Huawei Hisilicon Kirin 9000 vs Kirin 9000E vs Kirin 990 5G Specification and Benchmarks Compared – What is the difference between the 9000 & 9000E?

This week saw the launch of the delayed Huawei Mate 40 Pro, which introduced the latest flagship chipset from Hisilicon along with a lower specced Kirin 9000E which will be used on the Mate 40.

In the UK, we won’t be getting the standard Mate 40, so we don’t need to worry about the Kirin 9000SE too much, but the Kirin 9000 brings some massive improvements from the Kirin 990 5G found on the previous Huawei P40 Pro flagship.

Specification

SoC Kirin 9000 Kirin 9000E Kirin 990 5G
CPU 1x Cortex A77
@ 3.13Ghz
1x Cortex A77
@ 3.13Ghz
2x Cortex A76 @ 2.86 GHz
3x Cortex A77
@ 2.54Ghz
3x Cortex A77
@ 2.54Ghz
2x Cortex A76 @ 2.36 GHz
4x Cortex A55@
2.05Ghz
4x Cortex A55@
2.05Ghz
4x Cortex A55@
1.95Ghz
GPU Mali-G78
24 Cores
Mali-G78
22 Cores
Mali G76
16-core
APU / NPU / AI Proc. / Neural IP 2 big core, 1 tiny core

1 big core, 1 tiny core

3rd gen APU
Memory LPDDR5 / LPDDR 4X LPDDR5 / LPDDR 4X ?
ISP/Camera quad-core, 6th gen ISP quad-core, 6th gen ISP 5th gen ISP
Integrated Modem Balong 5000
4G + 5G NR NSA+SA Sub-6GHz
Balong 5000
4G + 5G NR NSA+SA Sub-6GHz
Balong 5000
4G + 5G NR NSA+SA Sub-6GHz
Process TSMC
5nm
TSMC
5nm
TSMC
7nm

Similar to the last year’s chipset, HiSilicon has opted to go with a slightly older ARM CPU design, last year they claimed the reason for this was that the A77 couldn’t offer the frequencies achievable by the A76 on the 7nm fabrication process. However, with Qualcomm hitting 3.1Ghz on the single-core of the SD865+, that claims doesn’t appear totally accurate. I expect the reality is that Hisilicon launches its flagship a little too early to successfully implement the current generation CPU.

So with this generation, they move from A76 to A77 but this also comes with a significant improvement in frequencies offering a similar spec to the SD865+ but slightly faster.

Both the Kirin 9000 and Kirin 9000 have identical CPU designs.

It is the GPU where things get interesting, Hisilicon has jumped two generations going from the Mali-G76 to the G78 and then also increased the core count by 50% for the Kirin 9000 with a massive 24-core. The Kirin 9000E doesn’t fall too far behind, with just 2 less cores.

Hisilicon was the first to introduce an AI neural processing unit, and they have continued to push this technology.

The Kirin 9000 has the same 2 big core and 1 small core design of the older Kirin 990 5G but the NPU is based on a new generation. The Kirin 9000E drops one of the bigger cores.

Benchmarks

Some early benchmarks were leaked, but now the Mate 40 Pro has been released to reviewers, we have seen a few proper benchmarks. At the moment there is only data for the Kirin 9000, based on the spec, there shouldn’t be a massive difference with the Kirin 9000E but we will need the benchmarks to prove this.

As I haven’t personally used the Mate 40 Pro I have taken my benchmark data from the GSMArena review.

Antutu

  Total CPU GPU Mem UX
Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Kirin 9000
531270 (normal)
686835 (performance)
Huawei P40 Pro
Kirin 990 5G
498283 149923 176913 100022 71425
Redmi K30 Ultra
Dimensity 1000
482257 134822 197568 73916 75951
Realme X50 Pro
SD865
590914 183192 218623 104222 84877
BlackShark 3
SD865
545049 167419 217589 84009 76032
Huawei P30 Pro
Kirin 980
395415 133469 131864 67956 62126

The Antutu results from GSMarena are a little unexpected; they ran the phone in its default mode, but then also the optional performance mode. I normally ignore the performance mode because you won’t ever use it in your daily life.

