Apr 02 AT 3:25 PM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

Top Android devices go head to head in new 3DMark


The world’s most popular performance benchmark has finally come to Android. Today Futuremark released 3DMark to the Google Play store, and the latest test allows you to compare results across different operating systems. The new 3DMark is currently available for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Android (version 3.1 and up). Soon it will be rleeased for iOS and Windows RT. We have a bunch of Android devices laying around, so we decided to see how they stack up.

The Devices

  • Nexus 4: Android 4.2.2, Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, Adreno 320 GPU, 2 GB RAM
  • Nexus 7: Android 4.2.2, Tegra 3 CPU, GeForce GPU, 1 GB RAM
  • Nexus 10: Android 4.2.2, Exynos 5 Dual CPU, Mali-T604 GPU, 2 GB RAM
  • HTC One: Android 4.1.2, Snapdragon 600 CPU, Adreno 320 GPU, 2 GB RAM

Futuremark claims that 3DMark is compatible with more than 1,000 different Android devices, but we decided to focus on the Nexus devices and the new HTC One. We attempted to run the benchmark on some older devices like the Galaxy Nexus and HTC One X, but we could not get all the tests to complete.

All devices were running unmodified software. Each device was fully charged and then rebooted before each test. We closed all background apps to ensure nothing would interfere with the results. Finally, all devices were benchmarked in the freezer to eliminate any thermal throttling (do not attempt this at home).

The Results



3DMark provides two different tests for Android devices. Ice Storm includes two graphics tests designed to stress the GPU (run at 720p resolution), and a physics test to stress CPU performance. Ice Storm Extreme bumps up the graphics tests to 1080p resolution and uses higher quality textures and post-processing effects.

Drive-by Conclusions

Qualcomm has historically been weak in the mobile GPU department, but their new Adreno 320 is the fastest GPU shipping in any Android devices right now. That could change in a couple months with NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 and its 72-core GPU, but Qualcomm holds the performance crown for the moment.

I also found the results of the HTC One and LG Nexus 4 interesting. Both devices feature a similar Qualcomm chip with the same Adreno 320 GPU, but the HTC One has the slightly newer Krait 300 CPU core. 3DMark is primarily a graphics test, but it also factors in CPU performance into the overall score. Neither device was running the same version of Android, so it’s hard to do a direct comparison of the results.

The real takeaway here is that the Nexus 4, sold for $299, can deliver similar performance to the HTC One, which will retail for $600-650 off contract.

The Nexus 10 features the brand new Exynos 5 Dual with ARM’s latest Cortex-A15 CPU core, but the ARM Mali-T604 GPU falls behind the competition. This could explain why Samsung dumped the ARM GPU architecture in their new Exynos 5 Octa and went with a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU instead. We can’t wait to get our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Exynos 5 Octa to see how it compares.

Finally we can see that the Tegra 3 inside the Nexus 7 is starting to show its age. NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 chip is over two years old and the Nexus 7 sells for $199, so we don’t exactly expect it to compete with the latest and greatest chips that are coming out this year. NVIDIA should be able to gain the lead with their new Tegra 4, but we will have to wait a couple more months to see the first devices, like Project Shield, start shipping.

Overall, I like what I am seeing from the first release of 3DMark. It is nice to finally have a test that will allow us to compare results across multiple operating systems. The benchmark is well designed, and it lets you know if your device results are normal, below, or above the average of other users. We also appreciate the Device Channel browser that lets you compare your results with other mobile devices.

Benchmark Your Own Devices

Want to see how your Android smartphone or tablet measures up? Grab 3DMark from the Google Play link below and share your results in the comments below.


Via: Futuremark Press Release

Source: 3DMark

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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  • SGB101

    Note2 2521

  • silvio000

    11087 first time on Asus Padfone 2

  • Deon Davis

    The S4 pro/600 is a beast! It takes the 1st half of 2013 by default for the us market at least. The jury is still out on the octacore cpu. The 2nd half will be against the Snapdragon 800 vs Tegra 4!

  • Chris .

    Two years ago this may have been quite useful!

    Current generation chipsets are now so powerful that going further is total overkill unless you are going to ditch the mobile os & try to shoehorn a desktop os on the device instead.

    Honestly the Android space is starting to strongly resemble the PC space where an OCD obsession with benchmark numbers lost all meaning long long ago.

    I have a Nexus 7 here for evaluation. It _easily_ handles _any_thing_ we can throw at it. These benchmark numbers are just meaningless in the real world and should not be used to judge a device for real world use.

    Thanks for posting this, it confirms my belief that there is no need to worry about specs when looking to purchase a new Android device now.

    • Ryan O

      I have a Samsung Galaxy SII and it lags out while playing on high graphic games like Real Racing 3. The reason they have such high GPU speeds is to allow things like AR to be practical without being slow and clunky. Also, the increase in developer interest in high graphic Android games will further drive the need for faster CPUs/GPUs. Try Real Racing 3, do a cup race (which has 22 cars in the race), and you’ll see the lag even with the Tegra 3 processor.

      • Stongy

        Well, your galaxy S2 (like my s2) is becoming quite old in the tooth. It was , not two years ago, a great and powerful phone, but as apps improved the need for better SoCs rose.

        The current batch of hardware is indeed quite over powered, but IMHO this is just until devs figure out what to do with all that hardware.

      • SGB101

        The note2 can lag in the cup races. I spent most of easter weekend on that game.

    • http://whysoangrybirds.com mikeyDroid

      I could only assume this means you’re not too meticulous about phone performance. They’re far from handling anything thrown at them. Especially when they need to power to overcome poor programming.

  • alexanderharri3

    ASUS Transformer Prime was the first Tegra 3 device in November 2011 – 1.5 years at most old is Tegra 3 in terms of it’s-actually-in-something time. Of course performance isn’t everything if you don’t count things like ASUS’ abysmal flash memory that slows everything to a crawl. Processor and GPU are just one big piece.

  • HeadDoc

    I am more concerned with real-world performance than benchmarks.

  • Matt


    Well my nexus 4 scored higher than HTC one… I’m happy with that :-)

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      My high score on the HTC One is 11434.

  • irishrally

    The N10 has like a sweet screen and like pixels and stuffs though. Like.

  • donger

    Go HTC One!

  • Derek

    Wow, Tegra 3 sucks!!

  • Nathan D.

    But the htc one has a way better camera.

    • Dirge

      Eh, I haven’t been impressed with what I’ve seen of the One’s Ultrapixel camera. Shots look very soft, and at times, noisy. The sharpness found in other 8-13mp smartphone cameras just isn’t there, in my opinion.

      On-topic: My Nexus 4 got 10k+ on the first test, and 6k+ on extreme.

  • cobrah

    my new galaxy s4 scored 11.5 on performance test in 3d mark:) its beast