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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  • iXXeon - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    The Mi11 Ultra got a massive software camera fix in the latest global ROM OTA MIUI 12.5.4. It contains all the tweaks and fixes following the work with the DXO guys that got the Mi11 Ultra the worlds best Smartphone score or 146 in DXOMark. So perhaps revisit the Mi11 Ultra and this time include the iPhone 12 Pro Max, seeing as it is the biggest selling flagship and weirdly missing from this roundup.
  • iXXeon - Thursday, July 22, 2021 - link

    Sorry should have read ‘worlds best Smartphone camera score of 143’
  • Hifihedgehog - Saturday, July 24, 2021 - link

    *Big and fast

    *=for an Android smartphone ;)
  • theblitz707 - Monday, July 26, 2021 - link

    Why is s21 telephoto is listed as 52mm? Isnt the 64MP sensor supposed to give 3x zoom at 12MP? But 52mm means 2x, you must have made a mistake
  • MoggeA - Tuesday, July 27, 2021 - link

    There should be a big improvement in the camera's HDR processing, after update to MIUI 12.5. Did you double-check?
    Also battery life should be much improved in MIUI 12.5..
  • wjohnas - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    "optimisation" instance... there are some similar cases
    for Asus rog 5, after doing wild life test, its surface temperature reaches up to 68 celecius degree...
  • iphonebestgamephone - Thursday, August 5, 2021 - link

    Thats not the surface temp, probably the cpu, which is normal. Surface is 45, he shows that with his measuring device.
  • prodradesautoparts - Wednesday, August 18, 2021 - link

    i love the he writes thank you for giving an informational article i want want more ASAp
  • mike piria - Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - link

    Have yesterday the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, It is extremely sensitive to the touch and I have not yet been able to transfer the data from my LG G8X ThinQ, despite the fact that I have done it without problems with all the other phones that I bought that are around 50. Any indication?
  • dhatul - Friday, September 10, 2021 - link

    You state that when using the camera, the rear display can also be enabled to act as a preview screen which allows for high quality selfie pictures using the main cameras.

    I am unable to find any such setting. Can you elaborate how the rear display can be used for camera preview?

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