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

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  • theduckofdeath - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    The skin is developed by a different team than those who compiles the Android core for a specific hardware, it's something each manufacturer works on internally while Google themselves works on what the operating system should offer. Or do you seriously believe that each company only has one developer on their payroll, doing one thing at the time? Your logic is so flawed that I don't even know why I wasted time replying to you.... :) Reply
  • TheSailorMan - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    " Have you tried the google play version of the galaxy s4?"

    Have you???
    I have heard that at least 5-6 ppl in world have it.

    It is Samsung too. Right? Why not millions of ppl? Is that what you wanna do Samsung?????
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 - link

    Heh. Sales are meaningless without profit and Samsung isn't making much. That would be Apple. Actually we know S4 sales were quite weak and manufacturing had to be cut back as a result. Samsungs sales were largely el cheapo phones not the cheap derivative S 4 with allots barely working features. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, April 09, 2014 - link

    Samsung aren't making a profit? Take it easy on that cool-aid, darwinosx. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    Samsung's profits have been exceeding apple's as of late. You picked the wrong company to pick on haha. Reply
  • hero4hire - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    Everyone knows the more a company extracts from its user base in profit the better it is run and is. That's why people just love Comcast. At least three times the margin as Apple, it's the best ever. Reply
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - link

    Exactly! I love handing over massive amounts of extra cash every time I buy a device so I can claim that the company that makes my device has the highest profit margins! Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    'Samsung's profits have been exceeding apple's as of late'

    What? Don't be ridiculous. They are way behind, and saw a drop while Apple saw a decline.
    Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    While Apple saw an increase* sorry Reply
  • ESC2000 - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - link

    More on profits in a moment but foray I think this bears repeating: "I love handing over massive amounts of extra cash every time I buy a device so I can claim that the company that makes my device has the highest profit margins! $100 for an extra 16 GB is nbd so long as I can wave my idick around to show everyone how big it is!"

    I have a nexus 5 and am happy to report that I didn't waste hundreds of extra dollars so that LG or Google could boast higher profit margins.

    Now regarding Samsung and Apple, Samsung's profits actually exceeded apple's in Q2 and Q3 last year. Overall apple finished ahead last year with $35 billion in profit to Samsung's $30 billion but it was far from a blow out and Samsung will have plenty of capital to invest in R&D, etc to challenge apple even more. There is a reason apple's internal slide show says "people want what we don't have" - yep....
    Reply

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