GPU Performance

When we covered the new generation SoCs in our chip-coverage of the Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100, GPU performance was an extremely contentious topic there as the new 2021 silicon generation showcased some extremely hot peak power consumption numbers in excess of 8W. These kind of power figures really aren’t sustainable in any phone, and the Snapdragon S21 Ultra really didn’t do well in terms of its throttling, ending up with performance that’s really no better than its predecessor generation in most cases.

I alluded in that piece that the Mi 11 would be a more aggressive device in terms of its thermals, as Xiaomi allows its phones to reach higher peak skin temperatures whereas Samsung seems to have a 42°C maximum target.

Indeed, the new Mi 11 will in routinely reach peak skin temperatures of 50-51°C, but it’s at that stage where we hit an enormous problem with the device: it errors out with an overheating warning.

This is by far not the first time we’ve encountered this issue. I remember the Snapdragon Galaxy S9 encountering it as well as many other Samsung Snapdragon phones, and I’ve seen it happen to many Xiaomi devices as well.

Generally speaking, when this occurs it’s a sign there’s something absolutely wrong with the device and its thermal management. In the past, there’s been indications that these are “optimisations” that are trying to cheat benchmarks, particularly for devices that are targeted at the Chinese market.

In the case of the Mi 11 – I don’t really have any kind of evidence that this behaviour is targeted solely at benchmarks, as I cannot see the device behaving differently with anonymised workloads. Let’s go briefly over the results before I comment more on the real-world device performance:

Basemark GPU 1.2 - Medium 1440p - Off-Screen / Blit GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

As you see, the Mi 11 is able to top the charts in almost every benchmark. Again, the problem with those scores is that they’re not actually truly indefinite “sustained” scores, as the device at some point will simply give off that overheating warning.

Ignore the Benchmarks Here

It’s a very special scenario we’re encountering here where the actual benchmarks absolutely do not line up with the actual performance of the device in real games. Although the Mi 11 will go about and sustain 7-8W in the benchmarks, heating up to silly temperatures, but posting great performance figures, it really doesn’t behave that way in games.

In Genshin Impact, which is one of the most demanding games out there right now, the Mi 11 will start off with great performance and will showcase power consumption of >7W. However after prolonged plays, the device will actually throttle, and power consumption will reduce to the 5W range, and surprisingly, the phone won’t heat up beyond the 44°C range. I’ve seen the GPU operate in the 400MHz range here, which is half of its peak performance, and obviously enough the game also falls down well below the 60fps mark which it might achieve when it’s cool. This indicates, that in real games, the thermal management seems to be working well.

This discrepancy between benchmarks and real games is extremely frustrating for me here as I cannot pin down why exactly it happens. Are the vendors cheating through whitelisting only real games in the thermal management? Whatever the real answer is, the end result of the Mi 11 in gaming is that it’s not drastically different than past Snapdragon 865 devices, or at least only marginally better. This is a case of where I suggest to just ignore the above benchmark numbers – although I’m still publishing them until I see definitive proof of possible malicious behaviour.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • asmian - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    What rubbish. I don't know why you're determined to attack me, rather than the original poster. I'm in no glass house, and no hypocrite, because I'm not going around attacking others based just on their nationality. Nor am I myopic to systemic faults, but calling a Tory government "fascist" (as you said elsewhere) is just leftist name-calling, not helpful politics. And it's patently untrue and ridiculous hyperbole when there are real fascist governments oppressing women actively in eastern Europe right now, within the EU.

    When someone calls an entire country "Nazis" then that can't go unchallenged. It's no hypocrisy to point out that making comments about an entire modern country based on the past actions of individuals, or the state (in a "democracy" that was able to be voted for by substantially less than half of the population at the time), is offensive. I wasn't defending those actions, so there was no "worthless defence". I just don't subscribe to the popular PC theory that every current citizen should feel guilty for actions in the past they weren't responsible for, which you obviously do, since you're so angry about it. And I know quite enough NOT to be lectured by some random internet knowitall who does nothing but troll every thread here as if it's their private blog.
    Reply
  • Martin84a - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    Just a small observation. On one hand you say "hey, don't judge Britons based on the actions of our ancestors", but at the same time you say "hey, our ancestors fought the real fascist in World War 2." If you don't feel shame based on your ancestors actions, you shouldn't feel pride either. It's not like you took part in their actions.

    You can't have it both way mate. If you aren't connected to what someone in the past did, then you should feel shame for what they did. But you shouldn't feel the need to
    Reply
  • hbsource - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - link

    Not sure Americans should be throwing insults around about killing Indians. Reply
  • Wereweeb - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - link

    I'm not american Reply
  • BedfordTim - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - link

    Assuming you are talking about the Bengal famine, you seem to have forgotten about the assorted natural disasters that just happened to occur at the same time, the bombing of Calcutta which disrupted the rice market, and the loss of imports from Burma. Deaths through famine and misadministration do not equate to deaths in concentration camps. Reply
  • quorm - Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - link

    I apologize for contributing to the derail.

    You're seriously saying that they are responsible for the deaths of millions, but because of the manner in which they died, its not so bad? Pretty sure the victims wouldn't feel the same way.
    Reply
  • RSAUser - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    Pretty sure he just said you can't say they're directly responsible for it. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    They sure do look similar when the man in charge at the time saw those deaths as a moral good. Oh no, those "beastly people with a beastly religion" are dying, how sad, better keep forcibly expropriating the goods they need to survive.

    Nobody's "forgetting" any of what you mentioned, it's just not particularly relevant to discussion. It's like saying that Stalin didn't kill most of the dissidents who died under his regime, he just sent them off to places where they died from exposure and starvation. Go Stalin!
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    There are plenty of neo-Nazis here, and every single one of them voted Brexit. Not everyone who voted Brexit was a neo-Nazi, of course - they just voted for a magical unicorn *alongside* the neo-Nazis, spurred on by far-right voices in the popular press. Reply
  • hbsource - Thursday, March 11, 2021 - link

    Bear in mind that I say this as someone who voted remain. If you blame 'the popular press' for Brexit then you misunderstand British politics.

    You have got it the opposite way around to reality. Which is a big reason why the left in this country has not won a general election since 2005.

    People do buy The Sun and then decide to vote for right wing parties. The Sun pitches itself to right wing voters in order to sell newspapers.

    If you think that without the right wing press then everyone would vote Labour, get ready for more decades without a left of centre government.
    Reply

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