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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  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Right, he even claimed a 2015 Apple A9 is faster than Skylake and Ryzen processors today. Only a complete !Diot will believe this claim. Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    You should see AT forum. A thread has been dedicated to discuss this BS fanboyism and outcome was Apple won. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    x86 emulation on Arm has absolutely nothing to do with any topic discussed here or QC vs Apple performance. I'm sick and tired of your tirades here as nothing you say remains technical or on point to the matter.

    The experience I have, when dismissing any other aspects such as iOS's super slow animations, is that the iPhones are far ahead in performance of any Android device out there, which is very much what the benchmark depict.
    Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Did I mention anything from your article on QC vs x86 ? I was replying to a comment on "Revolutionary" performance of A series vs x86. And then you claimed it as nonsensical point of x86 on ARM.

    So "super slow animations" & "far ahead". What do you mean by that ? An iPhone X vs a 11 Pro will exhibit the launching speed, then loading speed differences same as 835 vs 855 which can be observed. Everything ApplePro guy did a massive video of iPhones across multiple A series iterations which is the ONLY way a user can see the performance improvement.

    But when Android vs iOS you are saying iPhone animation speeds are super slow yet the benches show much lead..So how is the user seeing the far ahead in performance out there when OP7 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max, like iPhone is still faster as you claim but in reality user is seeing same ?
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Apparently I'm able say that because I'm able to differentiate between CPU performance, raw performance, and "platform performance".

    CPU performance is clear cut on where we're at and if you're still arguing this then I have no interest in discussing this.

    Raw performance is what I would call things that are not actually affected by the OS, web content *is* far faster on the latest iPhone than on Androids, that's a fact. Among this is actual real applications, when Civilization came to iOS the developers notably commented on the performance being essentially almost as good as desktop devices, the performance is equal to x86 laptops or better: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13661/the-2018-appl...

    And finally, the platform experience includes stuff like the very slow animations. I expect this is a big part as to what you regard as being part of your "experience" and "reality". I even complained about this in the iPhone 11 review as I stated that I feel the hardware is being held back by the software here.

    Now here's what might blow your mind: I can both state that Apple's CPUs are far superior at the same time as stating that the Android experience might be faster, because both statements are very much correct.
    Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Okay thanks for that clarity on Raw performance and other breakdowns like CPU, Platform. Yes I can also see that Web performance on A series has always been faster vs Androids.

    I forgot about that article. Good read, and on Civ 6 port however it lacks the GFX options. I would also mention that TFlops cannot be even compared within same company. Like Vega 64 is 12TFs vs a 5700XT at 9TFs, latter completely wrecks the former in majority except for the compute loads utlizing HBM. I know you mentioned the FP16 and other aspects of the figure in opening, just saying as many people just take that aspect. Esp the new Xbox SX and Console as a whole (They add the CPU too into that figure)

    And finally. Yes ARM scales in normal browsing, small tasks vs x86 laptops which majority of the people nowadays are doing (colleagues don't even use PCs) but for higher performance and other workloads ARM cannot cut it at all.

    Plus I'd also add these x86 laptop parts throttle a lot incl. Macbooks obv because they are skimping on cooling them for thinness so their consistency isn't there as well just like A series.
    Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    When I look at the comparisons here, I look only for Android vs. Android or Apple vs. Apple. Comparing them with different OSes and more so primitive tools is a worthless approach. Firstly, the results need to be normalized, one Soc is showing lead while sucking more power than the other. Secondly, the bloated scores of Apple Soc here does not represent real-world results. Most Android phones with SD855 are faster if not the same than iPhone 11. Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > Comparing them with different OSes and more so primitive tools is a worthless approach.

    SPEC is a native apples-to-apples comparison. The web benchmarks and the 3D benchmarks are apples-to-apples interpreted or abstracted, same-workload comparisons.
    All the tests here are directly comparable - the tests which aren't and which rely on OS specific APIs, such as PCMark, obviously don't have the Apple data.

    > Firstly, the results need to be normalized, one Soc is showing lead while sucking more power than the other.

    That's a very stupid rationale. If you were to follow that logic you'd have to normalise little cores up in performance as well because they suck much less power.
    Reply
  • joms_us - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    > SPEC is a native apples-to-apples comparison.

    Stop right there, Apple vs. Apple only

    > The web benchmarks and the 3D benchmarks are apples-to-apples interpreted or abstracted, same-workload comparisons.
    All the tests here are directly comparable - the tests which aren't and which rely on OS specific APIs, such as PCMark, obviously don't have the Apple data.

    How? Just like Geekbench, different compilers are used. Different distribution of loads are made.
    My Ryzen 2700 can finished 5 full GB run as fast as one full GB run in an iPhone and yet the single core score of iPhone is higher than any Ryzen. You are showing Apple A13 (LOL A13 is faster than the fastest AMD or Intel chip) using Jurassic Spec benchmark?

    Talk about dreams vs. reality.

    > That's a very stupid rationale. If you were to follow that logic you'd have to normalise little cores up in performance as well because they suck much less power.

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

    Have you ever load a consumer website or run an consumer app with these phones side-by-side? Don't tell they are not using cpu or memory resources. They are, they are doing most if not all of the workloads on the charts here. While your chart if showing Apple has twice the performance vs SD865, the phone doesn't tell lies. A bloated benchmark score does not translate to real-world result.

    It is time to stop this worthless propaganda that Android SoC is inferior than Apple and the laughable IPC king (iPhone chip is faster than desktop processors).

    Until iPhone can play Crysis smoother than even low end laptops, this BS claim that it is the fastest chip should stop.
    Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, December 16, 2019 - link

    Agreed.

    It really feels like a propaganda every single article on CPU Apple gets super limelight because of these benches on a closed walled garden platform from OS to HW to Repair.

    The power consumption of A series processors deteriorating the battery was nicely thrown under the rug by Apple throttling bs. They even added the latest throttle switch for XS series. But yea no one cares. Apple's deeppockets allow top lawyers in their hands to manipulate every thing.

    The consumer app part. Its perfect use case since we never see any of the Android phones lag as interpreted here due to the dominance of A series by 2-3x folds and in real life nothing is observable. And comparing that to the x86 Desktop machines with proper OS and a computing usecases like Blender, Vray, MATLAB, Compliation, MIPS of Compression and decompression, Decode/Encoding and superior Filesystem support and socketed / Standardized HW (PCIe, I/O options), Virtualization and Gaming, DRAM scaling choice (user can buy whatever memory they want or any HW as its obvious)..this whole thing screams bs. It would be better if the highlight is mentioned on benches and realwork might differ but its not the case at all.

    The worst is spineless corporate agenda of allowing Chinese CPC to harvest every bit from their Cloud data Center in China allowing the subversion and anti liberty. A.k.a Anti American principles.
    Reply

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