Snapdragon 600 - GPU Performance

On the GPU side of Snapdragon 600 we're still looking at Adreno 320, which is easily Qualcomm's first highly competitive GPU. At its launch, Qualcomm claimed the Adreno 320 clocks in Snapdragon 600 could be higher than what we saw in S4 Pro/APQ8064. To find out, we turned to our trusty GLBenchmark suite.

The good news is that none of the thermal throttling we saw on the APQ8064 based Nexus 4 was present on the HTC One. Curiously enough, the thermald.conf file is now stored as a binary file - which means we can't get direct access to it. Either way, although the One can get warm during heavy CPU/GPU workloads, it doesn't throttle while running GLBenchmark which meant our freezer can remain on food cooling duties for this review.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test

Here we see a small increase in fill rate compared to the Nexus 4, roughly 14%.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Fill Test (Offscreen 1080p)

The beauty of being on a 1080p display is that GLBench's on and offscreen tests produce roughly similar results as they are both run at 1080p. The offscreen results do have vsync disabled though.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test

Very similar triangle throughput to the Nexus 4, and a bit lower than the Nexus 4 freezer test, which implies that Qualcomm is doing a better job of keeping GPU clocks under control in Snapdragon 600.

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Vertex Lit (Offscreen 1080p)

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

The "game" benchmarks in GLBench give us a good indication of overall performance. The offscreen results are most interesting from drawing comparative conclusions:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

The One is fast - it's now the fastest smartphone we've ever tested in the Egypt HD offscreen test. The margin over the Nexus 4 however makes me believe that we're talking about very small increases in GPU frequency at best (either that or better thermal management).

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt Classic (Offscreen 1080p)

The Egypt Classic results are equally impressive. Here we're seeing about a 12% increase in performance compared to the APQ8064 based Optimus G, so at best we may be talking about a 15% increase in frequencies - or again, just better thermal management (or a combination of the two). Given the fact that process node hasn't changed at all, I think a small clock speed boost wouldn't be unreasonable to expect from the 600's Adreno 320. It's very clear that thermal management has improved though.

Snapdragon 600 - CPU Performance Sense 5, HTC Sense TV, USB-OTG
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  • jayseeks - Friday, April 05, 2013 - link

    Form and function go hand in hand. It's the form that pushes engineers to advance function. To squeeze more pixels in the screen, to create a thinner case, to extend battery life all within a pleasant form requires the engineers to push their efforts in order to create components that can accommodate such needs. By your logic, we should all use a uniform design based on who can max outs specs the quickest and easiest. Reply
  • jayseeks - Friday, April 05, 2013 - link

    And if you want to talk about misdirecting efforts you might want to direct your efforts at Samsung who's spent more on marketing than R&D in 2012. Reply
  • h4ldol - Monday, April 08, 2013 - link

    Samsung may spend more on marketing than R&D but Samsung also spent about 3x the money on R&D than Apple did. Something like $10B versus $3.4B last year. I don't know how much HTC spends, but it's probably a lot less than Apple, which is again, 3x less than what Samsung spent on R&D last year. You might want to educate yourself on more than the most popular talking points on tech blogs. Reply
  • hc - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Sure Samsung spent 3x more R&D than Apple last year, but what proportion of that is for foundry, TVs, or DRAM etc? Putting all that in perspective, Samsung is spending even more marketing per mobile R&D dollar spent just because it can shift its cash within the conglomerate. I don't see how your argument is any more educated just because they spent more overall.

    They spent more on marketing than R&D in 2012. Fact.

    They spent more R&D than Apple last year. Irrelevant.
    Reply
  • jayseeks - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    Considering that Samsung ELECTRONICS consists of their TV, semiconductor, LCD panel, AND mobile phone divisions, spending 3x on R&D than Apple or HTC is still a rather weak number. Which is not surprising, cause it's Samsung. Reply
  • jayseeks - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    You might want to not try and mislead people by not indicating that that R&D figure is for Samsung ELECTRONICS as a whole. Reply
  • harshilshah - Saturday, April 06, 2013 - link

    "isn't buying a phone for its casing like buying a gift for its wrapping ?"

    No it's not! Do you chuck the casing of whatever phone you buy and then use it? As Brian said, the casing really does matter a lot for a device you use all the time. To each his own, but the casing is definitely NOT equivalent to a wrapper.

    "a big screen"
    Agree with the rest, but since when is a big screen a basic aspect of a phone? And how much bigger than 4.7" is your 'big"?
    Reply
  • sherlockwing - Saturday, April 06, 2013 - link

    GS4's 5" is largers, and I haven't seen the casing of my GS3 for more than 3 minute since I bought it 8 month ago, it have been sitting safely in a $50 case. The only thing I need to see on a phone is the screen anyway. Reply
  • Tyronius - Sunday, April 07, 2013 - link

    If I had a Samsung, I would also hide it in a case... Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Monday, April 08, 2013 - link

    yep, because Samsung users are copying iphone users by hiding their smart phones inside huge protective cases. Reply

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