Benchmark comparison of Fire TV Stick 2 to all other Fire TV models


Amazon says the new Fire TV Stick 2 is 30% faster than the previous generation Fire TV Stick, however they don’t clarify on how they came up with that figure. While I don’t have the new device on hand to run through benchmark tests, I do have the next best thing, and that’s the Fire 7″ tablet. That’s because the Fire TV Stick 2 and the Fire tablet use the exact same CPU, GPU, and RAM. The two devices probably won’t perform exactly the same, but with identical hardware where it counts the most, the Fire tablet is a perfect substitute to give us a pretty good idea of the new Fire TV Stick 2’s performance. Here’s a CPU and GPU comparison of a theoretical Fire TV Stick 2 compared to all 3 other Fire TV models.

Below are the result from GFXBench’s benchmarking app. Since the Fire TV Stick 2 runs at 1920 x 1080 and the Fire tablet runs at 1024 x 600, I used the off-screen values of each test which eliminate the device’s resolution as a factor of the benchmark. Again, these numbers are not completely accurate, but I’m confident they will be very close to what the Fire TV Stick 2 would actually score.


The first benchmark is GFXBench’s T-rex test. This is a demanding OpenGL GPU test that uses 3D graphics, high resolution textures, parallax mapping, motion blur, and complex particle systems. This is a good overall indicator of the GPU’s raw performance in gaming. The results indicate the Fire TV Stick 2 is around twice as powerful as the Fire TV Stick 1 and 60% as powerful as the Fire TV 1. This increase in GPU power is what allows the new Fire TV Stick 2 to run games like Goat Simulator, Farming Simulator 16, and Leo’s Fortune, which the Fire TV Stick 1 cannot run.


The next test is GFXBench’s Alpha Blending test. This is a lower level test that measures GPU aspects commonly used by fancier hardware-accelerated user interfaces. Similar to the previous benchmark, the GPU in the Fire TV Stick 2 is expectedly twice as powerful as the one in the Fire TV Stick 1, but about half as powerful as the Fire TV 1.


Next is GFXBench’s ALU test. This is a low-level benchmark that tests raw shader performance. Shader complexity impacts lighting, animation, and image quality in apps and games. The Fire TV 1 and 2’s gaming centric GPU shines in this test, but the Fire TV Stick 2’s score is significantly better than the previous generation Fire TV Stick, at nearly 3 times the score.


Last in the comparison is GFXBench’s Driver Overhead test which, unlike the previous two tests, stresses the device’s CPU performance more than the GPU. This test taxes the GPU’s software driver by performing many draw calls for simple primitives. The results show how fast the software processes the various calls. I’m not sure why the new Fire TV Stick 2 outperforms the Fire TV 1, but this test can be influenced by driver software improvements found in different operating systems and chip architectures.

Benchmarks are generally not a good indicator of a device’s real world performance. A device that scores twice as good as another device in a benchmark does not necessarily mean the better device will feel twice as fast in everyday use. The new Fire TV Stick 2 has twice as many cores as the previous model, which is likely why the benchmark scores are generally twice as good, but those cores are individually only 30% faster (1.3 GHz vs 1.0 GHz) than the first generation Fire TV Stick. While an app, like a benchmarking utility, that can max out all available cores will perform significantly better on the new hardware than the old hardware, most apps simply do not take advantage of all cores, which explains Amazon’s more conservative 30% performance improvement figure.

  1. stephen bishop says:

    Why would you even make the comparison with the 2nd gen fire stick if you don’t even have it in hand…stop wasting peoples time, why don’t you just wait till it’s released then do the comparison. Of course these are inaccurate figures

    • clocks says:

      I found it an interesting article, and well done. No one is forcing you or anyone else to read these things.

    • Al says:

      Oh, you’re “that” guy who’s the life of the party I see. If you don’t enjoy the site, get off and go be sour somewhere else.

