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

  • Caliko - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    You can't afford an iPhone or what's the problem? Reply
  • kael13 - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    Some people don't like the ecosystem. Doesn't change the fact it's the best performing phone, however. Reply
  • Caliko - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    I don't get this at all. It's a knockoff product with stolen software.

    You can get the entire android ecosystem on iPhone as well. Just download Goog apps.
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    Android has existed longer than iphone (via Danger). Prior to Android's official release they had TWO phones in production. The first was the one they intended to release first, but they dropped that one after the iphone was released and went with the second one (touchscreen based interface).
    I'd hardly call it a knockoff given the evolution of both android and the iphone, and if software was actually stolen you'd see lawsuits against google by apple.
    However, given your comments, I think you're probably a troll.
  • zeeBomb - Saturday, November 7, 2015 - link

    Lol k Reply
  • Caliko - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    The f***ing ignorance.

    Afraid you might agree? Smh.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Short of showing you AnandTech's books and my own personal bank account I am doubtful I could convince you otherwise, but no, we have not and never will accept payment for articles, and not from Apple or anyone else. The opinions you see here are solely those of Josh and myself (more so his than mine, as he's the primary author), and we are both in agreement that there simply is not another phone out there that can match the 6s at this time. It really is that good.*

    * Especially the SoC
  • AEdouard - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    You should really ignore these ridiculous comments. Rest assured that the vast majority of non tin foil hat wearing readers are miles away from thinking this. Reply
  • hbsource - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    +1 Reply
  • Kvaern2 - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Amen Reply

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