NVIDIA Tegra 4 vs Exynos 5 Octa vs Snapdragon 800

NVIDIA Tegra 4 vs Exynos 5 Octa vs Snapdragon 800

Mobile devices are continuously improving and becoming more powerful. The last generation of high-end SoCs, which got huge popularity were Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4, Nvidia Tegra 3 and Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, which successfully established a new standard for mobile performance and brought quad-core CPUs to mobile devices and also mobile gaming performance has been taken to the new level. After that successfully evolution, these mobile SoC were taken to one more step with the launch of their powerful successors in the market, which continued the trend of more performance with less power consumption. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800, Nvidia Tegra 4 and Samsung Exynos 5 Octa.

Die process is the one main common thing between these three different SoCs. Qualcomm which uses 28nm process since last year, Samsung has upgraded it’s Exynos line from its own 32nm HKMG process to 28nm HKMG with the Exynos 5 Octa and Nvidia is using gigantic stride from its aged 40nm process to 28nm.


Qualcomm is not licensing complete ARM CPUs, instead of that they prefer to license the architecture and modify it to make a custom CPU, which is called as Krait since the launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4. Krait CPUs are popular in terms of power consumption and their performance. In Snapdragon 800, the company has added new custom CPU, which is four Krait 400 cores. And the cores are able to run at a stunning maximum frequency of 2.3GHz. One more unique thing about Krait cores is that, they can run different cores at different clock speeds on the basis of workload, and that is the reason for their better energy consumption.

Nvidia Tegra 4 comes with 4-PLUS-1 architecture used in the Tegra 3. In Tegra 4 the main CPU cores consists of four Cortex A15 core which are clocked at 1.9Ghz, which is more than a normal mobile device will ever need. As increase in performance would result in fast battery drain, that is the reason NVIDIA has included a fifth Cortex A15 core, but this one has been designed well for low power, to handle light workloads for example – playing video and music, and increases the power efficiency. The fifth A15 core can run at up to 825MHz, which is roughly the performance of a single 1.6GHz Cortex A9 core. The Tegra 4′s little brother, the mid-range Tegra 4i, is having slightly different CPU. While still employing 4-PLUS-1, the 4i uses A15 cores, but a newer, improved version of the old Cortex A9; the four A9 cores are able o run at up to 2.3GHz.

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa is the first SoC which comes with 8CPU cores, but all these 8-core are not running. Actually Octa uses four Cortex-A15 core with a maximum clock speed of 1.8GHz and can operate heavy workloads. And the smaller quad-core Cortex A7 which is running at upto 1.2Ghz has been made for lighter workloads. But here Cortex A7 CPU works somehow similar to the Cortex A9. Which delivers pretty high performance at less power consumption as compare to a quad-core Cortex A9 at the clock speed of 1.2 GHz for example Tegra 3 T30L. Samsung is good then Tegra 4 in terms of power consumption.


The Nvidia Tegra 4 chip which is installed on some high-end tablets is capable of easily handling a high resolution of at least 1920 x 1200. It is capable of running even most complex games on a very high resolution tablet of something (2560 x 1600). Nvidia also claims that the GPU has been optimized for using the memory bandwidth more efficiently.

Instead of regular ARM’s Mali GPUs, Samsung Exynos 5 uses PowerVR SGX544MP3 GOU, which is said to be identical to the iPad 3 GPU. There are 12 unified shader units in this GPU (four per module, as this is the MP3, hence, three modules), each of which contain four ALUs. The difference between iPad 3 and Exynos Octoa GPU is that the Octa SGX544MP3 has been clocked much higher which is at 533MHz, which equates to something like 51.1 GFLOPS peak performance, almost exactly in between the iPad 3′s 32 GFLOPs and the iPad 4′s 71.6 GFLOPS.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 comes with Adreno 330 GPU, which provides same features as Adreno 320, but it includes higher performance capabilities. Adreno 330 is OpenGL ES 3.0 capable graphics processor and is also the best mobile GPU, which likely surpasses the Tegra 4′s GPU.


All of these three SoCs are packed with many similarities, but Nvidia Tegra 4i, has been destined to be a mid-range SoC. So, it cannot compete with other top-end SoCs in the line. NVIDIA and Samsung, works to to increase power efficiency by adding in low power cores to handle simple workloads, on the other hand Qualcomm is having asynchronous clock rates for it’s cores. The difference comes in terms of GPUs. Samsung’s GPU is not much impressive, while NVIDA and Qualcomm is using a GPU to for improving and providing best gaming performance. All these three SoCs are having identical memory interface. So, all these three SoCs are at the top at their own features