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


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  • Total Meltdowner - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Art Photography? I'm not an unemployed liberal. I like phones to snap photos of family and friends doing things worth remembering. Reply
  • Cooe - Saturday, July 28, 2018 - link

    Jesus Christ... Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Starting with the wireless charging changing ergonomics and thickness, I refute. Look up at LG V30 - 7.3mm zero bump no notch. Has Qnovo on top of it, looks better made better with MIL spec. IP68 certified as well. OnePlus failed at Metal design with signal flaw with OP3/T and they cheaped out with glass just for marketing this time. About time when they ditch the jack. OPPO started that with their feeble built Find X.

    Too soft on Oneplus and other companies notch "there's really nothing controversial" its downright copied from Apple except that keeping the bottom bezel for no reason except to make it a marketing trash. Blacking it out for what ? Breaking the Android apps, but like all mainstream brainwashers Google also decided to add it with utter shameless act. Seems like even at AT no one cares about originality or engineering anymore. Shame

    No mention of absence of Video out, Netflix certification. Same battery capacity since OP3T. And Axon 7 from 2016 is able to sell a 1440P AMOLED panel at same/less cost with more features like Stereo front facing. AKM DAC wgich works with Lineage. While OP cuts corners at all specs just increase the RAM and Memory that's it. Pixel 2XL shreds OP in speed with low RAM, not against it but this phone is hot garbage.

    Oh this phone doesn't have USB3.0 either. CEO says no one uses when we have LTE pure BS. Why are they incl the high capacity UFS then ? Rubbish selfless corp. After being burned at the Op3 promised blobs and the worst part of this phone not mentioned, the T variant. Which makes the Op6 users look like fools, why don't this get mentioned anywhere ? Is OP paying that hefty ? Guess so since they skimp so much and price increase..its a disgrace.

    Sultanxda left OP because they never bother to fix the camera or treat it as some high profile golden IP, or the 821 3T high clock crash. Dash charging, another proprietary technology, no way you can find replacement parts for this phone because 5-6Month EOL is extreme ripping.
  • dshess - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    I wish one of the second-tier vendors would commit to long-term hardware support. At $600 (or $800), the story is when they manage to make a phone that sucks - but making an excellent phone for $250 is a great story, especially if you can still purchase the same device a few years later. It's like nobody is even trying to take on the iPhone. Reply
  • icalic - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Hi @Andrei Frumusanu,

    why no more gfxbench manhattan es 3.1 / metal test for battery life and final frame rate @ 200 nits?

    i think that test is good for us to look GPU efficiency on every device.

    for oneplus 6, i suspect high sustained gfxbench followed by higher power consumption than other snapdragon 845 devices.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Power consumption between devices doesn't really change. In this regard I'm keeping the power measurements to the initial SoC reviews of the first devices. The power I measured on the OP6 was not much different than on the S9+ which is covered here:

    The final frame rate benchmark has been superseded by the sustained performance measurements across all 3D workloads, so there's no need for a separate metric.

    As for battery measurement in 3D workloads, I think the GFXBench test as an actual *battery* test didn't really convey a lot other than a maximum rundown test. I think having a phone loop in an actual commonly released game would be better representative. As a reminder, the SoC's power consumption will differ greatly at different frequencies and real games will be Vsync capped at 60fps, so in actual use-cases the MH3.1 battery test didn't really show a representation of such use-cases. Currently I'm still thinking about a way to do this better and hopefully the methodology will evolve, but for now it's as it is due to practical reasons.
  • arvindgr - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    In OnePlus 3 review, AT included note on USB, that they're still using USBv2! But 4 generations later OP6 still packs that same USBv2 tech. Also with Oppo proprietary charging tech, they are least bothered about USB-PD standards which its SoC supports via QCv4. Why such tech implementations weren't discussed at all..? Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    USB 3.0 has issue with creating radio frequency interference in the 2.4GHz band which requires vendors to do a lot more engineering in terms of shielding, that's why a *lot* of phones don't support it.

    In regards to fast charging techniques - first of all ever since I came back to AT I haven't had the opportunity to re-test all the devices over the last year that we were missing data on. Secondly I didn't prioritise this as much because I feel after 5V/2A/10W which essentially every device nowadays supports, faster charging rates become diminishingly relevant.

    Batteries are supposed to be charged at a maximum of 1C, for the OP6 that's for example 3.3A since the capacity is 3.3Ah. A 10W charger is already 2.38A, going to 15W is getting near the limit. Devices nowadays also have like 10 different charging profiles depending on what power supply you connect to it, so while true we can resume testing the stock charger, but again in reality how representative is that really for most people, especially among AT readers?
  • Quantumz0d - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    Appreciate the response for this. I always wonder what's the reason behind cutting costs for USB spec. And about the Dash charge, it's proprietary you are stuck with using the accessories from OP site only and usable with their HW only. Its not about speed its about adopting standards like USB PD or QC. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, July 27, 2018 - link

    > Its not about speed its about adopting standards like USB PD or QC.

    I think that's a weird attitude to take. QC or PD are just ways to achieve speed. A 10W 2A non-standard charger will charge the same as a 10W QC, PD, Dash or whatever charger. Electrons don't care about the standard.

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