Galaxy S23 Ultra first benchmarks — Samsung beats iPhone 14 Pro on graphics

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra running 3DMark graphics benchmark
(Image credit: Future)

Our first Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra benchmark results are coming in, and they look very impressive indeed. In fact, the Galaxy S23 Ultra surpasses the iPhone 14 Pro Max on the 3DMark graphics benchmark, living up to Samsung's claims of the "world's fastest mobile graphics."

We've just started testing this flagship phone as part of our Galaxy S23 Ultra review in progress, and we have some early results to share in Geekbench, 3DMark and in our video transcoding test via the Adobe Premiere Rush app. Our review unit is a 512GB Galaxy S23 Ultra, so it's equipped with 12GB of RAM. (The 256GB base model comes with 8GB, as a reminder.)

Here are our Galaxy S23 Ultra results so far. 

Geekbench 5 (CPU)

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Row 0 - Cell 0 CPUSingle-coreMulticore
Samsung Galaxy S23 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy13964882
iPhone 14 Pro MaxA16 Bionic18825333
iPhone 14 ProA16 Bionic18915469
iPhone 14A15 Bionic17274553
Galaxy S22 UltraSnapdragon 8 Gen 112403392

Geekbench measures CPU performance, both in single-core and multicore applications. The Galaxy S23 turned in a single-core score of 1,396 and a multi-core score of 4,882. These numbers handily beat the Galaxy S22 Ultra (1,240/3,392), and Samsung surpasses the A15-powered iPhone 14's multicore performance though not its single-core number (1,727/4,553).

However, the A16 Bionic chip is still the champ in this test, surpassing 1,880 on both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in single core and scoring more than 5,300 in multicore. 

3DMark Wild Life (graphics)

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Unlimited (FPS)Extreme Unlimited (FPS)
Galaxy S23 Ultra79.320.9
iPhone 14 Pro Max7420
iPhone 14 Pro7419
iPhone 146918
Galaxy S22 Ultra5714

We use 3DMark Wild Life to test the graphic performance of mobile devices. We usually focus on Unlimited and Extreme Unlimited. These push the GPU as hard as it can go, especially the Extreme Unlimited test. It's a good test to see a phone's gaming performance. There's an overall score and a frames per second (FPS) count.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra surpassed the iPhone 14 Pro 79 fps to 74 fps on the Unlimited test; it narrowly edged out the iPhone with a 20.9 to 20 fps score on the more demanding Extreme Unlimited test. A win is a win, and this represents a huge jump from the Galaxy S22 Ultra (57/14 fps).

Adobe Premiere Rush (video transcoding)

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Time to complete (Mins:Secs)
Galaxy S23 Ultra0:40
iPhone 14 Pro Max0:30
iPhone 14 Pro0:26
iPhone 140:28
Galaxy S22 Ultra0:47

In our Adobe Premiere Rush test we task a phone to transcode a 4K video file to 1080p as quickly as possible. The Galaxy S23 Ultra took 40 seconds to complete the task, which is 7 seconds faster than the S22 Ultra.

The iPhone 14 Pro remains champ in this test, taking only 26 seconds, while the Pro Max took a bit longer at 30 seconds. 


We're still in the process of testing the Galaxy S23 Ultra but one thing is clear. This phone is a beast when it comes to graphics. We'll be running other tests to see how well the Galaxy S23 Ultra can actually game.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max still win on Geekbench and video transcoding tests, but they have some catching up to do on GPU performance. Well, at least the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Ultra do once they arrive this fall.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.