Early Snapdragon 845 benchmarks show promise

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC is the beating heart within just about every Android flagship phone on the market, but the drum beat of technology and commerce never stops. Indeed, the silicon design firm started dispensing pellets of information about the Snapdragon 845 back in December. The company recently held its technology open house and gave news outlets some hands-on time to run benchmarks on its Snapdragon 845 reference platform, a bulky handset with a 5.5" screen and 6 GB of system memory.

According to Anandtech's testing, future smartphone buyers can expect performance boosts of 17-44% in most CPU-bound tasks when compared to the Snapdragon 835. One floating-point physics simulation test even shows a large 60% bump. In more holistic benches, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 reference phone showed gains ranging from 8-20% in PCMark tests compared to existing 835-based phones. The reference kit showed gains of 44% in WebXPRT and 37% in the Speedometer 2.0 Javascript benchmark. The new chip also shows substantial gains around 14-31% in most GPU performance tests, showing particularly impressive leaps in the domains of texturing and ALU performance, along with reduced driver overhead.

CNet's Jessica Dolcourt came away impressed, noting performance upticks of at least 25% in eight of 12 tests. Sebastian Peak from PC Perspective saw single-threaded CPU speed gains around 25% and multi-threaded improvements closer to 35%.

The Snapdragon 845 SoC is built using Samsung's 10LPP process—an evolution from the previous-generation 10LPE node—so the majority of the SoC's improvements come from architectural changes rather than node-size advantages. The 845 is also Qualcomm's first chip using ARM's DynamIQ core arrangement, a more flexible setup than the old big.LITTLE clustering. The GPU is an Adreno 630 unit, an update from the old Adreno 540 pixel-pusher. The new chip also packs the improved X20 4G Gigabit LTE modem. Our preview from back in December has more information for those interested in learning more.

Overall, Qualcomm's next-generation platform handily beats its predecessor but still appears to take a back seat to Apple's latest and greatest in most tests. We should note that the Snapdragon 845 testing was performed on Qualcomm's home turf—that is, in an oversized phone chassis that may have better thermal characteristics than commercial products might end up with.

The silicon maker didn't openly advertise design wins for the Snapdragon 845, but we'd be surprised if the upcoming Mobile World Congress ended without someone showing off a handset powered by the new chip. In particular, the rumor mill predicts that Samsung will probably show off its Snapdragon 845-powered Galaxy S9 phones in Barcelona.

Comments closed
    • sweatshopking
    • 2 years ago

    AWESOME. LOOKING FORWARD TO THESE BADBOYS WITH WINDOWS 10

      • Pancake
      • 2 years ago

      Me too although disappointed with performance. This isn’t going to quite compete with Intel Core.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 2 years ago

    Are those numbers with the Meltdown fix?

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      Only INTEL can melt down!*

      * Except for those ARM cores that try to have Intel-like performance, but they don’t count.

    • barich
    • 2 years ago

    Yet again they can’t outperform last year’s Apple SoC when this year’s is six months away.

    I hope when CDMA is dead and buried and Qualcomm can’t rely as much on their modem patents to effectively force their way into phones, that we get some actual competition in high-end ARM SoCs.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      I wasn’t expecting any more. It’s still an A75 based 4-wide design competing with Apple having moved to 6 wide designs 4 versions ago and iterated on them since.

      They can eke out efficiencies still but it’s hard to compete when Apple is just putting 50-100% more silicon real estate into CPU cores, since core complexity goes up exponentially (I think?) with width.

        • barich
        • 2 years ago

        I wasn’t expecting better, either. All Qualcomm has to do to get a design win in any flagship sold in the USA is to do better than last year. They might not even have to do that. The 810 was a flop and it ended up in everything anyway.

      • Chz
      • 2 years ago

      Despite crowing about their “customizations”, Qualcomm’s cores are fairly stock ARM licences. (Compare them to the Kirin cores based on the same IP) Only Samsung devises their own stuff, and it’s always lagged behind a bit. So I don’t know what you’re hoping for in the future. Only Huawei really has the resources to add themselves to the custom core club, and they’ve been quite happy sticking to ARM licenses.

      • adisor19
      • 2 years ago

      Nope. The only competition is Apple as it required a ton of $$$ and most hardware makers are unwilling to pay top price for performant SoCs.

      Even Samsung is hesitating to really invest in their SoC designs. Google is the only company out there that stands a chance to get a high performance SoC made but that is years away.

      Adi

    • tsk
    • 2 years ago

    Now to see if the Exynos 9810 is as good as Samsung says it is, and in that case it should be quite a bit faster than the S845 which could make the US models of the S9 slower than their international brethren.

      • Helmore
      • 2 years ago

      My expectation is that the Exynos 9810 will be quite a bit faster in CPU related tasks, but in all else the S845 will be competitive or ahead.

    • thedosbox
    • 2 years ago

    It’s a bit depressing that the reference design does not include a headphone jack.

      • tay
      • 2 years ago

      Apple’s courage is contagious. Next version of Android will have notch support. It’s hard to imagine one thing on Android that wasn’t on iPhone first other than notifications & widgets.

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Multitasking
        Third-party keyboards (and predictive text)
        Cameras with flash
        NFC payments
        OTA updates
        “quick settings” (control center on iOS)
        Dual cameras
        OLED screens
        Wireless charging
        Lockscreen apps
        Actual customizable wallpaper
        “selfie” cams

        but yeah, iOS does it all first. lol.
        (obviously not a comprehensive list, nor am I refuting that iOS does a lot of things first too, but your statement was so inaccurate I had to refute it)

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          Don’t forget NFC pairing, which Apple hasn’t jonesed on to yet. Maybe they’ll make it exclusive to Beats and Homepods.

          #Courage.

          EDIT: And Andrew Rubin beat Cupertino to the notch with the Essential (August 2017), compared to the Ecks (November 2017). But nobody said Apple had a monopoly on bad ideas.

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            BEAM IT TO ME, VOLDENUIT

          • willmore
          • 2 years ago

          Does iOS have a fully functional BT stack,yet? With serial port support?

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            All I know is that things are better on iOS than Android. Especially when you consider the black magic W1 chip Apple makes.

    • kvndoom
    • 2 years ago

    I love spin.

    It has the worst power usage of any Snapdragon since the horrific 810, but the Anandtech chart was sorted by “FPS per watt.”

    Expect huge batteries or pitifully low use times.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Ummm, that’s how efficiency works. I’m a little confused as to why you’re so upset about it. If you get things done faster, you can shut off the power-hogging parts and transition to lower-power parts quicker. I think you’re making some odd assumptions about power, efficiency, and battery life without near enough information.

      edit: oh and did you read this part?

      [quote=”Anandtech”<]During the benchmarking session we were able to probe the QRD845 for power as measured by the fuel gauge by the PMIC. We must however note that these platforms aren’t usually power optimised and have early silicon bins – Qualcomm themselves don’t advise them for power measurements. Nevertheless curiosity got the best of us and the following estimated figures should be seen as worst-case scenarios for the Snapdragon 845.[/quote<]

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    Definitely less excited about the CPU improvements here as almost everything else. The DSP, ISP, and process improvements should help increase efficiency quite a bit. Also if the Android BT stack could be formed into even a semi-competent semblance of usability that’d be nice.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Given these CPU results, it’s obvious that soon Qualcomm will take over Intel.

    After that, Broadcom will take over Qualcomm.

    And thus was BroadQualIntcomm born.

      • shank15217
      • 2 years ago

      BroadQualIntcommATI

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