Update | G is for Gaming: MediaTek takes mobile gaming seriously with the Helio G90
Update: Added some photos from a colleague who was at the event. They show MediaTek's own benchmarking placing the G90 as a competitor to the Snapdragon 730.
MediaTek has traditionally been strong in the low and mid-range segment, where their A-Series (Helio A22), and P-Series (Helio P35 / Helio P60 / Helio P70), compete against the Snapdragon 200, Snapdragon 400, and Snapdragon 600 line-ups. Where they haven’t been strong is in the GPU department, with the flagship Helio P90 being more in line with the Snapdragon 670 and Snapdragon 710.
That is set to change with the MediaTek G90 and G90T, the first two entrants in MediaTek’s new gaming-orientated G-Series. Details are light at the moment, but it seems like the CPU performance will be similar to the P90. The Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 cores are running at a slightly lower frequency, but the more modern "BIG" cores should provide higher IPC than the older Cortex-A75 ones. The PowerVR GM9446 has been traded in for a Mali-G76 3EEMC4. Unfortunately, based on previous Mali-G76 benchmarks we’ve run, the G90/G90T might still sit behind the older Snapdragon 845’s Adreno 630 GPU in regards to gaming performance. We won’t be able to confirm this until we get a G90-equipped device in for benchmarking.
“The mobile gaming market is growing, and device makers are looking to give consumers and especially gaming fans the best smartphone game-play experience. That’s why we designed the G90 series,” said TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit.
Where MediaTek is hoping to get an advantage is with their ‘HyperEngine’ gaming technology. HyperEngine is a similar sort of technology to the GPU-boost features found in phones from manufacturers like Huawei, Honor, and Oppo. On the performance side, HyperEngine will reduce background resource usage and direct more of the power budget to the GPU if the CPU doesn't need it. HyperEngine is also able to intelligently switch between WiFi and LTE before the signal drops too low, and allows the phone to simultaneously connect to both the 2.4ghz and 5.0ghz frequencies to allow smart routing based on whichever is providing the lowest latency.
Gaming phones, such as the Asus ROG Phone 2, are becoming more viable as general-use smartphones as the compromises reduce and more games can take advantage of high refresh rate screens and phone-specific features. MediaTek certainly wants to become a viable option in this market segment before it grows further.
MediaTek Press Release and Media Event