Samsung Galaxy S10 Exynos 9820 versus Snapdragon 855 Gaming Performance Comparison

Samsung Galaxy S10 Exynos 9820 versus Snapdragon 855 Gaming Performance Comparison

For the past few years, Samsung has shipped different processors in its flagship Galaxy S and Note series based on the region. For North America, South America, and China, the Galaxy S and Note got Qualcomm Snapdragon chips while the rest of the world got Samsung Exynos chips. Every year, we see arguments about which chip is better: the Exynos or Snapdragon. The Exynos used to have the upper hand in the early days, but in the past several years it seems that the Snapdragon variant has overtaken the Exynos—especially in GPU performance. Although, without putting a Snapdragon and Exynos Galaxy device in a head-to-head comparison, it’s hard to tell how much better one model might be over the other when it comes to gaming. So that’s what I’m here to do today. We’re going to compare the gaming performance between the Exynos 9820-powered Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855-powered Samsung Galaxy S10+.

Galaxy S10 XDA Forums | Galaxy S10+ XDA Forums

Category Samsung Galaxy S10 (Exynos) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Snapdragon)
Android Version: Android 9 Pie OneUI 1.1 Android 9 Pie OneUI 1.1
Chipset: Exynos 9820; Mali-G76 MP12 GPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 855; Adreno 640 GPU
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X 8GB LPDDR4X
Storage: UFS 2.1 128GB UFS 2.1 128GB
Rear Cameras: Rear: Triple Camera with Dual OIS

– Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°)

– Wide-angle: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)

– Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)

– 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom

Rear: Triple Camera with Dual OIS

– Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°)

– Wide-angle: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°)

– Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°)

– 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom

Front Camera: – Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°) – Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°)
– RGB Depth: 8MP FF, F2.2 (90°)
Battery: 3,400mAh 4,100mAh
Ports: USB Type-C (3.1), 3.5mm headphone jack USB Type-C (3.1), 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
Bluetooth v5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5GHz), VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM
Bluetooth v5.0, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
Display: 6.1-inch, Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (550ppi) 6.4-inch, Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (522ppi)
Design: In-screen camera (display hole) Dual In-screen camera (display hole)

Note: the Exynos 9820 model was purchased by XDA while the Snapdragon 855 model is my personal device. All gameplay recordings shown below were separate sessions than what’s shown in the GameBench screenshots; the videos are simply there to give you a visual idea of what the performance is like.

Both of these devices are considered flagships, obviously. They have all the same features except for the size variables (display size, battery size, etc). For the purpose of our test, the biggest differences are in the SoC. The Exynos 9820 is an octa-core processor with 2 custom-made Samsung cores, 2 ARM Cortex-A75, and 4 ARM Cortex-A55. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is also an octa-core processor, but it’s using 4 semi-custom ARM Cortex-A76 and 4 ARM Cortex-A55 cores. Both devices have copper heat pipes, while the Galaxy S10+ has vaper inside of that heat pipe, to keep them cooler and reduce thermal throttling, which translates into longer, more stable gaming sessions without uncomfortable heat.

Our tests are being run using GameBench on both devices. I will be playing the same games, though each session is different, while collecting game statistics using GameBench stats. I did not use any game boosting feature that comes in GameTuner since it is not pre-installed. I did use GameTools, but that doesn’t have any game-boosting features. I also did use GFXTools for PUBG to make sure the settings were consistent between both devices. After the gaming sessions, I will be comparing the performance between some of the more popular benchmarks.

Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10 vs. Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+ Gameplay Comparisons

The first 3 game tests are all done with Dolphin emulator. Nintendo Gamecube and Wii emulation aren’t easy for Android devices, so testing Gamecube and Wii games is a great way to test the full power of a device.

Dolphin Emulator
Dolphin Emulator
Developer: Dolphin Emulator
Price: Free

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Between the two devices, the obvious winner is the Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+. It kept a higher average FPS while maintaining a great 94% stability in frames. The Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10, however, had an average of 25fps with 60% frame stability. The Snapdragon device also used much less RAM in its peak with a total of 586MB while the Exynos device used over double that. The CPU usage was low on both devices, with the Exynos device using only 0.59% more than the Snapdragon device.

While actually playing the games, the Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+ felt really good to play on. It was a very smooth experience, as the numbers show. On the Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10, it was honestly hard to play. I would consider it unplayable, actually. It would jump from 12fps to 30fps while you are walking down a path then drop instantly. There was absolutely no consistency.

Resident Evil 4

Again, between these two devices, the Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+ has better performance. This time the average fps is the same, while there’s only a small difference in the fps stability. The stability is 4% higher on the Snapdragon S10+ compared to the Exynos S10. The CPU usage is also 0.38% higher on the Exynos 9820 model. The peak memory usage was also lower on the Snapdragon 855 device but average memory usage was higher than on the Exynos 9820 device. The Exynos S10 had slightly higher peak usage but moderately lower average usage.

The experience of playing between the two devices was very similar. I almost couldn’t tell the fps stability was 4% lower on the Exynos 9820 device. It felt the same playing both. The Exynos model had some hitching while the Snapdragon model had almost no hitching at all.

New Super Mario Bros Wii

Unlike the last game, there is a significant difference in performance between the devices here. The average fps on the Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+ was higher than the Exynos 9820 Samsung Galaxy S10. The fps stability was also 42% higher on the Snapdragon 855 model than the Exynos 9820 device. The CPU usage was 2.10% higher on the Exynos S10 compared to the Snapdragon S10+. In regards to memory usage, they are both very similar.

