Performance: Graphics and GLBenchmark
The GLBenchmark test suite is an OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark with a number of performance metrics incorporated within. We specifically use the fillrate test here and the Egypt Off Screen test to measure 3D performance in frames per second. The Off Screen test renders workloads at 1280x720 for all devices, but off-screen, so Vsynch and screen resolution are not limiting performance factors.
Apple's iPad remained untouchable in GLBenchmark's texture fill test, but after that, it was the new Nexus 7 that led the rest of the pack with a score that's almost twice as high as the previous iteration.
The SoC in the Nexus 7 is a powerful platform with a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and Adreno 320 GPU clocked at 400MHz. On the GPU side, the Adreno 320 is armed with a unified shader architecture and dual-channel memory support offering up to four times the performance of Adreno 225. As we can see in the Egypt test, it's a capable architecture for playing games, posting an impressive 41 frames per second.
The Basemark X benchmark is built on top of an actual game engine, Unity 4, and features workloads modeled after actual games designed for smartphones and tablets. Basemark X exploits features like particle effects, advanced lighting effects and post processing, and really taxes the current generation of tablets.
No big surprise here, given what we've already seen from the Nexus 7 and its powerful SoC. Once again, it put up class-leading performance metrics, easily besting its predecessor and every other tablet we've run this benchmark on.