Running as normal the phone achieves a good, but not a particularly impressive result of 531270 offering just a 6.6% increase over the Huawei P40 Pro running as normal.

However, when they switch it to performance mode, that score increased to 686835, smashing all the results currently listed on Antutu with a 7% performance advantage over the currently most powerful phone on the list, the Asus Rog Phone 3.

In performance mode, the phone achieves a score that’s almost 30% higher than normal, which suggests that there could be some serious throttling going on.

With such a big difference in results, at least we know Huawei isn’t artificially inflating the results when it detects a benchmark running (unlike some other phones).

Geekbench

  Chipset Single Core Multi Core
Huawei Mate 40 Pro Kirin 9000 1020 3275
Asus ROG Phone 3 Snapdragon 865+ 975 3357
Black Shark 3 Snapdragon 865 903 3338
Redmi K30 Ultra Dimensity 1000+ 782 2890
OnePlus 7T Snapdragon 855+ 706 2660
Black Shark 2 Snapdragon 855 670 2370
Huawei P40 Lite 5G Kirin 820 606 2304
Realme X50 Snapdragon 765G 612 1899

The Geekbench results are actually disappointing if anything with the multi-core result the Kirin 9000 offers just 11.8% improvement over the Kirin 990 5G on the Huawei P40 Pro.

However, things look a little better when it comes to the single-core, the P40 Pro achieved 748 while the Mate 40 Pro gets 920, offering a 23% performance gain.

3DMark

  Chipset Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL Sling Shot Extreme Vulcan
Huawei Mate 40 Pro Kirin 9000 9168 8401
Asus ROG Phone 3 Snapdragon 865+ 7645 7002
Black Shark 3 Snapdragon 865 7215 6606
Redmi K30 Ultra Dimensity 1000+ 6614 6143
OnePlus 7T Snapdragon 855+ 6278 5504
Black Shark Snapdragon 855 5791 5030
Realme X2 Snapdragon 730G 2405 2270
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro Mediatek Helio G90T 2377 2454

In 3DMark, we see where HiSilicon have focussed their efforts, the 24-core Mali G78 GPU decimates the competition.

In the Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL test the Mate 40 Pro scores 20% higher than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ on the Asus ROG Phone 3 and 38% higher than the Redmi K30 Ultra using MediaTek’s top of the range chipset.

As far as generational improvements go, the Kirin 9000 offers more than double the performance than the Kirin 990 on the Huawei P40 Pro with a 106% difference. Such a large difference between generations is rarely seen and this result is incredible.

Things are just as impressive with the Sling Shot Extreme Vulcan test being 20% ahead of the SD865+, 37% ahead of the Dimensity 1000+, and ever so slightly under double the performance of the previous generation Kirin 990 5G (98.4%).

Overall

Hisilicon has been the best alternative option to Qualcomm for years, Samsungs efforts are half-hearted, and while Mediatek is improving a lot, they are not quite there yet.

This chipset looks fantastic, while I am sure it will lose out to the next-gen Qualcomm and Samsung chipsets in regards to CPU performance, it is quite possible the  Kirin 9000 will have the best GPU performance in the coming year.

Compared to the previous generation Kirin 990 5G, which still has far more performance than I need, the performance improvements are astronomical.

On the CPU side, you may also see a generic generational improvement with a relatively low multi-core gain in Geekbench but a solid 18% on the single core.

It is the GPU that is outstanding, I am not sure if there has been many chipset launches where there is double the performance offered for something as important as the GPU.

As for the Kirin 9000E, we don’t have any hard benchmarks to show the performance differences, but the spec sheet indicates it is only fractionally cut down from the more expensive Kirin 9000 with 2 less GPU cores and 1 less big core NPU.

Posted by Mighty Gadget Blog: UK Technology News and Reviews

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