Tips and Tricks: Android Benchmark Tools

August 20, 2011
by Lim Pei Hao

20 August 2011 – Benchmark tool in computing term is defined as a programming application that evaluates or gauges the relative performance of a system. Speaking of performance, most people will give vague descriptions such as "speedy" and "responsive", thus the role of these benchmark tools are to translate "speedy and responsive" performance into a quantitative data. In addition, these results generated by the benchmark tools could be used to compare across devices, hence the name "benchmark". 


Since there are many Android devices that are equipped with the similar hardware specification, benchmark result will act as supporting information on evaluating a device's performance.  


Several benchmark tools are available for the Android platform and can be found in the Android marketplace: 


A) General Benchmark Tools 


AnTuTu Benchmark 



 


The AnTuTu Benchmark covers performance tests for CPU, GPU and memory of a device. It also tests the SD card read and write speed, as well as the input and output of database. A high performance Android device will able to get a high score. 


Benchmark Pi 


This tool evaluates your device's performance by checking how fast the device is able to calculate the approximation of mathematical Pi in in millisecond. Generally, the lower score indicates faster Android devices.  


Linpack 


Linpack instructs the device to solve a linear equation that is introduced by Jack Dongarra to measure the system’s floating point computing power in Millions of FLoating-point Operations Per Second (MFLOP/s). Higher MFLOP/s means speedier Android device. 


Quadrant Standard 


Similar to the AnTuTu Benchmark, Quadrant Standard measures CPU processing, memory, database I/O, 2D and 3D graphics. Higher scores means higher performance device. In addition, Quadrant Standard allows your score to be compared with several Android devices in a graphical chart. 


B) GPU Benchmark Tools 


NenaMark 1
NenaMark 1 & 2 


NenaMark 1 & 2 are programmed to test solely on your device's GPU, measuring the results in frames per second (fps). Similar to benchmark a PC's GPU, NenaMark 1 & 2 evaluates the device’s GPU by using OpenGL ES 2.0 to render 3D graphics in real time which involves graphical effect like reflections, dynamic shadows, parametric surfaces, particles and different light models. Ideally, a device should achieve 60 fps for a smooth graphic-intensive gaming experience 


NenaMark 2
Neocore 


Neocore is another GPU benchmark for Android devices that uses OpenGL-ES 1.1 to visualize 1-pass light maps and bump mapping. Just like NenaMark 1 & 2, the result is measured in fps.  


Nevertheless, we cannot judge a performance of a device strictly based on benchmark scores, due to the lack of consistency of these scores produced by the benchmark tools. Other factors should be taken into consideration such as the version of Android operating system, the type of ROM, CPU, GPU and memory being used in the device.



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