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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  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Exactly - mine won't see a case at all.

    I wanted to hold out for my removable battery & SD slot, but since my SGS2 had such poor audio, (thus meaning I often missed calls in a noisy communications / server environment), I gave in, and my new HTC One will arrive tomorrow.

    I might have lived with the plastic though, I had no case on my SGS2, and loved how light it was.

    A 4" version of either the SGS4 or HTC One with no skimping on internals would have me jumping for joy though...
    Reply
  • Thegonagle - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I usually put phones in a case when I'm going out (and definitely if I'm carrying my smartphone on the job instead of my flip phone), but I like using them naked at home. So design still matters. Reply
  • cdef - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - link

    This phone really doesn't even need a case unless the owner is especially clumsy. Gorilla Glass 3 is pretty impressive. My Galaxy Nexus is unscathed after two years with it's "fortified glass" of unspecified brand. Naked phones FTW. Reply
  • sAiyAnstAr - Thursday, May 2, 2013 - link

    I don't use cases anyway, so that point to me is not valid. I have the HTC Sensation and ONE X and have dropped them both numerous times on the face and back. The ONE X's plastic case is more worse-for-wear even though its newer than my Sensation. Reply
  • Diorarat - Thursday, August 1, 2013 - link

    Gs4 is a cheap plastic phone. It is cheap because of the played out the design. When I shell out cash for a premium phone I want to feel that it is premium. When I hold a gs4 it feels like playing with cheaper variants that look the same. There is the galaxy note, galaxy s3, galaxy s3 mini, galaxy grand, galaxy mega, galaxy duos and a lot more. Don't get me wrong, i had a galaxy s3 and it was a beautiful phone when it came out. But Samsung abused it's popularity by making all phones look the same at the expense of the premium feel of the galaxy S line. Htc is by far the best designed phone you can get with the same price range. It packs the same punch as a galaxy s4 at the same price with better hardware. "build, sounds, and camera *depending on how you use it" Reply
  • blue_urban_sky - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I believe that plastic is also chosen so it can be removable. Reply
  • dyc4ha - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    The Chinese version of the HTC One has a removable back plate with dual sim AND microsd expansion Reply
  • theblueprint - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I'm living in China now and I just found the removable back one quite disturbing, it boost the thickness to 10.2mm, and I have to give up theunibody aluminum, which is the only thing that one is superior to s4. In this case I would definitely go for a s4 with Exynos 5410 Reply
  • blue_urban_sky - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    I'd like to see that it must be an engineering nightmare to pull that off well. Reply
  • Chloiber - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Right, because all removable backs up until now (including all Nokia phones from the last 10 years) have been plastic.
    Oh wait!
    Reply

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