Tag Archives: Benchmarks

Samsung Galaxy S4 Exynos 5 Octa Benchmark Scores And Initial Hands-On Impressions

The Galaxy S4 is now available in nearly every major market(s) of the world. However, most of the major markets, including the United States are getting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 powered Galaxy S4, and not the Exynos powered one. The Exynos 5410 powered Galaxy S4 is an interesting handset since it is the first mobile device ever to make use of ARM’s big.LITTLE technology. The Exynos 5410 consists of four ARM-A15 cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and four low-powered Cortex-A7 cores.

The basic idea behind ARM’s big.LITTLE technology is that for general usage the handset uses the low-power consuming Cortex A7 cores, thus saving battery life. It is only when the user runs an intensive game, benchmark, browses a heavy website or when the device is under heavy load that the ARM-A15 cores switch themselves on to provide the performance boost. Samsung is only releasing the Exynos 5410 powered Galaxy S4 in non-LTE network markets, since the Exynos powered SGS4 does not support LTE networks.

I managed to spend some time with the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4, and also managed to run some of the most popular benchmarks on the phone.

Benchmarks

The first benchmark I ran was the recently released 3D Mark for Android. I ran the Ice Storm test, and the results were pretty surprising. The Exynos powered Galaxy S4 managed to score 9439 points, which is lower than that of the Nexus 4. However, I won’t consider 3D Mark to be accurate, since according to them the Xperia SP — a dual core Snapdragon Krait phone – manages to beat the Exynos 5 Octa variant of the Galaxy S4.

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Next, I ran AnTuTu where the Galaxy S4 managed to score 25346 points.

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I then ran the popular and, arguably, one of the best benchmarks apps available on the Android platform – GLBenchmark. In each and every benchmark, the PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU inside the Galaxy S4 flexed its muscle and came out on top. The Galaxy S4 managed to beat the HTC One, Nexus 10, Nexus 4 and even the iPhone 5.

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You can compare the Galaxy S4 scores with other phones from AnandTech’s HTC One GPU performance review page.

Here is how the Galaxy S4 performs in browser based benchmarks like SunSpider and Google’s Octane benchmark. I ran both the benchmarks on the stock Samsung browser as well as on the latest stable version of Chrome.

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Google Octane scores -:

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For comparison sake, my Nexus 4 scores 1297ms on the SunSpider benchmark on the AOSP browser, and around 1500 points in the Octane benchmark. On the other hand, the HTC One scores 1110ms, and the iPhone 5 scores 908ms in the SunSpider benchmark. In the Google Octane benchmark, the HTC One (using the Chrome browser) scores 2032 points, and surprisingly, the Nexus 10 scores a whopping 3784 beating the Galaxy S4 by a huge margin. The huge difference in points can be attributed to the thermal restrictions of both the devices.

Initial Hands-On Impression

The first thing that will strike you about the Galaxy S4 is the screen-to-bezel ratio. Samsung has done a commendable job in fitting a 5-inch screen inside a phone whose dimensions are the same as its predecessor. The Super AMOLED HD screen on the Galaxy S4 is also much brighter than the display found on the Galaxy Note 2 and S3.

What kills the excellent hardware of Galaxy S4 is TouchWIZ. TouchWIZ on the Galaxy S2 was decent enough with good usability features. On the Galaxy S3, TouchWIZ felt slightly bloated, and on the Galaxy S4, Samsung has taken the meaning of bloat to a whole new level. The new re-organized Settings menu is simply terrible and just confuses the user. All the new S-features are nothing but a gimmick as well.

All these bloat does show its negative side as well. In day-to-day usage, you will actually find the Nexus 4 smoother than the Galaxy S4. For example, the browser switching animation/process on the Galaxy S4 is terribly slow, and by the time the browser tab window opened in the S4, I had opened two new tabs on my Nexus 4. I had used a pre-production HTC One back in mid-March and never did the device lag once. The Galaxy S4, even with a much faster and arguably superior chipset, and the final retail software, lags in some places and this is downright unacceptable.

AOSP Browser On Nexus 4 Benchmarked; Performs Faster Than Chrome

The Nexus 4 is the first Nexus handset from Google to pack top-of-the-line specs. The handset sports the absolute fastest mobile SoC available at the moment, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

However, even with such high-end specs, the Nexus 4 performs poorly in benchmarks. Many reviewers blamed this on apps and benchmarks not optimized for Android 4.2. In browser based benchmarks, the Nexus 4 performs poorly mainly because of the new stock browser in Android 4.2 — Chrome — which is not as optimized as the AOSP browser was.

