When it announced the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm promised that the latest in its family of ARM systems-on-chips would boost performance by 27 percent with a 40 percent reduction in power consumption.
The first early benchmarks of the processor that Qualcomm doesn’t want us to call a processor have been run and the results are… well, they’re a little uneven.
Anandtech went to Qualcomm’s San Diego headquarters and was shown the 835 running in a hardware platform reference—a basic smartphone built around the chip that serves as a platform for hardware testing and software development.
During this visit, they were able to run a handful of basic benchmarks to gauge the performance of the new chip.
Naively, one would assume that Snapdragon 835 would be faster than the 820/821 that went before it. 835 is, after all, a higher number than 820, and higher numbers usually mean better when it comes to processors.
But the situation with the 835 is more complicated than that.
In the early days of the modern smartphone era, Qualcomm’s 32-bit ARM Snapdragon chips were generally best-in-class. While many ARM chips use core designs that are developed by ARM itself in the UK, Qualcomm did something different; it had a pair of custom designs, Scorpion in 2008 and Krait in 2012, developed in house.
These designs were broadly superior to ARM’s Cortex-A8, A9, and A15 designs that other companies were using.
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