Snapdragon Summit 2022 by Qualcomm closed its doors at the end of last week, however some of the news the company has been sharing with its guests is still slowly reaching the public. This is also the case with benchmark results of the new chip.
Present on site, we we had the opportunity to try a smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on boardrun some benchmarks and now we can tell you about our experience!
We will not dwell again on all the news concerning the top-of-the-range chip of the 2023 flagships, you can learn more by reading our article that you find below, but just to do a little refresher the company has announced the following improvements for CPUs and GPUs:
- CPUs: +35% performance, +40% energy efficiency
- GPUs: +25% performance, +45% energy efficiency, up to 30% more performance with Vulkan
The company also changed the distribution of CPU cores, including in the architecture 1 Cortex-X3 raw core, 4x intermediate cores (2x Cortex-A710 and 2x Cortex A715) and 3x Cortex-A510 high efficiency cores. As more and more happens as we move into the future, Qualcomm has also implemented several changes in different areas of its SoC dedicated to specific operations. The company has improved its DSP Hexagon, ISP Spectra and added a second AI processing core, as well as improving the power management of the whole package and the connection between the various “blocks”.
That said, we were lucky enough to be invited to a closed session of tests and benchmarks of the chip. The smartphone equipped with the performing SoC is not a commercially available one but what in the jargon is called a “Reference device”, or a platform made in limited quantities by a partner (it should be Asus in this case, even if it has not been confirmed) that the company uses for test the hardware and the respective software.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: the benchmarks
Not having a lot of time on our hands, we’ve personally only run a handful of test applications, this more than anything to verify if the results sheet given to us by the company reflected tests done outside their laboratories. Find this table a little further down.
First we launched the famous benchmark Geekbenchin which the smartphone achieved the result of 1491 points in single core And 5192 points in multi-core. This shows that there are improvements to the Kryo CPU architecture and confirms the data provided to us by Qualcomm. The test PCMark 3.0 evaluate the interaction of the device with the operating system and various basic features, here the chip got 18769 points.
We then put the Reference device face to face with a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 on AnTuTu, the latter uses a SoC Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 or the best available on the market today. Result? 1,286,006 pointsdetaching the foldable Samsung which stopped at 955659 and even exceeding the estimates of the American brand.
The last test we performed was done with the software 3DMark Wild Life Extreme. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was raced alongside a Huawei Mate 50 Pro and achieved a score of 3703 points (22.20fps) against 2752 points (16.50fps), an improvement in graphics performance in line with what was announced.
|System||Geekbench||Single-core||v5.4.4||Average of three runs||1485-1495|
|Multi-core||v5.4.4||Average of three runs||5050-5200|
|Average of three runs|
|PCMark||v3.0.40610||Average of three runs||18,500-18,900|
(Chrome v102.0.5005.78 – 64-bit)
|Jetstreams||v2.0||Average of three runs||167-170|
|speedometer||v2.0||Average of three runs||144-146|
|Web XPRT 3||v3.0||Average of three runs||219-220|
|Graphics||GFXBench||Manhattan 3.0 Offscreen (1080p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||329-332|
|T-Rex Offscreen (1080p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||481-484|
|Manhattan 3.1 Offscreen (1080p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||224-226|
|Car Chase OpenGL ES3.1 Offscreen (1080p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||129-130|
|Aztec Ruins Vulkan (High Tier) Offscreen (1440p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||65|
|Aztec Ruins OpenGL (High Tier) Offscreen (1440p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||60|
|Aztec Ruins Vulkan (Normal Tier) Offscreen (1080p)(FPS)||v5.0||Average of three runs||178-179|
|3D mark||Wild Life Unlimited||v2.2.4786||Average of three runs||82|
|Wild Life Extreme Unlimited||v2.2.4786||Average of three runs||23|
|To the||MLPerf||v2.1||30 minute test
|ETH AI Benchmark||v5.1.0||Average of three runs||~2070k-2100k|
Comparison with other platforms
Going to dig into our benchmark archive, we can now compare the results obtained from Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with the most powerful and important top-of-the-range chips of 2022. This comparison is not to demonstrate that the new chip is more performing, obviously it is an improvement on previous products, but it helps us to understand how much the future smartphones of 2023 will distance themselves from the previous ones by brute force.
The CPU performance improvements in single-core are relatively small especially compared to the previous Snapdragon SoC, while in multi-core the SD 8 Gen 2 took back the crown of better performing chip in the Android world.
The most encouraging results can be found in the graphics benchmarks: in 3DMark the new chip shows a significantly higher frame per second output than last year’s competitors. This suggests to us that not only Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is able to handle even more elaborate mobile titles, but that it can run current titles with lower power consumption (assuming that the Watt consumption of the new chip can’t be that high as the previous one)!
|Smartphones||Geekbench 5||3DMark||PCMark Work 3.0|
|Single-core||Multi-core||Wild Life Extreme||wild life||Performance|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
(score not disclosed)
(score not disclosed)
|Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
(Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4)
(Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra)
|MediaTek Dimension 9000+
(Asus ROG Phone 6D)
|Google Tensor G2
(Google Pixel 7 Pro)
With the help of the benchmark Gravity Mark of Tellusim Technologies we wanted to test the new Adreno GPU in the ray tracing performanceanother workhorse of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Here the situation becomes at least interesting: the Qualcomm chip was only marginally better of Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in this test and it was completely annihilated by the Apple A16 Bionic chip of iPhone 14 Pro, the latter which does not have hardware dedicated to Ray Tracing but uses the Metal API.
Our theory is that the benchmark don’t go to really use hardware acceleration just yet for this on-chip feature, capability accessible since Vulkan 1.3 probably using proprietary Qualcomm extensions still unknown to developers today. This would also explain the difference with the previous generation chip.
Improvements across the board
By looking at the data on the card, looking at Qualcomm’s announcements and trying the Reference device, we were able to verify how the new chip is consistently improved in several areas of interest. Whoever buys a top-of-the-range smartphone in 2023 will not only have in their hands a more powerful product than the previous ones in a quantifiable way, but above all will have at their disposal an efficient and intelligent chip.
The San Diego company has also greatly improved the photographic capabilities of the chip, but to evaluate those we will have to wait for the arrival of real products that have high-level photographic hardware and complex processing software. The Reference device mounts cameras and auxiliary sensors which, however, are only used by engineers to test their chip, they are not made to return results of the highest possible quality.
To those who say that a more powerful chip is “not needed”, we want to remind you of one thing: it is true that the latest generation flagship chips are already powerful enough to more than adequately run practically every game and every application you could wish for, work by Qualcomm however, it does not concern only the simple power.
The chip is not only able to “push harder”, but it is able to do it efficiently. This means that the increase in the chip’s maximum performance has the side effect of being able to consume less at the same level of performance currently achievable. It is therefore likely that by keeping battery cells unchanged in capacity and technology, OEMs will be able to increase autonomy of their flagship smartphones, at least when the chip is used partially and you don’t squeeze it to 100%, that is in most cases.
The higher efficiency also implies less heat generation, which in turn suggests that the new SoC is capable of sustain your performance longer before having to cool down by slowing down.
What do you think, will you buy a top of the range in 2023? If yes, which one are you waiting for?