Smartphones

There's a bit more variety in our smartphone GLBenchmark 2.5 results. Here we have two Samsung SoCs paired with the ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU: the original dual-core Exynos 4210 as well as the Exynos 4 Quad (4412) from the international Galaxy S 3. Tegra 3 makes an appearance, as does TI's OMAP 4460. The latter shows up in two configurations, one with the SGX 540 running at full 384MHz clocks in the Huawei Ascend P1 and another with the SGX 540 running at 307MHz in the Galaxy Nexus (CPU clocks are 20% lower as well in the GN). Finally we have Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 with its Adreno 225 GPU in the HTC One X and the US Galaxy S 3.

The Mali-400/MP4 continues to be the fill rate king, outpacing NVIDIA's Tegra 3 by over 50%. The advantage doesn't extend however to the triangle tests, expressing a key weakness in the Mali-400/MP4 architecture: significantly ratchet up polygon counts and performance falls flat. Remember that Mali-400 isn't a unified shader architecture, and explicitly features more pixel shader hardware than vertex shader hardware. Qualcomm inches ahead in the vertex and fragment lit triangle throughput tests, although NVIDIA remains quite competitive. Both the Mali-400 and SGX 540 don't do well here.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

Egypt HD doesn't look quite as bad in the smartphone results, but that's mostly because we have some resolutions at 960 x 540 or below. Even then, none of these devices can break 30 fps. Remove vsync and crank up the resolution to 1080p and we hit the same ~13 fps cap as we did on the tablets.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

The classic results once again show us that for lighter workloads, all of the modern GPUs (Mali 400, Adreno 225, Tegra 3) are sufficient. At lower polygon counts, even the latest Mali 400 can hit nearly 60 fps at 1080p.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic (Offscreen 1080p)

 
Tablet Performance in GLBenchmark 2.5
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  • A5 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    My results fall in almost exactly with these running a ROM based on the VM ICS leak: https://glbenchmark.com/phonedetails.jsp?D=HTC+EVO...

    The offscreen+MSAA tests are still busted, but the rest of it seems to work.
    Reply
  • Bateluer - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    With the Galaxy Nexus, my ePenis feels inadequate. Next crop of Nexus devices better push the performance envelope. Reply
  • hurrakan - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    I was going to buy a Samsung Galaxy S3 here in the UK, but is it really utter crap compared to the US version? Reply
  • aruisdante - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    It's just different. Mali400 is very good in pixel-shader heavy situations. And Exynos Quad is better than S4's current dual core Krait implementation in highly threaded environments.

    The problem is that a lot of current workloads are neither of those things. In day to day tasks, raw processor performance between quad-core A9 (Exynos Quad, Tegra-3) and dual core Krait (Snapdragon S4) works out to be roughly equal, because Krait is about 30% faster Clock per Clock and runs a about 20% higher clockspeeds thanks to its 28nm construction. Since most workloads are not highly threaded, Krait's increased single-threaded performance is enough to overcome the quad-core's core advantage.
    Reply
  • Pipperox - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    Not quite.
    First of all, synthetic benchmarks can be very misleading as they selectively stress certain components in isolation, and they're also prone to cheating i.e. benchmark specific optimizations which bring nothing for real world performance.
    In the PC industry they've been practically abandoned in reviewing new graphic cards, in favor of game benchmarks.

    The Mali400 in the SGS III international version has by far the highest fill rate, 3x compared to Adreno, which in turn has a much higher triangle throughput, according to this test.

    But the thing is, there aren't few if any games out there which come close to the polygon count of the Egypt Classic scenario.

    Egypt HD is rather extreme, and more of a view of things to come, but with no smartphone significantly breaking the barrier of 20 fps (and if you run the benchmark, you see how the frame rate dips often to 5fps or less), it's unlikely that we'll see anything remotely comparable in the next couple of years.

    So for the games out there and in the near future, Mali400 is king.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    A big problem is that any 3D-heavy game that you'd want to use for benchmarking on Android is basically fully optimized to a specific chipset, to the point that nVidia and Qualcomm heavily assist developers who use their chips in exchange for prominent placing in TegraZone and GameCommand respectively.

    I feel that the great equalizer in the SoC wars will be Windows RT, since one binary will have to run on a Tegra 3, Snapdragon S4, and OMAP4, so the chances of cheating will likely be diminished.
    Reply
  • metafor - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    Of course, with modern games that are mostly fill-rate bound, all these GPU's have little trouble hitting the 60fps barrier. So while fill-rate monster GPU's can indeed win in off-screen, non-vsync'ed benchmarks, it's really kinda moot. Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    It seems they made the Egypt tests at least twice more aggressive than they should've been in this release. It's kind of ridiculous that all the latest GPU's can't even get past 15 FPS in it. I mean, what's the point of showing something like that? Might as well make the app for latest PC gaming hardware.

    So yeah, I think this version of Egypt is too aggressive, especially since we know they are going to launch GLBenchmark 3.0 for OpenGL ES 3.0 this fall. What are they going to do when they have to add all the extra graphics features of OpenGL ES 3.0 on top of the new very complex Egypt text? Will they just make all the new GPU's show 5 FPS in their tests?

    This is definitely wrong.
    Reply
  • Mike1111 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    "It's kind of ridiculous that all the latest GPU's can't even get past 15 FPS in it."

    A5X and Adreno 320 weren't tested yet. And the next generation of mobile GPUs coming in early 2013 will be much more powerful.
    Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    http://glbenchmark.com/phonedetails.jsp?benchmark=...

    A5X roughly triples the Fill Test of the Tegra 3. It also gets about 50 fps on the Offscreen test in Egypt HD.

    If anything, I'd say they didn't make it stressful enough.
    Reply

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