GPU Performance

During the release of the Snapdragon 845, the performance increases of the Adreno 630 GPU were touted to also come with large efficiency increases. Based on our testing with the Galaxy S9 and subsequent devices we’ve found that while the peak performance increases indeed matched Qualcomm’s projections, the higher benchmark scores came at a cost of increased device power consumption. This had the negative effect that in our new sustained performance tests the S845 did not manage to maintain an equal excellent % of peak performance as S835 devices.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time retesting these results and still always came within the same conclusions. The OnePlus 6 however seems to be the one S845 device that seems to particularly perform out of the norm here, as we’ll see in the following benchmarks.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

Starting off with the 3DMark Sling Shot Physics test is mostly a CPU bound test within a GPU power constrained thermal environment, the OnePlus 6 fares just a tad better than the Galaxy S9+, posting slightly better peak and sustained scores.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

Switching over to the Graphics results of the test however, we see some very large divergences of the OnePlus 6 versus other devices. Here the OP6 posts a much better sustained score and a larger percentage of peak performance than other Snapdragon 845 devices. The LG G7 also showcases a slight advantage over the earlier devices but not quite as good as the OP6.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen

Switching over GFXBench Manhattan 3.1, we see a similar result as the OnePlus 6 posts 45% better sustained performance than the Galaxy S9+ and the Mi MIX 2S, with only the LG G7 behind it.

To verify these figures and to make sure that it wasn’t any change in environmental conditions during the testing I tested the phone alongside the Galaxy S9+ re-running the methodology again on the Samsung phone, and indeed the OnePlus 6 just was much better at sustaining performance as the initial end-result of the S9+ was reproduced.

GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

Finally, in T-Rex, the OnePlus 6 again manages to take the top spot in terms of sustained performance under stable thermal envelope.

As to why the OnePlus 6 really seems to post such different sustained performance characteristics is something that I think is attributable to thermal design of the phone. I measured 3D graphics power in the workloads and it didn’t really differ much from the measurements on the S9+, so this doesn’t seem to be a case of the GPU consuming less power either through whatever optimisations or possible better binned SoC unit.

While the Galaxy S9+ and Mi MIX 2S can get some quite high temperature hotspots at peak performance exceeding 55°C, the OnePlus 6 was much better and the worst skin temperature I measured on the warmest point, on the screen just over where the SoC is located, didn’t exceed 46°C. The phone seems to be much better at dissipating the heat throughout its mid-frame, and while overall the phone can still get quite warm, it’s more evened out and allows the SoC to seemingly maintain higher performance states. Obviously this is all circumstantial observations, it’s also possible that the OnePlus 6 also just has higher thermal throttling temperature settings, but then it would have also reached the very high temperature hotspots measured on the S9+ and MIX 2S, which just don't happen on the OP6.

In the end, the OnePlus 6 now posts the best graphics performance of any smartphone we’ve come to measure. This is not due to improved efficiency or power, but rather through a better sustained thermal envelope of the phone itself. It’s to note that while performance is very high, power for the Snapdragon 845 is still well above the Snapdragon 835 in this scenario and thus overall battery life at these high performance states will be worse.

System Performance Display Measurement


View All Comments

  • GREAT Expectations - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Just wanna know... Did you even read the article or did you skip right to the comments?
    I'm pretty sure the author has addressed your concerns already. And I've yet to see you providing a convincing counterargument. Reading the article isn't that hard is it?
  • Xex360 - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    I'm entitled to have a different opinion, and the the writer addressed the notch "problem" wasn't satisfying for me, I'm of the opinion that most phone manufacturers are just copying Apple nothing else, and copying the worst design choices from Apple and not the good/great ones. Reply
  • markiz - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Well, other than your subjective aesthetical opinion, reasonably, notch just makes sense. If status icons are moved there, that means you can get an extra line of text on the screen.
    Like, one extra email, or a message, or whatever.

    I too also hate how it looks normally, but honestly, with OLED screen, it's barely noticeable, and I do appreciate extra space. I've come around :)

    The fact that apple was first is could just be dependent on only 2 things:
    - Samsung did not want to do it
    - nobody else has scale and numbers to custom order OLED manufacturers to make special equipment to cut up their screens.
  • Teckk - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    S9/S9+ might be better phones no doubt, but they're not "nearly the same price". Reply
  • markiz - Monday, July 30, 2018 - link

    Where I live, in Europe, they certainly are. It's 20€ more for S9. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    I don't see how a notch could possibly make a phone useless. They aren't appealing to me, but it seems like the rejection of the notch is based more in a dislike of Apple than a concern about functionality in a lot of cases. Reply
  • mrochester - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    The notch rejection comes purely from the hipsters. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    I'm not even sure exactly what traits make someone a hipster or not, but I think people that object to notches represent a fairly broad set of demographics. Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    I don't think there are really that many people who care about notches. But if there are, all they need to do is refuse to buy phones that have them and suddenly alternatives will appear. Reply
  • ummduh - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    "mrochester - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link
    The notch rejection comes purely from the hipsters."

    I'm definitely as far from a hipster as you can get and I'm also definitely anti-notch. Unless being so anti hipster is the new hipster? Never mind, I don't want to know.

    I'm also vehemently anti on-screen buttons and want my dedicated buttons back. I don't get this new screen form factor, it doesn't help anything and removes things I value.

    I have a OP5 (not T). I like it. It's the last of the honest phones. I do miss IR blasters being in phones as well.

    The Note4 was honestly the last great perfect phone. I went back and tried to use my old one and unfortunately it is just too slow. The new versions are over priced, and over Samsung'd. (That is to say, they're too locked down now.)

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