GPU Performance

GPU performance of the Pixel 3 should be relatively non-surprising for the most part – again we see the Snapdragon 845 at play and its Adreno 630 GPU should be performing excellently. This year the only real differences between devices was how vendors decided to set up their thermal throttling mechanisms and how the hardware itself is able to dissipate sufficient heat – as the SoC’s peak performance lies above the sustainable thermal envelope of a given device.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

In the 3DMark Physics test, the Pixel 3 performs as expected in peak performance, however we see a more than usual decline is sustained performance compared to other Snapdragon 845 phones. Here it is possible Google has more strict thermal limits on the CPU.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

The graphics results on 3DMark are more in line with other S845 devices, still the small Pixel 3 does end up slightly lower in performance. It’s notable that the Pixel 3 here ends up with a lower sustained performance score as the Pixel 2 family – showcasing the worst-case scenario for the SoC.

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen

In the new Aztec benchmark, the new GPU architecture does help quite a bit in terms of differentiating itself from last year’s Pixels, however still the Pixel 3 ends up at the lower end of S845 phones in terms of the sustained performance.

GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

Finally in Manhattan and T-Rex, the Pixel 3 ends up in the same ballpark range as last year’s Pixels – again a worst-case scenario for the new SoC.

Among Android devices the Pixel 3 doesn’t stand out too much from the competition, however is still going to be able to perform very well. One has to keep in mind GPU and gaming performance is very much tied to the hardware capabilities, and in this regard we’ll see major jumps with the next generation GPUs.

System Performance Display Measurement
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  • Impulses - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    It was thrown in by VZW and some Canadian carriers! Pretty overpriced for the rest of us tho... :|
  • imaheadcase - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    I've not had any memory problems with mine. Also should be noted the stand is not bundled with phone, even thought it was with review it makes it sound like its normal.
  • Edwardmcardle - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Awesome review as always. Will there be a mate 20 pro review? Have one and am considering returning because of odd screen issue. Also the new performance mode seems to suck battery, but animations seem laggy when not engaged...would be great to have a professional insight!
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Yes I'll follow up with the Mate 20's review next week. And yes the screen on the Pro is sub-optimal, as well as battery life, but that's not related to the perf mode.
  • arayoflight - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Hey Andrei, can you check other SD845 phones with PCMark on Android 9 as well, so we can find out whether Google's performance is due to their firmware or the OS itself. You probably already have the OP6/T.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    The OP6 in this review had Android 9 scores, the rest of the phones didn't have an update as of yet.
  • InitrINwAndRatouSpeL - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Nice wallpaper - where could I find that?
  • norazi - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    This review left out the best feature on the Pixel IMHO... Call Screen, it has completely transformed how I answer phone calls
  • Impulses - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Possibly cause it's location based.
  • Genspirit - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    Just a note that the detail in the shadow isn't being "crushed" so much as it is just darkened. If you lighten the photo after taking it you can easily see the details in the shadows.
    Also I have to say I love my headphones that came with it, maybe just a fit thing.

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