The Galaxy S Leads The Pack For GPU

captivate glbenmark hand

When Samsung Mobile announced their Galaxy S lineup of Android phones, they claimed their new 1 GHz Hummingbird processor offered 3x faster graphics performance than any current smartphone. We wondered how they could reach this new level of power and later learned their custom 45nm Samsung chipset (S5PC110) contained a newer model PowerVR GPU.

If PowerVR sounds familiar that’s because its the same family of graphics processors found in Motorola’s Droid series (Droid, Droid X, and Droid 2). The only difference is that the Droids have the SGX530 and the Galaxy S lineup includes the SGX540, which offers “2x the sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core”.

We just got the AT&T Samsung Captivate unboxed so we wanted to put it to the test versus some popular Android handsets. For this round of benchmarks we will be comparing the Samsung Captivate, Motorola Droid, Droid X / 2, Nexus One, Droid Incredible, HTC EVO, and myTouch 3G Slide.

Android GPU Benchmarks

Galaxy S vs the competition.

In the popular benchmark Neocore, the Samsung Captivate scores 55.8 fps which is 30 percent faster than the Droid X. The Samsung Captivate also takes home the best score in Nenamark and GLBenchmark Pro. The only test where it didn’t come out on top is the GLBenchmark HD, which I can’t explain.

Note that the myTouch 3G Slide is able to match the performance of some high end phones thanks to its lower display resolution (HVGA vs WVGA).

GLBenchmark 2.0

Even with FSAA, the Captivate outpaces the competition.

Next up we have the new GLBenchmark 2.0 suite, which has yet to be publicly released. This new GPU benchmark test the OpenGL ES 2.0 capabilities of the device and also measures performance with full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA), which helps help avoid aliasing (or “jaggies”) on full-screen images.

Here we can see the Samsung Captivate shine with these demanding benchmarks. The Captivate delivers the promised 2x-3x the GPU performance of the PowerVR SGX530 or the Adreno GPU core found in the Snapdragon phones (Nexus One, EVO, etc.). In the GLBenchmark PRO FSAA test, the Captivate offers nearly 6x the performance of the Snapdragon-powered Nexus One.


The AT&T Samsung Captivate (and the entire Galaxy S lineup) offers the best graphics performance of any smartphone. When you combine that with the Super AMOLED display and 6-axis accelerometer, you have the best portable gaming smartphone – period.

We also can’t forget the TV out functions of the Galaxy S lineup, which have survived from the international version, and are included with the AT&T Captivate. The video cable is sold separately, but for around $5 on Amazon you can pick one up and turn your Android phone into a  home console system. If you pair that with a Wii remote or other bluetooth controller, you have a pretty compelling game system that can easily fit in your pocket.

Look for the Galaxy S lineup to continue its lead till at least this holiday season. Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, and even Intel are all working on new smartphone chipsets and they hope to hit the market towards the end of this year.

Now if only we could get EA and Gameloft to take Android serious, we would have some mobile games that could compete with the iPhone 4 (believed to be SGX535 GPU). The Galaxy S is more than capable of running any game thrown at it, but there are not that many titles that push the system to its limits yet (except for the Gameloft HD titles that are not available on the Android Market).