Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 blows competition out of the water and has the benchmarks to prove it

Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 blows competition out of the water and has the benchmarks to prove it
Qualcomm is the first company expected to bring 28nm architectures to mass market with its Snapdragon S4 chip, and if that doesn’t tell you much, we’d oversimplify it by simply saying that it blows the current crop of chips out of the water. The technology is a generational leap over current chips in phones mostly manufactured under the 40nm process. 

The new S4 is also remarkable because it integrates practically every network frequency you might need including an integrated LTE chip and is expected to finally bring noticeable improvement to battery life on LTE devices.

AnandTech got its hands on the mobile development platform (MDP) for the Qualcomm MSM8960 and brings us the benchmarks to show why it might be a good idea to wait one more quarter when the first devices with S4 start hitting the market.

Now, we should mention that the MDP Qualcomm provides for reference has a 4-inch display with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, runs on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and has 1GB of LPDDR2. Qualcomm has bundled it with Adreno 225 graphics and the first handsets are expected to also come with Adreno 225 GPU as the company is rushing to get it to market.

In the processing department, the S4 brings the Krait processor, a customized chip based on Cortex A9, with two cores running at 1.5GHz. Here’s where you should pay close attention - it smokes the competition. Krait is 20% to 35% faster than the Cortex A9 chip used in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

This means Android running smooth as molasses - AnandTech reports that Android has finally gotten rid of annoying lag in the browser, application switcher and when taking screenshots. The test results below show that the Krait-based MDP MSM8960 is way ahead of the current crop of high-end phones like the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Droid RAZR and Samsung Galaxy S II.


Graphics with Adreno 225 are on par with the current high-end handsets, but we expect the biggest boost in the graphical department to come with Adreno 3xx.

Overall, the Snadragon S4 impresses us with industry beating performance in the MDP. The benchmarks above are just one more reason we’re looking forward to MWC starting in mere days where we hope to hear about the first actual handsets and tablets with the new chip. Stay tuned.

source: AnandTech

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69 Comments

41. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I'm not impressed. The only scores that were really head and shoulders above the rest was vallemo (a Qualcomm made benchmark) and Linpack, which no one even believes anymore and is probably one of the least realiable to extrapolate realworld experience from. My Galaxy Note runs a 1893ms in sunspider & 106674 broswermark @ stock 1.4ghz and on Gingerbread w/ a 1280x800 res (might not be relevent for these tests) Anandtech putting too much emphasis on the Linpack results. Honestly, they need to put up some CFbench & Antutu scores.

42. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

THANK YOU for telling me the results of your EXYNOS chip with very high resolution. You just proved my point completely. And now the results fall to exactly what they should have looked like with the Krait just ever so barely edging out the exynos. (50% improvement over S3 which was qualcomm's original boasts, would put it a hair above exynos in benchmarking) By any chance could you do a screenshot of that? :)

44. jabberwocky

Posts: 89; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

I guess I'd like to see that on the Anandtech bench. Why not head over there and bring up the issue where it might be addressed? I have seen them mention CPUs per phone in benches before. Maybe they could add that for comparison.

62. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

According to the author, he said that its the UK SGS2 9100 with the exynos 4210. Hmm. Odd. Oh well..

64. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Not sure if those will show. Normally clocked UK version GNote. If I upclock to 1.5 I bet I match or maybe beat it. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/6919599635_1babf080c8_b.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/6919599635_1babf080c8_b.jpg

66. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

sorry maybe try this one... ERRROOORRRRS International Galaxy Note 1.4Ghz (stock clock & browser) So looks like phone arena deliberately blocks images for whatever reason....

68. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

there has been an issue on the site for linking to other pages for a lil while now. hope they fix it soon.

24. JDCohen722

Posts: 39; Member since: May 18, 2011

My ASUS Transformer Prime with Tegra 3 (COMPLETELY STOCK) scores +140 MFLOPS on Linpack Multi threaded, so its not that powerful compared to its current competition

56. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Quad to dual. To even be able to trade punches with a quad (or hex, depending on how you look at it) is an accomplishment

18. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

ok, then the only thing to do is to wait and see the real word evidence. making BS comments will hardly convince anyone.

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

then lets wait. :) but, if you think my comments are BS, then I dare you to research what I've said and call out my BS if you can find any. Calling BS because I'm wrong is one thing, calling BS because you dont want to hear an opinion that differs from your own is another.

22. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

haha, but you posted a "BS" comment, haven't you? :)

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Find it and prove me wrong, and I will happy announce that i was wrong to the world :)

57. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

to the world or just PA?.. just asking

61. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ill put my head outside my office window and scream it. :)

69. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

put it on youtube and post link should this scenario happen lol

16. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

ha ha, why of course remixfa, we take your word over the officially published result, posted by chip maker alone

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

when they dont match real world results, i will always take issue with it. You dont have to believe me. Go do some independant research instead of taking things at face value and you might be surprised. Think about this. Why would Qualcomm release "benchmarks" that are not glowing reviews of their products? lol. Its a paid advertisement, and a false one at that. I dont take issue with the fact that the new Krait core is going to be slightly faster than the older chips, that generational advances. I take issue with where all the other phones lie in the competition which makes me question the validity of the over all scores. Qualcoms own estimates of the first generation Krait put it at a 50% power increase from the current dual core crap dragons. That puts it a smidge above the exynos. With a little extra fidgeting they can increase that. So again, I dont take issue with the fact that Krait is "winning". Of course, that is just extremely temporary until all the other chips take the same generational leap, then it will be back in last place.

