Processor Temperature Results for Tens of SoCs — How Hot is Your Chip?

Processor Temperature Results for Tens of SoCs — How Hot is Your Chip?

Testbird, a company we’ve talked about previously, reached out to us to share some interesting data regarding processors that they have collected during their extensive compatibility testing. And some of the results that they shared were quite surprising, to say the least.

First off, the data shows the maximum and average temperatures of various chipsets from various manufacturers that the company was using for its compatibility testing. The tests were routine procedures that the company does, where only the testing app and the monitoring app are installed onto stock devices with the latest official OS update. No other apps are installed on the device, save for all the regular amount of bloatware that the devices come with, so the data can be compared with one less variable of installed user apps. The tests were done on as many as 300 devices for a wide variety of client apps, so the data obtained is quite comprehensive and a good indicator of what one can expect.

Most of the testing was conducted for a period of an hour, as games were tested for various aspects like startup, login, closure etc; so we expect the devices to be running on close to their peak performance for an extended period of time. To further pull down variables, the apps (game plus monitoring service) were installed normally and ran in a systematic and uniform manner across all devices. Without further ado, have a look at the data!

First up is a table on the highest temperatures recorded across different manufacturers, along with the average of all the temperatures recorded on the chipsets of the manufacturer.

Manufacturer Average CPU Temp (°C) Max. CPU Temp (°C) Chipset With Max CPU Temp
MediaTek 31.22 50.01 MT6595
Qualcomm 33.14 63.88 MSM8225Q
Samsung 36.21 50.71 Exynos 4210
HiSilicon 32.49 51.56 K3V2
Marvell 35.3 61.65 PXA1088
Intel 38.01 51.03 Atom Z2560
Spreadtrum 35.26 51.86 SC8825

As you can see, as a comparison across manufacturers, the MSM8225Q from Qualcomm, also popularly known as the Snapdragon 200 tops the chart for being the hottest SoC overall. The Snapdragon 200 is a quad core processor with 4x Cortex A5 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz, primarily seen on low end devices like the Samsung Galaxy Win or the HTC Desire 500. Average temperatures for the MSM8225Q were 32.77 °C, so these are signs that devices with this SoC reached such a high temperature and were then very badly throttled down.

The Exynos 4210, Samsung’s “worst” heat performer bears 2x Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1.2GHz, and can be found in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. The SoC averages 36.21 °C which is surprising as the more commonly known devices with the Exynos 4210 were never known to be very hot to handle or had reports of aggressive thermal throttling.

The rest of the comprehensive table shared with us is as below:

An important point to note is that the data has been collected over a period of a year from all the testing activities done. Naturally, this leaves out recent SoC’s which have not had phone releases one year ago, like the Snapdragon 810. The Snapdragon 801 does indeed make an appearance in the table, as it is the common name of the MSM8974 series of SoC’s. Also, the temperatures mentioned are the temperature of the SoC during tasks, and does not necessarily reflect the thermal dissipation efficiency of the physical device. So the same SoC can have different results under different housing conditions.

Nonetheless, the test does offer some insight into data that we as normal consumers would not be able to collect. It is interesting to see that a lot of SoC’s generate a fair bit of heat. The mean value of all maximum temperatures is 45.108 °C, while the lowest max temperature recorded is 32.67 °C belonging to the MediaTek MT8125, an SoC found in some Lenovo and Acer tablets. The lowest average temperature also belongs to a MediaTek SoC, namely the MT6589TD-M. Overall, MediaTek SoC’s did fairly well when it came to temperature under strain. It is entirely possible that the lower heat generation for these SoC’s is because of the absence of the ability of heavy lifting during intensive tasks. It could also be due to aggressive thermal throttling, which would aim to keep the temperature very low in order to keep the device “barely performing” for longer.

We hope you find the data as interesting as we did. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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