Apple's A9 chipset beats the pack in single core performance

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 13 Nov 2015
Apple's A9 chipset beats the pack in single core performance
HIGHLIGHTS

In light of recent launches, benchmark data reveals the Apple A9 chipset’s superior performance in comparison to Exynos 8890, Snapdragon 820, Helio X20 and Kirin 950

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With the Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 chipsets being announced in the last two days, the stage is set for a mega faceoff between the flagship processors that will power the best smartphones of 2015. With Apple already powering the iPhone 6s with the new custom A9 SoC, dedicated chipset manufacturers Qualcomm and MediaTek have come up with the quad-core Snapdragon 820 and deca-core Helio X20 chipsets, while Samsung and Huawei have come up with Exynos 8890 and Kirin 950, respectively.

A comparison graph entailing the five new SoCs has been posted on Weibo, showing single-core performance data of these, in Geekbench 3 benchmark score. Notably, the Apple A9 SoC is the only one that is already placed within a smartphone, the iPhone 6s. The other four, while already announced, are yet to appear in the market. Nevertheless, the comparison graph shows data comparing chipsets from the five manufacturers since 2013 – when the flagship processors were the Apple A6, Exynos 5410, Snapdragon 600, Huawei K3V2 and MediaTek MT6589.

The Exynos 5410, in the first half of 2013, returned a higher score than the Apple A6, beyond which Apple’s processors have constantly returned more powerful results than all of the others in comparison. Recent data from 2015 shows a nearly 60% increment in the benchmark score of the Apple A9 over the previous generation Apple A8, with a score of 2527. Meanwhile, the Exynos 7420 (which powers the present generation Samsung flagships like the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5) came a distant second, with a score of 1488. The Snapdragon 810 (powering a number of flagships as Sony Xperia Z3+ and OnePlus 2, and more recently, the Lumia 950XL) scored 1238 in the first half of 2015, while the Snapdragon 810 v2.1, in the second half of 2015, scored 1343, bringing it nearer in terms of single-core performance score to the Exynos 7420.

Come 2016, and the Apple A9 retains a firm hold on superior performance in comparison to the others, albeit with a lesser margin. With the A9 scoring 2527, the Exynos 8890 scored 2270, and the Snapdragon 820 scored 2250, falling in the same performance bracket. The Kirin 950 scored 1820, while the MediaTek MT6797 (or, the Helio X20) scored 1890, returning much lesser single-core performance score in comparison to the other chipsets, which will power the best smartphones that await launch in 2016.

While the Apple A9 is a dual-core 1.84GHz processor, the Exynos 820 is an octa-core unit, while the Snapdragon 820 is a quad-core unit max-clocked at 2.2GHz. The Kirin 950 is an octa-core unit too, with highest clock speed of 2.4GHz, while the Helio X20 is expectedly a deca-core unit. The Exynos 8890 and the Snapdragon 820 will possibly score higher than the Apple A9 in multi-core performance, and we await till phones powered by these SoCs are launched, to see how well they actually perform in real life.

Benchmark comparison graph:
(Click to zoom)

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