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Forthcoming iOS 5 to bring speed bump to other iPhones

updated 07:15 pm EDT, Mon October 10, 2011

4S not the only model to gain speed boost

While the processor inside the iPhone 4S has already been shown to have given the new phone a significant speed boost for web browsing and JavaScript benchmarks, tests on other models reveals that iOS 5 may play a significant role as well -- allowing the iPhone 4, iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS to gain a noticeable performance boost when it is released on Wednesday. In the case of the iPhone 4, initial testing has shown it catching back up to its latest rivals.

Rightwave's BrowserMark suite of tests have shows for some time now that the iPhone 4, using a single-core A4 chip, was being outperformed in benchmark tests by newer competitors with dual-core and/or higher-rated chips, such as the brand-new Samsung Galaxy S II, which features a dual-core chip that runs at 1.2GHz. Others that have recently surpassed the iPhone 4 in browser performance include the top-ranked Motorola Atrix 4G and the LG Optimux 2X, which both use a Tegra dual-core 1GHz chip.

Running iOS 4.2.1, the iPhone 4 was ranked eighth in the BrowserMark test, which profiles web browser proficiency, with a score of 31,375. The top-three ranked phones were able to use their dual-core chips to boost their scores to over the 50,000 mark, with the Motorola Atrix achieving 53,576. Users can test their own devices by visiting Rightware's BrowserMark website with their mobile device.

However, tests by AppleInsider staff showed that when upgraded to iOS 5, the iPhone leaps to a theoretical second place, achieving a score of 51,302 -- ahead of the LG Optimus, which uses the same OS and chip as the Motorola Atrix. This puts the iPhone 4 -- already over a year old -- in the same zone as more powerful dual-core chips (the A4 is estimated to run at about 800MHz with a single core). The testing suite notes on its results page that the iPhone 3GS manages an overall average score (across all tested iOS versions, not including iOS 5 yet) of 26,897, which could be significantly boosted by using iOS 5.

Performance in the Rightwave suite often improves as later versions of the OS and new models are released. The iPhone 4 went from a score of 31,375 to over 35,000 just by updating the software to the current version (4.3.5), and the 3GS is up an average of 5,000 points over its iOS 4.1 score. The Nexus One improved its score by 50 percent by upgrading both its hardware and default OS.

The iPhone 4S is of course significantly faster, achieving scores of nearly 90,000 using the same suite. Newer tests against more current versions of the Android, Windows Phone and iOS systems and latest models will be needed to place the iPhone 4S' performance in context. But the remarkable boost provided by the update to iOS 5 suggests that the iPhone 4, 3GS and iPod Touch will all remain highly competitive against even newer rivals for some time to come. [via AppleInsider]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good news

    That's good news. I'm still ticked off that my iPhone 3g slowed down terrible under iOS 4.0. It'd be great if iOS 5.0 brought serious improvement to my still-sold-by-Apple iPhone 3gs.

    But keep in mind that these were browser/Javascript tests. Users are likely to be more concerned with the speed of app loading and how snappy the UI is.

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