Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 tested, it screams

By the end of this year, you’ll be able to buy Android device that are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800. Today’s flagship phones are all powered by the Snapdragon 600, so now the obvious question is how much better is this new chip versus what’s currently available?

I’m happy to report that Brian Klug from AnandTech recently got his hands on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 development kit and put it through its paces. According to a recent tweet, Klug says this new chip is between 20% to 30% faster in CPU benchmarks, and as much as 80% faster in GPU tests. Does that mean you should throw your new shiny 600 EUR smarpthone in the garbage and buy a new one for Christmas?

Not really. I’m not going to lie, 30% is a huge increase in CPU performance, but you have to take into account that Brian was testing a development kit. Those things are notoriously optimized for performance, not for battery life. I have no doubt in my mind that Brian will be re-running his tests once retail Snapdragon 800 devices are out on the market.

What I’m looking forward to the most is actually the first Snapdragons to be built using 20 nanometer technology. All this 28 nanometer stuff is “old”, and TSMC has repeatedly said that 20 nanometer chips will begin volume production in the first half of next year. How much faster will those be? I don’t really know, but I do know that a Snapdragon 800 built on a more modern process will consume far less energy than the Snapdragon 800 that’ll ship this holiday season.

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