CPU Performance

The Galaxy S 5 marks the second Snapdragon 801 based device we've reviewed at AnandTech, the first being HTC's M8. I've gone through the Snapdragon 801 in depth already, but we're basically dealing with a reasonable upgrade to Snapdragon 800 on an improved 28nm HPm process. The bulk of the improvements impact GPU and ISP performance, but the SoC is just better overall. GS5 owners are lucky as all versions of the device that use Qualcomm silicon feature the MSM8974AC v3 SKU, which includes four 2.5GHz Krait 400 cores and a 578MHz Adreno 330 GPU.

Snapdragon 800/801 Breakdown
  SoC Version Model Max CPU Frequency Max GPU Frequency ISP eMMC DSDA Memory IF
MSM8974VV v2 S800 2.2GHz 450MHz 320MHz 4.5 N 800MHz
MSM8974AA v2 S800 2.3GHz 450MHz 320MHz 4.5 N 800MHz
MSM8974AB v2 S800 2.3GHz 550MHz 320MHz 4.5 N 933MHz
MSM8974AA v3 S801 2.3GHz 450MHz 320MHz 5.0 Y 800MHz
MSM8974AB v3 S801 2.3GHz 578MHz 465MHz 5.0 Y 933MHz
MSM8974AC v3 S801 2.5GHz 578MHz 465MHz 5.0 Y 933MHz

Although Samsung was the first major OEM to be caught cheating in Android benchmarks, it appears to have completely abandoned the practice with the Galaxy S 5's shipping software. Not only was I unable to find any evidence of the old cheats, I couldn't find any evidence of HTC's new subtle cheating either. The Galaxy S 5 appears to be clean as far as I can tell. Kudos to Samsung on doing the right thing, and I hope all other OEMs take this as a sign to stop the silliness.

For our performance tests I turned to our usual suite of browser and native applications. If there's one obvious takeaway from our CPU tests it's that despite having faster silicon than HTC's M8, the GS5 isn't always faster. I believe this has more to do with thermals than anything else. HTC's metal chassis is able to do a better job of dissipating heat than the GS5's plastic chassis. I don't believe there's a substantial impact on user experience, but it's interesting to note how choice in materials can have a performance impact like this.

SunSpider 1.0.2 Benchmark  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

BaseMark OS II - Overall

BaseMark OS II - System

BaseMark OS II - Graphics

BaseMark OS II - Web

GPU Performance

GPU performance remains where we see the biggest benefit from Snapdragon 801 vs. 800, and since the GPU gains are almost entirely due to frequency scaling it's not too surprising that the M8 pulls ahead of the GS5 here in most cases.

There aren't any surprises here. The Adreno 330 in the Galaxy S 5 is more than capable of driving the device's 1080p display both in current and near term future 3D games.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

BaseMark X 1.1

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (Medium)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (Medium, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (Medium, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (Medium, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (Medium, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 ALU Test (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 ALU Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Alpha Blending Test (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Alpha Blending Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Driver Overhead Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Driver Overhead Test (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Fill Rate Test (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Fill Rate Test (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Quality/Accuracy Test (High Precision)

GFXBench 3.0 Quality/Accuracy Test (Medium Precision)

NAND Performance

The GS5 ships with 16GB or 32GB of NAND internally on an integrated eMMC device. Expansion is supported through a microSD card slot behind the removable back cover. Although the Snapdragon 801 inside supports eMMC 5.0, that alone doesn't guarantee a substantial increase in NAND performance. Keep in mind that most OEMs find multiple sources for their internal eMMC/NAND solutions, so what I'm testing here may only be representative of a portion of all GS5 devices.

Samsung sampled a 16GB GS5 review device. I put it through our usual random/sequential IO tests on a 100MB span of LBAs.

Random read performance is disappointing, it falls behind all modern devices we've tested. Random write performance is middle-of-the-road at best. It's unclear to me if this is a cost optimization or a lack of concern for NAND performance, but either way I'd rather see these metrics improve rather than regress.


Internal NAND - Random Read

Internal NAND - Random Write

Sequential read/write performance both improve handsomely compared to the Galaxy S 4. I can see why Samsung would want to optimize for these two cases as they are quite common in regular usage, but random read/write performance can also significantly impact user experience.

Internal NAND - Sequential Read

Internal NAND - Sequential Write

Display WiFi, Cellular & Download Booster


View All Comments

  • Mondozai - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - link

    Alexey, your unwittingly hilarious comments are comedy gold. Keep up the good work! :D Reply
  • Alexey291 - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - link


    I'm glad to have amused you. So did you already preorder one of the last year's devices repackaged for this year's prices? :)
  • melgross - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - link

    Slightly? You mean that twice the speed is a slight improvement, among other things? The screen works just fine outdoors, by the way, and it will work better than the S5, as it's still noticeably brighter. Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    Sorry, gotta call BS. A) you've NOT seen the latest iPhones 4-5s or B) you're not using 'currently an S4'. The iPhone for YEARS has both had a phenomenal display, well calibrated out of the box and EXTREMELY EASY to read in sunlight, bright rooms, choose the place. I own the 5s (my personal phone) and Note 3 (Biz). Love em both...but to proclaim an iPhone isn't easy to read in sunlight or outdoors is Pure, GradeAAA horse pucky. It's not tough to cheat my N3 in bright rooms and outdoors, and I'm enjoying both displays. SAMOLED & my LCD. Kinda cool time to be a part of technology but the S4 was a bad joke. S3 owners had/have a special phone. If they have exhausted a two year contract, the S5 is a HUGE Win for them. A massive boost in every facet compared to the '4' and a worthy upgrade for the Galaxy fans.
    Boring year? You're a tough fella to impress. 4k capture on a mobile cam. HiDPI displays, 'Moore's Mobile Law' seems in effect. We got a 64bit chip last year. The A8 instruction set. A quad core, 2.3GHz phone with 3GB of RAM...& these numbers from the Snapdragon and Adreno graphic updates...on 32bit SOCs. Phenomenal cameras, LTE and AC WiFi, USB 3 and waterproofing. The iPhone fingerprint scanner is phenomenal. If this one's good...that's some incredibly convenient security! Man...'rehash'. 'Write the year off!' Where do bozos like you hail from?
  • Streamlined - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    Gotta agree with this one. Say what you will about the iPhones but they are, hands down, the best phones to read in bright sunlight. Reply
  • pppp6071 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    @Alexey291 R u dumb or acting like one. Read the charts once more regarding display. Nexus 5 is has best screen out there till date. Dude u do so much comedy... Reply
  • Myrandex - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    I read in direct sunlight on my Lumia 920 and it's LCD screen. Color accuracy washes out but it does get very bright. Reply
  • deathdemon89 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    Same with my 925 and its OLED screen. It's probably more a software implementation thing with the Nokia devices. Reply
  • sephirotic - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - link

    G2 Doesn´t have a SD card slot, so it sucks, would never buy it. Reply
  • coburn_c - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - link

    If it had an SD card slot it would have a smaller screen and battery and be mediocre like the S5. I haven't had a phone with an SD card slot in years and am doing just fine. Reply

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