Testing Snapdragon 810
For our first look at Snapdragon 810 we will be examining CPU, Web, and GPU performance.
|CPU Core Benchmarks||AndEBench Pro v2.0.2124, AnTuTu v5.6, Basemark OS II Full (Anti-Detection) v2.0, Geekbench 3 Pro v3.3.1, MobileXPRT 2013|
|GPU Core Benchmarks||3DMark (Anti-Detection) v1.2, Basemark X 1.1 Full (Anti-Detection) v1.1, GFXBench 3.0 Corporate v3.0.0|
All handsets are benchmarked on a fully updated copy of the device's stock software. The table below lists other common device settings that we standardize to before testing.
|Cellular||SIM card removed|
|Display Mode||Device Default (non-adaptive)|
|Sleep||Never (or longest available interval)|
Furthermore, for browser-based testing on Android, we're employing a static version of the Chromium-based Opera in order to keep the browser version even across all devices. Due to platform restrictions, Safari is the best choice for iOS-based devices, while Internet Explorer is the only game in town on Windows RT.
Comparison System Specs
For this analysis we will be focusing on SoCs rather than devices, specifically those found in tablets. To get a feel for Qualcomm's progress, we'll compare Snapdragon 810 to its predecessors—Snapdragon 805, represented by the Nexus 6, and 801, represented by the Sony Z3. Since we're not comparing displays, battery life, or onscreen GPU performance, mixing smartphones with tablets in our benchmark charts won't matter. The Nexus 6 was chosen because it displays less thermal throttling than the Galaxy Note 4 and has a more complete and up-to-date set of benchmark data than our other devices. For Snapdragon 801 we're using the Z3 because it's a top performer with consistent results free of thermal throttling. The Galaxy S5 actually has slightly better performance in multi-core CPU tests, but the Z3 pulls ahead in graphics, memory, and NAND.
We also include four other current tablet architectures for comparison: the 3-core A8X in Apple's iPad Air 2, an Intel Atom Z3580 in Dell's Venue 8 7000 (which is still stuck on Android 4.4, limiting it to 32-bit mode), an Nvidia Tegra K1 with Denver cores in HTC's Nexus 9, and Tegra K1 with ARM cores in Nvidia's own Shield Tablet.
We're also including some results for Nvidia's new Tegra X1 SoC with its Maxwell based GPU. Be advised however, that these numbers came from Tegra X1 development boards running Android Lollipop. Although we couldn't run our own versions of the benchmarks and couldn't verify clock speeds, we did see the benchmarks running. The SoC itself had a small heatsink (no fan), which Nvidia said represented the typical thermal dissipation capability of a tablet chassis.
The data for Snapdragon 810 comes from a Mobile Development Platform (MDP) tablet supplied by Qualcomm at its benchmarking workshop. Obviously, this tablet isn't shipping hardware (it's noticeably bulkier than a production device, which could improve its ability to deal with heat buildup) and the devices were running on AC power, so these results should be considered preliminary. We did however, install and run our own benchmarking software. As a point of reference, the Snapdragon 805 MDP tablet generally scored worse than shipping products.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for products to ship before we can get a feel for the 810's effect on battery life, since there wasn't enough time to collect battery drain data.
The table below contains all the pertinent technical specifications for today’s comparison units:
|Header Cell - Column 0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MDP Tablet||Motorola Nexus 6||Sony Z3||Apple iPad Air 2||Dell Venue 8 7000||HTC Nexus 9||Nvidia Shield Tablet|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (APQ8084)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AC)||Apple A8X||Intel Z3580||Nvidia Tegra K1||Nvidia Tegra K1|
|CPU||4x ARM Cortex-A57 @ 2.0GHz + 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz (big.LITTLE)||Qualcomm Krait 450 (4 Core) @ 2.65GHz||Qualcomm Krait 400 (4 Core) @ 2.45GHz||Apple Cyclone+ (3 Core) @ 1.5GHz||Intel Atom (4 Core) @ 2.33GHz||Nvidia Denver (2 Core) @ 2.30GHz||ARM Cortex-A15 r3p3 (4+1 Cores) @ 2.2GHz|
|GPU||Adreno 430 @ 600MHz||Qualcomm Adreno 420 @ 600MHz||Qualcomm Adreno 330 @ 578MHz||Apple/PowerVR GX6450 x2 (8 clusters)||PowerVR G6430||Kepler (192 Core) @ 950MHz||Kepler (192 Core) @ 950MHz|
|Memory||4GB LPDDR4 (25.6GB/s)||3GB LPDDR3 (25.6GB/s)||3 GB LPDDR3 (14.9GB/s)||2GB LPDDR3 (25.6GB/s)||2GB LPDDR3 (12.8GB/s)||2GB LPDDR3 (14.9GB/s)||2GB DDR3L (14.9GB/s)|
|Display||10.1-inch @ 3840×2160 (436 PPI)||5.96-inch AMOLED @ 2560x1440 (493 PPI)||5.2-inch IPS @ 1920x1080 (423 PPI)||9.7-inch IPS @ 2048x1536 (264 PPI)||8.4-inch OLED @ 2560x1600 (359 PPI)||8.9-inch IPS @ 2048x1536 (288 PPI)||8-inch IPS @ 1920x1200 (283PPI)|
|Storage||64 GB||32 GB, 64 GB||16 GB, microSD (up to 128 GB)||16 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB||16 GB, microSD (up to 512 GB)||16 GB, 32 GB||16GB (Wi-Fi) / 32GB (LTE), microSD (up to 128GB)|
|Operating System||Android 5.0.2||Android 5.0||Android 4.4.4||iOS 8.1.2||Android 4.4.4||Android 5.0.1||Android 5.0.1|
We should definitely see some interesting results considering how many different CPU and GPU architectures we're comparing. Will the 810 or Nvidia's unique Denver CPUs be able to outperform Apple's improved Cyclone CPUs? How close will the new Adreno 430 get to Nvidia's Kepler based GPU?
The 810 scores lower than both the Tegra K1 (Denver) and A8X in Geekbench single-core and 8% better than the A8X in multi-core. Looking at the table for the individual Integer test results shows that most of the 810's advantage is in the AES and SHA1 encryption tests, which AArch64 targets with new instructions, as I noted in the article.
I used Geekbench 3 Pro v3.3.1 (as noted on the "Testing" page) and I definitely didn't test it in a fridge :) It was standing on a conference room table like shown in the picture on the "Testing" page.
A8X is a tri-core CPU.
Doh! I was still thinking A8. That's what happens when writing at 4am with no sleep. I'll fix that.
If you're referring to Tegra X1, Nvidia claims between 5W-10W depending on application (tablet or car). We can't verify these claims since there aren't any shipping products yet and nobody outside of Nvidia has even been able to touch it.
For the 810, we weren't given enough time to test battery life. We need to wait until products ship. With the 810 moving to 20nm and the fact that the Krait CPUs were pushed to their max frequency, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 810 use less power than the 805 for average tablet workloads. The Adreno 430 might use a little more power than 420 though.