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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  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    The best snapdragon can barely keep up with the a11, as Andrei points out in his analysis. YouTube speed tests are by far the most useless and pointless benchmarks ever devised, which is why not a single reputable source (like anandtech) ever uses them...

    Sorry, but the only question here is how much faster the a14 will be. 40%, 50% or even more...
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Why doesn't Qualcomm simply increases their die size & use a larger die properly to at least come closer to apple
    maybe it is needs more than a larger die size
    it needs a better Architecture
    Arm or Qualcomm whom to blame?
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    A key problem for smartphones is power budget. These SoCs are already pushing 5 W/h and up if running at full tilt, so even a nicely sized battery (5000 mAh) can be drained in 3-4 hours top if someone runs them accordingly. Apple has managed to accommodate high peak/burst performance while still getting good overall power usage, and I still find their battery life wanting. Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Why do they need to ? Apple is only Apple and it only works for them.

    If you see realworld speedtests on YouTube see how OP7 Pro flies through the tasks giving the user a faster and smoother experience.

    And go to ScyllaDB website and see how AWS Graviton 2 stacks with Intel in Benches and how they mention benches only should not be taken as a measure.

    Apple OS lacks Filesystem. It cannot be a computer ever. iOS is a kid friendly OS. You can't even fucking change launcher / icons forget other system level changes.

    Qcomm needs competition from MediaTek, Exynos. Huawei HiSilicon but except Exynos all are garbage because they do not let us unlock Bootloaders. And Android phones see community driven ROMs there is so much or choice to add even the DAPs from 200USD to 3000USD have Qcomm technology.

    Repairing is also easier due to the HW Boxes which can bring a QComm9008 Brick to life. Whereas with Apple its Ball and Chain ecosystem.

    I see my SD835 run like butter through everything I throw at it and has an SD slot too.

    This stupid Whiteknighting of Apple processors beating x86 and their use case / Android Phones is a big sham. People need to realize benches are not the only case when you compare Processors accross OSes.
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    A 1995 computer running MS DOS 6.0 is also butter smooth, I hope you dont think that means an intel 486 DX4 is faster than an apple chip.

    Please stop with your nonsense about "real world tests". Real world your 835 has a slower cpu, GPU, and storage. Doesn't mean it is garbage - it is fine you are happy with it but it is not your duty to defend the honor of Oppo against facts. I dont want an iphone either die to their walked garden but that doesn't mean I live under the delusion that my brand new galaxy s10e is anything other than at least 40% slower and twice as inefficient as an iPhone 11...
  • cha0z_ - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    Coming from exynos 9810 note 9 to iphone 11 pro max... the SOC on the iphone is literally times faster and more efficient than the exynos. The difference is absurdly big and people still calls apple slower because of design choices (like the slow animations, etc). It's super smooth in all conditions/times + it's rofl fast in any app/game (not to mention apps got functions not available on android). GL running full PC civilization 6 on android with decent performance later in the game on bigger map and decent battery life. There is a reason why the game was not ported on android too (and not only piracy) - it will run poor even on most high end current gen android phones. Reply
  • ksec - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    They could, but are you going to pay for it? Let say Qualcomm has to bump up $50 ( inclusive of their profits ) to reach the same level of performance, as you consumer you will have to pay roughly $100 more.

    In a cut throat Android market, who is going to risk putting up their Smartphone price by $100?

    There is a reason why Samsung and Huawei are trying to make SoC themselves, instead of putting those profits into Qualcomm's hand, they want those cost to go towards more die space to better differentiate their product and compete with Apple.

    Now here is another question, how many consumer will notice the different in CPU speed? And how many consumer will notice the Modem quality different?

    They are all set of trade offs, not only in engineering, but also in cost, markets, risk... etc...
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    It is a matter of cost. Arm could design a cpu core that is 4 times the size of the a76 and 50% faster, catching up to apple. But that would cost a lot of die size and thus money... for high margin, high cost devices it is ok but not for cheap ones. Ape can afford this... Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Ape - I mean apple of course! Reply
  • cha0z_ - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    It's not that simple as putting a lot of transistors in it. You can somewhat tackle the problem with that, but by itself it will not lead to the desired end result.I can elaborate, but it will be lengthily and highly technical post. Reply

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