System Performance

System performance on the QRD865 was a bit of a tricky topic, as we’ve seen that the same chipset can differ quite a lot depending on the software implementation done by the vendor. For the performance preview this year, Qualcomm again integrated a “Performance” mode on the test devices, alongside the default scheduler and DVFS behaviour of the BSP delivered to vendors.

There’s a fine line between genuine “Performance” modes as implemented on commercial devices such as from Samsung and Huawei, which make tunings to the DVFS and schedulers which increase performance while remaining reasonable in their aggressiveness, and more absurd “cheating” performance modes such as implemented by OPPO for example, which simply ramp up the minimum frequencies of the chip.

Qualcomm’s performance mode on the QRD865 is walking this fine line – it’s extremely aggressive in that it’s ramping up the chipset to maximum frequency in ~30ms. It’s also having the little cores start at a notably higher frequency than in the default mode. Nevertheless, it’s still a legitimate operation mode, although I do not expect very many devices to be configured in this way.

The default mode on the other hand is quite similar to what we’ve seen on the Snapdragon 855 QRD last year, but the issue is that this was also rather conservative and many popular devices such as the Galaxy S10 were configured to be more aggressive. Whilst the default config of the QRD865 should be representative of most devices next year, I do expect many of them to do better than the figures represented by this config.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

Starting off with the web browsing test, we’re seeing the big difference in performance scaling between the two chipsets. The test here is mostly sensible to the performance scaling of the A55 cores. The QRD865 in the default more is more conservative than some existing S855 devices, which is why it performs worse in those situations. On the other hand, the performance results of the QRD865 here are also extremely aggressive and receives the best results out there amongst our current device range. I expect commercial devices to fall in somewhere between the two extremes.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing

The video editing test nowadays is no longer performance sensitive and most devices fall in the same result range.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

The writing test is amongst the most important and representative of daily performance of a device, and here the QRD865 does well in both configurations. The Mate 30 Pro with the Kirin 990 is the only other competitive device at this performance level.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

The Photo Editing test makes use of RenderScript and GPU acceleration, and here it seems the new QRD865 makes some big improvements. Performance is a step-function higher than previous generation devices.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

Finally, the data manipulation test oddly enough falls in middle of the pack for both performance modes. I’m not too sure as to why this is, but we’ve seen the test being quite sensible to scheduler or even OS configurations.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Generally, the QRD865 phone landed at the top of the rankings in PCMark.

Web Benchmarks

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView JetStream 2 - OS Webview

The web benchmarks results presented here were somewhat disappointing. The QRD865 really didn’t manage to differentiate itself from the rest of the Android pack even though it was supposed to be roughly 20-25% ahead in theory. I’m not sure what the limitation here is, but the 5-10% increases are well below what we had hoped for. For now, it seems like the performance gap to Apple’s chips remains significant.

System Performance Conclusion

Overall, we expect system performance of Snapdragon 865 devices to be excellent. Commercial devices will likely differ somewhat in terms of their scores as I do not expect them to be configured exactly the same as the QRD865. I was rather disappointed with the web benchmarks as the improvements were quite meagre – in hindsight it might be a reason as to why Arm didn’t talk about them at all during the Cortex-A77 launch.

CPU Performance & Efficiency: SPEC2006 Machine Learning Inference Performance
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  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    You forgot I'm member of the Illuminati, half mole-people from my dad's side and half lizard-man from my mother's side. I love my monthly deep state paycheck alongside the Apple subsidies I get for spreading their narrative. Wait till people find out the earth is really flat. Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    LOL. Lawyer manipulation is for their Class Actions KB fiasco, Touch Disease, Error 53..not you (Just clarifying) and idk if you know Louis Rossman on YT. If not I suggest to watch and know how the fleecing is done and consumer is kept in dark always. The revelations of their stranglehold on HW IC chip for supplying to repair services and Lobbying against Repair is enough to understand and gauge the fundamemal pillars of a company and its ethics.

    Sorry I take ethics and choice/liberty into account over utopian performance and elitist / Luxury status quo stance.
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    I pleaded with you to not go into tangential rants for this article again, yet here we are. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > How? Just like Geekbench, different compilers are used. Different distribution of loads are made.

    Please explain to me what the hell "different distributions of loads are made" is meant to mean? You have zero technical rationale behind such statements. All the comparisons here were made with the Clang/LLVM compilers on all platforms - bar the ISA, there is exactly zero difference in the workload logic between the platforms, and Apple's toolchain isn't doing something completely different either that it would suddenly invalidate the comparison.

    > You are showing Apple A13 (LOL A13 is faster than the fastest AMD or Intel chip) using Jurassic Spec benchmark?

