Sep 12 AT 2:28 PM Dustin Earley 37 Comments

Galaxy S II Mali-400 GPU boasts fastest graphics on the market

samsung-galaxy-s-ii-stars

If you’re looking for the best of the best in smartphone graphics processing, the Mali-400 GPU found in the Samsung Galaxy S II is where it’s at.

In a series of recent tests run by the reputable AnandTech, the Mali-400 came out on top when pitted against other popular smartphone GPUs. According to the tests, the 4-core Mali-400 MP4 paired with Samsung’s Exynos 4210 is anywhere from 1.7 to 4 times faster than anything else currently shipping. Triangle throughput wasn’t the best (which could be a problem for future games), but in every other category the Mali smashed the competition.

While benchmarks aren’t the final say in how a device preforms in real-world activities, AnandTech was sure to address that. During a review for the device, AnandTech writer Brian Klug noted just how excellent of an experience Samsung has provided. He found it to be “the smoothest experience by an order of magnitude compared to any currently available Android phone.” And in typical AnandTech-fashion, this too was backed by some comprehensive benchmark tests.

Other GPUs used in the tests included the PowerVR SGX 540 @ 300MHz (Optimus 3D), Adreno 220 (EVO 3D), GeForce ULP (LG Optmus 2X) and the PowerVR SGX 540 (Nexus S) among others. Click here for a full report of the benchmarks used.

Source: AnandTech

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Michael Crumpler

    I’m curious as to how the Sensation’s Qualcomm processor faired.

    • Dustin Earley

      That’s the Adreno 220. Mali-400 was faster.

    • Maria

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • Maria

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • ios is the past

          I’m starting to feel sad for all u ios user who come to bash an Android site let’s me know how you all are starting to embrace that Android will eventuality kill off ios of the game in fear u get back at us with da same line over and over because ya to scare to admit we are your biggest treat and by the looks of what ios 5 brang iPhone 5 is going to be another fail just like the iPhone 4 was and I’m not taking sides here becuase I personally like both OS and would move on to the next thing that shows potential but for now to me that’s only Android

        • Lewis

          Iphone isnt progressing much in my opinion, the iphone 5 wont have 4g, and will be near enough the same, but slightly different shape as usual

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

        I don’t even know where to begin. Anandtech took a look at the “International” version of the SGS2, which launched half a bloody year ago. Even if the iPhone 5 does better, I don’t know why it matters because the SGS3 could beat it again.

        The iPad 2 benchmark remark is even more ridiculous. Mam, did you see where the iPhone 4 is in the chart? It’s like 1/4 the speed of the SGS2. Obviously, you have nothing else to compare, so you have to compare a phone to a tablet.

        Get a life. Go back to your walled Apple garden.

        • Ben Gildenstein

          No, it’s a very valid test. It’s comparing the mobile System-on-chip performance as they relate to a phone that is now entering the US market (Anandtech is a US publication).

          Moreover the Exynos 4210 will not see a GPU bump until at least the second half of next year as that is when the Mali T604 is set to start hitting the market. Of course should Samsung decide to go with another technology (eg. Imaginations SGX544, like the TI OMAP5 SoC) it could see a sooner release. Who knows.

          The iPad features a mobile SoC that could very easily appear in a phone: they are the same parts after all.

          I’m a fan of Android (and I refuse to buy anything Apple for my own political reasons) but there is no denying that the A5 has hands down the fastest GPU for phones/tablets on the market right now, the SGX543MP2 (the PSVita game system has the SGX543MP4, which should do significantly better). The Mali400MP4 is certainly no slouch, though and with optimization (eg. premptive primitive sorting, fragment shader optimizations, etc) can perform very, very well, even against the SGX543MP2.

          • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

            +1 to you.

          • Brando

            Ammmm, dude, they can’t configure the processor in the tablet the same way in a phone, both the processor itself and the GPU would be underpowered and under-clocked to accommodate for the much much smaller battery, what you are seeing in the above benchmark is the fastest GPU for a “mobile phone” compared to a tablet, and as you can see the phone is just about is just under half it’s speed.

