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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  • K_Space - Sunday, April 28, 2013 - link

    HTC 32Gb unlocked costs £540 new
    S4 16Gb unlocked costs £615 (refurbished!) (source: amazon.co.uk)
    Is the spec difference (including SD card and removable battery which I have never removed) worth ~$100? No...... not for me at least.
    But horses for courses.
    Reply
  • RiotSloth - Saturday, April 27, 2013 - link

    Bizarre, had to read that twice to make sure you weren't joking. Have you read the HTC One review? Seriously, you think removable battery and sd card slot is a game breaker? Jokes.... Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    IMO whether a phone has a plastic or aluminum shell adds absolutely zero to the daily functionality of any phone. If one can make a case for increased signal strength or something other than just that its NOT metal, I'd see that as an acceptable functional difference. It just comes off as unnecessary filler IMO.

    Most users will be wrapping thier phones in what.....whats that....some form of plastic or rubber protectors? For those of you who are very good at caring for your phones and choose not to use any form of additional protection, what are the real world odds that the metal case will be better protection over plastic? Perhaps there should be a rigorous test scenario set up by Anandtech to test the reality of true protection using metal over plastic cases?

    The 2014 Ford Mustang comes with either a 3.7L V6 (305 HP) or a 5.8L supercharged v8 (631 HP) while the core frame and shell are both the same. My point is.....It's what's under the hood that really counts.

    Same with mobile phones today. Please stop focusing on case materials if they have zero to do with operation/specs.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    My point using the Mustang...would you prefer the V6 or the v8?

    No factoring cost of fuel of course.

    Best wishes you whatever you select as your mobile phone.
    Reply
  • Zeratul56 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Your argument is ridiculous. The 2014 mustang is something most people can agree is well designed and beautiful car.

    A better comparison would be would you rather have that supercharged v8 in the body of The current mustang or an old 90's beater.
    Reply
  • kevith - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    Correction: Most people = Most Americans Reply
  • CoryS - Friday, April 26, 2013 - link

    Correction...some Americans. Reply
  • Crono - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Last time I checked, I don't hold my car in my hand. Plus the comparison should between a Mustang and an uglier higher HP car.

    And I do prefer the V6 as a daily driver. You can't just leave fuel cost out of the equation because you want to.

    HTC One and 2012 Mustang V6 owner.
    Reply
  • Kutark - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    What you failed to mention in your example is that the base v6 mustang looks almost nothing like the GT500. People would NOT pay the premium for the GT500 if the only difference was the engine/drivetrain. Aesthetics are extremely important to people and not just for outward reasons. The gt500 looks absolutely amazing, the base v6 while it doesnt look bad, is only moderately attractive, but still very "meh". A little goes a long way. Just like why HTC's plastics felt better than Samsungs.

    I am a fan of engineering. Its why i tend to prefer german cars over american cars (though there are some im impressed with, cadillac CTS-V for example). If something has brushed aluminum or magnesium, or billet aluminum, etc etc. I'm all about it. And it has nothing to do with what other people think.

    Also, like someone else said, cost benefits are meaningless unless they are passed on to the consumer, which they typically arent. This phone will likely cost as much as the HTC One and frankly its not a better phone. Its more like comparing oranges to tangerines. Basically IMO if you dont care about a replaceable battery or an SD slot, get the HTC One, if those two features are important to you, get the samsung. Im sure people would be pleased with either phone.
    Reply
  • beluga - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    I am fine with the choice of materials. The GS3 looks fine to me. I don't treat my phone like a precious jewel but take it into rough conditions. Plastic is softer than metal so when it drops it acts as more of a bumper for the fragile parts inside. If it gets scratched up I get another back off ebay for a few bucks. And most importantly - it makes the back easily removable to access battery and storage without using tools. Reply

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