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Still confused? Here's the difference between the Snapdragon 800 and 801

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Still confused? Here's the difference between the Snapdragon 800 and 801
With the Snapdragon 801, Qualcomm sure ushered in a short period of confusion in the mobile space. 

At first, some of us thought that the San Diego-based company was simply moving things around and that no new tech was actually involved. Instead, some reasoned, Qualcomm was simply moving its higher bin Snapdragon 800 units into a new category to distinguish them from the rest, as they were slightly more powerful. After all, few can and are willing to memorize all the different versions of the SD800 -- 8974VV, 8974AB, 8974AA -- they are just way too cryptic for the average Joe. We soon found out that that was not the case, however, and the Snapdragon 801 is a new, improved version of the Snapdragon 800 that put more on the table than just a higher CPU and GPU clock.

Thankfully, AnandTech, always on hot on all things processor-related, have recognized the need for clarification, and have broken down the different versions of the two processors for the world to see. 

SoC VersionModelMax CPU clockMax GPU clockISPeMMCDual SIM, Dual ActiveMemory interface
MSM8974VVv2Snapdragon 8002.2GHz450MHz320MHzv. 4.5NO800MHz
MSM8974AAv2Snapdragon 8002.3GHz450MHz320MHzv. 4.5NO800MHz
MSM8974ABv2Snapdragon 8002.3GHz550MHz320MHzv. 4.5NO933MHz
MSM8974AAv3Snapdragon 8012.3GHz450MHz320MHzv. 5.0YES800MHz
MSM8974ABv3Snapdragon 8012.3GHz578MHz465MHzv. 5.0YES933MHz
MSM8974ACv3Snapdragon 8012.5GHz578MHz465MHzv. 5.0YES933MHz

As you can see, the differences, while not exactly massive, are there. Beyond the difference in higher CPU and GPU clock (depending on the versions you pick), the Snapdragon 801 also brings support for eMMC 5.0 and DSDA (Dual SIM, Dual Active) over the Snapdragon 800. This means that the new chip can handle maximum interface speeds of up to 400MB/s, a hike from the 200MB/s limitation in eMMC 4.5, though do keep in mind that the flash memory found even in flagship smartphones is still playing catch up. DSDA, if you need a clarification, allows your smartphone to hold two simultaneous calls on two SIM cards, unlike the more common DSDS configuration, which stands for Dual SIM, Dual Stanbdy (only one call at a time). A nice bonus for developing areas, but pretty irrelevant for the Western world, where dual SIM devices are rare.

Last but not least, the AB/AC versions of the Snapdragon 801 come with a faster LPDDR3 interface, which should help with memory hog applications like sophisticated 3D games, and even certain camera/imaging processes, as AnandTech notes. 

In any case, it's worth pointing out that the most potent bin of the Snapdragon 800 will perform a tad better than the weakest version of the Snapdragon 801, at least as of this writing. That's especially true if the device you're looking at is not a dual SIM variant, and the built-in flash memory on it is incapable of such high I/O speeds.

source: AnandTech

28 Comments
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posted on 12 Mar 2014, 06:46 6

1. N-fanboy (Posts: 538; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


My question is, will the 801 beat the A7 if both were pushing a 640p display?

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:17 6

6. Finalflash (Posts: 1720; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Probably, but Apple doesn't allow synthetic tests on their hardware for obvious reasons and games are dependant on GPU so it can't be compared directly easily.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:40 1

10. akki20892 (Posts: 3434; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


They shouldn't introduced 32bit 801, but they should introduced 64bit 801.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 11:33

17. brrunopt (Posts: 503; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Snapdragon most likely dont have a 28nm 64bits desing, thats they are licensing ARM's Cortex A53 in the meanwhile for low end and keeping current 32bits krait

you will only see a 64bit krait on 20nm

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 08:49 3

12. moronman66 (Posts: 159; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)


The graphics processor at least would. The one that's out currently gets about 129 GFLOPS, whereas the PowerVR with the A7 gets around 115. Theoretically, the Adreno 330 (this is clocked at 450MHz) is more powerful. That being said, 700,000 pixels to push versus 2 million... The average adreno 330 is not going to outperform the A7 in benchmarkshttp://kyokojap.myweb.hinet.net/gpu_gflops/

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 06:54 6

2. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3197; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Even At 720p snapdragon 800 can beat the crap out of apple a7. So snapdragon 801 will, In case you care so much about benchmarks.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:14 5

5. nestea (unregistered)


Look at the iPad air benchmark test A7 with 2048x1536 resolution... android geek failed again....

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 13:51 3

19. vincelongman (Posts: 1141; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


It depends on which benchmark you look at
e.g.
A7 wins in GFXBench
S800 wins in 3DMark
The S801 and S805 will be better than the A7 in all CPU & GPU benchmarks, but the A8 will close the gap

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 18:46 1

20. Taters (Posts: 2918; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Different power source and different clock speed itard. Give the S800 a fat battery and no thermal throttling and a higher clock then you will see the same difference.

