GPU Performance

We’re shortly also recapping the GPU and gaming performance of the new S21 Ultras. We investigate that this new generation of SoCs isn’t quite as power efficient as we would have hoped for, meaning the increased peak performance the new chips are advertising comes at a great cost in power consumption.

Generally, any contemporary phone is only able to continuously dissipate between 4 and 5W of power through radiation and convection (42 to 50°C peak skin temperatures at 22°C ambient), and once it reaches that peak thermal envelope, it will have to throttle 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

A Stand-Still Year for GPU Performance

This year’s Galaxy S21 devices look quite unimpressive when it comes to their gaming performance.

For the Snapdragon S21, I think Samsung here can do better in terms of thermal management, as the phones currently throttle down to 3W even though the device could in theory supports more. Xiaomi’s Mi 11 with the same chip showcases much better performance (we’ll have a review of that device soon), so it’s an area of improvement which could very well be achieved with future firmware updates.

For the Exynos S21, it’s a large generational boost for Samsung, however the absolute numbers are still lagging behind Snapdragon 865 devices. This is important to note for devices such as the S21+ - the S20 FE 5G actually features a Snapdragon 865 SoC in traditional Exynos markets, and if gaming performance is an important aspect for your, that device might be the more interesting purchase.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • cosmotic - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    The edge of the bulge scratches everything it touches, no matter how brief. DO NOT BUY
  • bcronce - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Inside the Otterbox, none of the phone touches a flat surface.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    If you need a case to prevent scratching of surfaces BY the phone, your phones design is rubbish
  • iphonebestgamephone - Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - link

    Lets just say its an extra, the main being drop protection.
  • sonny73n - Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - link

    And they keep making slippery phones. Add to them premium price tags. I'm taking about Apple and Samsung and the US market is flooded them.
  • bcronce - Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - link

    Welcome to a democracy. It's what the market demands. This is why the USA is actually a hybrid and doesn't directly let the people vote.
  • FunBunny2 - Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - link

    "It's what the market demands. "

    Not according to Steve: he decided what the market *needs*. Fortunately, he doesn't run the company any more. Along with a host of other decisions made by other 'markets', there is an endless supply of brain dead lemmings.
  • flyingpants265 - Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - link

    What the hell are you talking about? Democracy is in no way synonymous with the "free market".

    And as you well know, the market doesn't demand anything, people don't know what they want until you show/tell them. Don't blame consumers for Samsung and other companies making crap phones.
  • squariesfri - Friday, February 26, 2021 - link

  • sharath.naik - Saturday, April 3, 2021 - link

    This phone is classic example of designed for obsolescence approach. they got the number of cameras and zoom ranges right but the camera sensors completely wrong. Wide angle cannot be less than 24mp but they chose 12.. main camera should not go beyond 48mp if you have 3x zoom too , so what's the point of 108mp? 3x zoom can't be less than 48mp I but they gave 12mp. these are just bad sensor choices making the phones obsolete within months if not already because these are artificially limited in thru our uses,. then removal of sdcard for a camera focused phone . I hate manufacturers who play this game of designed obsolescence.

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