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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  • hlovatt - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    Firstly, great review. Love all the detail and care taken in obtaining the results.

    I am glad to see the changes Samsung have made. The S4 and S5 were really oh hum phones, not deserving the flagship monicker. This time they have produced something that will challenge Apple, HTC, etc.
  • melgross - Saturday, April 18, 2015 - link

    $45 isn't all that much. You would save $15 by doing it yourself. So you will need tools to pry the case apart after you've softened the glue using a hairdryer. How do you intend to put it back together?
  • xenol - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    I just don't find myself needing an SD card slot, if only because I don't really fill my phone up anyway. I'm really wondering what other people fill their phones up with in order to need an SD card slot. I was under the impression that music is just lifted off internet radios and videos from YouTube or some other service (and if they want to watch a lengthy movie, they'll add it in when they want to).

    I don't know, maybe I'm just the kind of person who doesn't mind managing data and don't have a lot to begin with on the phone.
  • esterhasz - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    I have a lot of music on my phone and videos for the kid. Having to pay such a premium for a 64gb version is hard to swallow when sd cards are really cheap.
  • SkyBill40 - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    Agreed. Like you, I've got a lot of music on my phone and it's all on an SD card.

    I'm upgrade eligible at any time from my Note 3 but am seeing how long I can or am willing to hold off for the next round of releases. If the Note 5 isn't a substantial improvement over the 3/4 or whatever, I'll likely jump to another vendor that has the right mix of things I'm after. It'll either be another Android phone or *maybe* Windows. No way in hell will I ever jump to Apple.
  • RiotSloth - Thursday, May 14, 2015 - link

    In the UK it's about the price of a point of beer a month to go from 32 to 64 gig. Well worth it for me.
  • JeffFlanagan - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    I used to need 128GB to load TV and movies onto my phone, but yes, now I can stream video from home via Plex, in addition to watching NetFlix, so the internal 64GB is plenty. There will be a 128GB version for people who need more space. We no longer have to take a performance hit to get 128GB via SD card.
  • will54 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I love my lossless Flac and WMA audio which takes up about 5-7X more space than an mp3 so I need my 32+128 GB's. The quality is worth the extra space imo.
  • RiotSloth - Thursday, May 14, 2015 - link

    Have you ever tried a double blind test between high and regular versions on your phone? Genuine question, I'm curious.
  • andyasia - Friday, April 17, 2015 - link

    I could Bluetooth my data to my laptop as backup, or swap data time to time as I like, so no problem there. ☺

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