CPU/System Performance

While talking about the energy aware scheduler and various other aspects of the Snapdragon 810 is helpful to understand how the SoC works, ultimately we must look at performance to determine whether Qualcomm's work to differentiate their SoC was worthwhile or not. To do this, we ran Qualcomm's tablet Mobile Development Platform (MDP) through our standard suite of benchmarks, although I was unable to run benchmarks such as BaseMark X and PCMark due to odd issues with the tablet.

Starting off, we have a complete breakdown of GeekBench 3 scores. The scores are closer to theoretical performance than real-world performance, but it's very useful for highlighting architectural changes. For our look at GeekBench we are comparing the 810 reference platform to our results from our recent Galaxy Note 4 Exynos review, along with results for the Snapdragon 805-based Galaxy Note 4 taken from the GeekBench database.

GeekBench 3 - Integer Performance
  Snapdragon 805 (ARMv7) Exynos 5433 (AArch32) Snapdragon 810 (AArch64) S810 > S805 % Advantage
AES ST 85.4 MB/s 1330 MB/s 604.9 MB/s 608%
AES MT 350.4 MB/s 4260 MB/s 3050MB/s 770%
Twofish ST 94.0 MB/s 81.9 MB/s 85.7 MB/s -8.8%
Twofish MT 329.8 MB/s 440.5 MB/s 448.5 MB/s 36%
SHA1 ST 202.1 MB/s 464.2 MB/s 428.1 MB/s 112%
SHA1 MT 806.1 MB/s 2020 MB/s 3019 MB/s 275%
SHA2 ST 95.1 MB/s 121.9 MB/s 81 MB/s -15%
SHA2 MT 367.3 MB/s 528.3 MB/s 393.4 MB/s 7.1%
BZip2Comp ST 4.46 MB/s 4.88 MB/s 4.99 MB/s 12%
BZip2Comp MT 15.5 MB/s 19.3 MB/s 20.5 MB/s 32%
Bzip2Decomp ST 6.43 MB/s 7.41 MB/s 7.99 MB/s 24%
Bzip2Decomp MT 21.7 MB/s 29.7 MB/s 30.8 MB/s 42%
JPG Comp ST 20.4 MPs 19.3 MPs 18.9 MP/s -7.4%
JPG Comp MT 79.9 MP/s 88.8 MP/s 88.9 MP/s 11%
JPG Decomp ST 30.6 MP/s 43.5 MP/s 36.3 MP/s 19%
JPG Decomp MT 115.7 MP/s 149.6 MP/s 182.7 MP/s 58%
PNG Comp ST 0.82 MP/s 1.11 MP/s 1.11 MP/s 35%
PNG Comp MT 3.01 MP/s 4.57 MP/s 4.78 MP/s 59%
PNG Decomp ST 18.7 MP/s 19.1 MP/s 15.6 MP/s -17%
PNG Decomp MT 63.7 MP/s 78.8 MP/s 94.1 MP/s 48%
Sobel ST 39.2 MP/s 58.6 MP/s 53.3 MP/s 36%
Sobel MT 128 MP/s 221.3 MP/s 248.4 MP/s 94%
Lua ST 0.92 MB/s 1.24 MB/s 1.30 MB/s 41%
Lua MT 1.36 MB/s 2.48 MB/s 5.93 MB/s 336%
Dijkstra ST 4.46 Mpairs/s 5.23 Mpairs/s 3.38 Mpairs/s -24%
Dijkstra MT 13.2 Mpairs/s 17.1 Mpairs/s 13.7 Mpairs/s 3.8%

Thanks in large part to the new cryptographical capabilities of the ARMv8 cores, Snapdragon 810 gets off to a very good start in GeekBench 3's integer benchmarks. Once we move on to the rest of our benchmarks, we find that 810 continues to hold a considerable advantage through most of these benchmarks; BZip2 decompression, Lua script performance, and JPEG decompression all show considerable performance gains over the Snapdragon 805 based Galaxy Note 4. Snapdragon 810's overall performance improvement here is a rather large 45%, though if we throw out the especially large gains that come from Lua MT, the overall performance advantage is closer to 30%.

There are a few cases where performance regresses however, including in PNG decompression and Dijkstra's algorithm. This could be a result of memory performance (more on that later) or architectural differences. It's worth pointing out that these cases are also among the only cases where Snapdragon 810 notably trails the Exynos 5433.

