Recently, many phones that feature MSM7x27 or MSM7x25 processors have been released to the market. They are often marketed as low-end, featuring "only" 600MHz (for MSM7x27) or 528MHz (MSM7x25). Sounds pretty pathetic, right?
If you only look at their clock speeds, 600/528MHz doesn't sound impressive. In fact, thats hardly an improvement over notoriously slow MSM7200 series processors used by HTC G1, Magic and Hero.
But there are some key differences:
Unlike MSM7200 series processors, MSM7x27/MSM7x25 are built for smartphones. The processor unit contains a floating point unit, a 400MHz modem processor, a 320MHz application DSP, and a real dedicated GPU to perform 3D accelerations and video encoding/decoding. Does it sound just like Qualcomm's high end Snapdragon processors?
Lets look at some benchmark numbers for the phones that feature MSM7227:
- HTC Legend (running Android 2.1): 392
- LG Optimus GT540 (running Android 1.5): 445
And the following are the phones that use the outdated MSM7200 series processors:
- HTC G1 (running Android 1.5): 181
- HTC Magic (running Android 1.5): 200
- HTC Hero (running Android 1.5): 201
- HTC Droid Eris (running Android 2.1): 211
As you can see, MSM7227 series phones are significantly faster! Why is that?
Lets look at what Quadrant benchmark measures:
- 2D graphics
- 3D graphics
Quadrant benchmark application measures the overall performance of your phone. Given that the CPU component hardly received any improvement over MSM7200 series, it is natural to conclude that other areas received significant improvements. One area in particular, is the GPU. MSM7227 features a dedicated GPU called, Adreno 200. This is the SAME GPU that is found in the first generation Snapdragon processors!
Now lets look at the high-performing first generation Snapdragon based phones:
- Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (running Android 1.6): 465
- Dell Streak (running Android 1.6): 469
- Nexus One (running Android 2.1): 507
- HTC EVO (running Android 2.1): 510
- HTC Desire (running Android 2.1): 510
- HTC Droid Incredible (running Android 2.1): 574
As you can see, although they are faster than MSM7227 phones, not that much faster!
And then there's the screen resolution. Typical Snapdragon phones use 800x480 screen resolution, while most of the MSM7227 phones use 320x480. That's less than half the amount of pixels MSM7227 has to process through. The result? Surprisingly snappy performance out of "lowly" 528MHz/600MHz processor!
There are still some open questions. Snapdragon processors received huge boost in speed when they switched to Android 2.2 (i.e. JIT). Will MSM7227 be able to perform with similar margin of improvements despite featuring somewhat slow (i.e. same as MSM7200 series) CPU core? We will find out soon when we start to receive results for MSM7227 phones with Froyo.
Some current/future phones to use MSM7227 include the following: