Tuesday, 11 October 2011

iPhone 4S benchmarks out: mixed results for the A5 CPU

   So the iPhone 4S benchmarks are out and it would seem they are nothing less than amazing. Unfortunately the graphics benchmark that was released by Anandtech earlier today is as synthetic as it gets; the tests used were "offscreen", in other words no image was rendered during the test. Offscreen means that the would-be-rendered image is HD but unfortunately none of the tests used an actual 720p output and monitor to verify the results.
   Should you want to play games on an external monitor iPhone 4S is expected to perform better thanks to the fact that the image is mirrored as the iPhone real HDMI output does not consist of a real HD 720p image as Apple kindly informs us:
Apple Digital AV Adapter mirrors exactly what you see on iPad 2 or iPhone 4S so that everyone in the room can enjoy it on your widescreen TV[...]
   Mirrored means that the screen image is actually cloned and scaled to 720p instead of having to be rendered as a second HD output. In this case most android devices suffer a larger performance drop while displaying a better quality output.

    If you check GLBenchmark's site you can see how the two devices have a matched performance, despite the iPhone 4S being somewhat newer than the SGS2. We can say with approximation that out of  40 tests iPhone 4S bests Samsung's flagship in only ~5 while other ~5 haven't been performed yet.

    The fact that the new iPhone doesn't manage to rise above an older model in real world performance - check the real rendering tests Egypt and Pro yourself - is somewhat disappointing, as is the lack of RAM, still only 512 MB.

    On the browser/CPU side of the benchmark Apple did much better, managing to finally catch up with the Honeycomb platform.
    This must really be a cornerstone for Apple after being known for having "the slowest browser on the market with the least features". With flash still unavailable, the bump in processing power really shows.
   Maybe Anandtech "didn't know" about mirroring or maybe Apple made them forget about it, but in the end, the browser, java script and even the synthetic video benchmarks can confirm that for the first time iPhone and iOS are at least par, with their Android counterparts. Make no mistake, the A5 is strong, but not as strong as Apple would like you to believe. Unfortunately on the software side widgets are still unavailable and the notification system is a little less than original while multitasking and closing apps still takes a lot more steps than it should.  With the new nexus around the corner, these will prove to be exciting times indeed ;)

  VIA: Anandtech