Smartphones weren’t designed to take on fully featured desktop first-person-shooters but with an increasing amount of processing power and memory being packed into today’s handsets, games such as Quake are finding their way onto mobile devices.
Two of the most powerful mobile processors on the market at the moment are the 1GHz ARM-based Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm and Samsung’s own 1GHz ARM-based Hummingbird processor. The devices are high-powered, yet require lower power meaning they are perfect for devices such as smartphones.
You wouldn’t think there would be much difference between the two processors, that is until you see how well they perform when a port of Quake 2 is run on an HTC Desire (Snapdragon) and Samsung Galaxy S (Hummingbird), the difference is quite remarkable:
To help add perspective to the demo video, both handsets are Android powered, we imagine they would also be running the same firmware to keep the comparison fair.
The performance of the Hummingbird processor could be explained in part by the Hummingbird’s ARM NEON multimedia extension. According to Slashgear, with NEON “Hummingbird can promise hardware video encoding and decoding, 2D/3D graphics, audio/voice/speech processing and sound synthesis that’s more than twice as powerful as previous ARM-based chips.”
This isn’t to say the Snapdragon isn’t a fantastic processor, it’s that Hummingbird has some serious graphics capabilities. Whatever they are putting in the silicon in South Korea really seems to be working.
[H/T – Phandroid]
Update: A comment from mobile game developers Distinctive Developments suggests that the Snapdragon also has NEON instructions, with the difference being the “PowerVR SGX 540 in the Galaxy although some modest performance could be due to processor architecture.”