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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  • Alistair - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    go into your BIOS and run your Intel computer in dual core mode, 2.6Ghz, and come back and tell me it is fast...
  • id4andrei - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    The software running on these platforms in not identical. Some of it depends on CPU extensions that are not equivalent between platforms. A dual core 2.6 Ghz intel chip will run slower Win10 than an ipad pro would run ios. But you could find a Linux distribution and some oss apps that would run very fast on that 2.6 Ghz dual core intel.
  • Quantumz0d - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    LOL. You won the most stupid comment here congrats.

    "Android fanatics" so you are an Apple sheep I guess.

    Sandybridge OCed to 4GHz+ still keeps up with a 1080Ti without any issues. That shows how Intel milked and Ryzen caught up due to monopoly. And you are crippling an x86 LGA socket processor to 2.6GHz Dual core and compare with an iPad Pro ? In what usecase ? What is the ultimate goal here ? Lets disable all Lightning and Thunder cores and run 1 Lightning then (You cant do it anyways since Apple is the overlord here). What the actual fuck lmao. Also magically slapping in more A13 cores means x86 Intel and AMD are dead, haha you think this is making a sandwich at home ? I thinm you never heard of Sparc or IBM Power go and read snd get your mind blown on threads but do not compare that to x86 or Apple A series Alien technology please. An iOS cannot even process zip file extraction nor a config file for a VPN. That alone breaks the whole A series King to ashes as its not used in a real computer at all. A psuedo Filesystem and fake filemanager app doesn't make it a proper OS. Unfortunately Android is also following same.retarded path thanks to Apple disease at Google emulating by the abomination called Scoped Storage disaster.

    Let me tell you a secret the laptop you used all are garbage and they are cut down bottom barrel silicon from the failed Desktop chips and so on. The age of rPGA Intel is fucked (Last XM is 4930MX, a true binned Mobile Chip like K) Thanks to BGA greed of Apple infecting Intel for max profits and people to be subverted to use BGA / soldered trash throttling thin and light crappy planned obsolescence HW.

    Let us run a Cinebench on your beloved processor then or lets run a POVray or a H264 Transcoding. Well how about we game a PUBG and stream it at 1080P highest quality.

    This is the reason why I see x86 vs ARM talk irrelevant and often AT articles are quoted to prove the IPC and all SPEC scores but completely ignore scalability, compatibility, legacy code, HW market etc, when the compute workloads / OS / Software Code / HW which are entirely different world. Like comparing a Jet fighter to a Jet ski.
  • Alistair - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    Nice rant. Might want to read my comment before going off like a crazy person? I said I only buy Android phones... right there in the first sentence.

    Before you blindly state how amazing x86 CPUs are, as I said, run your Intel CPU in dual core mode at 2.6 Ghz and compare how slow it is vs. the A13 Apple chip that is also 2 power cores at a low frequency. That's what IPC is. I can't understand why people get so triggered about saying Apple has the highest IPC in the industry. It's a simple fact and I just have to assume you don't know what you are talking about. Andrei's articles always seem to attract the most illiterate part of the internet.
  • markol4 - Monday, December 23, 2019 - link

    A13 IPC is superior to Intel or AMD but Apple CPU core is huge in terms of transistors budget. IIRC in A11 times Apple CPU core had at least 2 times more transistors than x86 CPU core. Considering that there is no surprise that Apple has a higher IPC.
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    They might as well just make a chart and put "BUZZWORDS" on it at this point.

    That is what is so silly about current state of smart phones. So much they can cram into one..but rarely do they do..or if they do its crippled by terrible software.

    Google is already facing so much criticism of Google Photos bullshit, months in and they just say "we are aware of it". lol
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    I don't think i'll ever understand how Google can take a product, that works great, then release a dozen updates with release notes that "fixes bugs" and completely borks it for users. I mean what is the fucking incentive. Oh and because everything google is so entwined with other software, for whatever reason, it fucks up other things. So now you try to figure out what software is the original culprit or is it the others now. This shit never ends with google.
  • Nicon0s - Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - link

    Do you know what's amusing?
    The vast majority of people reading this article don't really understand what those numbers showed by the SPEC actually mean, what they represent for the functionality of the phone. Most only copy paste things form the article that they like, especially the parts where it's mentioned that the Qualcomm chips are "years" behind. So it doesn't matter how the phone runs and how fast it can execute real world tasks.

    One thing I don't understand is if I would buy a Galaxy S11+ instead of an iphone 11 Pro Max what will I be missing in terms of performance? What specific advantage would the A13 SOC give me because "it's years ahead" in performance?
  • cha0z_ - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    My second hand iphone 6s runs super smooth, including in heavy beautiful games - no fps drops or performance issues. Doing so on Galaxy s6 (the available competition model from the same year) is not possible.

    This is where the powerful SOC shines - years down the road where the phone stays relevant and a pleasure to use. Ofc you will not have to worry about that with your S11+ as samsung support their phones fully for only two years (3rd is security updates only). Really they drop the phone as full/serious support even before the first year drops - this is what happened with my note 9, no attention at all - just quick security updates and no interest beyond that. After all - they put the capable engineers to work only towards the new upcoming phones. Apple support FULLY their phones for 5-6 years + they released this summer a security update for iphone 5 and 4s - 2011 and 2012 model. Any android phone from those years receiving a security update?

    Also you can play full PC civilization 6 game on the iphone. No android port and not only because piracy, but because on later turns/bigger maps the android SOCs will choke and the wait time between turns - unbearable. I can list you also a lot more games exclusive to ios, a lot because of performance. Dead cells for example, keeping in touch with the devs - the mobile port dev team (it's outsourced) struggles BIG TIME with performance on android thus massively delaying it.
  • tranceazure1814 - Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - link

    So the main point that I want to know,is it worth upgrading to a Snapdragon 865 over a Snapdragon 855 and while we on the subject does the mi mix 3 5g has less LTE bands than the standard snapdragon 845 mi mix 3?

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