AT&T Galaxy Note to Have Snapdragon Chip with Lower Performance than Exynos

by: LucianFebruary 6, 2012
2 15 6


One of the things I like about Samsung and don’t like about HTC is that they are willing to use other chips for their devices, especially if one of their favorite chip is not top dog anymore (fortunately Samsung’s chips have always maintained the lead so far). HTC on the other hand, no matter how good or bad was the performance of Qualcomm chips, they would stick with them. There are hints that this year they will use Tegra and even OMAP chips alongside the Qualcomm ones, but that remains to be seen.

I do like that Samsung is using other chips, especially when they are more powerful, but it usually happens for another model, which I’m completely fine with. However, I don’t like it when the exact same model uses 2 different chips that don’t even have similar performance. That ruins the brand image of the device. What will someone who got the Snapdragon version say when his friend who got the Exynos one shows him better performance in games and applications?

The dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon was already shown to have sometimes less performance than the dual core 1.2 Ghz Exynos. The reason for that is because the Exynos is based on Cortex A9, while Snapdragon S3 is roughly similar to the Cortex A8. The only improvement it has received is that it’s now made at a smaller processing node – but so is the competition – and that it has a higher clock frequency, which doesn’t seem to be enough to compensate for the improvements in Cortex A9.

The Krait based S4 should be significantly more powerful than Cortex A9 at the same frequency, but until then we’re stuck with the Scorpion based S3, and so are the future buyers of the Galaxy Note on AT&T, because that version of Galaxy Note will not have Exynos inside, but Snapdragon. Here are the performance comparisons for the GPU:

Galaxy Note with Exynos
GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt High: 2827 Frames (25.0 Fps)
GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt Standard: 3012 Frames (26.7 Fps)

Galaxy Note with Snapdragon
GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt High : 1014 Frames (9.0 Fps)
GLBenchmark 2.1 Egypt Standard : 2425 Frames (21.5 Fps)

There seems to be quite a bit of difference, because I think the real world difference will be closer to the “High” benchmark than the “Standard” one. On the CPU side the difference shouldn’t be as big, because of Snapdragon’s overclocking. But does this make it less likely for you to buy a Galaxy Note?

  • SirAir

    Hardly, its already been proven that the real world performance between the two chipsets is negligible. The S3 actually provides you better battery performance and a higher clock speed. The T mobile S2 already has already proven this… Let’s move on and I well be happy to get my at&t Note!!

    • Anonymous

      Negligible? I think you may want to look at side by side comparisons. The Snapdragon lags behind by a few seconds on most tasks, but it all adds up in real life performance.

      Comparing a TMobile S2 vs an Exynos one will show clear differences between both

      • SirAir

        Yes I have seen the benchmarks… But the trade off of a 15% performance when no apps truly push these chips to there extreme is minimal when you have higher download speeds and better battery life is a loosing argument in my book.

  • 8PAQ

    It has a stylus! Wow! What’s next? T9 keyboard on a 6″ phablet?

  • Kinchas

    I have read that the Snapdragon processor was the trade off to be able to use LTE technology.
    What a hell of a choice to have to make.

  • Tmb993

    Everyone knows that Benchmark tests are not indicative of real world performance. I would gladly do the trade off for LTE and better battery performance. And quit ragging on the stylus. It’s capacitative and is the whole point of the smartphone, it’s designed for people who want to be able to write things down on their device. Hence the name.. Note.

  • Purrpussful

    Given the security risks inherent in Exynos that have recently been discovered, I’m grateful that my hubby and I are with AT&T. None of their devices use it, and I’d rather have security than speed any day.