IP7 Qualcomm vs Intel Model, which is best?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Juan007, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Juan007 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2010
    Reading this forum and other sites, it seems that the AT&T/T-Mobile iPhone 7 will ship with an Intel modem and the Verizon/Sprint iPhone 7 will ship with a Qualcomm modem.

    I have to say this is a DISASTER in the making. It's Samsung vs TSMC all over again, and roughly half of the public are going to get screwed.

    That said, which is the best model?

    Obviously if you need CDMA then Qualcomm is the only choice.

    What if you don't care about CDMA?

    Which modem will have better GSM / LTE reception? Which will have better power consumption?

    Any speculation / data from other phones or products?

    Need to figure this out in the next ~5 hours to decide which model to pre-order.
  2. GP-SE macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2013
    Personally I prefer Qualcomm, but until tests are done we will have no idea how Intel performs. Qualcomm has been doing this a long time and is in everything mobile, which is why I trust Qualcomm
  3. vctr_t3, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    vctr_t3 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2016
    First off, let's focus on more on the cell wireless standard that we mostly use which is LTE. CDMA that Qualcomm supports or Intel doesn't support shouldn't really be the focus for comparison.

    And to start off.. Intel is a Cat 9 modem while Qualcomm's is Cat 12. Although the speeds will be limited by the carriers, so you might think Intel's Cat 9 is sufficient. But here's why Qualcomm's Cat 12 modem is better.

    between the two, when it comes to LTE modems, the advertised peak speed is essentially short-hand for a bundle of underlying technologies.

    For example, an LTE modem that supports 450 Mbps peak download speed (Cat 9) means that it features:

    * Aggregating three LTE connections simultaneously
    * Receiving data on two antennas simultaneously
    * Enough signal processing horsepower to decode a max of 6 bits out of information out of every LTE transmission received from the tower.

    On the other hand, a modem that support 600 Mbps peak download speed (Cat 12) means that in addition to all of the above, it can decode 8 bits out of every LTE transmission from the tower. It also supports features like receiving data on 4 antennas simultaneously instead of only 2.

    Now, why do you as the user care?

    Because receiving data on 3 connections simultaneously is faster than receiving on only one connection. The typical LTE smartphone has peak 150 Mbps LTE download speed, which is possible with only one LTE connection. Let's say that out of the 150 peak, you're getting 9.9 Mbps in the real world. Well, now let's say you have a modem with 450 Mbps peak. That 9.9 could become ~ 30 Mbps. Triple the actual real-world speed. And if you had a modem that went further by supporting the more sophisticated signal processing, that real-world speed gets an addition 33% boost, going from 30 Mbps to 40 Mbps.

    So will you ever achieve those peak theoretical speeds? No. But what you will really get is the *relative gain*. That's the important thing here. These features are all speed multipliers, independent of what the absolute value of the speeds you're getting.

    Here's a video that shows the effect of carrier aggregation - going from 110 Mbps to 220 Mbps peak on Sprint's network. Did the phone with carrier aggregationactually get 220 Mbps? No. But it did get twice the speed of the phone that doesn't support carrier aggregation.

    And yes indeed, these feature are actually really launched in other networks around the world. Australia, South Korea, Japan...and they will indeed be launched in the US over the next year. How long does the average user keep their phone? Having these features built into the phone means that a year after purchase the phone gets better as the operators turn on those features in their networks. How many other technologies inside a phone get better with age instead of worse?

    I look forward to real word testing reports once the devices are available.
  4. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    Wait, how do we know the Intel version is cat 9 and Qualcomm is cat 12?
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Qualcomm's has a theoretical limit of 600Mbps while Intel's is 450Mbps. Apple has advertised the lower number for all iPhones. My guess is that AT&T and T-Mobile will develop their carrier settings with the Intel modem in mind, and so it won't incorporate the features that enable faster transfers.
  6. gim macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2014
    No, the Intel one is Category 10. IF they actually used the rumored XMM 7360 model.

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