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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  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    The best snapdragon can barely keep up with the a11, as Andrei points out in his analysis. YouTube speed tests are by far the most useless and pointless benchmarks ever devised, which is why not a single reputable source (like anandtech) ever uses them...

    Sorry, but the only question here is how much faster the a14 will be. 40%, 50% or even more...
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Why doesn't Qualcomm simply increases their die size & use a larger die properly to at least come closer to apple
    maybe it is needs more than a larger die size
    it needs a better Architecture
    Arm or Qualcomm whom to blame?
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    A key problem for smartphones is power budget. These SoCs are already pushing 5 W/h and up if running at full tilt, so even a nicely sized battery (5000 mAh) can be drained in 3-4 hours top if someone runs them accordingly. Apple has managed to accommodate high peak/burst performance while still getting good overall power usage, and I still find their battery life wanting.
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Why do they need to ? Apple is only Apple and it only works for them.

    If you see realworld speedtests on YouTube see how OP7 Pro flies through the tasks giving the user a faster and smoother experience.

    And go to ScyllaDB website and see how AWS Graviton 2 stacks with Intel in Benches and how they mention benches only should not be taken as a measure.

    Apple OS lacks Filesystem. It cannot be a computer ever. iOS is a kid friendly OS. You can't even fucking change launcher / icons forget other system level changes.

    Qcomm needs competition from MediaTek, Exynos. Huawei HiSilicon but except Exynos all are garbage because they do not let us unlock Bootloaders. And Android phones see community driven ROMs there is so much or choice to add even the DAPs from 200USD to 3000USD have Qcomm technology.

    Repairing is also easier due to the HW Boxes which can bring a QComm9008 Brick to life. Whereas with Apple its Ball and Chain ecosystem.

    I see my SD835 run like butter through everything I throw at it and has an SD slot too.

    This stupid Whiteknighting of Apple processors beating x86 and their use case / Android Phones is a big sham. People need to realize benches are not the only case when you compare Processors accross OSes.
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    A 1995 computer running MS DOS 6.0 is also butter smooth, I hope you dont think that means an intel 486 DX4 is faster than an apple chip.

    Please stop with your nonsense about "real world tests". Real world your 835 has a slower cpu, GPU, and storage. Doesn't mean it is garbage - it is fine you are happy with it but it is not your duty to defend the honor of Oppo against facts. I dont want an iphone either die to their walked garden but that doesn't mean I live under the delusion that my brand new galaxy s10e is anything other than at least 40% slower and twice as inefficient as an iPhone 11...
  • cha0z_ - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    Coming from exynos 9810 note 9 to iphone 11 pro max... the SOC on the iphone is literally times faster and more efficient than the exynos. The difference is absurdly big and people still calls apple slower because of design choices (like the slow animations, etc). It's super smooth in all conditions/times + it's rofl fast in any app/game (not to mention apps got functions not available on android). GL running full PC civilization 6 on android with decent performance later in the game on bigger map and decent battery life. There is a reason why the game was not ported on android too (and not only piracy) - it will run poor even on most high end current gen android phones.
  • ksec - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    They could, but are you going to pay for it? Let say Qualcomm has to bump up $50 ( inclusive of their profits ) to reach the same level of performance, as you consumer you will have to pay roughly $100 more.

    In a cut throat Android market, who is going to risk putting up their Smartphone price by $100?

    There is a reason why Samsung and Huawei are trying to make SoC themselves, instead of putting those profits into Qualcomm's hand, they want those cost to go towards more die space to better differentiate their product and compete with Apple.

    Now here is another question, how many consumer will notice the different in CPU speed? And how many consumer will notice the Modem quality different?

    They are all set of trade offs, not only in engineering, but also in cost, markets, risk... etc...
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    It is a matter of cost. Arm could design a cpu core that is 4 times the size of the a76 and 50% faster, catching up to apple. But that would cost a lot of die size and thus money... for high margin, high cost devices it is ok but not for cheap ones. Ape can afford this...
  • jospoortvliet - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Ape - I mean apple of course!
  • cha0z_ - Friday, December 27, 2019 - link

    It's not that simple as putting a lot of transistors in it. You can somewhat tackle the problem with that, but by itself it will not lead to the desired end result.I can elaborate, but it will be lengthily and highly technical post.

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