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  • iPhone Beats Nexus One in 3D Frame Rate Test

    A test done by the UK mobile games house Distinctive Developments shows that the iPhone has much better 3D rendering capability than the Google/HTC Nexus One. As described by Engadget, the test showed that the iPhone was able to sustain a frame rate almost one and a half times faster despite the Google phone having a more powerful 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU. The main difference appears to be the lack of optimized code that takes advantage of the ARM processor core.

    DD ran the same 3D animation on both devices. Side-by-side pinpoint tests revealed that the iPhone 3GS was able to render 60 frames per second (fps) while the Nexus could only achieve between 30 to 35 fps. As more models were added to the scene, both phones' frame rates dropped until at 8 models the iPhone was running at 29fps on the iPhone and the Nexus at only 21fps, yielding a result of 138% faster frame rate for the iPhone.

    In investigating the results, DD first noted that a significant difference is the fact that the Nexus has a much higher resolution screen. Thus, rendering the same models, the Nexus has 2.5 times the number of pixels to draw than the iPhone does. However, after changing the viewport size to 480320 on the Nexus, the engineers at DD saw an improvement to 40 fps with two models on screen, but the performance was identical at 21 fps with 8 models.

    Since the resolution of the screen did not affect the outcome, DD tested the hypothesis that there was a CPU-related bottleneck. By turning off the "animation bone & skinning calculations," the CPU was less stressed, but even so drawing to the full screen on the Nexus with the animation disabled yielded the exact same frame rate count as before. Doing the same test on the iPhone saw the frame rate increase from 20 fps up to 25fps.

    The conclusion that the DD engineers drew from their test is that the Nexus is primarily limited by fill-rate processing that was done by the Snapdragon's integrated GPU. Apparently the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) has no access to floating-point instructions in the ARM Neon single instruction multiple data (SIMD) instruction set, which means the CPU is overtaxed by rastering operations and writing pixels to the screen.

    As a result, DD is recommending that Google update the NDK to a new version of GCC in order to take better advantage of Neon float-point instructions. They expect that if that's done, Droid and Nexus phones will enjoy an advantage over iPhones, at least until faster (A4?) processors are added to a future Apple phone.

    image via Distinctive Developments
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone Beats Nexus One in 3D Frame Rate Test started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. Buckmaster's Avatar
      Buckmaster -
    1. SouthernCountry's Avatar
      SouthernCountry -
      Quote Originally Posted by H0CKEY View Post
      i'll bite my tongue on this review

      since i own both phones

      "mumbles...... nexus beats my iphone3gs is alot of other areas"
      yep bout to have my Nexus real soon...3GS is locked right now...smh
    1. andyharp's Avatar
      andyharp -
      children, childen, children calm down. it's ok to disagree.Let's keep this on a professional level.
      This is the age old chevy vs. ford thing.
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      Quote Originally Posted by andyharp View Post
      children, childen, children calm down. it's ok to disagree.Let's keep this on a professional level.
      This is the age old chevy vs. ford thing.
      No, this one is simple mathematics.
    1. Effenpig!'s Avatar
      Effenpig! -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhone3G[S] View Post
      Here, this is for the apple fan tards... DO YOU SEE HOW THE NEXUS ONE HAS TWICE AS MANY PIXELS TO RENDER?

      Whoa, that thing is huge

      " Apple fan tards" ? Troll much?
    1. BobPetersen's Avatar
      BobPetersen -
      iPhone 1, Nexus one 0!
    1. xodustrance's Avatar
      xodustrance -
      First thing I have to say, lottsa fanboy talk from the iphreaks nexus geeks.

      First off, the test really isn't comparable, because of scaling issues. Doesn't say which scaling method they used. The frams were obviously still scaled up to use the entire screen, going by the screenshots on that site. Was the scaling properly hardware accelerated? probably not. Even if so, there is still some over head. If software scaled, the performace is about equal. If hardware scaled, then the Iphone clearly has an advantage.

      However, (and this is coming from a moto droid owner and iphone user) - there is no doubt apple put much more time into refining their OS before release.

      Each phone has their strengths and weaknesses. Youtube is nearly unwatchable on the iphone compared to the droid in side by side tests, the same holds true for nexus. The same holds true for mp4 encodes. There isn't a comparison to be had.

      When it comes to gaming, the android phones don't hold a candle to the iphone.

      It all depends on what you use your phones for. If you do nothing but game on the iphone, then it would be clearly superior.

      When it comes to productivity, custom kernels, hacking, etc, I find my droid much more productive than the iphone. The iphone is so locked down with its tethered jail brakes, battery replacement, memory card access, etc, that its a royal pain in the *** for certain things. Its been so much easier, hell, android market even hosts an app to effortlessly root and install custom kernels without ever touching a pc, and then an app to oc the processor.

      The fundamental business practices are what got me to switch. Do I miss the iphone OS polish? Sure, its a goreous OS. But the amount of work to actually hack the damn thing to a usable state is stupid. Then the whole battery, memory access, and tethered jail break is retarded imho.

      It really is preference, and the strengths (for me, everyone is different) of the android phones far out weigh the iphone. The fanboyism is utterly rediculous tho. Even been somewhere without computer or power access for a long period? Like camping, emergency trips without your laptop, etc? You will find the locks the iphone are extremely limiting. I can go a long time without power just by carrying a second battery, something I cannot do with the iphone. How is video recording on the iphone? I know my droid records at dvd quality and is incredible. But I can't do these things with either phone without killing the battery. And I simply don't want the hassles of a locked down phone. Pop in a fresh battery, and I can get another few days out of it.

      It really is preference. If I was a gamer, I would undoubtedly choose the iphone. But since I only fire up the occasional SNES or arcade roms, the android platform is the way to go.