System Performance Cont'd: GPU Performance

As previously mentioned, the Galaxy S6 uses a Mali T760MP8 clocked at 772 MHz, which should provide a healthy improvement in GPU performance over the Exynos 5433. To test this, we run through our standard suite of game-style GPU benchmarks. However, there are still some CPU benchmarks present within these tests such as the 3DMark physics test. In general though, a strong GPU is needed to perform well in these tests. For those interested in an architectural deep-dive of the Mali T760, I would refer to Ryan’s article on the Midgard architecture for more information.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

The Galaxy S6 starts out fairly strong in 3DMark. Overall performance is boosted by a chart-topping physics score, while pure graphics performance trails a bit. In this case the S6 is roughly on par with the iPhone 6 Plus, but would have to close quite a gap to catch up to the HTC One (M9).

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 finds the S6 the runaway winner. The phone is well ahead in both the Dunes and Hangar test, beating the next-best phones (primarily Adreno 420/430 based) by 25% or more depending on the test. The increase over the S5 is especially remarkable; Samsung has more than doubled their performance in this benchmark in barely a year.

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 is another strong showing for the S6. In both offscreen tests it's 15% or more ahead of the next closest phone, which is once again the HTC One (M9). Meanwhile compared once more to the S5, Samsung's performance has more than doubled. Consequently even the onscreen tests show significant gains, as the GPU performance gain more than outstrips the additional performance required to drive the higher resolution 1440p AMOLED display of the S6.

Overall, as we can see the performance of the S6 is in line for what is expected from its Mali T760MP8 configuration. Interestingly though the phone's performance exceeds the scaling we'd expect from adding two shader cores and increasing frequency to 772 MHz, as compared to the Exynos 5433-powered Note 4 Exynos. This suggests that the Exynos 5433's GPU was bandwidth-limited to some extent, in addition to any possible thermal throttling that would occur over the course of a GFXBench run. But I suspect we'll have to save the deep dive for a future article as I can't take the review unit apart to find out.

System Performance NAND Performance: The First UFS Phone
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  • bogda - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    External SD on Android is mostly for media files so for me capacity is much more important than performance. Songs and videos will play the same regardless of SD speed.I am not going to watch video at 8x speed.
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    To be honest, I'm happy you are happy with your purchase.

    To me, it looks gorgeous, but it seems a tiny step down from my GS5. No micro sd slot, no removable battery, no waterproofing (a big one this), and I notice the GFX Bench had worse battery life too.

    That record charge time might persuade me, if I were to lose my GS5 drunk etc. But then a second-hand GS5 is a bargin now.
  • ethebubbeth - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    My LG G3 has both removable battery and a microSD slot. Here's hoping they continue to carry the torch since it appears that Samsung has dropped it.
  • Ammaross - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    We'll find out at the end of the month when they announce the LG G4. I'm waiting to see/hear specs on it (officially) before pulling the trigger with an S6. The loss of the SD slot is a bit painful when you have to pony up an extra $100 for a measly extra 32GB....
  • akdj - Friday, April 24, 2015 - link

    Or two hundred for incredibly fast internal NAND storage, a bump of 96GB.
    I've owned each iteration of the Note (business line) except Note 2. Still have the Xoom. iPhones, same --- our employees carry them and I use the 6+ as my personal phone. I didn't upgrade Note 1 --> 2, as I couldn't get out of Note 1 quickly enough (contract). Slow as molasses. 2 changed that, and when it was time to get rid of it, the Note 3 was entirely new 'experience-wise' in comparison. Ten times quicker! I've had the Note 4 since release and I've found the further we move up in Android versions, the less 'control' I've had over where and what storage I'm able to keep on the microSD card
    Media, for sure....but for two bills more, over two years is $8/month for 128 GB. I've got the 6+/128 and I've never felt pinched. Even with 3 & 4GB HD movie files I've not compressed. Battery life is incredible on both and other than extended oversea flights I've never had a problem. I also have a TB or 4 at home sharable to the remote phones and tabs from the house but I've never needed to re download extra music or motion while on holiday travel. Best to get out and see the scenery than watch our phones.
    128 is a large chunk of internal data to hold. And it's 'not' expensive. If you're a DSLR shooter and use CF cards, motion, or proprietary capture (P2, SxS, RED's SSDs, etc.) --- you know how expensive a 'fast' card is. Even the quickest can't hold a candle to the latest Sammy and Apple MLC/TLC storage. Stairway to Heaven is going to sound the same when you get home but the ability to capture the shots you want, motion and speeds or different resolutions keep the internal NAND's speeds, reliability and prices continue to rise (first two), and drop (price) for these sealed, internal storage modules.
    As for batteries ...I've also owned each iPhone and other than Mophie cases on the smaller phones, I've found no such need on the 6+, from the scores shown here...that'll be the case with the S6 as well.
  • Peichen - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    Seems like LG G4 will have removable back, battery and a microSD slot according to leaks.
  • Lonyo - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    They lost me. My new phone (replacing an S3) arrived yesterday. It has a MicroSD slot and a removable battery.
    I'm using a MicroSD card in it. It's the one I had in my S3.

    Samsung want me to pay $200 premium to upgrade from 32GB to 128GB when I already own 128GB of phone-compatible storage. They can shove it.
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

  • juxt417 - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    Hope you have everything backed up for if/when that bad boy fails. I gave up on SD cards after mine burnt out.
  • ahw - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    SD Card slot is the bigger issue, IMO. Samsung has already lost a customer: me. I have an S4 and am eligible for an upgrade. It won't be the S6.

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