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3DMark And Basemark X 1.1

Qualcomm Snapdragon 801: Performance Previewed
By , with contributions by Alex Davies

Snapdragon 801, the recently-announced update to the Snapdragon 800, shares some of the same SKUs as Snapdragon 800. So, how do you tell the difference? We break down the family and introduce you to the first benchmarks of Sony's Xperia Z2 tablet, too.

3DMark: Ice Storm Unlimited

Ice Storm simulates the demands of OpenGL ES 2.0-based games using shaders, particles, and physics via the company’s in-house engine. While it was just released in May of last year, the on-screen portions of Ice Storm have already been outpaced by more recent mobile chipsets, with Nvidia’s Tegra 4 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 both easily maxing out the Extreme version (1080p with high-quality textures). However, Ice Storm Unlimited, which renders the scene off-screen at 720p is still a good gauge of GPU-to-GPU performance.

The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet jumps up the ladder, taking second place with ease. Its improved Snapdragon 801 Adreno 330 GPU core (578 MHz versus the standard 450 MHz of Snapdragon 800) gives it a 15% lead over the Nexus 5 in the Graphics sub-test, and a 31% lead over Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. Assuming the memory bandwidth issue affects 3D workloads as well, those numbers could go up as Sony finalizes its hardware configuration.

Basemark X 1.1

Basemark X is a multi-platform suite based on a real game engine, Unity 4.0. It uses many of Unity’s modern features via the OpenGL ES 2.0 render path, just as a modern title might. Features like high poly-count models, shaders with normal maps, complex LoD algorithms, extensive per-pixel lighting (including directional and point light), along with a comprehensive set of post process, particle systems, and physics effects test how a modern game would look and run. It’s an aggressive test that still hasn’t been maxed out by the latest SoCs.

The Sony Xperia Z2 tablet takes third place in the medium quality metric, which doesn't surprise us, given the memory bandwidth results measured previously. Any workload limited by throughput is going to suffer, regardless of GPU clock rate increases.

Shifting to high quality apparently alleviates that bottleneck somewhat, resulting in a second-place finish behind Apple's A7. Fortunately, the next page of benchmarks should allow us to isolate the GPU more pointedly, without as much interference from other subsystems.

Display all 21 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    blackmagnum , March 28, 2014 2:04 AM
    Will this chip go into the next Google Nexus device?
  • 2 Hide
    suture , March 28, 2014 5:00 AM
    hope not, it looks just slightly better than the previous snapdragon 800
  • 3 Hide
    Wisecracker , March 28, 2014 6:36 AM

    A Temash APU and Atom SoCs would make a great cross-platform comparison, here.

    The 'Droid Heads would love to see some Tegra 3/4 action, too.
  • 1 Hide
    MANOFKRYPTONAK , March 28, 2014 7:30 AM
    I really am looking forward to the showdown between the A7/A8, Tegra4/K1. and Intel "what is the name of the chip in the nexus 8?". I hoping to see a worthy $500 upgrade.
  • -1 Hide
    anthony8989 , March 28, 2014 8:06 AM
    Great article - very informative. Sorry if it's off-topic, but the HTC One (M7 2013) uses an APQ8064T. Did Qualcomm change the meaning of the second numeral from Snapdragon 600 to 80x? The HTC One M7 employs a modem yet now the second numeral being 0 indicates no modem. Or does the device substitute another modem off the SoC? Also what does the "T" suffix mean? :) 

