Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Which Differences Matter?

Qualcomm has unveiled its next-generation processor, which is the successor to the Snapdragon 888 SoC from last year. But how significant is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 upgrade? Yes, a lot has changed, from the naming conventions to the overhauling of the cores. Many of the flagship Android devices in 2022 will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. It is also predicted to have improved performance due to the new CPU architecture, ISP, and cores. A complete comparison of Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can be found below. Here are the differences in tabular form:

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Snapdragon 888
CPU Kryo CPU, Octa-core CPU Kryo CPU, Octa-core CPU
CPU cores 1x 3.0GHz (Cortex-X2) 3x 2.5GHz (Cortex A710) 4x 1.8GHz (Cortex A510) 1x 2.84GHz (Cortex-X1) 3x 2.4GHz (Cortex A78) 4x 1.8GHz (Cortex A55)
Process technology Samsung’s 4nm Samsung’s 5nm
GPU Adreno GPU; Snapdragon Elite Gaming Adreno 660
ML and AI 7th-gen AI Engine; 3rd Gen Sensing Hub; 27 TOPS 6th-gen AI accelerator featuring Hexagon 780 DSP; 26 TOPS
ISP 18-Bit ISP; Snapdragon Sight Spectra 580
Camera capability 3.2 Gigapixels per second, 240 12MP photos in one second Up to 200 MP; 28 MP triple camera with Zero Shutter Lag; Triple 14-bit ISPs
Video capability 8K HDR, 18-bit RAW, Dedicated Bokeh Engine 8K @ 30 FPS, 4K HDR Dolby @ 60FPS, 720p @ 960FPS
Modem  X65 5G Modem-RF, Up to 10 Gbps Peak Download Qualcomm X60 5G Modem 7.5 Gbps Peak Download 3 Gbps Peak Upload
Wifi support Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth  Bluetooth 5.2, LE Bluetooth 5.2, LE

Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: CPU

Before we get started, let’s review the differences between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Snapdragon 888. First and foremost, unlike the Snapdragon 888, which was based on the older Armv8 architecture, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is based on the newer Armv9 architecture from ARM. Performance, security, and thermal efficiency are all claimed to be improved with the new architecture.

Aside from that, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is made on a 4nm process node, whereas the Snapdragon 888 was made on a 5nm process node last year. It also means that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 carries with it some much-needed battery life and thermal performance enhancements.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 features an improved Cortex-X2 core clocked at 3.0GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.5GHz, and four A510 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. In contrast, the Snapdragon 888 has an older Cortex-X1 core clocked at 2.84GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.4GHz, and four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. In a nutshell, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 features all-new cores and architecture.

When it comes to cores, the Cortex-X2 is expected to deliver a 16 percent performance boost over the Cortex-X1. The new Cortex-A710 core, on the other hand, improves performance by 10% while using 30% less power than the Cortex-A78 core. In addition, the new Cortex-A510 core is 35 percent faster and 20 percent more power-efficient than the older Cortex-A55 core.

In summary, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is 20% quicker and 30% more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 888 from last year. Overall, I believe the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU provides a qualitative upgrade this year. The gains in A710 and A510 cores are significant, despite the small numbers.

Snapdragon 888 vs. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: GPU

Moving on to the GPU, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s new Adreno GPU is 30% quicker than the Snapdragon 888’s Adreno 660 GPU. At the same time, it uses 25% less power than the Snapdragon 888’s GPU. Although the GPU gain is substantial, we have seen the same 30 percent to 35 percent performance increase over the last three years. It’s the same story this year as well.

In terms of other features, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 includes a dedicated Frame Motion Engine that allows for consistent gaming performance without sacrificing frame rate. You also get volumetric rendering, which allows you to create a hyper-realistic environment in real-time. Furthermore, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is expected to deliver desktop-level graphics and real 10-bit HDR gaming. It’s worth noting that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is Qualcomm’s first mobile platform to support Unreal Engine 5.

In terms of similarities, both GPUs under Snapdragon Elite Gaming support Adreno Fast Blend, updateable GPU drivers, and a slew of other capabilities. Overall, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s GPU boost is incremental, and Qualcomm appears to be more interested in improving the gaming experience with additional capabilities. It remains to be seen how much of this translates to improved gaming performance on Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs. Snapdragon 888: ISP

The triple-cluster architecture of the 14-bit Spectra 580 ISP on the Snapdragon 888 was commended. On top of that, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s powerful 18-bit ISP can capture a whopping 3.2 Gigapixels per second. In comparison, the Snapdragon 888’s ISP might reach 2.7 Gigapixels. In addition, the new 18-bit ISP can shoot 8K HDR films while still allowing for a 64MP image.

Qualcomm has also improved a number of functions with the new ISP. In comparison to the Snapdragon 888, low-light photography has improved by 5x. It can take four exposure levels in real-time to improve HDR films and image dynamic range. If you’re into advanced video editing, there’s also compatibility for 18-bit RAW. A dedicated Bokeh engine for generating a blurred background while filming movies is also included to make your films look more theatrical. I believe Qualcomm has made significant progress in the field of ISP, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s 18-bit ISP is a significant improvement over the Snapdragon 888’s ISP.

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Snapdragon 888 Compared to Snapdragon 8 Generation 1: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is four times more powerful than the Snapdragon 888 in terms of AI and machine learning capability. Its 7th-generation AI Engine can do 27 TOPS in INT8 quantization and 13 TOPS in INT16 operations. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s AI co-processor is 1.7x more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 888’s 6th-gen AI engine. The Snapdragon 888, on the other hand, can conduct up to 26 trillion operations per second. 

The SD 8 Gen 1 also includes the 3rd-generation Sensing Hub, which allows for rapid camera activation, noise suppression, and other low-power AI/ML functions. In terms of AI performance, we believe the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is a huge improvement over the Snapdragon 888, but it will be up to OEMs to provide a practical and relevant AI experience.

Snapdragon 888 vs. Snapdragon 8 Generation 1: Modem and Wireless Technology

Qualcomm has moved on from the Snapdragon 888’s integrated Snapdragon X60 5G modem to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s Snapdragon X65 5G modem. It can give peak download speeds of up to 10Gbps, but the Snapdragon 888 can only deliver 7.5Gbps. Aside from that, both modems support mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G bands, as well as Carrier Aggregation.

On both SoCs, the FastConnect 6900 subsystem is the same. Both processors support Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2, LE. Everything is the same in terms of wireless connectivity, with the exception of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s improved modem.

Final Words: Which Would You Choose??

So that was our full Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs. Snapdragon 888 comparison. Both the CPU and the GPU have undergone an iterative update, as can be seen. Qualcomm’s new Armv9 architecture, enhanced production process, and all-new cores, on the other hand, may be enough this year. The Snapdragon 888 was not warmly welcomed last year because of high heating, but things may be different this year. In any case, it is our viewpoint. But, what are your thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Also read: Vivo X80 Pro+ Will Boast Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

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