Exynos 7904 vs. SD 660 – Which is Better?
The mobile processor technology has made a giant leap forward within the past decade. The current market trend – which is likely to stick – is that of focusing on mid-range smartphone/tablet technology, and Qualcomm has a lot to boast about in this area.
Impressive chipsets, such as the SD 660, the horsepower under the hood of many popular smartphones, still rock, but the competition is on Qualcomm’s tail. Enter the Exynos 7904, Samsung’s new racehorse, powering the Galaxy A-series smartphones.
The foundation of every comparison lies in the target products’ specifications. Although the Exynos 7904 and the SD 660 are direct competitors, they aren’t quite identical in terms of specs.
Manufacturing Process and Architecture
Let’s start off with the similarities. Both models are made using Samsung’s process nodes called LPP FinFET, but this is far from impressive, as most companies use much smaller nodes (as tiny as 7nm) on their flagship models. However, the use of 14nm nodes is exactly what makes the 7904 and the 660 affordable chipsets.
Both the Exynos 7904 and the SD 660 use the same, pretty much standard 64-bit processing architecture.
- The SD 660 features eight Kryo 260 cores, four Cortex-A73 cores for performance, all 2.2Ghz’s worth of processing power, and four Cortex-A53 cores for efficiency ‘clocking’ at 1.7 GHz. What does this mean? Well, these eight cores make for a low-latency, power-efficient chipset that doesn’t lack the edge.
- Alternatively, the Exynos 7904 has a more traditional Cortex architecture, a 2+6 core config, to be precise, meaning six Cortex-A53 efficiency cores at 1.6GHz and only two Cortex-A73 cores for performance with 1.8GHz processing power.
The Snapdragon comes out the winner here, offering a perfect mid-range balance between performance and efficiency.
- The SD 660 chipset has the Adreno 512 GPU unit, which is a mid-range model but can efficiently render graphics and run APIs like OpenGL ES and Vulkan 1.0. This is a 14nm GPU, running at 850MHz.
- The Exynos 7904, on the other hand, offers the Mali-G71 that clocks at 770MHz and can also run both APIs from above.
Although these two GPUs are both satisfying mid-range units, 850MHz beats 770MHz any day of the week, which gives the Snapdragon another victory versus the Exynos.
Although both models feature the LPDDR4x RAM, the Exynos chipset has the benefit of the innovative eMMC 5.1 technology that offers improved performance, added functionality, and considerable design flexibility, which gives the Exynos quite the edge over the Snapdragon RAM-wise.
Although Bluetooth 5.0 is obviously superior to Bluetooth 4.2, Samsung has recognized an opportunity to use the 4.2 support and thus make the Exynos more affordable. As both competitor models are in the mid-range, we believe Bluetooth 4.2 is a smart choice here.
Although both models have their moments of mid-range glory and shame, the camera will bring many bonus points to a particular corner of the ring.
- The SD 660 supports as much as 25 MP in a single camera but offers a 16+16 MP combo for dual camera models. This, along with the fact that the chipset comes with Qualcomm Clear Sight and Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP, makes the SD 660 pretty impressive for a mid-range unit.
- The Exynos 7904, on the other hand, has a 32 MP single camera support, plus the dual 16+16 MP camera support. This means that the Exynos is somewhat superior for the single-camera models, which is very important. To top it all off, the chipset is said to support a triple-camera configuration.
Although it may not seem like much, the 32 MP single camera support is quite a slam dunk for the Exynos.
The Exynos 7904 brings both Full HD and Full HD+ support to the table and up to 20:9 in terms of aspect ratio. It is able to play Full HD and UHD videos at as much as 130fps and 30fps, respectively. On the other hand, the SD 660 has Quad HD (meaning 2560×1600) and 4K external support.
- The guys and gals at Samsung claim that the Exynos 7904 supports adaptive fast charging, but they remain silent about any details.
- The SD 660 comes equipped with the Quick Charge 4.0 technology that we’ve come across many times, which not only enables faster charging but also boosts battery efficiency. Namely, a few minutes’ charge can provide a few hours’ worth of battery life.
Given the fact that the people at Qualcomm have decided to be upfront about their charging technology, we’re going to throw bonus points at Snapdragon’s feet here, because battery life is one of the main factors and concerns when it comes to choosing your mobile/tablet.
The Final Showdown
Although both of these impressive mid-range processors are excellent chipsets for most decent smartphones and even some flagship models, based on CPU, GPU and charging, we have decided in Snapdragon’s favor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 still remains king for most mid-range smartphones and tablets.
Do you agree with this decision or do you think the Exynos 7904 should have won this battle? Share your thoughts in the comments below!