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Old July 22nd, 2011, 05:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Motorola Photon mb855 Benchmark...

So, I was google searching to dig for more information on the Photon (particularly other "deals" out there) and I came across a thread that was started in the lounge regarding a comprehensive benchmark:

Nenamarks and the mysterious Androids

One of the "mysterious" androids is the Photon 4G (MB855). I really don't know how good Nenamarks is at really determining speed, but thought I'd post since I know many were interested in this.

The Photon didn't do "bad," but it didn't necessarily do too well compared to some of the other "new" phones. Droid 3, Sensation 4G, Optimus 2X, SGS II, Nexus s.

http://nena.se/nenamark/view?version=2

Benchmarks really don't matter to me (obviously because the initial benchmarks for the EVO 4G weren't that great either). What matters most to me is 1 year down the line or even 2 years down the line, I just hope the phone performs with just as much (or even slightly less) speed as it had right out of the box.

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Old July 22nd, 2011, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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that's kinda disappointing, I hope it's just the unfinished version
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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actually the main issue here is that the benchmark only works with certain chipsets, or I should say works better with certain chipsets. I remember the Galaxy S having really bad benchmarks and it was a power house in the graphics and not to bad in all other places. I have personally played with the T-mobile G2X and I must say it is VERY fast and VERY bad arse in the graphics department. So what do we say about benchmarks??? not the end all be all of performance by any amount.
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Old July 22nd, 2011, 07:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by amelfl View Post
that's kinda disappointing, I hope it's just the unfinished version
For me, it's not too disappointing for a couple reasons:
1) It absolutely demolishes the number that the EVO 4G had (but I still love the EVO 4G, regardless of the low test number).
2) It got a better number than the Atrix 4G, running the same processor, which tells me that maybe they made some adjustments (similar to the Thunderbolt processor adjustments from the original EVO).

Overall, from what I understand, the benchmarks are more designed to determine speed when watching a lot of movies or playing games. From what I understand, the benchmark shouldn't be a factor in determining efficiency of the phone or speed and functionality of regular functions of the phone.

I could be completely wrong, but that's what people have told me.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 12:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's way important to note that much of the stuff floating out there is baloney, pure and simple.

None of the benchmarks test the processor or other silicon directly.

They make software library calls that ultimately end in hardware actions.

All the benchmarks show is how well well the support libraries, kernel, glue logic and lots of other silicon at the time of the benchmark have responded. (Therefore - look at the components subject to change by phone firmware updates.)

This misunderstanding leads to the idea that some graphics benchmarks were unfair to some processors. Nope.

If an app you run makes a lot of graphics calls using the methods used in "benchmark A" and "benchmark A" shows your phone is slower or faster that some other processor - then too bad, that's how your phone is going to compare to others running that app.

However.

If your app is using graphics calls not covered in "benchmark A" then nothing about the "benchmark A" results will relate to your use whatsoever.

And that's why some people claim some benchmarks suck.

It's good to get a spread of various calls that can exercise the processors in various ways.

Most apps follow the Android SDK guidelines on threading (an implementation trick) and therefore immediately benefit from having threads auto-distribute across processor cores. Benchmarks that don't do that or do that in a sloppy way (read: ever run a bad app?) are not ready for characterizing dual-core phones.

Otherwise - there's no truth to the fact that a good benchmark ever needs to be customized to a phone to tell you what it's doing.

Your apps aren't customized - if you want to see expectations of performance, your benchmarks absolutely ought not be.

For a good free one, I'm recommending Vellamo from Qualcomm, free in the Market.

Gives a good breakdown and at the end, you can list the numbers and remove the mysteries by comparing your results to those found on popular benchmarking websites.

Trust only benchmarks that give you a running chance at relating their results to your personal app preferences.

PS - On many graphics benchmarks, remember that they can be dominated by number of pixels or subpixels.

Note how the iPhone 3GS often out-benchmarks the iP4 on many graphics, because of the hit to update more pixels. I can't imagine anyone thinking the iP3 outperforms the iP4. Those aren't telling iPhone lovers anything useful, wouldn't you agree?
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Old July 24th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When I had my photon activated I did benchmarks with Linpack and quadrant. Also tried the cf benchmark. I ran only one of each and took pics of the linpack and quadrant but not cf. I would post the pics but since Motorola got their panties in a bunch and a mod asked not to post pics, I will provide the numbers.

Linpack- I did multi thread
Mflops 35.464
Time 4.76 seconds
Norm res 3.24
Precision 2.220446049250313E-16

Quadrant was 2339

And ill have to wait til I go home to see the cf benchmark.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shawheim View Post
When I had my photon activated I did benchmarks with Linpack and quadrant. Also tried the cf benchmark. I ran only one of each and took pics of the linpack and quadrant but not cf. I would post the pics but since Motorola got their panties in a bunch and a mod asked not to post pics, I will provide the numbers.

