Pixel 7 Pro benchmark reveals unchanged CPU specs and a desperately needed upgrade

Pixel 7 Pro benchmark reveals unchanged CPU specs and a desperately needed upgrade
The Tensor 2 chip that will power the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro might use generations-old CPU cores and offer only marginally better performance than the OG Tensor but may boast an improved GPU and better artificial intelligence capabilities.

The Tensor was Google's first in-house chip, made in collaboration with Samsung. Instead of using one big core, three medium cores, and four small cores for the SoC like Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips and Samsung's Exynos chips, Google went for two cores for handing foreground processing duties, two medium cores, and four small cores. 

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the company chose older Arm Cortex-A76s for medium cores even though the A78 core was available at that time.

Developer Kuba Wojciechowski has found alleged benchmark scores for the Pixel 7 Pro and dug up code that indicates that the Tensor 2 will reuse the same cores, even though Arm has probably readied new designs that will be employed by Qualcomm's rumored next high-end chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

The Tensor G2, which is internally known as "gs201," will have two Arm Cortex-X1 cores, two A76 cores, and four A55 cores. On Geekbench, the G2-powered Pixel 7 Pro achieved a 10 percent higher multi-core score than the Pixel 6 Pro, which suggests performance has improved somewhat.

This can be attributed to two things: the G2 is apparently based on the 4nm process, which should make it more powerful and efficient than the first-gen chip, and the X1 cluster and A76 cores now run at higher clock speeds.

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Also, as was the case with the first proprietary chip, Google appears to be prioritizing power-efficient performance and responsiveness, and doesn't seem concerned with smashing benchmark records.

Tensor G2 rocks a new GPU and modem

Wojciechowski has also found out that the G2 will feature the Mali-G710 GPU, which is said to be 20 faster and 20 percent more power efficient than OG Tensor's Mali-G78, and also offers 35 percent machine learning uplift. These improvements will be great for the camera and help the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro become the best camera phones of 2022.

The Tensor G2 allegedly also has a better TPU codenamed "Jaineiro", presumably for new AI experiences. Other than that, Google appears to have made improvements to the video encode/decode block and ISP.

The device may pack a new Samsung-made S5300 modem and hopefully, this will help with connectivity woes experienced by Pixel 6 users.

All in all, even though the Tensor G2 is highly unlikely to be the fastest mobile SoC around, Google's approach will presumably ensure that it will not heat up and as has been said before, most modern smartphones are plenty fast already, and there is more to the smartphone experience than raw CPU performance and other factors such as software optimization, which Google is good at, also play a huge part.

It has also been discovered that Google has begun work on the third-gen Tensor chip which is codenamed "zuma," and it will be based on Samsung's 3nm process.

Google will fully reveal the Pixel 7 on October 6.

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