Diary Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: performance, how to improve it (and why)


Performance along with autonomy (battery life) is one of the key characteristics of smartphones that affects the user experience. In this topic, many myths and misconceptions are breeding and multiplying, which are generated, among other things, by the manufacturers of smartphones themselves. They have so worn out the word “productivity” that buyers cease to understand what is true in them, and what is a marketing “embellishment” of reality. A separate problem in the question for both buyers and sellers is the performance of flagship smartphones, which in the last 3 years has equaled (and in some places overtook) the performance of computers. This makes it challenging to communicate to the customer the increased performance over the previous generation. Can your computer play 8K video, for example? And Samsung’s flagship smartphones from this year can already.

Samsung Exynos 990 processor

The story about the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra I would like to start not with the results of the benchmarks (they will be later), but with a conversation about the processor of this smartphone – Samsung Exynos 990. It is manufactured using a 7-nanometer technological process, which, due to the laws of physics, already has very conditional interpretation. Rather, it is worth remembering that the transition to each next level in the process technology reduces the current consumption, which increases energy efficiency. In other words, the lower the number, the faster the processor works and less overheating compared to the previous generation. The modern flagship processor, to which the new Exynos 990 belongs, is such a complex product of technologies that its detailed study without complex technical calculations is simply impossible. Fortunately, we do not need this – just remember that it has an integrated graphics coprocessor (DSP) for image processing and a separate coprocessor that is gaining popularity and weight for working with neural networks (in this processor it has two cores). In practice, working with neural networks consists in identifying shooting scenes and automatically choosing the best camera mode. When a smartphone’s camera itself detects that there is a dog, cat, flower or food in front of it, this is the result of the neural network technomagic. Neural networks are also actively used in post-processing of images (we will talk about this separately, but not now), creating excellent pictures on the principle of “pointed and pressed the shutter”. And yet everyone began to forget that in modern 8-core processors only 4 cores work at the same time – one for “heavy” tasks requiring calculations. Others are for simple ones that do not require high performance – their work allows the smartphone to live longer without recharging. Well, u Exynos 990 also has a version with an integrated 5G modem, although for our conditions this is (yet) irrelevant. Here’s a demo of the processor for anyone interested:

What affects the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

If you’re still following the thought, smartphone performance is complex and complex, influenced by many factors. The flip side of high performance has always been reduced battery life. Autonomy and performance are two opposing elements that go hand in hand, and smartphone manufacturers are constantly looking for a reasonable compromise between them. One that would suit the maximum number of buyers. Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a smartphone for tech-savvy users, so it allows this process to be controlled, if not completely (trotting, that is, automatically lowering power consumption and performance in order to protect it from overheating and other troubles, has not been canceled). then at least in semi-manual mode.

In the Device Maintenance – Battery settings, there is a power management section (which, as I said, is inextricably linked to performance), where you can choose one of 4 performance modes: high productivity, optimized, moderate power saving and maximum power saving. Each of the modes has its own set of instructions that (performance is a complex issue, remember?) Affect the performance-autonomy combination. If you want to squeeze the maximum out of your smartphone (for example, for better graphics in the game), then select the high productivity mode and disable the adaptive power saving mode. Although, for most users, it would be wise to choose the adaptive power saving mode and the optimized productivity mode. That is why it is in the smartphone by default – for those who never get into these settings, using the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will be optimal.

For what geeks love the Galaxy Note 20 series of smartphones, it is because Samsung here, too, makes it possible to fix something manually (provided that you fully understand what is happening). Even in the preset modes, you can slightly tweak the operation settings by choosing the screen resolution and using (or not using) the proposed options for lowering the display brightness.

Fantastic benchmarks and what affects them

Now that you understand that the performance of a modern smartphone is not constant, it’s time to move on to performance benchmarks. Where can you see how it changes depending on the selected productivity modes described above. Here it is impossible not to dispel another delusion that walks on the Internet and excites the fragile minds of vyunos of different ages. Ideologically, benchmarking is a tool that allows you to compare products and measured values ​​with the same similar products (your own or competitors). Moreover, this is not a panacea, and not an exact science, because all benchmarks are built on a simple principle of comparing work on algorithms artificially created by the developers of the benchmark, which, if possible, imitate the real work of applications. At the same time, if you know how the algorithm works, then you can change the software of your smartphone so that the results look as attractive as possible. Something like this did the Volkswagen company, which, as a result of software changes in its cars, got into a scandal with the distortion of harmful emissions from diesel engines. In the modern world, where the performance of flagship smartphones is redundant, the value of benchmarks has little effect (although for some buyers all this has an “agro” value, but such a minority and the weather on the market they do not, however, they are able to create constant background noise)

What can we see in the benchmarks? In 3DMark, the performance in the Sling Shot Extreme test of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in different modes differs from 3652 points in moderate power saving mode to 6647 points (80% difference). That is, the same smartphone is capable of showing very different benchmark results in different operating conditions. And this is without taking into account other factors, of which there are many. For example, you don’t know how many applications were hanging in the background at that time and how they worked, diverting the processor to their tasks. But they still received some kind of notifications (mail, instant messengers, social networks) and periodically went to the Internet for new portions of information. What else can you benefit from this benchmark? For example, you can see that the difference between Moderate Energy Saving and Maximum Productivity is less than a percent. That once again confirms the correctness of the choice of this processor default mode. You can also see that the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra roughly matches the performance of the Samsung Galaxy S20 in all its guises. There is nothing to be surprised at – both of these smartphones use the Exynos 990 processor, which, in turn, suggests that the processor plays a leading role in the performance of the smartphone (of course, the amount of RAM and a bunch of other little things).

And here is how the test went in all three cases (from left to right modes: high productivity, optimized, moderate energy saving). Interestingly, the processor temperature did not exceed 43 degrees, that is, the smartphone did not overheat. FPS was the maximum in the highest productivity mode and reached 87 frames per second (the lowest, predictably, was in the power saving mode – there it did not rise above 60 and fell below everything – up to 6 frames per second). It is also interesting that even in the lowest performance mode, the Exynos 990 processor remains more productive than 77% of smartphones on the market.

To evaluate the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in practice, just look at how the gameplay of something truly spectacular, for example, Asphalt 9, looks like on it:

Three important things to remember about the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • It has a flagship Exynos 990 processor with multiple coprocessors
  • Performance is not a constant and can be controlled in the settings
  • The default productivity mode is optimal and will work in most cases

To be continued. If you have questions about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra smartphone – leave them in the comments, I will try to answer.

For those who want to know more

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