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Calves and quad-cores: Snapdragon S4 Pro vs Samsung Exynos 4412 vs Huawei K3V2 vs NVIDIA Tegra 3

Calves and quad-cores: Snapdragon S4 Pro vs Samsung Exynos 4412 vs Huawei K3V2 vs NVIDIA Tegra 3
While we can argue until we are blue in the face whether quad-core mobile processors are anything to boast about in your handset compared to their dual-core counterparts, it is certainly a great marketing tool for companies, so we can expect more and more of these to enter mainstream handsets.

That is why we gathered the existing quad-core mobile chipsets at the office table, and ran a few standard benchmark tests to decide who is who in the world of multicore. Of notable absence are the overclocked 1.6 GHz Exynos 4412 in the Note II and 1.7 GHz Tegra 3+ in the HTC One X+. These would certainly perform better than their basic versions, but are not actually a different processor family, just one with a 0.2 GHz step overclock, so we wanted to stick with stock.

We used the LG Optimus G with its Snapdragon S4 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S III with the Exynos 4412, the LG Optimus 4X HD with Tegra 3, and the new entrant - Huawei Ascend D quad XL - with its homemade K3V2 quad-core processor.

As you can see from the results in the video below, all except one deliver a similar performance, with Huawei's processor delivering a pleasant surprise in the graphics department, and the Exynos proving to be a great all-arounder. 

The big outlier is the S4 Pro, however, and we have to admit that Qualcomm has done a great job with this processor, whose cores are using instructions from the Cortex-A15 architecture of ARM, just like Apple's newly-minted A6 processor. The weakest performer most of the time was the Tegra 3 chip, which can be expected, as it was the first quad-core processor announced, and is done with the older 40nm process.

Next week is rumored to see the unveiling of a Samsung Nexus tablet with the real-deal Cortex-A15 processor of the Exynos 5-series, so we can't wait to see the benchmarks from that one.

41 Comments
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posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:10 3

1. Reverence (Posts: 224; Member since: 16 Jul 2012)


good one, but i guess A6 should have also been included, its really fast!

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:15 30

2. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


for an iPhone.... not for an android!

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:45 4

14. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


The A6 can compare with android in 2 benchmarks:

- GL benchmark 2. 5 GPU test - performs really great, on par with Optimus G

- Geekbench 2 comprehensive all platform test - performs great for a phone with around 1600 score, but Exynos 4412 tops it with the score of around 1800(I don't know the score of snapdragon pro )

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 04:55 3

22. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Update, s4 pro score is over 17000 on geekbench, and Note 2 hits 20000

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 05:19 2

23. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1195; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


That wouldn't be fair either. All 4 are running 1280x720p (or greater) resolution while the iPhone is running only 1136x640. And soon HTC and their 5" 1920x1080 phones will get benchmarked and "should" score lower than the LG with the same S4 Pro. If the HTC model has no penalty I would be the first in line because at full HD that would be remarkable.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 10:14

31. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5597; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


that kind of difference in resolution is negligible considering how powerful these GPU's are. it's not much work at all for them to push amounts of pixels like this.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 00:37

38. BrockSamson (Posts: 8; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


Almost 27% more pixels (about 195,000) is not exactly negligible.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 01:28 1

39. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5597; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


actually, it is. these GPU's are in the same league as the SGX543(MP4) which is in the new iPad and it out-benchmarks all other GPU's pushing 2048x1536 resolution. same for the Transformer Pad Infinity, it has 1920x1200 resolution and it benchmarks as well as you'd expect a Transformer Prime to with a .4GHz increase in clock frequency.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 08:59

27. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1074; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


hmmm i thought the s4 pro would cruch exynos but it didnt. it only stood out handily in quadrant standard test and in others it was always neck to neck with exynos. guess its not that much of a beast as i thought.
I think the note 2 processor can beat all of the above

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 11:14

32. remixfa (Posts: 13906; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


The S4 pro quad only manages to barely outbench it overall because of its stronger GPU. In the CPU side its still weaker than the Exynos quad.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 12:00

34. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1074; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


thats useful...will keep in mind. Thanx

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 09:15

29. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 830; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


What part of "Calves and quad-cores" you can't read?

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:16 7

3. darkskoliro (Posts: 975; Member since: 07 May 2012)


Redo this test in a few months.
Padfone2 vs Note2 vs OneX+

Real scores of the SoCs will be better shown there :)

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:21 5

4. Dr.Phil (Posts: 910; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I think it should be clarified that the Snapdragon S4 chipset uses A15-like architecture. They designed their own chipset based on that architecture while using the ARMv7 instruction set. I thought I should put that out there as my friend remixfa would not be happy if that wasn't clarified. I believe Apple does the same thing with their A6 chipset.

EDIT: I'm not saying that the article is wrong, but to some people it may be read as the S4 chipset uses A15 Cortex archictecture. So, my post is just to help clarify that to some readers.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:24 1

5. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2458; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


should of definitely used the one x for tegra 3

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:36 1

12. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


No, because it actually fakes the I/O scores in antutu with the latest software update.
Kudos to PA for doing this with LG which is the real
Tegra 3 performance.

I would love to see geekbench scores also but this was still the most rounded test I've seen.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 11:51

33. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2458; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


what do you mean it fakes it? how so?