Linpack- I did multi thread
Mflops 35.464
Time 4.76 seconds
Norm res 3.24
Precision 2.220446049250313E-16

Quadrant was 2339

And ill have to wait til I go home to see the cf benchmark.
I'm not big on benchmarks, but where do the numbers sit in comparison to all the new phones out now?
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Old July 24th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm not big on benchmarks, but where do the numbers sit in comparison to all the new phones out now?
me either so i couldnt really tell u.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My EVO 4G(2.3.3 not rooted) just ran a 1176 on Quadrant for comparisons sake.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What about the EVO 3D? How does it's numbers compare?
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Old July 24th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What about the EVO 3D? How does it's numbers compare?

I'll download quadrant and linpack on my 3D and ill report back
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Old July 24th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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With my 3D : Linpack multi thread I got 65.885 mflops in 2.65 seconds. Quadrant I got 2121.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 11:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default I know the Photon will be a damn sight faster than my Hero!

My ancient 18 month old Sprint Hero:
Linpac of 3.0 to 3.2, and a Quadrant of 480-500 I hope I will see a little improvement....

By the way according to PhoneArena the EVO 3D
Linpac of 46 and a quadrant of 1840 to 2230

Looks like the original Evo 4g had a quadrant about 1100.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 01:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quadrant is all but useless on dual cores.

My Evo 3D, stock and no tricks, hits 2400, every time. Guys in the 3D forum report between 2150 and 3000 on their overclocked phones.

Do as you think best but Quadrant comparisons are meaningless.

I'll simply recommend again - Vellamo, free in the Market.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyMon View Post
Quadrant is all but useless on dual cores.

My Evo 3D, stock and no tricks, hits 2400, every time. Guys in the 3D forum report between 2150 and 3000 on their overclocked phones.

Do as you think best but Quadrant comparisons are meaningless.

I'll simply recommend again - Vellamo, free in the Market.
But Vellamo tests the browser only. It is not an over all phone performance test. And like I said earlier, benchmarks are great for bragging rights, but are by no means a true test of performance by any account.

I have been in the PC industry for 30+years and not once have I ever seen one system perform better when it beats another system by less then 40% . Those numbers just never work and only trick people into getting something because they don't have the right info. And a Linpack number and Quadrant really don't show the whole picture. What I'm trying to say is that if the 3D gets 2400 and the Photon(just using these names) gets 2100, you are never going to see that difference in the use of the phone. Especially if the phone has a crappy interface, and BLOATED with apps running in the background. So all in all take every benchmark with a grain of salt when the numbers are less then 40%. You are simply never going to see the difference in the hardware, when there are other factors negating real world performance.

Go play with your next phone before you purchase it, don't rely on numbers only.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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But Vellamo tests the browser only. It is not an over all phone performance test. And like I said earlier, benchmarks are great for bragging rights, but are by no means a true test of performance by any account.

I have been in the PC industry for 30+years and not once have I ever seen one system perform better when it beats another system by less then 40% . Those numbers just never work and only trick people into getting something because they don't have the right info. And a Linpack number and Quadrant really don't show the whole picture. What I'm trying to say is that if the 3D gets 2400 and the Photon(just using these names) gets 2100, you are never going to see that difference in the use of the phone. Especially if the phone has a crappy interface, and BLOATED with apps running in the background. So all in all take every benchmark with a grain of salt when the numbers are less then 40%. You are simply never going to see the difference in the hardware, when there are other factors negating real world performance.

Go play with your next phone before you purchase it, don't rely on numbers only.
FYI - EarlyMon isn't one for relying on benchmarks much. He's just providing info for people, based on his research on benchmarks, but as for judging based on benchmarks...he's made it clear in the past that he doesn't rely on them as the be all, end all.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 01:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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FYI - EarlyMon isn't one for relying on benchmarks much. He's just providing info for people, based on his research on benchmarks, but as for judging based on benchmarks...he's made it clear in the past that he doesn't rely on them as the be all, end all.
Oh ok. I just want people to know that bench's are ok for a pre thought, but you should always end your decision based on hands on.

Still not sure about one thing though. What is the issue with the 1080P stuff. I keep reading that the T2 chips have issues with 1080P, but I am seeing vids of people playing 1080P on a big screen and it looks good to me.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Oh ok. I just want people to know that bench's are ok for a pre thought, but you should always end your decision based on hands on.

Still not sure about one thing though. What is the issue with the 1080P stuff. I keep reading that the T2 chips have issues with 1080P, but I am seeing vids of people playing 1080P on a big screen and it looks good to me.
Yup. EarlyMon is an advocate of that as well.