            When the Iphone 5 is benchmarked, it would do very well to beat the Mali 400, and if it does, it won’t be by much….

        • 666

          SGS3 will probably come out next year…

          The A5 will surely be in the iPhone 5 and might very well be upgraded from the chip that was was released half a year ago. Hate it on it all you want but the iPhone 5 will have a beastly chip with even better hardware acceleration on a software level.

  • DaveC

    I’m going crazy trying to decide if I should buy this phone. I need one now, and this looks great, but we seem oh so close to getting some Ice Cream Sandwich. I gave my EVO to another family member who drowned hers, I just wish I knew WHEN the Nexus phone will make it to Sprint. Tough decision come Friday.

  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

    I’m still wondering why Android tablet manufacturers are still using the Tegra 2 when the PowerVR SGX543MP2 in the iPad 2 just simply destroys everything else out there.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      It probably has something to do with the fact that Google picked the Tegra 2 as the reference for Honeycomb.

    • Ben Gildenstein

      NVidia knows how to sell… For business, it’s about more than just performance…

  • itrustme

    Tegra 2 was a over hyped piece of shit. I’ve said this before my nexus s outperforms any Tegra 2 phone at the moment. Even android tablets running tegra suck Ass a lot of the performance issues may be due to software but the shitty s.o.c Tegra 2 doesn’t help at all. Read reviews of the htc Puccini ,different s.o.c and so far best overall performance from a honeycomb tablet.

    • Ben Gildenstein

      I’ve been saying this for a long time as well. The Tegra 2 is not a particularly well-designed SoC compared to some others and the performance shows. Even when there is no overdraw in a scene, the shader performance is abysmal. NVidia has thrown more ‘cores’ at the problem of higher performance than dedicating silicon to a more efficient rendering pipeline.

      This type of strategy may work as dies continue to shrink and geometry becomes more complex, but at this early state the strategy is failing.

      NVidia is a power player though, so I wouldn’t count them out. Certainly they are very successful from a business standpoint.

  • CTown

    Please don’t get mad for me asking this question but wouldn’t getting a PowerVR chip be the best since most of these games were primary made for the iPhone, which houses a PowerVR card? Just like in the Nexus S and what’s rumoured to be in Nexus Prime (which is what I think Google is testing hardware acceleration on which could be another real world bonus for PowerVR).

    Basically, I’m ASKING (not declaring PowerVR is the best) if having a PowerVR chip is better for games ported from the iPhone or if it does not matter at all?

  • mike

    Think its BS that US versions ship with qualcomm like i said before its not a true galaxy S2
    and this just prove it even more Samsung + qualcomm = shit

  • cmunic8r99

    Poor T-Mo users… Not getting the same SOC. http://goo.gl/wz0ui

    • me

      That’s still just a rumor we won’t know for sure until its officially announced my tmobile.

      • SherlockHomeboy

        No it’s not a rumor. The guy in that video works for Samsung and he confirmed that only the AT&T and Sprint version features the Exynos processor. The T-Mobile version uses a different dual-core processor.

        • Jay

          It could still potentially use a Mali GPU though. Unlikely as Qualcomm uses only their own Snapdragon/Scorpion GPU’s with their SoC’s but I’m gonna throw that 0.1% chance out there that Samsung had a significant say in it and got to use the 1.5ghz dual core Snapdragon with a Mali GPU.

          • http://- Zhi Hao

            Hate to burst your bubble here, but that’s not going to happen. Qualcomm’s chips feature heavy integration; to swap out the GPU will require a major redesign. They won’t do it just for a single SKU tied to a single carrier for a single OEM. Plus, I’m pretty sure it would be easier get an extra modem working with the Exynos than to redesign the Qualcomm SOC with a Mali GPU.

        • me

          That really don’t mean much these days from the video it didn’t seem like he knew what he was talking about, besides the software he could have meant the processor speed is upped to 1.5ghz but was a dope and said different processor, obviously Tmobile half added the whole launch and I’m sure he will get in trouble for saying that or couldn’t say its a faster clock Samsung processor.

