GPU Performance - GLBenchmark 2.1

While Intel's Atom core is a newcomer to Android, the PowerVR SGX 540 used in Medfield's SoC has been around the block quite a bit. Most recently, Samsung's Galaxy Nexus used an OMAP 4 that features the same SGX 540 GPU. The GPU clock is a bit higher than we're used to at 400MHz (vs 304MHz for the Galaxy Nexus), but otherwise the design and its performance are both known quantities.

We start with GLBenchmark, one of the better Android GPU tests on the market today. There are two benchmarks, Egypt and Pro, and each is run in two modes: native screen resolution and offscreen (vsync disabled) at 720p. The latter is more useful for apples to apples comparisons as everything is rendering the same number of pixels, whereas performance in the onscreen tests is determined by the screen resolution of the device along with the performance of its GPU.

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt

The X900 falls in just behind the Optimus 3D, which shares the same GPU but is running at a lower resolution. All things considered, the X900 does reasonably well here but it's definitely not leading the pack.

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen (720p)

At the same display resolution and without any vsync limits, the X900 falls significantly behind the cream of the crop. Despite the GPU clock advantage, Medfield is no faster than OMAP 4 in the Galaxy Nexus here which is a bit perplexing. We're either bumping into a memory bandwidth limit or some other CPU/driver limitation. Either way, Intel definitely needs a faster GPU. We'll get it but not until early next year with the 544MP2 in the Atom Z2580.

The Pro results actually show us more of what we expected to see:

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen (720p)

The offscreen tests give the Medfield based X900 a 25% advantage over the Galaxy Nexus, which makes sense. The Droid 4 is closer than that, despite also using the same GPU.

Basemark ES 2.0 V1

Rightware's Basemark ES 2.0 V1 is an aging GPU test that tends to favor Qualcomm's Adreno GPUs above almost all others. The Imagination Technologies based GPUs, such as the SGX 540 used in Medfield (as well as NVIDIA's Tegra GPU) don't fare as well here. Intel's GPU clock advantage does show up a little bit in these tests, making it the fastest PowerVR SGX based offering here:

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Taiji

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Hoverjet

Performance Battery Life
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  • jed22281 - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    Vanilla MeeGo is nothing like MeeGo-Harmattan (aka Maemo6x) on the N9...
    The only relation Tizen has with Vanilla MeeGo, is that it's structured/administered in a similar fashion.
    Plus many of the same partners involved in MeeGo, have moved to Tizen...
    The developmental libraries/environment is totally different, although there's still some tacit support for Qt.
    MeR+Nemo (& other UX's e.g. Cordia/Plasma etc) is what has supplanted the original MeeGo.
    And yes you could in theory run MeR+Nemo or Tizen on this or other Medfied devices.
    But I'm not so sure they'd necessarily be any less locked down than ARM-based ones.
    Locked boot loader etc... But once that's out of the way, they'd have their advantages.
    Reply
  • ironargonaut - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    From what I see the only phones that best Intel in performance are not on the battery chart.

    If a phone computes something faster, will that not mean it can do more in less time? Thus, while the artificial surfing battery time is "average", wouldn't I be able to surf more pages and run more apps also in that same time period?

    What is the power/performance metric?
    Reply
  • fm123 - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    There is no clear way to tell from this, given that the CPU is likely ramping up and down. The other phones are not listed, I suspect, as they are new. They actually include newer battery saving features, so you can't see that yet on this comparison. Reply
  • ironargonaut - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    So,then could I safely say, that since battery life is not listed here, of the phones in both tests Intel has the highest cpu performance with midrange battery life.

    If they are not going to test the batteries of the same phones then you shouldn't have them listed on the same graph for CPU power. IMHO

    It's like a Ford commercial saying Ford fullsize has better gas mileage then Chevy, more towing power than Dodge, more cargo space then Toyota etc..

    Which if written the way of this article is more like Ford worse gas mileage than Dodge, less towing power than Toyota, less cargo space then Chevy etc...

    All are misleading. IMHO
    Reply
  • mcquade181 - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    For the benefit of all us older technophiles with slightly less than perfect hearing, could you please, please test the earpiece volume when testing cellular phones?

    I had to ditch my otherwise great Nokia N8 because of its ridiculously low earpiece volume, which made it unusable in anything but perfectly quiet environments.

    The other very useful test would be how well the phone operates in both voice and data modes in areas at the fringe of network coverage, i.e. the phone’s range. The Samsung Galaxy S2 does not fare that well in this test and is no where near as good as my old Nokia N8. Surprisingly, very, very few reviews of the Galaxy S2 mention how average its fringe reception is.
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    To not include any iphone results to the GLbenchmark except offscreen since offscreen looks so great on the iphone and the results I've obtained from around the web when running on the phone's screen show it not to be that much better than the fastest Android devices. How many people ac tually do GPU functions that aren't running on the phone's screen? Not many... Reply
  • suman - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    While BT is very cool technology, why is there so much hoopla around it. We released the Bluestacks App Player (beta) a month ago and have a binary translator embedded in it. We can run ARM NDK, X86 NDK, Dalvik applications side by side on our player. Reply
  • iamastranger - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    Basically all are missing a point here. It is a FFRD with miimal changes done by LAVA. Wait for a OEM like Moto deliver x86 based phone. Reply
  • danielt - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    Hoe come this site never review the amazing Galaxy Note? Reply
  • RajeevRaj - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    One aspect not touched upon here is the price of the XOLO as compared to the other smartphones in the compare list. The XOLO costs INR 22000 ($420). Most other phones in the list (which are available in India) cost upwards of INR 27-28000 (>$520). As example the Samsung Galaxy S2 costs INR 28-30,000 ($550) and iPhones cost upward of INR 35000. (>$700)

    So if you factor in a price to features ratio also in the comparisons, the XOLO looks very attractive for a smartphone buyer in India.
    Reply

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