Snapdragon 800

Newer silicon boosts GPU, ISP, memory speeds, among other improvements

At Mobile World Congress last month we met some of the first smartphones running Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips, including new flagships from Sony and Samsung. The Xperia Z2 and Galaxy S5 both sport Snapdragon 801 processors, at 2.3 and 2.5GHz respectively. But what, besides CPU clock speed, separates the 801 from the earlier Snapdragon 800, which came in 2.2 and 2.3GHz flavors?

According to a writeup by Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech, the difference comes down to the silicon revision of Qualcomm's MSM8974 SoC...

Version 2 is the Snapdragon 800 many of us are familiar with; version 3 is the new Snapdragon 801, which adds support for DSDA (Dual SIM Dual Active) and eMMC 5.0 (for faster access to internal storage), while in some models boasting faster CPU, GPU, ISP (image signal processor) and memory interface speeds. So the 801 has several advantages over its predecessor beyond faster CPU clocks. In particular, Anand notes that the increase in ISP frequency from 320 to 465MHz in the two faster 801 variants is "substantial," and "the Snapdragon 801 should be able to push almost as many pixels through its ISP as the forthcoming 805."

But the branding differences aren't quite as clear-cut as you might expect, and there's some overlap between the higher-binned 800s and the lower-binned 801s in terms of GPU and memory frequencies. For the full breakdown, check out the original piece at the source link below.

Source: AnandTech


Reader comments

Snapdragon 800, 801 differences are more complex than you might think


Thanks for the article. I had originally thought from reading the release article that the changes were very minor, but its nice to know now that its more significant.

Posted from my Nexus 5

I'm happy with what I bought. Right now I'm waiting for the next big thing, which isn't the "S5" or "The New HTC One".

Our maybe, just maybe, I'm trying to hold on to my new toy until it becomes unusable.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...

Your g2 is good enough to last you until you feel like 2016 flagship is good enough. After snapdragon 800 there wont be much noticeable improvement. I am personally waiting on next projector phone. Texas instruments have made huge advances for pico projector tech recently.

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Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...

I used to be jealous, but I've realized my S III (S4 Plus) just won't compete and I'm waiting for my upgrade.

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I've had an S3 and S4. There is a much bigger step between the S3 and S4 then the S4 and S5. Actually the S4 was decent upgrade whereas the S5 really doesn't bring anything too exciting.

People have been saying this, but I really don't understand. My sister has an S4 and it is incredibly similar to my S3 with some higher specs and a set of smart features that I would not use. For how I use my phone, the water resistance, the technology around improving battery life ( and the rapid HDR along with the other improvements in the camera ( are a much bigger deal.

Makes sense. The further we go along the more incremental the increases will be. Eventually it will be similar to the PC world where the next generation is barely any better than the previous.

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Agreed. The nature of the beast: eventually, they run out of "better" tech that they can put in these things. Mobile devices have damn near caught up with laptops in terms of processing power and capabilities.

I have to disagree. The S4 is a little faster than the S3, but most of it's "improvements" are in terms of features that I don't care about. The difference in screen size is minimal. The S5, OTOH, looks to offer some significant improvements in terms of display processing and battery life, as well as the fingerprint scanner (useful to some), an improved UI, and at least a nominal improvement in overall feel.

S4 is a HUGE improvement over the S3! I sold my S3 to my coworker and so i see it almost every day. I cannot believe i lived with that lowres, bluish screen almost a year!

And then the camera. Boy that thing is sooooo much better in the S4. That two things alone!

And then the battery life. And dual camera. And the much much improved speed....

Hey I knew some of those words!
Lol just kidding, thanks for the post Alex, been asking myself that question for 2 weeks n never had the time to research.

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Why? There's little point right now. I'd rather them focus on things that matter and not bullet points during a keynote.

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Since the release of the iphone 5 Apple have become the best mobile/arm silicon designer and I don't see anyone taken that away anytime soon.

Everyone in the industry was shocked that they went to so much effort to crank it out so quickly, considering the 64-bit ARM reference chips were just unveiled at CES 2013. Apple must have really poured some money into getting their version out that quickly. I think they were just desperate to be "first" at something for once. They haven't really been "first" in the market for a while now.

Not really, don't forget that Apple own 10% of ARM, and at one point owned 50% of the company until they sold a majority of their stakes when they needed money to survived in late 1990's. People forget about Apple newton, but that mobile device had a chip in it that was co-develop by those guys. ARM came out of that failed Apple newton project. So, it would not be a coincidence if apple knew exactly what was going to be in the ARM reference chip. Hell, Apple did the same with BLE, they are part of the body that help shape that standard. It's not a coincidence that Apple idevices had it dormant in their products since 2011. Now BLE is all the craze but Apple have been implementing it into their hardware idevices for 3 years now and simply enable them with a software update and boom 500+ millions idevices can take advantage of it.

So I have the highest binned S800 in my N5 (PVS 5), but to my knowledge that only means I can undervolt more than a PVS 1/2/3/4 and remain stable. My GPU is definitely clocked at 450mhz and I've found no reason to OC it. I'm eager to get my hands on a GS5 and see if the 801 is finally enough horsepower to keep Touchwiz from lagging. The S4 Pro was and is plenty for vanilla Android (and near stock Moto X). Now it's just MOAR specs, but I'm cool with that too.

From everything I've read there's still some lag when moving around TW. Until Samsung gets serious about optimizing their software for the given hardware then we will continue to see lag around TW I fear.

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"From everything I've read there's still some lag when moving around TW. Until Samsung gets serious about optimizing their software for the given hardware then we will continue to see lag"
Give Codius a Cigar.
I owned an iPad Mini back in 2013.. and it never stopped amazing me that, Even though it only had 512 megs of RAM and a Dual-Core 1.nothing CPu.. The thing never hesitated or lagged in the least.. And was Butter Smooth no matter what you were doing.. Because Apple "Optimizes" the Software & Hardware for their devices to work in harmony.. Until Android figures out a way to do this.. Apple will ALWAYS have the smoother product.. Horsepower does not a buttery platform make...

Phil and Alex said in the S5 special podcast that there was no lag at all. And even if there was lag - no final build exist yet...

While you're correct about Apple optimizing the software and hardware to work together, that's all but impossible with Android, considering how many different devices it runs on. Not to mention that iOS is a "simpler" OS. I know, I know. Bring on the flame. Sorry, but it's true.

Doesn't mean the iPhone is a *bad* device, but part of the way that Apple achieves the heavy optimization they do is because they keep the OS simple. That's why iOS keeps you "locked in" to default apps. Android on the other hand allows you to replace *everything*. You can even replace the "Share" menu. How crazy is that?

All that said, who really cares if the OS scrolls between home screens or animates app switching at a flawless 60fps? Is that really anybody's absolute #1 priority in a smart phone?