Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 - A View Of Performance
Regardless, until now, we could only speculate about the Snapdragon 835’s performance. Qualcomm, however, recently invited us out to its sprawling San Diego campus to put its new chip and mobile platform to the test. The numbers we came away with confirm that the Snapdragon 835 (which sports the Adreno 540 GPU) packs a serious punch...
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 contains over 3 billion transistors, a new Adreno 540 GPU, and features more efficient Kryo 280 CPU cores as well. The SoC also incorporates Qualcomm’s Snapdragon x16 LTE, the world’s first gigabit-class modem. The Snapdragon 835 is built using the ARM Cortex architecture, but is a semi-custom design. Qualcomm had included dedicated busses to increase system coherence and has tweaked buffer sizes for improved performance and efficiency.
The chip's Kyro 280 CPU core block has 4 high performance cores that can be clocked up to 2.45GHz and includes 2MB of L2 cache. Those four high-performance cores are joined by four lower-power, “efficiency” cores that can clock up to 1.8GHz (and include 1MB L2 cache). Qualcomm is projecting that in typical usage scenarios, devices will spend roughly 80 percent of their time using the efficiency cores.
The Snapdragon 835 has a 35 percent smaller package size than than the previous-generation Snapdragon 820/821, thanks the use of a second generation 10nm FinFET manufacturing process, while consuming roughly 25 percent less power. In fact, Qualcomm says that the power consumption is approximately cut in half compared to the Snapdragon 801 from a few years ago.
We also had a chance to check out some of the Qualcomm labs that have shaped its latest chip. We’ll take you on a tour as well, but let’s check out these benchmarks first…
We tested the Snapdragon 835 on unbranded prototype smartphones (running Android 7.1.1) and compared the results to scores from other production retail smartphone we’ve tested recently. We kicked things off with AnTuTu 6, a well-known suite that delivers metrics across multiple workload types and usage scenarios.
AnTuTu’s latest benchmark returns a number of metrics ranked with scores, rather than frame rates or time to complete. We tested the Qualcomm 835 demo phone with the latest version of AnTuTu as we did with all other platforms. AnTuTu returns four top level performance metric results that we are including here: CPU, RAM, 3D, UX (or User Experience), along with a total score.
The previous top score had ballooned to the 140,000’s with current Snapdragon chips, and even crested 150,000 with the Moto Z Force Droid. However, the Snapdragon 835 set an entirely new bar with an overall score of 183,540 and taking the lead in nearly every test routine. Its Adreno 540 graphics engine also powered the platform to a new high score of 76,461 in the 3D test and helped provide the best UX (User Experience) score we've seen in this benchmark to date.
Next, we fired up GeekBench, which is a CPU-centric test that gives us a look at how the chip handles heavily-threaded workloads.
The Snapdragon 835-bearing proto-Android phone took the top spot again, although it didn’t trounce the competition quite as soundly this time. That’s thanks largely to the Huawei Mate 8, which runs a Kirin 950 that features four ARM A72 cores at 2.3GHz and four ARM A53 cores at 1.8GHz. Huawei’s smartphone rolled in at a very respectable 6216, just behind the Snapdragon 835’s score. And of course Apple's iPhone 7 rules the roost in single-threaded performance.