Here is why you see varying game graphics quality on different flagships (Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6)

Here is why you see varying game graphics quality on different flagships (Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6)
As we showed you in our analysis of the Gamebench game graphics display comparison, resolution can't be televised. There are some very murky arguments about the advantages of, say, the 1440p display of the Galaxy S6, against the 750p display of the iPhone 6 when it comes to game imagery. 

First off, most games aren't optimised for such high resolutions, meaning that the image is simply upscaled, reducing the overall quality, and second, even if it is, the fairly orthodox nature of mobile game graphics means that the difference just won't be very noticeable for the typical eyesight.

There is another side to the graphics quality story, though, as per Alexandru Voica, a technology marketing specialist at Imagination Technologies, and it is the good ol' GPU brand. The PowerVR models used in Apple's proprietary chipsets, come with a higher quality texture compression standard, resulting in better-looking imagery, regardless of the resolution. Another fly in the ultra high-res ointment is that games on the iPhone render at a higher resolution, then scale the image down to fit the screen's pixel number, which is also better for the resulting graphics quality than the upscaling that goes on with the Quad HD display of the S6.

Other factors that influence the graphics' excellence are pixel storage formats, different anti-aliasing techniques, and floating point precision. All of these components are better presented on the custom PowerVR GPU line that Apple uses, compared to the generic ARM Mali brand that Samsung is incorporating in its Exynos chipsets. In a nutshell, the examples show that the record pixel density of the Galaxy S6 doesn't really translate into better game graphics, when compared to a lower-res screen, paired with a quality pixel-cruncher.

source: Alex Voica (Techspeak blog)



1. egbtmagus

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

There are very few games that render at native resolution on smartphones, so even though you are seeing the game on a 1440p screen the game actually is not rendering at that. Its like playing an Xbox One game on your 4K TV, Its still rendering at 900p but displaying at 4K or 1080p.

9. BobbyBuster

Posts: 854; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

What will the s-heeps invent for an excuse this time? Mali sucks. It only sells cuz it's cheap. Who is the major customer? Sammy! Keep cheating on your consumers, Sammy.

13. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

If Mali sucks than what about PowerVR and Adreno? Mali-T760 is still faster than Adreno 420 and PowerVr found in A8

46. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Why are you comparing a 28nm GPU vs a 14nm? You should compare the Exynos 5433 in Note 4 vs Adreno 430 in SD810 to get same node.

53. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

In fact the Adreno 430 is a lots faster but because of the 20NM build ts trottle a bit more in some device so the performance become similar still the quality of the graphic will be superior on the adreno vs the mali crap.

51. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

When you do the work halfway its easy to be faster.

52. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

sure its faster at giving lower resolution and lower textures.

125. sunamer

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2015

ehhh, nope. You are comparing this years S6 GPU with 1 year old A8 GPU. Instead, what you should have done - compare A9 vs S6 GPU. Here is a quote from that same website but only for A9 GPU: The PowerVR GT7600 is clearly the fastest smartphone GPU on the market as of September 2015. In all of our benchmarks, the GPU is able to beat even the fastest tablet and smartphone GPUs like the PowerVR GXA6850 in the A8x (iPad Air 2), Tegra K1 (Nvidia Shield Tablet) and Adreno 430 (various flagship smartphones). The ARM Mali-T760 MP8 (7420 Octa) in the Galaxy S6 line-up is also no match for the PowerVR GPU.

14. lpratas

Posts: 398; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

You idiot shut up. You only say s**t. Why that depreciation about the Mali gpu?

22. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

They used power vr on the GS4, didn't really care for it and went back to Mali. I respected power vr back in the Dreamcast days but what I usually notice is that brute computing power always trumped short cuts like shading and hi res textures etc.

27. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

I have GS4 right now and in some games it has lower graphics settings than Note 4 with Mali. So sometimes it delivers good framerate but... that's still achievable on other mobile graphics cards.

54. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

GS4 has a much lower CPU and games need both CPU and GPU...

69. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

I think you never measured CPU load in games if you say this.

105. Shocky unregistered

Of course he hasn't, he's an idiot.

114. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

I'd better avoid speaking about Marorun's personal qualities but right now he talks more than knows. I have measured CPU and GPU gaming load, and the games do not need high processing power (GTA is an exception but still it loads heavily only one core)

26. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Mali is still the best choice of all the mobile GPUs. And I should mention that trying to look competent with no knowledge of what you are arguing about makes you look stupid. So stop wrighting bulls**t.

55. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I should mention thats trying to say a GPU is the best and not provide anything to back this up is simple bullsh**t What i will tell you is this. on current planet in this world.. The best GPU are in PC They are made by ATI and NVIDIA. Adreno is based on Ati video card architecture. Nvidia made the K1 thats destroy everything on GPU on the mobile market. Apple using Power VR the one in the Ipad air2 is also a monster much faster than any mali crap. All those 3 type of mobile GPU are a lots better than Mali. Only reason Samsung use it is because its give higher margin.

103. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

My main proof in the argument is my own experience. I had posted tests of Mali T760MP6 vs Adreno 420 earlier which showed Adreno having worse framerate with no visible graphics difference. Isn't this a valid fact of Mali's superiority against Adreno? Also I have GS4 with PowerVR. Though it has comparable framerate in native resolution games the graphics settings are lower than on Mali. When I set fake GPU name "Mali T604" the framerate slows down while graphics looks better. For more info go to 4pda forum.

43. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What excuse ? Why do we ned one. The S6 display was rated by display mate as being the best display found in any phone, especially vs the iPhone. 1440p that uses less power than your 750p display. The power is in the GPU, not the display itself. There is a difference in being better at something vs simply being the best. The S6 simply has the best display, even if it is mated with a not so great GPU. You seem to have better at something and best overall confused. The article is just trying to justify Apple using older hardware. 750p isn't better than 1440p PRIOD. Software always takes longer than to catch up. However, watch a native 1440p video on the iPhone and then look at the same video on an iPhone 750p. It looks like crap.

45. Iodine

Posts: 1479; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

How does resolution Apple uses relates to "using older hardware" ? What resolution is chosen is entirelly upon manufacteur, regardless of used tech, based on things that panel should achieve. And yes 1440p is higher res than 750p, period. But honestly, who even cares ?

59. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Iodine cant look at both side of the medal? Resolution mean a lots of things. Higher resolution need more GPU power. So a better GPU thats cost more. Better GPU will take more battery power. So you will need a bigger or better quality battery. Thats again will cost more. So in end end by keeping lower end hardware you make a bigger margin by equipements sold. So yeah its using older hardware with more limited capacity. Who care? well ppl with brain thats want to get the maximum out of the money they spend on a new phone? Ios is optimized to run on cheap hardware... just think about it.. Iphone with 2k display, octocore SOC with a real GPU , 3 or 4 gb ram , much bigger battery but still running ios ( but faster, longer battery life and future proof device ) what you would not want thats? If you dont then you a moron sorry.

57. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Techie you are completely wrong. using less battery power dont mean using less GPU power. Dont mix this or you will look very bad. Amoled use a lots less battery power for the display but a 1440p will make the GPU use more battery on the other end and thats a reality sorry. if 750p is not better than 1440p why the picture they show clearly show the other way around? What they are explaining is thats MAli GPU have bad texture filtering and dont handle upscalling well ( not enuf anti aliasing and anto aliasing take a lots of GPU power ) This is like comparing a game running on 1080p in 16 bit color ( instead of 32 bit ) with no AA on one PC to the same game running in 1080p in 32 bit with 8X AA on the second PC. Yeah both of them run the game at same resolution but one will look very bad ( the MAli one lol ) and one will look very good ( Adreno , powervr and nvidia keplet ) Now... IF the S6 had an Nvidia Kepler GPU ( the current real best mobile GPU ) with the best screen it has OMG its would really be the best. Also and thats something they dont say here.. When Dev make game for Android ( thats allready exist on apple ios ) they often make the game look less good ( not really because they been paid by apple or anything ) More because they want to make those gams run good on all device low to high end. I runned thats GTA game on my HTC One M9 and the graphic was as good if not better than on iphone even when i screenshot and zoom in like they did in the test and its did not look ugly like on the S6. Dont forget Samsung are good at those thing to play around to get the best spec on the paper.

