By the good grace of Moore’s Law, we are greeted with more and more impressive hardware every spring. The jump from the original Galaxy S series to the Galaxy S II yielded a doubling of cores, and the best GPU in its class. Will Samsung be able to outdo themselves this year and set the bar even higher than before? Let’s take a look at the numbers and find out.
First lets get some background about the new Exynos 4 Quad SoC. The latest evolution of the Exynos SoC is built upon Samsung’s new 32nm high-l + metal gate LP process–in layman’s terms, this results in increased performance at lower power consumption. Another new feature of the Exynos Quad is the active power saving design; rather than use a 5th low powered core to divert low resource tasks (a la Tegra 3), each of the cores can run at independent voltages and frequencies.
Now one of the primary concerns I expressed since the initial leak of the Exynos Quad was whether the Mali-400 GPU–which is a last gen bit–would be able to keep up with the 1280×720 display (240% more pixels than the GS2’s 480×800 display). Have my fears subsided? Let’s just say the latest benchmark results are very promising:
As you can see, the FPS is limited to the 60Hz v-sync, however with that limitation removed…
I don’t swear by benchmarks but they are at least somewhat representative of relative real world performance, and judging by these, we can safely assume that the Galaxy S III is going to have a safe lead over a majority–if not all–of the competition. The iPhone’s PowerVR SGX 543MP2 has set the gold standard for mobile GPU performance, besting Android GPU benchmarks since it debuted on Apple’s iPad 2, and even that proves to be no match for the beefed up Mali-400 of the Galaxy S III. What surprised me the most of all these results was the handy beatdown the Galaxy S III gave to the HTC One X in both the Browsermawk and GLBenchmark tests.
Will nVidia’s Tegra 3 platform be bested another year by Samsung’s Exynos SoC? A large part of the Galaxy S II’s success in the past year was due to its Exynos chipset dominance in comparison to the Snapdragon S3, OMAP 4430 and Tegra 2 platforms. This year’s Galaxy S certainly seems to have the performance to carry another year of successful sales, but how will consumer’s react to Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX.