Objectively testing tablets and smartphones is never an easy job, beyond lyrical descriptions of the chassis and screen, to definitively say A is faster than B you need a range of benchmark tools to test them with. While we’ve already spent some time trying to sniff out tools for comparing the iPad to the Android devices we thought we’d get the experts at Nvidia to offer their choices, so here we have our top 6 picks for testing Android devices.
What do you think of these? Which ones have we missed? Let us know.
While you’re here, compare our own benchmark results: ASUS Eee PC Transformer, Acer Iconia A500, Sony Tablet S, HP TouchPad, ASUS Eee PC Slider
Mmm Pi, never ending Pi. This is a simplistic but useful tool for gauging the basic efficiency of a processor by calculating Pi to a fixed number of decimal places. The simplicity of it is really its biggest advantage and it not only is useful for comparing devices but can be used to see if your own device is overloaded with running tasks. Supports a running Top 300 list, so you can all take part.
Another easy to run general CPU test that is useful as you can compare your results against similar devices and see how your stacks up. Makes it very useful for the overclockers out there that have rooted their devices. No word on what the inner workings of the test but it’s well supported, repeatable and provides a wide database of results to compare against.
Our old friend GLBenchmark make an expected appearance as the best current OpenGL ES 2.0 test. Nvidia specify the Egypt subtests and we agree as this provides the best game-like results. Rather than the synthetic tests that while great for examining throughput rarely deliver in real-world game engines that are optimised or bottleneck in different areas. It’s very well supported and has an excellent online database for comparing results. It’s really the only option.
Developer: Adreno Graphics
A little older this OpenGL ES 1.1 graphics benchmark still does a good job of representing performance for older games on current hardware. It shows off some of the techniques that are possible on accelerated platforms such as 1-pass light maps and bump mapping.
An EAT favourite, possibly because of the bunny, but more likely because of its slick execution, pretty graphs and completeness. Yes completeness, providing tests for memory performance, integer processor speed, floating point processor speed, 2D and 3D graphics performance, SD I/O speeds and a generalised database test. It also offers online rankings, so you can compare your device with the rest of the world.
Quadrant Standard Edition:Marketplace, Slideme.org
An excellent all round system test that manages to include general processor tests, all important I/O testing and 3D gaming benchmarks as well. The standard test is fine though a paid-for version is well worth the minor outlay and is available from Slideme with access to custom runs and the all-important subscores.