MediaTek introduced its true octa core processor based on Cortex A7 cores last year and it triggered a debate if the world really needs octa core computing on smartphones. Qualcomm was quick to issue a counter attack which explained that what people need is “better cores” rather than “More cores”.

The MT76592 SoC has been around for some time now and it’s a known fact that the cortex A7 based SoC, though being a powerful performer still falls behind advanced Cortex A15 based Krait core powered Qualcomm flagships like Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 801.

image

Does doubling the amount of cores doubles the performance?

The common perception is, that if you have 4 cores they can divide the task at hand into 4 parts and complete it faster. So if you double the cores to 8, your task will be further divided in to 8 and you will get a vast boost in performance. In practical scenario, it’s not that simple.

All cores have to share same memory interface, which gets crowded with more cores on the chip and also the same battery. All other resources remain same and besides, the software or the App you are processing might not be written to distribute tasks efficiently to four cores, and is a major bottleneck in performance.

Our smartphones now perform lot more than basic computing. They come equipped with loads of sensors which consistently gather data which needs to be processed. All these tasks can be divided among cores for increased performance but since all other resources remain same, you can not expect the performance to vary in direct proportions.

Software Impact on Performance

The software can play the major bottleneck in performance output. Windows phone performs better on low end hardware compared to Android according to our practical experience. iPhone also manages to give butter smooth performance with limited amount of RAM and Dual core.

The Android ecosystem on the other hand is a wide spectrum in itself. Most Apps we run in day to day use will tax maximum 1 to 2 cores in spite of any number of cores you might have in your smartphone. so while using these Apps you will see upgrade in performance when the operating frequency of cores is increased, say from 1.2 GHz to 1.7 GHz or 2.0 GHz. But more cores will not make a difference to these apps.

image

Gameloft has coded a few games to utilize the full power of 8 cores from MT6592 octa core processor and has demonstrated the difference. Modern Combat 5 was the first game to be optimized for octa core performance and Gameloft has been successful in incorporating many more cool effects and much better gameplay.

Will more cores mean more battery consumption?

Every time a processor with more cores is announced people fear increase in platform power consumption, but that is rarely the case. Having tested Canvas Knight A350, we must admit it has almost similar battery performance as compared to last generations MT6589 series devices with similar battery backup.

image

More tasks are devided among more cores and each core doesn’t have to run on its maximum clock frequency. More frequency means more voltage and since there is a quadratic relationship between voltage and power consumed, increased frequency does tax your battery harshly. Overall, both MediaTek and Qualcomm seem to be handling this part rather well so you don’t have to worry about octa cores being excessively harsh on your battery, The Full HD displays are a bigger threat.

How Moto X gets along with 2 cores?

Motorola is a company which is striving to change the common perception regarding Android hardware, with its dual core approach in its flagship Moto X. It is also the only OEM to provide dual core chipset in its flagship (Moto X) and a quad core in its budget Android (Moto G).

So how Moto X manages high end performance with its Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960Pro dual core SoC? According to research conducted by AnandTech,the reason is that the Moto X SoC manages to run both cores clocked at full 1.7 GHz frequency consistently unlike other phones which show frequency oscillating in a range of frequencies touching the maximum value rather rarely.

This approach means Moto X cores will consume more power with its two cores. But since Moto X’s claims of 24 hours battery backup with Touchless controls and active display turned on have been verified globally, it won’t be any concern.

Moto X also incorporates a separate CPU core, TI MSP430 for sensor fusion and active display and TI C55x DSP for voice activation and touch less control. Thus X8 computing system manages its sensors and other highlighted features from separate cores and high quality Krait 300 cores clocked at consistent 1.7 GHz provide with the necessary processing grunt to run day to day tasks efficiently.

Conclusion

So to sum it all up, do we need 8 cores in today’s smartphones? Yes and No. In case you are a heavy gamer, with a strict budget to adhere to, you can buy one for future proofing. Samsung might also introduce its true octa core Exynos 5422 processor soon and as Octa core becomes more and more penetrated in Markets, more developers will write codes optimized for 8 core utilization and perhaps we will see better use of 8 cores in gaming. If you are something like me with moderate gaming interest, it would be better to go for Better cores instead of more cores.

SHARE
The Author spent a significant chunk of his formative years resisting technology. He now keeps an eye on where the world is heading to, and drives a passive pleasure from this indulgence. His passion to write, learn and improve drives him each day. When his day ends, he enjoys the pleasant languor and detoxifies with family. You can connect with him on and Twitter

93 COMMENTS


  1. Claiming that effects like god-rays and “dirt” effects on the screen are the result of Octa-core optimization is more-than-likely dishonest marketing. These graphical effects are almost always in the domain of the GPU, and handled very efficiently by the unit.

