HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Which Performs Better?

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 - MediaTek Helio P70 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

Early this year, Chinese tech company, Huawei launched HiSilicon Kirin 710, a mid-range processor for smartphones. With the widely used Kirin 659 chipset as its predecessor, the Kirin 710 records higher levels of performance and efficiency. The chipset also sports a new 12nm silicon design process making it a suitable rival for the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660.

The Snapdragon 660 like the Kirin 710 also has features that make it a worthy rival against thelatter. In the following months, many mid-level phones will feature thischipset. Thus, it seems fair if we find out which of these octa processors willbest meet the needs of everyday phone use.

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Specs

Property Kirin 710 Snapdragon 660
Manufacturing Process 12nm 14nm
Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU 4x ARM Cortex-A73 @ 2.2GHz and 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.7GHz 8x Kryo 260 CPU up to 2.2 GHz
GPU ARM Mali G51 MP4 Adreno 512 with Vulkan API
Display Support N/A Up to QHD and WQXGA
Bluetooth Support 4.2 5.0

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Performance Improvement & Efficiency

One of the apparent differences between both chipsets is their fabrication node. The Snapdragon 660shares this feature with the older 600-series processors and is built with the14nm LPP FinFET process which is Samsung also follows. This leading to a higher level of performance, heat control and energy efficiency.

Alternatively, Huawei applied a 12nm process and claimed that the new chipset is more efficient by 75% (in a single core) and has 68% better multicore speeds than its predecessor.

Another difference lies in the CPU configuration of both chipsets. The Snapdragon 660 bundles Kyro 260 CPU cores while the Kirin 710 remains based on the ARM’s Cortex technology.

The Kyro cores consist of high performance and high-efficiency cores. The high-performance cores are the 64-bit semi-custom ARM Cortex -A73 CPU which records speeds of 2.2GHz while the high-efficiency cores are based on semi-custom ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.7GHZ. This union aims to offer improved better task sharing abilities, fewer lag times, optimized power savings and enhanced performance.

Thus, the change from to custom Kyro cores means massive improvement in areas such as performance and power efficiency as tasks will be effectively used for the proper cores.

In contrast to the above configuration, the Huawei Kirin 710 chipset has four performance CortexCPU cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four “efficiency” Cortex-A53 CPU cores which records speeds at 1.7GHz. It seems to be based on the ARM’sbig.LITTLE setup for Cortex processing cores.

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Gaming

As regards gaming, the Kirin 710 works with an older ARM Mali-G51 MP4 GPU.  There are claims that this GPU records speeds that are 1.3 times faster than the one found in the equally older Kirin 659. However, the ARM Mali-G51 GPU is no match for the Adreno 512 GPU in the Snapdragon 660. Note that the Qualcomm enhances the quality of gaming via better graphics with its support for the Vulkan API. This may serve as one of the reasons why Huawei phones feature the GPU Turbo.

The GPU Turbo promises the gaming experience by boosting the GPU hardware and removing the constraints between GPU and software (gaming engines and APIs).

We pitted the Nova 3i which sports the Kirin 710 against the Snapdragon 660-powered Xiaomi Mi A2. Below are the results of this exercise.

Property Huawei Nova 3i Xiaomi Mi A2
Antutu Total Score 138280 131297
Antutu CPU Score 65581 56321
Antutu GPU Score 22547 29773
Geekbench (Single-core) 1590 1629
Geekbench (Multi-core) 5596 4701
3DMark (Sling Shot Extreme – OpenGL) 949 1270
3DMark (Sling Shot Extreme – Vulkan) 1123 1034
GFXBench (Aztec Ruins Open GL High Tier) 268.1 Frames 330.5 Frames
GFXBench (Aztec Ruins Open GL Normal Tier) 410.6 Frames 527.3 Frames

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Camera

When it comes to optics, the Snapdragon 660 can support a 25MP sensor or dual 16MP sensors. It also comes with the Qualcomm Clear Sight feature and Spectra 160 ISP chip. Qualcomm Clear sight captures lighter and minimizes the noise in low-light pictures while the Spectra 160 ISP chip offers zero shutter lag, speedy autofocus, and more precise colour reproduction.

Huawei hasn’t divulged any details about the camera sensors supported by the Kirin 710. So, we took out the Mi A2 and the Nova 3i for a spin. Of course, camera samples will undoubtedly vary from device to device; these images will give you an idea about the image quality.

Huawei has not revealed any details about camera sensors supported by its proprietary 710. So, we decided to test both the Mi A2 and the Nova 3i. Both sensors on both devices will vary.

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Artificial Intelligence

With the growth of AI, most new age processors will undoubtedly include this specification in its features. So, let’s begin with Qualcomm.

The Snapdragon 660 mobile platform supports Qualcomm’s Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK. This SDK functions with widely used AI architecture such as Caffe/Caffe2 and Google’s Tensor Flow to allow new features like word matches, scene recognition, and phrase identification.

Alternatively, Kirin 710 does not include a dedicated neural unit, but it uses its CPU and GPU for functions that require artificial intelligence such as facial unlock and scene recognition.

Related: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 vs Snapdragon 636: Which Performs Better?

HiSilicon Kirin 710 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 660: Conclusion

Finally, the Kirin 710 is an excellent improvement over the Kirin 659, and it seems to have the same levels of overall performance with the Snapdragon 660. However, theSnapdragon 660 brings more to the table with its Adreno 512 GPU performance during gaming. It also promises the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 faster-charging standard unless the phone maker does not include it.

Overall even if the performance of both chipsets is almost the same, the Snapdragon 660 wins with its interesting features.

Posted by Abiodun Adewusi

Abiodun Adewusi is a freelance writer who lives in Nigeria. As a writer, he is passionate about providing content on technology helping people keep up with the latest trends. You can see some of his work on Medium and Ezine.

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