Sunday 22 July 2012

Which Mobile Phone has a better Graphics Chip?

Ever since I made my mark as a app game blogger I've wanted a phone up to the job of whatever modern smartphone gaming could throw at it. So playing on some industry contacts , some forum advice and some other sources we're going to take a quick look at what Graphic Chips are hot in mobile phones today.
The Mobile world is moving at a great deal faster pace then traditional computing. Just a year ago I was quite impressed by the graphics capability of my Xperia Play ( Qualcomm's 1GHZ Snapdragon Process combined with an embedded Adreno 205 GPU was benchmarked to handle 60 FPS and all Xperia optimised games) Sadly even on release the phone was underpowered and the graphics chip could not handle DirectX very well , or at all.

Just over a year later and the premier Android handsets are the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X, both with the SnapDragon Qualcomm Processor and Adreno 225 GPU. 
Until game devs start churning out Gears of War for Android we're still left with the likes of the superb Shadowgun as an everyman's benchamrk test for mobile graphics. The Samsung S3 doesn't bat an eyelid.
Graphics Benchmarks for Samsung Galaxy S3
The Antutu benchmark test is often used to test a devices capabilities; it test Memory; Graphics and the Speed of a devices CPU: the Galaxy S3 scores over 12 thousand beating devices like the Asus Transformer Prime-which being a tablet should really be able to squeeze more processing power into it's guts.
A more graphics orientated test is the GL Benchmark Standard Egypt Test which is a measure of a devices ability to handle high end 3D graphics. An incredible score of 59 , only matched by the new iPad was earned by the Galaxy S3.
What do developers say about current Mobile Graphics Chips
Sticking solely with the S3 , that is not to ignore the impressive Mali GPU, but the Adreno 225 is too prevalent and powerful to be ignored and too fully cover all modern Mobile GPU's is beyond this short articles scope, we decided to explore the XDA forums to see what moblie game developers themselves say about the Adreno 225 GPU
Here's some paraphrased soundbites to help you understand this modern mobile graphics monster:

  • Benches slightly lower than the Tegra 3 GPU but the Samsung Galaxy S3 in particular has a higher CPU speed which overcompensates
  • Adreno 220 and 225 are similar but the 225 has DirectX support
  • The Adreno can be clocked at 400Mhz
  • Modern Combat 3 is a good game for developers to test GPU ability against (the Adreno performs just fine here by the way) also NFS Hot Pursuit and Riptide GP are good graphically intensive Android Games to test against
  • Use Chainfire 3D to trick the market into thinking you have a Tegra phone if you really want to try THD games
  • PowerVR SGX543MP2 graphics processing unit (GPU) is the renowned GPU for the iPhone 4S but lags behind the S3's current power; the iPhone 5 GPU should hopefully be something spectacular, in fact latest trends from studios such as Firemonkey who have made Real Racing 3 suggest that the iPhone 5 GPUs could be ten times faster! Hopefully that adds some clarity as to what graphics power mobile phones currently have. Updated latest cutting edge Mobile GPU's
    As of 6 August 2012 ARM has announced the latest GPU's for mobile devices and Smart TVs.
    The Mali T600 Series  comes in 3 variants and will supposedly deliver 50 percent performance improvement over previous mobile GPUs.
    Words like "console class graphics for mobile" have been bandied about . The need to address fragmentation is a concern of the new Mali T 600 chips with less need for multiple codecs and different colour textures and standards supported.


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