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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  • maxnix - Thursday, February 25, 2021 - link

    Like no charger nor cable, let alone no high speed charger because you already have one, right?
  • iphonebestgamephone - Thursday, February 25, 2021 - link

    What right?
  • iphonebestgamephone - Thursday, February 25, 2021 - link

    Just saying, when i use a case its just for drop protection. If it protects from scratches or prevents other stuff getting scratched, then is that bad? Wjats with the 'already have' thing?
  • Maxpower27 - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Counterpoint: no, it doesn't.
  • TwoMetreBill - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    Jewelry is the most important characteristic of a smartphone.
  • Kangal - Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - link

    Shine bright like a diamond....

    ....apparently Samsung think consumers care most about the Ads for the phone.
  • rrinker - Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - link

    Sadly, far too many consumers do. They have no idea what they are buying, only that it is the newest thing, bright and shiny, and has more megapixels.
  • UltraWide - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    What about the macro focus issues from the S20 Ultra? Is that problem solved with the S21 Ultra?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    The camera will switch over to the ultra-wide angle for close-up macro shots since it now has auto-focus drive. I can't tell any difference in the main module.
  • TwoMetreBill - Monday, February 22, 2021 - link

    So one can't shoot closeups with the 10x (240mm FF equivalent) telephoto? I do most of my almost macro work with 200-800mm FF equivalent lenses. Shooting up close with wide angle lenses is useless for wildflowers and most insects like butterflies. Either the critters are scared away, the image is ruined with shadows or the flowers are trampled in order to get close enough.

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