Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Performance Preview

Results: CPU Core Benchmarks

Since the Krait 450 complex in Snapdragon 805 is architecturally the same as Snapdragon 800/801's Krait 400, their relative CPU performance should scale based on clock rate.

For reference, the 805 has an 8% advantage over 801 (2.65 versus 2.45 GHz) and 17% over 800 (2.65 versus 2.26 GHz). While Snapdragon 805 has a significant memory bandwidth advantage, the CPU isn’t starved for data in the 800/801. Therefore, this shouldn’t have a significant influence on the CPU benchmarks.

AnTuTu X

AnTuTu is an Android system benchmark designed to test the performance capabilities of four major aspects of mobile devices: Graphics (encompassing 2D, UI, and basic 3D), CPU (fixed, floating­-point, and threading), RAM (read and write), and I/O (read and write).

Our first CPU benchmark's RAM test highlights the 805’s improved memory bandwidth, achieving its theoretical advantage over the 801. The 805, however, doesn’t fare as well in the other sub-tests. Qualcomm's Adreno 420 engine turns in the lowest GPU test score for both 2D and 3D graphics. Its 3D result is actually 15% slower than Nvidia’s GeForce ULP in the Tegra 4 (the 3D graphics winner in this benchmark). The 805's Krait 450 CPU also finishes last in the CPU test, where its score is 35% lower than the category-winning 801.

Basemark OS II

Basemark OS II is an all-in-one tool designed for measuring the overall performance of mobile devices. It scores each one in four main categories: System, Memory, Graphics, and Web. The System score reflects CPU and memory performance, specifically testing integer and floating-point math, along with single- and multi-core CPU image processing using a 2048x2048, 32-bit image. Measuring the transfer rate of the internal NAND storage (Memory) is done by reading and writing files with a fixed size, files varying from 65 KB to 16 MB, and files in a fragmented memory scenario. Calculating the Graphics score involves mixing 2D/3D graphics inside the same scene, applying several pixel shader effects, and displaying 100 particles with a single draw call to test GPU vertex operations. The benchmark is rendered at 1920x1080 off-screen 100 times before being displayed on-screen. Finally, the Web score stresses the CPU by performing 3D transformations and object resizing with CSS, and also includes an HTML5 Canvas particle physics test.

The Basemark OS II Graphics test shows a complete reversal. Qualcomm's Adreno 420 posts the highest score as Nvidia's Tegra 4 finishes last. Isolating Snapdragon processors, the 805 is 22% faster than the 801 and 28% faster than the 800.

Similarly, the 805 outpaces the 801 and 800 in this benchmark's Web test by 3% and 23%, respectively, which is pretty close to their clock rate differences. In the CPU-oriented System metric, the 805 turns in a score 11% lower than the 801 and is only 6% faster than the 800. It’s curious that the 805 performs as expected in the CPU-bound Web test, but underperforms in the System test. So far, the theme for the 805’s CPU performance is inconsistency.

Geekbench 3 Pro

Primate Labs' Geekbench offers a wide selection of cross-platform compatibility, with apps available for Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. This simple system benchmark produces two sets of scores: single- and multi-threaded. For each, it runs a series of tests in three categories: Integer, Floating Point, and Memory. The individual results are used to calculate category scores, which, in turn, generate overall Geekbench scores.

In the Single-Core benchmark, we see Snapdragon 805 finish 8.6% higher than the 801 and 11% higher than the 800. The scores don’t exactly scale according to frequency, suggesting the software is encountering some other bottleneck. Looking at the margin of victory for Apple’s A7 SoC, it appears that Geekbench 3 Pro prefers the A7’s higher IPC and larger caches to Snapdragon’s higher clock rate.

Once again, we record inconsistent performance from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805. Even with half as many cores, Apple’s A7 outscores it, as do both previous-generation Snapdragons. While the 805 cruises to victory in the Multi-Core Memory test (as expected), it’s 9% slower than the 801 in Multi-Core Floating Point and a surprising 21% slower in Multi-Core Integer.

Since our time with the 805 was limited during a hands-on benchmarking event with Qualcomm, we didn’t have an opportunity to dig into these results. However, because the 805’s score is greater than half of the 801, it’s safe to assume that all four cores were active during the tests. The most reasonable explanation then is that the 805 isn’t achieving its peak frequency when all four cores are active. This might explain the inconsistencies in the other CPU benchmarks too, as some focus more on single-core performance (like the benchmarks based on Web browsing) and some stress multiple cores (AnTuTu CPU and Basemark OS II System).

