Jul 12 AT 10:09 PM Taylor Wimberly 64 Comments

Galaxy S lineup leads the pack in Android GPU benchmarks

When Samsung Mobile announced their Galaxy S lineup of Android phones, they claimed their new 1 GHz Hummingbird processor offered 3x faster graphics performance than any current smartphone. We wondered how they could reach this new level of power and later learned their custom 45nm Samsung chipset (S5PC110) contained a newer model PowerVR GPU.

If PowerVR sounds familiar that’s because its the same family of graphics processors found in Motorola’s Droid series (Droid, Droid X, and Droid 2). The only difference is that the Droids have the SGX530 and the Galaxy S lineup includes the SGX540, which offers “2x the sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core“.

We just got the AT&T Samsung Captivate unboxed so we wanted to put it to the test versus some popular Android handsets. For this round of benchmarks we will be comparing the Samsung Captivate, Motorola Droid, Droid X / 2, Nexus One, Droid Incredible, HTC EVO, and myTouch 3G Slide.

Android GPU Benchmarks

Galaxy S vs the competition.

Galaxy S vs the competition.

In the popular benchmark Neocore, the Samsung Captivate scores 55.8 fps which is 30 percent faster than the Droid X. The Samsung Captivate also takes home the best score in Nenamark and GLBenchmark Pro. The only test where it didn’t come out on top is the GLBenchmark HD, which I can’t explain.

Note that the myTouch 3G Slide is able to match the performance of some high end phones thanks to its lower display resolution (HVGA vs WVGA).

GLBenchmark 2.0

Even with FSAA, the Captivate outpaces the competition.

Next up we have the new GLBenchmark 2.0 suite, which has yet to be publicly released. This new GPU benchmark test the OpenGL ES 2.0 capabilities of the device and also measures performance with full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA), which helps help avoid aliasing (or “jaggies”) on full-screen images.

Here we can see the Samsung Captivate shine with these demanding benchmarks. The Captivate delivers the promised 2x-3x the GPU performance of the PowerVR SGX530 or the Adreno GPU core found in the Snapdragon phones (Nexus One, EVO, etc.). In the GLBenchmark PRO FSAA test, the Captivate offers nearly 6x the performance of the Snapdragon-powered Nexus One.


The AT&T Samsung Captivate (and the entire Galaxy S lineup) offers the best graphics performance of any smartphone. When you combine that with the Super AMOLED display and 6-axis accelerometer, you have the best portable gaming smartphone – period.

We also can’t forget the TV out functions of the Galaxy S lineup, which have survived from the international version, and are included with the AT&T Captivate. The video cable is sold separately, but for around $5 on Amazon you can pick one up and turn your Android phone into a  home console system. If you pair that with a Wii remote or other bluetooth controller, you have a pretty compelling game system that can easily fit in your pocket.

Look for the Galaxy S lineup to continue its lead till at least this holiday season. Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, and even Intel are all working on new smartphone chipsets and they hope to hit the market towards the end of this year.

Now if only we could get EA and Gameloft to take Android serious, we would have some mobile games that could compete with the iPhone 4 (believed to be SGX535 GPU). The Galaxy S is more than capable of running any game thrown at it, but there are not that many titles that push the system to its limits yet (except for the Gameloft HD titles that are not available on the Android Market).

Check back later this week for some hands on videos with some of the Gameloft HD titles running over the video out cable to a HDTV.

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

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Simon

    Great post :)
    very intuitive, and clear comparison.
    my favourite part is the: “…you have the best portable gaming smartphone — PERIOD” hehehe, i like that u left no place for argument…

    I also believe the Galaxy S is the best gaming smartphone, but the custom UI kills it for me.

    • http://Website Jay

      I agree, looks like a great phone but custom UI and Samsun’s history make me weary. But if my main concern is gaming, I’d be all over this.

      • http://Website Derek

        Yea, that touchwiz UI looks like garbage. Also, when dealing with samsung, you’ll never get software updates. They claim to be willing to go to 2.2 by year end. but what about gingerbread. If samsung does update to 2.2 you can bet the house you’ll never get the next release out of them.

        • http://Website keira

          Since it was still called the Galaxy S. I’ve been waiting for this. Samsung Vibrant Updates.

    • K-K

      UI ..well u could install cyanogen mod when its out ..and am sure it will come running to this power house .. and or install the launcher pro

    • http://Website jo

      the custom ui is indeed ugly and iphony, but you can switch to luncher-pro or adw luncher and remove the samsung widgets and you will have almost sock android ui … so no real killer for me like the locked bootload of the droix is …

  • http://www.mobilebrazzer.com Brazzers for Mobile

    Looks like we are getting closer and closer to the PlayStation in your pocket with every new Android device.

