Dec 21 AT 7:33 PM Taylor Wimberly 44 Comments

Nexus S GPU benchmarks, significant improvements over Nexus One

Do smartphone benchmarks even matter? A lot of people would say “Nope” and I would agree with some, but we still like to run them every time a new version of Android is released or when a new processor hits the market. This last week Google launched the Nexus S with Android 2.3, so we ran it through some GPU benchmarks to see how it stacked up. Results are after the jump.

GLBenchmark 2.0

After several months in testing, GLBenchmark 2.0 is finally available for anyone to download. This benchmark suite contains over 30 tests to measure OpenGL ES 2.0 performance. We ran the Egypt and PRO tests (no FSAA) and the results were about what we expected.

The Nexus S offers the same performance as the Epic 4G (Galaxy S) because they are both based off the same Samsung Hummingbird processor, which features the PowerVR SGX540 GPU.

Note the huge performance increase of the Galaxy S phones over the original Nexus One. The first-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon found in the Nexus One is beginning to show its age and we have found that its Adreno 200 GPU is not able to keep up with most of the newer 3D games.


Next we ran An3DBench which is freely available in the Android Market. It runs a series of seven tests (from fill rate to complex scenes), then spits out a composite score at the end. The Nexus S came out on top, just in front of the Epic 4G.

3D Mark Mobile

We have tried 3DMarkMobile produced by Rightware in the past, but they just sent us a new build so we thought we should check it out. The scores we got this time were a lot different from last time and I’m not sure how reliable it is. The 3DMarkMobile benchmark is not publicly available, so I’m not sure if we will continue to keep using it.

This time the G2 with its 800 MHz second-gen Snapdragon and Adreno 205 GPU came out on top in the Taijii test and it was competitive in the Hoverjet test. The G2 normally falls behind the Galaxy S phones in other benchmarks, so I have no idea why it performs well in this one test.

For some reason the Nexus S actually scored lower than the Epic 4G, so you can see why I am hesitant to trust this benchmark yet.


When it comes to 3D games, I have not noticed any real difference in performance between the Nexus S and other Galaxy S phones. The PowerVR SGX540 is still the fastest GPU we have tested and it will continue to hold that belt until early next year when the first multi-core processors arrive.

If you go grab the GLBenchmark 2.0, please share your results for the Egypt and Pro tests (no FSAA) in the comments below.

Via: GLBenchmark

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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  • http://Website icebike

    Hmmm, I presume there will be some speed advantage for the newer processors.
    But I prefer to wait for Gingerbread on Nexus One before making charts and graphs.

    So should have you.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Gingerbread will not make your Nexus One play games any faster.

      • http://Website clark

        True….but i’d bet you anything gingerbread would, for some reason, give a significant boost to those numbers

        • http://Website Eli

          Really? The Epic 4g and the Nexus S have the same processor and they perform all but identically on these tests. This despite the fact that the S is running 2.3 while the Epic 4G is on 2.2.1. I think that’s suggestive of the limited/non existent effect that Gingerbread will have on the Nexus One’s GPU benchmark scores.

          • http://Website cleveland

            Can’t believe u took a troll seriousy…and those people who put thumbs up….and those who put thumbs down for clark..get a freakin

          • http://Website semajhan

            Get over it.
            Everything Eli said is true and only people like yourself would get dissappointed over what he/she said.
            Again, get over the thumb up/down and YOU go get a life >_>

      • http://Website Spencer

        What about the new garbage collector? I agree its probably not significant, but I thought they mentioned something about that.

  • http://Website rvs

    show mt4g benchmarks
    will make them all look bad

    • http://Website mvp

      I agree, I wanna see MT4G scores. I have owned many android phones (G1, MT3G, Nexus One, Epic 4G, Evo.) I bought a MT4G Friday after I found out the Nexus S wasn’t a 4G phone. I gotta say it is the fastest phone I owned even faster than the Epic 4G (to be fair I returned the epic after 3 days.)

      I think the my touch should of been the Nexus 2. I thought it was ugly in pics, and the white one is imo but when you see it in person and get a feel of it its one of if not the best phones on the market. And I’m gettin 10mbs on it. On my Evo I’m only getting 3mbs on 4G here in Kansas City.

      • http://Website Clark

        The MT4G is ugly, even in person. Sorry :/ I’m a T-Mobile customer, so I wanted to love it, trust me.

        • http://Website Mvp

          Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Any color besides the black one is bleh. The build quality is great, not plastic like samsung phones. And the best part about the phone is that it just flat out fast. In both performance and data. I can’t wait to get gingerbread on it.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      The MT4G has the same GPU as the G2. The CPU in the MT4G is 200 MHz faster, but GPU benchmarks from both phones are pretty similar.

      • http://Website Mvp

        True, luckily im not a big game player but it was one of the things i loved about the Epic. along with codac support and Super Amold screen. Samsung phones are great for games.

      • http://Website Darren

        So your saying a 25% increase in clock speed (CPU and GPU are integrated right?) doesn’t make any difference to these benchmarks? That’s surprising.

