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Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison – Experts against Rookie!

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - Featured

Last month, on Feb 18, the world witnessed Xiaomi becoming independent with its first SoC named as “Surge S1”. The SoC was released incorporating in Xiaomi Mi 5c. This seems to be crucial for the company as Xiaomi is now among the top smartphone manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, and Huawei which are SoC makers as well. According to reports, Xiaomi worked hard for 28 months to make their first processor. The Chinese manufacturer marks that Surge S1 is a mid-ranger SoC as a rival of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek P20. We did a test on three smartphones featuring these SoCs, which are Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X (SD 625), Xiaomi Mi 5C (Surge S1), and Meizu Meilan X (MTK P20) So let’s see, does the rookie stand against the experts or not. We present you Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 War.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Models

(Left) Snapdragon 625/Redmi Note 4X, (Mid) MediaTek P20/Meizu Meilan X, (Right) Surge S1/Mi 5c

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 – The Parameters Comparison

Starting with the newbie, Xiaomi Surge S1 comprises of energy efficient octa-core architecture. It includes four high A53 cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four small A53 cores running at 1.4GHz. The GPU is none other than Mali-T860MP4 (@800MHz). Sadly, the process node is not better which is 28nm (lowest is better) allowing other SoC such as SD 625 and MTK P20 to take the lead.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 integrates a different octa-core architecture. Instead of high and low cores, the SoC as all eight A53 cores running at 2.0 GHz. The graphics are from the traditional Adreno series, this time Adreno 506. So, if we compare it with Surge S1, SD 625 has no low-frequency cores making slightly more powerful. And even the process technology is way better than S1 which is 14nm.

Last but not least, MediaTek P20 is based on the same octa-core architecture as Xiaomi Surge S1. But, P20 performance is matchless because of improved A53 cores. Four high cores are running at 2.3GHz and four small cores at 1.6 GHz. The GPU is the younger brother of Mali-T860, the all new Mali-T880MP2 (@900MHz). Even the process node is 16nm, slightly higher than SD 625. We have summed up the parameters in the table mentioned below.

SoCSnapdragon 625MediaTek P20Xiaomi Surging S1
Process Technology14nm FinFET16nm FinFET28nm HPC+
CPUCortex A53
8 x 2.0GHz
Cortex A53
4 x 2.3GHz and 4 x 1.6GHz
Cortex A53
4 x 2.2GHz and 4 x 1.3GHz
GPUAdreno 506Mali-T880MP2 @ 900 MHzMali-T860MP4 @ 800 MHz
Memory Support1 x LPDDR3 933 MHz1 x LPDDR4 1600 MHz2 x LPDDR3 933 MHz
Storage SupporteMMC 5.1eMMC 5.1eMMC 5.0

After taking a glance at the context of the three competitors, we might think SD 625 and MTK P20 might tie leaving Xiaomi Surge S1 behind. Regarding process, SD 625 is the winner while in cores frequency MediaTek P20 is the winner.  But the benchmarks illustrates a different scenario.

Winner: None/Tied (Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek P20)

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 – The CPU Benchmark Comparison

We started with the best benchmarking software, AnTuTu and after the results of the three chips and ended with a whole new situation.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Antutu

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

From the results, MediaTek P20 conquered the other two with a score of 64770 points. Snapdragon 625 was not that much behind with a score of 61606 points, 3000 points lesser than P20. However, Surge S1 was at last with a score of 59837, close to SD 625 (1769 points gap) while 5000 points behind MediaTek P20. We were surprised to see that Xiaomi Surge S1 did pretty well in 3D benchmarking which guessed us to do a GPU benchmark test later.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Geekbench

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

To confirm the results, XiaomiToday did another test, but this time on Geekbench 4. The purpose was to determine single core performance apart from the octa-core madness. And the results were the same, MediaTek taking the lead (855), Qualcomm at 2nd (820) and Xiaomi at last (729). But that’s not all. The test got a surprise in multicore performance were Xiaomi Surge S1 defeated Snapdragon 625 with an enormous gap. Hmm… Better 3D benchmark and multicore performance than SD 625 could mean that Xiaomi Surge S1 is more dedicated to graphics and heavy workload instead of everyday single core use. But, in daily usage, the phone depends on single core performance, so once again Snapdragon 625 have an advantage.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - PCMark

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

The final test is the PCMark Test to evaluate the daily use of mobile phones (web browsing, video processing, document editing) performance. In this test, Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek P20 performance is almost same (4673 points, respectively, 4742 points). But, Surge S1 was at last again. Maybe, Xiaomi Surge S1 is meant for something other than daily single-core performance, which moves us to our next heading and a twist in the plot.

