GFXBench 3.1 released for OpenGL ES 3.1, Snapdragon 805 does well
Kishonti recently released a new version of GFXBench, GFXBench 3.1 for OpenGL ES 3.1, that includes tests for the OpenGL ES 3.1 API standard supported by many recent devices. A few results from the new benchmark tests are already available, with the Adreno 420 GPU inside Snapdragon 805 closing most of the performance gap with the Mali-T760 MP6/MP8 in Samsung's Exynos SoCs in the Manhattan 3.1 test.
Offscreen Manhattan Manhattan Device SoC GPU T-Rex 3.0 3.1 NVIDIA Shield Tablet NVIDIA K1-32 Tegra K1 GPU 3692 1979 1443 HTC One M9 Snapdragon 810 Adreno 430 2732 1413 Galaxy S6 Edge Exynos 7420 Mali-T760 MP8? 3312 1607 793 Sams. Galaxy Note 4 Snapdragon 805 Adreno 420 2386 1153 773 Samsung Galaxy S6 Exynos 7420 Mali-T760 MP8? 3314 1609 634 Sams. Galaxy Note 4 Exynos 5433 Mali-T760 MP6 2163 1110 436 HTC One M8 Snapdragon 801 Adreno 330 1608 768 Teclast X98 Air Atom Z3736F Intel HD 1014 564 307 Google Nexus 10 Exynos 5250 Mali-T604 MP4 818 351 185
NVIDIA's Tegra 32-bit version of Tegra K1 leads (the 64-bit Denver-based version of Tegra K1, and Tegra X1, have not yet been tested). Performance of Snapdragon 805 as implemented in certain models of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 holds up better in the Manhattan 3.1 test than Samsung's Exynos SoCs with Mali-T760 MP6/MP8. Whereas Exynos 7420 (used in the Galaxy S6) has a clear advantage in existing benchmarks (1609 vs 1153 for Manhattan and 3314 vs 2386 for T-Rex), it loses that advantage in the new Manhattan 3.1 test (although the Galaxy S6 Edge benchmarks result suggests it is still slightly superior). Intel's Baytrail SoCs seem to hold up relatively well looking at the result for an Atom Z3736F-based tablet, albeit at a lower performance level.
GFXBench 3.1 results for Snapdragon 801 and the new Snapdragon 810 are not yet available. However, given the fact that GFXBench appears to generally do well on Snapdragon SoCs, they can be expected to score fairly highly. I'll say more about the apparent advantage for Qualcomm's SoC in GFXBench in the final section of this article.
Basemark X is a useful alternative to GFXBench
Basemark X is a gaming benchmark that utilizes the Unity engine that is commonly used in games, and developer Rightware claims that it actually reflects practical performance in games. Although it does include an on-screen demo, the actual benchmark scores appear to be derived from off-screen rendering at a fixed resolution, so that benchmark results can be compared objectively between different devices.
Previous generation SoCs: MT6582 beats Snapdragon 400 in Basemark X
Taking a look at previous-generation cost-sensitive SoCs, while MediaTek's ubiquitous quad-core 3G SoC MT6582 (which supports Open GL ES 2.0 only, through its Mali-400 MP2 GPU) scores lower than Snapdragon 400 in GFXBench's OpenGL ES 2.0-based T-Rex test (about 230 vs 330), in Basemark X MT6582-based devices score higher than Snapdragon 400 based devices. This is despite the fact that Snapdragon was/is often employed in devices with a considerably higher selling price than MT6582-based devices.
Notes: Samsung SM-G800F is the Galaxy S5 Mini (Exynos version), while SM-G800A is a Snapdragon 400 running at the non-standard maximum clock speed of 1.4 GHz; Vodafone 985N is the Vodafone Smart 4 Power; Acer E53 is the Acer Liquid E700; Galaxy S3 Neo runs the Snapdragon 400 SoC at a non-standard maximum speed of 1.4 GHz; HTC Desire 816d runs the Snapdragon 400 SoC at 1.6 GHz; SM-A500F is the Galaxy A5, while SM-A300F is the Galaxy A3; SM-G530H is the Galaxy Grand Prime.