83. epdm2be

Posts: 822; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

First: it's NOT 750p but 720p Second: 1440p that uses less power than your 750p display. The power is in the GPU, not the display itself. That should be: A 1440p screen manufactured in 2015 uses less power than your 720p screen manufactured in 2013. 1) which is fairly obvious. 2) Imagine how much less power a 720p screen of 2015 would use compared to a 1440p screen of 2015 and obviously that 720p screen of 2013. Thing is that for the majority 1440p (and more) screens on smartphones are nothing but a marketing plot and a pissing contest between manufacturers.

50. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Well i would never have tought i would see the day where i agree with you. Mali GPU = crap. Only 3 good GPU maker for mobile : Qualcomm ( Adreno/ati ) , Nvidia ( Kepler ) and PowerVR. Still only Nvidia has the real deal you cant match the quality and precision of the GPU they use at least for now. Adreno and Power VR are quite similar in fac.

58. Shocky unregistered

Actually that's not true, Mali T760MP8 matches the performance of nvidia's K1 quite nicely. When you drop the resolution on Galaxy S6 down to 1080p the benchmark results are just as quick as the nvidia shield. The main difference is resolution, otherwise the performance is evenly matched, however Mali is missing a few optional opengl extensions but no games use them, only one benchmark uses them.

60. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I dont give damn about benchmark. I can put my laptop in 480P resolution run a benchmark and beat up a pc with 4 GPU in SLI running the same benchmark at higher resolution and or quality of texture ect. Stop thinking about benchmark and think about the quality of the graphic inside of games. Damn it GTA look better on an HTC M9 than the S6 ( just like the iphone also look better than the S6 ) Why is thats? Because Mali has no AA capacity ( antialiasing ) and bad texture filtering compared to any of the ohers 3 GPU i spoke about. So for gaming the important part is the fluidity and quality of the graphic not having the higher FPS ( as long as the minimum of 30 to 60 FPS is achieved depending on the type of games ) I am telling you and i am 100% sure about this. If you put the GPU used in the K1 on a SOC with the rest of the new Exynos and with the S6 screen its would be a beast.. PS: K1 achieve same benchmark performance but with crappy CPU compared to Exynos so... Exynos = great CPU and bad GPU and K1 = great GPU and bad CPU. If you dont know what you talking about its better to not talk sometime you know.

71. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

What? Mali has no antialiasing?! What a joke! Or ASTC is bad? It looks like someone is going to be dishonored for incompetence. And you're even trying to teach someone... Loool :D

106. Shocky unregistered

I'm only replying to three points here because most of what you've said is nonsense. Benchmarks also refers to applications which monitor performance in games, as in real world performance. With regards to GTA, it hasn't been updated since the Galaxy S6 was launched, the developer doesn't give a crap about supporting this game, which is common with older applications, they cash in and support disappears. Lastly Mali does support anti-aliasing, you don't know what your talking about as usual. Even Mali-400 MP supported anti-aliasing back on the Galaxy S2, however the methods supported are different for each GPU, texture format support is also different. .

113. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

off course it supports! There was no doubt about it. But in some android games it is turned off.

116. Shocky unregistered

Not really sure why you would need anti-aliasing anyway on a 5.1" screen with resolutions over 1080p. It was useful when the display resolutions were a lot lower, it's not needed, of course it will still help but not worth it. Also just to add, GTA doesn't even use anti-aliasing on Android but you can adjust the resolution via slider. Marorun comes out with so much rubbish.

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