iPhone 6s TSMC/Samsung Case Study

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thatanonymoususer, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. thatanonymoususer, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015

    thatanonymoususer macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    iPhone 5s (Space Gray) Verizon - Reference point for those familiar
    iPhone 6s (Silver) Sim-Free TSMC
    iPhone 6s (Space Gray) T-Mobile Samsung
    All were restored to factory - set up as new iPhone on iOS 9.0.2
    Once the phones were set up, the network settings were reset, and wifi turned off.
    All questions were answered in the same manner with regards to location tracking (no).
    Room Temperature:78˚F (25˚C)

    Charging was done along with the Battery Doctor app and all phones were left on the charger until 100% and the trickle charge was complete. (Approximately 40 minutes after reaching 100%) - This also allows for the phones to cool off after the charging phase.

    At this point there are 3 installed apps:
    1. GeekBench v3.4.0 (After 6s support update)
    2. Liram Device Info Lite v3.2.4
    3. Battery Doctor v2.4

    Brightness on all phones were set to 100%. All apps were quit before testing began.

    OSnap was used to get a picture every 5 minutes on an iPhone 6 Plus with the camera protruding through the shoebox to get my times while I slept.

    In this particular test, There was only a 1-interval difference (5 minutes) between the TSMC and the Samsung phones going off. This would mean that these results can't be relied upon to show that either is more efficient than the other.

    Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.02.45 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.02.36 PM.png

    Sources of error:
    The two devices are slightly different models. (One T-mobile, the other Sim-Free)
    Other parts could be different between the phones such as the battery and screen.
    Slightly possible different runs: the Samsung was received on launch. The TSMC was received on October 12th.

    At 15 minutes, it was found that automatic screen brightness was left on, so the two 6s’s were slightly less than 100% bright. I solved this by going into settings and setting it back at the same time on each and resuming the phones back to 100% brightness.

    Future Study:
    In order for this to be conclusive, more results are needed.
    It would be useful to have thermal information through something like a FLIR camera.
    It might make more sense to do a dim-screen test.
    It would be a good idea to plot power usage over time using a power supply and an amp-meter to get an accurate power-draw over time to see if either are drawing more energy.

    In this test, it was only shown to have a 2% difference (±2% due to the checking interval being around 2%) between the TSMC and Samsung. In this particular case study, the 5-minute difference wasn’t found to be a significant enough difference to call either 6s more efficient than the other.

    EDIT: It looks like I messed up some of the data entry. I fixed the time scale.

    PART 2:
    After doing the above test, the same test was repeated while in airplane mode with the brightness turned all the way down. The two phones are the same as sampled above.

    The test achieved the following:
    Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 5.37.58 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 5.42.15 PM.png

    Given these findings, and with the Samsung lasting 72% of the time that the TSMC did, it could be concluded that there is a difference between these two chips.

    Overall Conclusion (WARNING: GRAND GENERALIZATIONS HERE) EDIT: Grand generalizations about masking shown to most likely be incorrect on second page.
    With the screen brightness and phones out of airplane-mode, the phones almost completely masked the difference between processors. Using iFixit's list of IC's, the following wouldn't be used during these tests because they would (for the most part) have been turned off or not used during my test:

    Toshiba THGBX5G7D2KLFXG 16 GB 19 nm NAND Flash
    Universal Scientific Industrial 339S00043 Wi-Fi Module
    NXP 66V10 NFC Controller
    Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S00105 Audio IC
    RF Micro Devices RF5150 Antenna Switch
    Apple/Cirrus Logic 338S1285 Audio IC
    Qualcomm WTR3925 Radio Frequency Transceiver

    It would be my grand assumption that when all of these circuits are running or in standby, the power difference between CPU's would be even further masked, and and the 2-3% difference could be considered relatively accurate.