      Elias, your site is amazing and we appreciate all your hard work man, keep it up!!!

    • Stank says:

      You’re a prick. If his numbers happen to be way off, then you can talk.

    • AFTVnews says:

      To answer Stephen’s question of “why,” it’s because the most common questions I’m getting for the Fire TV Stick 2 are about performance. This article is the best way I can possibly address those questions. People ask me stuff and I try to answer them to the best of my ability. I’ll still be benchmarking the actual device once it’s released of course.

      • clocks says:

        I think most of us really appreciated the attempt to simulate what the performance may look like.

      • John Becker says:

        These results were obtained using the newest release of GFXBench and just thought I post them so that the real numbers are pretty close to what he’d estimated they’d be.

        Amazon Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen, AFTT) | GFXBench 4.0 Result Details

        1080p T-Rex Offscreen : 484 Frames (8.6 Fps)

        1080p ALU Offscreen : 773 Frames (12.9 Fps)

        1080p Alpha Blending Offscreen : 2220 MB/s

        1080p Driver Overhead Offscreen : 1589 Frames (26.5 Fps)

  2. Pete says:

    I can’t believe you do this stories all by yourself. Very commendable.

  3. clocks says:

    Am I correct in assuming the last test(driver overhead) is the one that gives the best guess for non-gaming benchmarks? Suchs as boot time, navigating the GUI, opening apps, etc..

    I really plan on doing no gaming, so I am mostly just interested in day to day streaming use.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Out of the 4 tests, yes, it’s the one that is the most non-gaming centric since it stresses the CPU instead of the GPU, but it’s still not a great indicator of general performance.

  4. Leo says:

    Excellent job with the comparisons. Thanks for investing the time.

  5. Andy says:

    Very interesting. Ignore the naysayers. You’re doing a wonderful job and I really enjoy your site.

  6. wonko the sane says:

    This is a bit worrying since my FireTV version 1 can’t display Amazon content without dropping frames and that device blitzes the stick in every way. I had to buy a version 2 AFTV box to get OK video performance after Amazon updated the software to OS 5.0.5.

    • Hopeful says:

      It blows my mind that they have still never fixed the Amazon video frame dropping issue. All other video services play smoothly except Amazon video.

      It drives me so crazy I want to upgrade to the v2 box but at this point I’m just holding out for the Fire TV 3 box.

      • wonko the sane says:

        Yup, very frustrating. It used to be perfect before the update. Amazon must have broken the video app in OS5.x. The Netflix app streams the same content perfectly on the same device. *sigh*

        I hope the AFTV v3 is a good device but even if it is, Amazon could break it with a forced update like they did with the AFTV 1.

        • clocks says:

          My stick has always been a bit laggy in the GUI, etc.. But at some point about 4-5(?) months back, after one of the updates, Netflix video got super choppy. Lots of dropped frames, screen freezes, etc.. I eventually RMA’d the device, and the replacement had the exact same issue. I don’t remember the stick stuggling so much prior to that fateful update.

          Not sure if that is what you guys are talking about, but I am dying to replace my stick for that reason.

          • Hopeful says:

            No, the v1 box plays Netflix and all other video services just fine. Just Amazon Video drops a few frames every 30 seconds or so. As Wonko pointed out, it worked fine up until the 5.0 system update but it’s now been broken since February so I know they have no intentions on fixing it. Just have to live with it until I upgrade.

            The only way I can get Amazon Video to play smoothly on a v1 box is by changing the output resolution to 720p. Also, videos that aren’t HD play just fine when output is still set to 1080p. Seems like the CPU/GPU cannot handle 1080p Amazon Video correctly since the 5.0 update.

  7. Mark says:

    Interesting article thanks. Not sure but it seems the new stick is more powerful then the first gen Fire TV box. Is that right? Is their any form of expandable memory on the new Fire TV stick?

