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GLBenchmark 2.5 arrives on Android with much more aggressive graphics tests

August 1, 2012

The GLBenchmark is now the standard benchmarking tool to compare mobile GPUs. We’re going to see a GLBenchmark 3.0 this fall with all the necessary tests for the new OpenGL ES 3.0 standard, but until then, we get a significantly improved GLBenchmark 2.5 version. The new version still tests only OpenGL 2.0 features, but does it in a much more aggressive way, leaving even the latest mobile GPUs struggling to achieve 15 FPS in most tests, let alone 30 FPS.

Considering that GLBenchmark 3.0 is just a few months away, and will probably arrive before any of the OpenGL ES 3.0 devices come to market, I’m surprised that the benchmark’s developers decided to make it this aggressive this early. Benchmark tools are supposed to “stress” GPUs, but I think they should also give a pretty accurate representations of what mobile GPUs can do today.

Because current high-end GPUs fail to reach even 15 FPS, less informed readers could be forgiven for believing that the current crop of graphics chips is pretty poor, which is of course not the case.

The new Egypt test is now called Egypt HD, and although it keeps the same animation, shows a much more complex scene. In addition, the offscreen test now defaults to a 1080p resolution, although you can customize it.

Anandtech has done a bunch of these tests for different Android devices to see how they compare:

And now a couple of tests using the old Egypt classic, that shows how the new Egypt HD tests are around 3x more aggressive:

The smartphone tests show that Galaxy S3’s overclocked Mali 400 GPU is still the leader of the pack, although the difference seems to minimize in the more complex graphics test, compared to the older and lighter Egypst classic test:

This makes me curious to see how the benchmarks will look for the Adreno 320 and Mali T604 GPU’s later this year, especially in the upcoming GLBenchmark 3.0 for OpenGL ES 3.0.