    I have a dual-core A15 Nexus 10 at low clocks. The system has a VERY high resolution despite a (now old and slow) GPU — the Mali T604. But despite this, the UI is very fast and fluid (feels like 60fps). I have serious doubts that adding 6 cores would improve the experience in a meaningful way.

    I would rather that die-space be used for a larger, more capable GPU, as this is where performance is felt.


  2. interested in buying one mid range mobile for daily business use. what do you recommend: panasonic p81 or nexus5


  3. Samsung S III I9300 or Moto G or Samsung S4 or Nexus 5 . Which one is the best value for the money smartphone for buy ?


  4. best mobile under 23k but nt in samsung n sony preferably in htc. which 1 has better camera n value fr money n even fr games …pls help


    • we haven’t done full review of Redmi Note yet, but on paper i would prefer Redmi Note. we didn’t test camera extenively on Redmi Note, but it seemed average in our initial testing. It is still time before it will be available in India


  5. Nice information… but i have a little query.. plz tell me whick application we can run in octacore that dont work in quad core….??????


    • 🙂 I haven’t come across any such app so far. I don’t think there is any such app which requires all 8 cores to be active simultaneously


    • Any application running on octal core can run on single core processor also. Only some performance impact may be there because of sequential and parallel processing.


  6. which will be easy to use Samsung grand neo or htc desire 616 ? or Which mobile u prefer below 20,000 Pls recommend which is best mobile


  7. I would like to buy a phone. I’m very much interested in camera and games. Suggest me which one is better. ASUS Zenfone 5 or Micromax canvas nitro?


  8. Hi Deepak Singh

    Want suggestion on buying mobile.

    Micromax Canvas Nitro A310 or Moto G 2nd Gen

    Micromax with Octa-core 1.7 GHz with 2 Gb ram and

    Moto G with Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 1 GB ram

    pls suggest


        • Both are good, Motorola has slightly better customer care support as per our experience. we have heard complaints about customer support from all OEMs.


          • Dear Mr. Deepak
            How can you say Motorola has slightly better customer care support,
            you not talking only about metro cities you are here talking about whole india. Motorola has worst or say dont have service centre except metro city and capital of states.


  9. I would like to buy a phone. I’m very much interested in camera and games. Which one i choose Asus Zenfone 5 A501CG or Xolo Hive 8X-1000.


  10. hey pls tell me if i buy motorola droid turbo which is launch in usa will it work in india.and what problem will i face in future?
    another is i wanna buy mobile at 18k then zenfone 6 or htc 816g which is best. i will recommend your suggestion if any other mobile?


    • don’t have any experience with Alcatel flash, so its hard to answer your question. Didn’t like HTC 816G much. Let’s wait fore reviews to be out for Alcatel Flash


    • depends on which octa core and which quad core you are considering. 4 good cores are always better than 8 mediocre cores.


  11. A dual-core processor may perform beautifully, as it enables you to quickly switch tasks. A call comes in a first core, and the second core gets to work. Both the web browsing and the phone call continue without a hitch.

    A quad-core processor allows the smartphone to run the latest, greatest, most complex apps, such as an intricate, graphics-heavy video game. It can also mean business-oriented functions that require speed perform more smoothly. And the processor also has the ability to handle other functions in the background.


  12. I would like to go for HTC particularly, I like HTC Desire 820 but it seems display clarity is not upto the mark, can u suggest better or best model in HTC pls?


  13. SO which one is the better one?

    1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core OR 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 octa-core or 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core?


  14. hi deepak,

    i just confused b/t HTC desire 820 and Samsung galaxy s4.

    i have htc desire v which dose not perform good – like heating during charging, cant play games,
    cant open 2 or 3 application simultaneously cant store more then 16 app

    htc desire 820 – 5.5 inch screen ,720 hd screen , 1.5 octa core processor , 13mp,5mp camera with bsi technology
    samsung galaxy s4 – 5 inch display, 1080 super amoled disply, 1.6 octa core processor, single sim, 13mp, 2 mp camera

    my requirements are-
    multi tasking more then one app usage …
    high speed processor
    camera should be good
    screen resolution and clarity must be good,
    dual sim


  15. Hi Deepak, what best phone between HTC desire and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo?
    My First preference Performance, 2nd Battery Backup and 3rd operating system.


