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Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 benchmarks surface

by Mark Tyson on 15 August 2018, 10:41

Tags: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Lenovo (HKG:0992), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadwi6

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Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 850 mobile compute platform back at Computex 2018. It was touted as a fast new processor that is optimised for larger form factors, with more surface area to dissipate hea,t and with a greater need for horsepower. Yes, it is basically aiming at the next generation of Windows on Arm devices - Cellular PCs, Always Connected PCs, or whatever you want to call these long battery life LTE laptops and 2-in-1s.

If you head on over to the official SD850 product page you can see it is optimised for always on, always connected, AI, entertainment, and Windows 10. With reference to that latter feature, it is said to deliver the "complete Windows 10 experience, maximizing productivity, entertainment and security". Importantly, it is also expected to give Windows 10 performance a noticeable speed uplift.

Reviews of existing Windows on Arm devices, like the Asus NovaGo (SD835), say that they feel "really, really slow for a laptop with a starting price of $599". Thus the SD850 is highly anticipated and expected to deliver a significant usability boost. Qualcomm says that the new chip will be up to 30 per cent faster than the chip used in existing Windows on Arm devices. It thinks users will appreciate the difference whether they are "web-browsing, gaming, creating a video, or listening to music".

Will Qualcomm's promises translate to the real world? Yesterday WinFuture.de, via Liliputing, shared some early benchmarks of a machine powered by the SD850 and the results are pretty much as a jaded tech enthusiast might expect.

Running Geekbench 4.3.0 an unreleased Lenovo device, powered by the SD850 showed it could offer a 25 per cent uplift in single-core scores. However, its multi-core score wasn't a big improvement, just about 7 per cent better with the new chipset.

We must remember that these results are with just one benchmark and that Microsoft, Qualcomm and the respective hardware partners might still be optimising for the SD850. We will have to wait until more extensive real-world tests are shared and we find out the pricing of the new SD850 powered laptops to consider whether Windows on Arm will be able to make strides forward with this generation. Qualcomm previously stated that Snapdragon 850 powered PCs will be "available for the holiday season".



HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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Why they even try? These CPUs are worse than the worst Intel CPUs like Celerons.
I guess some folks will buy it just for curiosity, but other than that there is nothing in this, not even the battery which is marginally better compared to a Core M3.
yeeeeman
Why they even try? These CPUs are worse than the worst Intel CPUs like Celerons.
I guess some folks will buy it just for curiosity, but other than that there is nothing in this, not even the battery which is marginally better compared to a Core M3.

I think it'll be a passing fad. I'm sure Windows is so big and cumbersome that trying to optimise it to run smoothly on these kinds of processors just is a task too far. The end result may be that you can get the basics like browsing and word processing to work well but you can use a tablet or chromebook for that if you want long battery life, always on, etc. I'm pretty sure that anything that has to go through this emulator they went on about will work just about as well as anything else that runs on an emulator on a low powered machine - badly. And the point of having Windows is the variety of software you can run on it. If you can't do that properly there is no point.

I think the minuscule advantages are going to be severely outweighed by the disadvantages and the end result will be a product that crashes. My other concern is that, if they're optimising their SoCs to run in bigger units and produce more heat, are we going to see a compromise in terms of phone / tablet performance if the same SoCs are shared between platforms?