          • Tony

            faster clock or not, T-Mobile will be getting the non-Exynos variety of the GSII.. there’s no doubt about it at this point.

  • SliestDragon

    Figured this would be the case. Samsung makes some good processors.

  • Rovex

    That is a very limited test. In most other benchmarks it tops out at 60fps, the limit applied on the SGS2. In other tests it beats the iPad2, significantly, and still tops out at 60fps. It has better video processing than the iPad2 as well.

    When all tests are considered, its a match for the SGX543MP2, and isnt yet optimized fully.

  • http://littlegreenrobot.net Alex Nguyen

    A big factor in my next Android phone is definitely its gaming prowess. I am looking to run the latest and greatest games the smoothest and at the highest frame rates as possible, so I’m hoping the Nexus Prime will have the Exynos instead of the rumored TI OMAP 4. I’m currently torn between getting a SGSII or NP, I discuss all the pros and cons that matter most to me here: http://wp.me/p1BlyQ-6E

  • 666

    Looks like the iPhone 5 will be beast. There might even be a chance that they upgrade the A5 for it.

    • Lewis

      Iphone 5 may be good, but when the SGS 3 comes out it will be alot better. Android is taking over the market and the Iphone 4 was so bad compared to the SGS 2. The only thing that beats the SGS 2 is a tablet, which are expected to be better than phones

  • Eric Stratos

    Mmmm a cellphone is not only the GPU or CPU.
    Its the memory the gpu the cpu and files system.

    All those can affect performance.
    The new HTC Amaze (or Ruby) get near 60 on thats test by example.

    Another more funny thing is my Motorola xoom dont lag at all in game thats the ipad 2 lag.
    Test is yourself Samurai 2 vengeance lag like hell on the ipad 2 and work flawlessly on the Xoom.

    So think about it.
    Benchmark mean brute power.. dont mean its will be used well lol.
    Ipad 2 by example is nothing spécial compared to most android tablet (when comparing the real performance not static benchmark)

    As for GPU vs GPU (no cpu os memory or files system) just GPU the adreno 220 is twice faster in all benchmark and its do support lots of stuff the Mali-400 GPU dont. Dont forget the architecture used in the Mali date from 2008 its quite old.

    Now the new samsung is great because they increased memory bandwith and used a new files system (old one was crappy in other galaxy before this one)

    Still i will wait thats i get my hand on both the new Galaxy X2 Goliath 1.5 gigz per core and test it against my buddy HTC Amaze and we will see wich one is best in real life situation.

    On thats note good day.

    PS: sorry for my bad english

  • Rahul

    which tha best gpu
    andeno203
    mail-400ma

    please answer

  1. Michael CrumplerGuest 4 years ago

    I’m curious as to how the Sensation’s Qualcomm processor faired.

    • That’s the Adreno 220. Mali-400 was faster.

    • MariaGuest 4 years ago

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • MariaGuest 4 years ago

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • ios is the pastGuest 4 years ago

          I’m starting to feel sad for all u ios user who come to bash an Android site let’s me know how you all are starting to embrace that Android will eventuality kill off ios of the game in fear u get back at us with da same line over and over because ya to scare to admit we are your biggest treat and by the looks of what ios 5 brang iPhone 5 is going to be another fail just like the iPhone 4 was and I’m not taking sides here becuase I personally like both OS and would move on to the next thing that shows potential but for now to me that’s only Android

        • LewisGuest 4 years ago

          Iphone isnt progressing much in my opinion, the iphone 5 wont have 4g, and will be near enough the same, but slightly different shape as usual

      • I don’t even know where to begin. Anandtech took a look at the “International” version of the SGS2, which launched half a bloody year ago. Even if the iPhone 5 does better, I don’t know why it matters because the SGS3 could beat it again.

        The iPad 2 benchmark remark is even more ridiculous. Mam, did you see where the iPhone 4 is in the chart? It’s like 1/4 the speed of the SGS2. Obviously, you have nothing else to compare, so you have to compare a phone to a tablet.

        Get a life. Go back to your walled Apple garden.

