Huawei launched their most powerful chip, the Kirin 960, yesterday. Offering huge improvements in some areas and small ones in others. It’s no doubt an upgrade. It even has the highest multi-core test score on GeekBench 4.0, besting Apple’s A10, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821, and Samsung’s Exynos 8890, but how does it fair against the older Kirin 950?
Like the Kirin 960, the Kirin 950 is also an octa-core chip but uses 4 cortex A72 cores clocked at 2.3GHz whereas the 960 uses the new A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz, although the Kirin 955 is still the highest clocked processor from Huawei at 2.5GHz.
According to ARM, ”the Cortex-A73 delivers 30% more performance than current Cortex-A72 core devices and can even be clocked as high as 2.8GHz”.
The GPU is another place where there is a huge difference. Huawei has replaced the Mali-T380 GPU in the 950 with a Mali-G71MP8 in the 960 but left the clock speed at 900MHz. But because the new GPU has more cores and uses a new architecture, it offers a 180% increase in performance and a 20% increase in energy efficiency.
Coming to memory, both chips support LPDDR4 but the Kirin 960 offers faster performance due to the support for a higher frequency (LPDDR4-1800 against LPDDR4-1333 of the Kirin 950).
The Kirin 960 also sets the codec bar high by being the first to support 2160p 60fps HEVC HD decoding whereas the Kirin 950 can’t go past 30fps.
Other changes include the support for UFS 2.1 storage as against eMMC 5.0 4K video recording, 4x Carrier Aggregation, and 4×4 MIMO.