Vivante: Challenging the Status Quo In Mobile GPUs

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We tested the Vivante GC1000 using a Galaxy Tab 3 8GB device. The Tab 3 is a relatively modest performer, and the GC1000 is a relatively lightweight chip in any case. Coincidentally, it turns out that the only somewhat comparable device we have on hand, an iPhone 4S, is a better fit for a head-to-head than we suspected. While the screens are different sizes and dimensions, the iPhone 4S's resolution of 960x640 works out to 614,400 pixels. The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 has a 1024x600 display, which also works out to 614,400 pixels. Onscreen performance comparisons, in other words, are still fair game as far as the total number of pixels displayed. We've rounded up three different, graphics-centric benchmarks -- 3DMark, GLBenchmark, and Basemark X.

The iPhone 4S is a good comparison for the Galaxy Tab 3 for another reason -- both are dual-core Cortex-A9 designs. Here, the Galaxy Tab 3 even has an advantage, its cores are clocked at 1.2GHz rather than the iPhone 4S' 800MHz.

In Basemark, the iPhone 4S leads in both offscreen and on-screen tests, and by a significant margin. Neither chip is strong enough to return a smooth frame rate though.

GLBenchmark's Onscreen test shows us a smaller gap between the two chips. Again, the iPhone 4S wins out here, but the older Egypt HD test runs decently well on the Galaxy Tab 3.

T-Rex HD's offscreen test, in its 1920x1080 resolution, is extremely hard on both cores. The relative performance gaps, however, don't change much.

The three 3DMark Ice Storm tests are actually much closer than the other benchmarks we ran. The Vivante GC1000 core is almost as fast as the iPhone 4S in the "Unlimited" and standard Ice Storm test, but does fall behind in the Extreme test.

Overall, our performance benchmark figures paint the Vivante GC1000 chip as offering much of the performance of the iPhone 4S' SGX543MP2, but still falling back significantly. Still, for a company just breaking into the market, these figures aren't bad at all. This chip has real potential, once we start seeing larger versions.

Tags:  Mobile, GPU, Marvell, SoC, Vivante

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