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Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 Comparison – High Frequency Doesn’t Mean Better Performance

Q: Will the newly released Kirin 810 performs better than the Snapdragon 730 and MediaTek’s Helio P90. Let’s find out in this Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 Comparison.

Yesterday, Kirin released the first ever SoC from the Kirin 8xx series known as ‘Kirin 810’ in Huawei Nova 5. No doubt, it will provide competition for the Snapdragon 7xx series. It is understood that Qualcomm, Hisilicon, and MediaTek target these SoCs at the upper-mid/high-performance market. Yet there’s a huge difference between all three SoCs with respect to the process, CPU, frequency, NPU, GPU, and Modem. What are these differences and who outperforms who? Let’s find out in this battle of the upper mid-end SoCs: Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90.

Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 – Process Vs Frequency

Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 – Specification Sheet

SoCKirin 810Snapdragon 730MediaTek Helio P90
CPU2 X Cortex-A76 @2.27GHz
6 X Cortex-A55 @1.88GHz
2 X Kryo 470 (CA76) @2.2GHz
6 X Kryo 470 (CA55) @1.8GHz
2 X Cortex-A75 @2.2GHz
6 X Cortex-A55 @2.0GHz
GPUMali-G52Adreno 618IMG PowerVR GM 9446
ISP/ CameraIVP+ISPSpectra 350
36MP Single/ 22MP Dual
48MP Single/ 24+16MP Dual
MemoryLPDDR4
1866MHz
2-LPDDR4x
1866MHz
ModemDual VoLTEQualcomm® Snapdragon™ X15 LTE modem (15/13)
DL= 800Mbps
UL= 150Mbps
Snapdragon X20 LTE
DL= 1200Mbps
UL= 150Mbps
Mfc. Process7nm TSMC8nm LPP12nm LPP

Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 – CPU Comparison

Starting with Kirin 810, the just-released SoC from Huawei is based on the latest TSMC’s 7nm process similar to Kirin 980 and Snapdragon 855. It’s good to see that someone on the upper-mid category uses the same process as of the high-end SoCs. Maybe Snapdragon 730’s 8nm process is the reason why Hisilicon selected 7nm process, just to be more power efficient than the 730. Getting in the details, compared to Samsung’s 8nm transistor density, the transistor density of TSMC 7nm is increased by 50%, and by 64% when compared to 10nm. The overall energy efficiency is increased by 28% compared to 10nm.

Kirin 810 vs Kirin 710 vs Kirin 980 Comparison - Kirin 810 CPU

Furthermore, speaking about the core configuration of Kirin 810, we have an octacore configuration with four Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.27GHz and another set of Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.88GHz. It also shows it has a dedicated NPU made by Huawei, unlike Kirin 980 which has a third party NPU.

The Snapdragon 730 which was released a few months back uses Samsung’s 8nm process, much better than Snapdragon 710 10nm process. It’s an octa-core architecture distributed in 2 Kryo 470 Cortex-A76 cores of 2.2GHz and 6 Kryo 470 Cortex-A55 cores of 1.8GHz, which translates into a 24% improvement in power over the SND 710, but it is just a 1% better on CPU than the SND 675. As you can see, Kirin 810 not only have a better process but has more high-performance Cortex A76 cores. Even though, Snapdragon 730 might sound a bit ‘energy efficient than Kirin 810 because of having more Cortex A55 cores’ but that’s not the case. Kirin 810 is clearly more power efficient as well as has better performance because of the process and dedicated NPU. To be direct, the Huawei official says: compared to its competitor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, the Kirin 810 promises 11% better single-core and 13% better multi-core performance. 

Kirin Finally Has a Dedicated NPU

Also Read: Snapdragon 730 vs Kirin 970 vs Snapdragon 660 Comparison

Last but not least, the Helio P90 from MediaTek is the company’s most powerful SoC. The MediaTek Helio P90 is a chip made in the FFC process of 12nm which is much higher than the other ones in our list (the lower process is better). It is equipped with an octa-core processor consisting of Two Cortex-A75 cores at 2.2GHz for the most intensive tasks and six Cortex-A55 cores at 2.0GHz for the rest of the scenarios. Even though we find that the frequency of the lower cores Cortex A55 is 2.0GHz which is 200MHz better than that of Snapdragon 730 and Kirin 810, however, high frequency doesn’t mean better performance at all. Because of the relatively high process, the power efficiency and the performance of Helio P90 are nowhere near these two SoCs. So we can say that:

Higher Frequency Doesn’t Mean Better Performance

Moreover, another logical reason behind low performance by high-frequency cores is that, at a higher process the heat dissipation increases of the SoC which directly decreases the performance of both CPU and GPU.

