How good is the Snapdragon 805? It’s mostly about graphics, benchmarks show

by: Bogdan PetrovanMay 22, 2014

Qualcomm Brand Shot CES 2014-3

With an expected debut around the middle of the year, Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 805 chip should start showing up in devices soon. Perhaps in a sign that the 805 is indeed just around the corner, Qualcomm has allowed technology journalists to benchmark the new chip for the first time.

AnandTech’s Anand Lal Shimpi ran a suite of benchmarks on a Mobile Development Platform tablet provided by Qualcomm to see exactly what kind of performance the Snapdragon 805 brings to the game. His conclusions? It’s mostly about the next-gen graphics.

Here’s a quick presentation of the Snapdragon 805 MDP tablet. More details here.

Snapdragon 805 features

First, a little presentation of the chip. Snapdragon 805 (APQ8084) packs four 32-bit ARMv7-A Krait 450 CPU cores built on the 28nm process and clocked at up to 2.65GHz, and an Adreno 420 GPU clocked at 600MHz and supporting OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.2, and Direct3D 11.2.

The chip supports a memory bandwidth of 25.6GB/s, 4K displays, a 1.2Gigapixel/s ISP throughput, and a fast DSP to make sense of all the information offered by sensors on modern devices. Notably absent is a built-in LTE modem, removed to accommodate a wider memory interface within the constraints of a smartphone design. More details on the tech specs here.

qualcomm snapdragon 805 Via AnandTech

Don’t expect a crazy CPU improvement

Anand ran the Snapdragon 805-powered MDP tablet through benchmarks designed to test CPU and GPU performance respectively. See all the results here.

In the CPU department, benchmark scores suggest the Krait 450 provides just a minor performance bump compared to the Snapdragon 800/801. At most, the 2.7GHz 805 scored 6% better compared to a Snapdragon 801 spinning at 2.5GHz. But, depending on the specifics of each device, even that marginal improvement may be lost.

snapdragon 805 sunspider benchmark Via AnandTech

Next generation graphics performance

The real improvements come in the GPU department. The 805’s Adreno 420 is the first in Qualcomm’s new series 4XX of GPUs, and in this respect, the Snapdragon 805’s biggest reason of existence is to act as a “vehicle” for the new graphics silicon.

According to Qualcomm, Adreno 420 should provide a 40% increase in graphics performance, accompanied by a 20% decrease in power consumption, compared to the Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 801.

Anand’s benchmarks confirmed the performance increase – more precisely, in GPU tests, the 805 did between 20% and 50% better than the 801. In most benchmarks, this performance gain puts Qualcomm’s MDP tablet ahead of most devices out there, including the iPad Air, the HTC One (M8), and the Nvidia Shield.

snapdragon 805 gfxbench benchmark Via AnandTech

The caveat is Qualcomm did not let the press measure power consumption, and, in fact, the MDP tablet that benchmarks were ran on was plugged into an AC source. So there’s still some uncertainty around battery consumption in real life devices.

What devices will feature the Snapdragon 805?

Qualcomm also provided AnandTech a bit of insight into OEMs plans for the Snapdragon 805, and later 808/810. According to the chipmaker, some clients will use the intermediary 805 until the 808/810 comes, while others will choose to stick to the current 801 until next year.

For devices that need high-performance graphics, the 805 makes sense. These include gaming-oriented devices and devices with resolution higher than 1080p. That’s because an Adreno 420 GPU can drive a Quad HD display at the same performance as an Adreno 330 with a 1080p screen.

But for general purpose devices with 1080p screens, the slight CPU bump and the other features offered by Snapdragon 805 may not be worth the trouble of moving from the 801.

Looking forward, leaks suggest the LG G3 will come with a Snapdragon 801 processor, despite its Quad HD screen. The Quad HD HTC M8 Prime, however, could pack the 805, rumor has it, just like the Prime version of the Galaxy S5.

  • Mur

    Disappointed that Snapdragon ditched their krait cores in the 808 and 810.

    • renz

      i believe they don’t ditch them most likely their custom 64 bit cpu is not ready yet. they can’t wait for their custom cpu to be done while other vendor already using 64 bit ARM core. so like it or not they have to use ARM A57/A53 cores before they can come up with theirs

      • xoj_21

        that process will take 2 years at most.

