Qualcomm MSM7x25 (MSM7225 MSM7625) and MSM7x27 (MSM7227 MSM7667) CPU in mobile phones

Most of the current smartphones on the market contain Qualcomm CPU. The most common chips used in budget phones are MSM7x25 and MSM7x27. They are available in two variants for different GSM/CDMA networks.

Network support is distinguished by model number, by its 2nd digit:

  • 2: GSM only
  • 6: GSM + CDMA  for chinese market (more precisely CDMA 1x EV-DO rev A and WCDMA)

All the chips contain ARM1136 variant of ARM11 core and use ARMv6 instruction set. At the first look to GSM specifications at PDAdb.net, you get false impression that there is no difference except of clock:

  • MSM7x25: 528MHz, 16+16kB Ll cache
  • MSM7x27: 600MHz, 16+16kB L1 cache

When you ask users (or have look into internet forums), you  get complete opposite feedback. MSM7x25 usersare complaining about speed, incapability of playing AngryBirds and other games, but MSM7x27 users hardly ever complain.
How is this possible? Comparing clocks, there is only 13% increment – can this be a key to better performance? No!

I have been searching answer , and finally I found it in Qualcomm specifications.
(Most people including XDA developers forum members failed to find this, as there are no MSM7225 documents on Qualcomm site and even Google doesn’t give you relevant results. I was lucky: Chinese Baidu search engine gave me an answer.)

Compare MSM7x25 vs MSM7x27
Compare MSM7x25 and MSM7x27

MSM7x25 and MSM7x27 comparison


As you can see, there ARE differences! Most important improvements of MSM7x27 over MSM7x25 are:

  • Adreno 200 GPU embedded
  • L2 cache (256kB)
  • faster DSP by 25%
  • RAM access 20% faster

Now it is clear: L2 cache and faster RAM improves performance by 10-30% (est.) Adreno GPU is the reason why MSM7x27 users can play Angry Birds and even Angry Birds Rio. And faster DSP is responsible for smooth video playing.

Note, that there are even MSM7x27-1 CPU available, sometimes called MSM7x27T or MSM7x27 Turbo, with 800MHz clock. Higher clock is allowed either by improved manufacturing process (but still on 65nm) or by die harvesting. MSM7x27 chips can be overclocked to 700-850MHz as you can see in Smartphone Benchmarks.

Final words
Qualcomm MSM7x27 is not only higher clocked variant of MSM7x25, but it is seriously improved. And remember: MSM7x25 does not contain any GPU at all – all OpenGL operations then have to be performed by slow SW emulation in main CPU, using Pixel Flinger SW emulator.

So there is one simple advice: Avoid buing phones using MSM7x25 CPU.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baidu, Qualcomm press release an more.

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10 Responses to Qualcomm MSM7x25 (MSM7225 MSM7625) and MSM7x27 (MSM7227 MSM7667) CPU in mobile phones

  1. Pingback: Proč nekupovat mobil s procesorem MSM7225 | Tom Kaňok

  2. Pingback: Anonymous

  3. Gerard says:

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your research on this topic, I discovered the same problem and already figured out that the 7×25 does not have a build in GPU. Now I know for sure whats the problem, thanks to You! 🙂 Well done man!

  4. Ammar Ghamian says:

    thanks very much tom
    you don’t know how much these info’s are helpful

    thanks again

  5. Pingback: Qualcomm MSM7225A and MSM7227A specifications revealed | ARM Inside – about Android devices

  6. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found
    any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.|
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  7. android apps says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and
    I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  8. happyboy says:

    hi ,where can i get the information about the ports specification of MSM7225A processor ??

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