Snapdragon 8 Gen1 Review: A piece of sh*t with cherry on the top
Personally, I think its pretty weird to change your product naming scheme every generation or so But other than name. We care more about the performance and power efficiency. You might know that Snapdragon 888, this year has suffered some serious thermal issues which leads to those flagship phones not performing very well. The actual gaming performance is not anywhere better than 865 platforms.. So will qualcomm fix all the problems this year Or it will be another burner heating up your smartphone That what Im going to tell you in this video. Before we running into tests, lets talk about the architecture. The new 8 gen 1 is the first mobile SOC that supports ARMv9 instruction set. If you remember, in 2013, when the industry moves from ARMv7 toward v8, the new architecture brings mobile processing to 64 bits, which is a big deal. Apple made this crazy A7 chip based on ARMv8, which was way ahead of Snapdragon at the time.. However, in terms of raw performance ARMv9 isnt that exciting Most of the improvements of v9 are focus on security and scalability. One of the important features of ARMv9 is Scalable Vector, Extension, 2 known as SVE2, Essentially speaking, ARM chips running on your phone on desktop PCs and in data center, although they are all ARM based, processors have very different size of vector registers, Which means software that was Design for data center will not be able to run on your phone easily or vice versa, But with SVE2 its a different story Without the limitation of vector length developers only need to compile once to make their software working on all ARM platforms.
I mean running data center stuff on your smartphone Wow thats, pretty cool., But anyway we can see. The ambition of ARM is to build an ecosystem to compete with x86 on desktop and data center market, So its all about future And for the current gen smartphone. It doesnt really matters. What does improve your performance, though, is the new CPU core design Theyve been upgraded to Cortex X2 Cortex A710 and Cortex A510. Finally, ditching the old A55. The new bigger X2 core is not whole lot different than the old X1. They reduced pipeline length got a bigger out of order window, improved the branch prediction and stopped supporting 32 bits. Apps, But X2 is not a completely new design, though It is still originated from A76 of 2018 design by ARMs, Austin, Texas team. So it wont be a big leap forward. Anyway. The same story happens in the middle core A710. It is very likely that in next year, well receive a huge improvement from the brand new core architecture designed by ARMs French team, But before that we dont really have any choice. The efficient core A510, however, is a whole new IP design in Arms headquarter in Cambridge. On paper, the IPC has improved by 35 to 50 Sounds impressive, but from our point of view, most of the improvement might be achieved by increasing the scale. For example, they increased decoder increased the ALUs, all of which will contribute to a higher power consumption, And that means the performance per watt wont be so pretty.
Another interesting design is that A510 core does not works by itself. You need to put 2 core side by side and let them share L2 cache and floating point units. This actually reminds me of the AMD Bulldozer, and that is not a glorious memory, But for efficient core. This may not be a bad idea, Its a small core anyway powering the background activities for the most time, which doesnt requires floating point a lot Aside from the new architecture. 8 gen 1 also increase the L3 cache from 4M to 6M. This is still not really a huge number, because Mediatek managed to put 8M L3 cache in their chip. Maybe that is reserved for Snapdragon 8 Gen2. I guess Cache usually have some quite significant impact on CPU performance. We will see it in a minute.. What also matter to gaming experience is the GPU inside They put a newly designed Adreno 730 GPU. In there, The 600 series GPU on pervious Snapdragon SOCs, has put Android phone way behind iPhone on graphic performance, But the 8 gen 1 might be a turnover Almost forget to mention the 8 gen 1 is still fabricated by Samsung, with an improved 4nm node. As we know from last years, 888 chip, their performance per watt on 5nm, were not so ideal, comparing with TSMC Will that improve this time Well, its time to test it out. First of all lets talk about the CPU performance. Here is the result of Geekbench 5 For the multi core Snapdragon 8 Gen1 got a 3810, which is only 60 higher than 888, A 1.
5 improvement Seriously Qualcomm ARMv9 new core design, 4nm fabrication, and you got only 1.5 better than the old one. The single core performance is also not a lot better: Its 5.7 better than 888, That is still worse than Apples A13, which has released 3 years ago, Consider that Cortex X2 core is running at 3 GHz, which is already higher than 888. We can basically says that the IPC hasnt improved too much Well its a bad news for Qualcomm. Alright, since the performance hasnt changed that much, you might think, maybe the power consumption is lower right. No, no! No! This is even worse. During Geekbench 5 on average, we recorded 4.2 watts power consumption on single core and 11.1 watts on multi core. If we look at the peak value, we got as high as 14 watts Its on a phone, A freaking phone. It doesnt even have a fan on it. Thats, terrifying, I suppose these new CPU architecture really didnt improved that much and the Samsung 4nm is still not getting its job done really well. The CPU is a bit disappointing, But how about the GPU? We are running GFXBench, 5.0 benchmark and wow. That is not bad. The GPU of Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is already better than Apple A14 when running on OpenGL, And if we running it on Vulkan, It could be even comparable with A15. This is almost 60 better than the 888 nice job Qualcomm. But how about the power numbers? We got 11.
