Pixel 5 sees drastically improved GPU performance after April patch

Enlarge / Our Pixel 5 came in this fun green version.

Ron Amadeo

Almost six months after the launch of the Pixel 5, Google has revamped the way the GPU works, bringing the phone to the level you’d expect from a Snapdragon 765G phone. The April 2021 security update for the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) came with a note saying it includes “performance optimizations for certain graphics-intensive games and apps.” Practical tests reveal that the update apparently dramatically improves the Pixel 5 GPU and reportedly shows performance gains of up to 50 percent in some applications and benchmarks.

We don’t have a Pixel 5 on hand to test, but Andreas Proschofsky Der Standard reported to the internet that it is seeing “30-50 percent better” performance in 3DMark after the update. Andrei Frumusanu Anandtech confirmed that “performance has essentially doubled from published scores [in Anandtech’s review], and online or better than other 765G phones, “adding that” the fact that it took 6 months is sad. “Hmm. Yes.

It may seem impossible to add 50 percent more performance with a simple software update, but Google is only fixing the terrible state of the launch phone. There was just a lot of room for improvement relative to other phones. When we reviewed the device, we called it “the slowest Snapdragon 765G phone in the world,” noting that other Snapdragon 765G smartphones like the OnePlus Nord could sweep the device in head-to-head GPU benchmarks. It wasn’t a great look for the Pixel 5, which was already facing a switch to mid-range hardware which meant it would be slower than the Pixel 4. The benchmarks allow us to put exact numbers on the gears, but this is not So. a benchmarking trick; the numbers reflected real-world performance when it came to 3D gaming, which was terrible on the Pixel 5.

Google says the April 2021 security update also comes with camera quality improvements for third-party apps, a fix for an issue that would cause freezing on startup, and a fix for some missing home screen settings. . The update should roll out now on Pixel phones, just press the update button.

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