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Stock ARM Cores Vs Custom Cores: Which one is Better and How?

Whenever you check the specifications of any smartphone on the web, you will notice one thing that the smartphone processors consist of a certain number of cores. You see quad core, octa core and sometimes deca-core processors.

These cores come with different names and the most popular which you hear about are Cortex, Kryo, Mongoose and more. Some questions will pop up in your mind like; how these cores are different? And which one is the best core among these?

Let’s burst these questions and tell you all about these cores and also which one you should put into consideration among these.

ARM Cores

A large portion of today's gadgets uses the processor cores are based on the ARM architecture. The ARM is a company who made this architecture (instruction set) for the cores which then sold to companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple and more. These companies then make the cores according to the design and put them in their SoC (System on Chips) with other components and microcontrollers.


All the hardware manufacturers who make SoCs for their devices have to get the architectural license from the ARM so they can manufacture the cores according to the design. There is another type of license which is called Core License which we will explain here later.

ARM Cortex

ARM Cortex is the latest and the most powerful cores designed by the ARM which you will find most of the latest and powerful chips like MediaTek Helio P60 and HiSilicon Kirin 970. There are two types of cores in ARM Cortex which makes the CPU better from both, performance and power-efficiency wise.

Custom cores (Kryo, Cyclone, Mongoose)

Some hardware manufacturers like Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, and Nvidia hold the architectural and core license as well. The architecture license enables them to manufacturer the cores with their design but they cannot make any changes to the cores. Whereas, the core license let them make changes to the instruction set and make their own custom cores for more performance.

The Kryo cores which Qualcomm used in its latest and most powerful mobile processor, Snapdragon 845 are the customized cores. Qualcomm used the instruction set used by ARM and customized them to make their own cores for better performance. Just like Qualcomm, Samsung has Mongoose cores, Apple has Cyclone and NVIDIA has Tegra as their own custom cores.

Custom cores vs ARM cores, which is better?

If you look at the performance, the custom cores are way better than the stock ARM cores. Qualcomm does the best job making the custom Kryo cores for its Snapdragon processors. These custom cores are specifically made to boost the performance and get a better experience than the stock cores.

If you will compare the SoCs with all Cortex cores and all custom cores, you will see that the custom cores will outperform the Cortex cores. This doesn’t mean that the Cortex cores are not powerful enough, it can also provide you a smooth and faster computing which you need in a day to day life.


This whole custom cores vs stock ARM cores battle has been won by the custom cores but that does not make the ARM stock cores less powerful. A CPU with ARM Cortex cores performs well like when you see the performance of Helio P20 processor, there are no compromises. The processor with ARM Cortex cores is slightly less powerful than the one with high end Kryo or Mongoose cores.


Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.