Rating of the best processors for tablets

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

The mobile processor market is oversaturated in 2018. Almost all manufacturers produce their own chips – both those specializing in similar components (like Qualcomm, MediaTek or Intel) and electronics developers (Huawei, Samsung). At the same time, too much depends on the processor to take a tablet without looking at this parameter.

We have compiled a rating of the best processors that will definitely turn a tablet into a convenient and practical device.

A little about processors for mobile devices

If in computers processors perform only one function – they are considered according to the algorithms pre-installed in the chip, then in smartphones and tablets they play a very important role. In fact, a mobile processor is only partly a processor. Yes, he thinks the same as the desktop one, but at the same time it performs many more functions.

In fact, all Snapdragon and MediaTek processors are not. These are SoC – systems on a chip (System-on-Chip). Their design includes:

  1. Computing kernels. Determine tablet performance when performing complex tasks and multitasking;

  2. Graphics accelerator. A sort of 'video card' that processes the 'picture' on the screen;

  3. Modem. Determines the speed of the mobile Internet;

  4. Wi-Fi controllers and Bluetooth. Determine the data transfer rate over these wireless networks;

  5. Charge controllers. Needed for fast charging technology;

  6. Image processor. Determines the quality of photos;

Thus, buying a device with a slow processor turns out to be not only general tablet “brakes”, but also inadequate operation of other functions. And some opportunities may simply not exist.

For example, no device on Intel Atom supports fast charging technology. This is because the company that developed the chip did not include this function in it.

How was the rating of processors for tablets compiled

When compiling the rating, we used only 'non-manufacturer' processors from three companies – Qualcomm, MediaTek and Intel. Chips manufactured by Huawei (HiSilicon Kirin line), Apple and Samsung (Exynos series) were not taken into account. They are only used in tablets from these manufacturers.

Also, models from Rockchip, Allwinner and Spreadtrum were not included in the rating. These chips are characterized by low performance and functionality, so it is better to refrain from buying devices equipped with them.

In addition, we decided to refrain from adding individual processor models to the rating. There are too many of them. Instead, we compared the processor lines – especially since the differences within the series can be minimal.

Rating of the best processors for tablets

Nomination a place Name of product Rating
The best processors for premium tablets 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (800, 810, 820, 825, 830, 835) 4.9
2 Intel Core m (m3, m5) and Intel Core i (i3, i5) 4.8
3 MediaTek Helio X (X10 and X20) 4.6
Best CPUs for mid-range tablets 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (600, 615, 625, 650 and newer) 4.9
2 MediaTek Helio P (P10, P20, P23, P25, P30 and P60) 4.7
3 Intel Atom x (x3, x5) 4.7
The best processors for low-cost tablets 1 MediaTek MT87XX (MT8752, MT8732) 4.6
2 MediaTek MT86XX (Models MT8693, MT8685) 4.5

The best processors for premium tablets

Series Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (800, 810, 820, 825, 830, 835)

Rating: 4.9

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Why first place: Maximum performance and the latest technology.

Description: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series includes the most modern, flagship and powerful processors. The manufacturing company implements its latest technologies in them, which provide the best quality of mobile communication, maximum performance and – which is especially important for some users – photo processing mechanics. Pictures on devices equipped with these processors are really high quality.

The series includes quad-core SoCs with four clusters. Therefore, each computational module can operate separately. This is important, for example, when performing undemanding applications – the chip does not heat up and consumes a minimum of energy.

All cores in SoC QS800 have the same frequency. Models of 2016 and newer feature dual-core computing technology. Built-in powerful graphics accelerators Adreno support augmented and virtual reality.

Advantages

  • High performance – maximum in the rating;

  • Powerful modems and mobile communication modules;

  • Support for modern technologies – fast charging, augmented reality, LTE-A and others.

disadvantages

  • High cost – installed only in flagship devices;

  • Noticeable heating under load and during charging;

  • An extremely meager selection of tablets with these processors.

