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Smartphone processor head-to-head: Intel Atom vs Nvidia Tegra 3 vs Samsung Exynos vs Qualcomm Snapdragon

We run the four processors through a battery of benchmarks to find out which one can claim to be the best overall...

Graphics Results

Graphics testing proved problematic due to compatibility issues. Benchmarks commonly used to test graphics performance on Android don't work with Intel's x86-architecture Atom part. As a result, we used the 2D and 3D performance results from the Passmark package.

These results, more so than any other in this test, should be taken with a pinch of salt: using a single benchmark means that the test is far more sensitive to erroneous results and coding glitches.

Again there was no change in the two leaders: Samsung's flagship Exynos 4412 proved more than capable at both 2D and 3D acceleration, with the Intel Atom Z2460 following closely behind and losing out only as a result of inferior 3D capabilities.

Graphics results - Adjusted

Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro chip performed admirably too, coming third only due to a poor 2D showing. This may be down to unoptimised drivers - the S4 Pro being by far the newest chip on test. With Google choosing Qualcomm's chip for its flagship Nexus 4, there's hope this relatively poor performance will be resolved in a future software update.

The same can't be said for the Tegra 3 though. Even removing the normalisation and allowing Nvidia's chip to run at 520MHz compared to the 400MHz of its rivals doesn't change its position: its 2D performance was the worst of the bunch, and even its better 3D performance failed to help push it above its rivals. In Nvidia's defense, the Tegra 3 is the oldest chip - and the firm will no doubt better this when it launches the next-generation Tegra 4 platform (code-named Wayne).

Graphics results - Actual
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