Final Thoughts

Today’s preview focused solely on the performance metrics of the new chipset, which only cover a very small subset of the new features that the chip will be bringing to devices next year. A lot of the talking-points of the new SoC such as 5G connectivity, or the new camera and media capabilities, are aspects for which we’ll have to wait on commercial devices.

For what we’ve been able to test today, the Snapdragon 865 seems very solid. The new Cortex-A77 CPU does bring larger IPC improvements to the table, and thanks to the Snapdragon 865’s improved memory subsystem, the chip has been able to showcase healthy performance increases. I did find it odd that the web benchmarks didn’t quite perform as well as I had expected – I don’t know if the new microarchitecture just doesn’t improve these workloads as much, or if it might have been a software issue on the QRD865 phone; we’ll have to wait for commercial devices to have a clearer picture of the situation. System performance of the new chip certainly shouldn’t be disappointing, and even on a conservative baseline configuration, 2020 flagships should see an increase in responsiveness compared to the Snapdragon 855.

AI performance of the new chip is also improved – although our limited benchmark suite here isn’t able to fully expose the hardware improvements that the S865 brings with it. It’s likely that first-party camera applications will be the first real workloads that will be able to showcase the new capabilities of the chip.

On the GPU side, the improvements are also quite solid, but I just have a feeling that the narrative here isn’t quite the same anymore for Qualcomm, as Apple’s the elephant in the room now here as well. During the launch of the chipset the company was quite eager to promote that its sustained performance is better than the competition. While we weren’t able to test this aspect of the Snapdragon 865 on the QRD865 due to time constraints, the simple fact is that the chip’s peak performance remains inferior to Apple’s sustained performance, with the fruit company essentially dominating an area where previously Qualcomm was king. In this regard, I hope Qualcomm is able to catch up in the future, as the differences here are seemingly getting bigger each year.

Overall, the Snapdragon 865 seems like a very well-balanced chip and I have no doubt it’ll serve as a very competitive foundation for 2020 flagships. Qualcomm’s strengths lie in the fact that they’re able to deliver a complete solution with 5G connectivity – we do however hope that in the future the company will be able to offer more solid performance upgrades; the competition out there is getting tough.

GPU Performance & Power
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  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    You forgot I'm member of the Illuminati, half mole-people from my dad's side and half lizard-man from my mother's side. I love my monthly deep state paycheck alongside the Apple subsidies I get for spreading their narrative. Wait till people find out the earth is really flat. Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    LOL. Lawyer manipulation is for their Class Actions KB fiasco, Touch Disease, Error 53..not you (Just clarifying) and idk if you know Louis Rossman on YT. If not I suggest to watch and know how the fleecing is done and consumer is kept in dark always. The revelations of their stranglehold on HW IC chip for supplying to repair services and Lobbying against Repair is enough to understand and gauge the fundamemal pillars of a company and its ethics.

    Sorry I take ethics and choice/liberty into account over utopian performance and elitist / Luxury status quo stance.
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    I pleaded with you to not go into tangential rants for this article again, yet here we are. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > How? Just like Geekbench, different compilers are used. Different distribution of loads are made.

    Please explain to me what the hell "different distributions of loads are made" is meant to mean? You have zero technical rationale behind such statements. All the comparisons here were made with the Clang/LLVM compilers on all platforms - bar the ISA, there is exactly zero difference in the workload logic between the platforms, and Apple's toolchain isn't doing something completely different either that it would suddenly invalidate the comparison.

    > You are showing Apple A13 (LOL A13 is faster than the fastest AMD or Intel chip) using Jurassic Spec benchmark?

    Yes I am because that is the reality of the matter.

    > We are talking about efficiency here, your beloved Apple chip is sucking twice the power than SD855 or SD865 per workload.

    And it's finishing the workload than twice as fast, ending up being *almost* as efficient in terms of the energy used by the computation. What matters here is the energy efficiency, not the power efficiency, and in this regard Apple's devices are top of the line.

    > While your chart if showing Apple has twice the performance vs SD865, the phone doesn't tell lies.

    What's even your point here? Of course the iPhones are significantly faster in loading webpages?

