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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • iphonebestgamephone - Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - link

    "I am into android from the start + symbian before than and also senior member with dev/helping known devs with project @ xda. So thank you, I know enough about android." Haha... I should have known you would come up with something like that.

    "Btw, used android for 10 years (only high end phones) till I switched to the pro max + I have highly technical background as education, hobby and work - especially in the field of electronics and computers" this one too lol.

    And then you somehow decide civ6 and deadcells dont run cus android too weak. No. Its just the devs dont bother with it. They could have restricted it to atleast sd820 devices like what grid autosport devs are doing.

    "Emulation is cool, did a lot on android with it. Including fun stuff like running diablo 2 LOD latest patch on my note 9, believe me - it's playable with the spen when on the go, in home one mouse and the TV = you are good to go. Still, ported or developed games for mobile just works better and you have such a vast library nowdays with high quality games that you really don't need to revisit old classics on your phone. Actually on ios the situation is a lot better, you got a lot more paid apps there vs android." Im yet to find some good stuff like god of war, nfs, burnout, wipeout, xenoblade, pokemon, zelda or mario, on android, or any other thousands of games. You could say you can stream them, but same goes for pc games too. Emulators and a switch style gamepad is great on the go. I see apple has done a great job with metal, vulkan is worse than opengl on android 10 sd855. Looking forward to the updatable drivers on the 865.

    "I can play fortnite maxed at 60fps and no fps drops or whatever even after 2 hours of play without major heating and you are talking about PUBG maxed. :)"
    Thats awesome, sd855 heats up a lot on pubg maxed. I guess there is no pubg gfxtool for ios.
  • cha0z_ - Thursday, January 2, 2020 - link

    There are emulators for ios and you don't need jailbreak to install/play games. They are not on the app store tho, they are on custom stores - still, it's not any different than installing APK from outside playstore. The emulators library is quite big, including ppsspp. As I said tho - android is better for emulators imho + I didn't say android is weak as OS. Weak are the SOCs on android phones compared to the A series of apple. I would totally love to see android phone with apple SOC/similar performance to it and longer full support than two years.

    As for the gfxtool, I hope you understand that when you have literally just a few phones to optimise for - you really do a great job with it, or with other words - the ios pubg variant is greatly optimised for every iphone that supports it to extract the best experience with the best possible gfx for the hardware. Ofc you can argue than personal preferences can apply and tweaking can be done, but it's not that necessary.

    I respect your opinion and share few viewpoints, just from personal experience - gaming on ios is generally better. Hard to explain, games run smoother and better. If you love emulators tho - android is obviously a better choice + snapdragon SOC.
  • iphonebestgamephone - Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - link

    "Weak are the SOCs on android phones compared to the A series of apple." Yeah everyone knows. They still are strong enough for the games you mentioned though, atleast the last 2 years of flagships. And last years 730/730g are also good enough. I guess the devs want even those with 100$ phones play their games. I doubt those people would even bother buying the game once it hits the store.

    Gamebench did a test and the huawei mate 30 pro actually performed better than the iphone 11 pro amd note 10 in games.

    The iphone probably had better visual settings/higher resolution as default probably.
  • Ahmedrr1 - Sunday, December 22, 2019 - link

  • AceMcLoud - Sunday, December 22, 2019 - link

    Ouch, that doesn't look very promising.
  • ballsystemlord - Friday, February 7, 2020 - link

    Spelling error:

    "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,"
    "mode" not "more":
    "The test here is mostly sensible to the performance scaling of the A55 cores. The QRD865 in the default mode is more conservative than some existing S855 devices,"
  • Hrel - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Man these Watt listings make no sense at all.

    5.12 Watts is shows as lower than 4.24 Watts then 2.73W is somehow HIGHER than that?! WTF is going on?

    Then 3.33W is higher than 2.73, which makes sense, but then 3.05W is lower than 2.56W?! What are these charts?
  • Hrel - Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - link

    Oh, the bar is for the Joules, the Watts aren't visually represented. Runtime being a critical variable, I gotcha now. Lol, I was so confused :)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now