Qualcomm Revamps Snapdragon 865 Again, Calls It Snapdragon 870

Qualcomm Revamps Snapdragon 865 Again, Calls It Snapdragon 870

Qualcomm just unveiled a new high-end 800-series ARM processor, and I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t Qualcomm already announce its 2021 flagship system-on-a-chip (SoC)? It did, but the new Snapdragon 870 will slot in below the flagship Snapdragon 888. The 870 is more akin to last year’s 865, but it’ll be cheaper for OEMs to build on compared with the 888.

Most of the chip specs are unchanged from the 865. This is still an eight-core ARM chip with four efficient A55 cores, three faster A77 cores, and one A77 core that operates at a higher frequency. This “Prime Core” is the primary difference between the chips. The 870’s Prime Core can hit 3.2GHz compared with 3.09GHz for the 865+. Those are both faster than the original 865 chip, which topped out at 2.84GHz. The Snapdragon 888 is a completely different part with the latest 5nm manufacturing process, a new GPU, and redesigned CPU cores.

Qualcomm also made a big improvement in the 888 that won’t be shared by the 870. Instead of the new integrated X60 5G modem, the 870 will use the same external X55 seen in the SD865 family, which makes sense from a technical standpoint. The 870 is just an 865 by another name — it used the same SM8250 silicon after all. An external modem isn’t as power-efficient as an integrated part, which has led to lackluster battery life in many 865-based phones.

Qualcomm Revamps Snapdragon 865 Again, Calls It Snapdragon 870

We’ve been hoping to see a successor to the Snapdragon 765, but that’s not the 870. The 765 chip had six efficient cores and two high-speed, making it slightly slower than its big brother 865 (the two were announced in tandem). However, the 765 had an integrated 5G modem that made it cheaper and less of a battery hog. However, Qualcomm doesn’t see the 870 as a successor to the 765 — a true replacement for that chip is allegedly still on the way.

So, what’s the Snapdragon 870 going to be for? Qualcomm says it has already inked deals with Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, and others to use the 870 in products launching this year. This is essentially a year-old chip design with a fresh coat of paint, and companies like OnePlus pride themselves on using the latest and greatest. Whatever they have in store probably won’t be marketed as a flagship phone — at least it shouldn’t be.

Continue reading

Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X Review: AMD Unleashes Zen 3 Against Intel’s Last Performance Bastions
Ryzen 9 5950X and 5900X Review: AMD Unleashes Zen 3 Against Intel’s Last Performance Bastions

AMD continues its onslaught on what was once Intel's undisputed turf.

If You Want to Get Excited About CPUs Again, Start Creating With One
If You Want to Get Excited About CPUs Again, Start Creating With One

Changing what I did with my PC changed how I felt about the evolution of the PC market in ways I didn't entirely expect.

Scientists Have Finished Sequencing the Human Genome. Again.
Scientists Have Finished Sequencing the Human Genome. Again.

Scientists have announced that they've finished sequencing the entire human genome! Again! We've definitely 100% got it for sure this time. We think.

Deathloop: Putting AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 to The Test Against Nvidia’s DLSS
Deathloop: Putting AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 to The Test Against Nvidia’s DLSS

Earlier this month, AMD offered us the chance to preview FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0, courtesy of the game Deathloop. Deathloop is currently the only title to support both versions of FSR as well as Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), making this an excellent opportunity to take them both out for a collective spin.Despite…