GPU Performance

GPU performance of the Pixel 3 should be relatively non-surprising for the most part – again we see the Snapdragon 845 at play and its Adreno 630 GPU should be performing excellently. This year the only real differences between devices was how vendors decided to set up their thermal throttling mechanisms and how the hardware itself is able to dissipate sufficient heat – as the SoC’s peak performance lies above the sustainable thermal envelope of a given device.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

In the 3DMark Physics test, the Pixel 3 performs as expected in peak performance, however we see a more than usual decline is sustained performance compared to other Snapdragon 845 phones. Here it is possible Google has more strict thermal limits on the CPU.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

The graphics results on 3DMark are more in line with other S845 devices, still the small Pixel 3 does end up slightly lower in performance. It’s notable that the Pixel 3 here ends up with a lower sustained performance score as the Pixel 2 family – showcasing the worst-case scenario for the SoC.

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen

In the new Aztec benchmark, the new GPU architecture does help quite a bit in terms of differentiating itself from last year’s Pixels, however still the Pixel 3 ends up at the lower end of S845 phones in terms of the sustained performance.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

Finally in Manhattan and T-Rex, the Pixel 3 ends up in the same ballpark range as last year’s Pixels – again a worst-case scenario for the new SoC.

Among Android devices the Pixel 3 doesn’t stand out too much from the competition, however is still going to be able to perform very well. One has to keep in mind GPU and gaming performance is very much tied to the hardware capabilities, and in this regard we’ll see major jumps with the next generation GPUs.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • saleri6251 - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Hello Andrei,

    Thanks for the review as always. Just curious do you have any thoughts on the Titan M Security Chip?
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    I didn't have much time to get into it, we covered Google Hot Chips presentation:
  • cha0z_ - Monday, November 5, 2018 - link

    Hey, as we speak about chips - can you include/test the note 9 exynos? It's bigger body compared to the s9 and also has a lot better coolling. We all read your articles about the exynos 9810 + a lot about in @ xda, but it will be really nice to see where the more popular note 9 exynos stands with it's bigger coolling and body compared to the competition and s9/s9+.

    If you have the time and the desire, otherwise it's also cool - you do a lot of great reviews about phones/mobile SOCs. Keep it up and cheers!
  • cha0z_ - Monday, November 5, 2018 - link

    No edit here: I am aiming primary at the sustained performance of the system/GPU tests. I am sure you already guessed it, but for the other members of the community.
  • jordanclock - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    As a P3XL owner, I can say this review completely matches my experiences.

    Also, that camera comparison is insane and Andrei is a mad-man for taking that many pictures AND THEN REVIEWING THEM ALL.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Thanks! The camera was a lot of work.

    This should also serve as a good comparison between all important phones over the last year or two. It's something I hope I won't have to do again till the S10.
  • jordanclock - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    That last night shot is pretty similar to a comparison I showed my friends when they thought that it was just a gimmick.

    Have you also found that using the night shot for every shot seems to be a good default? I found that in general the night shot results are "good enough" compared to HDR+, but obviously has the benefit of better low-light results.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    I've posted night mode pictures in daylight scenes as well, just to answer this question.

    There's no obvious difference and you can stay in night mode all the time, the only negative is that it'll be slower in terms of capture.
  • melgross - Sunday, November 4, 2018 - link

    I’ve read that night mode is done after capture, not during, as Google, and other manufactures do their auto modes. So likely that’s why it’s slower.
  • s.yu - Sunday, November 11, 2018 - link

    Thank you for again the best set of samples on the net!
    This night mode just doesn't cease to amaze me, it preserves DR and enough(I'd say over 80%) resolution while accurately suppressing noise that it surpasses auto often enough even in daytime!
    This is two notches above Huawei's night mode implementation, while Pixel's auto was better in the first place.

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