    • AFTVnews says:

      The new Fire TV Stick 2 is certainly not more powerful than the Fire TV 1, at least by the tests in this post. No, the Fire TV Stick does not have expandable storage.

      • Mark says:

        I am sorry. I was reading the Fire TV 2 results as the Fire TV Stick 2 results, I can see now it’s a fair bit slower. Interesting how the Fire TV 1 matches the Fire TV 2 in a couple of those tests.
        Thank you for the reply and thank you for answering my question in your live stream the other day, really appreciated that thanks. :)

  8. unknownsoldier says:

    Hey Stephen you must be the Bishop from LES MISERABLES. You are probably a nice guy but you come across as a miserable bastard!

    No one is holding a BB gun to your head bro, don’t read the article if you are only going to get yourself all upset. This benchmark test, albeit speculative, is a job well done!

    I really enjoy AFTVnews as my primary source of anything related to Amazon. Thanks for your continued dedication and hard work Elias.

  9. John says:

    I need to upgrade my pos stick in my kitchen.. its awful especially after last update.

  10. Army Ranger says:

    “Thanks for all your hard work and the time” letting others know what’s up. Other people that don’t like what you do just “get a real life”. Just wanted to know, Can Kodi be added to the new stick ?

  11. wlion1 says:

    One issue I wish they would address in future Fire TV Sticks is the need for additional power, why couldn’t they make it work using just the power it receives from HDMI Port. Does the Roku Stick require additional power brick like the Fire TV Stick?

    • clocks says:

      I don’t think HDMI ports supply power. I was hoping the new stick would be powerable via the TVs USB port, like the new Roku stick, but it sounds like that may not be the case.

      In future revisions as they move to 14 & 16nm manufacturing processes, it will become more likely USB power will be enough.

  12. wlion1 says:

    Great Site by the way

  13. trazer says:

    I’m interested to see how it compares in real use, I am close to replacing all three of my original AFTV devices with something else (non Amazon) as I’m finally tired and over the audio sync issues all mine have. Think I’ll get a next gen Shield when they hit for the living room and I’m undecided on the other two rooms.

    All of my Fire TV Sticks get the audio horribly out of sync, but only on content streamed from Amazon itself. Netflix, Hulu and all others work fine and it is driving me crazy slowly but surely lol.

  14. Joe says:

    Thanks for the information.

    It will be interesting to see all these benchmark test to include the Xiaomi Mi Box in the comparison

    • clocks says:

      The 4k Mi Box as the exact same GPU, so some of the results may be similar. I don’t know how the Amlogic s950x of the Mi Box compares to the CPU of the new Fire stick, but the Mi Box does have double the ram.

      • clocks says:

        I meant to say s905, not 950. It is at 2ghz, vs 1.3ghz for the Fire stick cpu, so I suspect the Mi Box will be a decent amount faster.

  15. JediMike says:

    Thanks for the early update and info. Please continue to do your amazing work. One question. Will one still be able to load Kodi.

  16. sunrise495 says:

    Great article! Checking the site multiples times a day looking for any info. on the new product. Very happy with today’s post / information. I think you deserve a pay raise…. take the rest of the week off!

    Keep up the excellent work! You the man.

  17. peter S says:

    I thought you were really creative by coming up with this test without getting your hands on the Firestick2.

  18. mike cee says:

    i hope they’ve resolved the overheating issue. kinda excited now.

  19. Douglas Morton says:

    Happy owner of 2 Amazon Fire TV 2nd-Gen (2015) boxes. Started looking at the newer options (Cube, mostly) when we moved from cable tv to streaming only, so that we could have power on/off and volume control of the tv, as well. However, it became clear from comments and testing videos that our 2nd-Gen boxes were actually better performers than the Cube or 4K pendant. Now, Amazon has introduced a new 4K Stick that includes the desired tv controls. So, the big question will be – is this new device a better performer than its larger brother from 3 years ago? Hope you’ll be able to test it soon after it becomes available. Thanks for your work.

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