  • blackmagnum
    Trying not to be an Apple fanboy, but their A7 processor supports 64-bit instructions since last year. They lead innovation due to their clientele having more open-ended budget for the device than Android users (can't remember link to the study).
    Did I read that right? There won't be ANY 64-bit Android Phones until 2015? It's going to take practically TWO YEARS to play catch-up to the iPhone? Mind you, most iPhone users don't know the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit, anyway, but it's "better" and that their logic for upgrading. Preying on stupid people basically has become (or always has been?) Apple's business model, and it's paid off. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't anti-Apple. C'mon, Android...get with the program!
  • rantoc
    Just find it funny tragic that more and more phone displays are almost at the same resolution as in many general desktop PC's.

    Also find it funny that their marketing team dare to call this "Ultra HD", would be fun to see a benchmark of this running that 4k resolution in any 3D descent detail benchmark=P

    "It actually approaches what a fairly modern desktop CPU's integrated memory controller can do. All of this extra memory bandwidth isn’t for the CPU, though. It's reserved for Qualcomm’s new Adreno 420 GPU."

    Yeah mostly is for the GPU, where a modern PC gpu alone pushes well over 300gb/sec. Close no? =P
  • Memnarchon
    Dam! And I was hoping to see K1 on these benchmarks too, for a comparison. Oh well...
  • acasel
    NO Tegra K1 benchmarks here, itll make the snapdragon 805 a 2 year ago cpu... lol
  • ta152h
    Is it too difficult for you guys to write a consistently good and accurate article? It's like you do the hard stuff, and then screw up details.

    For example, why are some charts from 0 to somewhere above the max score, and others start at, for example, 2300 and go to 3000.

    I realize you guys aren't really computer people from this terrible lack of attention to detail (which someone who does more than write about computers has to have as a personality flaw), but can't you hire someone that can look over this stuff, and at least try to present it in a consistent way? Writers who aren't computer people make these types of mistakes, because their minds aren't ordered enough, but you guys really need someone like that, because all the articles suffer from imprecision and lack of clarity (and over use of words like 'alacrity', which really implies emotion, and isn't a true synonym for speed. Again, precision ...)

    For example, I'm looking at charts, and am shocked by some, then realize it's just because you guys screwed up the scaling, and can't stay consistent.

    Don't worry, a chart that shows very little difference because you used the full scale isn't bad. Because, if you really think about it, neither is the performance, and if you can't see a big difference in the chart, you aren't going to see a big difference in the performance. But, when you see one bar over three times longer than another, and the real difference is less than 20%, don't you think that gives the wrong impression?

    If you do all the hard work, and then screw up details, it's just not as good as it could be. And yes, I've learned these sites like to say things in a way it is correct, but then present it in a manner which gives the opposite impression. Try writing without bias, and maybe this will go away. Charts are one way, comparing Kabinis with Haswells are another. Commenting more on charts that read what you want, while just presenting charts you don't like the results of, are another way. Or commenting on the part of the chart you like, while ignoring the part you don't. It's not as subtle as you might think, or maybe it is, and you don't even realize your bias. But we do.

    I used to love this site, especially when Thomas Pabst used to write in his crazy way. But, it's slowly, and inexorably getting worse. There are better sites now. Maybe skip the really bad car reviews (do you really think your opinions even approximate professional sites like Car and Driver? At all? ) and focus more producing better quality computer articles. It should be easy, you guys get a lot of good information, often do reviews that people want but other sites skip, but then screw it up with a lack of attention to detail and consistency.
  • esrever
    I find the inconsistency makes most of this completely pointless until the software gets actually optimized and the drivers start working.
  • hannibal
    Well I really expect new article in near future where Tegra K1 and 805 are against each other. And then 810. It is interesting to see what 64bit computing will bring to mobile platforms... Mobile gaming is getting quite serious in next few years!
  • edlivian
    you can compare the k1 benchmarks at anandtech
  • irish_adam
    I dont see why you are all so impressed with 64bit. I mean if you believe that the A7 is super amazing because it is 64bit then you're an idiot. The fact that its 64bit adds minimal performance and is 100% gimmick and just so that they can claim to be the first.

    It reminds me of when AMD released their first 64bit chips and microsoft released XP64, you soon realised that unless you had 4gb or more of ram then there was no difference (well except that none of your hardware drivers would work grrrr).
    Why would Qualcomm rush out a 64bit chip when there isnt any real improvement to be had? surely its better that they focus on things that will actually improve performance and battery life? I mean they havent even finished a 64bit version of android yet so what would it even run on? Until we see the need for more than 4gb of ram on phones then i really dont see the point