Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Note II: Sizing up

GSMArena team, 12 October 2012.
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Benchmarks

The Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II are both based on the Exynos 4412 Quad chipset, but in the Note II it has been slightly overclocked. Inside the chipset are four Cortex-A9 cores (running at 1.4GHz in the S III and 1.6GHz in the Note II), 1GB or 2GB of RAM and Mali-400MP GPU.

The Galaxy S III situation is a little confusing - the international version of the S III has 1GB, while the LTE and US versions have 2GB. The US version is based on a different chipset too - a dual-core Snapdragon. We're reviewing the international S III, meaning Exynos with 1GB of RAM. It's running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean (which posted lower scores in some tests than ICS).

Cortex-A9 isn't the newest ARM design in town, but it holds its own in single-threaded performance. Due to the clock speed, we expect to see a 15% advantage for the Note II, which is pretty much what we're seeing in Benchmark Pi. The Krait-packing LG Optimus G has a slight lead, but not by much.

Linpack shows good performance for a quad-core A9, but it's way behind the four Kraits in this test. Still, the Exynos chipsets do beat the other popular quad A9 design, the Tegra 3.

Geekbench 2 rates both Galaxy droids on top (over even the Optimus G). AnTuTu and Quadrant both give close scores to the S III and Note II, with an advantage for the faster CPU (of course).

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    362

Linpack

Higher is better

  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    189.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

Geekbench

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2000
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1748
  • LG Optimus G
    1723
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1661
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    1634
  • Apple iPhone 5
    1601

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    13562
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    12288
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    11820
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    11735
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    11633

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5375
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5170
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    4814

The GPU is a Mali-400, which Samsung used in the Galaxy S II and the original Note, but the one in the S III and Note II is a more powerful version. It holds up surprisingly well against the brand new Adreno 320 and easily beats the ULP GeForce GPU of the Tegra 3.

Since the GPU is hitting the 60fps limitation of the screens when running NenaMark 2, we stuck with GLBenchmark. When rendering at 720p resolution, both GPUs are very close and not far from the Adreno 320. The lead on the Tegra 3 chipsets is around 50%.

Ramped up to 1080p resolution however, things change - the new Adreno pulls ahead (followed closely by the triple-core SGX543 GPU in the Apple iPhone 5), while the Galaxy S III and Note II are still close together, but render at nearly half the framerate.

GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt (720p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • LG Optimus G
    113
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    105
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    99
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    80
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    64
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    61

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • LG Optimus G
    29
  • Apple iPhone 5
    27
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    15
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    9

Now for web browsing - both Galaxy droids are running Jelly Bean, which brought major speed improvements in this area. The Galaxy Note II is the fastest droid we've tested on SunSpider, just behind the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S III didn't break the 1000ms barrier, but is still quite impressive.

In BrowserMark, the Note II is again the fastest droid phone we've tested and very close to the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S III is behind but manages to fend off other droids (with the exception of the Meizu MX 4-core, which shares its chipset with the Samsung phones).

Finally, the Note II posts an impressive Vellamo score, while the Galaxy S III lags behind its bigger brother and also gives way to the HTC One X.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1192
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1312
  • LG Optimus G
    1353
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1446
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    1468

BrowserMark

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 5
    189937
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    185034
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    158404
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    157176
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    149038
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    147582
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    140270

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1468
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