Galaxy S4 Exynos Octa-Core vs. Qualcomm Snapdragon! Which One Is Better?

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Today we will be talking about the differences between Exynos Octacore and the Qualcomm Quadcore processors used on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Many U.S., Canadian, and European countries with 4G LTE ships with the Qualcomm processor while countries with no 4G LTE ships with the GT-i9500 Octa-core Exynos.

Of course, the Koreans get the best with both Octacore and 4G LTE. I believe this is due to the fact that 4G LTE frequencies used in Korea are easy to develop therefore used with Octacore.  And also, there may be production issues with the newer Exynos processors.

I do expect that Note 3 will come out with the latest Exynos Octa-core even in the U.S. just like we’ve seen with Galaxy Note 2, which only ships with Exynos processors worldwide with LTE support. Again, this is due to the timing of phones shipped and unfortunately Galaxy S4 ships right when production of Exynos Octacore for all countries may be impossible.

That’s my theory.

But let’s take a close look at the Octacore and Qualcomm processors used in the Galaxy S4.

First the Exynos Octacore processor is made up of 4 high performance cores and 4 low performance cores. The idea here is that the Octacore is able to quickly switch between the 4 high performance cores and 4 low performance cores at the hardware level, saving you maximum battery while the Qualcomm does also throttle down but at software level, meaning more power wasted.

Now, both the 1.6Ghz high performance 4 cores on the Exynos Octacore processor and Qualcomm 1.9Ghz quad-core processor does fairly the same as far as raw CPU processing power goes.  The biggest performance difference between the two processors is the GPU or graphics processor used.

The Exynos Octacore uses PowerVR SGX 544MP3 which is a newer version of GPU used on iPhone 5 with higher 533Mhz vs. iPhone 5’s 350Mhz.  And yes, the PowerVR SGX on the Galaxy S4 is 50% faster than iPhone 5.

Now The Qualcomm uses the Adreno 320 GPU. I did a Quadrant benchmarking test between the two processors and the result was nearly identical.

With Antutu however, it clearly showed that the Exynos Octacore was faster by a whopping 25%.

Now to get into the nitty gritty I decided to dig deeper and test out graphics in more detail using 3DMark and Vellamo benchmarking apps.

With 3DMark, both Octa-core and Qualcomm performed near even with Qualcomm edging out the Octa-core by just a hair.

With Vellamo, the Octo-core did about 20% better.

So, what?

The bottom line is that these two processors are about even, I don’t actually see performance advantages to each, they may be near negligible for average consumer.

However, if you are hardcore gamer Octa-core may give you that extra boost you need.

Still can’t decide?  Well, get both like I did.

Have a question?

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.