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

SoCKirin 9000Kirin 9000EKirin 990 5G
CPU1x 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 [email protected]
2.05Ghz
4x Cortex [email protected]
2.05Ghz
4x Cortex [email protected]
1.95Ghz
GPUMali-G78
24 Cores
Mali-G78
22 Cores
Mali G76
16-core
APU / NPU / AI Proc. / Neural IP2 big core, 1 tiny core

1 big core, 1 tiny core

3rd gen APU
MemoryLPDDR5 / LPDDR 4X LPDDR5 / LPDDR 4X ?
ISP/Cameraquad-core, 6th gen ISPquad-core, 6th gen ISP5th gen ISP
Integrated ModemBalong 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
ProcessTSMC
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

 TotalCPUGPUMemUX
Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Kirin 9000
531270 (normal)
686835 (performance)
Huawei P40 Pro
Kirin 990 5G
49828314992317691310002271425
Redmi K30 Ultra
Dimensity 1000
4822571348221975687391675951
Realme X50 Pro
SD865
59091418319221862310422284877
BlackShark 3
SD865
5450491674192175898400976032
Huawei P30 Pro
Kirin 980
3954151334691318646795662126

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

 ChipsetSingle CoreMulti Core
Xiaomi Mi 11Snapdragon 88811393693
OnePlus 9 ProSnapdragon 88811093487
Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraExynos 210010793381
Huawei Mate 40 ProKirin 900010203275
Asus ROG Phone 3
S
Snapdragon 865+9753357
Realme X50 ProSnapdragon 8659103205
Black Shark 3 Snapdragon 8659033338
Redmi K30 Ultra Dimensity 1000+7822890
Samsung Galaxy S20Exynos 9907722590
OnePlus 7TSnapdragon 855+7062660
Black Shark 2Snapdragon 855670 2370
Huawei P40 Lite 5GKirin 8206062304
Realme X50Snapdragon 765G6121899

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

 ChipsetSling Shot Extreme OpenGLSling Shot Extreme VulcanWild Life
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888Maxed OutMaxed Out5775
Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraExynos 2100773664675741
Xiaomi Mi 11Snapdragon 888827481825663
Huawei Mate 40 ProKirin 9000916884015976
Asus ROG Phone 3Snapdragon 865+764570024127
Realme X50 ProSnapdragon 8653791
Black Shark 3 Snapdragon 86572156606
Redmi K30 Ultra Dimensity 1000+66146143
OnePlus 7TSnapdragon 855+62785504
Black SharkSnapdragon 85557915030

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.

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