Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 offers “ludicrous speed,” its GPU is the “new king,” benchmarks show

by: Chris SmithJune 20, 2013
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Qualcomm development tablet and smartphone | Image Credit: AnandTech

After seeing several unofficial Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 benchmark results that suggested the new flagship System on Chip from Qualcomm would blow the competition out of the water, we now have official tests showing the same thing.

Various publications including AnandTech and Engadget have been invited to check out the new SoC (Snapdragon 800 MSM8974) on a Qualcomm development tablet and smartphone, and the results are very interesting – and in line with what you expect.

In short, the Snapdragon 800 – which is said to power various upcoming flagship Android handsets including the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the HTC One Max (T6), the Sony Xperia Z Ultra (ZU or Togari), the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced version and the LG Optimus G2, to name just a few – is able to deliver a remarkable performance, particularly in the GPU department.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Image Credit: ArsTechnica

Several benchmarks have been used to gauge its potential, and the Snapdragon 800 SoC has been pitted in an Engadget test against several worthy competitors including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 found aboard the HTC One and the Galaxy S4, the Exynos 5 Octa that powers certain Galaxy S4 versions, the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro in the HTC Droid DNA, the Qualcomm Snapdragon S400 in the HTC First, the Exynos 4 Quad in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 but also the NVIDIA Tegra 4 SoC in a reference device.

AnandTech compared the Snapdragon 800 against some of the SoC mentioned above, but also against SoCs in the iPhone 5 and iPad 4, and, finally, the publication compared the Snapdragon 800’s GPU against several PC GPUs.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800

Image Credit: ArsTechnica

The hardware

The hardware used to test the new Qualcomm flagship SoC is certainly interesting, so here’s what the company offered the publications:


  • 11.6-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.3GHz MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 processor (4 Krait 400 CPUs)
  • Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 450MHz
  • 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM at 800MHz
  • 32GB flash storage
  • microSD support
  • USB 3.0 support
  • microHDMI support
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • 12-megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash
  • 2-megapixel front-faing camera
  • 3400mAh battery
  • LTE
  • Wi-Fi ac support
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 11.7mm thickness


  • 4.3-inch display with 720p resolution
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • most of the other features similar with the test tablet.

The results

As you’ll notice in the following gallery of benchmark screenshots, the Snapdragon 800 did more than well whether we’re talking about the phone and tablet. Testing them both, Engadget found them to offer “ludicrous speed,” with only the Tegra 4 SoC capable of putting up a decent fight.

The more thorough results come from AnandTech, which focused mainly on testing the performance of the tablet offered for demo. While the CPU of the Snapdragon 800 was not able to outclass the competitors in all tests, the GPU was found to offer impressive performance, outscoring its main rival in the process. The site concluded that the Snapdragon 800 CPU is more than a match for ARM Cortex 15 and Intel Bay Trail, while the GPU is the “new king,” with Adreno 330 becoming the GPU to beat this year. The SoC fared well against PCs too in a GPU comparison, although the performance, as expected, is not quite there yet.

In the gallery below, you’ll see various benchmark results as performed by AnandTech:

ArsTechnica compared available benchmarks with previous results for other gadgets, and its graphs show that the Snapdragon 800 GPU is “even quicker than Tegra 4 or the iPad 4.”

That said, we’re very interested to see the first Snapdragon 800-based devices hit stores, and we’re particularly looking forward to see what new tablets will be powered by the new processor, as so far we only have rumors about future smartphones that will use the flagship SoC.

  • stillwaiting

    didn’t show how much power the soc used in order to produced these results… also i’m waiting to see the exynos 5420 with the 8 core gpu that was rumored.

    • xoj_21

      exynos will be faster if samsung clocks it at the same speed.

      • familyof1

        exynos tdp is way too high for it to be clocked at the same speed probably 1.9 at most for cpu unless there was some serious improvements made to both the soc and some new thermal managements.

        • john

          lol Exynos Octa TDP is high? Compared to….?
          Also, I’m not even sure how TDP is relevant in heterogeneous system. Not to mention TDP in most embedded devices are very far from the actual power consumption, ie) higher TDP in embedded systems don’t really mean higher energy consumption in every day use.

          • JohnnD-bag

            what a dumb-A$$

          • Magnetic1

            Yeah that was way over my head too.

      • Bjajjull

        But samsung won’t release the source code.

    • Ivan Budiutama

      exactly my point, a little worry about the power efficiency too.

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Competition between Snap 800 and Teg 4 is fierce, T4 beats it in some ways, has Nvidia graphics commonalities to program to, but S8 has inbuilt LTE Advanced, these two beasts are the first shock troopers, of an army of UD (4k) mobile devices coming our way. Importantly this means they’ll run cool and battery efficient at 1080p, so all those “It’ll use to much battery” fHD ney sayers, think again !!

    • Magnetic1

      Dude, china is making 1280p 6.5inch phablets. 1080p may become the standard on budget phones pretty soon. With that said I wish the FCC would change their standard already, ATSC or US HDTV broadcast, and make the transmission format more open.

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        Were hearing about 36″ $700 UDTVs, Green Ray DVDs will soon be out at 1TB, that’s enough for around 16 UD 4k movies, 4 UD 8k movies. Samsung have a 3,200p horizontal 13″ tablet, that’s just 600p off UD, though few are going to make video at 1280p. There are common standards, standard definition 480p (SD DVD,) high definition 720p, full high definition 1080p (Blue Ray fHD DVD,) ultra definition 4 and 8k (Green Ray UD DVD.) Already we have 50″ $1,200 UDTVs, it won’t be long before we see Green Ray Sony PS4s and Xbox Ones, by 2018, there’ll be 4 billion 6″ 3D UD devices. This will be backed up by Petabite/s fiber optic to GB/s landline twisted pair (phone line fiber to the node,) hybrid fiber coax, to household electrical wiring GB/s networks. To GB/s WiFi ac, remember it only takes 25 MB/s to stream UD movies, or 1/40 th the available bandwidth, so it will take around 4 minutes, to download a UD movie to your mobile device. With 14nm GPU/CPU=APUs, UD will run as cool as a cucumber, a PS4 runs 2 million million floating point operations per second (2Tflops) and that’s with its frequency halved, to keep it cool and power efficient. At 14nm, that kind of power will be available to mobile devices, with the frequency brought down from 15 GHz to 5GHz, to keep it cool and save battery.

  • Roberto Tomás

    Those Geekbench numbers put it shockly close to an Intel Core i5-450M … or a Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 desktop processor.