Sep 26 AT 4:57 PM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

Qualcomm boasts they will have the fastest mobile GPU


Qualcomm has traditionally been weak in the GPU department with their Snapdragon chips, but that is all set to change with the upcoming Adreno 320 GPU found in the new Snapdragon S4 Pro. Early benchmarks from Anandtech and other sites show that this new GPU is faster than anything we have ever seen in an Android device.

This week Qualcomm uploaded a new video of their Snapdragon S4 Pro running against a¬†competitor’s quad-core platform (Tegra 3) in the graphics test¬†GLBenchmark 2.5. We can see that the Adreno 320 GPU runs the benchmark pretty smooth while the GeForce GPU in the Tegra 3 stutters. To be fair to NVIDIA, their Tegra 3 chip first appeared last year and the Snapdragon S4 Pro is not even available in any shipping devices.

The Adreno 320 GPU should offer the fastest graphics performance.

That should change in the coming months as several OEMs have already announced smartphones with the Snapdragon S4 Pro, including the highly anticipated LG Optimus G. It’s great to see Qualcomm focus on graphics performance, and we hope they increase their efforts with Android games optimized for Snapdragon devices. Qualcomm released their Snapdragon GameCommand showcase app earlier this year, but they have not updated it in a long time.

If I worked for Qualcomm, I would send Gameloft a huge fat check to make sure that Modern Combat 4 was available as a flagship title for Snapdragon S4 Pro devices at launch.

How important is graphics performance when you consider purchasing your next Android device? Do you crave something faster, or do you find today’s mobile GPUs to be good enough.

Via: Snapdragon

Source: YouTube

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    This is great news. Qual was never known for having good GPUs.

    • Kimmel

      lmao, wheres the outperformer A6 from iPhone 5 on the list???? lmao, iPhone 5 has the fastest gpu.
      Meandroid sheeps in full effect….

      • Bpear96

        You now the GPU in the iPhone is made by powerVR and not apple right. There’s nothing really stopping anyone else from using the same GPU.

  • Chris Lewis

    My S3 feels outdated already. Heres to hoping this GPU is in some of those NEXUS devices coming out this year!

    • Galen20K

      I wouldn’t feel too bad, the S4 Galaxy S III scored a respectable Second place.

      • MyMilan

        If by second place you mean less than half as fast… LOL

        • Da

          half the points, not half as fast. that scale is totally arbitrary and can mean anything.

          btw: 1080p do you play how often with your galaxy sIII?

          thats just marketing, so are the reported values for the a6, which, btw, runs on another system which makes all comparisons kind of moot.

          guys guys: real life is where it’s at. not in the marketing departments.

          • Russ

            the scores are not some arbitrary scale, they are frames per second so not arbitrary at all and it has a very specific meaning.

          • Derek

            You’re an idiot MyMilan. That scale is FPS. So, yes, 29 FPS is over twice as fast as 13 FPS. Moron.

  • uknowme

    Sounds like they are on track to making something awesome! Fingers crossed.

  • SeanLumly

    So many android OEMs dropped the ball when they chose the Tegra 3. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an OK SoC, but the GPU is quite pathetic, especially when compared to an older Mali 400 MP4 in the Galaxy S2 that seems to have comparable performance in real-world GPU workloads.

    Samsung is the worst offender, though. Rather than putting effort into brining the game-changing Exynos 5250 to market in a product, they decided to produce a new SoC built on the Mali 400 which up the clock and shrink the process. I can appreciate that it was too early, but if not in the Galaxy S 3 then perhaps another premium product (note 2, or the Galaxy Tab 7.7 refresh). The T604 in the 5250 should yield a 3x GFLOPs on top of the already impressive Adreno 320 and any device with it would have taken the performance crown likely for around 1 year.

    To answer the original question, I would say that graphics are very important in that gaming is (allegedly) the largest revenue driver in stores like Google Play and the App Store.

    I’m losing faith in NVidia, but the Tegra 3 is much improved over the Tegra 2. If the Tegra 4 (due out early 2013) includes a unified shader and supports OpenGL ES3 and some much needed optimizations (wider bus, framebuffer bandwidth optimizations, better fragment elimination, etc), then perhaps it can contend more closely with today’s leading GPU performers. Tegra has a ton of catching up to do if NVidia plans to take the crown for mobile performance. I hope it just matches the other leaders: Adreno 320 and PowerVR 543 given a 4 month lag.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      It’s funny you say this because several Tegra 3 devices like the Nexus 7 produce the best gaming experience on Android.

      • kiki.utena

        Only if Nvidia coded the game for the developers as an exclusive Tegra zone item. If gaming becomes anymore device exclusive on android I’d consider other more fruitier offerings. Especially now they have a respectable screen size.

