Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip appears in benchmarks with improved performance

Asus NovaGo review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

WinFuture discovered a benchmark for Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 processor that shows a less-than-stellar increase in multi-core performance over the previous 835 chip. Introduced in June as an alternative to Intel-based processors for Windows 10 PCs, the Snapdragon 850 promises up to 30 percent better “system-wide” performance than the previous generation, yet the benchmark shows that leap only applies to single-core numbers.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 chip currently appears in a “Lenovo 81JL” device listed on Geekbench. To gauge the changes in performance, the Asus NovaGo TP370QL 2-in-1 PC sporting the Snapdragon 835 is used for comparison. Geekbench shows that the 850 chip scored 2,263 points in the single-core test while the 835 scored 1,802 points in the same test. That is a single-core increase of around 23 percent.

The performance increase isn’t quite so dramatic in multi-core tests, hence the typical use of the “up to” phrases when companies describe processor performance. When comparing the same two devices again, the 850 chip scored 6,947 points in the multi-core test while the 835 scored a slightly lower 6,475 points. That’s a mere 7.3 percent increase.

Designed for Windows 10 PCs, the Snapdragon 850 is an eight-core chip based on 10nm process technology boasting speeds of up to 2.96GHz. It’s an all-in-one chip sporting LTE connectivity supporting 1.2Gbps download speeds, Wireless AD and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and more. Qualcomm says the chip’s low power draw enables up to 25 hours of continuous use on a Windows 10 PC.

“New and improved features on the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform can support on-device experiences for A.I., and users can expect camera, voice and battery life enhancements,” the company boasts. On the A.I. front, Qualcomm claims the chip provides three times better performance than the previous-generation chip.

The Snapdragon 835 is an eight-core chip as well based on 10nm process technology. With speeds of up to a lower 2.45GHz, it includes an LTE modem supporting 1Gbps download speeds, built-in Wireless AC and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and so on. It appeared in the first wave of “always connected” PCs introduced by Qualcomm and Microsoft at the end of 2017.

But keep in mind that the Lenovo 81JL is the only device with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip currently listed on Geekbench, thus you won’t find other comparable benchmarks for now. Given the device has yet to hit the market, Qualcomm, Lenovo, and Microsoft may still have work to do in terms of optimizations.

But as WinFuture points out, given the device isn’t listed with an internal name — which is used when devices are still in development and undergoing testing — the Lenovo 81JL may be close to a market launch. Still, the single-core performance increase should be noticeable for customers upgrading to the Snapdragon 850 platform given that apps generally only use a single processor core anyway.

Qualcomm said in June that Windows 10 PCs based on the Snapdragon 850 will arrive “later this year.” Current models that fall under the “always connected” umbrella include the HP Envy x2, the Asus NovaGo, and the Lenovo Miix 630.

Product Review

This is the best budget laptop you can buy

One of our favorite laptops, the Asus Zenbook UX330UA, has been updated to feature the 8th-gen Intel Core CPU. It's still the best budget laptop on the market, offering great battery life and zippy performance at a discounted price.
Computing

AMD Navi: Everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Product Review

Why get anything bigger? The new Mac Mini is all the desktop you need

Apple’s new Mac Mini doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, and it’s more expensive. Yet the changes under the hood make a case for its consideration as your new Mac. Can this entry-level machine hold its own?
Computing

We tested Nvidia’s RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. Are they a worthy upgrade?

We finally have Nvidia's newest graphics cards, the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti, and put them through our standard suite of benchmarks and game tests to see how they performed in a standard play of Battlefield 1 and Fornite. How do they compare to…
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Apple

iPhone users are finding themselves randomly locked out of their Apple ID

According to posts on Reddit and Twitter, it looks like users on Reddit and Twitter having some issues with their Apple accounts. Specifically, it seems as though users are getting randomly locked out of their Apple IDs.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Photography

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.
Computing

Your MacBook can live in the lap of luxury with this leather case

Though there are several cases which we think are best for covering up MacBooks, Twelve South's Journal case is one of the newest available, providing luxurious leather coverage for your Apple laptop.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Computing

15-inch MacBook Pro gets more powerful with new AMD Vega GPUs

Confirming Apple's quiet October announcement, new configurations for the top-range 15-inch Apple MacBook laptop are now available, coming complete with AMD Pro Vega 16 or Pro Vega 20 graphics cards on board.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.