GPU Performance

While we don't quite have real games to benchmark against, we do have benchmarks that are reasonably good approximations of games, which heavily stress the GPU. For the most part, this means that we can see the performance of the A8's PowerVR GX6450 GPU but there are some aspects that are CPU-bound, which we'll discuss after the results.

Edit: Before I get into the results, I must caution that Basemark X will have inaccurate on-screen results as the benchmark was made using XCode 5.x in order to keep scores comparable between versions 1.1 and 1.1.1. This doesn't affect the overall score, which is solely calculated based upon off-screen performance.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)

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 Manhattan (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

For the most part, we see that the GX6450 is at about the same level as Qualcomm's Adreno 420, which seems to track closely to expectations given that the A7's GPU was around the same performance as the Adreno 330. The 3DMark test does have an interesting result, but it seems that this is because 3DMark's physics test has a strong amount of data dependency that restricts the level of out of order execution that can be done. NVIDIA's Tegra K1 is the current leader in graphics performance, but of course it's also in a tablet instead of a smartphone so it's not a direct competitor.

NAND Performance

As we move towards the goal of seamless performance in everyday tasks, one significant factor is IO performance. While there's definitely a minimum level of performance that allows for generally acceptable smoothness, there's value in having higher storage performance (e.g. prevent bottlenecking in situations such as updating apps in the background). In order to test this, we use Androbench with some custom settings on Android and a custom utility developed by Eric Patno for iOS, who has been quite helpful with furthering our efforts to test storage performance.

Internal NAND - Sequential Read

Internal NAND - Sequential Write

Internal NAND - Random Read

Internal NAND - Random Write

As this is the first time that we've looked into NAND performance on iOS devices, it's definitely worth scrutinizing the data a bit more closely than in most cases. There are a few notable cases here, which are the class-leading speeds for sequential reads and writes on the iPhone 6, but also the rather middling random read and write speeds for the iPhone 6 and 5s. The oddest result is definitely the iPhone 5, which is Ryan's personal unit and while the random read speeds are on the low side, random write speeds are easily record-setting.

In practice, with tablets and smartphones being less multitasking heavy than PCs/laptops, the sequential scores are probably slightly more relevant to the overall user experience. The iPhone 6 results show a significant increase in performance over the iPhone 5s in all of the tests, which is always good to see.

CPU Performance Battery Life and Charge Time
POST A COMMENT

531 Comments

View All Comments

  • akdj - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    Who uses their smartphone to sit and look at the UI? Or. Thats right. You. Can't find any apps that'll work? I'm on my springboard for a second or three. Like you said, pull down, enter the first letter or two of the software/app I'm going to use and click, it's open!
    No more just looking at the 'floating (?) blobs that sit in rows (like Android)non a screen. Designed for teenagers, grandmas, commercial and military pilots. Military operations you're clueless about and 95% of the Fortune 500 companies have deployed iOS.
    And unfortunately for you, if you're NOT an iOS user, I completely 'get it'. I've got both an iPhone 5s and Note 3. Love em both but the Note is a tool for a very specific job I so that uses the SPen to do some amazing stuff that wouldn't be as 'cool' as on graph paper. Other than that, I don't care the app you name, Id it's in parity with iOS, I GUARANTEED iOS runs circles around the Android port. As well the optomized tablet apps are overwhelmingly in favor of iOS, and the biggest challenge with the the Note in different apps I've noticed. They're apps designed for 4.3-4.7" displays and the developers aren't tsking the time to 're-do' their tab apps. They're just blown up leaving a load of white space, sparse UI and pretty lame performance as they're not yet 'coding' to take advantage of multiple core computing. Nearly EVERY app in either environment runs on a single core.
    Mind blowing though you've spent that much time looking at 'blobs' and haven't figured out that IF you TOUCH the 'blob' something really REALLY Cool might just happen!
    Go ahead. You won't break it
    J
    Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Smaller phones tend to be cheaper? The rest cost the same? No, a single part like the display could be cheaper, but there are very real costs to miniaturization.

    Samsung phones not only look cheap because of the plastic, they feel cheap in hand as well. It's not the material--It's what Samsung does with it. Nokia for instance makes some plastic phones that look good and feel great. Samsung comes out with phones that look like band-aids and have fake leather stitching molded into them.
    Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    There you go. Samsung phones are not cheap. You *think* they *feel* cheap. That's your opinion and not based on any fact. Whether a phone is cheap has nothing to do with look or feel.

    And yes, smaller phones ARE cheaper. The iPhone 6 Plus is more expensive to make. The A8 SoC and all other chips are not smaller in the iPhone 6 so there is no additional miniaturization. Only the display and the battery are smaller, and both are cheaper. iFixit teardowns have shown for years that Galaxy S-series are most expensive to make than iPhones.
    Reply
  • mrochester - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Doesn't that mean Apple did a good thing? To make a product like the iPhone for less than it costs Samsung to make their Galaxy devices sounds like a big win to me. Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Of course it is a win for Apple and their shareholders. Not for their customers.
    Of course it is cheaper to put half the RAM, a small display and a small battery.
    Reply
  • bigstrudel - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    RAM has power costs idiot. It's not worth it just so lazy people don't have to close tabs.

    You must've missed the part where they tested that 1800mah battery and it beat up on devices with 50% more juice.
    Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I am not saying the iPhone is a bad device.
    But don't call cheap a phone with more expensive components juste because the shell is in plastic. That's all I am saying.
    Reply
  • mrochester - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I think the expression was relating to the device feeling cheap in the hand, not the actual BOM. Reply
  • danbob999 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    @mrochester
    Is this a tech site or a teenager fashion magazine? Why would anyone care about how cheap it feels in the hand as long as it is a good device?
    A metal enclosure with no electronics in it may not feel cheap in the hand but it would be useless. What matters is inside.
    Reply
  • Hemlocke - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Not true, even in the slightest. The thermal envelope on a material with superior heat-dissipating properties, like 6003 aluminum, versus that of a polycarbonate device, with a poor thermal envelope, is important.

    Having superior heat-dissipating properties means your components can operate at capacity longer, and they also last longer. All you need to do is look at throttling on the S5, compared to the HTC One M8, and you can see a huge difference in extended performance.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now