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Performance vs Efficiency: How does the Exynos 2100 compare to the Snapdragon 888?

The Exynos 2100 is a big improvement over the Exynos 990 nonetheless. (Source: Samsung)
The Exynos 2100 is a big improvement over the Exynos 990 nonetheless. (Source: Samsung)
The Exynos 2100 and the Snapdragon 888 are the two major Android flagship chipsets for this generation, and much has been said about Samsung's Exynos finally catching up to Qualcomm's best, especially after the debacle with the Exynos 990 last year. Reality, however, is often disappointing, as new SPECInt benchmark numbers will show.

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The release of the Galaxy S21 series last month saw the introduction of Samsung's latest flagship chipset, the Exynos 2100, to the public. Much has been said about how the Exynos 2100 has closed the gap between Samsung and Qualcomm's flagship offerings, but it appears a sizable difference still exists between the Exynos 2100 and the Snapdragon 888.

New SPECint benchmark numbers comparing the Exynos 2100 to its nearest competitors, the Snapdragon 888 and Kirin 9000 have now been revealed. While the Exynos 2100 is a huge improvement over last year's shambolic Exynos 990, it doesn't seem to quite match up to the Snapdragon 888.

While the Exynos 2100 had a 39.61 score for its big Cortex X1 core, the Snapdragon 888 earned a score of 42.78 for its similar core, despite it being clocked at 2.84 GHz versus the Exynos 2100's 2.9 GHz. Efficiency is even worse, with the Snapdragon 888 recording a performance/watt figure of 14.07, versus the Exynos 2100's 12.38.

Most of the Exynos 2100's high Geekbench and AnTuTu scores look to be down to its higher clockspeeds. Its mid cores, for example, are clocked at 2.8 GHz, versus the Snapdragon 888's 2.42 GHz. That gives the Exynos 2100 an edge on SPECint, too, as it scores 35.71, while the Snapdragon 888 lags behind at 31.84. Again, however, the efficiency of the Exynos 2100 is much worse, with a performance/watt figure of 14.46. The Snapdragon 888 is well ahead at 19.65.

All of this paints an interesting picture. When it counts, the Snapdragon 888 offers about 7% peak performance, but does that while being about 10% more efficient. For regular usage, however, the Exynos 2100 takes a 9% lead due to its high-strung cores. Sadly, the effect of that is that it's right about 25% less efficient than the Snapdragon 888.

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Ricci Rox
Ricci Rox - Senior Tech Writer - 2113 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I like tech, simple as. Half the time, you can catch me writing snarky sales copy. The rest of the time, I'm either keeping readers abreast with the latest happenings in the mobile tech world or watching football. I worked as both a journo and freelance content writer for a couple of years before joining the Notebookcheck team in 2017. Feel free to shoot me some questions on Twitter or Reddit if it so tickles thine fancy.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > Performance vs Efficiency: How does the Exynos 2100 compare to the Snapdragon 888?
Ricci Rox, 2021-02- 2 (Update: 2021-02- 2)