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

February 6, 2012
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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?

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