GPU Performance

Both CPU and GPU clocks are higher on Samsung's version of the Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064AB). While the Snapdragon 600 used in HTC's One (APQ8064T) features a max GPU frequency of 400MHz, in the Galaxy S 4 the max frequency moves up to 450MHz. The increase in max frequency alone is modest (~12.5%), but the gains in GLBenchmark are far more pronounced for whatever reason.

As always, we'll start with low level analysis beginning with GLBenchmark's fill rate test:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test (Offscreen 1080p)

Interestingly enough, fill rate is actually lower than on the HTC One. With so many variables at work here it's difficult to say exactly why this is, but the lowest hanging fruit is to blame it on memory bandwidth differences. Without getting inside the Galaxy S 4 (or more extensive poking around) it's unclear what speed Samsung is running its memory at, which could explain the differences here. We tried tossing the Galaxy S 4 in the freezer and re-running the test but performance didn't improve substantially. Note that GLB's fill rate benchmark is the only one that did not show the Galaxy S 4 ahead of HTC's One in raw performance.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

The low level triangle tests all show significant performance gains over the only other Snapdragon 600 based phone we have (HTC One). Again, I'm not really sure what's going on here with APQ8064AB but the gains here are greater than what clock speed alone can be responsible for. Samsung could be running at higher GPU frequencies more aggressively than HTC or it could have software advantages (a newer Adreno driver perhaps?) or there could be more to this APQ8064AB mystery than we realize.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

Egypt HD delivers a fairly sane number however. The Galaxy S 4 manages to outperform the HTC One by around 17% here. Again it's unclear why we're seeing greater performance than clock scaling alone would provide but the net is that the Galaxy S 4 does deliver better GPU performance than other Snapdragon 600 based devices today.

CPU Performance NAND Performance
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  • darwinosx - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Anyone who complains the iPhone is too light need to reevaluate their priorities. Reply
  • medi02 - Monday, April 29, 2013 - link

    Plastic does NOT get either dirty or scratched easier than metal, this is from an owner of 2+ year old galaxy S+, who never used any sorts of protective cover. The only marks on it are from dropping it on concrete from about 1.6 meters.

    This "it must be metal" madness should stop. Go apply that to other gadgets.
    Reply
  • hyperdoggy - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    If it doesn't come off looking like a 5 dollar chinatown toy, then yes. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with plastic, HTC and Nokia does it well, but the fisher price mode that samsung is in, i can't help but to feel Samsung could of done it a lot better. Reply
  • emkei - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Do you seriously think galaxy look like 5 dollor toy? lol..... Reply
  • n3xas - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Your argument is invalid. Smaller display is not a con for many people. You can't judge battery life by the capacity alone. Larger because of the speakers, I prefer larger any day to cuping the phone with my hands like an idiot and trying to hear something. Resistance to breaking or scratching still unknown. Heavier? yes, aluminum is heavier than plastic. Reply
  • danbob999 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Smaller display IS a con. It's just that it often comes with a benefit: smaller overall phone.
    Samsung did the impossible and made a phone which is both smaller and has a larger display than the competition.
    If the Galaxy S4 was of the same size but with a 4" display it would suck.

    Resistance to breaking might be unkown, but it is known that light plastic devices survive better to drops than heavy alluminium ones. Plastic is light, absorbs shock and let waves pass through. Perfect material for a phone. If you want an heavier phone noone stops you from attaching a lead plate to its back.
    Reply
  • Thud2 - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    "but it is known that light plastic devices survive better to drops than heavy aluminium ones"

    Oh, "it is known"?

    That kind of attribution is not acceptable.
    Reply
  • danbob999 - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Are you really denying that plastic is more shock-absorbant than metal? Reply
  • Krolkrowa - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Smaller display in not a con in this situation. The HTC has a better ppi and it has a LCD3 display which is actually better than the AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S4. The colours on it are just better and the blacks are not that bad. 0.3" is not much difference, if you want 25 reasons why HTC One is better check this video out from PhoneBuff on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHIXtw34wK4 Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    From the review;
    "If you compare the all-plastic Galaxy S 4 to the all-metal HTC One, there's a difference of 13 grams."
    I've seen several articles saying that Samsung is going to be upping their build quality because of the HTC One and iPhone and the constant perception by so many people that Samsung phones and tablets feel and look cheap.
    Reply

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