    Return here when you have an actual factual argument to present, because right now you just have been repeating complete nonsense.
    Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > Please explain to me what the hell "different distributions of loads are made" is meant to mean? You have zero technical rationale behind such statements. All the comparisons here were made with the Clang/LLVM compilers on all platforms - bar the ISA, there is exactly zero difference in the workload logic between the platforms, and Apple's toolchain isn't doing something completely different either that it would suddenly invalidate the comparison.

    The compiler maybe the same but the scheduler of tasks in Android and Windows are different than in iOS. Many background apps are running simultaneously on Android and Windows machine, how about iOS? Frozen apps? LOL

    >Yes I am because that is the reality of the matter.

    Only matters to you, not in outside world. If you really think A9 has better IPC than Ryzen or Skylake, why don't you join the Apple engineers and build the fastest gaming/productivity PC with Apple A9 chip and sell it like hotcakes? No? Cannot t be? Even Apple doesn't claim their SoC is faster than even low end desktop today LOL. Even milking the customers with overpriced Macs with "Intel" inside.

    > And it's finishing the workload than twice as fast, ending up being *almost* as efficient in terms of the energy used by the computation. What matters here is the energy efficiency, not the power efficiency, and in this regard Apple's devices are top of the line.

    What matters is how fast it can finish the whole task not each micro-workload nonsense. If I want to zip and upload a file or encode and upload a video, I only care how fast it will finish the whole task and for that matter. If I want to play games, do I care how the fast the damn phone will compute the vector, pixel location, math operations etc? I only care how elegant, smooth and how fast the gaming experience will be.

    iPhone is not twice as fast as loading any web page, any consumer app or even exporting or transcoding videos. Different apps yield different results, you are showing one worthless primitive benchmark where iPhone is fast, but out there, hundreds or thousands of different apps and website are showing the opposite results.

    Here is one or two for you, one is showing twice the performance over the other =D

    https://youtu.be/ay9V5Ec8eiY?t=529

    https://youtu.be/DtSgdrKztGk?t=432
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > the scheduler of tasks in Android and Windows are different than in iOS.

    The scheduler isn't any different, because the scheduler doesn't do anything when there's only a single thread on a core to be run. There is literally no scheduling.

    > If you really think A9 has better IPC than Ryzen or Skylake

    Correction, I don't really just think it, I know it.

    > What matters is how fast it can finish the whole task not each micro-workload nonsense.

    The whole SPEC suite takes exactly an hour to complete, so quit with the micro nonsense if you have no idea what's even being tested here.

    > Here is one or two for you, one is showing twice the performance over the other =D

    Both phones don't even use the freaking CPU when transcoding videos - they're both offloaded using the dedicated fixed function video encoders much like you can offload encoding on desktop PCs to your GPU's encoders, instead of doing it inefficiently on the CPU.

    You have absolutely ZERO understanding of what's going on here.
    Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > The scheduler isn't any different, because the scheduler doesn't do anything when there's only a single thread on a core to be run. There is literally no scheduling.

    Then the SoC is not maximized but underperforming.

    > Correction, I don't really just think it, I know it.

    Sure you do, now where is the fastest processor in this planet? Where is our A9-powered gaming PC LOL.

    > The whole SPEC suite takes exactly an hour to complete, so quit with the micro nonsense if you have no idea what's even being tested here.

    Just goes to show how primitive your tool is. 2020 is just around the corner, here you are still using a 2006 tool. This is like claiming Wolfdale is faster than Ryzen because it can finish 1M SuperPI faster LOL.
    Reply
  • Dug - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    You really don't have any argument because you really aren't sure what you are talking about. Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Am I or you? Isn't it clear that SPEC result does not translate to real-world? Where is the double performance as shown here? Show us proof that iPhone has twice the performance, I've posted links with two Android phones decimating iPhone 11.

    Sure you can claim all day you want that iPhone is the fastest phone via SPEC LOL, I'd rather see it translate to actual performance, not imaginary numbers.
    Reply
  • cha0z_ - Monday, December 23, 2019 - link

    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Dunno why Andrei dedicated so much of his time trying to explain to you in primitive language what's going on (so you can understand). Reply

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