CPU Performance

As always we'll start out our performance investigation with a handful of CPU bound web browser based tests. In all cases we used Chrome on the MDP/T. Remember there's only an 8% increase in peak CPU frequency here, so I wouldn't expect a huge difference vs. Snapdragon 801.

SunSpider 1.0.2 Benchmark  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Here the MDP/T scales pretty well, showing a 6% improvement in performance over the Snapdragon 801 based Galaxy S 5. In the case of the GS5 we are looking at a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 implementation, so the improvement makes sense. Both the Cortex A15 (TF701T/Shield) and Apple's Cyclone (in the iPad Air) are higher performing designs here. Since there's no fundamental change to Krait's IPC, the only gains we see here are from the higher clock speed.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Kraken appears to be at its limit when it comes to Krait 400/450, there's effectively no additional frequency scaling beyond 2.3GHz. We're either running into an architectural limitation or limits of the software/browser combination itself.

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Similarly we don't see any real progress in the Google Octane test either. Snapdragon 805's CPU cores may run at a higher peak frequency but that's definitely not the story here.

Basemark OS II

Basemark OS II gives us a look at native application performance across a variety of metrics. There are tests that hit the CPU, GPU as well as storage subsystems here. The gains here are exclusively on the graphics side, which makes sense given what we've just seen. Snapdragon 805's biggest gains will be GPU facing.

BaseMark OS II - Overall

BaseMark OS II - System

BaseMark OS II - Memory

BaseMark OS II - Graphics

BaseMark OS II - Web

Geekbench 3.0

Although I don't typically use Geekbench, I wanted to include some numbers here to highlight that the increase in memory bandwidth for S805 over S801 doesn't really benefit the CPU cores:

Geekbench 3.0
  Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz (HTC M8) Snapdragon 805 2.7GHz (MDP/T) % Increase for S805
Overall (Single thread) 1001 1049 4.8%
Overall (Multi-threaded) 2622 2878 9.7%
Integer (Single thread) 956 996 4.2%
Integer (Multi-threaded) 2999 3037 1.3%
FP (Single thread) 843 925 9.7%
FP (Multi-threaded) 2636 3155 19.7%
Memory (Single thread) 1411 1406 0%
Memory (Multi-threaded) 1841 1949 6%

I wouldn't read too much into the multithreaded FP results, I suspect we're mostly seeing differences in thermal dissipation of the two test units. A closer look at the memory bandwidth numbers confirms that while the 805 has more memory bandwidth, most of it is reserved for GPU use:

Geekbench 3.0 - Memory Bandwidth
  Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz (HTC M8) Snapdragon 805 2.7GHz (MDP/T) % Increase for S805
Stream Copy (Single thread) 7.89 GB/s 8.04 GB/s 1.9%
Stream Copy (Multi-threaded) 9.53 GB/s 10.1 GB/s 5.9%
Stream Scale (Single thread) 5.36 GB/s 5.06 GB/s -
Stream Scale (Multi-threaded) 7.31 GB/s 7.63 GB/s 4.3%
Stream Add (Single thread) 5.27 GB/s 5.2 GB/s -
Stream Add (Multi-threaded) 6.84 GB/s 7.51 GB/s 9.8%
Stream Triad (Single thread) 5.64 GB/s 5.85 GB/s 3.7%
Stream Triad (Multi-threaded) 7.65 GB/s 7.89 GB/s 3.1%


Introduction GPU Performance
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  • evonitzer - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    +1 -- I amazed how quickly people have tired of smartphone innovation. Bring on the pixels! I'm still young(ish) and can resolve details quite well. I'm hoping for magazine level smoothness with no blockiness.
  • lmcd - Friday, June 20, 2014 - link

    ...which is why we need color accuracy and gamut, a greater range of brightness settings, better refresh rates, and less ghosting and less burn-in.

    But not higher pixel density.
  • YouInspireMe - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Because if they have to be able to drive BIG displays with the phone they may as well be able to brag about being able to do it ON the phone. And everyone will eventually have to be able to drive BIG screens OFF the phone.
  • pjcamp - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Scrolling performance on my old Galaxy S3 became perfectly snappy -- as soon as I ditched Touchwiz. All these stupid skins are the limiting factor, and there's really no purpose for them any more other than product differentiation.
  • metayoshi - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Yup. That Snapdragon S4 was more than good enough for basic AOSP Android. TouchWiz really killed the performance on that thing. I mean, I know more people with a Nexus 4 than a Nexus 5, simply because the S4 Pro is good enough to run Google's Android. I personally have a Nexus 5 because it's compatible with Sprint, and should have Triband with the whenever-it-comes 4.4.3 update. I used to upgrade my phone every time I had the chance, but I actually don't think I'll be upgrading as long as my Nexus 5 is in good working condition. SoC improvements aren't really that exciting for me anymore.
  • Babar Javied - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I am in the same boat. I upgraded to the Nexus 5 from the Galaxy Nexus since it was getting old. I don't see myself upgrading anytime soon. Not only is the SoC more than enough to handle what I want, it has plenty of RAM and the screen is great too. All of this with no bull-sh!t skins like touch wiz and you have what I feel to be a great phone.

    So I really hope google does not shutdown the Nexus division.
  • betam4x - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I don't think they will. People i know are divided into 3 groups: iPhone Users, Samsung users, and Nexus users. Others do exist, but for the most part, Google's phones seem to be pretty popular.
  • betam4x - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I'm in the same (happy) boat. Downgraded from the Galaxy S III (rooted, unlocked, Cyanogenmod) to the Moto-X (republic wireless). My phone lasts 20-24 hours with pretty decent usage (screen is on 3-4 hours a day, always browsing the internet on this thing...) My Moto-X isn't rooted or unlocked, but it's the most enjoyable phone i've ever owned...and i'm a spec freak.
  • betam4x - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    btw the reason the phone lasts so long on battery is due to republic wireless operating over wifi. when wifi is on, cellular modem is off...apparently the cell modem is a power hog on any phone.
  • Eddie A - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Too bad indeed. It seems they couldn't (or didn't have time to) re-engineer it in time to add an LTE modem (since the 805 doesn't include one). I believe it still should run smooth though...the 801 is still a beast. My Nexus 7 2013 for example has a resolution which is slightly lower than the G3's resolution with a lesser SoC (Snapdragon S4 Pro) and it flies with no lag/stutter at all, so my fingers are crossed. Yes it's somewhat disappointing but I'm still looking forward to having the G3 in my hands for the next couple of years.

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