    I’d still like to see them start thinking about good controls.. like a nice dpad or something.

    But this is definitely cool

  • http://Website ObsceneJesster

    Maybe this will turn the non-believers into believers. I have been saying for the past 2 months that the Galaxy S will OWN the Nexus One, EVO and anything else sporting a out-dated, over-hyped chip named Snapdragon. While it beat the Droid X and Droid 2 it didn’t demolish it like it did the Nexus One. Also keep in mind, the Nexus One is running on 2.2 during the test. Imagine the Galaxy S running 2.2….HAHA it would have UTTERLY DESTROYED the Nexus.

    • mkrmec

      You’ve been saying?.. lol we already knew that Hummingbird will destroy N1 because it’s newer.. and the N1 wasn’t made for gaming and it’s 6 months old. The whole Snapdragon line of processors is NOT made for gaming.

      Now if Motorola used a OMAP series 4 processor in their droid X and droid 2.. they would OWN the Samsung Galaxy line… so it just comes down to what the phones are designed for.

      Even though Samsung phones have better hardware, they have CRAP support… I doubt you will be seeing Android 3.0 Gingerbread on these phones… Samsung will pop out some stupid excuse like they always do.

      • http://Website Squirrel

        But Motorola do not use the omap 4, thats the point. Everyone could say “if X would use Y, they would be faster”. But no other smartphone can beat the Galaxy S for now and the next months. Yes, we will get faster smartphones, even with omap 4. But there are already some news about the Galaxy i9200, which surely also will be a high end device, and maybe better than other again.

      • http://Website jay555

        Yeah, bear in mind that Samsung is moving forward with their Bada OS. They’ve never been big proponents of Android. I guess because they feel they’re losing business by outsourcing their software to Google. Anyhow, in a year they’ll likely be touting their new Super Advanced Bada phone and they’ll claim that they Galaxy can’t handle Gingerbread.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love this phone and 3D gaming is important to me but given Samsung’s lack of commitment to Android and their crappy UI, I have doubts about getting it. If only HTC would come out with equivalent hardware on their phones…

        • http://Website Camden

          Who cares about Samsung’s next phone! The Galaxy S variants are launching NOW. One of the beauties of the Android platform is that there are multiple vendors supporting it! You are not held captive to the whims of one device manufacturer. It Samsung can’t follow up with an equally impressive 3.0 device, I’ll be more than happy to give my money to one of their competitors.

          I really don’t see what future phones that Samsung may or may not release down the road have to do with the performance of the Galaxy S variants hitting the streets in the next few weeks?

      • http://Website jf79

        No Smart phone was “designed” with gaming in mind. They just get better CPU/GPUs, making games run better on them.

        And the Snapdragon and Hummingbird CPU’s are based off the same A8 Cortex cores, it’s just that the Hummingbird CPU was tweaked and optimized better.

        • http://Website GnillGnoll

          Qualcomm’s Scorpion CPU which is being used in Snapdragon SoCs is *not* based on Cortex-A8, it only shares the same ARMv7 instruction set which makes them compatible.

  • http://Website len

    Whats the point of having the best gpu if you cant make a call or drop calls on a subpar network? Lol

    • http://Website ari-free

      fortunately galaxy is on every carrier

  • http://Website Terran

    Does att give you the option of uninstalling some of the preloaded applications?

    • http://Website len

      Probably not…and you prob cant install apps unless from the market like previous android phones on their network…

      • http://Website ObsceneJesster

        I don’t think the point of the post is about this particular model on the ATT network. All of the Galaxy S models on all 4 networks will perform the same. In the end, the point of the post was to show that the Galaxy S line blows everything else out of the water when it comes to 3D performance.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      You can install apps using with ADB and command lind, but you are unable to uninstall the preloaded apps. They give you 2 GB of the internal 16 GB for app storage and Android 2.2 is coming soon (apps installed to sdcard) so it’s no big deal right now.

      • mkrmec

        Doubt 2.2 is coming soon… end of the year… Ginger will be out by then.. lol

        • http://Website Squirrel

          Samsung said that 2.2 will be ready in early august, at least for asia. Yes, that is really soon. Believe it or not, Samsung is not that bad as you wish it.

          • http://Website Derek

            No, they said at the release event 2.2 by year’s end. This was coming straight from samsung, not a rumor.

            Motorola said 2.2 for droid X by end of summer.

          • http://Website Drew

            Ha! I’ve got a behold 2. I DO know how bad Scamsung is, period.

