Apple A6 vs. Samsung Exynos 5 Octa

What's the Difference?

The Apple A6 and Samsung Exynos 5 Octa are both powerful processors used in smartphones and tablets. The Apple A6, introduced in 2012, is a dual-core processor that offers excellent performance and power efficiency. It is known for its smooth and seamless user experience, making it ideal for gaming and multimedia tasks. On the other hand, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, released in 2013, is an eight-core processor that utilizes a big.LITTLE architecture, combining four high-performance cores with four energy-efficient cores. This design allows for efficient multitasking and improved battery life. Both processors have their strengths, with the Apple A6 excelling in overall performance and the Exynos 5 Octa offering a balance between power and energy efficiency.


AttributeApple A6Samsung Exynos 5 Octa
ManufacturerApple Inc.Samsung Electronics
Year Released20122013
Process Technology32nm28nm
Number of CoresDual-coreOcta-core
Clock Speed1.3 GHz1.6 GHz
GPUPowerVR SGX543MP3ARM Mali-T628 MP6
Memory SupportLPDDR2LPDDR3
Maximum Display Resolution2048x15362560x1600
Integrated ModemNoYes

Further Detail


When it comes to smartphones, two of the most prominent players in the market are Apple and Samsung. Both companies have developed their own processors to power their devices, with Apple utilizing the A6 chip and Samsung employing the Exynos 5 Octa. In this article, we will compare the attributes of these two processors, exploring their performance, power efficiency, graphics capabilities, and overall user experience.


The Apple A6 chip, introduced in 2012, was a significant leap forward for Apple's mobile devices. It featured a dual-core CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz, delivering impressive performance for its time. The A6 chip was designed in-house by Apple, allowing for tight integration with the iOS operating system and optimized performance in tasks such as app launching, multitasking, and web browsing.

On the other hand, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, released in 2013, took a different approach. It featured an eight-core CPU, divided into two sets of quad-core processors. The first set consisted of four high-performance Cortex-A15 cores, while the second set included four power-efficient Cortex-A7 cores. This configuration allowed the Exynos 5 Octa to dynamically switch between the two sets of cores, depending on the workload, providing a balance between performance and power efficiency.

While the Apple A6 chip offered excellent single-core performance, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa had an advantage in multi-core tasks due to its eight-core design. This made the Exynos 5 Octa a better choice for resource-intensive applications, such as video editing or gaming, where the additional cores could be utilized effectively.

Power Efficiency

Power efficiency is a crucial aspect of any mobile device, as it directly impacts battery life. The Apple A6 chip was known for its power efficiency, thanks to its custom-designed architecture and integration with iOS. Apple's focus on optimizing both hardware and software allowed their devices to deliver impressive battery life, even with a smaller battery capacity compared to some competitors.

On the other hand, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa faced some challenges in terms of power efficiency. While the Cortex-A7 cores were highly power-efficient, the Cortex-A15 cores consumed more energy when running demanding tasks. This imbalance in power consumption could lead to reduced battery life, especially when using resource-intensive applications that heavily utilized the high-performance cores.

However, it's worth noting that Samsung made significant improvements in subsequent iterations of their Exynos processors, addressing power efficiency concerns and achieving better balance between performance and battery life.

Graphics Capabilities

When it comes to graphics capabilities, both the Apple A6 and Samsung Exynos 5 Octa offered impressive performance for their respective times. The Apple A6 chip featured a triple-core PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU, delivering smooth graphics and supporting advanced features such as real-time shadows and complex shaders.

On the other hand, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa integrated a Mali-T628 MP6 GPU, which also provided excellent graphics performance. The Mali-T628 MP6 GPU offered support for advanced graphics APIs, allowing for immersive gaming experiences and smooth rendering of high-resolution content.

While both GPUs were capable of handling demanding games and graphics-intensive applications, the specific performance and optimization varied between the two. Apple's tight integration of hardware and software allowed for better optimization and smoother performance in iOS, while Samsung's Exynos processors offered a more open ecosystem, providing developers with greater flexibility in optimizing their applications for the GPU.

User Experience

Ultimately, the user experience is a crucial factor when comparing processors. The Apple A6 chip, combined with iOS, offered a seamless and intuitive user experience. Apple's focus on hardware-software integration allowed for smooth animations, quick app launches, and overall responsiveness. The A6 chip's performance, power efficiency, and graphics capabilities contributed to a highly satisfying user experience.

On the other hand, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, paired with Samsung's TouchWiz UI, provided a different user experience. While TouchWiz offered a range of customization options and additional features, it was often criticized for being slightly less smooth and responsive compared to iOS. However, the Exynos 5 Octa's multi-core performance and powerful GPU still delivered a great user experience, especially for users who valued customization and flexibility.


In conclusion, both the Apple A6 and Samsung Exynos 5 Octa were impressive processors for their respective times. The Apple A6 chip excelled in single-core performance, power efficiency, and delivering a seamless user experience. On the other hand, the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa offered a multi-core design, providing better performance in resource-intensive tasks and greater flexibility for developers.

Ultimately, the choice between the two processors would depend on individual preferences and priorities. Apple's A6 chip was an excellent choice for users seeking a highly optimized and intuitive user experience, while the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa appealed to those who valued multi-core performance and customization options.

As technology continues to advance, both Apple and Samsung have introduced newer and more powerful processors, further pushing the boundaries of performance and efficiency. Whether it's the latest Apple A-series chip or the newest Samsung Exynos processor, users can expect continued innovation and improved user experiences in the world of mobile devices.

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