Tensor G3 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Tensor G3 powers the Google Pixel 8 lineup, while Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was a flagship CPU in 2023 and is featured in numerous devices.

Both Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 continue to be utilized across various devices: Tensor G3 primarily in Google Pixel devices and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in many other Android devices.

Now, which of these two CPUs offers the best performance while maintaining temperature and throttling? Let’s find it out in this Google Tensor G3 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 comparison.

Google Tensor G3 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Comparison

DetailsGoogle Tensor G3Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Launch DateOctober 2023November 2022
Model NumberSM8550-AB
Process4nm Samsung4nm TSMC
CPU1x Cortex-X3 @ 2.91 GHz, 4x Cortex-A715 @ 2.37 GHz, 4x Cortex-A510 @ 1.7 GHz1x Cortex-X3 @ 3.2 GHz, 2x Cortex-A715 @ 2.8 GHz, 2x Cortex-A710 @ 2.8 GHz, 3x Cortex-A510 @ 2 GHz
Instruction setARMv9-AARMv9-A
GPUMali-G715 MP7Adreno 740
GPU ArchitectureValhall 4th GenAdreno 700
GPU Frequency890 MHz680 MHz
Neural processor (NPU)YesYes (Hexagon)
Memory frequency4200 MHz4200 MHz
Max size16GB24GB
Storage typeUFS 4.0UFS 4.0
Max display resolution3840 x 21603840 x 2160
Max camera resolution1x 200MP1x 200MP, 2x 32MP
Video recording8K @ 30FPS, 4K @ 120FPS8K @ 30FPS, 4K @ 120FPS
ModemExynos 5300iSnapdragon X70
4GLTE Cat. 24LTE Cat. 24
Download speedUp to 7300 MbpsUp to 10000 Mbps
Upload SpeedUp to 3700 MbpsUp to 3500 Mbps

While comparing their on-paper specifications, it’s evident that Tensor G3 excels in certain areas while Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 leads in others. Generally, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 boasts superior specifications in most aspects, although Tensor G3 outperforms in metrics such as core count and upload speed.

However, these specifications are only part of the picture; performance benchmarks will provide a clearer understanding.

Performance Benchmarks

TestTensor G3Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
AnTuTu (v10)1140000 to 12000001535000 to 1600000
GeekBench 6Single Core: 1020 Multi Core: 3000Single Core: 1970 Multi Core: 5400
GPU Score58009050

Please note that AnTuTu scores can vary depending on the smartphone and its cooling system. A phone equipped with a larger vapor chamber can help the CPU remain cooler, resulting in better performance and a higher AnTuTu score. Having faster RAM and storage also contributes to a higher AnTuTu score.

Therefore, while the overall score may vary depending on the specific phone model, these scores provide a useful average benchmark.

You can also check out the comparison between Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 and 7 Gen 3.

Power Efficiency

The manufacturing process, typically measured in nanometers (nm), is a primary factor influencing power efficiency. Both the Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 are manufactured using a 4nm fabrication process, suggesting similar efficiency levels.

However, real-world results often differ. Factors such as CPU frequency, core count, TDP (Thermal Design Power), and software and battery optimizations also play crucial roles in determining power efficiency.

Despite similar on-paper specifications, practical performance can vary significantly. For instance, due to its additional core and potential optimization challenges for performance and battery life, Tensor G3 delivers noticeably shorter battery life compared to Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

As an estimate, if a Google Pixel 8a lasts 4 hours with the Tensor G3 chip, it will extend to over 5 hours with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 under similar usage and settings.

This highlights the superior optimization of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 compared to Tensor G3 in real-world scenarios.

Throttling and Heating Issues

As modern CPUs have become significantly more powerful, managing heat has become a common challenge. To keep CPU temperatures in check, smartphone manufacturers often use sizable vapor chambers.

However, if a CPU is not well-optimized, it will still generate a lot of heat, regardless of the vapor chamber’s size.

The Tensor G3, essentially an Exynos CPU made by Samsung, tends to struggle with heat management. Samsung CPUs are generally known for poor temperature control.

So, the Tensor G3 heats up and throttles significantly more than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

In our 15-minute throttling test, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 throttled to 86% of its maximum performance, meaning only a 14% performance downgrade. The graph remained green for this CPU, with the phone’s temperature at 40 degrees Celsius.

However, in the same 15-minute test, the Tensor G3 throttled to 61% of its maximum performance, indicating a 39% performance degradation, and the phone’s temperature reached 42 degrees Celsius.

