At CES, Samsung announced its Exynos 5 Octa SoC featuring four ARM Cortex A7s and four ARM Cortex A15s. Unusually absent from the announcement was any mention of the Exynos 5 Octa's GPU configuration. Given that the Exynos 5 Dual featured an ARM Mali-T604 GPU, we only assumed that the 4/8-core version would do the same. Based on multiple sources, we're now fairly confident in reporting that the with the Exynos 5 Octa Samsung included a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU running at up to 533MHz.

The PowerVR SGX 544 is a lot like the 543 used in Apple's A5/A5X, however with the addition of DirectX 10 class texturing hardware and 2x faster triangle setup. There are no changes to the unified shader ALU count. Taking into account the very aggressive max GPU frequency, peak graphics performance of the Exynos 5 Octa should be between Apple's A5X and the A6X (assuming Samsung's memory interface is just as efficient as Apple's):

Mobile SoC GPU Comparison
  PowerVR SGX 543MP2 PowerVR SGX 543MP4 PowerVR SGX 544MP3 PowerVR SGX 554MP4
Used In A5 A5X Exynos 5 Octa A6X
# of SIMDs 8 16 12 32
MADs per SIMD 4 4 4 4
Total MADs 32 64 48 128
GFLOPS @ Shipping Frequency 16.0 GFLOPS 32.0 GFLOPS 51.1 GFLOPS 71.6 GFLOPS

It's good to see continued focus on GPU performance by the major SoC vendors, although I'd like to see a device ship with something faster than Apple's highest end iPad. At the show we heard that we might see this happen in the form of an announcement in 2013, with a shipping device in 2014.

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  • warisz00r - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Likely because they want to push this out as quick as they can, and that adding newer techs may impede them
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Hummingbird already used PowerVR hardware, so it's not surprising to see them go with that again.
    As for PowerVR > anything, Adreno, especially the new 3xx series looks very competitive in terms of performance/power consumption and depending on the. Getting power consumption numbers for Mali GPUs is a bit more difficult, but for what they are, I find them quite adequate as well
    But I guess Fanboys have conquered the smartphone hardware space now as well.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    FTR, I am a Apple hater.
    That said, for Samsung to make a big marketing impact on the semi-tech people, it should ace all the GPU benchies.
    And PowerVR on Apple chips wins most of them.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Yes, but not necessarily because PowerVR are the best (there aren't many good apples to apples comparisons for mobile GPUs out there). Apple spends the most die area of any SoC manufacturer on their GPU, that's why they are the fastest.
  • djgandy - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    And most power efficient. There is a good argument to burn die space for power efficiency.
  • McDave - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    "I wonder, why did they not opt for the PowerVR Rogue arch ? That could have been much handy in beating Apple."

    Because Apple usually get the good stuff first? They're typically a version ahead of the comp hence the 554MP4 on the iPad4 vs the 54xMPx on the others. It's been this way since the first iPad. Probably Apple's 10% stake in Imagination working for them although the NovaThors have been touting Rogue for a couple of years but still no production - issues?
  • Krysto - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Well that's very disappointing. I was hoping for Mali T628. But even this Mali GPU is disappointing in itself. If they decided to move to PowerVR, they should've at least gone with Series 6. Instead of moving forward with OpenGL ES 3.0, they're moving backwards.

    What the hell Samsung? I fear this may be just the first of Samsung's dumb moves in 2013, and 2012 may have been their peak.
  • Krysto - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    even this PowerVR GPU*
  • DesktopMan - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    If it's possible that this could end up in phones adding Apple A6 to the comparison table would make a lot of sense.
  • JomaKern - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    I suspect, as Anand has mentioned before, that the power efficiency of the PowerVR architecture was a key decision in not using a Mali T6xx. In the power test article the T604 was pretty power hungry.

    I don't think Apple will get Rogue into their next iPad, especially if the rumored March launch is true. A6X is so much faster than its rivals, they can use the die shrink to 28nm to boost clocks, and still easily have the fastest GPU.

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