Few days ago, we were surprised to see Huawei’s K3V2 quad-core powered superphone walking all over the competition. Today, a dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 did just that in Basemark ES 2.0 Taji benchmark.

As the name goes, this benchmark is focused on the GPU performance, but it was surprising to see that Huawei’s quad-core managed to handily beat players such as NVIDIA Tegra 3, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, Samsung Exynos and so on.

Hisilicon, a chip company started by Huawei used a built-in 16-core Hisilicon Super-GPU and it did not look like it had the potential to beat established players, but that’s exactly what happened. We did a bit of digging and it doesn’t look like Hisilicon is a completely new player, rather a modified licensed Vivante design. Vivante is a company lead by Wei-Jin Dai, while Hisilicon is a Huawei’s company.


Meet the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 SoC: Dual-Core Krait, Adreno 225 GPU, LTE, HSPA+

The glory days lasted for 12 days, though. Qualcomm’s new MSM8960, a 28nm chip based on Krait (custom version of the Coretex-A9/15) and equipped with the latest Adreno GPU (Adreno 225) managed to barely beat Huawei’s K3V2. Adreno 225 doesn’t come with 16 cores as Hisilicon does, but it still had enough horsepower to beat the "super GPU".

Rightware’s PowerBoard shows that Qualcomm’s chip was the core of Pantech Vega LTE IM-A830 SKY phone, while Huawei was powering an in-house phone, the Ascend D quad XL. And as you can see in the picture below, the new dual-core, Adreno 225 powered Snapdragon SOC is beating a quad-core, Hisilicon powered H3V2.

Pantech Dual-Core phone is beating Huawei's Quad-Core. Or to put things in GPU perspective, a Dual-Core GPU is beating a 16-core "Super GPU"
Pantech Dual-Core phone is beating Huawei’s Quad-Core. Or to put things in GPU perspective, a Dual-Core GPU is beating a 16-core "Super GPU"

Even though we are still in the early days, it seems to us that the battle for the best smartphone/tablet chipset vendor is only heating up. Luckily, there are tools to benchmark just how fast can those phones go.