Samsung‘s Exynos 2200 SoC has had an interesting journey to say the least. From being absent at its own reveal event to tarnishing leaks and reports citing development issues, the chip has had its fair share of the spotlight. Much of which has been negative. Earlier this month, reports came out claiming that Samsung was struggling to make the chip maintain target clock speeds due to thermal throttling which was initially painted as the reason as to why Samsung didn’t announce the chip at CES 2022.
Subsequent benchmark leaks showed somewhat competitive performance against other flagship processors, but nothing too impressive. The GPU, in particular, was a major point of speculation as it’s arguably the highlight of the Exynos 2200. However, in the most recent benchmark leak, it performed severely worse than even the last-gen Snapdragon 888. Something was definitely up, and it was almost seeming like the AMD partnership was becoming more of a liability than a saving grace. That changes today.
Samsung has partnered up with AMD to joint-develop the custom GPU inside Exynos 2200. The GPU was finally made official a few days ago as the “Xclipse 920” and promised console-quality graphics for the first time on phones. The Xclipse 920 is powered by AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics architecture, the same one that serves as the foundation for current-gen consoles and Radeon GPUs. So, naturally, people have been looking forward to it.
As for the chip itself, it’s pretty bog-standard flagship SoC stuff. Exynos 2200 has a 1+3+4 core layout. It has one Cortex-X2 core doing the heavy lifting, three Cortex-A710 performance cores, and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores to manage power. This layout is similar to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Mediatek‘s Dimensity 9000. Samsung hasn’t disclosed details about the Xclipse 920 GPU yet, but current rumors suggest it will be equipped with 6 Compute Units, giving it a total of 384 Stream Processors.
The benchmark leak
Someone managed to get hold of an unreleased Samsung smartphone—most likely the Galaxy S22 Ultra—with the Exynos 2200 SoC inside and benchmarked it on Geekbench. Both the Vulkan and OpenCL API results are quite impressive and finally give us some actual good news on the Exynos 2200. The benchmark also confirmed the core layout of the Exynos 2200 but didn’t give us reliable details about the clock speeds of the Xclipse 920.
The listing reported a clock speed of 555Mhz for the GPU, which is simply not correct, even if it’s struggling to hit target frequencies. Plus, the “gfx1040” device name also confirms that this is, in fact, and AMD RDNA 2 device. However, we only see 3 CUs reported here which is also most likely incorrect, but I won’t necessarily 100% dispute that.
In the OpenCL benchmark, the Xclipse 920 scored 9,143 points. In comparison, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s highest score in this area is only 6,066 points, achieved by the OnePlus NE2210. On average, the Exynos 2200 GPU is about ~50% faster than the Adreno 730 GPU inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. That’s an unprecedented gain, and exactly the kind of improvement everyone expected with this AMD partnership.
Moving over to Vulkan scores, the Xclipse 920 netted an average of 8,556 points with the highest recorded score being 9,029 points. Compared to the highest of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the Samsung chip is about 17% faster. But if we take the highest Exynos 2200 score and put it up against the highest Snapdragon score, which is 7,285 points, then that 17% lead grows to 22.3%, putting Xclipse 920 far ahead of the competition.
What this tells us
Of course, we need to take all of this in with a grain of salt considering that this is still unofficial pre-release hardware. Samsung themselves have given us nothing on the Xclipse 920 GPU so far apart from fancy marketing lingo. The upcoming Samsung Unpacked event scheduled for February 9th is where we expect to learn more about the chip in depth.
That’s also where Samsung will announce the Galaxy S22 series, making us believe that the international variants of the Galaxy S22 (series) will be equipped with the Exynos 2200 SoC. So, while the debut is most likely going to be made on the Galaxy S22 series, it remains to be seen if any other manufacturers will utilize the chip in their phones later down the line.
Regardless, the atmosphere around Exynos 2200 and its Xclipse 920 GPU is finally starting to cool down. With this latest benchmark leak, we’ve gotten a glimpse of the type of performance we can expect from the chip. It seems that, at least on the graphics front, the Exynos 2200 will be faster than all of its competition, except the Apple A15 Bionic.
While synthetic benchmarks don’t hold much merit, they can still provide a fair touchstone if used as a medium across all devices, and it certainly looks like Samsung has something special on their hands with this benchmark. Only a few days are left before Samsung formally introduces the Exynos 2200 and till then, let’s hope that we only positive news surrounding the chip like this one comes out.