        • renz

          custom design is not easy. nvidia has been known to make their own custom 64 bit ARM core since 2011 (and most likely they start the project much earlier than that) and their first working silicon only arrive in 2014. and that is from company that has been doing custom design for every gpu they make. given that qualcomm have experience with their custom 32 ARM core they might able to do it faster but still we cannot say that qualcomm can do it in two years time at most. i believe qualcomm already have a team doing custom 64 bit ARM core even before Apple came out with A7 but what they did not expect is Apple able to come out with their custom 64 bit much earlier than ARM themselves.

          • tiger

            Really? qualcomm already was doing custom ARM before apple? You know this for a fact? Come on! If true, then that team must be special olympics-type because they are over 1.5 years behind Apple!

          • renz

            oh come on this is not apple vs qualcomm thing. what i’m saying is when Apple finally unveil A7 to the world Qualcomm must already have custom 64 ARM design in the pipeline. it is natural progress for any vendor that using ARM for their product. adopting 64 bit is the next step. it doesn’t matter what your company are. doesn’t matter who came up with custom ARM core first either.

  • Ruz

    Snapdragon 805 is more than just the performance. Not forget to mention the newer BT & Wifi modules, wider audio codec support, better power consumption performance and many more..

    I somehow dont like any phone which i can use them as mp3 player. Its sad to see that these days high end phones dont come with quality internal audio DAC’s and rely on onboard solutions. I tried listening to all major phones right from S5, M8, G2 & Z2 and trust me none of them offered the quality which i was expecting when i connected my earphones for listening the songs. Best of them was LG G2 which was sounding better and softer than other high end models.. Its a shame on these manufactures for charging us high prices and offering junk products

    • Pitahson

      Lg g2 was made with audio as a priority. Still would have liked to see a brand name DAC, but the S800 DAC is not bad.

      • tiger

        No. Lg G2 has crap audio. Really one of the worst audio of 2013…on par with Nexus 5.


        • Ruz

          Your name is Tiger but u r behaving like a pussy. Come and challenge in open face to face and not hide like a pussy u pussy cat

          • Ruz

            As far as anandtech is concerned those test cant decide ur hears. U need to hear the audio and decide and not reply on such stupid test.. Did u try hearing all the smartphones urself? I did

          • tiger

            Dude, did you even read the Anandtech test? The DAC and codec are horrible! Crank up volume and distortion! WTF are you talking about?!

            As for calling me a pussy…maybe you should look in the mirror because it looks like you need to pull up your girlie panties! You sure have thin skin for a guy. Is it that time of month for you?

          • Ruz

            I dont rely on reviews as i mentioned earlier.. I checked all the phones myself.. Do u get that? If u dont understand what i m saying then i will repeat again.. Please go ahead with the best sounding earphones that you have and check the same track on all the phone that i have mentioned above and then come and comment here or else leave it and dont bother to disturb

          • tiger

            Unfortunately, ears can be deceived by bias. In addition, unless you had bought ALL of these phones brand new and sat down and set everything to default, your comparison is worthless. Do you get THAT?

            I surely hope that you did not just go to a store and test it out…that surely would be the dumbest thing in the world to do! Being an audiophile, i am sure that you did not do that!

            Please tell me your testing protocol. I am interested.

            And as an “audiophile,” you understand that better and softer make no damn sense, right?!

            You’re an idiot. I love how you went and cuss me out when i questioned your findings. Pussy? No, dude, just look in the mirror and you see one big one right there.

            You still have not answered my question…how do we go face to face???? Dumbass.

          • tiger


            Now, know that iPhone 5 audio is considered slightly worst than iPhone 4s AND iPhone 5S.

            Maybe, you need to educate yourself more. If audio is important, then you need to jump ship.

          • tiger


            “The LG G2 may boast support for hi-res 24 bit/192khz audio, but on sound quality alone, the iPhone 5s (like the 5 before it) is one of the best sounding smartphones we’ve encountered.

            Tracks like Hey Now from London Grammar are detailed, lively and smooth and whereas on the G2, there seems to be something missing, the 5s is a much more engaging, interesting listen.”

            G2 being the best? Not by a long shot dude.

          • Ruz

            I think u dint check my first post what i had written, did u? Have u mentioned any name like 5S in it? You dint notice that i made my conclusion based on the phones i tested and i have also mentioned their names above? Please stop fighting like a P**y and behave matured.. I know only ur name is Tiger but u r actually a small pussy cat

          • tiger

            Sorry it was kind of hard reading this post…were you drunk while writing this?

          • tiger

            Maybe you should? Why are you limiting yourself as an “audiophile”??