Android users have a love-hate relationship with Chrome. For some the browser is super smooth, while on some devices it lags horribly. While Chrome is very smooth on the Nexus 4, I still prefer the stock AOSP browser, and hence, installed a custom ROM which includes the AOSP browser.

While most people will be content with Chrome’s performance on the Nexus 4, I actually wanted to see how the AOSP browser performs on the Nexus 4. So, how does the AOSP browser perform on the Nexus 4 compared to Chrome?

I will let the screenshots below do the talking -:

Chrome on the Nexus 4 scores roughly 1857 in SunSpider, 1272 in Octane, and 23191 in Kraken. Head over to AnandTech’s Nexus 4 review if you want to compare N4’s AOSP browser performance with other devices. The Nexus 4 with the AOSP browser comes pretty close to the iPhone 5 in browser based benchmarks.

Theoretically, the AOSP browser should load pages faster on the Nexus 4. In real world usage, the scenario remains the same. The AOSP browser definitely loads the pages faster, but the difference in speed is not very noticeable. On heavier sites like The Verge, the AOSP browser is super-smooth while Chrome definitely lags a bit especially when panning or during pinch-to-zoom.

Samsung Galaxy S3 GPU Benchmark Leaks; Absolutely Trumps Its Competition!

As the Galaxy S III unveiling date is coming closer, so are the rumors getting thick. Today’s rumor is about the GPU performance of the Galaxy S III.

The folks over at Phone Arena found the benchmark scores of the Galaxy S III GPU on GLBenchmark left by an unknown tester. The benchmark scores of the handset absolutely blow its competition out of the water. This includes NVidia’s Tegra 3 and Qualcomm’s S4, two of the biggest competition to the next Exynos SoC. The handset even managed to beat the iPhone 4S PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU in quite a few handsets as well.

It is still unknown as to what GPU the SGS3 will use, but rumors indicate the Exynos 4412 SoC will pack in the same ARM Mali-400MP GPU as found in the Galaxy S2, except that it will be clocked higher. This higher clock speed will lead to about a 50% performance boost, on paper at least! Considering the Galaxy S III used in the benchmarks is still a prototype unit, there is a very high possibility that the retail device will perform even better!

Readers interested in checking out the benchmark scores should head over to Phone Arena for the appropriate screenshots.

 

Firefox 4 RC Review

Update: Some sections of this article have been modified from their original form

The Release Candidate for Firefox 4 has been out for a few days now and I decided to put it through the paces. Though there wouldn’t me much to write about since my Firefox 4 Beta review, there are definitely some speed tests and other things I have done to compare it with other offerings available today.

UI Changes

As I had mentioned in my beta review, the user interface for 4 is completely different from earlier versions. It is similar to what other browser look like including Internet Explorer 9, and .

Firefox 4 User Interface

This is definitely good because users will have a unified experience across multiple browsers. Firefox 4 has combined all the menu items into a single menu item. However, individual menu items are available when you press the Alt key.

Firefox 4 though hasn’t gotten rid of the search box and continues to use it for dedicated searches. However, you can still use the address bar to perform searches.

More New Features

Other than these, Firefox 4 also has a new tab manager which allows you to manage open tabs. A new add-on manager, a new feature where you can search the address bar and switch to an open tab and more integration. I had covered all of these in my earlier Firefox 4 review so I would not want to repeat them again.

Firefox 4 RC Benchmark – How it Stacks Up?

Coming to my favorite part in this review, I ran a couple of benchmarks on Firefox 4 RC to understand how it stacked up against the several other browsers I use. These benchmarks were run on a hot instance of all the included browsers (the browsers were already open once before running the tests).

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Sadly, the tests did not backup Firefox 4 here. Firefox 4 was rated the second lowest in the Peacemaker tests after Safari of course. Way below Internet Explorer 9. By the way that Safari 4.0.4 is actually Google Chrome 12, somehow it identifies it wrong. I have made sure to make it apparent in the test results image too.

The winner of course was Opera 11.10 which is still in alpha stage and Google Chrome 12 which will be released soon. It goes to show where Mozilla’s efforts are.

Firefox 4 Acid Tests

Firefox 3 RC fared worse in their Acid3 tests than the beta versions. This was not unexpected, but I have hardly seen any browser go higher that this.

Of course, Firefox 4 might have higher ratings elsewhere, but this is definitely not something I would want to see Firefox 4 in the ratings. Alas, we can’t get everything we want can we?

Summarizing

Firefox 4 is a huge leap for Mozilla, it makes a lot of UI changes which will be unacceptable to many users so you can expect a lot of backlash when this goes live However, it is a move in the right direction and will pay off in the end.

