difference when it comes to Sound quality and Video resolution in both devices. They support the same formats, such as Dobly Atoms, DTS, 4K, HDR, etc.
  • Plex server support. Plex server is a platform that lets you manage your media collection and stream it on a media player.  The pro version supports the Plex server, while the base version does not due to insufficient RAM.
  • Both media players support voice commands with services like Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Samsung SmartThings. SmartThings is an automation that allows you to control your smart home devices from the same app. This service requires a USB connection to Z-Wave and Zigbee devices; hence the base version does not support it.

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro: Port Selection

Both devices have an ethernet Gigabit port to support a high data transmission rate. 

With this port, you can connect your WiFi router, which gives you a stable wired connection when streaming videos or games.

 The Shield TV models also feature HDMI ports that support HDMI ARC and CEC for high-resolution videos. 

As we established earlier, the pro model also has 2 USB ports, a feature unavailable in the base model. 

However, the base model compensated for the lack of a USB port with a MicroSD port which is also lacking in the pro version. 

Regarding ports, the Pro version edge the base one since it features USB ports for connecting peripherals and storage devices.

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro: Video Playing Back and Gaming

Both models can excellently live up to their expectations regarding gaming and video playing. 

After all, the device design is meant for both videos and extra gaming capabilities unavailable in other streaming devices. 

They support HDR and 4K video streaming on platforms like Netflix and Hulu.

 Regarding gaming, both devices can support games from Geforce and other compatible Android platforms.

However, when it comes to many hours of streaming 4K videos, you will notice the difference between the two models. 

The pro models are excellent, while the base models start to lag, especially for 4K lossless videos.

 The Pro version supports all games in-game, albeit due to the extra RAM, storage, and other advanced capabilities. 

Conversely, high-end games lose quality and get slow when played on the base version. 

Additionally, the Pro version has better heat management than the base one when streaming games or videos for extended periods.

Video gaming

Video gaming

Nvidia Shield Vs. Shield Pro: Price and What Comes in the Box

While both Nvidia Shield and Shield Pro have some differences, the price is the most apparent. 

The Nvidia shield retails for $149.99, while the pro version goes for $199.99 on Amazon stores. 

This price difference is mainly due to the Pro version’s RAM, storage, and advanced gaming features.

 Each box comes with the respective media player device plus a remote control. 

This remote features an appealing backlight design and a customizable button used for shortcut mapping.

 You can also get a Shield gaming controller on any device, but it’s sold separately.


Both Nvidia Shield and Nvidia Shield Pro can do a perfect job in media streaming and gaming. 

Their difference is minimal, and the devices are similar in more ways than they differ.

 If you need a compact device for general streaming and gaming, the base model is more than enough.

 However, if you seek a AAA gaming device, you can pay an extra $50 for the pro model.