          • tiger

            Ok…how to challenge face to face?

    • xoj_21

      king stilll is the exynos s4 that have wolfson. i havent heard the s5 exynos not available everywhere

      everyone should use wolfson DAC like they use sony sensors :(

      • Ruz

        I agree with u. I want the latest Wolfson HiFi DAC to be seen on mobile phones.

    • jay

      I doubt u own all those phones o’s the m7 with beats audio and headphones sounds awesome, and I assume the sprint HTC m8 Harmon karmon does to that’s an audio specific phone.

      • Ruz

        I dont own them but i have spent lot of time testing them at the nearby store buddy

      • Humaan

        Off-topic but cant stop criticizing beats audio gimmik which mostly relies on unnatural equalizer settings.I have a hp notebook with beats audio.
        I use foobar2000 with wasapi to bypass that nonsense beats audio.
        used dolby headphone libraries along with foobar2000 for best headphone audio kicking out beats audio.
        Would love to see dolby headphone feature in mobiles.
        sammy presets are not good enough

      • SirViP

        I know this comment is old, but I just had to laugh at you using “Beats audio”.

    • tiger

      Well, not to offend you, but your ears won’t know the difference! Why? Because you just picked the WORST audio performing phone as your favorite!


      BTW, being an earphone junkie myself, what the hell does this mean: “sounding better and softer”???? How does this go together???

      • Ruz

        Have u tried hearing M8 with the earphones? Try it and let me know what u think if u r an audiophile like me?

        • tiger

          I have no idea what you’re trying to say. Lets talk about what YOU wrote. You picked LG G2 as your best audio phone, right? Did i read it wrong?

          LG G2 (and Nexus 5) are absolutely the WORST audio performing phone of 2013…literally their DAC and codec suck donkey balls.

          And you’re trying to convince me that you’re an “audiophile”?? What does M8 have to do with any of this?

          Maybe you need to stick with iPhone 5S if you want the best audio.

          Again, what does “sounding better and softer” mean? Do you mean better and smoother?

          • Ruz

            u wont understand.. leave it

          • tiger

            No, you NEED to understand basics of audio BEFORE making grand statements.

  • Andrew T Roach

    Same ol Krait on the CPU side. Still really lagging behind on the architecture. Qualcomm’s next offerings are stock ARM cores so after the 805, they will be rocking the same cores as Mediatek’s next SoC’s.

    Graphic improvements at 2560 x 1440 resolution only brings GPU performance to the same level as the 801 running at when 1080P. Makes sense considering that’s likely why this SoC was created. People often forget that resolution has a large effect on performance.

    • David Baláž

      yeah that is why I think running a QHD on S801 with adreno 330 will be something like running 1080p on the old S600 series.

  • Still, it seems to be an improvement. The ARM + Imagination combo that Apple has been doing for a while now still is the best combination, arguably.

  • IDontKnowMyName

    If the HTC One M8 Prime and SGS5 Prime get the 805 SOC then hopefully LG will release a variant of the G3 with the same SOC. I am very excited about the G3 even with a 801 SOC but with 805 it will be icing on the cake :)

  • rohit

    Htc one M8 has a dedicated amp and not just the on board soc amp. Its one of the best sounding phones ever beating even the mighty iphone 5 in sound quality. All u need to give them is a good quality seperate amp.

    • tiger


  • tiger

    Is it me or is Qualcomm really losing it? Just a year ago, S800 was a HUGE step forward from S4 Pro of 2012. 2014 must be the year Qualcomm decided to do PURE MARKETING and crap on Android phones.

    How in hell did a chip designer let a company like Apple (a non-dedicated chip designer) beat them by more than a year?

    ARMv8 came out in 2012 i believe. Apple was able to come up with a CUSTOM ARMv8 64-bit chip (with true desktop potential) within 1 year.

    By the time Qualcomm finally comes out with its own CUSTOM ARMv8 chip (mid 2015 at earliest??), Apple would have already introduced SECOND generation ARMv8 64-bit chip a full six months ahead of it!!!

    I am sure that Apple chip design team is much smaller than Qualcomm (and Samsung)…what the hell happened?

    In the meantime, we have Qualcomm touting a more than 20-year old ISA/architecture (ARMv7) like its the next best thing since slice bread!

    YET, it is Apple that is all about marketing, according to various Android fanboys! Of course, this is despite Samsung spending tons more $$$$ on marketing and displaying junk features.

    Weird, isn’t it?