Over the last few years, the graphics capabilities and processing power of mobile devices have started reaching the level of quality often found in game consoles. In fact, Frank Gibeau, the head of EA’s mobile division says that the iPhone 6 and its improved processor is on the same level as the PS4 and the Xbox One.
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Is it really possible for a handheld battery powered device to have a GPU and CPU performance that is equal to next-gen consoles or is the head of the EA Mobile wrong?
When it comes to raw graphical or computing performance, there are three basic factors to consider:
** The size of the chip
** The chip’s power envelope
** The technical proficiency of the chip designer
In other words, if you two devices with a GPU that has 1 billion transistors, but one chip has a 20W TDP and the other a 5W TDP, it’s safe to assume that the 20W TDP chip will be a lot more powerful. The same can be said when it comes to CPUs, the one with the higher number of transistors is most likely going to be more powerful than the one with less.
So, why does the head of the mobile division of EA say that the iPhone 6 is comparable to consoles that are ten times more powerful?
His opinion is probably an oversimplification like, since both the iPhone 6 and the PS4 can render games at 1080p, they must be on the same level with each other.
There are some other factors that may give the iPhone 6 more performance that it is given credit for, like Apple’s Metal API, but when you consider that the intricacies of console hardware and the low-level coding found in many console games, it’s safe to say that the iPhone’s CPU is nowhere close to being in the same league as the Xbox One or PS4.
Thus Gibeau’s comment about consoles and mobile devices being on the same level is not only very wrong, it’s also misleading. For the past couple of years, marketing types have been saying that smartphones have graphics that are on par with consoles but, except for resolution, this is completely false.
Also, there’s a reason that consoles are large, it takes a comprehensive cooling solution to stave off the heat produced by their CPUs. So, unless Apples has a quantum breakthrough, game consoles will always have more power than mobile devices.