Tech giants are now unveiling their new flagship mobile chips that will be used in many high-performing smartphones in 2021. Apple was the first one to officially announce a 5 nm-based chip as its Apple A14 Bionic. This chip is now powering the iPad Air 2020 and the whole iPhone 12 lineup. Recently, Samsung has announced its 5nm chip, the Exynos 1080, which is a pretty promising chip and will compete with Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus.
Tech enthusiasts are currently looking forward to the Qualcomm Tech Summit set for 1-2 December this year. There are heavy chances for the launch of Snapdragon 875 along with Snapdragon 775G. But as of now, we only have the Snapdragon 865 Plus as the best-performing chip from Qualcomm.
Hence, in this post, I will compare Samsung’s latest Exynos 1080, Apple A14 Bionic, and the Snapdragon 865 Plus side by side to give you an idea about the current scenario of top-performing chips. So let’s get started.
Exynos 1080 vs. Snapdragon 875 Plus vs. Apple A14 Bionic
|Exynos 1080||Snapdragon 865+||Apple A14 Bionic|
|Launched||November 12, 2020||July 8, 2020||September 15, 2020|
|CPU||1x Cortex-A78 core @2.8GHz|
3x Cortex-A78 cores @2.6GHz
4x Cortex-A55 cores @ 2.0GHz
|1x Cortex-A76 (Kryo 585 Prime) @ 3.09GHz|
3x Cortex-A76 (Kryo 585 Gold) @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex-A55 (Kryo 585 Silver) @ 1.8GHz
|2x Performance (Firestorm) cores @ 3.1GHz
4x Efficiency (Icestorm) cores @1.8GHz
|GPU||Mali-G78 MP10||Adreno 650||Apple-designed four-core GPU|
|Modem||Download: 3.67 Gbps (5G mmWave), 1.2 Gbps (LTE)|
Upload: 3.67 Gbps (5G mmWave), 210 Mbps (LTE)
Download: 3.7 Gbps (5G mmWave), 1.2 Gbps (LTE)
Upload: 1.6 Gbps (5G mmWave), 210 Mbps (LTE)
|Antutu||6,93,600 (approx.)||6,29,245 (approx.)||5,72,533 (approx.)|
1Process & Power Efficiency
As I have already talked that, the Exynos 1080 and Apple A14 are based on the new 5nm fabrication, making them really efficient and tightly packed chips. TSMC has manufactured the Apple A14 chip, and the 5nm fabrication is from the same manufacturer. Whereas the Exynos 1080 is Samsung’s homegrown chip and has been fabbed over Samsung’s own 5nm LPP fabrication.
As far as the Snapdragon 865 Plus is concerned, the chip is just a little upgrade over the normal SD 865 and shares the same 7nm (N7P) fabrication from TSMC. No need to say that the new 5nm IP design is better than any of the 7nm ones; hence the Snapdragon 865 Plus has the least efficient design.
2CPU Performance & Cores Distribution
As far as the cores distribution is concerned, Apple seems to have a downside with a 6-core CPU design, having a dual cluster design in 2+4 cores form. The rest of the two chips have a tri-cluster design in which 8 cores are divided into a 1+3+4 distribution.
The Apple A14 chip has 2 high-performing cores with up to 3.1GHz clock speed, and the rest of the 4 cores are efficient cores for handling lighter tasks. In contrast, Samsung has gone with a combination of Cortex-A78 and A55 cores in the performance and efficiency department. The Snapdragon 865 Plus shares a similar CPU to Exynos but has a combination of C-76 and A55 cores.
Here is the CPU design of the Apple A14 Bionic.
- 2x Performance cores @ 3.1GHz
- 4x Efficiency cores
Coming to the Exynos 1080, here is what its CPU offers.
- 1x Cortex-A78 core @2.8GHz
- 3x Cortex-A78 cores @2.6GHz
- 4x Cortex-A55 cores @ 2.0GHz
The Snapdragon 865 Plus has the least capable CPU hardware. It has the following to offer.
