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OnePlus One Review

The OnePlus One has an off-contract price starting at only $299, but don’t call this smartphone cheap. Hiding behind the OnePlus One’s 5.5-inch HD screen is some high-end hardware.

Results: GPGPU Benchmarks

CompuBenchRS

CompuBenchRS tests the compute performance of multi-core systems supporting the RenderScript API (a component of the Android operating system). The compute API is similar to CUDA or OpenCL, and can distribute parallel tasks across all compute cores, including the CPU and GPU (as of Android 4.2, RenderScript is expanded to run on the GPU, in addition to the CPU of supported systems). On compute-capable GPUs, the benchmark runs on the graphics engine. Otherwise, the tests stress CPU cores. CompuBenchRS sub-tests cover the following categories: Computer Vision (Face Detection), 3D Graphics (Provence - ray tracing), Image Processing (Gaussian Blur, Histogram), Physics (Particle Simulation - 4K), and Throughput (Julia Set, Ambient Occlusion).

Running RenderScript on the GPU requires software support from the video driver. With a 4x performance deficit, the OnePlus One runs the Face Detection test solely on the CPU. It’s difficulty running multithreaded code only compounds the problem.

The OnePlus One shows mixed performance in the image processing tests. It outperforms its Snapdragon 801 peers in the Gaussian Blur and Histogram tests, but falls well behind in Gaussian Blur (RS Intrinsic).

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The OnePlus One continues to deliver inconsistent performance across the remainder of the RenderScript benchmarks. While coming in at or near the bottom of our charts in most tests, it does well in the Julia Set throughput test.

It’s important to note that these benchmarks have more to do with driver level support for the RenderScript API than actual hardware limitations. Granted, the OnePlus One’s issue with multithreaded code reduces performance further when it fails to utilize its GPU, but this effect is difficult to discern with so much variation between devices running the same hardware.