Exynos 2200 compared to 2100 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: what changes

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Samsung has just made the Exynos 2200 official, its new high-end chip that should be equipped on the next top of the range of the South Korean house – including the S22 family – and which introduces several new features in the mobile field. At the moment all the features of the SoC have not been shared – official details on frequencies and much more are missing – but the first information allows us to begin to draw a first comparison between the previous generation Samsung chip and its direct home rival. Qualcomm.

For a detailed analysis of all the innovations introduced by Samsung on its Exynos 2200, we invite you to take a look at the piece you find above, where all the information released by the company on the new chip is examined, while in this piece we will search to understand what changes in practice between 2200 and 2100 and what are the main differences compared to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which continues to be made by Samsung and has several points of contact with the latest South Korean proposal. Let’s start by taking a look at the main technical characteristics of the three chips:

  • EXYNOS 2100, 2200, SNAPDRAGON8 GEN 1: MAIN FEATURES
  • THREE VERY SIMILAR SOC
  • GAMING: SAMSUNG AND AMD’S BET
  • CONCLUSIONS: WILL IT BE ONLY ONE YEAR OF TRANSITION?
EXYNOS 2100, 2200, SNAPDRAGON8 GEN 1: FEATURES
THREE VERY SIMILAR SOC

 

As we can see, the three SoCs do not present striking differences, with the exception of some peculiar aspects of each proposal. That of Exynos 2200 is certainly the new one Xclipse 920 GPU – which we will talk about later -, while as regards Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 it is the heavy improvement introduced on the new ISP and on the AI ​​performance front and the unprecedented triple ISP. Furthermore, both chips adopt the new ARM v9-A architecture, which marks the final farewell to 32 bits but does not introduce radical improvements that directly impact the performance of mobile CPUs. In short, we are not witnessing an epochal turning point as in the transition from v7 to v8.

Net of these differences, the jump between Exynos 2100 and 2200 seems to be very limited, with the main differences regarding the marked improvement in AI performance (but Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 seems to do much better) and the introduction of the Zero Shutter Lag when shooting at 108 MegaPixels. The connectivity improvements are also marginal, where the new Exynos proposal differs from the previous one for an increase in the maximum download speed that in practice will not be appreciated by any user in the world, at least not to date (Note: you get to 10 Gbps, against the previous 7.35 Gbps, but only in E-UTRAN New Radio mode – Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) – which uses both 4G LTE and 5G NR).

Compared to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, however, we find a virtually identical CPU configuration, with the same type of core in the same quantity, even if the Qualcomm variant is part of the Kryo series, therefore the one in which the US chipmaker has introduced its classic customizations. Unfortunately we do not know the official frequencies of Exynos 2200, but the battle on the CPU performance side is likely to be played out primarily on this front. For the moment we know that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 runs at 3.0 GHz on its Cortex-X2-based main core, while it goes up to 2.5 GHz on the A710s and 1.8 GHz on the A510s. The Exynos 2100, on the other hand, offered frequencies equal to 2.9 GHz on the Cortex-X1, 2.8 GHz on the A78 and 2.2 GHz on the A55.

There are also no changes in the production process, despite passing from the 5nm EUV of the last generation to the 4nm EUV of the new one. In all three cases, Samsung is responsible for the production of the SoCs and we have already seen how the 4nm of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 have not translated into a real improvement in performance and consumption. This is because the annual increases on this front are now marginal and are often canceled out by all the other factors that contribute to determining the overall power consumption of the chip. Samsung’s 5nm process didn’t convince last year – especially when compared to TSMC’s 5nm – and the transition to 4nm does not represent a clear change of pace.

GAMING: SAMSUNG AND AMD’S BET

 

The element that most stands out in this comparison is the abandonment of arm’s traditional Mali GPUs in favor of a new solution based on AMD technology. We have been talking about this for several years now and we have finally reached the moment when the partnership between the two companies is about to produce the first concrete result.

