Some of you may know your Kirins and your Snapdragons, but others end up frustrated how to gauge the performance of a chipset inside the phone of their dreams based on the number of cores or the clock rate. This is where this article steps in. It's a guide to modern day mobile chipsets. It's meant as a long-term reference resource that you can always get back to when you are unsure which is which.
We've focused this one around the hardware that runs our smartphones. This is not about phone brands or models; this is about their silicon hearts.
We went through the large set of data, which we have built over the years, and we compared the performance aspect of the more popular families of processing chips.
Hopefully, there will be a little bit of information for everyone in this overview. Just for the sake of clarity and a little bit of introduction to the subject, we will kick things off with our take on a general tour of chipsets and their properties. If you feel that is way too "entry-level" for your taste and would much rather analyze some performance data with us, you should probably jump ahead to the page after that.
Feel free to take away anything you see fit from the following paragraphs and share your opinion in the comments. Of course, don't judge us too harshly if we've tripped up on a detail here or there. We intend this to be a bi-annual feature so if there is room for improvement; we'll make sure we keep our suggestions for the next one!
Head over to the next page to learn more about the mobile chipset architecture and the challenges and the compromises chipsets designers have to make. There we also discuss the most important aspects of a CPU's specs and how not to get fooled by the multi-core marketing talk.
On Page 3 we drill down to uncover even more details about the cores that make up a CPU. We discuss designs, performance considerations, generations and we even compare their performance plotted across a chart. Watch out for an interesting bit of info about which is the highest clock rate on a mass-market smartphone CPU.
And finally, on Page 4 we zoom back out again and look at the chipset the way it's supposed to be looked at - as a system. We check out how the most popular chipsets stack against each other regarding performance and look at the processor families by the top manufacturers individually.