The Galaxy S23 Ultra is among the best smartphones of the year thanks to its good all-around performance, be it camera, raw performance, or battery life. Even seven months after its launch, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is easily challenging newer smartphones. Even against the recently launched flagship iPhone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra seems to be performing really competitively.
Galaxy S23 Ultra has a more powerful GPU than iPhone 15 Pro Max
Several tests reveal that the Galaxy S23 Ultra's GPU performance is better than the iPhone 15 Pro Max despite featuring a chip that uses an older fabrication process. Apple created a lot of hype by introducing the world's first 3nm smartphone chip for the iPhone 15 Pro lineup. However, the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy processor seems to be performing much better, especially during sustained graphics workloads.
In the popular 3DMark Wildlife Extreme graphics test, which tests devices for their sustained GPU performance, the Galaxy S23 Ultra performs much better than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. As you can see in the image above, the Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at 3,886 points in the first run and drops to 2,794 points in the 20th run. In comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at 3,608 points in the first run and drops to 2,843 points in just the second run. That's a massive performance drop in just a couple of minutes. By the 20th run, the iPhone 15 Pro Max's GPU drops to 2,681 points.
While the Galaxy S23 Ultra's GPU performance dropped by 28% after 20 runs of the graphics test, the iPhone 15 Pro Max's GPU performance dropped by 22% after just one run of the test. The performance of Samsung's flagship smartphone reduced gradually and gracefully, which means users won't notice a sudden drop in performance during gaming. On the other hand, gamers will likely notice a drastic performance drop while gaming on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Several tests also reveal that the iPhone 15 Pro Max runs quite hot while gaming or even during charging. It seems despite the A17 Pro being a 3nm chip made by TSMC's latest fabrication process, it isn't very power efficient and runs hot. This could be due to the iPhone 15 Pro series lacking a proper heat dissipation mechanism. In comparison, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a decently large vapor chamber system to cool down the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy processor.
This is the first time a Samsung phone is outperforming an iPhone in GPU tests
This is probably the first time an iPhone is facing overheating and severe performance throttling issues. It is also the first time in several years that a Samsung smartphone has outperformed an iPhone in graphics performance. So, it seems like Samsung has a chance to come back even stronger early next year with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It remains to be seen how the company manages to offer better performance than the Galaxy S23 Ultra if it brings the Exynos 2400 with the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
You can view our in-depth Galaxy S23 Ultra video review below.