Snapdragon 855 vs Kirin 980 vs Exynos 9820: Which One is Best?




Qualcomm recently announced their long-awaited Snapdragon 855 processor to compete with Exynos 9820, Kirin 980 and A12 Bionic. Putting A12 aside let’s talk about how good Snapdragon 855 is compared to the Exynos 9820 and Kirin 980.

While the Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980 is made on the 7nm fabrication, Samsung’s In-House chip is made on the 8nm fabrication process. Although There isn’t a huge difference but that little difference can improve the speed of the processor.

ProcessorSnapdragon 855Exynos 9820Kirin 980
CPU CoreSemi-custom ARM Cortex - Kryo 485Fully-custom ARM Cortex Arm Cortex
CPU Configration1x Cortex A76 @ 2.84GHz
3x Cortex A76 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex A55 @ 1.8GHz
2x M4
2x Cortex-A75
4x Cortex-A55
2x Cortex-A76 @2.6GHz
2x Cortex-A76 @1.92GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @1.8GHz
GPUAdreno 640Mali-G76 MP12 Mali-G76 MP10
AIHexagon 690NPUDual NPU
MemoryUFS 3.0UFS 3.0UFS 2.1
Process7nm FinFET 8nm FinFET 7nm FinFET
Video Capture4K UHD, HDR @ 60fps8K @ 30fps or 4K @ 150fps4K @ 30fps
Video playback8K UHD, 360 degree, up to 120fps,
10-bit, H.265 and VP9 video decoder
8K 30fps or 4K 150fps,
10-bit HEVC(H.265), H.264, VP9
4K @ 60fps
ModemX24 LTE
2000 Mbps down
316 Mbps up
Cat 20 LTE modem
2000 Mbps down
316 Mbps up
Cat 21 LTE modem
1400 Mbps down
200 Mbps up

These high performing chipsets are competing for each other with the latest arm cores, newer GPUs, multi-core NPU’s to make AI even better, Better modems to improve the internet speed and pushing multimedia supports.

CUP Performance:

All the three chipsets using tri cluster CPU design to gain more performance and at the same time can save battery.

All the chipsets are high performing and in real life, the performance will be neck to neck. As of now on paper Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is strong and will easily beat the Kirin 980 and Exynos 9820.

GPU Performance:

In terms of GPU performance, Qualcomm is always a step ahead of the competition. Even the last years Adreno 630 was faster than the Mali G76 GPU in Huawei Mate 20 Pro. With the upgraded Adreno 640 Qualcomm will make even more difference.

Even Samsung is using 12 core Mali G76 so they won’t beat the Qualcomm anytime soon.

Fabrication Process:

Qualcomm and Kirin use the same 7nm fabrication technology to make their chip. But Samsung is not yet ready to make a 7nm chipset while the Exynos 9820 is based on 8nm process.

For us consumers, 7nm chips should mean longer battery life and higher performing devices.

Video Capture and Playback:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 can shoot 4k and HDR videos at 60FPS. while Kirin 980 only supports 4K at 30FPS. Samsung stepping up a game with the 8k 30fps support and 4k150 fps support.

Kirin 980 supports the 4K 60fps video playback while Exynos 9820 and SD855 can play 8K videos.

Modems and Memory:

Qualcomm announced that Snapdragon 855 supports the 5G but for that external modem is required. Snapdragon 855 packs the X24 LTE which supports the 2000 Mbps download speed and 316 Mbps upload speed. Same goes with the Exynos 9820 with a Cat 20 LTE modem. But Kirin 980 falls behind here as well, It uses Cat 21 LTE modem which supports 1400 Mbps download speed and 200 Mbps upload speed.

Talking of memory, UFS is a common flash storage specification for digital cameras, mobile phones, and other consumer electronic devices. UFS 3.0 is two times faster than the UFS 2.1 which is a huge improvement and smartphones with UFS 3.0 will launch in Early 2019.

Exynos 9820 and Snapdragon 855 supports the UFS 3.0 while Kirin only supports the UFS 2.1.

Overall, Snapdragon 855 is much faster and better in all the aspects, Let us know what do you think about all the chipsets in the comments below.


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