Winner: Kirin 810

Reason: Has Better Process, and Four High-Performance Cortex A76 Cores

Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 – GPU Comparison (Mali-G52 MP6 vs)

Kirin 810 along with having a dedicated NPU also has a custom Mali-G52 MP6 GPU based on a 16nm process and 850MHz frequency. Huawei promises around 162% better performance over the last generation found in the Kirin 710. Moreover, Mali-G52 MP6 outperforms the Adreno 618 in the SD730 with up to 44% higher frame rates. The credit here also goes to the new Huawei HiAI 2.0 technology which has much better game optimizations at both software and hardware level in comparison to their TurboBoost 2.0.

Kirin 810 vs Kirin 710 vs Kirin 980 Comparison - Kirin 810 GPU

Meanwhile, Snapdragon 730 was one heck of an improvement in the GPU section when it was released with Qualcomm Adreno 618 GPU @700MHz frequency. Note that Mali-G52 has a much higher frequency. It allows optimizing quality and autonomy with OpenCL 2.0 FP, Vulkan 1.1, OpenGL ES 3.2 and DX12. All the improvements, together with the CPU Kryo 470, will offer the user an increase in the overall performance of up to 35% compared to the previous generation. However, all this is not enough to outperform Kirin 810 GPU performance, because it has that Huawei HiAI 2.0 technology. Moreover, in the past two years, Huawei has been topping the GPU performance thanks to the software level gaming optimizations from TurboBoost 1.0 and 2.0. And this new technology after the Huawei ban just reached a new level.

The Better GPU performance of Kirin 810 is because of Huawei HiAI 2.0  technology and higher frequency

Gone are the Mali GPUs for MediaTek, replaced by IMG PowerVR GM 9446 (a name that will be hard to remember) with clock speeds of up to 970 MHz. However, its performance is 50% higher than that its predecessor. Because of having a higher process and no GPU optimizations, we can expect GM 9446 to struggle in performance despite the absurd 970MHz frequency, when compared to SD 730 and Kirin 810.

Winner: Kirin 810

Reason: Better Process, Better Frequency, Better Optimization with Huawei HiAI 2.0

Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 – AI Comparison

Artificial intelligence featured inside the new SoCs has become the main trend these days because of the performance increase and intelligence it offers. All of these SoCs features AI NPU architecture to get the most out of AI.

Kirin 810 vs SD 855 vs Helio P90 AI Score

Kirin 810 hidden weapon is the DaVinci NPU based on the Rubik’s Cube Quantitative Stereo Arithmetic Unit which not just only outperforms Helio P90 but the most powerful SoC ‘Snapdragon 855’ as well in AI-related tasks. To be exact it scores up to 32,280 points in AI test.

Kirin 810 vs SD 855 vs Helio P90 AI Score 2

Snapdragon 730  neural processing unit called NPU 120 is another dedicated NPU unlike the previous Snapdragon 710, which is twice faster than the SD 710. However, in comparison to Helio P90 and Kirin 810, the AI score is still below 15,000. But in the upper mid-end category, it had the highest AI learning score until Kirin 810 came beating even the high-end and most powerful SoCs.

Helio P90 despite being old releasing at the end of 2018, had the AI NPU as the main highlight beating SD 845 and Exynos 9180 at that time. It was MediaTek’s first Arm DynamIQ CPU configured SoC. It’s AI score is around 19,500 which still ranks in the top 3 AI SoCs. Not bad for a mid-end SoC.

Winner: Kirin 810

Reason: DaVinci NPU (dedicated)

Kirin 810 Vs Snapdragon 730 vs MediaTek Helio P90 – Other Specs

The Kirin 810 still has a couple of secrets that have not been specified, as is its download and upload speed. What we can confirm is its compatibility with dual VoLTE, which at least ensures the power to use up to two 4G networks. It is also noteworthy to highlight the IVP + ISP technology for the capture of photos, which defines much better the colors and reduces the environmental noise, besides that this whole process is relatively faster, although it will be necessary to see it in action in the future Nova 5.

Kirin 810 vs Kirin 710 vs Kirin 980 Comparison - Kirin 810 IPV+ISP

The Snapdragon 730 does the same in the photographic section with the use of a third generation ISP Spectra (350) that is responsible for analyzing and improving several sections, such as performance, photography, facial recognition and other objects in the stage, and all this while saving the terminal’s battery, all with sensors up to 36MP. As regards its connections, it has an X15 LTE Snapdragon modem with LTE 15 (up to 800mbs download speed) and LTE 13 for upload.

Helio P90 stands out in photography, but neglects wireless connections

Finally, the MediaTek Helio P90 remains classic using a Cat LTE 12 and 13 modem as in previous versions, so the speeds are not very surprising compared to what they offer (or promise) the two previous participants. For its part, the ISP of this chip can support sensors of up to 48MP individually or in dual combinations of 24+16MP.

Our Verdict

Overall Winner: Kirin 810

The Kirin 810 is an intrepid bet in the mid-range that, if it weren’t because Huawei already has another processor for the high-end, could well go through a product for Premium Smartphones.

There are still some unknowns, such as the speeds it will reach the wireless level or the performance it will achieve in the Benchmarks when it comes out on a mobile, but Huawei has known how to create expectation without having to present a top-of-the-line telephone.

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