Hummingbird Chipset vs Snapdragon Chipset


Samsung loves to talk about how their 1ghz Hummingbird chipset blows similar 1ghz processor chipsets out of the water (like the Snapdragon). Well, someone with a Samsung Galaxy S (running a Hummingbird chipset) and an HTC Desire (running a 1ghz Snapdragon chipset) decided to put that to the test by running Quake on both devices. Take a look at the video below for the results.

So the Hummingbird definitely wins here, looks like Samsung wasn’t kidding.
Regardless, I can’t help but wonder how having Android 2.2 on both devices would help them both even further…

UPDATE: Regardless of whether this is testing the GPUs or the processors or any other part of the chipsets, we can all agree that any phone you buy at the moment with a Snapdragon inside will perform the same in comparison to a Hummingbird inside, right?


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  • CJ

    Doesn’t the Galaxy have a separate discrete GPU? That more or less invalidates this test since, and I could be wrong, the desire doesn’t.

    • Jesse C

      Actually, the Snapdragon chipsets all have an Adreno 200 GPU which is actually a rebranded version of the old AMD Z430 (I think, its an AMD Z-something I know).

      Anyways, both chipsets have a discrete GPU but the Snapdragon one sucks basically. At least until later this year when QCM starts shipping their dual-core Scorpion based chipsets @ 1.5Ghz per core. They offer 5x the raw performance of a current gen Snapdragon and almost twice the raw power of the Hummingbird chips.

      But then raw numbers aren’t everything, only time will tell whether the Scorpion based Snapdragons or the Hummingbirds will win.

  • JotEM

    Yes, the Samsung has PowerVR SGX540 GPU, which is the main reason why the frame rate is so much better than the Desire’s. This test doesn’t prove anything..

    • JotEm and CJ,

      Doesn’t the Hummingbird chipset come with the separate GPU on the board automatically? Have you ever seen a Hummingbird processor without the SGX540 GPU on board?
      Doesn’t the Snapdragon chipset not have a separate GPU, ever? Have you ever seen one with a separate GPU on the board?

      Any phone that you get with a “Hummingbird inside” will include the GPU as well and any phone you get with the “Snapdragon inside” will automatically not have a GPU, correct? So then this is still a valid test of the Snapdragon CHIPSET vs the Hummingbird CHIPSET, right? Still shows anyone a comparisons when buying a Snapdragon vs a Hummingbird phone, no?

      Now, maybe the mistake is to say that it is processor vs processor and instead call it Hummingbird chipset vs Snapdragon chipset? Can we all agree on that?

  • Nedjo

    Hummingbird and Snapdragon are NOT “chipsets”! They’re “SoC” – System-On-Chip!

    Chipset would imply set of chips, and that’s not case here! All different processing units of those SoCs are integrated with in the single unique piece of silicon – chip aka processor aka SoC!

    Hummingbird has integrated ImgTech’s SGX 540 GPU that’s vastly superior to the “Adreno” GPU that’s integrated inside Snapdragon!

    “Refresh” of the Qualcomm’s QSD 8×50 aka Snapdragon, know ans MSM8.50A, and later on 8×55 are comming with new GPU that’s based on the desig that Qualcomm has acquired after buying ATI’s Heandheld unit from AMD for $65 million!

    so please stop mentioning “separate” in connection with SoC’s for phones! That’s spreading of misinformation!

    • Nedjo,

      So if the snapdragon is not a chipset why does Qualcomm’s own site call it exactly that?

      Mobile devices based on the Snapdragon family of chipsets deliver real-time ubiquitous communication, high-performance multimedia, location-aware content, Internet browsing and productivity applications, all with the lowest levels of power consumption for all-day battery life and always-on connectivity.

      • Nedjo

        because Qualcomm sells additional compatible chips with it in order to make it functional on different network standards eg. HSPA+. Processor it self is a SoC that combines Scorpion processing unit and Andreno graphics unit and some additional processing units (eg. DSP)

        • j-har

          All of which work together to create a set of chips correct?

