Solo chip can really make the gaming experience skyrocket? We took the iQOO 8 Pro for a test drive

Barret AUG 19,2021

Just like the Olympic spirit of "higher, faster, stronger", electronic products are always trying to break through the existing performance limits. The smartphone industry is a typical representative. In recent years, the development of cell phone performance is more rapid than PC, home console and other devices, which also allows us to gradually see a lot of cell phones with "end-game" level of quality of large mobile games.

However, product progress and user demand is interactive, cell phone performance strides forward so that users of cell phone running speed requirements are increasingly high. Even if it is not a big problem in daily use, after encountering which game manufacturers have come up with a game that is too "optimistic" about the performance of the phone, the majority of users may face problems such as screen lag. The traditional way to solve this problem is to strengthen the phone SoC performance, but in fact there is another way, that is, through an additional display chip to optimize the gaming experience.

What is the iQOO 8 Pro's separate display chip?

After the iQOO Neo5 in March this year, the iQOO 8 Pro, which was unveiled last night, also comes with a discrete display chip. This chip can do things like "frame interpolation" and "visual enhancement".

When playing games, we see the continuous motion picture is actually by a frame (sheet) a frame (sheet) of static images played continuously. The more frames (sheets) played continuously per unit of time, the smoother the picture will be, and the less lag will be felt. The "frame rate", which is usually used to measure the smoothness of a game, is the number of frames per second.

The game is a series of frames that are linked together

The way to achieve a high frame rate is straightforward: increase the performance of the SoC responsible for rendering game graphics, so that the SoC can render more frames in a shorter period of time. However, the higher the rendering load, the higher the performance and heat control requirements of the SoC. No matter how powerful the phone is, when it comes to a game that eats enough configuration, there will be a problem that the SoC performance is not enough or can only last for a short while at high frame rate because of the heat problem.

"The original God" is very demanding on the configuration

So if we can use another chip responsible for increasing the frame rate and spreading the pressure and heat on the SoC, we can optimize the gaming experience. The frame interpolation of the standalone display chip is a technique that doubles the frame rate by predicting the transition screen between every two frames.

Another feature of the discrete display chip is "Visual Effects Enhancement", which is a color and contrast optimization of the screen to make the game more vivid and beautiful.


How does the independent display chip actually work?

In order to test the actual effect of iQOO 8 Pro's standalone display chip, we got several popular handheld games of different genres, they are "Peace Elite", "King of Glory" and "Original God".

Glory of Kings

If there is any type of game that requires the highest frame rate, it is probably the competitive shooter. In the masterpiece of this genre, Elite Peace, we used the high-speed camera to record two separate frames of a fast-moving target. The first is without frame insertion, and the second is with frame insertion turned on, reaching a smooth 120 fps. After inserting the frames, the smoothness of the screen did improve, and at the same moment, the screen without inserting frames became heavy shadows, to the extent that it affected the player's visual judgment. However, the picture after inserting frames is still clear.

Without frame insertion, the "enemy" moving in the scope is blurred
With frame insertion, the picture is smoother, the frame rate is higher, and the "enemies" moving in the scope are clear

So in addition to improving the frame rate, how can the independent display chip also optimize the smoothness of the game? Through the in-game control panel we can find two frame insertion modes, one is to "improve the frame rate" and one is to "optimize power consumption". The first mode is the option we just turned on in Elite Peace, which will allow for maximum smoothness (120 fps).

How to turn on "Boost Frame Rate" in the game

The second mode will still make the graphics smoother (90 fps) than before the frame rate is inserted, but with a lower computing load, thus reducing power consumption and heat.

How to turn on "Optimize power consumption" in the game

In both King of Glory and Original Gods, we can see that the frame rate curve is smoother and the actual experience is less laggy after using frame insertion. The advantage is even more obvious in "Original Gods".

Finally, there is the "Visual Effects Enhancement", which makes the game's contrast significantly stronger and the color vibrancy improved, which not only makes the graphics look better, but also makes the enemies' colors more visible.

Enhanced visual effects with a separate display chip

How to properly use the discrete display chip?

So how do we make use of the power of the discrete display chip? Any game will benefit from the "visual enhancement" feature, and there are no side effects. Especially in those games where the main advantage is the beautiful graphics, the visual effect enhancement is more useful.

If you feel that a game running at a high frame rate is a bit of a chore, you can use the "optimize power consumption" feature of frame insertion to make the phone last and heat up better. If you encounter a game that doesn't struggle to run at a high frame rate, we can try the "boost frame rate" option in frame insertion to further explore the phone's performance and provide a smoother experience.