Series Intel Core m (m3, m5) and Intel Core i (i3, i5)

Rating: 4.8

Intel Core m (m3, m5)

Why second place: Maximum performance, but only for Windows – tablets.

Description: Processors Intel of the fourth – and newer – generations can be used not only in desktops and laptops, but also in tablets. These chips, if properly configured by the manufacturer, can work with passive cooling and therefore do not need coolers. However, they maintain near-desktop performance.

However, the architecture of the processors (x86 and x64) does not allow them to be used with mobile operating systems such as Android. The tablets equipped with them operate exclusively under control Windows 10.

Depending on the specific chip model, the processors can be equipped with 2 or 4 cores, as well as an integrated graphics card Intel HD Graphics. All have two-thread computing technology, three cache levels and other technologies that increase performance.

It should be noted separately that these are the only processors in the rating – processors, not SoCs.

Advantages

  • High, almost desktop performance;

  • Separate cores, not combined into clusters;

  • Passive cooling support.

disadvantages

  • Noticeable throttling (drop in performance when heated);

  • Only compatible with Windows and other desktop operating systems;

  • An extremely meager selection of tablets equipped with these processors.

Series MediaTek Helio X (X10 and X20)

Rating: 4.6

MediaTek Helio X

Why third place: Optimum performance and low power consumption.

Description: The MediaTek Helio X series includes flagship chips from this Chinese manufacturer. The company-developer in them did the almost impossible: installed 10 computing cores. However, it is worth noting that they are combined into three clusters of 2 or 4 modules, and the clock frequency differs between them.

For example, the flagship MediaTek Helio X20 has 10 cores – 2 at 2.5 GHz, 4 at 2 GHz and 4 at 1.4 GHz. Because of this, the overall CPU performance is pretty average. But on the other hand, the power consumption of the system is minimal – so, in the Doze deep sleep mode, only 1.4 GHz cores are activated, artificially limiting the battery consumption.

However, the performance of the Helio X series processors is higher than that of the rest of the chips MediaTek. That is why they entered our rating. In addition, Helio X implements state-of-the-art technologies such as 4K video recording.

Advantages

  • Low power consumption;

  • Support for modern (relatively modern) technologies;

  • Low heating.

disadvantages

  • Average productivity;

  • Limited support (operating system updates are rare);

  • Slow cold start GPS, which is typical for all processors MediaTek.

Best CPUs for mid-range tablets

Series Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (600, 615, 625, 650 and newer)

Rating: 4.9

Qualcomm Snapdragon 600

Why first place: High performance and powerful graphics accelerator.

Description: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 series includes high-performance processors in the mid-price range. They are the ones that are most often installed in flagship tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and S3. The high performance of such processors ensures smooth operation, both in multitasking and single-tasking modes.

But the main advantage of the Snapdragon 600 series processors is the powerful graphics accelerator. It supports high-resolution screens, including Retina-like screens, and AR technologies.

The processor architecture includes 8 cores. But in a number of chips they work separately, while in models 650 and 652 they are combined into clusters and differ in clock frequency. Nevertheless, regardless of the architecture, the performance of these processors remains high, which is why they topped the rating of chips for devices in the middle price segment.

Advantages

  • High performance;

  • Powerful graphics accelerator;

  • Support for high speed modems.

disadvantages

  • Perceptible heating during use;

  • Noticeable throttling;

  • Limited support for 4K video and HDR photography.

Series MediaTek Helio P (P10, P20, P23, P25, P30 and P60)

Rating: 4.7

MediaTek Helio P

Why Second Place: High performance, but limited vendor support.

Description: The second-ranked series MediaTek Helio P includes processors designed for tablets and smartphones in the middle price segment. Nevertheless, it includes quite powerful chips with a balanced architecture. The design of the processors includes 8 Cortex ARM64 computing cores, which can have the same clock speed or be combined into clusters depending on the specific model.

