Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better

by Informer in Android, Mobile | 13 comments

As we covered previously, it is almost confirmed at this point that Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) will come in two flavors: with a Samsung manufactured Exynos 4210 and also with Nvidia’s Tegra 2 SoC (system-on-a-chip). Now if you are eagerly waiting for Galaxy SII (S2), you would surely want to know which version is better and which one to spend all your hard earned cash on. In this article, we will compare Exynos 4210 vs Tegra 2 and see which one comes out at top. Nvidia Tegra 2 vs exynos thumb | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better

Now, just to clarify both Exynos 4210 and Tegra 2 refer to System-on-a-chip (SoC). These chips are jack of all trades, and combine the ARM processor, GPU, memory controllers and external interfaces into a single chip. The Exynos 4210 version is named GI-i9100 and the Tegra 2 version will be called GT-i9103.

Both will feature Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 clocked at 1GHz per core. Exynos 4210 will feature the Mali-400 MP GPU whereas Tegra 2 will star Nvidia’s own ULP GeForce GPU.

Now since there is no actual devices available in the market running Exynos 4210 processor, it is still kind of hard to predict what will be its actual performance in real life. All the benchmark, available so far, are based on prototype versions.


Update: Before you make any final judgement also take a look at the articles that we published more recently about the updated specs and perforamnce benchmerks :

- Confirmed: Samsung Galaxy S II to Get an Upgraded 1.2GHz CPU!

- Samsung Galaxy S II Posts Massive Performance Numbers With the New Exynos Based 1.2 GHz CPU!


Here are some key considerations in this Exynos 4210 vs Tegra 2 battle:

  • Nvidia is offering Tegra Zone which will offer games optimized for the Tegra 2 processors. Now it is likely that these games will be available for other Android users in general as well. But it will be nice to have the processor which is highly optimized for them.
  • As we mentioned previously, PlayStation Suite is coming to Tegra Zone soon. This will probably mean increased support for Tegra 2 processors by the PSone and PSN titles released on PS Suite. Again this will be really important for people interested in mobile gaming.
  • Counting the earlier builds of Tegra 2, it has been around for almost a year now. This means that its drivers are already highly optimized as compared to Exynos 4210. This probably accounts for its high scores in synthetic benchmarks.
  • Now, wait wait, there are some advantages for the Exynos 4210 as well, namely:

  • Performance of Tegra 2 has not been that impressive in terms of h.264 playback. This is based on user experience with the Motorola Xoom tablet. On the other hand, Exynos 4210 promises 1080p video playback at 30fps.
  • The Mali-400 MP GPU in Exynos 4210 is rumored to have superior fill rate, superior sustained geometry, and tile-based rendering. So far it appears to be better in terms of specs and may perform better than ULP GeForce GPU once its drivers get more optimized.
  • Now, we present some benchmarks courtesy of, who got their hands on the Samsung Galaxy SII (S2). It is worth repeating again that these are based on prototype builds and do not necessary represent real world performance. You can read the full report over here.


    exynos vs tegra 2 javascript | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better


    exynos vs tegra 2 flash | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better


    exynos vs tegra 2 GL2 | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better

    As you can clearly see, apart from JavaScript benchmarks, Tegra 2 takes the lead over Exynos in almost every category. If you look carefully, you will notice that iPhone 4 scores less than iPhone 3GS in GL Benchmarks. This is because these benchmarks are run at the device’s native resolution, making iPhone 4 loose score because of its extremely high resolution.


    Well, looking at every thing so far, it is quite evident that Tegra 2 appears to be superior in most things over the Exynos 4210. This is especially true in terms of gaming department. The only caveat is that we do not know about Exynos’ true potential until we get some real world numbers and wait for driver optimization.
    Another thing to consider would be that if Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) is released for multiple carriers in US, they may carry different versions meaning more choice of consumers which is almost always a good thing. We will conclude at that and leave you with official specs for the Exynos 4210 and Tegra 2.