Winner: MediaTek P20

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 – The GPU Benchmark Comparison: A Twist in the Plot

Everyone knows that the GPU performance directly alters the gaming experience on a smartphone. So the importance of GPU can’t be denied. You might think that with a younger Mali brother present in MTK P20 and advanced Adreno 506, Surge S1 has no chance of getting victorious. Well, this is the point where Xiaomi Surge S1 fools the world and its competitors.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - GPU

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

In the highest level of 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited test, Xiaomi Surge S1 was way ahead of its rivals with 877 points. Even, MediaTek P20 with better Mali version and higher frequency scored only 644 points. Meanwhile, SD 625 was the loser this time with a score of 505 points.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - GFXBench

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

In the GFXBench Manhattan and Tyrannosaurus rex scene, Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek P20 illustrates the same GPU performance, while Surge S1 was too ahead with twice the fps. So finally, Xiaomi Surge S1 topped this one with incredible points.

Winner: Xiaomi Surge S1

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 – The Durability Test

It doesn’t matter how fast does the game run at first. So what if your phone gets 30+ fps at the start? What matters is the steady fps after hours of gaming when the device starts to get the fever. This is called the durability test and defines a GPU as well as the SoC process node.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - Durability

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

We allowed the three phones Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X, Meizu Meilan X, and Xiaomi Mi 5c to run a GFXBench Tyrannosaurus test scene for 30 minutes.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - GFXBench

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1
Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - Durability 2
(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

From the pictures illustrated above, after 30 minutes, Snapdragon 625 and MediaTek P20 performance decline was between 4 to 6%. While Surge S1 again took the lead with a drop of 1 percent only. So, regarding durability Surge S1 wins this the endurance round.

Winner: Xiaomi Surge S1

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 – The Gaming Test

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surging S1 Comparison - GAME

Let’s just ignore the GPU tests and get real for a moment. How about a real game test? For all SoC’s GPUs to get a hard time we played a high graphics game known as ‘Real Racing 3’ and noted the fps.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Game 1

(Left) Snapdragon 625, (Mid) MediaTek P20, (Right) Surge S1

The test enlightened us with an average of 30 fps (a mid-end performance) from all three GPUs. MediaTek P20 was on the top this time with an average fps of 33, while Snapdragon 625 was at the bottom again. But the shocking aspect was that Surge S1 GPU was at the mid with 32 fps lagged by MTK P20. The same SoC which did pretty well in GFXBench, beating the two rivals by a huge margin. One reason could be that the game wasn’t optimized for Surge S1 as it’s a new SoC. Meanwhile, the other reason could be an increase in temperature.

Winner: MediaTek P20

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 – The Temperature Test

While running Real Racing 3 game for 30 minutes, temperature changes were also noted.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Temperature 1

Snapdragon 625 Temperature Measured

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Temperature 1

MediaTek P20 Temperature Measured

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X and MediaTek P20 remained cool, only a slight temperature change, 26.1 Celsius, and 27.8 Celsius respectively. Thanks to the MediaTek P20 16nm and SD 625 14nm process technology which made them heat efficient.

Snapdragon 625 Vs MediaTek P20 Vs Xiaomi Surge S1 Comparison - Temperature 1

Surge S1 Temperature Measured

On the other hand, Xiaomi Surge went hot, almost twice the temperature change (44 Celsius) than that of P20 and SD625. The outdated 28nm technology is to blame here. But, still, the change neither affected the gaming performance nor the processing speed. I think Surge S1 was designed not to sweat under high temperature. Still, as heat dissipates, the battery life decreases. It’s simple physics, right?

Winner: Snapdragon 625

Summing Up the Comparison

To honest, MediaTek P20 and SD 625 utilizes excellent power control because of the robust 14/16 nm process. Not only both SoCs meet the general daily performance of the user but also manage to decrease power consumption by becoming heat efficient. Plus, MediaTek P20 is better than SD 625 in CPU’s performance as well as a GPU.

Whereas, Xiaomi Surge S1 is a different story with the lowest CPU performance (Single core) and the best GPU performance, making it suitable for the gamers indeed. Still, it’s not beneficial because no game is currently optimized for that SoC. Heat dissipation seems to be the greatest issue along with the 28nm process node. Xiaomi still has a long way to catch up with top SoC manufacturers like Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, and Apple. As a first attempt, it’s good but still bad if you want to become a top notch SoC maker.

Overall Winner: MediaTek P20

MediaTek P20 gained the spotlight because of the best CPU performance, as well as gaming performance. The SoC was closed to SD 625 in process node as well as heat dissipation. P20 also had the best gaming fps with a GPU performance ranked second after Surge S1.

Runner-up: Snapdragon 625 and Xiaomi Surge S1 (Tied)

Although, you might rank the SoCs with Antutu benchmarking, that’s not the proper way. Snapdragon 625 gained the last position when it came to GPU and 2nd in performance. But, it’s the best heat efficient, energy saving SoC among the three. Plus, it has the most advanced 14nm process node in mid-range chipsets. Whereas, Xiaomi Surge S1 gained the last position concerning CPU and heat dissipated. But it topped GPU test and durability test with a huge gap. If Xiaomi Surge S1 would have used a 16nm or 14 nm process instead of 28nm and the games would be optimized with the SoC, it would have easily beaten Snapdragon 625 and even MediaTek P20 as well. Better luck next time Xiaomi Surge!

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