Final Words

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 is quite possibly its most ambitious SoC to date. The goal? To drive absolute performance while maintaining power efficiency. While Snapdragon 600 was clearly about delivering evolutionary gains in performance, Snapdragon 800 intends to compete with ARM's Cortex A15 and Intel's Bay Trail platform. 

On the CPU performance front, Snapdragon 800's 2.3GHz Krait 400 cores do appear to hold their own quite well against ARM's Cortex A15. In some cases ARM holds the advantage, while in others the higher clocked Krait 400 takes the lead. We still have the question of power to answer, but Qualcomm bets it can deliver A15-like performance without A15-like power thanks to the 28nm HPM process at its foundry partners.

Qualcomm didn't have any power demos setup, so power analysis and battery life performance will have to come at a later date, but the claim is better performance at equivalent platform power as Snapdragon 600.

On the GPU side, we have a new king. Adreno 330 delivers huge performance improvements over Adreno 320 and everything else we've tested thus far. Snapdragon 800 is the new benchmark to beat. It's very clear to me why many tablet designs scheduled for later this year are based on Snapdragon 800 silicon.

The Great Equalizer: Snapdragon 800 vs. PC GPUs


View All Comments

  • xaml - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    Thanks for sneakily including a comparison of the two Galaxy S4s as well. Reply
  • etre - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    It seems to me that everything is depending on the power budget, as the dual core A15 inside Nexus 10 is faster in some tests then the quad A15 in S4. Or I am wrong ? Reply
  • mczak - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    Yes in some tests (like 3dmark physics) it is very obvious the quad A15 aren't running anywhere close to their max frequency. This is not surprising last time I looked at some power draw figures just two A15 cores at max frequency alone (so without graphics) could already exceed the power budget of the whole chip.
    So we'll see how that new Snapdragon chip compares once it's inside a smartphone. Should still be plenty fast but some scores might suffer (maybe we're going again to see freezer vs. no freezer results :-)).
  • sherlockwing - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    The answer is simple, Dual Core A15s are running on Tablet TDP limits(4W) while the Quad core A15 in Exynos Octa are running on Phone TDP limits(<2W). Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    These SOC GPU's are rapidly catching up to PC GPU's. They aren't there yet, but they've made impressive strides in just a few short years.

    Consoles better start more rapid update cycles or they are going to be left behind at this rate.
  • sireangelus - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    I just wanted to make people realize something:Assassin's creed 1 & 2 run very well on an old x1950pro, and this chip seems to me that it's faster. When they said that soon mobile platform would exceed the(actual but) old consolle generation they weren't kidding. Reply
  • douglord - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    This looks great - but frankly I need to see this vs Tegra 4 and A7. Also - I agree we need to see vs HD5000/HD5200 Haswell.

    Tegra 4 is probably a toss up performance wise - and will come down to power (which Qualcom normally wins). Kinda makes me sorry I pre-ordered a Shield when this will be in the Note 3 and I could just attach a controller. Hopefully Nvidia can do a better job of getting AAA games to actually support Shield. I'm sick of all the blockbusters being iOS only (or 6 months early).

    Apple seems to double performance every year, and with PowerVR 6 - you could get a bigger bump. That would easily surpass this. If AAPL would just come out with a larger screen, I'd go back to iOS this time around.

    And IF we see Haswell tablets with 7-9 hours of battery life - I'm not sure all of this stuff doesn't get relegated to the dust bin of history with Intel taking 90%+ of the tablet/hybrid market.

    Anyone have any info on Saltwell's GPU? I love my Latitude 10's ability to run full Windows programs - particularly Office. The CPU beats anything in this article and the power use is low enough I get 16 hours of battery life. But the GPU is so far behind all of these other chips even a 2x-3x improvement isn't going to make it competitive. Why can't they throw in whatever Apple is going to use in the A7. They own part of PowerVR too!
  • aicom - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    I'll be interested to see how the actively-cooled Tegra 4 in Shield performs compared to the standard passively-cooled stuff. I'd suspect that if you're going to be gaming for a while, the Shield may pull away. Tablets and smartphones these days aren't designed to run at full tilt all the time.

    The most interesting thing about this generation of SoCs to me is the CPU performance. I don't game all that often, so I'd much prefer a device that has CPU performance to spare. It's the opposite of the problem that we had on the desktop years ago. Now we have GPU performance sufficient for UI acceleration, media decoding, and mainstream gaming, but we still have CPU performance that holds the platform back.
  • krumme - Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - link

    No your Atom does not beat anything worthwhile in this world and especially not the s800:

    "Intel taking 90% of the tablet/hybrid market"

    Ahemm. And how exactly are they going to do that. With a usd 150 APU sans LTE/3G integrated?
  • Speedfriend - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    No with a processor offering 4x the performance of anything that ARM offers. Believe it or not, most corporate users want something that can run enterprise level apps, not some jewel swapping game. Reply

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