    Exynos 4210

    Description according to the official site:

    Exynos4210 thumb | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better

    “Exynos 4210 is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) based on the 32-bit RISC processor for smartphones, tablet PCs, and Netbook markets. Exynos 4210 provides the best performance features such as dual core CPU, highest memory bandwidth, world’s first native triple display, 1080p video decode and encode hardware, 3D graphics hardware, and high-speed interfaces such as SATA and USB.”


    • ARM CortexA9 dual core subsystem with 64-/128-bit SIMD NEON
      blank | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better- 32KB (Instruction)/32KB (Data) L1 Cache and 1MB L2 Cache
      blank | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better- 1.0GHz Core Frequency: Voltage 1.2V
    • 64-bit Multi-layered bus architecture
    • Internal ROM and RAM for secure booting, security, and general purposes
    • Memory Subsystem:
      blank | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better- SRAM/ROM/NOR/NAND Interface with x8 or x16 data bus
      blank | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better- OneNAND Interface with x16 data bus
      blank | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better- 2-ports 32-bit 800Mbps LPDDR2/DDR2/DDR3 Interfaces
    • 8-bit ITU 601/656 Camera Interface
    • Multi-format Video Hardware Codec: 1080p 30fps (capable of decoding and encoding MPEG-4/H.263/H.264) and 1080p 30fps (capable of decoding MPEG-2/VC1)
    • JPEG Hardware Codec
    • 3D and 2D graphics hardware, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, and OpenVG 1.1
    • LCD single or dual display, supporting 24bpp RGB, MIPI
    • Native triple display, supporting WSVGA LCD dual display and 1080p HDMI, simultaneously
    • Composite TV-out and HDMI 1.3a interfaces
    • GPS baseband integration with GPS RF interface
    • 2-ports (4-lanes and 2-lanes) MIPI DSI and MIPI CSI interfaces
    • 1-channel AC-97, 2-channel PCM, and 3-channel 24-bit I2S audio interface, supporting 5.1 channel audio
    • 1-channel S/PDIF interface support for digital audio
    • 8-channel I2C interface support for PMIC, HDMI, and general-purpose multi-master
    • 3-channel high-speed SPI
    • 4-channel high-speed UART (up to 3Mbps data rate for Bluetooth 2.1 EDR and IrDA 1.0 SIR)
    • USB 2.0 Device 1-channel, supporting FS/HS (12Mbps/480Mbps) with on-chip PHY
    • USB 2.0 Host 1-channel, supporting LS/FS/HS (1.5Mbps/12Mbps/480Mbps) with on-chip PHY
    • USB HSIC 2-channel, supporting (480Mbps) with on-chip PHY
    • Asynchronous Direct Modem Interface with 16KB DPSRAM
    • 4-channel SD/MMC interface, supporting SD 2.0, HS-MMC 4.3, and 1ch HS-MMC 4.4 DDR 4-bit interface muxed with HS-MMC 4.3
    • SATA AHCI 1-channel, supporting SATA1 (1.5Gbps) and SATA2 (3.0Gbps) with on-chip PHY
    • 32-channel DMA Controller
    • 14×8 keypad support
    • 10-channel 12-bit multiplexed ADCs
    • Configurable GPIOs
    • Real time clock, PLLs, timer with PWM, and watchdog timer

    Exynos4210 2 | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be Better


    Tegra 2

    According to Nvidia’s official website:

    tegra2 processor thumb | Samsung Galaxy SII (S2): Exynos 4210 VS Tegra 2 – Which Version Will Be BetterAs the world’s first mobile super chip, NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 brings extreme multitasking with the first mobile dual-core CPU, the best mobile Web experience with up to two times faster browsing, hardware accelerated Flash, and console-quality gaming with an ultra-low power (ULP) NVIDIA® GeForce®GPU. Get never-before-seen experiences on a mobile device with NVIDIA Tegra.

