Qualcomm snapdragon 865 a 425 735

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Originally posted back in October with leaked Geekbench results for the Snapdragon 865, we now know the full specification of Qualcomm’s flagship chipset for 2020.

This was the last chipset to be announced and we have had the Apple A13 Bionic, Huawei Kirin 990, and the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 in recent months.


Most of the specification comes as no surprise, the new Qualcomm SD865 bumps up the CPU to use a custom version of the Arm Coretex A77 for four of its cores then he A55 for the smaller cores laid out like 1x3x4 similar to last year.

Things bring Qualcomm in line with the Samsung Exynos 990 and Mediatek MediaTek Dimensity 1000 leaving the Kirin 990 behind using the A76 CPU.

Similarily the GPU has been bumped up to the Adreno 650, other brands use the Mali-based GPU with the Exynos 990 and Mediatek having Mali G77 while the Kirin 990 5 is on the Mali-G76.

Comparing Apple is a little harder, they have their own bespoke CPU/GPU using a hexacore design with 2 lightning cores running at 2.65 GHz and 4x Thunder efficiency cores. On paper, this doesn’t look impressive, but as you will see below, Apple dominates with Geekbench.

All the chipsets are using the 7nm fabrication process, and you can see a more details comparison table further down.

Snapdragon 865 Geekbench Benchmarks


Out of the 7 posted results, the average single core speed is 4034 and 12100 for multi-core. However, Ice universe, has claimed that the chipset will push up to 4250 on a single core and 13300. This seems to make sense as Qualcomm has clearly managed to optimise it over previous months and will continue to do so up until release.

Geekbench Benchmark Comparisons

Personally, I think flagship chipsets are so good it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, and I think this is applicable to most people. Some power users using specific apps may notice the difference but it won’t be huge. That being said, we all love a comparison.

If we assume the 4250/13300 result is true from Ice Universe then the below graph shows the results of the SD865 versus the current cream of the crop from other companies, and the percentage difference in relation to the SD865.

Single CoreMulti CoreSingle DifferenceMulti Difference 
Snapdragon 865425013300N/aN/a
Snapdragon 855 Plus36231136717%17%
Huawei Kirin 990 5G38511263610%5%
Samsung Exynos 9825446610387-4.80%28%
Apple A13 Bionic 547213769-22%-3.40%

My thoughts

I will admit the title is a little clickbaity, looking at the comments on Twitter about the leaked information from Ice Universe, it is just people bickering about the A13 and Samsung 9820 being faster.

There is obviously a lot more to a chipset than a synthetic benchmark, real-world performance is very different. Even if the A13 is a better chipset overall, it is on a completely different platform so I don’t really see the need to compare. Then if we want to nitpick about things, Apple doesn’t have 5G nor will they for a while, and the Samsung 9820 is notoriously inefficient compared to the SD855 to the point that most people I know prefer the Snapdragon 855 variant of the Samsung Galaxy S10.

The Kirin 990 5G is also an interesting comparison, with it using the A76 architecture it doesn’t fare so well on the Geekbench benchmarks, but if you look at AI benchmarks, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G scores more than double the Snapdragon 855 Plus on the Asus ROG Phone II.

Specification Comparison Table

Snapdragon 865Apple A13 BionicKirin 990 5G
7nm (N7P)
CPU1x Cortex A77
@ 2.84GHz 1x512KB pL2
Dual-cluster hexa-core (2x Lightning cores @2.65 GHzTri-cluster octa-core (2 x Cortex-A76 cores @2.86GHz
3x Cortex A77
@ 2.42GHz 3x256KB pL2
4x Thunder efficiency cores)2x Cortex-A76 cores @2.36GHz
4x Cortex A55
@ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2
4x Cortex-A55 cores @1.95GHz)
GPUAdreno 650 @ ? MHzApple-designed quad-coreMali-G76MP16, 700MHz
NPUHexagon 698
(Total CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)
octa-core Neural Engine2 + 1 Da Vinci (three cores)
RAM4x 16-bit CH @ 2133MHz LPDDR4X / 33.4GB/s
or @ 2750MHz LPDDR5 / 44.0GB/s
3MB system level cache
ISPDual 14-bit Spectra 480 ISP
1x 200MP or 64MP with ZSL
2x 25MP with ZSL
4K video & 64MP burst capture
Apple-designed ISPISP 5.0
(Paired with external X55 only)

LTEIntegrated Balong 5G
(LTE Category 24/22)
DL = 2500 Mbps
7x20MHz CA, 1024-QAM
UL = 316 Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM
D/L Speed 2.3 Gbps
(5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave)
DL = 7000 Mbps
UL = 3000 Mbps
U/L Speed 1.25 Gbps
Transistor8.5 billion10.3 billion
GeekbenchSingle-Core: 4,034 (rumour/leak)Single-Core: 5,415Single-Core: 3851
Multi-Core: 12100(rumour/leak)Multi-Core: 11,294Multi-Core: 12636

[Originally posted 13-October-2019]

[Updated 05-December-2019 with accurate specifications of the new SD865]

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