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Does Snapdragon suck for gaming?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by TheTrueSpin, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. TheTrueSpin

    TheTrueSpin Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Don't get me wrong, I didn't get a desire for gaming (i think we have got a long way to go before Android is a viable gaming platform), but I am sometimes surprised by the Desire's inability to run some games properly.

    Snapdragon processors seem very good at number crunching, but struggle with graphics. Look at the Quake 2 comparison of the Galaxy S and the Desire. of course, the Galaxy S is going to win, but I was surprised just how bad the Desire game out... can't have been more than 3-5 frames per second.

    I have seen this in other areas to, like the recent Sims 3 conversion for Snapdragon processors. Again, once things get a bit busy on the screen, the snapdragon simply starts to drop a ton of frames.

    So, are we seeing devs not optimising games for snapdragon processors? Or are snapdragons simply no good for games? That said, raging thunder 2 runs quite well.

    Like I said, this is more out of interest than anything else. Really like the Desire and never intended to do much 3d gaming on it, but some early results have been a little disappointing.

  2. grainysand

    grainysand Android Expert

    The GPU chip on the Snapdragon isn't amazing. Dungeon Hunter from Gameloft does run okay, though.
  3. Griff_LI

    Griff_LI Android Enthusiast

    Well, any application with high-rate-of-change graphics will be a lot quicker with a graphics processor (GPU) which the Galaxy-S has. But it does run Android too so your blanket Android != games assertion is a bit bogus.

    The processing of graphics is a specialist job - desktops, then laptops used GPUs to speed their processing now phones are following suit. From what I've seen of the Galaxy-S it does a pretty-good job of integrating the GPU into Android but it loses-out a bit on the Desire for the "complete package".

    I can't help but think that HTC are currently adding a GPU to their next-gen Desire, if they don't they'll be falling-behind.

    But to answer your question the Snapdragon itself doesn't "suck" it just isn't made to accelerate graphics. A Snapdragon with a GPU would do a better job but I suspect that (for power and space reasons) will actually be a separate single-chip.

    Edit: Oops, Snapdragon does have a GPU, just not a very good one.
  4. chris 290

    chris 290 Android Enthusiast

    A little off topic here but

    Went to see a galaxy s in voda shop today for comparison between my desire.

    Apart from it being a hideous lump of plastic, the demo phone they gave me lagged so badly that it was practically unusable. The salesman in the shop put it down 2 lots of Peeps playing with it in the shop. It took 2 mins to load and still lagged worse than my phone has ever been lol.

    I'm so glad I got my desire whilst they still had Oled screens as the galaxy s super Oled screen looked no better that I could see.

    If a game was loaded on that demo galaxy s, I think it would have exploded and that would have made it more interesting and probably better looking :)
  5. SupremeBeaver

    SupremeBeaver Android Enthusiast

    are you trying to say the Galaxy S is a bad phone? Because performance wise it obliterates the Desire. That was probably a bad unit, nothing more. Heck even the new HTC dual core phones don't touch the Galaxy S as recent benchmarks prove (HTC Glacier).

    As for this thread, im also extremely disappointed at the really weak GPU Snapdragon processors are equipped with. Im planning on buying the HTC Desire HD when it comes out, but knowing HTC, they'll just recycle the same old hardware like they have for the past year. Its such a shame because i REALLY like the look of it.
  6. TheTrueSpin

    TheTrueSpin Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    To be fair, the Galaxy is well known to be laggy in general use, just look at the forums on this site. Hardware or software, no one seems overly sure. But yes, in terms of graphical performance, it destroys the desire.
  7. grainysand

    grainysand Android Expert

    It's software. Samsung is famous for releasing buggy firmwares, so it's no surprise the Galaxy S/its variants s-s-stutter.
  8. SupremeBeaver

    SupremeBeaver Android Enthusiast

    yeah ur right. As soon as someone loads up a Froyo custom rom this phone will fly. Its really ahead of its time hardware wise.
  9. chris 290

    chris 290 Android Enthusiast

    I was more or less saying that you would think a mobile phone shop would set up a demo phone to run smoothly and that the phone is truly hideous in terms of looks.
  10. matttye

    matttye Android Expert

    I've yet to find a 2D game it struggles with... as for 3D, well it's my phone, not my games console.

