Sunspider Smartphone to Notebook Speed Comparison – 2014 Update

At the end of 2012 I had a post in which I described the results of a speed comparison between notebooks and smartphones. One and a half years later I decided it's time for another look and see if and how the world has moved on.

Again, I've been using the Sunspider test suite that runs in a web browser. Not only hardware has moved on but browsers might have a more optimized Javascript engine in the meantime and the Sunspider test suite has also been updated from version 0.9.8 used in the previous post to version 1.0.2 used in this post. At least on the notebook side it doesn't make any difference, however, as the result of the benchmark on the same Intel i3 2367M, 1.4 GHz driven notebook came in with almost exactly the same result (416 vs. 410 ms) as one and a half years ago.

So here are my 2014 results with current hardware:

178 ms, Macbook Pro, Intel i7, 2.4 GHz, Firefox 28, OS X 10.9.2

260 ms, Lenovo E330, Ubuntu 12.04, Firefox 28, 260ms (Intel i3-2348M CPU @ 2.30GHz)
534 ms, Lenovo E330, Ubuntu 12.04, virtualized Windows 7 running on the Ubuntu host)

416 ms, Lenovo E130, Ubuntu 12.04, Firefox 28, (Intel i3, 2367M, 1.4 GHz)
—> 410 ms, direct comparison to Sun Spider 0.9.8 with Firefox 16.0.2 in the previous test

411 ms, iPhone 5S (€700+), ARM64, native browser, result taken from here.

(1266 ms, Netbook,  Intel Atom N270 (first generation), 1.6 GHz, Firefox 16.0.2, Ubuntu 12.04, (2009))

1376 ms, mid-range Android 4.2.2 based smartphone (€250), Opera Mobile browser

1928 ms, low end Android 4.3 based device (€130)

The direct comparison shows that both the notebook and the smartphone worlds have moved on significantly. The iPhone 5s has twice as much single CPU power than its predecessor and my current notebook based on an i3 processor is twice as fast as the notebook I used one and a half year ago. The mid-range Android phone now has the CPU power a flagship Android smartphone had one and a half years ago. Note that I didn't measure the 2009 Intel Atom based netbook again (hence the line is in brackets) but just put it here for comparison sake to show where fast smartphones sold today are compared to netbooks of the 2009 timeframe. Quite impressive!

One thought on “Sunspider Smartphone to Notebook Speed Comparison – 2014 Update”

  1. I too have been tracking the improving JavaScript performance of mobile devices using SunSpider.

    Another factor in benchmark performance is the amount of RAM in the device. The JavaScript garbage collector imposes a significant performance hit so the less frequently it has to run the better. I’ve seen a near doubling of performance on the benchmark in the case where two devices had similar processors but one had double the memory of the other.

    I’ve not looked closely at the JavaScript code for SunSpider to figure out how much memory the benchmarks could use, but I suspect that memory will become less of a factor now that devices routinely come with a couple of gigs of RAM.

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