Eight core MediaTek MT6592 takes on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800

by: Rob TriggsJuly 23, 2013
50 31 64

MediaTek chip

The initial announcement of Mediatek’s new eight core MT6592 chip didn’t seem to spark up much interest. After all, it’s designed, in typical Mediatek fashion, to be an efficient, low power, and low cost chip. But perhaps an Antutu score beating out Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 800 is enough to make people pay attention.

The MT6592 scored a mighty 29600 when clocked at 1.7 Ghz, according to MyDrivers.com, which is a fair bit faster than anything currently on the market at the moment. This impressive score matches up with the initial performance expectations reported when we first head about MediaTek’s new MT6592, and puts it directly up against Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 800, which scores in the similar 30000 range in Antutu.

MT6592 benchmark

But is it really possible that a Cortex A7 chip can take on the newer Krait 400 and Cortex A15 based processors from Qualcomm and Samsung?

Well, we know that benchmarks, like Antutu, love to make use of extra cores to bump up scores, but, when it comes to real world performance, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be using applications which makes use of eight threads on a smartphone very often.

As Intel put it, not all cores are created equal. Those familiar with the current high-end Intel and AMD PC chip battle will also know that faster individual cores are sometimes required for heavy duty tasks, like gaming for example. Real world performance is going to vary a lot depending on the application, and in many instances I suspect that the Cortex A7s simply won’t be able to keep up with the newer Krait and Cortex architectures.

Secondly, there’s the GPU aspect of the Antutu results to take into consideration. The MT6592 is expected to ship with a quad-core Mali GPU, which again could certainly add a few more points to the overall score, and might help compensate for the lack of brute performance in the Cortex A7s.

But that’s enough skepticism, you’d expect the first true eight core mobile processor to put in a decent performance against today’s quad-core chips, and this score probably seems about right. Not to mention the potential power efficiency savings and quad-core GPU performance, this certainly could turn out to be a really good chip.

Sadly, it’s unlikely that the MT6592 will appear in western markets, instead it’s probably destined for use in cheaper Chinese products. But it will be interesting to see how this processor performs against the bigger names in some real world tests, once it’s released.

  • APai

    It’s nice to see mediatek coming out with great chips. while qualcomm sells their expensive processors to the europe-US and other developed markets with expensive phones. mediatek is squarely aiming at the high mid range and the low end market.

    for most people in the developing world it makes sense to go in for a high end mid ranger than a top end phone, especially when the technology is moving at a tremendous pace. the best of mediatek’s mtk6589 is just shy of snapdragon dual core msm8960, which is last year’s high end phones.

    I’d say it’s a win for us customers :)

    • Roberto Tomás

      the rest of their production for the year looks fairly mediocre/mainstream (you can see it on gizchina) but the rumor is that next year they are building a big+little design .. I am inclined not to care too much unless it is an A12+A7 big little, or an 8+8 big little — either of which are possible. But they are definitely a top notch design group, to be doing all this.

      • APai

        I am truly amazed at what they did to the rest of the gang – TI/OMAP, Broadcom, STEricsson/Novathor, have simply been blown off the radar (low & mid range chinese OEMs, also from whom indian rebranded phone makers).
        here they were, STE, dreaming of capturing the mid range at the end of 2011, and then mediatek came from nowhere to challenging qualcomm.
        I am curious to know if there’s any other parallel in any other field, where the landscape in hardware and software has been changing so drastically. (like nokia is nowhere from where they were once. apple & samsung came from obscurity to class leaders).

  • Bone

    My guess would be the same Mali T-628 GPU that is featured in the new Exynos Octa. Certainly looks like a strong budget contender!

  • Jusephe

    True 8-core power !

  • Roberto Tomás

    “Secondly, there’s the GPU aspect of the Antutu results to take into consideration. The MT6592 is expected to ship with a quad-core Mali GPU, which again could certainly add a few more points to the overall score, and might help compensate for the lack of brute performance in the Cortex A7s.”
    I agree wholeheartedly with the optimism and also the concerns expressed in this article, although I want to see it in a real product before I decide how powerful it is. But this section I quoted I feel doesn’t reflect well at all. First off, there are rumors that it comes with a PowerVR 544 MP3, not the Mali 628 MP4. Secondly, both GPUs perform about as well as Adreno 320s, Adreno 330s and Tegra 4s that they are comparing to — if not worse. You can’t hold that against the Mediatk chip because it applies every bit as much to the others. Instead, choose a different benchmark.

    • Returner
      • Roberto Tomás

        wow that is a great article. :) Okay, so apparently it is *either* 544 MP4 or 554 MP4 (different variants) .. but then more recently a Mediatek Corp. Officer said that it would be a Mali graphics chip instead. These things are contradictory, but the one is both early and has different variants for the same part number. So it most likely *is* Mali something (they thought T604, but I would imagine a T628 since it wouldn’t make sense to switch and not get an improvement).

    • CpuKnight

      Guys I am very very very sure it uses the new Rogue GPUs by PowerVR. The series 6 GPUs. Which probably means GPU power wont be a problem.

  • Snap

    Exynos 5420 without a crippled CCI should be a big advantage, 4x A15 @1.8ghz +A7x4@1.3ghz and Mali – t628mp6 clocked at 600mhz, looks like a tough contender to me.

  • Magnetic1

    I thought most mediateck soc come with powerVR GPU.

  • QMAMBO13

    Chinois imports thru eg Chinavision.com, currently include MTK 6589/ VR 544 SOC “combo’s” smartphones & I’d expect 2 c the “6592”, on-song by Sept/ Oct

  • Nelson Nabua Jr

    but look at this one!!:

    Series 6 (Rogue)

    Mediatek, chinese processor manufacturer for low end chipsets, has
    announced that it’s GPU’s of upcoming processor’s namely MT6588, MT6592
    will be using POWER VR Series 6 chipsets. The chipsets are planned to
    release in 4th Quarter of 2013.


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