    EDIT: I realized APQ also indicates no modem so I'll just assume that they supplied an off-SoC modem for the device. Still would like to know what "T"stands for.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , March 28, 2014 8:17 AM
    Isn't Tegra K1 (aka Logan) having something else? Project Denver CPU was supposed to be part of Parker SoC as per nVidia's 2013 Tegra roadmap, unless I am missing something.
  • -1 Hide
    edlivian , March 28, 2014 9:29 AM
    So if you already have a device with a snapdragon 800 you should hold off for a real improvement, like snapdragon 1000 or 1k or whatever marketing jibberish they want to name it.
  • 0 Hide
    edlivian , March 28, 2014 9:32 AM
    So if you already have a device with a snapdragon 800 you should hold off for a real improvement, like snapdragon 1000 or 1k or whatever marketing jibberish they want to name it.
  • -1 Hide
    Vistouf , March 28, 2014 10:06 AM
    From Wikipedia :"SKU refers to a stock-keeping unit, a unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased in business."
  • -1 Hide
    PapaCrazy , March 28, 2014 10:10 AM
    They compared two different manufacturers devices from two generations in order to extrapolate something about the chip? Huh? What about differences in hardware implementation, software, memory, and all the other things that can independently effect performance? Would have been much better to wait and have more comparable devices to test.
  • -2 Hide
    geekweeks , March 28, 2014 10:13 AM
    This is one of the best Processor in Mobile technology , I love this processor lucky to that i bought sony experia m with this processor . Soon I will write review on my following blogs <a href="//www.GeekWeeks.com/">Geekweeks</a> <a href="//www.hditweb.com/">HDITWEB</a> <a href="//www.newsisoft.com/">newsisoft</a>
  • 0 Hide
    Djentleman , March 28, 2014 4:41 PM
    My tegra 4 keeps up quite nicely.
  • -1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , March 29, 2014 1:43 AM
    Why are they still releasing 32-bit chips when Apple already had a 64-bit chip?
  • -1 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , March 29, 2014 11:40 AM
    There is obviously something wrong with the memory subsystem (at least) on that Xperia platform you're using. In no way should the 801 have any regression compared to the 800. Did you contact Sony and ask if there's any known issues that would explain the results you're getting or just WTF is going on in general? As a result of the issue this article's headline should be "Sony's preproduction Xperia platform has issues" or somesuch. As it is, this isn't a real review of the 801.Also, I'm going to harp on this every time I make a comment on this website from now on: this comment system sucks. Badly. You need to find a new solution. Even the previous comment system was miles better.
  • 0 Hide
    Dorian Black , March 29, 2014 5:48 PM
    Quote:
    There is obviously something wrong with the memory subsystem (at least) on that Xperia platform you're using
    Indeed, and it's something we noted right from the first benchmarks we ran. It's even noted in the article - you can see it covered in the AnTuTu and Geekbench sections, specifically and throughout the other benchmarks we ran and analysed. It's clear that tablet had some definite issues with it's memory and I/O subsystems. I think it would've fared substantially better had they been resolved.
  • -1 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , March 29, 2014 8:47 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    There is obviously something wrong with the memory subsystem (at least) on that Xperia platform you're using
    Indeed, and it's something we noted right from the first benchmarks we ran. It's even noted in the article - you can see it covered in the AnTuTu and Geekbench sections, specifically and throughout the other benchmarks we ran and analysed. It's clear that tablet had some definite issues with it's memory and I/O subsystems. I think it would've fared substantially better had they been resolved.
    Yes, I know it was referenced in the article. My point was that the issue which is clearly with the device is substantially affecting the results, and therefore this article doesn't really live up to being a preview of the Snapdragon 801's performance.I recognize that it's not your (the author's) fault, but still. Also, my question still stands: did you guys attempt to get any feedback from Sony about the issue? The possibility of getting a sample that works properly?
  • 1 Hide
    Dorian Black , March 29, 2014 10:08 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    There is obviously something wrong with the memory subsystem (at least) on that Xperia platform you're using
    Indeed, and it's something we noted right from the first benchmarks we ran. It's even noted in the article - you can see it covered in the AnTuTu and Geekbench sections, specifically and throughout the other benchmarks we ran and analysed. It's clear that tablet had some definite issues with it's memory and I/O subsystems. I think it would've fared substantially better had they been resolved.
    Yes, I know it was referenced in the article. My point was that the issue which is clearly with the device is substantially affecting the results, and therefore this article doesn't really live up to being a preview of the Snapdragon 801's performance.I recognize that it's not your (the author's) fault, but still. Also, my question still stands: did you guys attempt to get any feedback from Sony about the issue? The possibility of getting a sample that works properly?
    I'm not sure that's entirely fair - we did prove that the MHz boosted Adreno 330 of 801 is substantially faster in tests where MHz matters - fillrate, for example. In that test it does beat an 800 AB (Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4) device quite soundly. At the time the results were recorded there were no other Snapdragon 801 devices in operation - in fact, the results were take from a Sony Xperia Z2 Tab at a press junket, which explains why it's not a final device. Sometimes we have to take what we can get. Of course, we will be following up on a more detailed review of a final device as soon as we can. Also, we'll be reviewing another Snapdragon 801 device very soon. Can't say much more. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    becherovka , March 30, 2014 1:50 AM
    LG G3 will be Snapdragon 805, so if this is the phone the new nexus is taken from then.. It looks like Lg might get a third go at Nexus.
  • 0 Hide
    Treynolds416 , March 31, 2014 7:05 AM
    There's a typo at the end of the second to last paragraph on the second article page. You wrote "801 9874AC" when I think you meant "801 8974AC".
  • 0 Hide
    megadelayed , March 31, 2014 9:35 AM
    Note 3 does not have a 8974AB right?im sure the Note 3 uses a 8974AA as the GPU clock in definately 450mhz
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