  16. Hello!

    I would like to seem guidance in buying a mobile that can be used to the max utilities. I have used various brands like Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, but within a year; some or the other major problems arise & I sell it off. Many times goes to services center for repairs. This time I had HTC Desire 501 and in 8 months thrice went to service centers and parts were replaced. I want a mobile that has the best calling quality, camera, audio, faster tasks in running applications and 5 to 9′ screen with the best battery backup. Pricing up to 16K


  17. Hello!

    I would like to seem guidance in buying a mobile that can be used to the max utilities. I have used various brands like Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorola, HTC, but within a year; some or the other major problems arise & I sell it off. Many times goes to services center for repairs. This time I had HTC Desire 501 and in 8 months thrice went to service centers and parts were replaced. I want a mobile that has the best calling quality, camera, audio, faster tasks in running applications and 5 to 9′ screen with the best battery backup. Pricing up to 16K


  18. Is Honor Holly a good buy where my budget is below 10K .. ?
    If not pls suggest some better mobile at this range.


  19. Hi dipak,
    Please guide which phone I should go for galaxy grand prime, galaxy a5 or moto g or moto x . I prefer a good speed as simultaneously run three mails and other apps and looking for decent camera as well.


  20. Hi deepak sir htc desire 620g or asus zenfone 5 which one is better and which mobiles screen is better to see in all angle


  21. i m a moderate gamer and use phone with 2-3 running apps at a time and i want a durable phone,what shall i get..htc m8/i phone 5/6 /sony z1/htc 820..? should i go for htc m8 with 2.2GHz..?


  22. Hi i have planned to buy Xperia Z ULTRA for its 2.2 ghz processor,2 GB ram but it costs only 18k with ip58 certification .pls let me know your comments


  23. lava iris x8, canvas knight a350, redmi note 4g, samsung galaxy grand max. Pl suggest one among. basis : looks, battery, performance, average gaming, no heating up issues, kaam chalao camera, overall reliable. Pl suggest if any new launch too in price range of 8000 to 15000. thanks


  24. Hi..I went to the store to buy the s5 but fell in love with the build and design of the a5…now im confused…I currently use an s3 and am very happy except that its beginning to hang and restart. ..which would you recommend between s5 and a5


  25. Intex aqua power hd ,fly qik+, intex aqua power, androud one which phone is better under 10k. battery performance , proccessor and camera also become good.plz suggest.


  26. Hi Deepak Singh,
    I want your suggestion for buying phone. Which mobile from this 2 should I buy?
    1) Intex Aqua Power HD with 1.4GHz, Octa core with Android OS, 4.4 KitKat
    2) Intex Aqua Power Plus with 1.3GHz,Quad Core with Android OS, 5.0,Lollipop.
    My mostly use of mobile is 3-4 hours online gaming, 1 hour whatsapp and other maximum 2 hours.
    Please suggest me.
    My prefer is Intex Aqua Power Plus (Lollipop OS) than Intex Aqua Power HD. Should i go for it.
    Thanking You.


  27. Hi Deepak Singh,
    I want your suggestion for buying phone. Which mobile from this 2 should I buy?
    1) Intex Aqua Power HD with 1.4GHz, Octa core with Android OS, 4.4 KitKat
    2) Intex Aqua Power Plus with 1.3GHz,Quad Core with Android OS, 5.0,Lollipop.
    My mostly use of mobile is 3-4 hours online gaming, 1 hour whatsapp and other maximum 2 hours.
    Please suggest me.
    My prefer is Intex Aqua Power Plus (Lollipop OS) than Intex Aqua Power HD. Should i go for it.
    Thanking You.


  28. Hello Dipkaji , I want to buy high processor mobile phone i just want to know whether octa core processor is better than quad core . i mean i just want purchase in maximum 5 inch screen so the option is xiaomi mi4i but its with quad core and newly launched phicomm passion 660 with 1.5 octa core screen so kindly suggest with best processor with 4g enabled and screen size maximum of 5 inch screen


    • Mi 4i is Octa core. Mi4 is quad core. either way, both phones are better than Phicomm Passion 660. Mi4 is the best among these


      • GIve me suggestion on phone which is better than under 15000 with screen size max. 5 inch not more than as well as with 4g connectivity and more than 1.5 octa core processor
        IF ANY?


        • Only fitting option with 5 Inch screen is Xiaomi Mi 4i. If you don’t have to engage with high end gaming, you can go for it


  29. hi deepak can you suggest a latest mobile fone between 25K-30K which would be hav

    ing around 3000mah 4g at least 13 MP latest OS which could last for at least next two years and I dont get bored. No hangging please.


  30. Hello Dipkaji , I want to buy high processor mobile phone i just want
    to know whether octa core processor is better than quad core . i mean i
    just want purchase in maximum 6 inch screen so the option is lenovo vibe z2 pro or sony xperia t2 ultra dual or asus zenfone 6 so kindly suggest with best processor with sufficient ram and screen size 6 inch screen


    • out of the three you have mentioned, Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is the best choice. More cores never mean good experience


  31. I WANT TO BUY NEW (4) G MOBILE WHICH ONE IS THE BEST PLEASE SUGGEST ME UNDER 12000. PRICE GOOD BACTERY BACK UP, AND GOOD CAMERA AND GOOD SPEED PROCESSOR AND DUAL SIM. PLEASE SUGGEST ME

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.