Yesterday we brought you news about the new 3DMark WildLife graphics benchmark, which is the latest cross-platform test from people from UL Benchmarks. UL explains that WildLife is primarily in charge of measuring GPU performance on different platforms, and two different tests are available.
The standard WildLife test is designed to give feedback on how the game behaves in a short period of time. With mobile games, people usually play briefly when they find some free time; either on the bus, subway, or a short session of the fighting royal family on a lunch break, but not always.
3DMark WildLife Stress test, on the other hand, shows how the device works for a long time and takes into account the performance degradation that can occur due to increased heat and attenuation levels (which we will come to later in this article). As UL explains, “Instead of producing a single result, the main result of the stress test is a graph that shows you how the device’s performance has changed during the test.”
When running on Android devices or Windows computers, WildLife uses the Vulcan API. On iOS devices (like iPhones and iPads), WildLife uses Apple’s Metal API.
3DMark WildLife Unlimited: Android phones against the iPhone – a one-time test drive
Since we use 3DMark scales extensively for the reviews of our smartphones, we decided to take a look at how some of the smartphones we have in our lab (both new and old) match each other. The results were a bit surprising, but we warn you to keep your opinion and final analysis until you read the next segment of our testing here as well. Alas, without further delay …
We decided to run WildLife Unlimited, which allows each device to run as fast as possible regardless of the default refresh rate thanks to off-screen rendering; the standard WildLife test is limited by the frequency of device refreshes. What we can clearly see here is that the GPU in Apple’s iPhone line is a monster of absolute performance, as it can easily ship its Android rivals on this short scale.
What is remarkable is how big the difference is between the iPhone and the leading Android devices. To put things in perspective, the iPhone XR, which was at the bottom of the list of Apple’s leading smartphones for 2018, set a score of 5424, which is 42 percent faster than the OnePlus 8 / 8T. The performance of the iPhone XR was also 27 percent faster than the powerful ASUS ROG phone 3 in X-mode.
The iPhone 11 Pro, Apple’s flagship device for 2019, really broke the hole with a score of 7800, more than doubling the performance that the OnePlus 8 / OnePlus 8T could achieve, while surpassing the ROG Phone 3 (X-Mode) by 87 percent . Prevalence could increase even with the iPhone 12 family, as recent leaked benchmarks showed that the A14 Bionic outperformed leading Android phones by as much as 60 percent in single-thread tests with a synthetic CPU. And Apple claims to be up to 50 percent better than its Android rivals in GPU standards.
We asked UL Benchmarks a few questions to better understand the company’s new benchmark, how it measures and weighs performance, and how it uses these 3D graphics APIs.
But there are many more of these performances in the picture …
WildLife stress test unlimited – the degradation of the iPhone’s thermal performance is dramatic
Where things really get interesting is with WildLife Stress Test Unlimited, which we alluded to earlier. Since this test takes a lot more time (20 minutes compared to about a minute for WildLife Unlimited), we watched for any performance drops, and that’s where the iPhones showed their Achilles heel.
During its WildLife Stress Test Unlimited run, the iPhone 11 Pro achieved the best loop rating of 7945, which was of course recorded on the first run. However, after completing the first run, performance dropped significantly in the next 19 minutes until 20 runs were completed. Finally, exhausted by the thermal limit, the iPhone 11 Pro achieved a final score of 4106. This puts its reference stability at 51.7 percent.
Given the sharp drop in performance, the iPhone 11 Pro’s lowest reference score was still higher than most of its Android rivals. However, the overly successful ASUS ROG phone 3 in X-mode managed to crash the worst performance of the iPhone 11 Pro and it should be noted that the performance of the iPhone decreases and remains at 4K mark after approximately 13 minutes. Speaking of Android competition, the OnePlus 8 / 8T barely encountered a thermal reduction during the 20-minute workout, releasing a reference stability rating of over 99 percent. Nonetheless, the performance picture is completely different in the stress test, and our OnePlus 8 score in its fastest loop is much smoother than the iPhone 11 Pro after just a few runs. It should be noted that each run is only about one minute, and people usually do not play only one minute at a time, but probably at least a few minutes.
Updated 10/16/20 9:16 PM: Stress tests iPhone SE (2020 – A13 Bionic) and iPhone XS Max (A12 Bionic) have been added. Note that the sharp decline continues, regardless of the iPhone model. We’ll also notice that we’ve undergone testing of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra (Snapdragon 865+), with similar results as those for the OnePlus 8 (top right). With these Android phones, there is almost no flawless performance, and a stability rating of 99 +% gives a performance measurement of the WildLife Stress Test for the Snapdragon 865 models we tested.
Apple seems to be aiming for “peak” versus “sustainable” performance when it comes to the GPU in the A13 or A12 Bionic, while the Adreno 650 GPU in the Snapdragon 865 is cool as a cucumber regardless of the situation in the WildLife Stress Test. Anyway, this was a pretty first look at the 3DMark WildLife and we’ll be interested to see how things go after we get an Apple device equipped with the A14 Bionic at home, to see how far the iPhone’s water lengthens or shrinks with a constant load. The rumor of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875, which could be unveiled as early as December 1stst, will have a lot of grounds for makeup if it wants to fight for supremacy in this space, at least in terms of the best reference ratings, but perhaps not in terms of performance over time and heat saturation.
So the question is how do you play on your smartphone? Do you play more than 10 minutes at a time? If so, be sure to think about how your phone is holding, not just what a one-time reference rating might show. The image for the iPhone 11 Pro here has become much less pink after a few halo runs.
If you want to try 3DMark WildLife yourself, you can download it here for Android, iOS or Windows computers.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.