Droid graphics test

Tinfoil hats on, everybody! It appears that the Android 2.1 update that the Motorola Droid is in the midst of receiving tweaked the code a tad and changed the way graphics are processed, with a slower frame rate as a result.

We haven't noticed too great a decrease, but the numbers don't lie, we suppose. Check out developer Phil Issler's video after the break, and sound off if your Droid doesn't seem as peppy as it once did. (For what it's worth: We got about 40-41 fps on our Droid. Here's the test app if you want to try things out yourself.)  [Tesuji Games Blog via ZDNet]


Reader comments

Did the 2.1 update slow your Droid's graphics processing power?


I am averaging 51 with a min of 25 and max of 70. But I am running a custom rom with ese27, which is the Nexus 1's latest update.

Never fails! Whenever any highly antcipated hardware, game or update comes out, some douche has to piss in everyones wheaties!!

Only seems slower when I use live wallpapers. The only other thing I notice is no Google Earth in the market. Every thing else seems fine.

Not sure what my FPS were in 2.0.1 but on 2.1 right now it's 40-41. I actually ran again with live wallpapers on and off and I had a 39 average, go figure.

My droid only seem slower (icon loaded slowly)occasionally when hitting home out of an application but I thought it might be due to using helix launcher and 5 home screens with many widgets, after toning down the widgets the problem stopped. Otherwise I couldn't tell the difference.

just to clarify my typing was a little off:

I had 40-41 with live wallpapers (on)
I had 39 with live wallpapers (off)

makes no sense to me but that is what my results were.

UGH! My Wheaties have been soiled by the urea of a feminine cleansing product!
Actually I seem to be faster than before the upgrade. I haven't benchmarked it or anything though.

I have not installed the app yet to tell me the fps, but in my honest opinion I say whatever slowdown is worth it just for the pinch-to-zoom and google earth app.

And who am I kidding, for the live backgrounds too.

Google Earth app? I downloaded and applied the update manually, and I have no Google Earth app. Unless it's very well hidden. And indeed, I don't see it in the marketplace, either.

Numbers may not lie but they are easy to manipulate. First run was avg 38, Max 56, min 18. So I killed all apparently with ATK and came in at 38/24/64. Then I killed live wallpapers and got 42/28/67
Observation #1: the longer you run it, the more stable the average reading becomes. (More samples mean each result carries less weight, that's pretty basic) observation #2: the average changed, but not significantly, this hints that tweaks are for multitasking. Such tweaks will almost always be at the expense of the foreground app. Observation #3 these numbers are way different than those pictured, but well within range if you find the right mix of apps & widgets to run.

Has anyone run a movie or video after the update? That is where I will be disappointed if the playback is slow and choppy. I haven't received the update yet. I was just about to upgrade manually until I read this article.

Please let me know if you see a difference.

Yep. If 'm' is 30fps and 'M' is 60fps, then what I'm seeing is like:


The average/min/max numbers don't really convey what the 2D graphics stuttering is like after the upgrade. Maybe we need a standard deviation or a histogram or something.

Since the speed of the ball is directly tied to the frame rate, the effect is disconcerting. It's like being in a car where the driver is randomly alternating between the gas pedal and the brake.

I found Google Earth without any problem. Downloaded it yesterday and in fact, I just looked at it to make sure it works.

Average was 34fps. I thought I was crazy when I noticed my phone lagging a bit (graphically) after the upgrade. This app validates what I already thought was true. Anyone know why this is happening?

I updated manually and the lag is the first thing I noticed. My speed is also stuttering. I say to hell with the update. Revert back to 2.0.1 and get a custm ROM like BB or Cyanogen and be done with it.

I keep running my task-killer app nd everytime its opened there's a list of apps I haven't even used running in the background. I'm guessing this could be the source of the probleem?

Before manually updating yesterday, I was avg.=53. This morning after update, it is avg.=37-39. However, I really don't see a difference. I haven't checked video yet. I don't use a lot of video, so it won't bother me a whole lot. That is what computers are for.

well i have a video playing right now with alot of action and no flicker or shuttering its playing great now this moto update is it the same as the one verizon pushed out

I noticed that if I long-press on the home key, then my fps jumps up to around 40 from around 30. Think that maybe Google just made their graphics processing an on-demand type deal? Versus running full tilt the entire time?

At first my Droid was noticeably lagging after installing update. Now ( 10 hours later ) it runs smoothly and possibly faster than before. Same goes for the new Gallery app-at first slow and now incredibly smooth.

According to verizon wireless, the problem with the resolution is with the fact that i got it from google not motorola. According to verizon, they said that motorola's update is slightly different and thiers is built to not cause lag.

mine is supper laggy after the new update. super choppy when going from screen to screen. sometimes takes a second or two to even move from one screen to the other. scrolling is REALLy choppy now too. even worse than it was before..... which was bad to begin with. id gladly take 2.0.1 back so they could get this update working coreectly. either that or they need a fix quick.

I agree with you. Even my home screen "swipe" isn't as fluid as it was before the download. Is this going to be fixed of do I need to learn to live with it?

I updated manually, and im sorry that i did. After updating to 2.1, my fps is cut in half. There is a noticeable choppiness now when i play games, especially on nesoid (nintendo emulator). This is a definite problem that needs to be fixed.

Mine only lags when using the live wallpaper. There are a lot of apps in the background running so killing those is a good idea. Also, check your battery usage in settings - You're using a LOT of battery power running live wallpapers.

Was lucky enough to see this yesterday before I got my OTA Droid 2.1 update so I have some before and after 2.1 tests.

All tests were run after all tasks killed via ATK

2.0.1: 57avg, 23min, 67max
2.1 w/live: 39avg, 24min, 67max
2.1 w/o live: 39avg, 23min, 66max

The one thing I did notice was that it seemed to be a bimodal distribution with the 2.1 update. It would hover around 30fps for a few seconds, then jump up to 50-60 for a few seconds, back and forth. With 2.0.1, it was staying around the 50s. It would be interesting to see the standard deviation of the readings, or a log file would be great.

And if my observations were correct, that it lags for a few seconds, then goes back to the 50s, maybe this isn't a graphics problem at all, but some type of background operation that has been added, some sort of cron job that is taking precedence over the foreground application.

That jives perfectly with the processor profile charts in the link from this story. Looks like Moto has dedicated more or higher priority to freeing the processor and increasing the idle time.

This would lead to better battery life, faster opening of new applications, faster Home animation, basically a boost to any new foreground activity. The bad news - this has to take processor time away from somewhere.

I'm not real familiar with the Linux tools that have been ported over to the shell on the Droid, but someone with a unit, and a bit of knowledge could test this by jacking the nice level of the test app to something like -10 with a shell script and checking the numbers.

Same results of the above poster. It jumps back and forth with a min of 25 and a max of 66 fps. The average is 39. Interesting.

This is the guy who had the verizon quote. They told me to go to Motorola.com/repair and reboot my phone using the software program there. I'm not going to, because it wipes the entire phone. With me being in the airforce and always on the go, my phone needs to be working, even if its in crappy shape. But if you guys wanna try it let me know how it works. But please gentlemen, do it at your own risk.