Snapdragon versus Mediatek. The eternal fight. Both Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipsets and Mediatek's SoCs are the most widespread processors in mobile telephony today. There is a popular belief that the Snapdragon are far superior, but which of the 2 is really better? Is there so much difference between one and the other?
In today's post we made a comparison between Qualcomm Snapdragon and Mediatek chips as of 2018. Of course, attending only to purely objective factors. Let's put prejudices aside and see what one and the other offer.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors
Qualcomm is an American company founded in 1985 that produces chipsets for mobile technology. He is responsible for developing semiconductors for networks and communications, wireless charging systems for electric vehicles and is responsible for well-known applications such as Eudora (email client), Brew or Qchat.
When it comes to smartphone processors, Qualcomm took its first steps in 2008, with the first chipsets of the Snapdragon family, the QSD8650 and the QSD8250.
Currently, Snapdragon has several models, both low-end, medium and high. Here we find from the most powerful Snapdragon 845, going through the Snapdragon 636 and the most humble Snapdragon 425.
Basically we could differentiate the following series: Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 and 800. From here, we would enter older models, such as the first QSD, and other lesser known Qualcomm chipsets, such as the series SDM, QCM, MSM and APQ.
Mediatek, the kings of the mid-range
Mediatek is a Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturer, and since 1997 has been in charge of developing SoCs (System on a Chip) for mobile devices, HDTV, optical storage, GPS and DVD players.
It is the second largest chipset developer in the world (behind Qualcomm) and is present in 1 in 3 smartphones. Especially known for its solutions for the Chinese mid-range mobile phone.Most cheap Chinese smartphones are betting on Mediatek. This gives them a huge market share.
Currently, Mediatek has both mid-range, low-end and high-end models. However, since November 2017, and according to statements by the General Director of International Sales, Mediatek has left the high-end aside to focus entirely on the mid-range. Area, without a doubt, in which it has much less competition.
Mediatek has several series of processors: Helium X (Helio X30, X27, X25, X23, X20 and X10), the Helio P (Helio P60, P30, P25, P23, P20 and P10), the processors 4G mid-range (MT6753, MT6752 and MT6750), Basic 4G (MT6738, MT6737T, MT6737, MT6735, MT6732, MT6595 and MT6592) and 3G (MT6582 and MT6572).
Snapdragon VS Mediatek: Comparison 2018 in the high range
To compare the products of both manufacturers, we are going to look at the solutions they offer for both the high and medium range.
Regarding the most premium range, Qualcomm has the SoC Snapdragon 845. Mediatek's weapon for this area is called Helio X30, the only processor on the market with 10 cores. Which of the 2 is better?
People here are undoubtedly betting on Snapdragon, but let's go to the objective data. Maybe we will get a surprise.
- Microprocessor Total Clock Speed: Helio X30 : 2 cores at 2.6GHz + 4 cores at 2.2GHz and 4 cores at 1.9GHz | Snapdragon 845 : 4 cores at 2.8GHz + 4 cores at 1.77GHz
- Integrated LTE ?: The LTE chip enables much faster downloads than 3G technology. Both the Helio X30 and the Snapdragon 845 have an integrated LTE chip.
- Semiconductor size: A smaller size indicates that the manufacturing process is more recent. Helio X30 : 10nm | Snapdragon 845 : 10nm.
- Integrated graphics ?: Both the Qualcomm chip and the Mediatek chip have integrated graphics.
- Big.LITTLE technology: This technology allows diversifying the use of the different sets of processor cores to reduce battery consumption. For example, to play a very demanding game use the most powerful processors, but to read an email the least powerful. Both Qualcomm and Mediatek use this technology.
- 64-bit support: 32-bit devices only support up to 4GB of RAM. Those of 64, in addition to admitting more RAM, are capable of running 64-bit apps. Both the Snapdragon 845 and the Helio X30 use this technology.
- Dynamic frequency scaling: This technology allows the processor to conserve power and reduce noise when under light load. Both the Snapdragon 845 and the Helio X30 use dynamic frequency scaling.
- TrustZone: TrustZone technology secures the device for use in mobile payments and video streaming through digital rights management (DRM). Both SoCs have TrustZone.
- Bit NX: Bit NX helps protect the device from viruses and malware. Both chips use this technology.
- Execution out of order: They allow you to make use of instruction cycles that would normally be missed due to delays. Both the Helio X30 and the Snapdragon 845 can perform out-of-order executions.
- VFP version: The vector floating point (VCF, or VFP for its acronym in English) is used by the processor to offer higher performance in areas such as digital imaging. Helio X30: version 4 | Snapdragon 845: version 4.
- Simultaneously executed bits: Helio X30 : 128 | Snapdragon 845 : 128.
- Hardware-assisted virtualization: Enables better performance when virtualization is supported by hardware. Both the Helio X30 and the Snapdragon 845 support Hw-assisted virtualization.
