Google Nexus 5 Review, Premium Android Experience

Benchmarks: 3DMark, GLBenchmark, Basemark X

For testing graphics performance we've pulled together numbers from three different mainstream benchmark suites, GLBenchmark, Basemark X and 3DMark Ice Storm.  Between the three test suites, we should get a very good picture of how the Nexus 5 performs versus its peers in gaming and graphics rendering.

Graphics and Gaming Performance
Qualcomm's Adreno 330 Graphics Shows Its Strength

GLBenchmark's Fillrate test always showcases the power of Apple's GPU architecture in terms of raw bandwidth but throughput availability doesn't always equate to faster rendering, as is evident in the Egypt HD Off Screen test.  Egypt HD Off Screen renders workloads such that screen resolution doesn't affect frame rate measurement.  Here the Nexus 5 scores really well, actually besting the power iPhone 5S but trailing the Galaxy Note 3.  To be fair, the Note 3 is a different class of device, a 6-inch tweener tablet-phone (there, we didn't say the "ph" word), that has more board real estate for its extra 1GB of system memory.  In this test, that extra memory allows a bit more graphics headroom.

The metric to focus on with Basemark X, again, is the off-screen number, where resolution isn't limiting frame rate.  We've added NVIDIA's SHIELD Android gaming device to the mix here but its display is only a 1280X720 capable panel; hence, in the on-screen tests, along with Apple's iPhone 5S which also runs a lower resolution display (1136X640), these two devices appear to come out on top. However, when screen resolution isn't a limiting factor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-powered Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2 rise to the top. The Nexus 5 isn't quite able to overtake the iPhone 5S but it's the fastest Android device drafting in just behind Samsung's Galaxy Note 3.

In 3DMark Ice Storm, the Nexus 5 skips past the iPhone 5S in the total score, due mainly to its sizable performance edge in the physics test. This is likely due to the fact that Ice Storm has yet to be optimized for Apple's 64-bit architecture.  Regardless, even in the graphics test, the Nexus 5 offers a very strong showing.  Comparatively, it blows the Moto X and Samsung Galaxy S4, two very popular Android flagship phones, right out of the water.

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