Playing the games, you can quickly notice the lower fps on the Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10. It looked incredibly choppy. It was playable, but it was by no means a good experience. The huge differential in fps is also interesting seeing how similar the other games were. There was a decent amount of hitching on the Exynos S10 as well.

Shadowgun Legends

This is the first non-emulated game I tested. It is running through a dedicated app like any other Android game. The Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+ is showing its real GPU ability here. The Snapdragon 855 device had an average of 56fps while the Exynos 9820 device had a measly 35fps. This is again a huge difference in median frame rates. The fps stability was also lower on the Exynos S10 at 81% while the Snapdragon S10+ had an 88% fps stability. The peak RAM usage is much higher on the Snapdragon S10+ while using almost 300MB more memory on average over the Exynos S10.

The experience of playing the game on both devices was more similar than I would have expected while looking at the numbers. The 35fps of the Exynos 9820 Galaxy S10 didn’t feel like it was lower than the Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+. It was noticeably less smooth, but it wasn’t much worse.

PUBG Mobile

For this test specifically, I used GFX Tools to set some custom settings. The settings I used are in the screenshot below. I choose these settings to get a full 60fps out of the device while still pushing the graphics quality. I set the quality to 1080p instead of the 1440p which would match the display resolution.

This test was very close to even. The two devices were only 2fps apart in median frame rates with the Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+ coming ahead at an average of 60fps. The fps stability was pretty close as well, with the difference being a negligible 1%. The CPU usage on the Exynos 9820 Samsung Galaxy S10 was 0.87% higher. The memory usage is about 300MB more in both average and peak usage on the Snapdragon 855 model.

In the actual game experience, it felt about the same on both platforms. The two fps difference between the devices is such a small difference that I couldn’t tell during gameplay. There was definitely some hitching on the Exynos S10 that wasn’t apparent on the Snapdragon S10+.

Fortnite

Unlike the previous games, I’m not able to take benchmarks to get the average fps of Fortnite. This is because if you join a game of Fortnite with adb enabled, whether it’s creative or battle royale, you will be automatically kicked from the game and given a warning about disabling adb. They did this to apparently combat cheating. So you’ll just have to take my word on how the performance felt.

Both devices had the texture quality set to 100% with high graphics and 60fps enabled. After playing a couple of solo matches, I quickly realized the devices were almost the same performance-wise. The Exynos S10 had a couple of times where it froze up and I couldn’t interact with the game, but otherwise, it was almost the same. I couldn’t see a difference in the framerate looking at it closely. For Fortnite, I would say the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+ is probably a better experience purely because of the lack of hitching.

Benchmarks

AnTuTu

AnTuTu, as a benchmark, comprehensively tests the theoretical performance of a device. It tests the UI performance, CPU performance, GPU performance, and memory performance. The Exynos 9820 Samsung Galaxy S10 has an average AnTuTu score of 331,372 while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+ has an average AnTuTu score of 357,162. The Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+ is again obviously faster. The only section of these tests that are in any way close is the memory benchmark.

Geekbench 4

The Geekbench 4 part of this test is more interesting. The single-core performance on the Exynos 9820 Samsung Galaxy S10 is much better than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+. It is over 1000 points higher in each test. The Snapdragon Galaxy S10+ doesn’t lose altogether, though, as the multi-core scores are over 450 points higher.

GFXbench

GFXBench runs through a bunch of scenes, rendering them on the fly to test the FPS. It tests at different display resolutions with different rendering APIs (Vulkan or OpenGL). In most tests, the Exynos S10 and Snapdragon S10+ were very similar. In some tests, the Exynos S10 is actually slightly better. There are a few tests where the Snapdragon S10+ bests the Exynos S10, though. These results are surprising after seeing how well the Snapdragon S10+ performed compared to the Exynos S10 in the gaming tests and other performance benchmarks.

AndroBench

AndroBench is a benchmark made solely for testing the speeds of the internal storage. Both devices have UFS 2.1 storage. The SQLite performance is all around better on the Exynos S10. The random read and write speeds are about the same on both devices. The sequential read speeds are about 100MB/s faster on the Snapdragon S10+, while the sequential write speeds are about the same on both the Snapdragon S10+ and Exynos S10.

PCMark

PCMark is a benchmark that tests the overall system performance by performing various productivity tasks on a device. It runs through synthetic work, photo editing, video editing, web browsing, and writing tests. The Exynos S10 has an average score of 7,829 while the Snapdragon S10+ has an average score of 8,875. This continues the pattern of the Snapdragon S10+ outperforming the Exynos S10.

Conclusion

In almost every test the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10+ outperformed the Exynos 9820 Samsung Galaxy S10. Both devices have the same amount of RAM, same software, same display resolution, same cooling system, and same basic specifications. Thus, we can attribute the difference in performance mainly to the SoC. For gaming, the Snapdragon 855 is the clear winner over the Exynos 9820.

Galaxy S10 XDA Forums | Galaxy S10+ XDA Forums

Samsung wants us to believe these devices are equal, but they clearly aren’t. Even though the performance is close, the Snapdragon 855 is clearly superior to the Exynos 9820 in real-world gaming. If you are looking for a fast device, the Galaxy S10 is a great device no matter which region you’re in. But if you are looking for the fastest Samsung Galaxy S10 you can possibly get, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 model is the way to go.

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