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


View All Comments

  • iphonebestgamephone - Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - link

    "I am into android from the start + symbian before than and also senior member with dev/helping known devs with project @ xda. So thank you, I know enough about android." Haha... I should have known you would come up with something like that.

    "Btw, used android for 10 years (only high end phones) till I switched to the pro max + I have highly technical background as education, hobby and work - especially in the field of electronics and computers" this one too lol.

    And then you somehow decide civ6 and deadcells dont run cus android too weak. No. Its just the devs dont bother with it. They could have restricted it to atleast sd820 devices like what grid autosport devs are doing.

    "Emulation is cool, did a lot on android with it. Including fun stuff like running diablo 2 LOD latest patch on my note 9, believe me - it's playable with the spen when on the go, in home one mouse and the TV = you are good to go. Still, ported or developed games for mobile just works better and you have such a vast library nowdays with high quality games that you really don't need to revisit old classics on your phone. Actually on ios the situation is a lot better, you got a lot more paid apps there vs android." Im yet to find some good stuff like god of war, nfs, burnout, wipeout, xenoblade, pokemon, zelda or mario, on android, or any other thousands of games. You could say you can stream them, but same goes for pc games too. Emulators and a switch style gamepad is great on the go. I see apple has done a great job with metal, vulkan is worse than opengl on android 10 sd855. Looking forward to the updatable drivers on the 865.

    "I can play fortnite maxed at 60fps and no fps drops or whatever even after 2 hours of play without major heating and you are talking about PUBG maxed. :)"
    Thats awesome, sd855 heats up a lot on pubg maxed. I guess there is no pubg gfxtool for ios.
  • cha0z_ - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    There are emulators for ios and you don't need jailbreak to install/play games. They are not on the app store tho, they are on custom stores - still, it's not any different than installing APK from outside playstore. The emulators library is quite big, including ppsspp. As I said tho - android is better for emulators imho + I didn't say android is weak as OS. Weak are the SOCs on android phones compared to the A series of apple. I would totally love to see android phone with apple SOC/similar performance to it and longer full support than two years.

    As for the gfxtool, I hope you understand that when you have literally just a few phones to optimise for - you really do a great job with it, or with other words - the ios pubg variant is greatly optimised for every iphone that supports it to extract the best experience with the best possible gfx for the hardware. Ofc you can argue than personal preferences can apply and tweaking can be done, but it's not that necessary.

    I respect your opinion and share few viewpoints, just from personal experience - gaming on ios is generally better. Hard to explain, games run smoother and better. If you love emulators tho - android is obviously a better choice + snapdragon SOC.
  • iphonebestgamephone - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    "Weak are the SOCs on android phones compared to the A series of apple." Yeah everyone knows. They still are strong enough for the games you mentioned though, atleast the last 2 years of flagships. And last years 730/730g are also good enough. I guess the devs want even those with 100$ phones play their games. I doubt those people would even bother buying the game once it hits the store.

    Gamebench did a test and the huawei mate 30 pro actually performed better than the iphone 11 pro amd note 10 in games.

    The iphone probably had better visual settings/higher resolution as default probably.
  • Ahmedrr1 - Sunday, December 22, 2019 - link

  • AceMcLoud - Sunday, December 22, 2019 - link

    Ouch, that doesn't look very promising. Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    Spelling error:

    "The test here is mostly sensible to the performance scaling of the A55 cores. The QRD865 in the default more is more conservative than some existing S855 devices,"
    "mode" not "more":
    "The test here is mostly sensible to the performance scaling of the A55 cores. The QRD865 in the default mode is more conservative than some existing S855 devices,"
  • Hrel - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Man these Watt listings make no sense at all.

    5.12 Watts is shows as lower than 4.24 Watts then 2.73W is somehow HIGHER than that?! WTF is going on?

    Then 3.33W is higher than 2.73, which makes sense, but then 3.05W is lower than 2.56W?! What are these charts?
  • Hrel - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Oh, the bar is for the Joules, the Watts aren't visually represented. Runtime being a critical variable, I gotcha now. Lol, I was so confused :) Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now