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

  • Stuka87 - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    The issue is if you had read the article, you would see the majority of those "Best of" are backed up by facts.

    Sure them saying iOS is the best experience is subjective, but the benchmarks prove the SoC and performance *IS* the best.
  • nikon133 - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Nah, I get it. Reviewer should put facts on paper and let each reader decide if that is the best whatever for his/her needs; not putting conclusions in readers' heads. Good review should be dispassionate; too many "the bests" and it starts sounding a bit patronizing.

    This in general. Regardless of what is being reviewed. Well, much as my opinion goes.
  • Caliko - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    They did put facts on paper. Some of those "the best" weren't opinions but performance facts. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    i agree with you. I don't have anything against the conclusion, but some stuff just didn't belong in an Anandtech review, like the number of "the bests".
    In particular, reading "In a lot of ways, it almost feels like magic " made me cringe.
  • NahImSerious - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    Disagree wholeheartedly.

    Simple metrics of a device, which is what I assume you mean by putting facts on paper and being dispassionate aren't the end-all-be-all for almost anything that will be used by humans.

    The "facts on paper" approach is why so many Android phones suck, despite having better "specs" in certain areas..

    Reviews that don't translate the facts with how it translates to usability are essentially worthless Longreads of info you can get from the manufacture....
  • Ishwa - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    It isn't one of the best, though. It IS the best. Reply
  • Rylen - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    But it's THE BEST, not just one of the best. Reply
  • daveedvdv - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    True that. Well, the gold color one is the best. I saw it on YouTube a couple of years ago :-) "Gold is best!". Reply
  • deasys - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    I guess you're right, djsvetljo. Following your fine example, I will state that the Kansas City Royals are one of the best major league baseball teams this year and lewis Hamilton is one of the best F1 drivers this year. Reply
  • Caliko - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    You didn't even read the review. Reply

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