Back in August of last year, we learned of Qualcomm’s plans for its future Snapdragon processors. Chips in its next-generation S4 “Krait” line would be fabricated on a new 28 nanometer process, bringing performance gains to not just to new quad-core components, but dual- and single-core chips, as well. Because of the new manufacturing technique, S4 chips have also been expected to deliver impressive speed alongside power savings. We got our first look at just how well such a chip might perform at the end of last month, when a NenaMark score was discovered showing the S4-series MSM8960’s graphics performance. Now AnandTech has gotten its hands on some MSM8960-based hardware of its own for some more in-depth analysis of the platform’s potential.
AnandTech set up two Qualcomm development platforms (MDPs) for its test, one running an older MSM8660 dual-core Scorpion at 1.5GHz, and one with the MSM8960 dual-core Krait at 1.5Ghz. The Krait makes several improvements over the Scorpion design, including extra L2 cache and a more complex instruction pipeline.
As expected, the results from the battery of tests show significant S4 performance gains over the last-generation chip. For many tasks, even with chips running at the same clock speed, the Krait outperformed the Scorpion by a factor of 2:1. Power consumption was a little more complicated to measure, and ultimately has to be factored-in with other power-hungry components, like the display, so we may have to wait for the arrival of retail MSM8960-powered handsets before we can make any real judgments. With such S4-powered phones set to arrive at MWC, we should have that chance quite soon.