        • Ben GildensteinGuest 4 years ago

          No, it’s a very valid test. It’s comparing the mobile System-on-chip performance as they relate to a phone that is now entering the US market (Anandtech is a US publication).

          Moreover the Exynos 4210 will not see a GPU bump until at least the second half of next year as that is when the Mali T604 is set to start hitting the market. Of course should Samsung decide to go with another technology (eg. Imaginations SGX544, like the TI OMAP5 SoC) it could see a sooner release. Who knows.

          The iPad features a mobile SoC that could very easily appear in a phone: they are the same parts after all.

          I’m a fan of Android (and I refuse to buy anything Apple for my own political reasons) but there is no denying that the A5 has hands down the fastest GPU for phones/tablets on the market right now, the SGX543MP2 (the PSVita game system has the SGX543MP4, which should do significantly better). The Mali400MP4 is certainly no slouch, though and with optimization (eg. premptive primitive sorting, fragment shader optimizations, etc) can perform very, very well, even against the SGX543MP2.

          • BrandoGuest 4 years ago

            Ammmm, dude, they can’t configure the processor in the tablet the same way in a phone, both the processor itself and the GPU would be underpowered and under-clocked to accommodate for the much much smaller battery, what you are seeing in the above benchmark is the fastest GPU for a “mobile phone” compared to a tablet, and as you can see the phone is just about is just under half it’s speed.

            When the Iphone 5 is benchmarked, it would do very well to beat the Mali 400, and if it does, it won’t be by much….

        • 666Guest 4 years ago

          SGS3 will probably come out next year…

          The A5 will surely be in the iPhone 5 and might very well be upgraded from the chip that was was released half a year ago. Hate it on it all you want but the iPhone 5 will have a beastly chip with even better hardware acceleration on a software level.

  2. DaveCGuest 4 years ago

    I’m going crazy trying to decide if I should buy this phone. I need one now, and this looks great, but we seem oh so close to getting some Ice Cream Sandwich. I gave my EVO to another family member who drowned hers, I just wish I knew WHEN the Nexus phone will make it to Sprint. Tough decision come Friday.

  3. JeffGuest 4 years ago

    I’m still wondering why Android tablet manufacturers are still using the Tegra 2 when the PowerVR SGX543MP2 in the iPad 2 just simply destroys everything else out there.

  4. itrustmeGuest 4 years ago

    Tegra 2 was a over hyped piece of shit. I’ve said this before my nexus s outperforms any Tegra 2 phone at the moment. Even android tablets running tegra suck Ass a lot of the performance issues may be due to software but the shitty s.o.c Tegra 2 doesn’t help at all. Read reviews of the htc Puccini ,different s.o.c and so far best overall performance from a honeycomb tablet.

    • Ben GildensteinGuest 4 years ago

      I’ve been saying this for a long time as well. The Tegra 2 is not a particularly well-designed SoC compared to some others and the performance shows. Even when there is no overdraw in a scene, the shader performance is abysmal. NVidia has thrown more ‘cores’ at the problem of higher performance than dedicating silicon to a more efficient rendering pipeline.

      This type of strategy may work as dies continue to shrink and geometry becomes more complex, but at this early state the strategy is failing.

      NVidia is a power player though, so I wouldn’t count them out. Certainly they are very successful from a business standpoint.

  5. Please don’t get mad for me asking this question but wouldn’t getting a PowerVR chip be the best since most of these games were primary made for the iPhone, which houses a PowerVR card? Just like in the Nexus S and what’s rumoured to be in Nexus Prime (which is what I think Google is testing hardware acceleration on which could be another real world bonus for PowerVR).

    Basically, I’m ASKING (not declaring PowerVR is the best) if having a PowerVR chip is better for games ported from the iPhone or if it does not matter at all?

  6. mikeGuest 4 years ago

    Think its BS that US versions ship with qualcomm like i said before its not a true galaxy S2
    and this just prove it even more Samsung + qualcomm = shit

  7. cmunic8r99Guest 4 years ago

    Poor T-Mo users… Not getting the same SOC. http://goo.gl/wz0ui

    • meGuest 4 years ago

      That’s still just a rumor we won’t know for sure until its officially announced my tmobile.

