We always say that benchmarks don't matter as much as the overall experience of using a phone, but they do still matter enough that device makers sometimes put a thumb on the scale to improve scores. A recent report from Anandtech accused Huawei of configuring phones to produce artificially high benchmarks. Now, the maker of 3DMark has banned several Huawei devices in response.
How good is your phone when it comes to gaming? There are a few ways to find out, but 3DMark is probably the best. That's the only benchmarking it does, after all. The app has been pretty clunky for a while, but it just got a major update with a cleaner UI, more tests, new charts, and a ton more.
When you're looking to see just how capable your Android hardware is, Futuremark's 3DMark is one benchmarking app that will let you know real quick. Fire it up, see how smoothly you device can handle a beautifully rendered scene, and walk away with a better idea of where your phone or tablet sits in the global hierarchy of things.
Well, after the latest update, I should probably say set-top box as well. You can now run 3DMark on Android TV.
3DMark offers a new graphics benchmark video test intended for devices running Android 5.0 or later, and it supports OpenGL ES 3.0 and above.
Some graphical benchmarks are meant to be fairly boring but reliable tests of visual output - the reliable Quadrant benchmark from Aurora Softworks is a good example. Others create an intense graphical test by making a fully-realized 3D environment, essentially a tech demo that's meant to be a digital ruler for the performance of competing components or devices. 3DMark's Android benchmark, with its space battle cutscene, is one of these tests.
Now there's an alternative version of 3DMark. It tests the same technical parameters: frames per second, physics engine accuracy, power output, that sort of thing. The only thing that's different is the 3D cutscene.
Samsung was the first to selectively boost system performance when a benchmark app was run, but it was forced to backpedal pretty quickly on that one. The latest OEM to try and sneak one past the benchmarks is Huawei with its new-ish Ascend P7. Futuremark is wise to this game, though, and has pulled the P7 from the 3DMark top phone charts.
Though it was originally promised before the end of 2012, Futuremark has finally made good on its plans to bring a version of its highly popular graphics benchmark 3DMark to Android.
The mobile version of 3DMark uses a demo known as 'Ice Storm' to stretch your GPU's legs to their respective limits, and is definitely rather impressive to watch. Testing on an Optimus G Pro with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, it's apparent that even the top-tier Adreno 320 GPU begins to struggle under the intense demands of Ice Storm, and not merely during wide-pan shots: intricate models, effects, and textures are used in the demo.
Popular benchmark and performance test maker Futuremark today announced that their 3DMark product, "the world's most popular benchmark and PC test," will be getting an update that brings it to Windows, Windows, RT, Android, and iOS, allowing the tool to join the ranks of cross-platform benchmarkers like the popular GeekBench.
The new version of 3DMark, which is expected to hit "before the end of the year," will include three all-new tests designed to benchmark devices from smartphones all the way up to high-performance gaming PCs.
The trio of new tests, which increase in intensity, methods, and purpose, include Ice Storm (for mobile devices and "entry level hardware"), Cloud Gate (for Windows notebooks and typical PCs), and Fire Strike (for high-performance gaming hardware).