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
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  • mrochester - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Because whether it feels cheap in the hand is part of whether it's a good device or not? Apple has proved you can make a top class smartphone and make it feel nice in the hand, so why should Samsung be given the green light for producing the stuff it does?
  • rational_wannabe - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Are you some kind of hippie or do you just hate the superior product. If Apple started charging less it would dilute the brand, but that is something you know nothing about. Secondly it's enough that they have had to give in to market pressure and come out with the enormous iPhone 6 Plus but they now have to eat their margins in order to please plastic lovers like you?
  • rational_wannabe - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Mean to say isn't it enough*
  • danbob999 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I do like superior product. That's why I prefer plastic. Metal has 0 advantage on a phone.
  • akdj - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    Other than throttling performance. Plastic insulates. Metal, aluminum...dissipates. That's why (again, if you read the article) if you read the article the A8's performance delta doesn't fall at all, it keeps chugging at max while the plastics govern the temperature by throttling their load. Sucks wh playing s game, analyzing a spread sheet or manipulating photos/motion or audio
  • Kidster3001 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    To paraphrase your comment: "What Apple has been doing isn't working as well any more so they are changing their product design to better match what they think customers want." In other words, they're making smart business decisions.

    Charging less would dilute the brand? If you mean "Apple would no longer be a boutique product" then I agree with you. It would also increase their market share quite a bit. If iPhones cost $100 less Apple would have a LOT more customers. They don't really want that though. They want to be Boutique, Expensive and regarded as Fashionable.
  • akdj - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    Boutique, Expensive and Fashionable don't often beat their sales (& every other adoption of ANY Electronic in history) each release. 10mil on the first weekend doesn't prive your theory in the least. Rather I think folks will pay a bit more (not that there's a difference. EVERY flagship costs are identical unless you're buying stock Android GB/GB comparison at launch. Last year the Note 3/iPhone 5s 32GB models were $299@ launch) with EVERY release!
  • Kidster3001 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    "Is this a tech site or a teenager fashion magazine?"

    That is, imho, the main difference between an Android fanboi and an Apple fanboi.
  • shm224 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    @kidster3001: or Anandtech and Vanityfair.
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    It's not only about tabs you apple faggot. GPU shares some of that RAM, programs and OS updates will only get more advance requiring more resources. Display, CPU/ GPU and cellular modems use up most of the energy with RAM being quite low. Can it add up? Sure but not that large of a jump.

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