Ray tracing is the new big thing for mobile games. While it’s very early days, this will soon be a factor to consider when phones are rated for high-end gaming performance. And virtually all flagship smartphones of 2023 will support it. Well, the Exynos 2200 took the lead. It just beat the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in a ray tracing test!
Now, you should note that criteria are never perfect. They never assume real-world performance. However, they are an important tool for comparing performance between devices.
Nevertheless, the Exynos-led tool comes from Basemark. It has a brand new set of tools called In Vitro GPU Testing. And Android Authority has done thorough testing with devices that currently support ray tracing. Read carefully to know all about the results.
A Little About In Vitro – The First Smartphone Beam Tracing Reference Tool
Before looking at any numbers or graphs, you should first understand In Vitro testing. The first thing to avoid is that it doesn’t tell you what performance it measures. Instead, the benchmark is made with 3D content that replicates on-demand mobile games.
Thus, the test carried out by Android Authority allowed Exynos and Snapdragon powered phones to focus on lighting, details and models. It didn’t use GPUs in animations or do any open world rendering.
Now, when it comes to rendering, In Vitro uses ray tracing to improve the overall quality of the reflections. Other scene elements, including shadows and lighting, use the traditional rendering method.
This shows that the tool can give you a good overview of your hybrid rendering workload. But that won’t give you the full picture of how Exynos and Snapdragon phones can handle combined ray tracing for everything.
Samsung S22 Ultra (Exynos 2200) and Redmagic 8 Pro (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2)
Currently, only two mobile SoCs support functional ray tracing. These are Exynos 2200 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Although both support the same technology, they benefit from Vulkan API support and ray tracing capabilities using different hardware.
Samsung has partnered with GPU giant AMD to bring the RDNA 2 architecture to the Exynos 2200’s Xclipse 920 GPU. On the other hand, Qualcomm itself built-in Adreno GPU. It has integrated ray tracing capabilities into the 740.
Android Authority installed In Vitro on Redmagic Pro 8 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to test Exynos and Snapdragon GPUs. And look at the results:
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Unexpectedly, the latest generation Exynos 2200 offers a higher average number than Snapdragon’s current flagship, the 8 Gen 2. But that doesn’t mean Snapdragon is doing poorly. It was able to achieve the highest FPS. But his lows brought him down.
Android Authority claims that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 performs better in real-time benchmarking. However, when the benchmark increases the amount of reflection at the end, the SoC struggles a lot.
A clear win for Exynos?
The team ran several tests on Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos 2200) and Redmagic 8 Pro to find the numbers. They got the same result every time. And it’s not a performance issue at all. The Redmagic 8 Pro beats the S22 Ultra on every other benchmark the team runs.
It should also be noted that Redmagic 8 Pro was running a new version of the Vulkan API. The phone had 1.3.128, while the Exynos-powered S22 Ultra had 1.1.179. So it’s not like a Snapdragon phone doesn’t have the software support it needs.
This shows that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is really inferior when it comes to ray tracing capabilities. At least that’s what the Android Authority team came up with for their Basemark tool.
Exynos beats Snapdragon in Ray Tracing, at least so far
Although the results may seem shocking, they are not entirely unexpected. In 2022, there were many ray tracing announcements. All of this made it clear that there are a lot of variables when it comes to measuring the ray tracing capabilities of phones.
Even if a GPU is faster at traditional rasterization, that doesn’t mean it will offer better ray tracing performance. At least that’s the Snapdragon vs. conducted by the Android Authority team. It is evident from the Exynos test.
Not to forget that Qualcomm is working from the ground up for ray tracing support in Snapdragon SoCs. Exynos, on the other hand, had the backing of GPU giant AMD. But as the results show, Qualcomm has a lot to do. It also suggests that the next custom Galaxy chip in future Galaxy devices could be the king of the game.