          • http://Website Bschwartz40

            Thats great Drew!! I too have a Behold 2 and frankly I don’t care what people say, i’m Getting a Vibrant. And also, everyone talking about Android 3.0 just needs to be quiet. It wont be out for another 4-6 months and even 2.2 hasn’t been pushed to most devices yet, so quit your whining about updates. Samsung Officially announced that 2.2 would come to the Galaxy S phones, and they do NOT want to screw up as they did with the Behold 2. These phones have a lot going for them so I would be surprised to not see an update to 3.0.

      • http://www.youtube.com/droiddoc97 khuram

        can u plz check if the wiimote controller works, when u make ur next video. im thinnkin of getting the droid x, but if u can do this ill wait for the epic 4g. thanks!

  • http://Website David_in_Florida

    Wow! Those results are very impressive. I may have to consider this phone when it’s time to upgrade.

  • mkrmec

    I still don’t get why didn’t Motorola use the OMAP series 4 CPUs?.. they would nuke down the stupid Samsung iPhone clones…

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I don’t think OMAP4 is ready yet. I expect we will see these from Motorola by the end of the year. OMAP4 has the same PowerVR SGX540 by the way, but it has a faster dual-CPU Cortex-A9 core.

      • mkrmec

        Yep I know it has the same 540 GPU.. but it’s faster anyway because of the Cortex A9 architecture, saves more power etc…

        It’s only the matter of time, Samsung will screw people up again and that’s that… no Ginger for Samsung ppl :D hehe probably

        • http://Website ari-free

          “It’s only the matter of time, Samsung will screw people up again and that’s that”

          you mean like capping fps or locking the bootloader like HTC or Motorola?

          • mkrmec

            Noooo… like ENCRYPTING damn radio of the phone so that people have to work like idiots to port new version of Android… everybody is locking the bootloader what’s up the the 30fps with EVO I have no idea.. I wouldn’t buy a HTC branded phone anyway.. N1 and it’s openness RULES and no Samsung phone will be better in that way.

  • http://n/a Matt

    I knew this would be a smokin’ celly. and I going to have the best of the bunch, my carrier is Sprint. and I have a moment now, couldn’t get with a s/w keyboard, that the EVO has. so I am going to have braggin rights over my co-worker…lol. and he has both the evo and moment. and 2 lines. Craig G. and he says he’s get the EPIC also. I knew something would be better if I had just waited. and I am lookin forward to what the 2gb pross. will do.

    don’t hate on my carrier, cause I sure ain’t gonna hate on yours, and my city is lining up the 4G in Cleveland.

  • http://n/a Matt

    @ mkrmec anything over 3.5 in is suspose to get Ginger. and that is why I am getting a 4 incher. to be sure I make the grade. . . . . . . lol

    • mkrmec

      Do you NOT read this site? Look up how many Samsung phones actualy got upgraded… lol irony.. the old Galaxy from Samsung is at 1.6…. I’m not saying it won’t get it.. I’m saying it COULD not get it, because Samsung has the worst rep. for upgrades support etc..

      • http://n/a Matt

        oh ok got’cha, guess it’ll be time for a lil rootin……lol

  • http://Website ari-free

    specs will always get better but the Epic is exciting because I can get all this performance AND a 5 row keyboard

  • http://Website Randy

    With any luck, we’ll see 2.2 on the Galaxy S phones soon… already almost a million sold worldwide: http://briefmobile.com/galaxy-s-still-selling-well

    They expect ten million sold!!

  • http://Website *d.*

    I love you for using the correct ’till.’

  • http://Website Kyle

    Im not sure why people are thinking samsung wont upgrade this phone. Unlike previous android samsungs this one is a beast and is going to be their huge flagship device for awhile. Updates will come until the phone simply doesnt have the hardware for it. This is a brand new android player and I personally believe they wont let people down

  • http://Website Chancy

    All these “high end” stats will NEVER mean anything until Android becomes a viable gaming platform. I’m a complete Android supporter but the games on it can’t even smell iPhone’s butt. Time for Google to stop messing around with Apple and put multitouch STANDARD on ALL devices. Encourage Android gaming development and manufacturers need to turn out devices with at least the MINIMUM hardware to run these games.

  • http://Website Stylus

    Why isn’t x10 present in the benchmark tests? Because it does better than nexus one.

    • http://Website LostMyNutsToMeWife

      That’s because nobody has that device.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Xperia X10 is the same 1 GHz Snapdragon platform as the Nexus, but it’s only running Android 1.6. The X10 is not faster than the Nexus One.

