iPhone, iPhone 3G Slower than 2nd Gen iPod Touch

If you had thought that the iPhone 3G was an iPod Touch and a phone (also GPS) bundled together then you might be right but that might not be completely accurate if you consider performance.

Handheld Games Corp’s CEO Thomas Fessler has revealed that performance of their 3D TouchSports Tennis iPhone game is noticeably better on the 2nd generation iPod Touch as compared to the iPhone 3G, iPhone and 1st generation iPod Touch.

Thomas Fessler has this to say:

"Our first step to increase fps performance was to introduce hardware dependent levels of detail. Where we can easily display two 1500 polygon tennis players with 32 bones each on the iPod touch 2G and maintain fast and fluid game play, the original iPod touch just chokes, and in some instances so do the iPhones. To speed up the touch, we reduced the players to 800 polygons in farther away moments of gameplay, and are now using 1000 polygon models for close ups, bringing the original iPod touch game play performance level close to that of the iPhone 3G. We’ve taken this approach across the board with great results."

As you can see from the video, TouchSports Tennis ’09 [iTunes App Store link] game still delivers impressive 3D rendering:

If are impressed with the video and plan to buy the iPhone app then proceed with caution as there is a note on their application page which says "This application is not compatible with devices running some types of modified firmware."

One of the reasons for the performance improvement in the 2nd generation iPod Touch is due to a much faster processor which has been quietly boosted to 532MHz; while iPhone 3G, iPhone or 1st generation iPod have processors which run at 412MHz.

Fessler also points out that iPhone 3G which was released this year is faster than the 1st gen iPhone and iPod Touch that were released last year. The models rank in the following order (fastest to slowest) for 3D rendering, with the 2nd Generation iPod Touch being the fastest “by far”.
#1. iPod Touch 2nd Generation
#2. iPhone 3G
#3. iPhone (original)
#4. iPod Touch 1st Generation

Fessler speculates that the GPU speeds could have been tweaked as well. Based on these findings, Fessler says that he would not recommend anyone interested in gaming to buy a used 1st generation iPod Touch.

But as you can see below, the iPhone still compares quite favorably with other mobile gaming devices in terms of processor speed:

  • Sony PSP
    • Processor: MIPS CPU @ 222 or 333MHz (selectable)
  • Nintendo DS
    • Processor: two ARM CPUs (67MHz and 33MHz)
  • iPhone
    • Processor: ARM CPU @ 412MHz (532MHz in 2G iPod touch)

What do you think about this latest news?

PS: If you are interested in an in-depth look at the iPhone’s internals, then I would recommend reading Under the Hood: The iPhone’s Gaming Mettle over at Touch Arcade.

[via Touch Arcade]

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