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Chip Battle: How does the Exynos 1080 compare to the Snapdragon 888?

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There are only three 5nm chipsets available for Android smartphones at the moment. The first to hit the market is Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 9000 series and it was followed by Samsung’s Exynos 1080 before Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 888 early last month. We already compared the Kirin 9000 and Snapdragon 888, and now we want to see if Samsung’s first 5nm chipset can hold its own against Qualcomm’s most powerful mobile chipset.

Exynos 1080 vs Snapdragon 888

Processor Exynos 1080 Snapdragon 888
Node size 5nm EUV 5nm
CPU 1 x ARM Cortex-A78 at 2.84 GHz
3x ARM Cortex-A78 at 2.6 GHz
4x ARM Cortex A-55 at 2.0GHz
1 x ARM Cortex-X1 at 2.84GHz
3 x ARM Cortex-A78 at 2.40GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 at 1.8GHz
GPU Mali-G78 MP10 Adreno 660
ISP Info not available Spectra™ 580
AI Engine Info not available Hexagon 780
Modem Info not available Snapdragon X60 5G
Connectivity W-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

CPU

Samsung’s Exynos 1080 chipset brings a significant upgrade in performance compared to its predecessor, the Exynos 980. With eight cores made up of four Cortex-A78 performance cores and four Cortex-A55 cores, it definitely packs a punch.

The Exynos 1080 not only has its Cortex-A78 cores clocked higher than that of the Snapdragon 888, but it also has one more Cortex-A78 core than it. Similarly, its Cortex-A55 cores are also clocked higher than those of the Snapdragon 888. However, the Snapdragon 888 has the upper hand thanks to its prime core which is a Cortex-X1 core clocked at 2.84GHz. Arm says that the Cortex-X1 brings a 30% improvement in performance over the Cortex-A77 while the Cortex-A78 has a 20% improvement in performance over the Cortex-A77. Based on this, we can say deduce that the X1 has a 10% improvement in performance over the A78.

What do benchmarks say?

An AnTuTu benchmark result of the Vivo X60 Pro which has an Exynos 1080 processor powering it shows the device scored a total of 634,373 points. Do note that this is not the highest score recorded by AnTuTu for the chipset but this may be the most reliable one as it was recorded from a commercially-available phone.

In AnTuTu’s review of the new Vivo phone, the X60 Pro surpasses almost all devices that are powered by the Snapdragon 865 processor, Qualcomm’s last-gen flagship chipset.

Exynos 1080 vs Snapdragon 865
Image source: AnTuTu

The image below shows a benchmark comparison of the Vivo X60 Pro and the Snapdragon 865-powered Vivo NEX 3S 5G. While the Vivo X60 Pro does have a higher overall score, its scores are slightly lower than those of the NEX 3S 5G in the CPU department.

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In conclusion, seeing as the Exynos 1080 doesn’t surpass the Snapdragon 865 in the CPU department, it definitely can’t match the Snapdragon 888 which has a CPU score of 196,334 points (recorded from the Mi 11) as seen in the image below. And as you can see, the margin is less than 15,000 points.

GPU

In the above benchmark result, the Exynos 1080 almost matches the Snapdragon 865 Plus in CPU performance but where it really shines is in the GPU. The Mali-G78 MP10 leads the Adreno 650 GPU of the SD865 by a significant margin. So how does it compare to the Adreno 660 of the Snapdragon 888?

Snapdragon 888 AnTuTu

Qualcomm released a video that benchmarked the Snapdragon 888 on AnTuTu. The benchmark result showed the chipset had a GPU score of 319,439 points. However, seeing as we want to make this a fair comparison by using commercial products, we will go with an AnTuTu benchmark result of the Snapdragon 888-powered Xiaomi Mi 11

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which shows the Adreno 660 has a GPU score of 306,548 points. Irrespective of the Adreno 660’s score you decide to go with, the Mali-G78 MP10’s 239,408 points of the Exynos 1080 is way behind.
Mi 11 vs Mate 40 Pro
Image source: AnTuTu

If you are wondering how the Adreno 660 of the Snapdragon 888 is able to surpass the Mali G78 of the Exynos 1080 by such a wide margin while it barely beats that of the Kirin 9000 as seen in the image above, the reason is that the Kirin 9000’s GPU has more cores (24 cores) than that of the Exynos 1080 (10 cores).

AI

Samsung says the Exynos 1080 has a powerful neural processing unit (NPU) but doesn’t specify the increase in performance over the last-gen. Unfortunately, the AI Benchmark site doesn’t have both the Exynos 1080 and Snapdragon 888 listed, so we can’t say which processor is better at AI tasks.

Conclusion

The Snapdragon 888 is the clear winner as it outperforms in both CPU and GPU performance. Nevertheless, the Exynos 1080 is an excellent chipset too as it almost holds its own against the Snapdragon 865 in CPU performance and even surpasses it in GPU performance. However, it is its more powerful sibling, the Exynos 2100, that will be the challenger to the Snapdragon 888.

UP NEXT: The Exynos Galaxy S21 may offer 25-35% better battery life than its predecessor

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