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
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  • Blairh - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    * 30 grams less than the M8. Substantially shorter too.
  • az06093 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    Where's the video analysis?
  • xmen77 - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    S5 best
    S5 improved super amoled
    z2 ips on the color RGB lighting with the addition of red and green phosphorus in diodes
    All new one ips on the white backlight
    M8 have the same quality as in the display М7
    Cool backlight Z2, expanding the color gamut and "improves the shades",
    actually distorts the color because all the images are designed for
    standard sRGB and an extension will only be in the negative. Although
    the display is still better than the HTC M8.
    Amoled gradually improved and now he has lost almost all the shortcomings, there was only slight, noticeable only during the rapid motion of the screen (in front of screen) "modulation" at low brightness at maximum (it is comfortable in all conditions) this "modulation" No, I do not know why samsung does so in LG G Flex is no such (there is also amoled)
    In OLED (Amoled) white whiter IPS, faster response in comparison to LCD
    (hundreds of times better than LCD), contrast and black level is perfect
    (hundreds of times better than LCD), colors
    do not mix with each other,, ideal viewing angles.
    Oversaturated color removed using a cinema mode
    S5 1/2.6 isocell phase autofocus 6 lenses
    z2 1/2.3 bsi 5 lenses
    one 1/3 bsi 4 lenses
    At S5 even crude firmware (new sensor) better color, detail and less noise
    The rest of at the final firmware is very bad, especially in HTC
    S5 ip x6
    Z2 ip x7
    one ip x3
    S5 is more or less thin bezels
    Z2 more or less thin bezels
    one big bezels
    S5 2048 MB RAM (Dual-channel) LPDDR3
    Z2 3072 MB RAM (Dual-channel) LPDDR3
    M8 2048 MB RAM DDR2
    Metal is bad for the connection know about it all in the industry, aluminum is not a premium material, it is used for beer cans. At s5 soft touch texture like nexus7 instead of glossy plastic s4
  • doobydoo - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Troll post. You say plastic is used for beer cans - plastic is used for trash bags.

    Aluminium is preferred.
  • TheSailorMan - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    "Preferred" for what? For helmets?? For car bumpers??? .......
    Aluminum is is the WORST material for smartphones. In many ways.
    And YES , same drink in plastic bottle cost more than , if it is in cans. Check it out.
    Plastic is MORE expensive than ALUMINUM. Check out this , too
  • Streamlined - Thursday, April 17, 2014 - link

    Samsung Fanboy alert. Metal is far superior to plastic for heat dissipation alone. Not to mention it's more durable. And on what world is plastic more expensive than Aluminum?
  • doobydoo - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    And the metal phones have no problem with connections, either.
  • ESC2000 - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    You just keep telling yourself that. The iPhone has documented connectivity problems. See eg
    http://m.digitaltrends.com/mobile/iphone-5-problem... That list further notes that the aluminum chassis is prone to scratches (an apple VP says it's normal and to be expected... Not on my $800 device... Figure out how to prevent it). That list also notes the extreme battery drain problem I experienced on my iPhone 5, which died overnight the first night I owned it (failing to wake me up in the process). Owning an iPhone was a very underwhelming experience for me. After six months I dumped it for a note 2 and then a nexus 5 and have been much more satisfied. And my phone doesn't look like it's been to war like, for example, my stepfather's which has many dents and scratches.
  • pandemonium - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    It seems silly to me that you don't have a Lumia 1020 and a DSLR in your photo bench marking.
  • crbandiera - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - link

    Very solid r review. Thanks for the useful balanced review. The information and your style as writer is refreshing as I am often times caught forced to ignore reviews due there extreme bias. I feel better equipped to make a purchase and that my expectations of what ever device I choose will be more realistic. Thank you for doing your job well.

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