    Yes I am because that is the reality of the matter.

    > We are talking about efficiency here, your beloved Apple chip is sucking twice the power than SD855 or SD865 per workload.

    And it's finishing the workload than twice as fast, ending up being *almost* as efficient in terms of the energy used by the computation. What matters here is the energy efficiency, not the power efficiency, and in this regard Apple's devices are top of the line.

    > While your chart if showing Apple has twice the performance vs SD865, the phone doesn't tell lies.

    What's even your point here? Of course the iPhones are significantly faster in loading webpages?

    Return here when you have an actual factual argument to present, because right now you just have been repeating complete nonsense.
    Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > Please explain to me what the hell "different distributions of loads are made" is meant to mean? You have zero technical rationale behind such statements. All the comparisons here were made with the Clang/LLVM compilers on all platforms - bar the ISA, there is exactly zero difference in the workload logic between the platforms, and Apple's toolchain isn't doing something completely different either that it would suddenly invalidate the comparison.

    The compiler maybe the same but the scheduler of tasks in Android and Windows are different than in iOS. Many background apps are running simultaneously on Android and Windows machine, how about iOS? Frozen apps? LOL

    >Yes I am because that is the reality of the matter.

    Only matters to you, not in outside world. If you really think A9 has better IPC than Ryzen or Skylake, why don't you join the Apple engineers and build the fastest gaming/productivity PC with Apple A9 chip and sell it like hotcakes? No? Cannot t be? Even Apple doesn't claim their SoC is faster than even low end desktop today LOL. Even milking the customers with overpriced Macs with "Intel" inside.

    > And it's finishing the workload than twice as fast, ending up being *almost* as efficient in terms of the energy used by the computation. What matters here is the energy efficiency, not the power efficiency, and in this regard Apple's devices are top of the line.

    What matters is how fast it can finish the whole task not each micro-workload nonsense. If I want to zip and upload a file or encode and upload a video, I only care how fast it will finish the whole task and for that matter. If I want to play games, do I care how the fast the damn phone will compute the vector, pixel location, math operations etc? I only care how elegant, smooth and how fast the gaming experience will be.

    iPhone is not twice as fast as loading any web page, any consumer app or even exporting or transcoding videos. Different apps yield different results, you are showing one worthless primitive benchmark where iPhone is fast, but out there, hundreds or thousands of different apps and website are showing the opposite results.

    Here is one or two for you, one is showing twice the performance over the other =D

    https://youtu.be/ay9V5Ec8eiY?t=529

    https://youtu.be/DtSgdrKztGk?t=432
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > the scheduler of tasks in Android and Windows are different than in iOS.

    The scheduler isn't any different, because the scheduler doesn't do anything when there's only a single thread on a core to be run. There is literally no scheduling.

    > If you really think A9 has better IPC than Ryzen or Skylake

    Correction, I don't really just think it, I know it.

    > What matters is how fast it can finish the whole task not each micro-workload nonsense.

    The whole SPEC suite takes exactly an hour to complete, so quit with the micro nonsense if you have no idea what's even being tested here.

    > Here is one or two for you, one is showing twice the performance over the other =D

    Both phones don't even use the freaking CPU when transcoding videos - they're both offloaded using the dedicated fixed function video encoders much like you can offload encoding on desktop PCs to your GPU's encoders, instead of doing it inefficiently on the CPU.

    You have absolutely ZERO understanding of what's going on here.
    Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > The scheduler isn't any different, because the scheduler doesn't do anything when there's only a single thread on a core to be run. There is literally no scheduling.

    Then the SoC is not maximized but underperforming.

    > Correction, I don't really just think it, I know it.

    Sure you do, now where is the fastest processor in this planet? Where is our A9-powered gaming PC LOL.

    > The whole SPEC suite takes exactly an hour to complete, so quit with the micro nonsense if you have no idea what's even being tested here.

    Just goes to show how primitive your tool is. 2020 is just around the corner, here you are still using a 2006 tool. This is like claiming Wolfdale is faster than Ryzen because it can finish 1M SuperPI faster LOL.
    Reply
  • Dug - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    You really don't have any argument because you really aren't sure what you are talking about. Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Am I or you? Isn't it clear that SPEC result does not translate to real-world? Where is the double performance as shown here? Show us proof that iPhone has twice the performance, I've posted links with two Android phones decimating iPhone 11.

    Sure you can claim all day you want that iPhone is the fastest phone via SPEC LOL, I'd rather see it translate to actual performance, not imaginary numbers.
    Reply
  • cha0z_ - Monday, December 23, 2019 - link

    You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Dunno why Andrei dedicated so much of his time trying to explain to you in primitive language what's going on (so you can understand). Reply

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