Device SoC GPU Display* Medium High Samsung SM-G800F Exynos 3470 Mali-400 MP4 1280x720 7527 2712 Vodafone 985N MT6582 Mali-400 MP2 960x540 4950 1717 Acer E53 MT6582 Mali-400 MP2 1280x720 4870 1694 Wiko Rainbow MT6582 Mali-400 MP2 1280x720 4826 Galaxy S3 Neo Snapdragon 400T Adreno 305 1280x720 4540 1551 Moto G (XT1032) Snapdragon 400 Adreno 305 1280x720 4440 HTC Desire 816d Snapdragon 400T Adreno 405 1280x720 4354 1441 Samsung SM-A500F Snapdragon 410 Adreno 306 1280x720 4132 1900 Samsung SM-A300F Snapdragon 410 Adreno 306 960x540 4076 1892 Samsung SM-G530H Snapdragon 410 Adreno 306 960x540 3987 1690 Samsung SM-G800A Snapdragon 400 Adreno 305 1280x720 3946 1362 HTC Desire 820q Snapdragon 410 Adreno 306 1280x720 3786 * While Basemark X is independent of display resolution in terms of rendering, the memory bandwidth used for screen refresh has some impact, giving lower-resolution devices a small advantage.
For both the medium detail and high detail settings, MT6582-based devices consistently score higher in Basemark X than Snapdragon 400 and also Snapdragon 410-based devices for the medium detail test, which gives a different picture than the one you get from just looking at GFXBench's T-Rex benchmark
Snapdragon 410 performs worse than Snapdragon 400 in Basemark X medium-detail
Also notable is that Snapdragon 410, which is the successor of the Snapdragon 400 and would normally be expected to improve performance, actually has lower performance in practice as judged by the Basemark X medium detail benchmark. This matches earlier findings of performance flaws in Snapdragon 410. When running the high detail Basemark X benchmark, Snapdragon 410 does better and beats Snapdragon 400.
Mid-range SoCs: Snapdragon 615 and MT6752 closely matched
When running GFXBench, Snapdragon 615 and MT6752 are closely matched, with Snapdragon 615 scoring about 830 to 850 in T-Rex while MT6752 scores just above 870. For T-Rex, devices using MediaTek's prior-generation octa-core MT6592 score in the range 650 to 750. In the OpenGL ES 3.0 API-based Manhattan benchmark, Snapdragon 615 and MT6752 are very closely matched, both scoring around 360. We will also take a look at Basemark X results.
The following table shows Basemark X results for the new competing mid-range SoCs Snapdragon 615, MT6752 and HiSilicon's octa-core Hi6210 (Kirin 620), as well as for the prior-generation octa-core MT6592 from MediaTek.
Notes: SM-A700FD is the Galaxy A7; Huawei CHE2-TL00 is a new version of the Honor 4X.
Device SoC GPU Display* Medium High Lenovo P70-A MT6752 Mali-T760 MP2 1280x720 11311 Meizu M1 Note MT6752 Mali-T760 MP2 1920x1080 11168 4636 HTC Desire 816G MT6592 Mali-450 MP4 1280x720 10984 Huawei CHE2-TL00 Hi6210 Mali-450 MP4 1280x720 10546 3439 Oppo R8106 Snapdragon 615 Adreno 405 1920x1080 10277 4846 HTC Desire 820 Snapdragon 615 Adreno 405 1280x720 10133 4814 Samsung SM-A700FD Snapdragon 615 Adreno 405 1920x1080 10052 4757 Archos 50C Oxygen MT6592 Mali-450 MP4 1280x720 9867 3702 HTC Desire 616d MT6592M Mali-450 MP4 1280x720 7976 3045 * While Basemark X is independent of display resolution in terms of rendering, the memory bandwidth used for screen refresh has some impact, giving lower-resolution devices a small advantage.
When running the standard medium-detail version of Basemark X, MediaTek's MT6752 has a moderate advantange over Snapdragon 615, while at the high detail setting Snapdragon 615 has a small advantage. Huawei's Kirin 620 performs adequately and just ahead of Snapdragon 615 in the medium detail setting.