      • TruFactz

        I agree. IMO Nvidia literally makes a PlayStation 2-3 out of all it touches, Adreno 320 is an Xbox 360. Yes the 360 draws graphics faster, but PS3 makes it look a whooooole lot cooler. Think about it, if graphics keep getting drawn faster and faster, imagine how a racing game is gonna look? Its been that way since Xbox and the PS2, the Xbox had a processor that could draw the mess out some polys, (a good 125 million of them, says Microsoft) but compared to the PS2 (@ a mere 75 million polys), it NEVER stacked up. Why?, Because of the GPU architecture being so advanced in the PS2. The “Emotion Engine” could literally do anything the box could, yes maybe a little slower, but it ALWAYS looked better. Same goes for the 360 VS the PS3, look at PS3 specs alone, awesome GPU but low memory????? Who does that sound like?????????? Nvidia! They’ve mad the GPUs for the last two PlayStations, who always comes out on top of the comp…….no matter how slow they GPUs draw graphics????

      • SeanLumly

        As the owner of a Nexus 7, I can confirm that there are great games. I think this has more to do with the Tegra 3 wide spread adoption, the amazing marketing power of Nvidia, the stability and polish of JB, and the wonderful 7inch form factor, than the performance of the GPU. If you play some of the more advanced games (games that emphasize multiple shader effects) like real racing 2, Nova 3, and benchmarks like Glbenchmark 2.5, the tegra quickly shows its age and cannot reach a 30fps frame rate.

        Games like shadow gun use many tricks to look high end, and certainly mask the performance woes of slower GPUs (high res textures, baked lighting, LUTs, light probes, etc), and this works well, but next generation games may find it tough to display adequately on tegra 3 devices.

        My point in all of this is to say that despite the fun games, Tegra3′s graphic performance is behind other GPUs on the market. It’s now and old design that was very average when it was first released. An OEM that takes gaming seriously should push for better performing SoCs in their devices.

        Here’s hoping the Tegra 4 lives up to the hype.

      • SeanLumly

        To add a few games that the Tegra 3 GPU is having trouble running are:

        1) The Dark Knight. The Galaxy SIII has little trouble running the game smoothly at it’s native 720p resolution, but the Tegra 3 version displays noticeable choppy animation at a very similar 1280×800.

        2) Beach Buggy Blitz. It runs smoothly out of the gate, but that’s because vector unit has lowered the resolution specifically for this reason. If you go to maximum resolution, my Nexus 7 shows a dramatic decrease in frame rate.

        I have little doubt that the Tegra 3 will continue to find upcoming “console-quality” games challenging to render, certainly against juggernauts like the Adreno 320, the SGX543MPx, and the Mali T604+.

  • MyMilan

    Wow I can’t believe the LG is more than TWICE as fast as the samsung GSIII…. That didn’t last long. Out a month or two and already outdated.

    • Tony

      It’s not like it makes your GSIII any slower just by being released though :)

  • Ardrid

    While I have no doubt that Adreno 320 will be a powerhouse, the PowerVR line has continually proven to be top of the line in the mobile space. It wasn’t coincidence that led both Sony and Apple to utilize the SGX543 in their mobile devices (SGX543 MP2 in iPhone 4S, SGX543 MP4 in PSV & iPad 3, SGX543 MP3 in iPhone 5). It’ll be interesting to see how well Tegra competes against these two juggernauts, particularly since PowerVR Series 6 should be launching early next year.

  • Nathan D.

    If it better at the time it lunch and I can get it I want it. It doesn’t matter if it a small upgrade or not. However, I haven’t changed phones for years. So whatever I get will be a whole lot better than what I have now. Also want a phone that will get updates for an additional year at least if not 2 years.

    • Nathan D.

      Lol I put down lunch instead of launch.

  • jamal adam

    The dragon has finally come to play.

  • ali mahmut

    iphone5 best

  • nnnn

    slow and laggy os will suck with any graphic chips..

  • thechad

    It good to see things going in the right direction.

  • Galen20K

    Plus with Jellybean, its scores even HIGHER than the A6

  • MyMilan

    That’s just hearsay.

  • Failcomm Lamedreno GPU shows results. iPhone 5 smokes the competition.

  • kiki.utena

    Yeah and the iPhone is already out and twice as fast as the nearest released competitor.

    BTW I own an sgs2 and would love the new LG. Despite this some of the android sheep on here are as bad as apple fanbois

  • Dee

    yes but this wont come with dents/scratches as standard

  • Derek

    To be fair though, the A6 is only a 1 GHz dual core CPU. For it to score that high is amazing. And the battery life lasts for days and days with a 1400 mAH battery. Nothing on Android can even touch that. Razr Maxx has over 3000 mAH battery and doesnt even last 2 days.

  • vforvortex

    I guess Kimmel is satisfied with the reply. :) I was wondering about where i5 stacked up. Thanks for the added info.

    Lately i have been getting more in to games, so i would definetely enjoy a richer and smoother experience. Eagerly waiting to hear more Nexus rumors and keeping an eye out for that LG Optimus G.

  • Tony

    If by “smokes the competition” you mean barely grazes by the LG Optimus G with the Adreno 320 and the S4 Pro chipset, then sure.. you’re correct.

  • Si

    iPhone 5 is pretty much a beast, but there is still an Android device above it.

  • thel0nerang3r

    And that’s irrelevant. I can’t get an Android phone with the Apple chip, and I can’t get an iPhone with the Qualcomm chip either.