    Further study (and what it looks like is on the front page blog of MacRumors):
    Confirming that the CPU's difference would be further masked by network services by streaming from a service such as Netflix
    Trying 3D gaming on the two devices
    Some of the suggestions from Part 1

    I would still be happy with a Samsung-chipped iPhone 6s
  2. CraigGB macrumors regular

    May 30, 2010
    thanks for going to all the effort to do this :)
  3. thatanonymoususer thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    Sure thing! I have both of them here with me for now, so I figured I'd try a somewhat more controlled approach from what I've seen so far.
  4. thatanonymoususer thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    For those interested: The batteries are charging in lock-step for the most part %-wise in the post-test recharge. I plan to do another test using the iPhone 5s's camera (I need the 6 plus for work) with dim screens and airplane mode on (I thought I did for the first one, but apparently not) to make the processor a larger percentage of the total power consumption. Results will be posted after work.
  5. roeiz macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2010
  6. thatanonymoususer thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    Glad to add my findings!

    I've updated the above with my findings from the dim-screen test mentioned before.
  7. IphoneIssues, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

    IphoneIssues macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2010
    A nice and thorough study. Too bad there will still be those obsessive people who will insist on chasing down the TSMC, just because they were told there was a very slight difference.
  8. thatanonymoususer thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    I don't blame them. If you're going to be spending 2-months rent (at least in this college town) on a device, you want it to be as perfect as possible. Either way though, I think my findings show that we should be making fun of our iPhone 5s friend's battery life, not our Samsung-chipped friends. :p
  9. spacesquirrel, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

    spacesquirrel macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2010
  10. bhayes444 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2013
    Very nice testing, thank you; also for the detailed steps so it can be reproduced and compared more easily.
  11. JayIsAwesome macrumors 65816


    Sep 8, 2013
    And meanwhile I'm over here like "as long as my phone works..."
  12. jin512 macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2014
    Do you happen to be in Boston LOL?
  13. semicoln macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2012
    I think Apple Music burns more battery than GeekBench. Anybody else feeling this way?
  14. david91 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2015
  15. thatanonymoususer, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

    thatanonymoususer thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    Honestly, this would be one of the cases that I feel that they would perform about the same since it's relying on the wifi/lte chip, and the CPU difference would be masked by that (like what the backlight did)

    Nah. South-central PA

    I'd love to, but at this point I'd just like to use my shiny new 6s. I just finished doing a restore from backup, and I'm enjoying the phone immensely. Unless your VPN is doing encryption on the CPU, I'd doubt that you'd see much of a difference at all. (and even then, your wifi or lte being on will probably make more of a difference anyways)
  16. cababah macrumors 68000

    Jun 11, 2009
    SF Bay Area, CA
    So basically, there is a slight difference but in the grand scheme of day to day use and total ownership experience, the difference is negligible at best.

    Once the new device OCD wears off, people will care less and less about this.
  17. daniesy macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2010
  18. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    Thanks for going to such effort, OP. I activated my 6s only yesterday and am interested in seeing how my battery holds out over the next few days.

    And, yes, a Samsung chip resides in mine. It seems I always lose on these chip/screen/whatever lotteries. Guess that's why they're called lotteries. ;)

    And I agree as to one reason why folks are often obsessed with these things. The cost is a a significant portion of most folks' income, for many it is a month's rent or mortgage. For those who upgrade every year, they are understandably dismissive of the concern. They'll have the newest latest and greatest soon enough. For those who upgrade less frequently, they don't want to be stuck with what seems a lesser device, lesser in their eyes at least. Hopefully, future testing will confirm that this chip/battery concern was all for naaught.

    Regardless, I'm looking forward to getting to know my 6s. It's a fine little computer.
  19. daniesy macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2010
    For many, these devices are a month's pay :)
  20. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
  21. thatanonymoususer thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015

    I can definitely understand the concern. I would suggest though that if you are unimpressed with the device after a few days over battery issues, it might be a better idea to go with one of the plus models (where the battery is going to last you a day and then some with either chip) rather than exchange until you get a TSMC to see a noticeable difference. Glad to help!
  22. CNeufeld macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2009
    Edmonton, AB
    If someone is shelling out a month's pay for an iPhone, they have bigger issues than whether their battery life is 4 hours or 6 hours...

    Although I guess if you're going to be homeless, it's best to make sure you have a long battery life, since it might be a long time in between charging sessions.

  23. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    I'm not a power user. If the phone lasts a day, I'm happy because I'll recharge it at night.
  24. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    LOL yeah it's more like a week and a half worth of rent.
  25. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    which can be spread out for up to 30 months

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