Apple A9 chips go against the Galaxy S7 chips: win some, lose some

The Samsung Galaxy S7, in all likelihood, will come powered by two different chipsets - Samsung's own Exynos 8890, and Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 820 - if all rumors so far are any indication. The chip that the S7 will ship with will apparently depend on the region, with the US getting the Snapdragon version, as usual...
This is a discussion for a news article. To read the whole news, click here

132 Comments

102. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

One PowerVR core is about 1,5 to 2 Mali cores.

11. Chuck007

Posts: 1409; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Boy if I got the Snapdragon 820 variant here I'd be pissed..

40. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

They already have.

100. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I would take SD variant over exynos anytime. Better DSP for camera. Better dedicated sound. Built in malware protection. World wide LTE. quad core built ( so lower heat throttling ) Not because 810 had heat issue ( first 8 core by QC ) thats 820 will.

103. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

>better dedicated sound Only a hard fanboy can say that stock QC audio is better than Wolfson DAC.

116. tedkord

Posts: 17085; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's Samsung still using Wolfson? I thought I read they'd dropped them a year or two back.

122. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Nope, they still go with Wolfson.

30. JMartin22

Posts: 2325; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

There is something wrong with the multi-core score on the SD820. I'm pretty sure it will feature a better results with future test runs and optimized revising towards commercial release. Hopefully the Exynos single score receives a bit of a bump as well.

36. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Snapdragon and exynos has never been that great with single core until this year. But, they will never beat the A9 because of their 2 big cores. It will be close, but that's good enough for me cause I am more of a muticore guy.

60. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I am more of software using hardware, so I could care less, if I cant use it or it doesn't beat another competing architecture then its useless.

70. TyrionLannister unregistered

There is nothing wrong. SD 820 is practically a dual core chip with 2 LITTLE cores for power saving. It's kind of a big-.LITTLE design. That's why the multi-score is not 4 times higher than single core.

31. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Why is single core score still relevant now? Android is well optimised to utilize all the cores at the same time even for the lightest of tasks. Ondemand governor which comes as default on most android phones do a good job scaling the cores efficiently for the task at hand.

41. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

When running apps. How many apps does every users run? If you are playing games. Would a multi-core be required if the app requires a single process in order to run?

42. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

"Would a multi-core be required if the app requires a single process in order to run" Yep. Android has been doing that since Honeycomb (3.0) by dividing one task to multiple cores.

71. hemedans

Posts: 746; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

then why mobile soc like exynos (with good multicore score) cant run dolphin and tablet soc like nvidia x1 can run dolphin with good single core score?

75. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Single-core is similar on X1 and Exynos 7420. It could be due to app optimization. Either way the best browser in S6 is the stock one.

80. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Why divide the task if there's only one running app? What happens if there were multiple running apps that requires intense tasking?

84. Macready

Posts: 1797; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Because running 2 cores at a lower clockspeed can be more efficient than running one at a higher clockspeed. With multiple apps running, it can switch each app back to a single core, or say 2 cores per app if necessary. All about best balancing power and efficiency.

128. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Are you sure that when you are playing games. You are also running 2 apps at the background?

55. Macready

Posts: 1797; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

My >4.5 year old S2 would employ both cores for practically every app. In the current world of Android, only tasks that specifically instruct other cores to stay idle, use 1 core, which would be certain benchmarks. Other than that, the linux kernel is built to divide tasks and currently even single tasks can be split.

117. tedkord

Posts: 17085; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Do your believe that when your run an app, every other process just disappears? There are probably dozens of other processes running behind your app. Not to mention that for some time now Android has divided threads to multiple cores.

62. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Battery, as well, multicores while doing single tasks, can still be slower. There is also so many more things that happen. Multithreading while amazing, can still bog down on itself, and if you split the task and one core fails it could cause all cores to restart the task, with a single core if one core fails...it doesn't have to split again, leaving another core free. As well, depending how the task is being handled a dual core, can effectively lock out a core for heavy tasks, making it much easier for other cpu techno jumbo. Also they are designed very different in how they are used. The cores in the apple chip are bigger, they are brute force method. It is what AMD used in their 64 series long ago to beat the faster intel socs. They simply got more done on a single task, than intel did at the time. So if my single core can effectively flush out tasks faster without error or better error control, a Single core is all I will ever need. You are seeing only hardware, and neglecting the one thing that makes hardware relevant...software.

35. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

We all know that Apple will always win the single core. They have always been #1 at that. The only exception is multicore, since they were always in last or next to last until this year. Now, they are either #5 or 6.lol

44. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

They will always loose on multi core cause the primary focus of the ios is optimization on a single app. Although, it's different on the ipad pro. Which uses split screen.

65. bucky

Posts: 3771; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Correct if i am wrong here, but i believe i read somewhere that apple taps into the GPU for running the OS itself to keep things as smooth as possible as well.

82. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Gpu? Do you know that the motion co processor exist so that, Low level functioning apps such as notifications, musics, video, and typing notes. While the high level function goes for the apps, camera shooting, web surfing, video chat, drawing and such? That's why since 2013 since apple have created a much more improved co processor which is quite similar to big.little chip. Plus, the 64 bit processor and OS. Makes every apps on the ios runs with graphical and processing optimization. This is where android is chasing right now. Catching up with 64 bit mobile device that apple has created. Since then, there were dozens of these 64 bit shenanigans from different chip manufacturer for the android devices to be used. But, only in android M that android may have support 64 bit chipset. Problem is: 64 bit processor, 64 bit apps, 32 bit OS... What's the outcome? Will it run 64 bit or 32 bit? Also, android has no counter to Apple's metal API which also improves app performance. Which is why on a single core benchmarks. Newer Apple chipsets comes first.

105. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yep and all thats tech talking end up with iphone freezing , rebooting , app crashing to desktop ect. Each update break load of thing and its continue this way. Since ios 7.0 ios is very unstable ( more than android in fact ) So instead of doing an half baked 64 OS maybe just use 32 bit until you are ready like google is doing on android?

48. waqas.mehmood2

Posts: 55; Member since: Nov 21, 2015

In real life usage apple far ahead

96. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

How so, because the OS doesn't do anything? No full-multi-tasking, no splitscreen, no open file system, no default apps (oh wait, all of Apple apps are the defaults). Shall I list the 50 things my phone can do out the box that the iPhone can't do? I expect that a car just built for speed will be faster than one not built for speed for for efficientcy. Here is a bet. I am betting if you took the A9 and put it in a Samsung device, it would have lower benchmarks than Samsung's own hardware because the Exynos is lifting far more. Considering iOS 9 is laggy as hell even on the iPad Air 2 which I sold now a month ago, and I bought my mom an iPhone 6S Plus which was also laggy with even the iOS 9.1 update and is actually slower than my Note 5 which has 4 times the features and 4 times the hardware capabilities, my experience says your statement is pure fanboy garbage. Everything on the Note is better. Better cameras, better display with double the pixels, better color accuracy, better/faster auto-focus, better OIS, full multi-tasking, splitscreen which the iPhones dont have and a better design where a device with a bigger display is smaller in physical dimensions. You need to wake up from your Apple nightmare. Benchmarks don't prove anything. I take them with a proverbial grain of salt. I am going by what I see. And what I see is I paid $799 for a phone that offers more storage, out the box, more features, several hardware advantages and things I keep seeing you all say you wished the iPhone could do, but you guys are too stupid, too lazy, to loyal and to much liek sheep to just switch to a phone that has the things you actually want. Considering all that my Note 5 with 4 times the cores, double the RAM, better cameras, 1440p display, full-multi-tasking and more costs about the same, where both phones are equal on durability which is near 0, I dont understand what the problem is. The Note/S6 Edge+ blow the doors off the iPhone 6S in every single way. I don't care about videos where they cheery pick apps that run better on IOS. The Note/S6 with its stock apps vs the iPhone with its stock apps, in both cases the Note/S6 are equal or faster in most cases. Considering they both have to lift 4 times what an iPhone does and still manages to beat it shows Samsung is simply better and the only thing Apple has is sells.

107. waqas.mehmood2

Posts: 55; Member since: Nov 21, 2015

Samsung is all about specs ,they are good for few months but after honeymoon period samsung phones hangs like hell ..battery drains so many problems ..iphone can be use for 2 year without problems
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.