    Key Features

    • Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU — The world’s first mobile dual-core CPU for faster Web browsing, snappier response time, and overall better performance. The Cortex-A9 is the first mobile CPU with out of order execution for more efficient processing, resulting in a better overall experience.
    • Ultra-low power (ULP) GeForce GPU — Architected for low-power applications, the ULP GeForce GPU delivers outstanding mobile 3D game playability and a visually engaging, highly-responsive 3D user interface.
    • 1080p Video Playback Processor — Watch 1080p HD movies stored on your mobile device on your HDTV without compromising battery life.
    • 1080p Video Encode Processor — Runs video encode algorithms to deliver full 1080p HD video streams for video recording and conferencing capabilities.
    • Image Signal Processor (ISP) — Take sharp brilliant pictures with support for up to 12 MP cameras. The integrated image signal processor (ISP) includes proprietary algorithms that enable image and video stabilization, face tracking, advanced trick modes, light balance, edge enhancement, and noise reduction to deliver real-time photo enhancement capabilities.
    • Audio Processor — Handles signal audio processing to deliver days of continuous 128kbps mp3 audio playback on a single battery charge.
    • ARM7 Processor — Supports system management functions and several proprietary battery life extending features.
    • High-Definition Digital Display Output — Tegra supports HDMI allowing you to connect to a full 1080p HDTV or other display and view your content on the big screen. 5.1 surround sound support fills your room with a theater-like experience.
    • OpenGL® ES 2.0 Optimizations and Support — Ensures robust compatibility and performance for OpenGL applications.
    • Global Power Management System — Numerous hardware monitors distributed across the Tegra architecture collect data on activity levels, frequency, temperature, and incoming request patterns. The data is used to determine the optimal operating condition to ensure that the processors are always running at the lowest possible power level while still delivering maximum performance when needed.

    CPU: Dual-Core ARM Cortex A9
    Frequency: 1 GHz, per core
    L2 Cache: 1 MB
    L1 Cache (I/D): (32KB / 32KB) per core
    Frequency: DDR2-667 (Tegra 250), LPDDR2-600 (Tegra 230 and Tegra 250)
    Memory Size: Up to 1GB
    Architecture: ULP GeForce
    Cores: 8
    Fully Programmable: Yes
    OpenGL ES Version: 2
    OpenVG: 1.1
    EGL: 1.4
    Video (1080p)
    Decode: H.264, VC-1 AP, MPEG2, MPEG-4, DivX 4/5, XviD HT, H.263, Theora, VP8, WMV, Sorenson Spark, Real Video, VP6
    Encode: H.264, MPEG4, H.263, VP8
    Video Teleconference (VTC): H.264, MPEG4, H.263, VP8,
    Decode: AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP3 VBR, WAV/PCM, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, BSAC, MPEG-2 Audio, Vorbis, WMA 9, WMA Lossless, WMA Pro, G.729a*, G.711*, QCELP*, EVRC*

    * Through third party
    Encode: AAC LC, AAC+, eAAC+, PCM/WAV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB
    Primary Camera: 12 MP
    Secondary Camera: 5 MP
    Mpixel/s: 150
    Digital Zoom: Up to 16x
    JPEG Decoding/Encoding: 80MP/sec
    Still image stabilization: Yes
    Video stabilization: Yes
    Features: Auto Exposure, Auto White Balance, Auto Focus, Lens Shading 9th order, De-Mosaic, Sharpening, Programmable De-Noise
    MIPI CSI: Yes
    Display Controllers: 2 simultaneous
    HDMI 1.3: 1920×1080
    LCD: 1024×600 (Tegra 230), 1680×1050 (Tegra 250)
    CRT: 1280×1024 (Tegra 230), 1600×1200 (Tegra 250)
    MIPI DSI: Yes
    Package: 12×12 PoP (Tegra 230 and Tegra 250), 23×23 BGA (Tegra 250)
    Process: 40 nm

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