GeekBench 3 - Floating Point Performance
  Snapdragon 805 (ARMv7) Exynos 5433 (AArch32) Snapdragon 810 (AArch64) S810 > S805
% Advantage
BlackScholes ST 4.33 Mnodes/s 4.37 Mnodes/s 5.01 Mnodes/s 16%
BlackScholes MT 17.0 Mnodes/s 20.4 Mnodes/s 25.5 Mnodes/s 50%
Mandelbrot ST 0.87 GFLOPS 1.14 GFLOPS 1.20 GFLOPS 38%
Mandelbrot MT 3.45 GFLOPS 5.09 GFLOPS 6.41 GFLOPS 86%
Sharpen Filter ST 886 MFLOPS 1030 MFLOPS 1007 MFLOPS 14%
Sharpen Filter MT 3.54 GFLOPS 4.31 GFLOPS 5.02 GFLOPS 42%
Blur ST 1.18 GFLOPS 1.27 GFLOPS 1.26 GFLOPS 6.8%
Blur MT 4.67 GFLOPS 5.03 GFLOPS 6.14 GFLOPS 31%
SGEMM ST 2.82 GFLOPS 1.81 GFLOPS 2.29 GFLOPS -19%
SGEMM MT 8.05 GFLOPS 6.1 GFLOPS 6.12 GFLOPS -24%
DGEMM ST 0.81 GFLOPS 0.57 GFLOPS 1.03 GFLOPS 27%
DGEMM MT 2.69 GFLOPS 2.29 GFLOPS 2.81 GFLOPS 4.5%
SFFT ST 1.16 GFLOPS 1.1 GFLOPS 1.25 GFLOPS 7.8%
SFFT MT 4.55 GFLOPS 4.56 GFLOPS 4.11 GFLOPS -9.7%
DFFT ST 0.47 GFLOPS 1.02 GFLOPS 1.03 GFLOPS 119%
DFFT MT 1.89 GFLOPS 3.46 GFLOPS 2.97 GFLOPS 57%
N-Bod ST 331.5 Kpairs/s 370.4 Kpairs/s 486.6 Kpairs/s 47%
N-Bod MT 1.12 Mpairs/s 1.44 Mpairs/s 1.72 Mpairs/s 54%
Ray Trace ST 1.48 MP/s 1.7 MP/s 1.73 MP/s 17%
Ray Trace MT 5.77 MP/s 6.65 MP/s 8.16 MP/s 41%

GeekBench's floating point performance shows a similar range of performance increases. More often than not multi-threaded performance gains exceed single-threaded performance gains, which is a hopeful sign for how well the Snapdragon 810 reference platform can hold up when all four big cores are being hammered. Otherwise the 810 shows considerable performance gains on almost every benchmark here, the sole exception being SGEMM performance.

In this case Snapdragon 810 performance is relatively close to Exynos 5433 performance even though it has the advantage of running in AArch64 mode, which should give the FP numbers a boost over the Exynos. The SGEMM test is likely an isolated case where the Krait architecture and Snapdragon 805's high clock speed play to its favor. The overall Snapdragon 810 performance improvement is 30%, almost exactly what we saw with GeekBench integer performance as well (after throwing out Lua MT).

GeekBench 3 - Memory Performance
  Snapdragon 805 (ARMv7) Exynos 5433 (AArch32) Snapdragon 810 (AArch64) S810 > S805
% Advantage
Stream Copy ST 8.37 GB/s 5.56 GB/s 6.02 GB/s -28%
Stream Copy MT 10.2 GB/s 5.80 GB/s 7.57 GB/s -26%
Stream Scale ST 5.17 GB/s 4.98 GB/s 6.61 GB/s 28%
Stream Scale MT 8.05 GB/s 5.77 GB/s 7.37 GB/s -8.4%
Stream Add ST 5.06 GB/s 4.85 GB/s 5.64 GB/s 11%
Stream Add MT 7.46 GB/s 5.72 GB/s 6.62 GB/s -11%
Stream Triad ST 5.37 GB/s 4.82 GB/s 5.6 GB/s 4.3%
Stream Triad MT 8.20 GB/s 5.73 GB/s 6.63 GB/s -19%

Usually we don't like to post the GeekBench memory scores, but in this case there is an interesting phenomenon going on with the Snapdragon 810. Although the LPDDR4 memory running at 1555MHz gives the SoC a large advantage in memory bandwidth over the Exynos 5433 and runs its CCI at 787 MHz, giving the CPU port a theoretical 12.6 GB/s that's much more than the 6.6GB/s of the 5433, the actual measured bandwidth difference is much less and is nowhere near that figure in any of the sub-tests.

To look at this in more detail, we use AndEBench's memory benchmarks, and indeed we see a similar result.

AndEBench Pro - Memory Bandwidth

AndEBench Pro - Memory Latency

It's the memory latency test in particular that's very worrisome, as the MDP tablet achieves a very bad throughput score. We're not sure why this happens, but we hope to investigate this further in the future when we get the chance to review a shipping Snapdragon 810 device.

Continuing on, let's look at our browser bench suite.