      • No it’s not a rumor. The guy in that video works for Samsung and he confirmed that only the AT&T and Sprint version features the Exynos processor. The T-Mobile version uses a different dual-core processor.

        • JayGuest 4 years ago

          It could still potentially use a Mali GPU though. Unlikely as Qualcomm uses only their own Snapdragon/Scorpion GPU’s with their SoC’s but I’m gonna throw that 0.1% chance out there that Samsung had a significant say in it and got to use the 1.5ghz dual core Snapdragon with a Mali GPU.

          • Zhi HaoGuest 4 years ago

            Hate to burst your bubble here, but that’s not going to happen. Qualcomm’s chips feature heavy integration; to swap out the GPU will require a major redesign. They won’t do it just for a single SKU tied to a single carrier for a single OEM. Plus, I’m pretty sure it would be easier get an extra modem working with the Exynos than to redesign the Qualcomm SOC with a Mali GPU.

        • meGuest 4 years ago

          That really don’t mean much these days from the video it didn’t seem like he knew what he was talking about, besides the software he could have meant the processor speed is upped to 1.5ghz but was a dope and said different processor, obviously Tmobile half added the whole launch and I’m sure he will get in trouble for saying that or couldn’t say its a faster clock Samsung processor.

          • TonyGuest 4 years ago

            faster clock or not, T-Mobile will be getting the non-Exynos variety of the GSII.. there’s no doubt about it at this point.

  8. Figured this would be the case. Samsung makes some good processors.

  9. RovexGuest 4 years ago

    That is a very limited test. In most other benchmarks it tops out at 60fps, the limit applied on the SGS2. In other tests it beats the iPad2, significantly, and still tops out at 60fps. It has better video processing than the iPad2 as well.

    When all tests are considered, its a match for the SGX543MP2, and isnt yet optimized fully.

  10. Alex NguyenGuest 4 years ago

    A big factor in my next Android phone is definitely its gaming prowess. I am looking to run the latest and greatest games the smoothest and at the highest frame rates as possible, so I’m hoping the Nexus Prime will have the Exynos instead of the rumored TI OMAP 4. I’m currently torn between getting a SGSII or NP, I discuss all the pros and cons that matter most to me here: http://wp.me/p1BlyQ-6E

  11. 666Guest 4 years ago

    Looks like the iPhone 5 will be beast. There might even be a chance that they upgrade the A5 for it.

    • LewisGuest 4 years ago

      Iphone 5 may be good, but when the SGS 3 comes out it will be alot better. Android is taking over the market and the Iphone 4 was so bad compared to the SGS 2. The only thing that beats the SGS 2 is a tablet, which are expected to be better than phones

  12. Eric StratosGuest 4 years ago

    Mmmm a cellphone is not only the GPU or CPU.
    Its the memory the gpu the cpu and files system.

    All those can affect performance.
    The new HTC Amaze (or Ruby) get near 60 on thats test by example.

    Another more funny thing is my Motorola xoom dont lag at all in game thats the ipad 2 lag.
    Test is yourself Samurai 2 vengeance lag like hell on the ipad 2 and work flawlessly on the Xoom.

    So think about it.
    Benchmark mean brute power.. dont mean its will be used well lol.
    Ipad 2 by example is nothing spécial compared to most android tablet (when comparing the real performance not static benchmark)

    As for GPU vs GPU (no cpu os memory or files system) just GPU the adreno 220 is twice faster in all benchmark and its do support lots of stuff the Mali-400 GPU dont. Dont forget the architecture used in the Mali date from 2008 its quite old.

    Now the new samsung is great because they increased memory bandwith and used a new files system (old one was crappy in other galaxy before this one)

    Still i will wait thats i get my hand on both the new Galaxy X2 Goliath 1.5 gigz per core and test it against my buddy HTC Amaze and we will see wich one is best in real life situation.

    On thats note good day.

    PS: sorry for my bad english

  13. RahulGuest 2 years ago

    which tha best gpu
    andeno203
    mail-400ma

    please answer