After the cross-platform GLBenchmark 2.7 and 3dmark have launched, it's now time for another great cross-platform graphics benchmark from Rightware, and it's called the Basemark X 1.0.
We've finally arrived at the point where can start reliably measure the performance of Android, iOS and WP8 devices, thanks to cross-platform benchmarks like Basemark X, and the recently released GLBenchmark/DXBenchmark 2.7, 3dmark11 (Ice Storm test), and even the Epic Citadel, to a degree.
GLBenchmark and 3dmark are using their own custom engines, while Epic Citadel is based on the Unreal 3 engine, and Basemark X is based on the latest Unity 4.0 engine. Out of all of these, the Basemark X one seems to be by far the most demanding graphics benchmark, followed by the DX/GLBenchmark's Egypt HD test, then 3dmark and Epic Citadel. The Basemark X test achieves only 9 FPS or less on the latest flagship mobile devices (off-screen – same resolution):
Nexus 4 is getting 15 FPS on the on-screen test, because it tests the at its native 720p resolution, while HTC one and Galaxy S4 are testing at their native 1080p resolution. Still it seems to be 3x faster than Note 2 and Galaxy S3 in that graphics test. If we are to compare the GPU's themselves, though, and therefore normalize them for resolution (1080p), it seems the Galaxy S4 GPU is the fastest with an 8.76 FPS score, followed by HTC One with 7.5 FPS and Nexus 4 with 6.76 FPS.
The Basemark X app has only launched for Android right now, with the iOS one awaiting approval, and the WP8 one coming soon. What I like most about these cross-platform benchmarks is that it will start showcasing how far Android devices are ahead in GPU performance, especially compared to WP8 devices, which tend to use one year older processors. It should also give a better idea of how far behind Intel Atom's GPU's are in performance compared to the latest ARM chips, including the Bay Trail one which is supposed to come out at the end of the year.
So far, it looks like Basemark X will be the reference benchmark for gaming performance this year, considering it should also have support for OpenGL ES 3.0, and being a much heavier test. It should stay ahead at least until GLBenchmark 3.0 comes out, but considering it uses the full Unity 4 engine, it could easily be upgraded with heavier graphics to beat that one, too. The 3dmark one seems very far behind, with poor graphics, and no support in sight for OpenGL ES 3.0 yet.
The Epic Citadel one is also a very old test, that hasn't really been updated since it came out on iOS a couple of years ago. Unless Epic Games updates it to be based on the Unreal 4 engine, or at least the Samaritan version of Unreal 3, and with support for OpenGL ES 3.0, I don't see it being very relevant for the time being. So if you really want to see how far along your brand new phone coming out this year can go in games, the first test you should be using is Rightware's Basemark X.