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Here, the Snapdragon 810 is off to quite a start. While not a direct correlation, performance in these benchmarks can generally be correlated with CPU performance. The Snapdragon 810 shines here and approaches the Nexus 9, which has a strong showing due to the underlying Denver CPU's code optimizer unrolling loops in the benchmark.

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

In Octane, we see that the Snapdragon 810 continues to be competitive with some of the fastest SoCs available today.

WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

On the other hand, in WebXPRT we see that performance ends up somewhere around the level of the Snapdragon 801. It's possible that we're looking at thermal throttling or some other issue here as I was unable to run multiple trials of this test. Our browser based tests are otherwise generally consistent with what we found earlier this week on the A57-based Exynos 5433, so it's unlikely we're looking at an unoptimized Chrome build.

Continuing with the benchmarks we were able to perform at the performance preview, BaseMark OS II is next.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - System

The System numbers of the Snapdragon 810 MDP/T seem disappointing, as it falls at the lower end of our current flagship device lineup. It seems the reference platform isn't as well optimized as it should be.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory

Similar to the Nexus 9, we see some odd trends in the memory tests. It isn't quite clear what's causing this, but a performant eMMC is certainly a possibility. Due to this test being very device specific, we can't really judge the Snapdragon 810's performance here.

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Graphics

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Web

Basemark OS II 2.0 - Overall

As for BaseMark, what we get are very binary results with the 810 either coming in near the top or bottom. The overall score still looks quite good as a result, boosted by things such as chart-topping graphics performance. On the other hand the web and system scores are struggling, coming in 20% or more behind the Note 4 and it's A57 based Exynos 5433. Since this is an early device this may be a case of early teething issues with performance, possibly with optimizations or the OS, but at this point in time it's difficult to confirm anything.

Meanwhile looking at how Qualcomm's reference platform compares to the Snapdragon 805-based Nexus 6, we find some significant performance gains at times. Though Krait has held up admirably against its A15 based competition, A57 finally provides a solid jump in performance over what even the fastest Krait can offer.

Qualcomm's Energy Aware Scheduler GPU Performance
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  • PC Perv - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Did review state on what OS the benchmarks were run? KitKat, Lollipop, 64-bit/32-bit, etc.? Sorry if I missed it. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Why go through all that detail on how their software stack for big.LITTLE improves over stock ARM, without testing to see if it works? The Exynos article the other day showed that big.LITTLE flat out didn't work, performing worse than parking on little cores but consuming more energy. Does Qualcomms one actually improve things here? Reply
  • bigstrudel - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    I'm beyond skeptical of 810's performance under actual thermal constraints like inside a flagship smartphone. Reply
  • PC Perv - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    I am not sure how useful those system-level benches (Basemark, 3DMark) are to compare different platforms. On same platform (OS), I can see the value. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Given all the press runs (here, PCper) Qualcomm are doing, the loss of that Samsung contract must have REALLY got someone's knickers in a twist. Reply
  • blzd - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Good article. Thanks for including some S800 devices in some of the device comparisons, more of that (older SoC for comparison) please if you can. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    I'll say this once again: email Rob Clark of red hat. He's been working on a clean-room implementation of adreno (https://github.com/freedreno/freedreno) for a few years and has gotten quite far (gl 2.1/gl|es 2.0, iirc).
    He's a super nice guy, and given that Qualcomm has been contributing, a bit, to his project he may be loathe to harm the relationship, but, if nothing else, you can read through his repo to understand the arch.
    Reply
  • aryonoco - Thursday, February 12, 2015 - link

    Fantastic preview, thanks guys, it's been great at AT over the last couple of weeks!

    Just a note, in future and especially when reviewing shipping devices, could you pay some attention to the 2-year upgrade performance improvement as well? Most people (in the developed world at least) seem to be on 2-year upgrade cycles, and so it makes sense to compare the current generation to the phone that's in their hand. AT does this for desktop/laptop CPUs and GPUs (for example informing people that if you already have Ivy Bridge, there's not much performance to be gained by Haswell etc) so it would be great it if that coverage extends to mobile platforms as well (for example comparing SD810 with SD600 and the level of improvement one might expect between them).
    Reply
  • wyewye - Friday, February 13, 2015 - link

    Why no Wifi tests?

    You say it supports MU-MIMO and 801.22ad, but anywhere else I read only "ac" and MU-MIMO is supported.
    Reply
  • PC Perv - Friday, February 13, 2015 - link

    Page 6, after the Geekbench floating-point chart, you said:

    "In this case Snapdragon 810 performance is relatively close to Exynos 5433 performance even though it has the advantage of running in AArch64 mode, which should give the FP numbers a boost over the Exynos. This is likely an isolated case where the Krait architecture and Snapdragon 805's high clock speed play to its favor."

    And I have no idea what you are saying. I do not want to sound rude, but this kind of writing is what I saw from previous articles written by Mr. Ho (and Mr. Chester).
    Reply

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