Results: GPU Benchmarks
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
Futuremark has become a name synonymous with benchmarking, and the company's latest iteration of 3DMark offers three main graphical benchmarks: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate, and Fire Strike. Currently, the DirectX 9-level Ice Storm tests are cross-platform for Windows, Windows RT, Android, and iOS.
Ice Storm simulates the demands of OpenGL ES 2.0 games using shaders, particles, and physics via the company's in-house engine. Although it was just released in May of last year, the on-screen portions of Ice Storm are already outpaced by modern mobile chipsets; Nvidia's Tegra 4 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 easily max out the Extreme version (1080p with high-quality textures). However, Ice Storm Unlimited, which renders the scene off-screen at 720p, is still a good gauge of GPU-to-GPU performance.
3DMark favors the One's newer Snapdragon 801 SoC, and HTC's flagship boasts the highest Adreno 330 GPU clock rate, so it walks away with a clear win.
Basemark X 1.1
Basemark X 1.1 is a benchmarking tool by Rightware that utilizes the popular Unity game engine, allowing for device comparisons across a wide range of platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 8. This also has the advantage of making the benchmarks correlate well with the real-world performance of numerous games available on the market.
Basemark X 1.1 is known to favor newer iOS-based devices. But the One (M8) manages to come close to Apple's iPhone 5s using the medium detail preset. When high details are dialed in, HTC's device loses a bit of ground and ties for second place with Samsung's Galaxy Note 3.
The Basemark X 1.1 on-screen tests closely mirror what we saw in the overall scores.
With output resolution factored out as a variable, the One (M8) and its Snapdragon 801 SoC take first place in the medium quality Dune test, but fall to second in with high-quality details enabled. There, Apple's iPhone makes a comeback.
Kishonti GFXBench 3.0 is a cross-platform GPU benchmark supporting both the OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenGL ES 3.0 standards. It comprises game-like scenarios, as well as lower-level tests designed to measure specific subsystems. See GFXBench 3.0: A Fresh Look at Mobile Benchmarking for a complete test-by-test breakdown of this suite.
In the GFXBench 3.0 On Screen tests, Apple's iPhone 5s benefits greatly from a relatively low-resolution display. HTC's One (M8) comes closer in the off-screen Manhattan benchmark, though, and it takes first place in the T-Rex test.
The Driver Overhead metric highlights one of iOS' strengths, while the Fill tests show the potential of Qualcomm's Adreno 330 GPU. Strong graphics is simply inherent to the processor HTC chose for its One (M8) and (E8).