2 watts on average, I mean this. Gpu has the same power consumption as Apple M1 Yeah. I guess they are right, Keep going qualcomm, you almost got them Based on the numbers that we got. There is no way you could run this thing without throttling. On any phone, So how about a stress test? We are using the game: Nimian Legends, Bright Ridge as a tool to stress test the phone. This is a game that can suck up every single drop of juice out of your smartphone GPU, while providing a comparable graphic setting among different platforms, We run the test 10 minutes to see how the framerate drops And the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is really not bad. This time The peak performance is even on par with A15, and, although it does throttle pretty heavily, the curve is still fine, since Apple chips also drops a lot. If we put an even bigger load on it, like 3DMark Wild Life, Extreme Stress Test, We got a 66.8 of stability ranking. That means the performance drops to 66.8 after 20 cycle. Thats, definitely not ideal compares to others, But look at the bright side, even after throttling. The performance is still better than the peak of 888, Unlike on PC. Most of mobile games does not fully utilize your phones, GPU So pushing your phone to its absolute limit. Isnt that indicative. I think we need a mid load GPU test to infer your everyday gaming scenario, So we are still using Bright Ridge but lower down the resolution to 1080p lock.
The framerate to 30 then record the power consumption As we can see. Snapdragon 8 Gen1s GPU still draws a lot of power under mid level. Load Performance per watt is a bit better than 888, but is still kinda suck since its even worse than 865, a 2019 chip Hah.. How about if we run some actual big titles like Genshin Impact, Since the graphic preset on iPhone is higher than the Android version? We will use a comparable setting among all devices using the same character and running through the same path at Liyue. Harbor Games, like genshin impact, will adjust the rendering scale based on the devices you are using, and it will not tell you the exact rendering resolution in the settings menu To generalize the test. We tried to do the pixel count, Maybe mihoyo hasnt optimized their game. For this new piece of silicon, the rendering resolution wont exceed 640p, while other android flagships can go as high as 720p, So its a little bit lower. We prepared 3 tests for genshin impact, The normal pressure test, the high pressure test and the nightmare test Here is the condition of each test. Going on to the high pressure test Over the first 3 minutes. 8 gen 1 is not bad at all. Almost stable 60 fps Also the CPU clock speed is very aggressive and our smartphone draws about 7.6 watt of power. Apparently this wont last long, So we are seeing some throttling after 3 minutes Over the full 30 minutes test.
We got an average framerate at 55 fps and the power consumption is 6.3 watts, So the performance does get better than 888, but the power consumption is about the same. The improvement actually comes from CPU because our GPU only utilized at 56. So, while Geekbench score didnt improved that much game does benefits from the new CPUs In term of powers, 6.3 watts is not a small number on a phone. The hot spot temperature can go as high as 48 degrees. Next, we tried to lower down the settings and take the normal pressure test Here. We can get 60 fps for about 6 minutes. Before throttling happens, The average framerate over 30 minute is 57 fps A lot better than 888, but the power consumption is about the same. Just in case you really wan na torture, your phone to death, we design this Genshin Impact nightmare test using 5G connection to play the game in a superhot environment. Well, in this case, you got 48 frames per seconds. Luckily, the game doesnt crash, which is not bad And Snapdragon 8 Gen1, actually performs better than all the other platforms in this crazy test, But the temperature is climbing up to 53 Celsius degrees. It can literally burn your skin if you hold it long enough. Anyway. The Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is Well its hard to say Its, not completely a waste of sand. It got a GPU that almost as good as Apples, A15 and the gaming performance is kinda.
Ok, However, I couldnt say 8 gen 1 is great. The CPU hasnt really change that much despite a brand new ARMv9 architecture And the power consumption is still sucks. I am expecting flagship phone this year will getting heavier and thicker just to fit a larger battery and thermal solution inside. So this is our conclusion on Snapdragon 8 Gen1, Thanks for watching Dont forget to subscribe to our channel And leave a like button.