It's always been like this in the technology industry; if there's an advancement that can be used as a marketing ploy…then you know it's going to get used as such. There are a whole lot of examples in the past to draw upon but, in mobile terms the big question has been, do more cores really make a difference? Last year was an interesting year for proponents of quad-core being better than dual-core. For instance, the Galaxy S III and Tegra 3 smartphones launched in different regions with different processors in order to get decent LTE experiences. The One X and S III both came with the Snapdragon S4 – a dual-core chip – in the States with Europe getting quad-core chips (specifically the Exynos 4412 and the Tegra 3). In most cases the Snapdragon S4 was more than capable of keeping up with the quad-core versions. Now, we're talking about quad-cores and octa-cores, when will it end?
Well, Qualcomm are hoping that they can quickly and easily educate us in this matter with a short-burst of "it's not a benchmark, but it is really a benchmark". Qualcomm have taken to the internet to promote their new Snapdragon 400 CPU, which is a lower-cost brother to the 600 found in the HTC One and Galaxy S IV. The Snapdragon 400 is a dual-core 1.2 Ghz CPU that packs Krait 200 CPU cores and an Adreno 305 GPU, it's designed for budget-minded devices and won't be found inside of your next flagship.
Qualcomm have published a number of videos – along with some other commentary – concerning the debate of quantity of cores vs quality of cores inside of mobile devices. It's hard to say much about the tests because, Qualcomm have an "unnamed" quad-core competitor which could be anything from the MediaTek MT6589 to a Tegra 3, the point is that Qualcomm could have chosen the worst quad-core chip out there. There are 4 video tests, in which a number of things are tested, from web browsing to gaming. Take a look at the videos below and make up your own mind.
Me? Hell, if I can see it's quick I don't care how many cores are inside; about you?