Qualcomm Boasts Snapdragon 800 Will 'Easily Beat' Tegra 4

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News Posted: Wed, Feb 27 2013 4:13 PM
NVIDIA has not been shy about claiming that its new Tegra 4 processor is the mobile chip to beat, and indeed, looking at the numbers, it’s hard to disagree. At least one person takes issue with that claim, however, and he happens to be the Senior VP of Product Management (Raj Talluri) for NVIDIA competitor Qualcomm, maker of the Snapdragon series of mobile processors.

ZTE Grand Memo 2
ZTE Grand Memo 2, packing the Snapdragon 800
According to The Verge, Talluri claims that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 can easily defeat the Tegra 4. The chip, he noted, has some impressive highlights, including having an LTE modem on-die and the ability to handle Ultra HD content, and the rest of the specs are no less impressive; the Snapdragon 800 also boasts up to a 2.3 GHz Quad Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 600MHz Hexagon DSP, and integrated WiFi and Bluetooth.


Clearly, both NVIDIA and Qualcomm are talking tough because they both have impressive mobile chips hitting the market. It remains to be seen which is the better chip (although a comparison between the Snapdragon 800 and the Tegra 4i with its integrated LTE processor might be more appropriate), but this is certain: As long as these companies continue to fight for the top spot in the mobile processor market, consumers win.
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RWilliams replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 4:27 PM

Oh snap(dragon)!

 * RWilliams grabs some popcorn.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 4:49 PM

Badump-bump... I'd like to see them prove this claim out though. Should be interesting, especially from a graphics standpoint.

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More cores result in better performance,Devices N VIDIA.

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Notice how Qualcomm has backed away from 'we will crush the Tegra 4 performance with the S600' to 'we will beat the Tegra 4 with the S800' and started emphasizing ecosystem and on-die LTE. I think I know why.

We can take the perfomance numbers from this comparison: http://asia.cnet.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-600-fares-well-but-loses-out-to-nvidia-tegra-4-62220696.htm and extrapolate S800 performance.

It's not much to do on, but we can calculate performance per cycle for both the Quadrant and Geekbench2 scores, since we know the scores AND we know the clock rates (1.9G for the T4, 1.7G for the S600). From this I calculate that t4's a15 cores are 125% more efficient over the Krait core for Geekbench2, and 119% superior for Quadrant. The average is 122% more efficient than the Krait cores for these tests.

Now, let's look at the difference in clock speeds: the new S800 tops out at 2.3G; the T4 at 1.9G. Using those numbers we see that S800 clock speed advantage is ... 121%. If the T4 does reach 2G, the difference is 115%.

Conclusion: the S800 is not going to blow the doors off the T4 unless the Krait cores are more efficient than those used in the S600. The clock speed advantage is negated by the lesser efficiency offered by the Krait core versus the a15.

Of course, all this is back of the napkin scribbling about 2 benchmarks. A lot of factors could come into play: memory speed could result in lower scores for S800, or Krait core improvements could work the opposite way. But in the end, my guess is the performance on these parts is really going to be quite comparable.

QC has moved from claiming they will "crush T4 peformance" to "we *think* we will do better than T4 on *most* tests". I expect more back peddling on performance, and more emphasis on the "we beat T4" in terms of packaging (e.g. integrated LTE) or other softer factors.

This constantly shifting story make me think that, behind closed doors, QC is actually quite impressed and afraid of the T4 (and T4i).

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Update:http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/tegra-4-outperforms-snapdragon-800-making-it-the-fastest-arm-processor-20130312/

 

Seems I am not the only one extrapolating these recent results :)

 

 

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