Qualcomm and MediaTek Chipset: Chipset or SoC is the engine that powers modern tech devices. And both Qualcomm and MediaTek are very popular names when it comes to making chipset or SoC (System on chip). Chipsets from both companies powers not just smartphones but laptops, watches, and even TVs.
But as the competition get steeper and more chipsets is been released by both companies, it seems very reasonable to as, which is better? Would it be better to own a device powered by a Qualcomm chipset or own those powered by a MediaTek chipset.
I would love to just take one out of the equation but it’s not as easy as Cristiano Ronaldo removing those Coca-Cola bottles during the Euro 2020 press conference.
So, to better help you know which chipset manufacturer is better between these two, I decided to make a review and write this article. I’ve put everything into consideration ranging from faster processors, powerful GPUs, new tech, and affordability.
Before we start the comparison proper, it’s only fair I tell you a little about Qualcomm and MediaTek.
According to Wikipedia, Qualcomm is an American multinational corporation with headquarter in San Diego, California, and incorporated in Delaware. It creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology. Simply put, Qualcomm creates hardware and software components for tech gadgets.
And one of the hardware component it create is chipset. The chipsets of Qualcomm is known as “Snapdragon” used for tech gadgets. For smartphones, there is low entry Snapdragon chipset to the top high end flagship chipsets.
Just like Qualcomm, MediaTek Inc. is also company that creates semiconductors, software, and services related to wireless technology.
But unlike Qualcomm, MediaTek Inc. is a Taiwanese company and it’s also into high-definition television, handheld mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers, navigation systems, consumer multimedia products and digital subscriber line services as well as optical disc drives.
MediaTek Inc. produces chipsets under two categories; the mediate Helio and Dimensity. The Deminesity category has higher performing chipsets and are capable of coming with 5G technology.
Now, let’s compare the chipsets from Qualcomm and MediaTek to see which ones are better.
Qualcomm vs MediaTek Chipset
The overall performance of Qualcomm chipset is usually said to be better than those of MediaTek. Well that is not always correct.
From various live tests and comparisons of devices using both chipsets, MediaTek chipset in the mid-range category performs better than those of Qualcomm. Take for example, the MediaTek Helio G95 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G. Both chipsets are in same category.
But from Geekbench score, the Helio G95 has good single core score and better multi core score compared to the Snapdragon 720G. In real life performance, the device powered by the Helio G95 also performed better.
Watch Video Below: Snapdragon 732G vs MedaiTek Helio G95 vs Snapdragon 720G
Same narrative with the MediaTek Dimensity 900 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 668G. Although MediaTek powered mid-range phones seems better than those of Qualcomm’s, the game is different when it comes to premium mid-range flagship phones.
Qualcomm’s flagship chipsets is way ahead of MediaTek’s. For example, the Snapdragon 888 chipsets come has lots of features including its own advance AI engine, ability to take more camera sensor – up to 200MP, and can make use of more than one camera at same time.
Compare this to what you get with the MediaTek Dimensity 1200, then you’ll know why Qualcomm is overall best in this category.
Testing the CPU cores on Geekbench, the Snapdragon 888 has the higher score. Even the GPU of the Snapdragon 888 is better. Also, the Dimensity 1200 is built on 6nm process while the Snapdragon 888 is built on 5nm process – a generation ahead.
Point is, when it comes to the mid-range segment, mediate chipsets are better but when it comes to premium mid-range and flagship chipsets, Qualcomm has it.
So, as an advice, if you’re buying a mid-range device, then go for a device MediaTek. But if you’re interested in premium mid-range and flagship devices, then go for a device with Qualcomm chipset.
Qualcomm chipsets are the most efficient. This is because they don’t get heated up pretty easily. Remember the Helio G95 chipset mentioned above, well my team ran a repeated Geekbench test for the cores and each time it drops drastically. But the Snapdragon 720G also maintains it cool.
This means that, the more you use the MediaTek Helio G95, the less powerful it becomes. And this issue seems to run across all MediaTek powered devices even the Dimensity series.
On the other hand, Qualcomm chipsets also tries to stay working at its best for a long time. There is no significant drop in performance during heavy usage which is why it’s the more efficient chipset.
Let’s put this way, MediaTek chipsets are like automatic vehicles. They tends to accelerate faster than manual vehicles from the start. But over time, manual vehicles catches up and in some cases speed past automatic vehicles.
CPU and GPU
Most times, the frequency with which MediaTek CPUs operate are usually bigger. For example, the Snapdragon 888 chipset has its CPU frequency clocked at 1.80GHz. While the Dimensity 1200 has its CPU clocked at 2.0GHz.
This difference is also noticeable in the Turbo 1 core of both chipsets. The Dimensity 1200 has its Turbo 1 core clocked at 3.0 GHz while those of Snapdragon 888 is clocked at 2.84 GHz. And for the other CPU cores, the result is same. But, when it comes to GPU, it’s different.
Watch Video: MediaTek Dimensity 1200 vs Snapdragon 888: Full Comparison below
The frequency of the Adreno 660 GPU in the Snapdragon 888 is clocked at 0.84 GHz which is ahead of the 0.80 GHz of the ARM Mali-G77 MP11 in the Dimensity 1200. Adreno 660 is built on 5nm process while the ARM Mali-G77 MP11 is built on 7nm process.
And the DirectX version of the Adreno 660 is 12.1 while that is the ARM Mali-G77 MP11 is version 12. Point is, depending on what test you’re running, either chipset will come out on top.
If the test is CPU based, then the Dimensity 1200 chipset from MediaTek Inc. will win but if its GPU based then the Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm will win. But overall, the Qualcomm chipset still has the edge of maintaining its cool under heavy usage. This is an art MediaTek is yet to master.
The most affordable chipset between these two is the MediaTek chipsets. Devices that are powered by Qualcomm chipsets are usually more expensive than devices powered by MediaTek chipsets in same category.
This maybe so because chipsets from Qualcomm supports has more tech. For example, Qualcomm has said they’ll provide upgrade for the Adreno 665 GPU via software. This is something you rarely see other chipset manufacturers do.
Another reason why Qualcomm chipsets are more expensive is the memory. Most times, the L2 and L3 cache of Qualcomm chipsets are usually bigger. Plus, the memory technology used in QUALCOMM chipsets are also more recent.
So, between Qualcomm and MediaTek chipsets which is better? Well, there is no simple answer to that question.
If you love mid-range phones and want to save money buying them, then you have to buy a device that is powered by MediaTek chipset. This way, it won’t feel like you’re been cheated.
But, if you want to buy a flagship phone and actually enjoy all the flagship features, then buy a device that is powered by Qualcomm chipset.
MedaiTek Inc. was able to dethrone Qualcomm as world’s biggest chipset supplier in 2021 because of its affordable 5G chipsets.
Qualcomm or MediaTek chipset, whichever one you prefer, just know both chipset manufacturers got you covered. And while you might pay a little more to purchase devices powered by Qualcomm chipsets, you’ll be paying a little less for those powered by MediaTek chipsets.