Google Blocks Geekbench and 3DMark on Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro
In the ever-competitive world of smartphones, Google has recently unveiled its flagship Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro models. These devices boast an in-house Tensor G3 processor, a unique and daring entry into the smartphone chipset arena. While Google emphasizes a focus on efficiency and artificial intelligence, recent developments indicate that they are going to great lengths to suppress traditional benchmarking tools for these devices.
Tensor G3 CPU/GPU Architecture:
The Tensor G3 chip, at the heart of the Pixel 8 Series, showcases an unconventional 9-core CPU architecture. This arrangement comprises one Cortex-X3 mega-core clocked at 3.00GHz, four Cortex-A715 large cores running at 2.45GHz, and four Cortex-A510 small cores with a clock speed of 2.15GHz. This heterogeneous setup is designed to optimize both performance and power efficiency, aligning with Google’s stated goal of emphasizing AI capabilities over raw processing power.
Accompanying this CPU configuration is a 10-core Arm Mali-G715 GPU that stands out for its hardware-level ray-tracing acceleration capabilities. Google’s intention seems clear: prioritize graphics performance and future-ready the Pixel 8 Series for the demands of high-quality mobile gaming and immersive visuals.
What has raised eyebrows in recent news is Google’s decision to block the installation of popular benchmarking tools like GeekBench and 3DMark directly through the app store for new Pixel 8 Series users. This move is seen as an attempt to limit the spread of benchmark scores that could potentially highlight the chipset’s performance drawbacks.
Google is quick to defend its actions, asserting that the Tensor G3 chip’s design centers around efficiency and AI-driven tasks rather than chasing high benchmark scores. While many smartphones use benchmarks like GeekBench to showcase raw computational power, Google appears to have chosen a different path, focusing on AI enhancements and user experience.
Workarounds and Benchmark Results:
Despite Google’s restrictions, resourceful users have managed to find workarounds to run these benchmarking tools on the Pixel 8 Series devices. The results, when revealed, have raised questions. For instance, a GeekBench 6 score showed the Pixel 8 Pro’s Tensor G3 chip scoring 1,760 in the single-core test and 4,442 in the multi-core test. These scores appear to lag significantly behind competitors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 chip, highlighting the performance gap.
Furthermore, tests reveal that the Tensor G3’s GPU efficiency rankings are notably behind the Snapdragon series, suggesting a potential performance gap in graphics-intensive tasks. Google blocks Geekbench and 3DMark to prevent these performance drawbacks from becoming apparent to consumers.
Update: The block has been removed. (Source)
In a landscape where benchmark scores have become a focal point for smartphone comparisons, Google’s approach with the Pixel 8 Series challenges the conventional wisdom. By restricting benchmarking tools and focusing on AI-driven efficiency, Google is making a bold statement that benchmark scores may not be the best metric for evaluating the quality of a smartphone.
The Tensor G3 chip may not top the charts in raw performance, but it offers a different set of capabilities that could prove to be valuable in the long run. As the Pixel 8 Series continues to evolve, it will be intriguing to see how users, reviewers, and the industry at large respond to this innovative approach.