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MediaTek Helio G90 & G90T vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Kirin 980

MediaTek is not really known for their high-end chipsets, you would typically find them on the more affordable phones on the market such as the Nokia 2.2 and Redmi 6A.

However, recently they have been making moves higher up in the market and the new Oppo Reno Z uses the MediaTek Helio P90 (MT6779) which offer near Snapdragon 710 performance and a lower price point.

MediaTek has today announced a new series in their lineup, the G90-Series, which are exclusively designed to be the core of an incredible smartphone gaming experience. By combining the latest CPU and GPU cores with ultra-fast memory and massive AI performance they deliver fast, fluid action.

For even more gaming power, the MediaTek Helio G90 Series is paired with MediaTek’s exclusive HyperEngine gaming technology that tunes your entire smartphone for the greatest gaming experience possible.

With the recent launch of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus which is an overclocked version of the original SD855 it is worth looking to see how the two gaming orientated chips stack up against each other. I have also included the Kirin 980 as HiSilicon has not yet released a gaming-specific chipset.

In the original post, the details were very thin on the ground with no information to differentiate between the two G90 chips. More information has now come out which has been included in the below.

More information has now come out that reveals the G90T ups the frequency on the CPU slightly higher by 50MHz at up to 2.05GHz.

CPU

Built on the 12nm FinFET the chipset already starts off on a backfoot compared to the Snapdragon and Kirin which both use the superior 7nm fabrication process which will provide substantially better power efficiency.

The CPU spec is vague with them listing the parts as having Arm Cortex-A76 plus Cortex-A55 octa-core up to 2.05GHz. My best guess is this would be four A76 cores and six A55 cores which is a similar design to the P90 and also matches the other chipsets in terms of the number of A76 cores used.

The original spec was very vague, with nothing to differentiate the two chips or even the what the core layout was. My original guess was wrong the specification is actually and 2x Cortex A76 @ 2.0GHz and 6x Cortex A55 @ 2.0GHz for the G90.

The CPU specification makes this a closer chipset to the Kirin 810 and Snapdragon 730.

The G90T ups the frequency of the A76 slightly higher by 50MHz at up to 2.05GHz

At 2.05Ghz this is slower than both Qualcomm and HiSilicon, and obviously with less A76 cores in total.

The Qualcomm has one core running at 2.96Ghz then three at 2.42Ghz, the Kirin 90 has 2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz then 2x Cortex-A76 @ 1.92GHz.

This could be due to the fabrication process not being able to cope with the heat from higher clocks.

GPU

The Helio G90 uses an Arm Mali G76 MP4 GPU 800MHz on the G90T and 720Hz on the G90

At first glance, this is similar to the Krin 980 however that is using a Mali-G76 MP10 which has 10 cores vs the 4 on the Helio.

While the Helio G90 can’t compete with either Qualcomm or HiSilicon, it does offer a substantial improvement compared to the old Mali-G72 found on the Helio P70, the G76 should offer twice the performance per cluster.

Other Features of the MediaTek Helio G90 series

MediaTek is hyping up their technology called HyperEngine, presumably, this is another AI like marketing term and it will affect various aspects of the phone including:

  • Intelligent Network Prediction Engine – For the best network connection
  • Dual Wi-Fi Connections – Connects to two bands simultaneously
  • Call & Data Concurrency – Defer a call and keep the game connection
  • Rapid Response Engine – Accurate & lag-free touchscreen input
  • Brilliant Picture Quality – Detail enhancements, vivid colours and HDR
  • Intelligent Performance Control – Reliably fluid, high-performance gaming

They make lots of claims about the AI performance being up to 1TMACs, but again, like for like stats are hard to find here.

AnTuTu benchmark

Early benchmarks of the MediaTek Helio G90 revealed it with a score of 222,282 points this was then broken down to:

  • CPU – 83145
  • GPU – 67629
  • Memory – 14261
  • UX – 57247

More recently the Redmi Note 8 Pro which features the G90T passed through AnTuTu with a total score of 282,443. The breakdown of this score included:

  • CPU – 96,805
  • GPU – 79,688
  • Memory – 59193
  • UX – 46757

As previously mentioned, this makes the chipset more comparable to the Kirin 810 and Snapdragon 730.

Overall

This new chipset does not really compare against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus or Kirin 980.

It does, however, compare well against the new upper mid-range chipsets from both Qualcomm and HiSilicon. in the form of the SD730 and Kirin 810.

The MediaTek Helio G90T will feature on the Redmi Note 8 Pro

Specification Table

  Helio G90T Helio G90 napdragon 855 Plus Kirin 980
Manufacturing Process 12nm FinFET 12nm FinFET 7nm (N7) 7nm
CPU 2x Cortex A76 @ 2.05GHz
6x Cortex A55 @ 2.0GHz
2x Cortex A76 @ 2.0GHz
6x Cortex A55 @ 2.0GHz
1x Kryo 485 Gold (A76 derivative)
@ 2.96GHz 1x512KB pL2

3x Kryo 485 Gold (A76 derivative)
@ 2.42GHz 3x256KB pL2

4x Kryo 485 Silver (A55 derivative)
@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2

2MB sL3

2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz
2x Cortex-A76 @ 1.92GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz
(4MB shared L3 cache)
GPU Mali G76 MP4 @ 800MHz Mali G76 MP4 @ 720MHz Adreno 640 @ ~672MHz Mali-G76 MP10 – 720 MHz
RAM LPDDR4x up to 10GB, 2133MHz LPDDR4x up to 10GB, 2133MHz 4x 16-bit CH @ 2133MHz
LPDDR4x
34.1GB/s

3MB system level cache

LPDDR4X @ 2133MHz
Canera Single 64MP and 48MP
Dual 24MP + 16MP
Single 64MP and 48MP
Dual 24MP + 16MP
Dual 14-bit Spectra 380 ISP
1x 48MP or 2x 22MP
Dual ISP
AI 2x APU

+1TOPs total perf

2x APU

+1TOPs total perf

Hexagon 690 DSP Dual NPU

Updates:

  • Updated on 31 July 2019 – with corrected and updated specs
  • Updated 31/08/2019 with benchmarks

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Maikel Du

I worked in many technical fields, but I always resort to blogging which has become an addiction to me
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