System & CPU Performance

The Nexus 6P comes with a Snapdragon 810 designed by Qualcomm. This is a big.LITTLE 4x A53 @ 1.55GHz + 4x A57 @ 1.95GHz SoC. As we’ve hopefully come to be very familiar with the chipset over the last couple of months, the key characteristics with which the 6P can differentiate itself from other Snapdragon 810 devices is through software optimizations. In particular the fact that the Nexus 6P comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow should allow it to be able to showcase some improvements which we’ll dive into a bit later.

First we start by comparing performance of some of our browser-based benchmarks. These are predominantly Javascript tests which require large single-core performance out of the device’s SoCs.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In Kraken the Nexus 6P is able to showcase a very good score that’s only beat by, oddly enough, the LG G4. As we’ve come to discover over the past year OEM browser libraries play a large role in device performance, even though we’re using the same Chrome build across different devices we see large differences in performance even within devices who employ the same SoC. It’s relatively unnerving to see this fragmentation in the ecosystem and in particular Chrome performing so differently across devices.

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In Octane the Nexus 6P again performs very well, this time again beating our other devices such as the HTC One M9 or the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. Among Android devices, only the Galaxy Note 5 - which on Octane is able to show equal performance as it does in its optimized stock browser - is able to beat it.

WebXPRT 2015 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

On WebXPRT again we see the 6P performs extremely well among Android devices, only being able to be beat by Samsung’s Exynos 7420 devices in the stock browser.

Continuing onto our system benchmarks, we start with Basemark OS II 2.0 from Basemark (formerly Rightware).

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

In the web test the Nexus 6P is yet again found at the high-end of the charts as it is able to provide good numbers. As we’ve seen in reviews such as on the Mate S it’s not necessarily raw performance that is demanded in these tests but also performance latency which plays a big role.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

The graphics sub-test of Basemark has always been kind to the Adreno GPU so here again we see the Nexus 6P perform well, although not quite up to par with the other Snapdragon 810 devices we’ve tested in the past.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

The Nexus 6P comes in a surprising first place on Basemark OS’s memory test. Again this is a mainly NAND-limited test but in contrast to our other synthetic test, performance and access patterns try to simulate more real-world applications.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

While the other tests try to test more realistic workloads, the system benchmark is all about measuring peak performance in a given set of scenarios. Here the Nexus 6P fares similarly to the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro but falls behind Exynos 7420 devices such as the Note 5.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

While I’m not a great fan of overall aggregate benchmark scores, we still see the Nexus 6P among the top of today’s currently available Android devices.

Moving on to PCMark from Futuremark, we’ll use a suite of tests that not only try to mimic real-world usage patterns, but actually make use of APIs that we currently find in use by many day-to-day applications.

Starting with the web browsing test we find the application use Android’s built-in WebView container which relies on OS-dependent components.

PCMark - Web Browsing

Here we see the Nexus 6P lead performance, slightly beating the Note 5. We’re also likely seeing advantages due to Android 6.0 as the Mi Note Pro, our other device with the Snapdragon 810 lags over a thousand points behind.

PCMark - Video Playback

On the video playback score the Nexus 6P comes in towards the middle of the pack. The video test is a benchmark of both the video decoding hardware and software layers of the device, as well as the NAND speed, as fast seeking through the video is performed to test out how rapidly the device can resume playback.

PCMark - Writing

Now onto the writing test we come to one of the larger mysteries of the new Nexus 6’s performance. Both the Nexus 5X and the 6P seem to have large issues with PCMark’s writing test. The test itself consist of text manipulation and some file I/O, but most importantly it’s that this is purely a Java based test. Due to the way Android is architected, this means the code is handled and executed by the Android RunTime (ART). Futuremark have done a fantastic job in creating a test-case which is very sensitive to performance differences in the runtime.

At first when seeing these scores I thought that this was a side-effect of Android 6.0’s new big.LITTLE optimizations (which we’ll get back to in a later section), but even after turning those settings off the scores remained the same. After testing some other Java-based benchmarks I came to the conclusion that this has to be a software issue.

PCMark - Photo Editing

The photo editing uses RenderScript kernels to apply image processing on a set of pictures. With help of a powerful GPU the Nexus 6P performs top of the class

PCMark - Work Performance Overall

Due to the disappointing writing sub-score the Nexus 6P ends up third in the overall PCMark work performance score. Nevertheless, this is a good showing for the Snapdragon 810 device as it manages to slightly beat the Mi Note Pro and the HTC One M9.

Software UI, NAND & WiFi Performance GPU Performance & Device Thermals


View All Comments

  • Olaf van der Spek - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    What kind of system overhead? Do you know the details or are we just speculating? Reply
  • hfm - Thursday, December 17, 2015 - link

    If like to see a deeper explanation as well. I think maybe just a larger percentage of the total is overhead, but I'm not sure. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Sunday, December 20, 2015 - link

    Filesystem overhead and crypto layer overhead. While not really related to the 6P, switching from ext4 to F2FS on the S6 will for example give massive boosts to random IO results. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    Andrei, any word or news on a Meizu Pro 5 review? I know you kinda lost contact with them this year, but I mean...there has to be some type of workaround right? Reply
  • twizzlebizzle22 - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    Using androbench 4.0.

    256kb buffer with 4kb random.

    I get 107MB/s seq read, 45MB/s seq write, 20MB/s rand read, 12MB/s rand write.

    This is unencrypted, I ran this a few times. Any idea why there would be such a difference between your device and mind?
  • ChronoReverse - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    What is your storage size and how full is it? I tried on my unencrypted 128GB 6P, running a custom ROM, with 30.6GB of data, using 64MB file size, 256kb seq buffer and 4kb rand buffer:

    210 MB/s seq read, 47 MB/s seq write, 21MB/s rand read, 13 MB/s rand write

    Looks similar to yours except my read is much faster.
  • twizzlebizzle22 - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    I have 32GB model with about 40GB free.

    I'm completely stock though and encrypted. I don't know why I wrote unencrypted in my other post. I meant encrypted.
  • twizzlebizzle22 - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    Damn! 20GB free. Not my day.

    So to clarify, the results I posted are completely stock, encrypted. If I leave it at default I get a MUCH higher read.
  • Lothsahn - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - link

    Same here... the numbers are puzzling. I have a 32 GB Nexus 6 (not 6P), and my numbers exceed that.

    With AndroBench 4, I clicked start to run all tests after my phone had been fully charged and off for >1 hour. My speeds are:
    17.5 MB/s Sequential Read
    ??.? MB/s Sequential Write (don't see a 256K WS)
    6.7MB/s 4KB RR
    6.8 MB/s 4KB RW

    Completely stock, encrypted. 8.83 GB Free. Haven't wiped or reloaded the device since I purchased it when it was first released.
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, December 17, 2015 - link

    NM:) Reply

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