CPU Performance

Reference Testing Platform

At the end of the day, Qualcomm allowed me some time with the Snapdragon 810 reference platforms – a pair of devices built around the SD 810 SoC to demonstrate the performance features the processor can offer. One of the units was a tablet while the other was a phone, though quite a bit larger to make room for debugging and monitoring hardware connections. The results that I will be presenting here today are from the tablet device, though I did run benchmarks on both units. As it turned out, the scores from the phone and the tablet hardware were essentially identical so doubling up the scores in our graphs was useless.

Qualcomm has several flagship smartphone design wins for the Snapdragon 810, but I was of course wary of comparing the performance numbers from an 810 tablet to those from currently shipping smartphones that have a much smaller space for cooling and heat dissipation. In theory, a larger device should have more space for a heatsink and could scaling to higher clock speeds for longer periods of time than would possible in a phone. Qualcomm has assured me that the devices were configured exactly as if they were integrated into a phone but you should keep that difference in mind as we walk through the next couple of pages.

I will be comparing the Snapdragon 810 to some of the most recently flagship phones and tablets from the Android market and Apple devices. We have the iPad Air 2 and the iPhone 6 to represent the latest from Apple’s A8 processor line, the international Samsung Note 4 with the Exynos octa-core SoC, a couple of Tegra devices and phones using the Snapdragon 805 and 801 parts.

  Snapdragon 810 Ref Nexus 6 OnePlus One Galaxy Note 4 SHIELD Tablet
SoC Snapdragon 810 Snapdragon 805 Snapdragon 801 Exynos 5433 Tegra K1
CPU Cores Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53
Quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450 Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A57
Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A15
GPU Cores Adreno 430 Adreno 420 Adreno 330 Mali-T760 192-core Kepler
RAM 4GB LPDDR4-1600 3GB LPDDR3-1600 3GB LPDDR3-1600 3GB LPDDR3-1650 2GB LPDDR3-1600
Network Qulalcomm Cat 9 LTE Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE Ericsson M7450 Cat.4 LTE None
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (Wave 2) (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
USB 3.0
MHL, NFC
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
USB 2.0
NFC
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
USB 2.0
NFC
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
USB 2.0
MHL, NFC
802.11a/b/g/n (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
USB 2.0
 
OS Android 5.0.2 Android 5.0.1 Android 4.4.4 Android 4.4.4 Android 5.0.1

 

  Nexus 9 Dell Venue 8 7000 iPhone 6 iPad Air 2
SoC Tegra K1 Denver Atom Z3580 Apple A8 Apple A8X
CPU Cores Dual-core 2.3 GHz Denver Quad-core 2.3 GHz Silvermont Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone Triple-core 1.5 GHz Cyclone
GPU Cores 192-core Kepler PowerVR G6430 PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GX6850 (8-core)
RAM 2GB LPDDR3 2GB LPDDR3 1GB LPDDR3 2GB LPDDR3
Network None None Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
USB 2.0
NFC
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
USB 2.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
USB 2.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
USB 2.0
 
OS Android 5.0.1 Android 4.4.4 iOS 8.1.3 iOS 8.1.3

CPU Performance

Geekbench 3

Geekbench 3 is Primate Labs' cross-platform processor benchmark, with a new scoring system that separates single-core and multi-core performance, and new workloads that simulate real-world scenarios. Geekbench 3 makes it easier than ever to find out if your computer is up to speed. Every test in Geekbench 3 is multi-core aware. This allows Geekbench to show you the true potential of your system. Whether you're running Geekbench on a dual-core phone or a 32-core server, Geekbench is able to measure the performance of all the cores in your system.

Geekbench acts much like a traditional synthetic processor benchmark would, giving us an idea of the peak performance that the CPU offers in both integer and floating point math.

For single threaded integer performance, the Snapdragon 810 falls slightly behind the performance of Samsung’s Exynos 5433 part in the Galaxy Note 4, as well the two Apple processors and NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 Denver. Multi-thread integer results are much more impressive as the SD 810 takes the performance lead, leaving the 8-core Exynos 5433 behind. Compared to the Snapdragon 801 and 805, integer performance scales up by 35% in single and 66% in multi-threaded results.

