When Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 last year, there was a significant performance difference compared to previous chips. This was likely due to fierce competition with MediaTek since Samsung was not a threat in the high-end segment. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the performance difference was even greater, especially considering the potential for AI applications. We have already seen the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in various instances, but now it is time to see how its performance and efficiency compare to others.
Samsung, MediaTek, and Qualcomm have been the three leading companies responsible for powering the majority of smartphones on the market. Each has competed in low, medium, and high-end ranges, with varying differences. In fact, looking at a ranking, one could consider Qualcomm to have been leading for years until MediaTek managed to establish itself as a leader with its Dimensity line, increasing competition even further.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has the best performance with high power consumption
The presence of multiple companies competing for the top spot ensures that more resources and effort are devoted to launching better products. This has also been reflected in the world of hardware, for both PCs and mobile devices. When Qualcomm found itself surrounded by MediaTek chips that not only rival but surpass its best offerings, alarms were raised.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is currently the company’s flagship SoC, and when it comes to performance, it takes the crown over any other. The problem is that this is followed by a loss of efficiency. As seen in the SPECint06 benchmark, various mobile SoCs have been tested using only their Big Core, the fastest primary core. The list shows the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 achieving a score of 69.28 points, ranking first in both overall score and IPC with 20.99 points/GHz. Although this is 13% higher than the overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2+, its power consumption increases by 28%.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is 44% more efficient than 8 Gen 3
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 consumes an average of 6.27W to achieve this score, while the 8 Gen 2+ achieves its score with 4.90W. In the end, efficiency drops from 12.42 points to 11.05 points per watt (an 11% decrease), and that is just comparing the two fastest SoCs. If we truly want higher efficiency, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is 44% more efficient than the Gen 3.
As we can see, Qualcomm manages to secure the top 4 positions in terms of performance, but they cannot compete with MediaTek when it comes to efficiency. Their Dimensity 9200, which scores 48.46 points, consumes only 2.65W, yielding 18.27 points/W and being 65% more efficient than the 8 Gen 3. Then there are Samsung’s Exynos and Google’s Tensor, which not only perform worse but are also less efficient. In fact, Google’s Tensor G3 is less efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
Out of the long list of processors analyzed, the Dimensity 8100 provides the highest efficiency, achieving 33.44 points using just 1.36W. Although considered a previous generation chip, it’s surprising to see how MediaTek managed to achieve 24.59 points/W, surpassing all rivals in this aspect.
In summary, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is faster by 13%, it is also much more inefficient with a 28% decrease in efficiency. This raises the question of whether this will cause battery problems in smartphones.