        • http://Website Darren


          * slinks away embarrassed *

      • http://Website Mvp

        Just ran the benchmark on my rooted MT4G running eVil-d Desire HD rom and overclocked to 1.49ghz. I got 2621 frames (23.2fps) on the Egypt test. 1215 frames (24.3fps) on the pro test.

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      Why? It has the same GPU as G2. These are GPU benchmarks.

  • http://Website matt

    i trust in benchmarks and i can tell you for shure that the nexus s is way faster in terms of cpu and gpu power but how realiable is quadrant? i know you used another benchmarking software but ive seen some inconsistencies with quadrant recently and am wondering how much i can really trust it.

    • Davids mom

      I wonder if gingerbread makes ANY diffrence in the benchmarks?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I don’t think Quadrant is very reliable. That is why I have stopped using it.

      • http://Website JohnB

        Can you try out the benchmark app called “Smartbench 2010″? Its new and it reports two numbers – productivity and games indices. Looks similar to Quadrant but the weighting system should be more up to date.

  • http://Website Mr. G2

    *Attention G2 Users* there is an app called “LED me know BETA” on the market it enables you to get the LED to blink green or amber and you can customize the trackpad at certain speed for sms, gmail, and other notification. Just wanted to pass the info. Thanks!

    • GRAW

      Would you kindly STFU?

      (BF:BC2 Vietnam referance ftw!)

    • http://Website semajhan

      Stop your advertising, thanks.

  • Davids mom

    I want a benchmark of all these phones on they’re best roms and tweaks(overclock,data2sd) and i want it to be with alot of benchmarking apps(linpack,quadrant PRO,nenamark,etc..)

  • http://Website Ichigo

    Yep, mytouch 4g outperforms all of the above and that’s a fact.

    • http://Website Joe

      No. That is an opinion, and a wrong one at that.

    • http://Website semajhan

      Can someone tell me how the mytouch series are selling?
      As far as I can tell, they suck and people who don’t know much about their choices on tmobile buy them.
      I have not seen a SINGLE MYTOUCH in person all my life.
      I’ve seen EVOs, DROIDs, DROID2s, N1s, INTERCEPTS, HEROs, DROIDXs, CLIQs, GALAXY S, hell even NEXUS S already.

      • http://Website Mvp

        The MT4G is a beast spec wise. 2nd gen 1ghz snap dragon, 4gb internal memory, 768mb of ram, HSPA+, front facing camera and a great screen. I’m sure my sense throws some people off, but a real android fan will tour it and put a custom rom on. I rooted mine and had CM6 on it within minutes of getting home.

        Also I get data speeds like this

        Compared to my evo that sucks the battery dry when I turn on 4G

  • Scotter

    Nexus S isn’t looking too much like a next-gen phone here.

    • http://Website tabs05

      I don’t think it was meant to be a next gen phone.More like next gen developer phone at most.I’ll most likely still buy it though to replace my N1 if they make an ATT band.

  • http://Website B

    So big improvement over a year old phone, but basically side by side with the Galaxy line, which will be dated in a couple months. Remind me again why Google went with Samsung, enjoy also couldn’t even include HSPA+ on board?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I think Google went with Samsung because of their supply chain and customer support. Same reason they selected Best Buy to sell it.

      • http://Website Jeffroid

        That is more like a marketing improvement over Nexus One, rather than an actual device improvement..

        Well, it’s just the gingerbread. Nexus One will get that anyway.

  • http://Website DaveC

    I’m not a gamer (I’ll play a little Angry Birds once in awhile) so what I’d like to know is how much difference would this make in browsing and video streaming?

    • http://Website Rol

      A lot if Google realized that in modern times GPUs are not just for gaming anymore. But from what I’ve seen the Galaxy S stock browsers still renders a medium complex page at just couple FPS(very choppy indeed). Fortunately Opera Mobile en Firefox (Fennec) are both trying to implement Opengl rendering in their browsers. But still, anything that’s visual and anything that’s animated should be handled by the GPU in a modern OS, Not only will it be smoother, it will safe battery and allow for higher resolutions so that sounds like something Honeycomb would wanna have.

      • http://Website semajhan

        Out of curiosity do browsers on pcs implement Opengl rendering in their browsers?

        • http://Website mikeymop

          Google Chrome Alpha buils, IE9, and Firefox 4 betas are all working to implement OpenGL and Direct2d in their browsers to enable GPU acceleration.

        • http://Website Lucian Armasu

          Chrome 9 beta has WebGL (OpenGL ES 2.0) enabled by default, and so does Firefox 4 Beta 7 I think.

  • Patrick

    Has anyone ran a Quadrant test on the Nexus S yet? I wonder how that compares to other devices…

    Regardless – these phones scream performance. And at the rate multi-core processors are developing its just going to get nuttier!

    Exciting times! #androidftw

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      Quadrant is a flawed benchmark tool.

  • kilgoretrout

    Won’t don’t you compare Nexus One running 2.3 to Nexus S?

  • http://Website mr.AVA

    ne kaif regitsya chtob skachat na nexus s

  • http://none —–D–Man—–

    Quadrant Standard score on full benchmark 1433 points on my nexus (its a killer phone)