However, there are quite a few things which lack in Firefox 4 and were supposed to be in Firefox 3.5. Do feel free to talk about your thoughts out here, in fact I would be very appreciative if you could share your benchmarks of different browsers too.

Redundant Section

This part of the article is redundant and it might have been a bug in my profile, please disregard it. You can click here to see this section.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 Review

Firefox 4 Beta 1 was released earlier today. The newer version of Firefox from Mozilla is definitely better than Firefox 3.6 and is definitely worth trying out. Firefox 4 runs on the Gecko 2.0 web platform. Earlier today I downloaded Firefox 4 and put it through some drills, here is a review of Firefox 4 Beta 1 where you can find the new features and also the how Firefox 4 fares against other browsers in web browser benchmarks.

New User Interface

Firefox 4 New User Interface

Firefox 4 sports a completely different interface, some of which are from and . Firefox 4 has some new buttons and also a unified menu which is similar to the one Opera 10.6 has. In addition to that the tabs also default to the top which is similar to Google Chrome.

However, the menu bar is initially hidden and users can unhide it to go back to the older navigation found in Firefox 3.6 and below.

Firefox 4 Bookmarks menu

Firefox 4 also has a new bookmark button giving users easy access to their bookmarks with one click. You can find and navigate through all your bookmarks and folders using the bookmark button next to the search box.

New Add-ons Manager

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Firefox 4 sports a new add-ons manager which integrates into the browser. However, the interface is still under construction and you cannot use the add-ons manager to browse and install add-ons yet. However, it is definitely much better than the earlier version and also has some new developer tools.

Mozilla also says that the add-ons manager UI will be changed before the final release, so don’t start falling in love with it yet.

Search and Switch to Open Tabs

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Firefox 4 also has a hidden gem in the smart location bar, which will allow you to switch to an open URL by typing in the URL or searching for the title of the page. The feature is very handy if you have several open tabs and want to switch to it without navigating through all the tabs.

When you want to switch to an open tab, just start typing the URL or the title of the page and you will be shown an option to Switch to that open tab. Pretty neat.

Windows 7 Integration

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Firefox 4 tightly integrates into by having tab previews and Jumplists. Using the tab previews you can easily preview all open tabs. In addition to that the jumplists allows you to quickly perform tasks and open frequently opened URLs.

Native HTML5 WebM Videos Support

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Firefox 4 has native support for WebM videos. WebM is an open source royalty free codec for HTML5 videos which is an alternative to H.264 and Theora codes (Learn more about WebM). In my tests HTML5 videos works pretty good on .

Speed and Other Benchmarks

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Firefox 4 is definitely much more lighter and faster than Firefox 3.6 and it uses much less memory than the earlier versions. However, Firefox 4 is not yet the fastest browser and it was beaten by both Google Chrome 6 (dev) and Opera 10.60 in the Peacekeeper benchmarks I ran.

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Firefox also failed the Acid 3 test, but the results were far better than Firefox 3.6. This shows a lot of improvements being done under the hood. Firefox 4 was also slower than in the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark  and way too slow in the V8 benchmarks I ran (screenshots coming shortly).

Other Features

Firefox 4 also has Crash protection for Flash, QuickTime and other plugins, however, this was introduced in Firefox 3.6. Firefox 4 also has a HTML5 parser which allows you to run the latest apps, support for WebSockets for real-time online interactions like chatting and gaming and IndexedDB which will allow users to use offline storage.

If you have not yet downloaded Firefox 4 Beta 1, you can do it from here or visit this blog post on Mozilla to find out all the latest features available in Firefox 4.

Filesystem Deathmatch: Ext4 Benchmarked Against Brtfs And Reiser4

Awhile back we had mentioned about Google committing to use of Ext4 as the filesystem for their servers. Google Senior Engineer Michael Rubin had explained that after a   lot of performance testing of the available filesystems, they came to a conclusion that ext4 was best suited to their needs.

Well, Phoronix conducted few tests of their own, pitting Ext4 against Reiser4, Brtfs and the original ReiserFS. They used their inhouse Phoronix test suite with the SQLite, Compile Bench, and IOzone tests, on an Intel Core i3 530 processor operating at 3.31GHz, an ECS Elitegroup H55H-M motherboard, 2GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD.

The results made up for an interesting analysis. Reiser4 was the fastest performing file system in 5 of the 7 tests. Brtfs was pretty fast, and Ext4 couldn’t perform as well as either ReiserFS or Brtfs, with the orignal ReiserFS trailing the pack. Given that that Google would’ve done lot more tests than Phoronix might have, it is prudent to assume that Google believes that the performance benefits gained by the transition to Reiser4 or Brtfs would be negligible, especially considering that the fact that Ext4 is backward compatible with Ext2.