Funny how the iPhone is right there for you to use relative phone performance and you itards choose to use the iPad air to compare with a S800 phone instead of, you know the phone that is using the A7.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 19:17

21. Ninetysix (Posts: 1578; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


You sound mad broseph. Read the first post and you'll understand why the iPad was brought up. Let me know if you need me to explain further.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 03:28

23. Taters (Posts: 2918; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


I know why the ipad was brought up but it still is itarded thinking. The ipad still should not be brought up. The Xperia Z1 compact at 720p beats the iPhone 5s at 640p in most benchmarks. And the S800 in the tab 8.4 pro also beats the iPad mini wii retina in most benchmarks including sunspider(not sure how because the Samsung browser should be heavier than safari).

So where is this good reason why the iPad Air was brought up? I don't see it. Maybe in itard land it exists.

You have the Z1 vs iPhone 5s and the tab 8.4 vs the iPad mini with retina. Two as fair as possible comparisons and you itards think that bringing up the iPad Air with the over locked A7 and fat battery that prevents thermal throttle and doesn't have any of the bottle necks associated with mobile phones is fair? Please.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 07:04

24. Ninetysix (Posts: 1578; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


RTFA. It's about SoCs. Not about phones or tablets Mr itard.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 08:47 3

11. nctx77 (Posts: 495; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Dude, it's 2014. It's all about the A8 which is already in production. You are still worried about the A7 lol! You will never convince anyone in real world test that the 801 is any better than the A7, or the 800 anyway.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 06:58 9

3. 1701nino (unregistered)


And my question is,how does the ipad with 2048x1536 resolution chrases through benchmarks,even outperforming snapdragon 800.So as you were saying A7 is a beast no matter what resolution and it's "only" dual-core with quad-core graphics.
P.S. i can only imagine what the A8(which is right around the corner) wil do.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:13 2

4. Trex95 (Posts: 543; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


I agree with you. I own the IPad mini retina and Nexus 7 2013 overall performance Mini beats Nexus 7 easy even though Nexus 7 run KitKat 4.4.2. The only device on bar with IOS devices in the market now Nexus 5, it's not about how big hardware device had it's about software optimization plus software should works in harmony with hardware and that's where Apple shine and now Google did right with Nexus 5.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:21 5

8. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


The gear in the nexus 7 is two years old!
Nice comparison.
It's a S4, not a S600 or S800.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 09:51 1

14. Ninetysix (Posts: 1578; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Nexus 7 has an underclocked S600.

http://www.androidauthority.com/nexus-7-2013-s-4-pro-snapdragon-600-249594/

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 13:13

18. AfterShock (Posts: 2799; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


Essentially, same as a 800 is a 801 depending on yield.
Its a two year old soc at any rate still.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 18:57

25. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4000; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


No it's not. The Krait 300 cores in the Nexus 7 are form 2013, they just aren't clocked as high. The Nexus 7 also has DDR3 RAM, while the typical S4 Pro from 2012 was only capable of having DDR2.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:28 2

9. ArtSim98 (limited) (Posts: 2738; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


A7 is a fantastic chip, but it's not faster than SD800. I would say they are about the same. But yes A7 is super fast and it's incredible that it's still just dual core and so low clocked but still fast

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 10:51

16. UglyFrank (Posts: 380; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


ARMv8 vs ARMv7, ARMv8s are supposed to be much more powerful than their ARMv7 counterparts. Also, tablets get better performance out of chips than phones, that is why the ipad air can keep up with the iphone despite the massive resolution difference. The samsung tablets with S800 can almost keep up with the S800 phone despite having a resolution that surpasses the ipad.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 07:21

7. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2605; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Then we need to check the chipset nos. There are so many. Huh... Look at 801's table.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 09:38 3

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8240; Member since: 14 May 2012)


So the S5 sports the best chip on the market as usual.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 18:58

26. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4000; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


By 8%. I don't think that's a big enough different to put the GS5 on a pedestal.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 22:42

27. GTX_Ti (unregistered)


Well technically an overclocked SD801

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 10:20 3

15. wilsong17 (Posts: 883; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


Yea a7, a8 we it still cant multi-task is 2014 people

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 19:21

22. Federated (Posts: 227; Member since: 06 Mar 2010)


So the Z2 will have 2.3gHz (MSM8974AB) and 3GB or RAM. Easily the smoothest multitasking smartphone in the fist half of the year.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 23:21

28. BenCjamin (Posts: 78; Member since: 13 May 2011)


All i have to say is what the Sh** happened to Samsung's Processors? Hands down the best on the market every time i just wished they would have put them in all their smartphones they blew away crapdragons.

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