  • http://Website Inspiron41

    they making great progress with these android phones since the beginning of the year. I’m a nexus one owner and i love hearing what manufactures are developing. makes me eager to update my nexus in 1-2 years :)

  • http://Website chip chipperson

    The problem is that the galaxy S is trying too hard to look like a last generation iphone.
    from the case (with exception of the att version that looks like a bb storm.)

    Even the crappy touchwiz ui looks like a typical fake iphone copy from china.

    The Sprint Epic 4g is decent looking, but its on sprint, and Sprint coverage stinks worse than ATT.

    Droid X for me on Friday., the droid x build quality is amazing, its like a tank, and encrypted bootloader or not, the phone will be rooted and I can get enough done with just root.

  • K-K

    you made my day ..

  • http://Website Hussam

    is it possible to download applications from unknown sources besides the market ??
    if not, is it possible to root it ?? is it going to be possible to download from unknown sources in the future ??

    • http://Website SGS

      Possible without root, straight out of the box (well you do need to check a box in settings).

  • http://Website TS75

    What game was that you were playing? Would appreciate if you can let us know.

  • http://Website geololj

    Ok, but… where are the great games to run on it? :/

  • http://Website Spencer

    What about quadrant??? On that the droid x has like double the score of the galaxy s. And you say that “you have the best portable gaming smartphone — period”, but thats an opinion…you can’t just say its the best. For example I much prefer the droid x just because of how freakin huge the screen is. I am not saying it is the best, no one can, it is an opinion.

    • http://Website ObsceneJesster

      Saying this phone is the best when it comes to gaming is not a opinion. It’s a stone cold fact. Don’t you see the bench-marks? Saying a 4in. display is better than a 4.3in. display is a opinion since some people prefer different sizes. Theres a reason why the Galaxy S is better than the Droid X for gaming. It’s because it has a upgraded GPU. By saying the Droid X is better for gaming is just like saying the ATI 9600 was better than the ATI 9800.

      Just because you prefer the Droid X doesn’t mean it’s a better phone. PERIOD!

  • http://Website Mario

    I’m new to the whole android thing. (Even touchscreen). But I hear that AT&T doesn’t allow its users to download “out of market” apps. I understand that it basically means if it’s not in the android market that you can’t get it. But what I would like to know is what’s the benefit of being able to download out of market apps? Is there a benefit? Are they much better or do they have many more options?

    Thanks in advance

    • http://Website scril

      Its about the FREEDOM to put what applications YOU want on YOUR phone. Sometimes you can get access to beta programs before they are released, like the swype keyboard that I could def not live without. And some applications just don’t ever make it to the market. I use chrome to phone every day but you cant get it from the android market…yet.

  • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

    We still haven’t answered exactly how Samsung has accomplished this feat. The SGX540 itself isn’t a 90 MTPS GPU… unless it was massively overclocked or a severe bottleneck was removed (probably memory bandwidth.)

    I really hope to see a SoC diagram for Hummingbird one of these days that includes GPU details.

    • http://Website ObsceneJesster

      I read your blog a while back when you were speaking of the Hummingbird and OMAP CPU’s…I know you know what your talking about so I would like you get your opinion on the matter. Are you surprised at these findings or were they on PAR with what you thought?

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        I always thought the Hummingbird GPU was faster than the new OMAP3640 because SGX540 > SGX530. The jury is still out on overall CPU performance, but they look to be on par with each other.

  • http://Website Machika Kara Kuro

    Will you give us some “Linpack” Bench marks its in the android market place.

  • http://Website Pika007

    You can go look at some results in the greenecomputing site.

    Droid X gets around 8.35mflops at avarage, Galaxy S around 8.45
    I have a galaxy s, linpack varies between 8.4 to 8.52 mflops.
    So cpu-wise, the droid x and galaxy s are really head-to-head (not suprising, two Arm Cortex A8′s at 1Ghz and 45nm), GPU-wise…. SGX540 in ths Galaxy S blows the Droid X’s SGX530 out of the water.

  • http://Website deodrus

    The benchmark animation lasted 113 seconds. Therefore, 2388 frames rendered in total means that it roughly ran at about 21.13 frames/sec.

  • http://Website GnillGnoll

    “The only test where it didn’t come out on top is the GLBenchmark HD, which I can’t explain.”

    The framerate on the Galaxy S is limited to its screen refresh rate, which is ~55.8 Hz. It’s easy to see that both Neocore and GLBenchmark HD hit that limit

  • http://Website Android and You

    Galaxy phones are capped at 56FPS. That’s why it can’t beat other devices on GLBenchmark HD. Neocore and GLBenchmark HD should be higher.