System Performance

One of the more popular and pervasive beliefs in this industry is that specs increasingly don’t matter. In a lot of ways, this review isn’t really the right place to address whether or not this matters, but the short answer is that things like SoC performance matter quite a bit. Outside of the display, the SoC and RF subsystems are one of the biggest power consumers in a phone today and unlike the display or RF systems the CPU and GPU can cause short spikes of enormous power consumption. At this point, we’ve seen SoCs this year that consume anywhere between 6 to over 12 watts when faced with a full load situation. The important part here is that when an SoC uses that much power, it needs to be delivering enough performance to justify the power consumption. In order to test aspects of the phone like the SoC we use our standard suite of benchmarks, which are designed to test various real-world scenarios to get an idea of what peak performance looks like.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2013 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In the standard web browser benchmarks, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are clearly in the lead. The difference in some cases is significant, but given that the benchmarks that we’re running here are all enormous optimization targets it's still a reasonable comparison point. In the interest of trying to avoid optimization targets I decided to look at some new JavaScript benchmarks that aren’t regularly used right now. One interesting benchmark is Ember Performance, which is a JavaScript app framework that is used in a number of popular websites and applications. This isn’t as popular as AngularJS at the moment, but in the absence of a good mobile benchmark EmberJS should be a reasonably good proxy.

EmberJS (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In this benchmark, we can see that there’s a pretty enormous performance uplift that results when you compare the iPhone 6s' to anything else out there on the market. Weirdly enough, on average it looks like Samsung’s S-Browser ends up slower here than Chrome, but it’s likely that this is just because S-Browser is using an older build of Chromium which negates the advantages of platform-specific optimizations that Samsung is integrating into S-Browser.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

Looking at Basemark OS II, once again Apple is basically taking the lead across the board. The differences aren’t necessarily as enormous as they are in single-threaded browser benchmarks, but the iPhone 6s’ retain a significant overall performance lead over the next best mobile devices.

Overall, in benchmarks where CPU performance is a significant influence the iPhone 6s is pretty much at the very top of the stack. Of course, Apple has also had about 6-8 months of time since the launch of SoCs like the Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 7420 so this is at least partially to be expected. The real surprise and/or disappointment would be if future Exynos and Snapdragon SoCs continue to lag behind the A9 in CPU performance.

A9's GPU: Imagination PowerVR GT7600 System Performance Cont'd and NAND Performance


View All Comments

  • IanHagen - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - link

    Oh mate, don't bother yourself over all this tripe. Anandtech are really outstanding when it comes to reviewing devices. Some people dislike some brands and will take offence at those brands doing good. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    >Finishes Reading Review
    >Sees Final Words
    >Sees Anandtech Gold Accolade medal

    DAYUM. If I remember correctly, I havent seen that given out since the HTC One review!!!
  • 980Ti - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Technically it trumps everything in benchmarks so it is the best. But I know benchmarks aren't everything.. The iPhone 6S has the best apps store, best camera, best build quality, a great screen (the note 5 is better), best developer support, best in battery efficiency, and the list goes on. Reply
  • ASEdouardD - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    These are not perfect phones, the 6s especially, with its pretty low resolution display and worse battery life than the Plus, could be better on these fronts, but they're clearly among the best. Reply
  • 980Ti - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    The low resolution display is fine for the size, I cant see individual pixels but I can see why some would want higher resolution. The battery lasts me a day and a half with light usage (calling, texting, camera, alien blue). Gaming is the only thing that drains battery significantly for me. Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    -- Gaming is the only thing that drains battery significantly for me.

    We measure a phone by its ability to play games??? Mao was right; Americans are decadent fatsos.
  • 980Ti - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    You dont play video games? What year is this?? Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    Umm... I'd rather read a book. You know, the kind with paper pages and a spine. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    Books have become boring. No offense but if you can't work out the plot the ending and the delivery of anything remotely fiction-like (quite a lot of non fiction too) after 50 or so pages you clearly don't read enough. Reply
  • IanHagen - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - link

    Or maybe you should consider picking your books better. Reply

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