In floating point testing the Snapdragon 810 jumps over the Samsung SoC in both single threaded and multi-threaded results, but still sits behind the Apple A8X, A8 and Tegra K1 Denver. In multi-threaded floating point performance, the A8X comes out ahead even though it only has 3-cores going against the 8-cores of the Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 5433.

Google Octane

Octane 2.0 is a modern benchmark that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests representative of today’s complex and demanding web applications. Octane‘s goal is to measure the performance of JavaScript code found in large, real-world web applications, running on modern mobile and desktop browsers.

The updated Octane 2.0 benchmark includes four new tests to measure new aspects of JavaScript performance, among which: garbage collection / compiler latency and asm.js-style JavaScript performance.

Our testing with Google Octane was done exclusively on the latest version of the Chrome browser on Android, and Safari on iOS.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 performs well in this first of our three browser-based tests with a score of 8063, falling behind on the Apple A8X and the Tegra K1 Denver processors. Interestingly the Galaxy Note 4, with a very similar A57+A53 core design is 35% slower.

Mozilla Kraken

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. The test cases include:

  • An implementation of the A* search algorithm
  • Audio processing using Corban Brook's DSP.js library
  • Image filtering routines, including code from Jacob Seidelin's Pixastic library.
  • JSON parsing, including data from Tinderboxpushlog
  • Cryptographic routines from the Stanford JavaScript Crypto Library

Our testing with Mozilla Kraken was done exclusively on the latest version of the Chrome browser on Android. and Safari on iOS.

The SD 810 does well in this test too but has a couple more devices best its score of 4618.3ms. Both of the Apple A8 and A8X devices processed the Javascript in less time, as did both of NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 tablets. Notice the large performance jump over both the SD 801 and 805 processors – clearly 810 is going to improve experiences for users.

SunSpider

This is SunSpider, a JavaScript benchmark. This benchmark tests the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs. It is designed to compare different versions of the same browser, and different browsers to each other.

This test mostly avoids microbenchmarks, and tries to focus on the kinds of actual problems developers solve with JavaScript today, and the problems they may want to tackle in the future as the language gets faster. This includes tests to generate a tagcloud from JSON input, a 3D raytracer, cryptography tests, code decompression, and many more examples. There are a few microbenchmarkish things, but they mostly represent real performance problems that developers have encountered.

This test is balanced between different areas of the language and different types of code. It's not all math, all string processing, or all timing simple loops. In addition to having tests in many categories, the individual tests were balanced to take similar amounts of time on currently shipping versions of popular browsers.

One of the challenges of benchmarking is knowing how much noise you have in your measurements. This benchmark runs each test multiple times and determines an error range (technically, a 95% confidence interval). In addition, in comparison mode it tells you if you have enough data to determine if the difference is statistically significant.

Our testing with SunSpider was done exclusively on the latest version of the Chrome browser on Android, and Safari on iOS.

The Snapdragon 810 scores incredibly well here once again with a time of 542.5ms, beating all of the other Android devices in our suite including the Tegra K1 and Exynos 5433. Only the Apple A8 and A8X are faster but they have the advantage of VERY specific optimizations of Safari for the CPUs.

Vellamo 3.1

Vellamo 3.1 is designed to be an accurate, easy-to-use suite of system-level benchmarks for devices based on Android 4.0 forward. In Vellamo we want to enable performance enthusiasts to really understand their system, and how it compares to other systems, and our mission has just begun.

Vellamo began as a mobile web benchmarking tool that today has expanded to include three primary Chapters. The Browser Chapter evaluates mobile web browser performance, the Multicore Chapter measures the synergy of multiple CPU cores, and the Metal Chapter measures the single core CPU subsystem performance of mobile processors.

(Note: the graphs will say 3.0 but 3.1 was run on all setups.) This test is Android-only, so the Apple iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 results will be ignored.

The first Vellamo test uses Chrome and looks at overall browser performance where the Snapdragon 810 result is 32% faster than SD 805 and 80% faster than SD 801! It still runs slower than the Tegra K1 and Tegra K1 Denver SoCs, but those are significantly higher TDP parts.

Multi-core results attempt to measure how well the different cores can work together to complete computing tasks, and the SD 810 matches the performance of the K1 Denver-based Nexus 9.

Metal is essentially a single-core test and the 810 reference platform pulls a score of 2325, 33% faster than the previous generation Snapdragon.

« PreviousNext »