GPU Performance: Fast & Hot

GPU performance on Xiaomi phones has always been a bit of a can of worms over the last few years due to the various device’s thermal behaviours. Thermal behaviours in the sense in that seemingly Xiaomi had no real thermal throttling at all and the phones were allowed to reach very high temperatures, naturally resulting in very high-performance figures. We already saw this on the Mi 11 earlier in the year and I had made a remark about it.

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

The Mi 11 Ultra behaves the same as the Mi 11 in that it pushes out extraordinarily great performance at extraordinarily high device temperatures reaching and exceeding 50°C skin temperature mesurements.

Following our little OnePlus 9 application “optimisation” debacle, I delved a little deeper into Xiaomi’s device behaviour to discern what was happening on the Mi 11, and was able to confirm that Xiaomi is featuring a similar mechanism as OnePlus in that anonymous and third-party applications are allowed full performance without throttling (on the GPU side of things), while popular games such as Genshin Impact would be throttled. Again, I confirmed this by spoofing a benchmark as the actual game. The actual performance of the Mi 11 in games throttles down normally as many of the other devices in the charts – I’ll be updating the figures once I experiment a bit more on getting accurate figures.

While the aforementioned blacklist behaviour is valid for the Mi 11, it seemingly doesn’t apply to the Mi 11 Ultra. This latter device still doesn’t actually throttle down actual games such as Genshin, and I was able to actually have the phone prompt its overheating warning in the game itself (Which does happen under more strenuous conditions than benchmarks), with the device still hitting in excess of 50°C skin temperatures.

So, while it does appear the Mi 11 Ultra does allow full performance in actual games, Xiaomi’s GPU and thermal behaviour still remains extremely questionable.

System Performance - Extremely Snappy Display Measurement
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  • DougMcC - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    ^This. 99+% of people don't want to carry a camera with them, but don't have much of a choice in terms of must-carry a phone these days. That it comes with a camera is a nice bonus, and essentially means that for all those people taking more than good enough pictures is a freebie.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    argumentum ad populum
  • The Garden Variety - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    Don’t be an insufferable ponce.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, July 26, 2021 - link

    Generic ad hom isn’t an upgrade from ad populum.
  • pjc15 - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    Ad populum isn't relevant when you're deciding how to make a product you want lots of people to buy.
  • yetanotherhuman - Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - link

    You might feel like it, but you're not the only one.
    Spec chasing is also something that bores me too. Let's keep the gimmicks and cost to a minimum.
  • Nar - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    Have you been able to source a global version of the ultra?
  • Samus - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    Xiaomi is pretty damn bold thinking they can charge $1400 for a pretty flawed phone. I mean come on those are straight up Apple prices, and while this has a lot going for it (Apple is off my list until they bring back a simple fingerprint sensor) it's battery life sucks to be daily driven without charging and it's performance sucks because it overheats and throttles in games.

    I think the headline hit the nail on the head, with a battery that large, how is this phone so inefficient to score iPhone 12 Mini-levels of battery life?
  • yetanotherhuman - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    the headline should be "fast, but big and ineffcient". I'm sick of huge phones.
  • gz-0 - Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - link

    As usual, the reviews only cover OEM software. Experienced users know that the best software is made by software experts, not by hardware manufacturers. Android is different from Apple. Android allows the software experts to control hardware better than any other product.
    Generally on all our Android devices, we use the same very high quality software. Microsoft Launcher (or Nova), Gboard keyboard, & Open Camera.
    Hardware should not be judged on incompetent software, or incompetent beginner users. That's similar to car testing, using factory fluids, and novice drivers on city only roads.

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