- AES: AES enables faster encryption and decryption of data. Both the Helio X30 and the Snapdragon 845 have this technology in their processors.
In short, in terms of characteristics both chipsets are exactly the same. The only significant difference is found in the total speed of the microprocessor, where the Helio X30 and its 10 cores clearly outperform Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845.
Mid-range 2018: comparison between Snapdragon 625 and Mediatek MT6750
Within the most accessible mid-range, the most widely used Mediatek chipset is the MT6750. In the case of Qualcomm, we would talk about Snapdragon 625. Here the differences are much more marked than in the high range.
- Microprocessor Total Clock Speed: MT6750 : 8 cores at 1.5GHz | Snapdragon 625 : 8 cores at 2.0GHz.
- Integrated LTE ?: Both the MT6750 and the Snapdragon 625 have an integrated LTE chip.
- Semiconductor size: MT6750 : 28nm | Snapdragon 625 : 14nm.
- Integrated graphics ?: Both the Qualcomm chip and the Mediatek chip have integrated graphics.
- Big.LITTLE technology: Neither of the 2 chips have this energy saving technology.
- RAM speed: If it supports faster memories it will offer better performance. MT6750 : 666MHz | Snapdragon 625 : 933MHz.
- 64-bit support: Both have 64-bit systems.
- Dynamic frequency scaling: Both have dynamic frequency scaling.
- Bit NX: Both have this type of protection against malicious attacks.
- TrustZone: Both the MT6750 and the Snapdragon 625 feature TrustZone technology.
- Execution out of order: Neither of them can perform out-of-order executions.
- VFP version: MT6750 : Version 4 | Snapdragon 625 : Version 4.
- Simultaneously executed bits: MT6750 : 128 bits | Snapdragon 625 : 128 bits.
- Hardware-assisted virtualization: Both support hardware-assisted virtualization.
- AES: Both the MT6750 and the Snapdragon 625 use AES to speed up data encryption.
The Snapdragon 625 without a doubt it is superior to the Mediatek chip. In any case, it must be borne in mind that this is only one of the several chipsets that Mediatek has in the mid-range. Let us remember that it has both more effective processors - such as Helio P23 or Helio P25-, as well as others with lower performance.
Antutu best scores: Snapdragon vs Mediatek
As we have seen, at least as far as high-end is concerned, it seems that Mediatek has nothing to envy the most powerful Qualcomm processors. However, not everything is functionalities and quality in the manufacture.
In addition to providing a good product, you have to know how to take advantage of everything that the chipset offers. Here mobile phone manufacturers have a lot to say. It is clear that, if you do not accompany the processor with the best components, both at the software and hardware level, there is not much to do.
If we look at the performance offered by mobiles equipped with Mediatek processors, we have to go well down in the leaderboard to find the first one on the list.
The Helio X30, Mediatek's most powerful SoC to date features a score in Antutu of 160,000 points. This places you, more or less in the position 33 of the table.
As for the rest of the chipset manufacturers, in the first place of the Antutu benchmarking tool is currently the Samsung Galaxy S9 +, with a processor Exynos 9810 (264,769 points). The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is in fourth place with itsKirin 970 (213,115 points).
To find the first mobile with Qualcomm CPU we have to go up to sixth place in the table. Here we find the One Plus 5T, with a Snapdragon 835 and 212,558 points in Antutu.
In the price is the difference
Another factor to take into account in this semiconductor war is the price of its processors. Qualcomm is a manufacturer with higher prices than Mediatek. This generally means that mobiles between 100 and 200 euros opt for the cheapest solutions.
Are they better for that? No, but the Taiwanese manufacturer has a greater offer and that allows smartphone manufacturers a greater margin of maneuver and cost reduction. Thus they can offer a more competitive price in a really fierce market, such as the current mid-range.
The truth is that it is difficult to draw a categorical conclusion or statement. Are Snapdragon or Mediatek processors better? It depends on how you look at it.
If we look at the high-end chipsets we see that theoretically Mediatek's Helio X30 is better than the Snapdragon 845. But when push comes to shove, manufacturers get much more out of Snapdragon-equipped phones. For a sample, the results obtained in measurement and benchmarking tools such as Antutu.
It seems that the manufacturers of high-end phones have not opted to design smartphones with the Helio X30, and therefore they have not gotten to exploit all its possibilities.
From Mediatek it seems that they have it quite clear: leave the high-end for better times and focus all your efforts on the mid-range. A market where it dominates with an iron fist, especially within the Helio P line, where the price vs power ratio is much more succulent than Qualcomm's somewhat more expensive offers.
Snapdragon, for its part, is postulated as the great semiconductor manufacturer for the most cutting-edge mobile devices, along with the excellent Exynos (Samsung) and Kirin (Huawei).You have Telegram installed? Receive the best post of each day on our channel. Or if you prefer, find out everything from our Facebook page.