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CPU And GPU Performance

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD: Better; Can It Compete With The Nexus 7?
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CPU Performance

OMAP 44xxOMAP 44xx

Hardware Comparison

SoC
CPU
RAM
GPU
Kindle Fire (First-Gen)
OMAP 44301.0 GHz Dual-Core Cortex-A9512 MB
PowerVR SGX540 @ 304 MHz
Kindle Fire (Second-Gen)
OMAP 44301.2 GHz Dual-Core Cortex-A91 GB
PowerVR SGX540 @ 304 MHz
Kindle Fire HD
OMAP 44601.2 GHz Dual-Core Cortex-A91 GB
PowerVR SGX540 @ 384 MHz
Nexus 7
Tegra 3 (T30L)1.3 GHz Quad-Core Cortex-A91 GB
ULP GeForce


The OMAP 44x0's dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor now operates at 1.2 GHz, but it still falls between 20 and 30% behind the quad-core Tegra 3 at 1.3 GHz in our integer and floating-point benchmarks. Although its new tablets sport a faster SoC, Amazon continues to trail when it comes to performance. When competing tablets based on Qualcomm's S4 Pro emerge, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD will fall even further behind.

GeekBench v2
Overall
Integer
FPU
Memory
A5/A5X (Dual-Core Cortex-A9, 1.0 GHz)
(iPad 2/iPad 3)
764691921830
OMAP 4430 (Dual-Core Cortex-A9, 1.0 GHz)
(Kindle Fire, First-Gen)
8275911139974
OMAP 4430 (Dual-Core Cortex-A9, 1.2 GHz)
(Kindle Fire, Second-Gen)
1085
881
1571
1001
OMAP 4460 (Dual-Core Cortex-A9, 1.2 GHz)
(Amazon Kindle Fire HD)
1113
900
1540
1098
Tegra 3, T30L (Quad-Core Cortex-A9, 1.3 GHz)
Google Nexus 7
1527129822881222
S4 Pro (Quad-Core Krait, 1.5 GHz)
Qualcomm Dev Platform
1960140032921276


GPU Performance

PowerVR SGX540PowerVR SGX540

Both the OMAP 4430 and 4460 employ Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX 540. If this graphics engine sounds familiar to you, that might be because it's derived from the same architecture as the GPUs in Apple's A4 and A5.

GPU Subsystem

PowerVR SGX 535 (Apple A4)
PowerVR SGX 540 (OMAP 4430)
PowerVR SGX 543 (Apple A5)
SIMD
USSE
USSE
USSE2
Pipelines
2
4
4
TMUs
2
2
2
Bus Width (in bits)
64
64
64
Triangle rate @ 200 MHz
14 MTriangles/s28 MTriangles/s
35 MTriangles/s


The SGX 543 used in the Apple A5 includes four USSE2 (Universal Scalable Shader Engine 2.0) pipes. In comparison, the SGX 540 found in Amazon's new tablets features the same number of pipes based on the older USSE design. The SGX 535 used in Apple's A4 hails from the same GPU generation as the SGX 540, but features only two USSE pipes.

GLBenchmark 2.1.2

Egypt Standard
Pro Standard
Egypt Offscreen (720p)Pro Offscreen (720p)Fill Rate
PowerVR SGX543MP2 (iPad 2)
6661 frames
(59 FPS)
2962 frames
(59 FPS)
10 146 frames
(90 FPS)
7352 frames
(147 FPS)
998.24
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX543MP4 (iPad 3)
6709 frames
(59 FPS)
2975 frames
(60 FPS)

15 663 frames
(139 FPS)
12 546 frames
(251 FPS)
1964.68
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX540 (Kindle Fire, First-Gen)
2966 frames
(26 FPS)
1952 frames
(39 FPS)
2632 frames
(23 FPS)
2079 frames
(42 FPS)
234.3
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX540 (Kindle Fire, Second-Gen)
3492 frames
(31 FPS
2399 frames
(48 FPS)
3296 frames
(29 FPS)
2478 frames
(50 FPS)
226.1
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX540 (Kindle Fire HD)
2835 frames
(25 FPS)
2073 frames
(41 FPS)
3709 frames
(33 FPS)
2656 frames
(53 FPS)
225.01
Mtexels/sec
Tegra 3 (Nexus 7)
5968 frames
(53 FPS)
2830 frames
(57 FPS)
7073 frames
(63 FPS)
4095 frames
(82 FPS)
467.57
Mtexels/sec
Adreno 320 (S4 Pro MDP)
-
-
15447
(137 FPS)
9560 frames
(191 FPS)
795.62
Mtexels/sec


If you've already read Snapdragon S4 Pro: Krait And Adreno 320, Benchmarked, then you know Qualcomm's S4 Pro has a performance advantage thanks to its Krait processor cores. It doesn't have the lead in graphics, though. Rather, the S4 Pro normalized to 720p edges-out Nvidia's Tegra 3 and comes up just short of the PowerVR SGX543MP4 in Apple's A5X.

Of course, it's interesting to compare graphics engines rendering at the same resolution for evaluation purposes. But, in the real-world, the devices you find each SoC in employ different resolutions. Amazon's second-gen Kindle Fire outperforms its predecessor, but the Kindle Fire HD is actually the slowest of the three. It does benefit from a slightly faster GPU, but is then hampered by a higher resolution.

The second-generation Kindle Fire outperforms its predecessor, but the Kindle Fire HD is actually the slowest of the three. It benefits from a slightly higher GPU clock speed, but it is hampered by its higher resolution. Compared to the Kindles, Google's Tegra 3-equipped Nexus 7 dominates, even though it uses the same resolution as the Fire HD.

GLBenchmark 2.5

Egypt HD
Egypt HD Offscreen
Fixed Time (1080p)
GLBenchmark Egypt HD
Offscreen (1080p)
Fill Rate
Offscreen
PowerVR SGX543MP2 (iPad 2)
2446 frames
(22 FPS)

102.7 s (11 FPS)
1507 frames (13 FPS)
938.6
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX543MP4 (iPad 3)
2363 frames
(21 FPS)
57.4 s (20 FPS)
2731 frames (24 FPS)
1772.8
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX540 (Kindle Fire, First-Gen)824 frames
(7.3 FPS)
275.4 s (4.1 FPS)
532 frames (4.7 FPS)
289.3
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX540 (Kindle Fire, Second-Gen)960 frames
(8.5 FPS)
267.3 s (4.2 FPS)
566 frames (5.0 FPS)
297.8
Mtexels/sec
PowerVR SGX540 (Kindle Fire HD)919 frames
(8.1 FPS)
271.3 s (5.2 FPS)
691 frames (6.1 FPS)
284.0
Mtexel/s
Tegra 3 (Nexus 7)1464 frames
(13 FPS)
148.2 s (7.6 FPS)995 frames (8.8 FPS)490.3
Mtexels/sec
Adreno 320 (S4 Pro MDP)-
54.1 s (21 FPS)
2927 frames (26 FPS)
530.1
Mtexels/sec


Going back to normalized testing, forcing each solution to run at 1920x1080 changes the story. Now, Qualcomm's Adreno 320 wins by a small margin over the SGX543MP4, even though it can't compete with the PowerVR architecture's fill rate.

GLBenchmark 2.5 improves on the prior version in a number of ways. First, the benchmark focuses exclusively on the Egypt scene. Adding higher-quality textures makes it a more taxing workload, and cranking up the intensity hurts the A5X.

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