- 1x Cortex-A76 (Kryo 585 Prime) @ 3.09GHz
- 3x Cortex-A76 (Kryo 585 Gold) @ 2.42GHz
- 4x Cortex-A55 (Kryo 585 Silver) @ 1.8GHz
3GPU Performance & Gaming
Apple has its won 4-core GPU embedded in the A14 Bionic chip, and this GPU provides a 4-5% performance improvement over the A13 Bionic chip. This is not a huge upgrade, and you can expect a similar GPU performance. Whereas the Exynos 1080 has been equipped with the Mali-G78 MP10 GPU from ARM. It is a 10-core GPU with some serious upgrades in GPU performance.
Coming to the Snapdragon 865 Plus, there is the same Adreno 650 GPU used in the SD 865 but is slightly overclocked. This overclocking provides a 10% better GPU performance or faster graphic rendering. The Exynos 10802’s GPU scores in AnTuTu are 26.5% better than the normal Snapdragon 865. And hence is also better than the SD 865 Plus for obvious reasons.
4AnTuTu-Geekbench Benchmark Scores
AnTuTu Benchmark Scores
- Apple A14 Bionic: 5,72,533
- Snapdragon 865 Plus: 6,29,245
- Exynos 1080: 6,93,600
Geekbench Benchmark Scores
- Apple A14 Bionic: 1,583 (Single-Core), 4,198 (Multi-Core)
- Snapdragon 865 Plus: 973 (Single-Core), 3,346 (Multi-Core)
- Exynos 1080: N/A (Single-Core), N/A (Multi-Core)
5AI & Machine Learning
The Apple A14 comes with an enormous 16-core Neural Processing Unit inside the chip, which, in my opinion, is a pretty heavy AI arrangement. Apple claimed an 11TOPS of AI speed from the new A14 Bionic chip.
The Exynos 1080 has also not been compromised in this section. The company has the chip with a homegrown Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which on being operated with the provided Digital Signal Processor (DSP), can reach up to 5.7TOPS in speeds.
Lastly, the Snapdragon 865 Plus has the Qualcomm Hexagon 698 DSP along with Qualcomm’s 5th Gen AI Engine. This hardware can reach up to 15TOPS, which is the highest in combination with the CPU and GPU.
6ISP & Image Processing
Apple has its own ISP inside the A14 Bionic, whose specifications are just a mystery as Apple never talks about them. As far as the camera support is concerned, none of the iPhone has been seen using a camera higher than 12MP. Still, image processing one of the best in the business, and hence instead of a resolution, the processing is what Apple emphasizes.
The Exynos 1080 also has a self-developed ISP from Samsung that supports up to 200MP of camera resolution. You can also opt for a 32+32MP dual-camera arrangement. The SoC can shoot up to 4k at up to 60 fps also comes with HDR10 compatibility in encoding and decoding.
The Snapdragon 865 Plus also has camera support similar to Exynos 1080. 200MP single cam, but dual cameras are boosted to 48+48MP, which is an impressive thing. The video shooting is also better here. The SD 865 Plus can shoot 8k videos at up to 30fps along with HDR10.
Apple has launched the A14 Bionic as the first-ever 5G enabled chip from the company and reportedly uses the Qualcomm X55 5G modem to reach a peak of 7Gbps 3Gbps in Downlink and Uplink. The Snapdragon 865 Plus also comes with the support of this 5G Modem but separately. This is because SD 865 Plus originally comes with an integrated 4G Qualcomm X24 providing peak Downlink and Uplink speeds of 2Gbps and 316Mbps in LTE connection.
The Exynos 1080 has an integrated 5G modem comparable to Qualcomm X60 5G Modem. The Exynos 1080 can reach a peak download and upload speeds of 3.6Gbps in mmWave 5G and up to 5Gbps in Sub-6 5G.
Final Conclusion – Which One is Better?
Before concluding, I want to say that comparing Apple chips with Android is no valid comparison. This is because the Apple devices always lose in an on-paper specification based comparison, but the practical/real-life performance is better on Apple devices than Android devices. It is because Apple tunes it very well with the iOS operating system.
Hence based on the specifications, the Exynos 1080 is a clear winner in the hardware specifications. But on taking the real-life performance into count, the Apple A14 Bionic is the one that will provide you the best performance. On the other hand, Snapdragon 865+ is a very capable chipset, but it slightly leaves behind the other two.