Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU’s have always been seen as being a sub-par graphics compared to competing offerings from Imagination (PowerVR) and others like NVIDIA’s Tegra. This was essentially true with the Adreno 200 on Windows Mobile and Android mainly because of poor driver quality. Things are a bit different on Windows Phone 7 where the Adreno 200 is the only currently supported GPU, thanks to the tight integration with the OS and relatively good support provided by Microsoft. You can check out my recent Fable Coin Golf video to see that some pretty nice things can be done with it.
The Adreno 205 which is part of the MSM8X55 SoC package is a step forward in terms of performance and can be comparable in some case with the current top dog, the PowerVR SGX540 as seen in my benchmarks here. Qualcomm has also recently released new drivers for the 205 which slightly improves its performance compared to what you see in my benches (they are the ones used by Sony Ericsson in the Xperia Play).
But it is now time to take a look at the Adreno 220 GPU that many consumer are going to use in the coming months as it is part of the MSM8260 / MSM8660 SoC powering the upcoming HTC EVO 3D, HTC Pyramid and Palm’s TouchPad tablets (and probably countless other products that have yet to be announced). I’ve already posted a video of the dev devices in action during MWC11 but today Anandtech had the chance to the this device for a ride and perform some benchs on it.
So what’s the verdict? The Adreno 220 came out on top in every single test and followed by the SGX540 found in the LG Optimus 3D TI OMAP4630 and the Tegra 2. But take another look at the chart for a second. Do you see where the iPhone 4 is ? Now out of all the device in there; which one has the smoothest UI and UX and the best games ? You guessed it; the iPhone 4. This just goes to show that benchmark results aren’t always indicative of the over performance and experience that you will get with a product. What you can take out of this though, is that Qualcomm is really serious about it (also remember that the MSM8X60 is a dual core Cotex A8 not A9 like all other Dual-core SoC up there)