The main advantage of processors is support for high-speed LTE. For example, the P23 model supports two 4G communication modules at once, which will be highly appreciated by electronics lovers from Chinese manufacturers. They often install two SIM card trays in their tablets and separate modems for each.

The P30 supports HDR, telephoto and wide-angle video shooting, and the Helio P60 chip MediaTek is now compatible with artificial intelligence technologies.

Advantages

  • Low heating during operation;

  • High performance;

  • LTE support for almost all generations.

disadvantages

  • Low performance of the graphics accelerator;

  • Slow cache memory;

  • Rare low-level software updates from the manufacturer;

Series Intel Atom x (x3, x5)

Rating: 4.7

Intel Atom x

Why Third Place: Processors delivering optimal performance for tablets and hybrid notebooks running the operating system Windows.

Description: Atom x series Intel closes the processor rating for mid-range devices. Despite the fact that the chips belong to the budget price segment, they are better suited for tablets with Windows than Celeron or Pentium. Processors of the Atom X series are made on a 22-nanometer process technology (or even less), so they do not need active cooling – just a wide radiator is enough.

Depending on the specific model, the series processors are equipped with two or four cores, and the clock speed is 1.5 GHz on average. The chips are complemented by an integrated graphics accelerator Intel HD Graphics, which provides enough performance even for some fairly old games.

Like chips from the Core m series, Atom x are processors, not full-fledged SoC systems. Therefore, the operation of the rest of the tablet components depends on the components installed by the manufacturer.

Advantages

  • Minimal heating, even while charging or under load;

  • Compatible with mobile and desktop operating systems;

  • The compactness of the computers in which they are installed, thanks to a special chipset.

disadvantages

  • Noticeable throttling;

  • Slow cold start of wireless networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, GPS);

  • Rare low-level processor software updates.

The best processors for low-cost tablets

Series MediaTek MT87XX (MT8752, MT8732)

Rating: 4.6

MediaTek MT87XX

Why # 1: High performance and support for 16MP cameras.

Description: As mentioned earlier, processors determine not only the performance of the tablet, but also its functionality. Therefore, you should not expect something more or less powerful from the chips included in this rating. For example, even the top of the list MediaTek MT8752 only supports 16MP cameras.

But it is compatible with the most modern software compression codec H.265, thanks to which the chips equipped with this processor can shoot Full HD – video at 60 fps, and the finished file will 'weigh' much less than usual.

The MT8752 is based on an eight-core architecture and clocked at 1.7GHz. The youngest model – MT8732 – is equipped with four cores with a clock frequency of 1.5 GHz. However, both chips are fast enough and provide great smoothness even in multitasking.

Advantages

  • Support for modern video shooting technologies;

  • High performance and low heating;

  • Fast cold start of wireless modules.

disadvantages

  • Limited compatibility with hardware components;

  • Limited manufacturer support;

  • Slow cache memory.

Series MediaTek MT86XX (Models MT8693, MT8685)

Rating: 4.5

Why second place: Optimum performance, but noticeable heating.

Description: Processors occupying the second place in the rating are installed in most tablets of the budget and 'lower middle' price category. The MT8693 model is equipped with six computing cores combined into two clusters (2 x 2.0 GHz and 4 x 1.6 GHz). The junior chip – MT8685 – has 4 1.5 GHz cores in its architecture, working separately.

Both models support fairly up-to-date technologies – 13-megapixel cameras, H.265 software and hardware codecs, LPDDR3 cache, 5 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. Good optimization provides a quick cold start for wireless modules.

However, processors noticeably heat up during operation, as a result of which they need good cooling. If the tablet manufacturer does not provide it, there is a noticeable throttling, which is expressed in a drop in the speed of the entire operating system.

Advantages

  • Low price, thanks to which they are installed even in the cheapest tablets;

  • H.265 support;

  • Quick start of wireless modules.

disadvantages

  • Perceptible heating during operation;

  • Noticeable throttling;

  • Poor graphics accelerator performance.


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.


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