Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos: what's the performance gap?

As every year, Samsung actually launches two variants of all its flagship, and the S21 Ultra is no exception: in the US and South Korea, Samsung customers can buy variants equipped with a Snapdragon chip, while in Europe, it must be satisfied with Exynos chips, traditionally slower. So what is the performance gap this year?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos: what's the performance gap?

Samsung continues to offer its smartphones like the S21 Ultra in two variants, one under Exynos (Europe and most of the markets) and the other under Snapdragon. Traditionally Samsung lags significantly behind on the performance side. It must be said that the chips designed by Samsung have been fishing mainly by their GPU for a few generations.

Fortunately, the firm has partnered with AMD, which should deliver more powerful chips in the near future, but this is not yet the case with the Exynos 2100 found in the European Galaxy S21 Ultra.

This year, "surprise" - we take the same and start over: the first benchmarks confirm that the variants are equipped with a Snapdragon 888 chip. The chronic difference in performance between the European and American variants has been annoying consumers on the old continent for years.

So much so that a petition has been launched asking Samsung to stop selling "inferior" smartphones in the Union. New independent benchmarks from the Gary Explains YouTube channel and the Android Authority site allow for further reflection.


First, it highlights the qualities of the Exynos 2100 chip. Like the Snapdragon 888 chip, it is engraved in 5 nm, which in theory allows the same density of transistors - although it should be noted that the Samsung process comparatively delivers lower density compared to the TSMC etching process of the Qualcomm chip.

The CPU part is almost identical in both cases, with higher clock frequencies on the Exynos 2100 side. We thus have in both cases 1x Cortex-X1 core, 3x Cortex-A78, and 4x Cortex-A55.

The Exynos chip rates them respectively at 2.9GHz, 2.8GHz, and 2.2GHz against 2.84GHz, 2.4GHz, and 1.8GHz on the Snapdragon 888 side. This is clearly seen on the GeekBench 5 CPU benchmark produced by Android Authority, but less than we would have. We could have thought so, given the pace differences.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos: what's the performance gap?

Conversely, the biggest difference is supposed to be around GPU performance, with on one side Mali-G78 cores less efficient than the Adreno 660 of the Snapdragon 888 chip. Samsung announces a performance increase of 40% compared to the previous generation.


As you can see in the GPU benchmark, there is a difference in performance, but the gap has never been smaller on a generation of Samsung smartphones. Gamers are unlikely to notice the slightest difference in performance in games.

However, the difference is greater with the AnTuTu test, which aggregates the CPU and GPU scores as well as the scores obtained with RAM benchmarks. Even if it remains much weaker than on previous generations, Android Authority also puts this on the increase in CPU performance.

The site has also attempted other tests, including one designed entirely in-house, called Speed ​​Test G. We discover that the Exynos 2100 chip fishing mainly through throttling, or the limitation of sustained performance, which occurs much faster than on chips. Snapdragon 888. Performance is significantly more consistent with the Snapdragon 888 chip. Last test: autonomy and battery. And it is in this area that the Exynos 2100 really stands out.

The variant under Exynos 2100 lasted 27 minutes longer than the Galaxy S21 Ultra under Snapdragon 888. As we can see, this year, Samsung has made real progress with its Exynos 2100 chip. Even if it remains a little behind the Snapdragon 888 chip, the difference is so insignificant on performance that it's a safe bet that it will be imperceptible for a majority of users, even the most demanding gamers.

And with almost 30 minutes of additional battery, the compromise is not so bad this year. Samsung gives us real reasons to hope for the best from its future Exynos chips equipped with an AMD GPU.

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