MediaTek's 10-core Helio X20 visits Geekbench, demolishes multi-core performance records

MediaTek's 10-core Helio X20 visits Geekbench, demolishes multi-core performance records
Revealed all the way back in May of this year, MediaTek's 10-core (or deca-core) Helio X20 was slated as the world's first mobile chipset to offer as many physical cores. Over half a year later, however, and the silicon is yet to make an appearance in a publicly-available product. But we do have one of our first, legit-looking benchmark sightings of the chip.

Caught wandering around Geekbench's test suite, a device code-named "alps mt6797" made some 10 passes through the benchmark in a single day, all returning very consistent results. In fact, with a peak of over 7,000 points in the Multi-Core segment of Geekbench, this (we assume) early version of the chip already offers better performance than existing solutions like the Apple A9, Snapdragon 810, and Exynos 7420. More impressively, however, that result is still great in the context of other leaked benchmarks detailing the performance of the upcoming Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890. 

Looking at the Single-Core scores achieved by the Helio X20, however, we see that single-threaded performance isn't as great as even current generation chips, with a peak of just under 2,100. In comparison, Apple's aforementioned A9 pulls over 2,500 points, so those ARM Cortex-A72 cores within the X20 aren't quite the powerhouses that the A9's Twister ones are.

Going forward, it'll be interesting to see what kind of performance we'll get in the real world out of a deca-core chipset, though as far as Geekbench is concerned, the future is bright. That said, MediaTek silicon has traditionally had trouble in the graphics department, and with a quad-core ARM Mali-T880 on board the X20, we're a bit concerned that the Taiwanese company will again run into trouble. Time will tell.

source: Geekbench via GizmoChina



1. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Don't care about the single core score. It means nothing to android as android is quite efficient at dividing tasks between cores. What I'm rather curious about is whether all 10 cores can work simultaneously or are divided into 3 clusters where only one cluster runs at any given time.

3. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Even if all the 10 cores can work together, I doubt that Android (or for that matter any Mobile OS) can divide any task into 10 threads to run on individual processes. You will almost never have 10 cores running simultaneously. They would have been better off going with 4 A72 and 4 A53 cores

13. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Not sure why not, seeing as octacores are already using all 8 cores rather frequently (even for things line Chrome and Gmail).

26. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

that is because 8 cores running at like 20% use way less power than 2 cores running at 100%

15. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yes it can if needed, check anandtech or google it for more detail

25. cheetah2k

Posts: 2297; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Wow, only 1.4ghz! I wonder what it would do at 2.0ghz :) Mediatek catching up!

4. Carl3000

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

Probably only during benchmark. Some Benchmarks put a huge (so big you'll never actually have to use that much power in real life use which is why many claim benchmarks are pointless) artificial load on the CPU so at that point yeah, all 10 cores migjt fire up. In real life usage, probably not unless they implement it that way. Take SD810 for example only folks with custom kernels/root get all cores to run whenever they want because 95% of the time real life usage only uses about 5-6 cores.

2. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

Why can't they simply use Mali-T880 MP12 like Exynos 8890 or at least MP8. Its like they do not want their chip to have a good graphics performance for some reason. Maybe Samsung has a deal with ARM not to allow the competition to use a GPU as powerful as theirs which was agreed with this deal :

6. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Ohh.. I saw another article saying that snapdragon 820 will be exclusive to Samsung for sometime initially. Don't remember where I read that.

8. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

19. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Yes as Samsung even if they use sd820 in limited number of phones will use more than any other company and all the other compiles all added up , so they have to give them any deal they like, I 100% tell you now if Samsung said to them we use them in all our s7 phones then they will have gave them exclusive for 6 months and the other oems will have been out of luck, they was hit hard big time last year

20. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

And it's not a good strategy.

10. Guaire

Posts: 893; Member since: Oct 15, 2014


11. realjjj

Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

Because Samsung does things like this The GPU overheats and slows down to half the perf. You get a nice score in benchmarks and half that if you actually play games. Mediatek skips the nice benchmark scores part and uses a GPU that can work at advertised speeds.

17. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Except that in actual games at 1080p (using the Samsung setting to lower resolution), it still spanks all those lower GPU's by a mile in sustainable speed. Getting similar (capped) fps speeds as an iPhone 6s Plus. Which indeed tells us that those GPU Benchmarks (especially at native resolution rather than desired), are only a small part of the story. A bit like comparing single core CPU scores...

18. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

That's synthetical throttling due to DVFS algorithms. I believe Exynos 7420 can give long term performance of about 85% of the max... But then battery will blow away in 2 hours.

24. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

You try running a synthetic benchmark for more than 30 minutes and tell me which phone won't throttle CPU/GPU

27. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

it throttles because samsung want to reserve power. And the throttling does happen in benchmarks too, so what you see in benches are real. In other words, the scores will be just as good. It wouldn't be half, it'd be 2x as good if it didn't throttle.

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

It's the GPU that I'm worried about.

7. Shocky unregistered

We have more than enough CPU performance in smartphones for our current requirements, it's all about the GPU performance now.

9. w1000i

Posts: 251; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

Will burn the battery

12. shield

Posts: 868; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Multi good Single bad.

14. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Unfortunately a T880 MP4 GPU on 20nm is not enough by 2016. Worst case scenario, the GPU bottlenecks and all that CPU performance goes underutilised.

16. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Phones nowadays have become fast enough since the SD801 era, what we should be more focused on is the battery life optimization and the GPU performance which I must say has become one of my factors Before buying a new phone..

22. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Your factors aren't everyone else's.

21. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Oooh kill em!

23. Furbal unregistered

Pleaseeeee have US LTE bands.

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