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Galaxy S8: the US version is much better for emulators

Samsung Galaxy S8,smartphones,galaxy s9

The Samsung Galaxy S8 (review) is easily one of the most powerful smartphones available right now, going toe to toe with Apple‘s best in the benchmark department, for one.

This is thanks to the Exynos 8895 chip in the international version, while the US version packs a potent Snapdragon 835 processor too.

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In the wake of the phone’s global release, footage emerged of a Galaxy S8 running the Dolphin emulator for GameCube, being widely reported. The footage showed games running at a very smooth pace, giving the impression that the new Samsung phone is an emulation beast of note.

The Galaxy S8 was shown to run GameCube games smoothly, but the truth is more complicated

I tried the emulator on the South African version, which is the international variant and thus packing the Exynos processor. The result? Well, the few games I tried (for science!) were a stuttery mess, as I switched between the OpenGL and Vulkan video renderers and tweaked a few settings.

The team behind the emulator issued a lengthy missive on Twitter since the initial news, detailing why the Snapdragon 835 (US) version is actually better for the job.

For starters, the team said that the international/Exynos version doesn’t support a “critical” extension. “As such, that version will perform badly. The one that was shown to perform well was the Snapdragon version,” the Dolphin team explained.

It’s not just an extension that’s to blame though…

“The Mali drivers are the problem, and that’s not something we can solve,” the team tweeted in response to a fellow Twitter user. The Exynos chip uses Mali graphics hardware.

In other words, if you saw those clips showing a Galaxy S8 running GameCube titles smoothly, it’s almost 100% guaranteed to be the US version. In any event, the Dolphin team recommends that you buy a PC for better performance instead.

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