I don't know. Then again, I don't know if the videos we've seen are 1080p or 1080i/720p. Nontheless, I completely agree. They all look great to me.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 03:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Fun trick - the new SystemPanel now has a pie chart for each CPU in the SoC. Left to its own devices, it just shows the very low SystemPanel load overall.

However - if you manage your backgrounding and app switching with QuickDesk, you can easily see the processor at work for various tasks you may be running. (pix in the Evo 3D forum if anyone cares)

Not a benchmark, but a fun way to know and show that your dual cores are working for you, right out of the box. I don't know that there would be any doubt on that, but it is tangentially related to characterizing performance, so I hope you cats don't mind me tossing that out here.

PS to drex - yes, thanks for clarifying my position, much appreciated!

PS - I'm not sure about 1080p - I've read that it has fewer embedded codecs, so I'll speculate that perhaps some codecs at 1080p are easier for it than others. I can't imagine playback being a problem.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have taken in all of the information being provided in this thread and have thought of a question I need to ask...maybe two.

When considering the post by Reddragon who states that, within a margin of 40%, performance is negligible between machines of similar caliber this comes to mind; the EVO 3D comes with Dual Core 1.2GHz CPUs. The Motorola Photon is supposed to come out with a Dual Core 1.0 GHz CPU. Is it possible then that the Photon could outperform the EVO 3d despite the small decrease in CPU muscle?

While I know this sometimes applied to computer processors, when we talk about Android processors, are there considerable differences in between manufactures where the T2 processor on the Photon is better than the 1.2 GHz in the EVO 3D from Snapdragon?

Someone posted earlier about not caring what the phone does now, but how it will fair in the future as software advances. Coming from someone who is an avid gamer in the PC world, I understand that the PC upgrades I buy today are already behind what will be for sale tomorrow. When I buy upgrade, or in this case a new phone, what I am really staving off is how long it will take for it to become obsolete.

I am battling to decide between the EVO 3D and Photon which is said to give the user the ability to remove bloatware.

Any thoughts?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Talking Speed Thrills, sort of..

I think that either choice would easily last through the two years of the contract. I will also guarantee that you will be itching for whatever will be "next" and ready to ditch the "old warhorse" you are about to buy. Just the way this game is played.

CPU clock frequency is not any better predictor of user experience (within the 40% stated) than classing cars by engine RPM. Just as in a car there are differences in cylinder displacement volume, fuel injectors or carbs, and transmissions, axles and even the tires, these types of factors affect any computer including the Androids.

How well that processor handles each instruction, How fast and how large the Ram/rom memory and interface hardware is, how fast the "other" computer - the graphics processor - is and how fast and how large the display itself is all greatly affect the system speed. Add to that how well the programming handles all of these hardware items, plus any extra tasks they decide to run in the background like NASCAR or GPS, and yes a 1Ghz processor could trounce a 1.2 Ghz processor in some or most tasks. That is why there is not that big a difference in all of the benchmark tests you see, and the 1 gig Tegra dual core wins in many of them vs the 1.2 gig dual core Snapdragon. An interesting factoid, but Unless there is a BIG difference in processor and system design, it just may not be that big a deal as far as daily usability.

Higher speeds also usually mean higher temperatures and higher battery drain. Something to keep in mind.

For basic usability, I think that people now buying the year old Evo 4g design will be OK through their two year contract as far as basic usability. But there will also be many of us salivating of this years Photon or Evo 3D wanting to trade away the "old stuff" in 6 months.

But me, I cant wait to trade in my 18 month old "Old and busted" Hero on a Photon with 500% higher benchmark scores.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sartrean View Post
I have taken in all of the information being provided in this thread and have thought of a question I need to ask...maybe two.

When considering the post by Reddragon who states that, within a margin of 40%, performance is negligible between machines of similar caliber this comes to mind; the EVO 3D comes with Dual Core 1.2GHz CPUs. The Motorola Photon is supposed to come out with a Dual Core 1.0 GHz CPU. Is it possible then that the Photon could outperform the EVO 3d despite the small decrease in CPU muscle?

While I know this sometimes applied to computer processors, when we talk about Android processors, are there considerable differences in between manufactures where the T2 processor on the Photon is better than the 1.2 GHz in the EVO 3D from Snapdragon?

Someone posted earlier about not caring what the phone does now, but how it will fair in the future as software advances. Coming from someone who is an avid gamer in the PC world, I understand that the PC upgrades I buy today are already behind what will be for sale tomorrow. When I buy upgrade, or in this case a new phone, what I am really staving off is how long it will take for it to become obsolete.

I am battling to decide between the EVO 3D and Photon which is said to give the user the ability to remove bloatware.

Any thoughts?
Let's start with bloatware.

