GPU, Throttling, and Storage Performance

Thanks to a beefier GPU, the Galaxy S7 Edge is a great gaming device, having more than enough power to support Android gaming at 1440p. I played a range of intensive titles on the Galaxy S7, including Vainglory and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, and performance was typically excellent at maximum graphics settings. On previous handsets it wasn’t always possible to get a smooth experience in these games, so this a definite step forward.

In GPU-limited benchmarks, we’re looking at a performance gain of around 43% compared to the Exynos 7420’s Mali-T760MP8. The lead is smaller when comparing the Mali-T880MP12 to the Snapdragon 810’s Adreno 430, at just 32% when looking at the Galaxy S7 Edge versus the Google Nexus 6P (also a 1440p device). However, the gains on the GPU side are still pretty decent in both situations, and help mitigate some performance issues in high-end games running at 1440p.

Upgrading from a Galaxy S5? Expect to see GPU gains of around 90% moving from the Snapdragon 801, and more than 150% moving from the Exynos 5422 variant.

The Galaxy S7 Edge doesn’t surprise in its sustained performance, throttling modestly after around 10-12 minutes in a GPU heavy workload. Using GFXBench’s battery test, the Galaxy S7 Edge kept its performance around its peak level for about 13 iterations of the 55 second-long benchmark, before steadily dropping to around half the peak performance after 25 iterations.

While the S7 Edge does throttle aggressively after 20 or so minutes, recording performance 42% lower after this period, its long-term performance is still around the same, if not higher, than many other Android devices on the market. Considering peak performance is excellent, and the S7 Edge can sustain this for longer than the Galaxy S6, I’d say that’s a win.

On the other hand, the S7 Edge does get very hot while playing intensive 3D games, which explains why a heatpipe was necessary to dissipate heat away from the SoC. The skin temperature on the back of the device reached as high as 41°C during sustained load, and the metal edges can get quite toasty. Samsung has clearly prioritized performance at the expense of heat here.

The S7 Edge’s storage performance is similar to the Galaxy S6, which means we’re still seeing very good transfer speeds. Sequential read performance has improved, at the expense of slight reductions in other areas, though I don’t expect this will have a significant impact on general day-to-day usage.