The new Samsung Xclipse 920 GPU, in fact, is based on theAMD’s RDNA 2 architecture and introduces the hardware support for ray tracing, one of the typical features of latest generation consoles and PCs, and the new AMIGO governor. But it is certainly not the RT that represents the real turning point in the mobile field, but the debut of the RDNA 2 architecture on a platform different from traditional x86. In fact, Exynos 2200 supports all the main technologies typical of the AMD architecture, including the Variable Rate Shading, thus creating a bridge between the PC / console world and the mobile one that could facilitate the creation of shared and easily scalable gaming experiences between all platforms.

At the moment there are no official indications regarding the performance of the Xclipse 920 GPU, so we cannot yet draw a comparison with the Qualcomm counterpart or with the Mali-G78 MP14 of Exynos 2100, but the fundamental aspect to consider is precisely the leap towards the new architecture. Exynos 2200 it is not a point of arrival for the world of mobile gaming, but how what to start from to bring truly innovative solutions to the field.

The bet is therefore to field a shared architecture that can adopt the same technologies on each platform – for example, we do not see what can hinder the arrival of FSR also on mobile -, able to scale based on the performance of individual chips. Recall that even Steam Deck, Valve’s first portable console, adopts an RDNA 2 GPU and that the architecture is also the basis of those present on PS5 and Xbox Series.

Pending official data from Exynos 2200 and Xclipe 920 – or at least the first tests on full commercial products -, we can only take note of the fact that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s Adreno 730 GPU is proving to be a really effective solution, despite having to deal with an SoC that – on the whole – is not giving great satisfaction in terms of energy optimization and temperatures. Exynos 2100, on the other hand, has shown in its year of life that it is not a top solution for the gaming sector, confirming what has always been the weak point of Exynos SoCs of past generations.

We therefore await more details on the real performance of Exynos 2200, even if it is good not to have too high expectations. The rumors of the past months, indeed, speak of a chip that has had to undergo major downsizing on the GPU frequency front (which we remember is not yet officially known), so the final result could be lower than that initially assumed by Samsung and AMD. We therefore do not expect a revolutionary and capable GPU tear the excellent Adreno 730 from Qualcomm, but its current importance – as already highlighted – lies precisely in the fact of being the first RDNA 2 to arrive on ARM architecture: from now on it will be good to pay attention to the evolution of the next proposals.

CONCLUSIONS: WILL IT BE ONLY ONE YEAR OF TRANSITION?

The first look at the Exynos 2200 – and by extension Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – seems to suggest that 2022 it will not be a year of major upheavals in terms of performance in the mobile world. On the contrary, it will be a year in which the foundations will be laid for the next generational leaps and for the diffusion of new promising architectures but not yet at the peak of their maturity.

The transition between Exynos 2100 and 2200 shows us just this scenario; we have not yet seen the CPU of the new Samsung chip at work, but the first tests on the configuration twin adopted by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 put us in front of a very minimal leap – perhaps the most contained in recent years -, while the performance of the new Xclipse 920 GPU has yet to be tested in real use.

The new RDNA 2 architecture is certainly promising, but the current unknowns are so many: what performance compromises did Samsung have to make? How long will it be before we see games that take advantage of the peculiarities of RDNA 2? What level of performance does the hardware dedicated to the RT offer? All questions that let us understand how it is still necessary to take some time before making the most of what is offered, but a step in this direction still had to be taken.

Exynos 2200 therefore appears – at least on paper – as a chip that aims to innovate mainly on one aspect only (that of gaming), but which on all other aspects it adopts a very conservative approach, offering a gap with the previous generation that could be very small. Of course, we find improvements regarding the management of the cameras – with finally the possibility of using the ZSL even at maximum resolution – and an update of the AI ​​performance (but Qualcomm manages to do much better), but otherwise we do not expect to have in our hands a solution capable of marking a change of pace compared to Exynos 2100.

Obviously this is what we can only hypothesize from a first analysis of the data on the card and the first experiences from the initial implementations of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – which as we have seen has a large point of contact on the CPU front -, but it will be only the real tests of Exynos 2200 to give us the pulse of the situation on fundamental aspects such as temperatures and energy consumption, on which Samsung does not provide precise indications, unlike in previous years. For now we can only stand by, but the premises seem to suggest that we do not have too high expectations.