23. jabberwocky

Posts: 89; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

Anandtech isn't Qualcom. They aren't shills. They aren't paid. Anandtech's benchmarks ARE independent research! If you are questioning Anandtech's numbers (they tested those other phones, not Qualcom), you are really reaching to find a reason to hate on Snapdragon. Also, I fail to see how your comment that if we wait until all the other chips come out with their generational leap they will beat the S4. They won't come out on 28nm because only Qualcomm uses TSMC, so they will struggle to keep up from a battery life perspective. When the S4 comes out in a month or so, it will be king of the pack on Android, in performance AND battery life - and by a country mile. They'll hold that title for almost half the year this year (maybe 3/4 of it!), so it will only be logical for those who care about battery life and performance to consider this the flagship (I assume even if Tegra 3 is similar in performance it will be a battery hog in comparison). I think the S4 designs will be the phones to choose in 1H this year without much comparison. Pick ANY chip that is released at the top of the performance hill and wait 6 months; you'll find a better performer. Your insistence that Snapdragon is always garbage even when it's the best chip out at the time is absurd. They may be behind the times on architecture because they were shooting for 28nm but that's just a strategic decision. You are free to disagree with it, but that doesn't make their designs junk. To claim that they are bad even when they are the king of performance just destroys your credibility. They put a lot of resources into S4, and with their ability to move to 4 cores, crank up clock speeds to 2.5ghz and add the Adreno 3xx, they will be a contender for a good 18-24 months, if not more.

29. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That is what I say. With 28nm technology the advantages are numerous. That is Qualcomm’s trump card. With 28nm tech a 2.5GHz S4 Krait quad-core running the NEW Adreno 320 GPU will just be a juggernaut to be reckoned with. The efficiency that is gained using 28nm will be a game changer & has to be taken seriously by all the other chip makers. I think that this year Qualcomm MIGHT be the chips leader in terms of performance for a significant amount to the year, let’s just put it this way the days of Qualcomm being dead last in chip performance is now over, Samsung truly has some VERY stiff competition for the top dog in chip efficiency & performance!

31. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

would u read my reply to your original 2.5ghz adreno 320 comment please :) You are 3 generations ahead of yourself.. lol :)

34. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

No I am not, here is what I see on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapdragon_(system_on_chip)

37. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

u should read my reply to your reply. your arguing with a qualcomm roadmap with wikipedia as proof that qualcomm is wrong. :)

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

did i say the new krait was junk? no. I simply said that all chips are making the same generational die shrink and thus will get similar improvements, which will make this years score card look like last years.. albiet with bigger benchmarks. The T3 blows the S4 dual core out of the water in performance. Thats why it wasnt included in the test.. it wouldnt be fair. pitting a quad core against a dual core is about as fair as running a viper against a volvo and wondering why the volvo doesnt keep up. Choose the S4 if you want. They will be the best chips "right now" because they are the first out of the gate. Just like the T3 quad core is the best quad core chip "right now" because its the first out of the gate. The problem with all that is, that quad cores are getting close to droping from everyone, and they will probably all post higher than the T3. And the dual cores are all about to make the same jump and release (samsung is "weeks" away from releasing the 4212) which all have the same jump. The best for "right now" and the best for "2012" are nowhere near the same. We are going to see HUGE leaps this year... crazy huge leaps from all chip makers. This is door number 1. I'll wait for door number 2. :) http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-news/196451-samsung-shows-off-its-power-efficient-32nm-exynos-chips-batteries-rejoice.html

38. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

BTW Jabber, please read my comment in its entirety. My issue is with the OTHER phones in the benchmark. I have a sneaking suspicion by the OTHER phone's benchmarks that it was not a real SGS2 in that mix, but the crapdragon skyrocket/hercules SGS2 based on its numbers. I simply want someone with an EXYNOS SGS2 to run the same bench and see if it comes with the same results. That is all.

46. jabberwocky

Posts: 89; Member since: Feb 21, 2012

Thanks I see your clarification about the SGS2 versions now. I agree it would be nice to see what chip was benched specified in the benches, and get in the Exynos version for reference if that is the issue.

48. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

just for you, I did ask. lets see if i get an answer. I wasnt the first one to ask, here is a post from an SGS2 owner " SGS2 results? by monoik on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Did you make your tests on Gingerbread SGS2? I'm getting very different results on Ice Cream Sandwich Cyanogen Alpha: For worse: Linpack single 47.257 MFLOPS Linpack multi 71.987 MFLOPS For better: BrowserMark 105937 Vellamo 1596 SunSpider-0.9.1 1762.2ms non-cached anandtech.com about 4,5 seconds from touching "go" to the progressbar disappearing. cached anandtech.com less than 2 seconds. Stock browser. No overclocking. GT-I9100 Exynos version."

49. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

oh and another thing that makes me question it just a smidge, is my SGS1 gets around 1200 on Velamo. The nexusS which uses the same chip/GPU is only measured at 600

53. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Are you using stock rom or are you using a CM7 or any of the other rom because different in value has to do with the kernell and rom. You know that. Those value are all the currect stock rom they have for each phone.

54. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Again this is not stock. I don't know if the CM9 browser is the same as the ICS browser. We all know that the Rom along with the kernell can change the value in those test.

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