Q: Is the newly released Samsung Exynos 9825 better than Snapdragon 855/Plus and Kirin 980? Is it worthy of calling a major update over Exynos 9820? We will answer all these questions in this Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 SoCs Comparison.
Today, Samsung released the first 7nm EUV process SoC in the world known as Exynos 9825. Let’s compare it to the mobile phone industry’s top SoCs which are Kirin 980 and Snapdragon 855 and 885 Plus.
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 SoCs Comparison
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – Specs Sheet Comparison
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – Process Difference
Starting with the CPU section, one might think that there’s no difference between all three SoCs since all are based on the 7nm process. However, it should be noted that the process technology is not the same. Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980 are based on the LPP TSMC and FinET technology meanwhile the new Exynos 9825, as previously said is the first 7nm SoC based on EUV technology. And the advantage of EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography)? In comparison to the 7nm Finet, TSMC SoCs, EUV allows SoC manufacturer to leverage extreme ultraviolet wavelengths to print finer circuits and develop a faster and more power-efficient processor.
Getting in details, the performance is 20% more and most importantly the energy-saving is 50% which is half the previous 7nm SoCs which are Kirin 980 and Snapdraong 855 and 855 Plus.
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – CPU Difference
Speaking of the CPU configuration, Samsung still follows the same tri-cluster layout with 2+2+4 different cores. To be honest, in comparison to the Exynos 9820 which is based on the 8nm LPP FinET process, the core configuration is exactly the same. There are two custom CPUs (M4) running @2.73 GHz, two Cortext A75 high-performance cores @ 2.4GHz, and four Cortex-A55 low-power cores @1.95GHz. Samsung hasn’t revealed the cache of each core.
Meanwhile, the Kirin 980 is presented with a 7nm TSMC technology and an octa-core configuration in two clusters 4 + 4. There are 2 Cortex-A76 cores, which work at a speed of 2.6GHz with one of the latest ARM lithographs; 2 other Cortex-A76 cores, this time at 1.92GHz, are essential for energy-saving or less demanding tasks; and finally, we have 4 Cortex A55 cores @ 1.8GHz which are low-powered.
The Snapdragon 855 is also built with a 7nm FinFET technology process. It uses a Kryo 485 CPU based on a semi-custom ARM Cortex technology: 1 core x Cortex A76 core at 2.84GHz, 3 cores x Cortex-A76 at 2.42GHz and 4 cores x Cortex-A55 at 1.8GHz. In Snapdragon 855 Plus, everything is the same as SD 855 but the higher core Cortex-A76 is slightly overclocked to 2.9GHz.
So, Exynos 9825 has a lead here because of the two custom M4 CPUs which have a frequency of @2.73. If we compare the frequency of each core of each SoC, SD 855 and 855 Plus have one Cortex-A76 core with the highest frequency of 2.84GHz. However, in Exynos 9825, number outcomes the frequency as there are two custom CPUs. Moreover, we must note that the lower cores (Cortex-A55) of Exynos 9825 has more frequency than those of Kirin 980 and SD 855/855. Last but not least, the 7nm LPP EUV process allows the SoC to be more power-efficient and faster than the two old SoC. Why didn’t Exynos 9820 performed better than SD 855 and Kirin 980 last year? Because of the process difference and lower frequency of Cortex A76 cores.
Conclusion for CPU section:There isn’t much of an improvement in the CPU section of Exynos 9825 when compared to 9820. The CPU layout is the same with higher frequencies. Exynos 9820 had better performance difference than Exynos 9810. But that explains why Samsung not named it Exynos 9830 but instead named Exynos 9825. However, the performance is enough to beat the current top-end SoCs because of the not powerful, but highly efficient 7nm LPP EUV process. However, we don’t think that the CPU performance will be able to compete with the upcoming Kirin 985 and Snapdragon 865 since they will also have a EUV process which Samsung is boasting at the moment.
Same CPU layout, higher frequency might be good for now but not after other upcoming 7nm EUV SoCs have been released.
Winner: Samsung Exynos 9825
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – GPU Comparison
Coming to the GPU section, it’s surprising to see that the new Exynos 9825 and the previous generation Exynos 9820 has the same GPU which is Mali G76MP12. The frequency of the GPU hasn’t revealed by Samsung yet. However, we expect it to be @800 MHz from the previous @720MHz. This reminds us of the Snapdragon 855 and 855 Plus scenario. There’s no denying that Exynos 9825 has an overclocked GPU, that’s all. Even Samsung hasn’t mentioned the GPU as the highlight. However, combined with the EUV process, the heat dissipation will be decreased, so Exynos 9825 will have better graphics performance than SD 855/Plus and Kirin 980 under long gaming sessions.
The Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU present in the Snapdragon 855 offers graphics processing speeds up to 20% faster compared to previous generations while maintaining industry-leading performance. The Plus version of SD 855 has the same CPU overclocked. Meanwhile, the Kirin 980 premiered the Mali-G76 GPU as the first manufacturer to assemble it. This GPU improved the performance of graphics execution, with an increase in performance of 46% and an energy efficiency of 178% compared to other generations of chipsets.
Kirin 980, Exynos 9820, and Exynos 9855 GPU are all the same except for the process difference and frequency. Mali-G76 in Kirin had a better GPU performance than SD 855 but not SD 855 Plus. However, the overclocked and EUV Mali-G76 will beat Snapdragon 855 Plus as well.
Winner: Exynos 9825
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – Other Specs Comparison
Exynos 9825 similar to the Exynos 9820 has an integrated NPU for AI processing. It’s not the highlight of the SoC. Similarly, Kirin 980 also has a dedicated NPU. Meanwhile, Snapdragon has a Hexagon 685 DSP to carry out AI activities. We believe that the 9825 NPU is the same as in 9820, so the AI performance will have that much difference. It was already lower than Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980. That leaves us to Kirin 980 and SD 855/Plus. From the AI benchmark, Kirin 980 has a better AI score than SD 855. At the moment, Kirin 810 is the most intelligent chip, which will be overtaken by the recently released Helio G90 series this year, and then by Kirin 985 next year.
Winner: Kirin 980
All three SoCs have an external modem to achieve 5G networking. We believed that Samsung might have invented the first integrated 5G modem but Samsung thinks that it’s too early for that. Anyways, 5G can be attained on Exynos 9825 SoC by pairing it with 5G Exynos Modem 5100. Kirin 980 can achieve 5G by connecting it with the Balong 5000 modem. Snapdragon 855/855 Plus can achieve 5G by pairing it with Snapdragon X50 modem.
Samsung has maintained its Shannon 5000, a Category 20/13 modem in Exynos 9825. This modem has a peak download rate of 2 Gbps (with 8x carrier aggregation), while the upload is 316 Mbps. Kirin 980 has a slightly less download and the upload rate of 1.4 Gbps and 200 Mbps. Snapdragon has X24 LTE with 2000 Mbps download rate and 316 Mbps upload rate. Thus, Exynos 9825 has better 4G speed.
Winner: Tie (SD 855/Plus and Exynos 9825)
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – Price Comparison
Since Exynos 9825 is a new SoC, it will have more price than Snapdragon 855/Plus, and Kirin 980. Yet, Samsung SoCs are slightly expensive than Hisilicon and Qualcomm. The price difference is like this:
Moreover, we rarely see any manufacturer use Exynos SoC which is limited to Samsung phones only. And we already know that Samsung is pretty low when it comes to offering the best price-over-performance ratio in smartphones. Kirin 980 SoC phones are much cheaper thanks to Huawei, followed by SD 855 SoC thanks to Xiaomi and Redmi. Moreover, it’s not that how much the SoC cost, it’s how much the phone bearing that SoC cost!
We are sure that the Kirin 985 will again be cost-effective like the Kirin 980 when there will be Snapdragon 865 vs Kirin 985 vs Exynos 9825 next year.
Winner: Kirin 980
Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 – The Similarities
All three have an external 5G modem
Have Cortex A76 core
Support UFS 2.1 and UFS 3.0
Same Memory support
All three have NPU for AI processing
Support the latest QC 4.0+
Concluding the Exynos 9825 vs Snapdragon 855 (Plus) vs Kirin 980 SoCs Comparison, Exynos 9825 might be the winner now thanks to the 7nm EUV process, higher Cortex A76 core frequency, and overclocked GPU. However, it’s not that much of an upgrade over Exynos 9820 since the core configuration is the same, GPU is the same, as well as the connectivity. We said that it’s the winner ‘FOR NOW’ because the upcoming Kirin 985 and SD 865 will have much better improvements based on 7nm EUV process which Samsung is boasting at the moment.
Overall Winner: Exynos 9825
Hope you liked our SoCs comparison. Want to know something? Let us know in the comments. Please do rate the comparison down below. Meet you at the next comparison.
Note: We will update the comparison with benchmarks as soon as Samsung Galaxy Note 10 releases.
The Bads of Exynos 9825 Over Kirin 980 and SD 855 Plus
Not a major update
Still no internal 5G modem
The Core configuration is the same
GPU is the same
Exynos 9825 might be the winner now thanks to the 7nm EUV process, higher Cortex A76 core frequency, and overclocked GPU. However, it's not that much of an upgrade over Exynos 9820 since the core configuration is the same, GPU is the same, as well as the connectivity.