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Low-Level Test Results: ALU

GFXBench 3.0: A Fresh Look At Mobile Benchmarking

Reminiscent of demoscene “progs” from the '90s, this ALU test measures shader compute performance by rendering a complex scene using a full-screen quad and fragment shader code.

The results are bound to be dramatically different between the native and off-screen tests.


The Apple iPhone 5s wins again, but its sub-720p display is very much a contributing factor. Google's Nexus 7 comes in an extremely close second place, while the EVGA Tegra Note slips in right behind in third. It's actually surprising to see the Tegra Note trailing, since it employs a lower-resolution display. With that said, the top three devices are extremely close to each other.

Google's 2013 Nexus 7 rules the lower portion of the field. Meanwhile, the Adreno 320-equipped Oppo N1 is another 20% slower than the Nexus. Clearly, Oppo’s ColorOS is again not as efficient as pure Android 4.4.2 even when pushing slightly fewer pixels. The two Exynos 5 Octa-based devices, the Meizu MX3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1” 2014 Edition, are again battling for last place.


The Nexus 5's Snapdragon 800 SoC features Adreno 330 graphics, which demonstrates significantly higher shader performance than the iPhone 5s. 

Oppo's N1 and Google's Nexus 7 sit in third and fourth place (respectively). This is how we'd hope to see them, given similar GPUs operating at similar clock rates.

EVGA's Tegra Note is a disappointment. Then again, of the Tegra 4 SoC's 72 shaders, remember that only 48 are dedicated to pixel shading operations.

Meanwhile, the Exynos 5-based SoCs continue to fall short, regardless of GPU core. Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1” 2014 Edition and the Meizu MX3 take second-to-last and last place, respectively. However, the Mali-T628MP6 is almost twice as capable as Imagination's older PowerVR SGX544MP3. The pattern is pretty evident; Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa is the big loser this cycle.

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