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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  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Thanks Andrei! Amy chance to post the S855's QRD's figures also? These QRDs are "for example" demo units, and the final commercial handsets are often different (faster). Also, any word from QC on how much AI processing power will be needed to run 5G functionality? Huawei's Kirin 990 5G has twice the AI TOPs than their LTE version, and that seems to be due to their (integrated) 5G modem using about half the AI TOPs when actually working in 5G mode Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Any chance, of course. Edit function would be nice. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    I don't see the point in showing the QRD855 results, there's a large spectrum of S855 device results out there and likely we'll see the same with the S865. The QRD855 and QRD865 aren't exactly apples-to-apples configuration comparisons either so that comparison doesn't add any value. Reply
  • ChitoManure - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Because QRDs from qualcomm might have the simikar cooling system and the OEMs usually have better thermal design which is why they are faster.. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    None of the tests were made under thermal stress scenarios, the cooling isn't a limitation on the QRDs, the performance showcased is the best the chip can achieve. Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Man the web benchmarks are DISAPPOINTING
    feel like buying a S10+ now
    Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Just shows how Samsung does the best implementation of Qualcomm Soc's
    even last years Samsung 855 devices are able to out perform Snapdragon 865 in many benchmarks

    Can't wait for S11 now
    Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Anyone even expected Qualcomm beating Apple in performance?
    You were dreaming then
    don't know whom to blame Arm or Qualcomm
    but the Android world is constantly receiving inferior chips
    Reply
  • Karmena - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    IMHO all these SOCs are at the level that average Joe can do with any of these and the device will feel snappy and good. Now it comes down to the OS delivering the performance and features that users crave. Reply
  • doungmli - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    the only benchmarks are the web, 3dmark and geekbench for the a13 chip the rest is in favor of the snapdragon. It should perhaps be remembered that this is a soc so cpu + isp + gpu + ... and when adding the snapdragon >>>> A13. just see the AI ​​markers which take into account the entire soc. For gfx bench it would be necessary to explain why so much difference whereas in the other benchmarks GPU there is not this difference but gfx bench is not outdated for more than a year for me it is no longer a reference. For web performance just see the speed tests on youtube to see that this score is not justified Reply

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