MediaTek's prior-generation octa-core MT6592 with Mali-450 MP4 GPU keeps up relatively well in Basemark X, with certain models (e.g. HTC Desire 816G) actually beating Snapdragon 615 in the medium detail setting.
Performance-oriented SoCs with Basemark X
The following table shows Basemark X results for several performance-oriented mobile SoCs.
Notes: SM-G900A is the Samsung Galaxy S5 (US version), Huawei MT7-TL10 is the Huawei Mate 7.
Device SoC GPU Display* Medium High Samsung Galaxy S6 Exynos 7420 Mali-T760 MP6 2560x1440 36017 Galaxy S5 LTE-A Snapdragon 805 Adreno 420 1920x1080 32685 18334 Google Nexus 6 Snapdragon 805 Adreno 420 2560x1440 30362 20265 Sams. Galaxy Note 4 Snapdragon 805 Adreno 420 2560x1440 31963 21152 Sams. Galaxy Note 4 Exynos 5433 Mali-T760 MP6 2560x1440 29335 19019 Apple iPad Air 2 Apple A8X PowerVR Series 6 2048x1536 41700 29239 Google Nexus 9 NVIDIA K1-64 Tegra-K1 GPU 2048x1536 37939 28646 Apple iPad Mini 3 Apple A7 PowerVR Series 6 2048x1536 26499 14780 Teclast X98 Air Atom Z3736F Intel HD 2048x1536 14825 7160 Teclast P90HD Rockchip RK3288 Mali-T764 2048x1536 13053 5645 Onda V989 Core8 Allwinner A80 PowerVR G6230 2048x1536 11004 5724 Meizu MX4 Pro Exynos 5430 Mali-T628 MP6 1920x1200 25547 12674 Samsung SM-G900A Snapdragon 801 Adreno 330 1920x1080 25178 11930 Samsung SM-G850F Exynos 5430 Mali-T628 MP6 1280x720 21872 10666 Meizu MX4 MT6595 PowerVR G6200 1920x1200 17038 7817 Huawei MT7-TL10 Kirin 925 Mali-T624 MP4 1920x1080 15973 6802 * While Basemark X is independent of display resolution in terms of rendering, the memory bandwidth used for screen refresh has some impact, giving lower-resolution devices a small advantage.
Looking at the ultra-high-end smartphone segment (mostly with a display resolution of 2560x1440), Exynos 7420 provides superior performance in Basemark X. Snapdragon 805 follows, a small distance ahead of Exynos 5433 as used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
In the high-end tablet segment, Apple's iPad Air 2 with the Apple A8X leads, but the Nexus 9 with NVIDIA's Tegra K1 (64-bit version) comes fairly close. Apple's prior generation SoCs also delivers good performance, while Intel's current Baytrail SoC for the tablet market outperforms two high-end chips from established Chinese players in the tablet SoC market, Rockchip's RK3288 and Allwinner A80 Octa.
Mainwhile, in the mainstream performance smartphone segment, Snapdragon 801 (in the past the performance leader in the market) still provides good performance, but is actually just beaten by the 32-bit Exynos 5430 in the Meizu MX4 Pro. The chip is also used in the Galaxy Alpha (for which it provides higher-than-necessary performance given its relatively low screen resolution), while the performance of MediaTek's MT6595 SoC, while not bad, falls short of most other high-end solutions. HiSilicon's Kirin 925 as implemented in the Huawei Mate 7 is just behind.
It appears that just concentrating on GFXBench may give a misleading picture with regard to 3D graphics performance of mobile SoCs. In particular it is apparent that Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoCs consistently do better in GFXBench than in other benchmarks such as Basemark X. This is particularly true for the lower-end Snapdragon 400 and higher-end Snapdragon 800 series; for Snapdragon 615, results are more consistent across different benchmarks.
Basemark X, which utilizes the Unity game engine commonly used in mobile games, may more accurately reflect real-world performance.
Sources: Rightware Power Board (Basemark X benchmark results), GFXBench results database
Updated 5 March 2015: Add Galaxy S6 Edge result for GFXBench 3.1.
Updated 15 March 2015.