Sprint promised in June that they'd be allowing us to remove bloatware. On the Evo 3D, they didn't lie, they just didn't speak the whole truth. Some bloatware is removable, some is not without root (which we have). You'll need feedback on the Photon situation from Photon owners - I have the 3D.

On processor frequencies, the GHz of it all -

First, like modern desk/laptops, the processors in today's modern phones run at a variable speed - they run at just the speed required to make things work, and for normal tasks, that's a low clock speed.

Then, because this is after all a multitasking operating system, as tasks are added the processor is sped up to accommodate the additional load. This gives the user a very nice experience - as load from software increases, you don't see any lag (within processor and memory constraints, of course).

On processor design, the 2 cores of it all -

The first and largest difference between the Qualcomm 8660 in the 3D and the Tegra-2 in the Photon is that on the 8660, each core will run at independent clock frequencies and the OS support for that is called aSMP, or asynchronous symmetrical multiprocessing. The T2 runs both cores at the same speed, hence, SMP, symmetrical multiprocessing.

So - here's how that shakes out, and it's important to know to get to the real answer to your question.

Some apps can run in one core by design. Other apps, by their design, without a re-write, have things broken into "conceptually parallel" operations by the developer since before dual cores were around for Android. Such apps will have their parts (we call them threads) sent to each parallel core by the system automagically.

And because the two cores on the T2 are at the same frequency, the Photon kernel designers had to cleverly decide to make those decisions based on higher battery life (lower clock speed processing), higher performance (higher clock speed processing) or somewhere in between. It's quite similar to the performance balancing done for the 8660, but it's a little more work to do correctly sometimes. Anyway, both parties have succeeded.

Here's why you really care about understanding that and the real reason you really don't care about benchmarks -

Benchmarks, as touted by the blogs, try to make claims about phones and about processors and about all sorts of things - and that's 100% baloney sausage.

The benchmarks all run within the Android system and do not assess bare metal (CPU cores or graphics cores).

Here's what Android is - you take the Linux preemptive multitasking operating system (think: for what you care about, just like Windows 7 or OS X if you don't know Linux), add a clever kernel (the software that glues the other software to the actual hardware and softwares to each other) and some drivers to it, and then add a thing called the Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM) to that - that's Android.

Android apps are nice and small because they're tiny little things (compared to other systems) that run inside the Dalvik VM and call common services that are provided by the whole Android deal.

And those services don't amount to just one way of doing things - developers have a rich choice which calls to make for services and things we call APIs (entry points into Android's common software libraries).

And many of those choices do the same thing in different ways.

So - a benchmark is an app like any other.

It makes library calls that end up relying on services that end up relying on the kernel that ends up relying not just on the CPU or graphics cores alone but also all that other important silicon on the motherboard(s) of the phone.

If Benchmark A says Phone X is better than Phone Y - and you happen to be using apps where the developer used the same library methods used by Benchmark A, then your apps will run faster on Phone X.

If Benchmark A's library methods are not used by your apps, if your apps use alternative equivalent methods, then the Benchmark A will predict nothing about Phone X vs. Phone Y.

If Benchmark B says the opposite, that Phone Y is better, then the same two rules above apply.

There are no benchmarks that cover everything, nor will you ever know what sort of library methods are being used by your apps - and nor will you ever drop everything and run just one thing (the typical way to run benchmarks).

That's why benchmarks are useless to end users.

However - both application developers and hardware developers can use benchmark results to target their hardware or software stuff to specific uses and to map out future improvements.

~~~~~

Benchmarking your phone is a fun exercise and harmless exercise. It makes for good parlor tricks and drinking games.

I use a browser a lot, so I like browser benchmarks - I can tell from the benchmark and my experience in interpreting the result what I can expect because I can relate the benchmark to the app I use.

Linpack, for example, may still be carrying within it some of the mainframe benchmarking code I wrote decades ago (or it may not, I've not been motivated to check and it's not like it was _mine goodie_ it was like _community please share_). If so that it does still carry those legacies in code, I can tell you for a fact that that was never designed to be used in this sort of operating system environment to tell you anything.

But it gives a fun number to compare and discuss.

~~~~~~TL/DR version:

Bottom line is try each phone and consider which features are best for you, and go for it as a happy camper.

People will try to convince you that among the top processors, it's all like Ferrari vs. a couple of Ford Pintos, when in reality, it's like comparing Audi vs. BWM vs. Mercedes - the silicon is all top-notch stuff and it's all busy doing all that stuff making the operating system happen and the phone as a phone happen.

So, choose on features and trust your gut instincts because they're both top choices and you can't go wrong.

Hope that helps!

PS - the only real use for benchmarks I've found: when upgrading versions of Android on MY phone, they can give a slight preview of what performance improvements I might expect. When I remember to check them, which, I often don't bother.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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This is a fun and informative article overall -

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