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Exynos 2100 vs Snapdragon 888: Which Galaxy S21 Ultra processor is faster?

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Every year, Samsung usually releases flagship smartphones in two versions—one powered by Qualcomm’s top-end processor, and another with an in-house Exynos chip under the hood. This also applies to the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S21 series, with the Malaysian official set featuring the Exynos 2100 under the hood (much to the chagrin of Malaysians…. again).

However, Samsung promises a lot of improvement with the new Exynos 2100, primarily due to a switch to a 5nm process from the 7nm process of its predecessor. Regardless of that, how does the Exynos chip stack up against the Snapdragon 888 in a Galaxy S21 Ultra?

Real-world test

YouTuber SpeedTest G recently shared a video of a real-world speed test, pitting the Exynos-powered Galaxy S21 Ultra against the Snapdragon 888-powered variant. Of course, both run on a 5nm process, and the Exynos 2100 technically has a higher clock speed, and this is reflected in the test.

For CPU performance, Samsung’s chip edges ahead in terms of throughput, perhaps due to its overclocked CPU. However, once the GPUs were involved, the Snapdragon 888 begins to show its superiority. Meanwhile, the Exynos-powered S21 Ultra seemingly struggled during the first Unity test, with slower performance for the Unreal Engine test.

Exynos 2100

As you can see in the table above, the Snapdragon 888 version generally performed better than the Exynos 2100-powered S21 Ultra—particularly for the mixed and GPU-only tests. As a result, the overall performance (in terms of speed) of Qualcomm’s chip in the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the upper hand over its Exynos counterpart.

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This doesn’t mean that the Exynos 2100 is a bad chip, per se. However, if you’re planning to really push the Galaxy S21 Ultra in terms of high demand graphics, or mobile games, it’s pretty clear that the Snapdragon 888 variant will offer a better experience.

For the complete speed test, you can check out the video embedded above—which includes the YouTuber speedily commentating on the race to keep your heart rate up. In any case, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series is sold in Malaysia with an Exynos 2100 under the hood, and the only way to get a Snapdragon 888 version is to order an imported unit, or to visit one of the select regions to get the Qualcomm processor.

So, what do you think? Are you satisfied with the Exynos 2100? Or do you still long for Samsung to finally launch a Snapdragon-powered flagship phone in the future?


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