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:24

6. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


im pretty sure that cortex A15 will be super fast!! cant wait for tegra 4 and Exynos 5 (i will also say OMAP 5 but they already give up) and will match S4 Pro!

but looking forward for intel chips!

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:02

8. Dr.Phil (Posts: 910; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I believe TI said they would continue to develop mobile chipsets. Their previous statement was misquoted.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:42

13. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


oh ok... thanks for the clarrification! :)

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:54

16. TylerGrunter (Posts: 911; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


Not really: they said that just to be able to sell the OMAP 5, but they haven't announced any plans for OMAP 6. So they will probably get out of business after the 5.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 12:47 1

35. Dr.Phil (Posts: 910; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


They probably haven't announced any plans for OMAP 6 because they want to see how successful they are with OMAP 5. I mean I haven't heard Samsung announce plans for an Exynos 6 yet, but it doesn't mean it won't happen. Not to mention we don't know if Amazon is going to buy a stake in TI's chipset manufacturing or not. If that happens, well you can pretty much be guaranteed they'll stay in the business.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 13:44

36. TylerGrunter (Posts: 911; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


I really hope you are right, but for the announcements themselves it´s easier to infere that after OMAP 5 they go out of the mobile territory.

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 08:32

40. Captain_Doug (Posts: 753; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


We haven't even heard news about the S5 processors. Sometimes they are good are keeping incognito.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 02:32 2

7. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


"Of notable absence are the overclocked 1.6 GHz Exynos 4412 in the Note II and 1.7 GHz Tegra 3+ in the HTC One X+. These would certainly perform better than their basic versions, but are not actually a different processor family, just one with a 0.2 GHz step overclock, so we wanted to stick with stock."

-headdesk- I'll hold my tongue on that decision, but to me this just seems incomplete until you test them.
Did it not occur to you guys that we might want to know exactly how big of a jump the OneX+ and Note II are over other devices with T3 and Exynos 4412? What's the point of this test if you can't even do that?

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:27

9. JKING_25 (Posts: 53; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Tegra 3 looking real bad.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 04:00 1

17. TylerGrunter (Posts: 911; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


Well, it was the first coming out, the one with the weakest GPU by far and the only one still built in 40nm. So no real surprse there.
You'll have to wait for the new Tegra 4 to see them topping the benchmarks. I personally think they'll manage it as they intend to put the first A15 Quad core in the market and to upgrade the GPU a lot (Fermi is a very old architecture and they'll move to Kepler with unified cores for pixels and vertex shaders).

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 14:55

37. JKING_25 (Posts: 53; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


You are right my friend. The Tegra 3 was the first to come out but that's there fault for rushing.

the Samsung Exynos 5250 is going to rule all!

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 14:02

41. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Being the dominant chip for almost 6 months is definitely a fault. While they are not on top now, it remains relevant almost a year since it was announced. Being first always has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is definitely good for business.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:28

10. StreetNerd (Posts: 706; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


pronounce huawei as gwawei

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:34

11. Retro-touch (Posts: 257; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


I'm pretty sure the One X Tegra 3 version after Sense 4.1 update is faster than S3, should have use that one instead of the LG Optimus 4X HD

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 03:51

15. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Again, it has a software -fluffed I/O score, they faked it.
Still, it's not faster than the S3.
My stock S3 constantly hits over 12400(12557 highest I got so far ) in Antutu, while HTC got to about 11500 with their little trick.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 04:14

18. TylerGrunter (Posts: 911; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


I don't get what you want to say, as there isn't any HTC in the test.
And abouty Antutu: that's the one that does not look right for some reason.
The LG Optimus G takes between 13500-14000 most of the time, not sure if something is wrong with the unit they used:
http://antutu.com/view.shtml?id=2079
And that's with ICS, it should go up when upgraded to JB.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 04:51

21. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I was replying to street nerd.
And yeah I hear you about the optimus G..that score is too low.. although, I just found that Gsmarena also got a rather low 11200 score

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 07:49 1

24. jan25 (Posts: 389; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


how could they fake it?

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 04:19

19. jove39 (Posts: 1282; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Did anyone notice...on quadrant apart from s4 pro...all three choke on memory bandwidth...I think exynos could do better if connected to bigger and/or faster bus!

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 04:19 1

20. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


pretty sure dual core will outperform them like the new xperia series :)

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 08:06

25. jan25 (Posts: 389; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


it is best to leave the One X+ and the Note 2 to the Nexus 4. that would interesting.

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 08:26

26. zazori08 (Posts: 113; Member since: 21 Dec 2011)


dude no offense but you sound like you are eating your words. are you nervous?

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 09:00

28. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Great video comparison!

First things first, for the LOVE OF GOD... cut the ridiculous names already! It's just painful to listen to all of the ridiculous names throughout the video (although Daniel does a great job keeping them straight).

Secondly, I wish half these phones were available as is in the U.S. Jealous.

Thirdly, I think it would be interesting to see the dual core S4 to give us a reference to how much of a drop off we see from having only half the amount of cores.

Thanks for the video!

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 09:52

30. Captain_Doug (Posts: 753; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


I'm so excited about the Huawei processor. For being their first foray into mobile processors, this is a huge success. To have held its own against these powerhouses is quite the feat. Definitely looking forward to their next gen processors.

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