We didn’t have the opportunity to test the Tensor G3 in a phone with a larger vapor chamber, as this CPU is only available in Pixel devices, which are not known for having excellent cooling systems.

In conclusion, while both CPUs heat up during heavy tasks, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 maintains better performance and experiences less throttling compared to the Tensor G3.

Also, check out the Snapdragon 6s Gen 3 vs. Snapdragon 695 comparison.

Everyday Performance

In AnTuTu CPU benchmarks, Tensor G3 scores 355,000 while Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 scores 393,000. Although the difference isn’t massive, it is significant.

Both Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 deliver impressive everyday performance, handling tasks such as multitasking, camera use, and moderate gaming seamlessly.

However, when you push Tensor G3 with demanding activities like frequent gaming or recording 4K videos for over 20 minutes, you will notice significant heating and performance degradation, potentially leading to warnings like ‘Your device is too hot.

In contrast, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 continues to handle these tasks efficiently, becoming warm but not excessively hot like Tensor G3.

So, both CPUs perform well for everyday tasks, but Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 maintains a performance edge under heavy workloads.

Gaming Performance

Tensor G3 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Gaming

In AnTuTu benchmarks, the GPU scores were approximately 600,000 for Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and around 370,000 for Tensor G3, which highlights a significant difference in performance.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 features a more powerful and optimized GPU, despite Tensor G3’s promising specifications on paper.

For light to moderate gaming, both CPUs perform similarly well, as both handle most games without issues.

However, when it comes to demanding titles, Tensor G3 shows noticeable frame drops that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 does not exhibit.

While prolonged gaming sessions may eventually cause frame drops on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Tensor G3 struggles to sustain heavy gaming without significant performance degradation.

So, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 performs exceptionally well in gaming and delivers significantly better results than the Tensor G3.

AI Capabilities

AI is a significant trend, and in this area, Tensor G3 has the upper hand.

While both CPUs use NPUs (Neural Processing Units) for AI capabilities, Tensor G3 is specially designed with enhanced AI features, benefiting from Google’s extensive expertise in AI. Due to better integration of AI at both the software and hardware levels, Tensor G3 performs exceptionally well.

While the effectiveness of AI also depends on how manufacturers integrate it, Google’s leadership in AI ensures that their CPUs, like Tensor G3, possess more advanced AI capabilities.

How is the Pixel 8a’s battery life, performance, and software experience? Click here to find out.

Conclusion: Which is Better?

By now, it should be clear that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is significantly better than Google Tensor G3, even though Tensor G3 is 11 months newer.

However, it’s important to note that Tensor G3 is not a bad processor. It performs well for everyday tasks and is well-suited for normal to moderate use, as it was not designed with gaming enthusiasts in mind.

There are scenarios where more power is needed, and that’s where Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 takes a significant lead. Additionally, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is well-optimized for battery consumption.

Therefore, between these two CPUs, we recommend Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Just ensure that the phone you choose with this CPU is well-optimized in all aspects.


1. What are the key differences between Google Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Google Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 differ primarily in their performance and optimization. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 generally offers higher CPU and GPU performance, superior gaming capabilities, and better heat management compared to Google Tensor G3.

2. How do the benchmarks compare between Google Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Benchmarks typically show Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 outperforming Google Tensor G3 in both CPU and GPU performance metrics. This translates to better overall responsiveness and smoother gaming experiences on devices powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

3. Which processor is better for everyday tasks and battery life?

Both processors perform well for everyday tasks such as browsing, social media, and multimedia consumption. However, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s superior optimization often leads to better performance and battery life under heavy load and prolonged use scenarios compared to Google Tensor G3.

4. Which processor is better for gaming, Google Tensor G3 or Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is superior for gaming due to its more powerful GPU and optimized performance. It handles demanding games with fewer frame drops and smoother gameplay compared to the Google Tensor G3.

5. How do the AI and machine learning capabilities compare between Google Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

Google Tensor G3 is specifically designed with advanced AI and machine learning capabilities, benefiting from Google’s extensive AI research and software integration. While Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also features strong AI capabilities, Tensor G3 has an edge in tasks that leverage Google’s AI ecosystem.

So, that concludes our comparison between Google Tensor G3 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. If you still have any questions or doubts, please feel free to ask us in the comment section below.

We’d also love to hear your thoughts and whether you agree or disagree with this comparison.

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