GPU Performance: Fast & Hot

GPU performance on Xiaomi phones has always been a bit of a can of worms over the last few years due to the various device’s thermal behaviours. Thermal behaviours in the sense in that seemingly Xiaomi had no real thermal throttling at all and the phones were allowed to reach very high temperatures, naturally resulting in very high-performance figures. We already saw this on the Mi 11 earlier in the year and I had made a remark about it.

Basemark GPU 1.2 - Medium 1440p - Off-Screen / Blit GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

The Mi 11 Ultra behaves the same as the Mi 11 in that it pushes out extraordinarily great performance at extraordinarily high device temperatures reaching and exceeding 50°C skin temperature mesurements.

Following our little OnePlus 9 application “optimisation” debacle, I delved a little deeper into Xiaomi’s device behaviour to discern what was happening on the Mi 11, and was able to confirm that Xiaomi is featuring a similar mechanism as OnePlus in that anonymous and third-party applications are allowed full performance without throttling (on the GPU side of things), while popular games such as Genshin Impact would be throttled. Again, I confirmed this by spoofing a benchmark as the actual game. The actual performance of the Mi 11 in games throttles down normally as many of the other devices in the charts – I’ll be updating the figures once I experiment a bit more on getting accurate figures.

While the aforementioned blacklist behaviour is valid for the Mi 11, it seemingly doesn’t apply to the Mi 11 Ultra. This latter device still doesn’t actually throttle down actual games such as Genshin, and I was able to actually have the phone prompt its overheating warning in the game itself (Which does happen under more strenuous conditions than benchmarks), with the device still hitting in excess of 50°C skin temperatures.

So, while it does appear the Mi 11 Ultra does allow full performance in actual games, Xiaomi’s GPU and thermal behaviour still remains extremely questionable.

System Performance - Extremely Snappy Display Measurement
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  • iodinegum - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Is there any news on the HDR10 image capture and video recording capability?

    Does the Mi 11 Ultra support HDR10 video recording at all framerate/resolution combinations like the iPhone 12 Pro Max - or is it limited to "4K" 30fps like the Oppo Find X3 Pro?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    You can do HDR10+ at 4K60, or HDR10 at 8K24, but these are only limited on the main camera module/sensor, this also includes the frame merge HDR mode at max 4K30 (meaning dual-frame HDR in SDR container).

    Non-HDR capture works on all modules to 8K24 / 4K60.
  • iodinegum - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Really appreciated! I'm assuming that 10bit HEIF/HEIC image capture is still not supported on the included camera app.

    Would be great if HDR 10bit video/image capture support & their file formats and resolutions could be consistently mentioned in future smartphone reviews.

    10bit (8bit + FRC) displays are finally slowly becoming common in smartphone displays.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    HEIC mode is still only 8bit, yes.
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Is there a power saving option that reduces GPU performance and thus heat while playing games like Genshin Impact?

    If yes, can you provide any 1 benchmark result for the same (full power vs per saving so that I can an idea regarding the performance loss) ?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    The battery saver mode doesn't affect GPU performance.
  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    GPU Performance section, second paragraph is copied into the third.
  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    And as for ergonomics, can't say I consider curved screens to be ergonomic, or to make sense at all. But today I can 3D print a foamed TPU case, I'll stop complaining so much about it.

    Also, article suggestion: I know it's not directly hardware-related, but y'all could ask someone who has access to plenty broken phone parts, like a third-party repair shop, about the thickness of the glass. E.g. how thick the Gorilla Glass Victus is on the Mi 11 vs the S21.

    It's an important metric for screen durability, but it's (AFAIK) completely ignored.
  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Will Anandtech review Sony Xperia 1 Mark III ? These phones are not there in US and they are MIUI Chinese.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - link

    Unlikely we'll review it.

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