    The only time I really play games on my phone is when I'm on the bus/train/long car journey so I wouldn't want anything too indepth anyway!
  11. The Great One

    The Great One Member

    I dont hope for this turn into an Android - on - Android violence kind of thing but come on guys - you know the Desire's evidentally supreme to the Samsung Galaxy S. Perhaps in gaming, the Desire might not be a spectacular phone but it gets the essential stuff done. One thing Samsung have focussed on is media which I'm pleased about but doesn't offer the same heavenly, super-sensitive touchscreen performance the Desire offers. I don't see much of a difference between AMOLED and Super AMOLED to be honest apart from the fact that the latter looks slightly better in a sunny environment.
  12. matttye

    matttye Android Expert

    I don't even think the Desire is that bad in sunlight with full brightness on.

    It's not great but it's acceptable. Don't really have to straight my eyes to see what's going on.
  13. The Great One

    The Great One Member

    I agree. Its NEVER possible to satisfy tech geeks. AMOLED or Super AMOLED, you little rascals have been using far less advanced phones a couple of years a go, you had no problems then but now when all this fancy crap comes out, it suddenly makes a difference :p

    I have no trouble seeing the screen in the sunlight unless I directly hold it infront of the sun where quiet clearly this happens to any phone, the light just reflects off
  14. jim_h

    jim_h Android Enthusiast

    Have any of you tried Let's Golf from Gameloft on the Desire? It's amazing. The 3D flyovers of the courses look great and the game never stutters or shows any lag. This is THE best game I've seen running on Android yet. I'm not a huge fan of golf, but this is awesome.

    It's not available in the UK market for 2.1 yet, but can be bought from Gameloft direct.

    No, I don't work for Gameloft! :p
  15. Stavut

    Stavut Newbie

    I agree with the OP, don't get me wrong I love my Desire and it is truly the best phone I ever had. However I also hope as mentioned above that HTC are altering their approach and incorporating some form of GPU alongside the Snapdragon processor. I'm no techie my self so I'm not sure that it isn't already there, however as far as I know there is no dedicated GPU, which means all calculations must go through the CPU hence the sluggish 3D performance on HTC phones compared to the Motorolla Droid X or the Samsung (Even the Iphone 4, fx when it comes to capturing 720p where an inside source mentioned earlier on XDA that iphones advantage lies in recording while by using the GPU, whereas the Desire has to do it via the CPU alone).

    I know the Desire did come some time before the Iphone 4, the Samsung Galaxy & the Droid X, but for future HTC phones as with the currently discussed Glacier dual CPU model, some form of GPU alongside the CPU would greatly enhance the phones performance when it comes to gaming (which is thankfully growing on the Android) and video recording.

    Edited: Some form of unholy alliance of Nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset (GPU only) and the new dualcore Snapdragon technology would be a pretty hot HTC mix hehe... But seeing as they both drain batteries faster than an Iphone 4 drops a call, we might need some form of backpack to hold the 50kg required battery for daily usage.
  16. chris 290

    chris 290 Android Enthusiast

    Never liked games on mobile devices anyway, always think they suffer from poor input sensitivity which ruins game play for me. Computer or PS3 for games and mobile for everything else.

    After seeing the samsung galaxy s I just could not live with its looks and its present stability issues. The desire on the other hand amazes me daily, quite simply the best phone I have ever owned and the best purchase I have ever made.
  17. Nodders

    Nodders Android Enthusiast

    Rather than the usual Galaxy v Desire stuff, I think the upshot of all this is that if Android is going to compete with its competitors as a gaming platform then the phones it sits on (including HTC devices) needs a GPU in the next generation of phones... which is a pretty fair statement I think.
  18. lekky

    lekky Lover

    the snapdragon on this phone does have gpu, but it relies more on cpu power for games than the galaxy s.

    it doesn't suck at gaming, and also froyo helps with 3d games too. I mean i can play any of the 3d games pretty decently on my phone (i'm doing quite well on assassins creed :p )
  19. Phenomenological

    Phenomenological Android Expert

    There is. It's just not a lot of cop! :p
  20. Nodders

    Nodders Android Enthusiast

    It is still the weak spot of the Snapdragon though in comparison with competitors, and the area that HTC will have to invest in to gain more market share.
  21. bozzer

    bozzer Newbie

    Shameless copy and paste from another thread I wrote this in but it's the same discussion...

    I think you will find its more to do with optimisation of drivers within the android platform iself which are written by HTC.

    I installed Quake 2 on my Desire and it was just like that...if there was any onscreen light flashes it would lag to less than a frame a second. I though this was dissapointing.

    HOWEVER, if you install Kwaaak3 (and I have), the quake 3 port for android, it runs on my HTC Desire as good as, and if not better than the Galaxy S version of Quake 2 with frame rates around the 20fps mark. Now, when you consider that the engine is newer and the textures and polygon counts are miles higer, then it proves the Desire has no issue in running opengl rendered code assuming that at a hadware abstraction level gets the right calls.

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