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Snapdragon S4 Pro: Krait And Adreno 320, Benchmarked

Performance From Scorpion To Krait: What A Difference One Generation Makes

GeekBench v2

Beyond the speeds and feeds, how do the performance of Qualcomm's Scorpion and Krait cores differ? GeekBench can help us out with a general assessment.

GeekBench Scores
SoCIntegerFloating-PointMemory
Nvidia Tegra 3 (T30L)(Four Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1.3 GHz)129822881222
TI OMAP 4430(Two Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1 GHz)7501298853
Apple A5/A5X(Two Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1 GHz)691921830
Qualcomm S3 (APQ8060)(Two Scorpion Cores @ 1.2 GHz)594708946
Qualcomm S4 Plus (MSM8960)(Two Krait Cores @ 1.5 GHz)96422511666
Qualcomm S4 Pro (APQ8064)(Four Krait Cores @ 1.5 GHz)140032921276

According to our numbers, Krait nearly triples the performance of its predecessor, with the biggest gain seen in floating-point performance. Also interesting is the comparison between Krait and Nvidia's Tegra 3, which drives tablets like the Nexus 7 and Transformer Pad.

Strong floating-point performance is a notable boon for game developers, and we hope that Qualcomm's strength in this discipline serves to further the work being done in mobile gaming. Google's own Android documentation recommends judicious use of floating-point math, since it's about 2x slower than integer math on Android-based devices. And yet, we see TI's OMAP 4430 outmaneuver Apple's A5/A5X in GeekBench's floating-point metric, despite the fact that they both employ dual Cortex-A9 cores at 1 GHz. So, what's that say about performance under iOS?

Although software developers are still tied to programming for multiple hardware platforms, some faster and some slower, it's entirely possible that, in some situations, Krait-based devices will offer the best performance currently available.

SiSoft Sandra, Android Edition

Sandra is one of those diagnostic tools that lets us dig a little deeper on the desktop, isolating specific performance characteristics in a granular way. SiSoftware eventually plans to release an Android-specific version of the software, but the company granted us exclusive access to an early beta copy for our story today.

SiSoftware Sandra Aggregate Performance
OMAP 4430Tegra 3 (T30L)S3(APQ8060)S4 Plus(MSM8960)S4 Pro(APQ8064)
CPUTwo Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1 GHzFour Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1.3 GHzTwo Scorpion Cores @ 1.2 GHzTwo Krait Cores @ 1.5 GHzFour Krait Cores @ 1.5 GHz
Native Arithmetic (MOPS)46311333655931194
Native Multi-media (kPix/s)23015912329750679642
Java Arithmetic (MOPS)9022586171278
Memory (MB/s)603968126533084104

Naturally, the quad-core architectures are at an inherent advantage in any threaded workload. So, we also run aggregate performance-per-core tests to zero in on the capabilities of each computational building block.

Again, the S4 Pro platform's Krait processor takes a commanding lead over the Cortex-A9- and Scorpion-based competition.

Aggregate Performance-Per-Core
OMAP 4430Tegra 3 (T30L)S3 (APQ8060)S4 Plus (MSM8960)S4 Pro (APQ8064)
CPUTwo Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1 GHzFour Cortex-A9 Cores @ 1.3 GHzTwo Scorpion Cores @ 1.2 GHzTwo Krait Cores @ 1.5 GHzFour Krait Cores @ 1.5 GHz
Native Arithmetic (MOPS/Thread)231.5283.2182.5296.5298.5
Native Multi-media (kPix/s/Thread)1150.51478.01648.52533.52410.5
Java Arithmetic(MOPS/Thread)45.056.243.085.569.5
Memory (MB/s/Thread)301.5242.0632.51654.01026.0
  • blackmagnum
    Apple: Use this for the next iPad and all will be forgiven.
    Reply
  • shotgunz
    Naw, more like give foxconn workers better salary, do something good with mountain of money they have, stop patent trolling, stop silly war with google/samsung and stop lieing. Then maybe Apple will be forgiven.
    Reply
  • luciferano
    shotgunzNaw, more like give foxconn workers better salary, do something good with mountain of money they have, stop patent trolling, stop silly war with google/samsung and stop lieing. Then maybe Apple will be forgiven.
    Well, it'd be a start. I wouldn't go nearly as far as all is forgiven.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    No comparison with Samsung exynos4 ?
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    AFAIUI, the PowerVR GPU in ipad3 is more of a brute force architecture. "Just throw more transistors" is its mantra. So its good in current workloads.
    The Adreno320 is more refined and optimised arch. Trying to get the most performance from least silicon area. It is still being refined. Hence, it will do well in future applications.
    Reply
  • esrever
    This just makes the tegra 3 look bad.
    Reply
  • Why the ST-ericsson 8500 isn't in this list either? too few phone out? Xperia S/P... looks it would rock some of concurrents.. omap..S3...
    Please be as exaustive as possible ;)
    Reply
  • Error in the chart on second page.
    The cortex A15 DMIPS/MHz should read above the A9. Around 3.5 DMIPS/MHz from the rumblings.
    Reply
  • These krait numbers aren't very impressive if you normalize for clockspeeds.
    In fact, they seem to suggest only a very small improvement over A9, if any at all.
    Reply
  • mayne92
    Very nice review Andrew!
    Reply