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  • Deaconclgi

    Quake 2 runs better on my N82 than on that HTC Desire. The N82 has a VERY VERY VERY ancient OMAP 2420 with the Power VR MBX GPU. I don’t understand why Quake 2 is running at such a horrible framerate on the Desire. Surely the Snapdragon GPU is better than the OMAP technology from 2006/2007. Maybe there is more to this test than what is being show. I mean seriously, the N82 even has a slow dual 332Mhz Arm11 CPU. Well, the N82 runs Quake 3 so maybe it is powerful…

  • whats better galaxy or hd2 im within my 14 days to do exchange and i was thinking about puting on either win 7 or android on the phone becuase im more use to android softwarebut the thing that turns me off about galaxy is that it doesnt have a led flash or any kind of flash light, for the t mobile ver of the galaxy s, (aka Vibrent)

    • Yoshii,

      Post this in the forum so people can respond properly please 🙂

  • Louie

    That’s because the HTC Desire is locked to 29-30 FPS only and would definitely be tough for the desire to perform. Well I guess this is the reason why Qualcomm will release a new processor that they said 5x faster than the current snapdragon CPU and twice as fast as hummingbird… I don’t know if this will be a ARM Cortex 9 design that they will be doing with a clock speed of raw 1.5 ghz and i guess they will underclock it to 1.3ghz then feature that will kick to 1.5ghz if there is a need for more power just like the inter icore 7 who knows… I am just wondering on what will be their strategy on battery management. unless they will go for 1800-2300 mah battery to compliment the battery life. I may be wrong feel free to add or correct me if im wrong…

  • Calwine

    Yup – the 7×30/8×55 which has next generation of Snapdragon matches this graphics performance and betas it in long running mp3 playback power tests. Moreover, snapdragon enables many more oems to make devices — Samsung is going to keep this technology only for itself.

  • Brandon

    All I know is that the hummingbird is a sick soc. It makes the snapdragon look like a turtle in comparison…and I have used devices based on both platforms!! Based on my experience the snapdragon is not really truly powerful enough to power phones such as the EVO….there is just too much slowdown and general lag…which you just dont see on galaxy s devices. I challenge anyone to play with a snapdragon based device and then play with a galaxy s and you will see the difference in raw speed.

    • Anonymous

      There is nothing special going on in a EVO that should cause lag on a 1ghz processor. Later builds of Android has some optimization instead of slapping in new features and run quite a bit better on both. Its the google way, throw crap out there and then if it sticks make it nice.

      • Metathias

        I owned an evo and did extensive testing of games, benchmarks, GUI functions. And i could throw numbers at you as well, but i dont care enough to go into it. The Evo screen is also locked at 30hz which not only slows the framerate down dramaticly, but also creates tons of hiccups in the phone functions themselves. I’ve seen every snapdragon based phone on the market and they dont compare graphics and smoothness wise to the cheapest Hummingbird based phone you can find. Note i am referring to the 1st gen of both of these chips. Both will be revised soon.

  • rockguru

    My impression was that cellphone primary use is CONNECTIVITY. Can somebody measure the relative CONNECTIVITY performance – ex. download/upload speed benchmarks, GPS-timetofix etc.? – I can’t care less about gaming experience.

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    • Fastblue94

      Apparently you couldn’t see the video well. Try watching it from a computer instead of your slow HTC phone. Samsung’s Hummingbird is far better. I have owned both and wouldn’t get another HTC phone again. Samsung For Life!!!

  •  OK well Hummingbird clearly outperformed Snapdragon in this comparison but I’m sure the Nvidia Tegra will own the Hummingbird.

  • Vddogg

    would love to see 1 more test:
    drop phones from 5 ft on a concrete floor 3 times. Tell us which one survives.

    (PS: I am planning to buy one of these, and tend to drop my phones often)