The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, announced a few weeks ago at the annual Snapdragon Summit, is a significant breakthrough for smartphone chips. We can’t expect massive year-over-year jumps like the double the performance. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was already one of the best chips on the market, beating out the competition in several key areas, including efficiency and ISP strength.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 builds on the strengths of the 8 Gen 2. While it drops one efficiency core from the 8 Gen 2 (using a 1+3+2+2 setup instead of a 1+2+2+3 setup). This won’t affect the power efficiency since the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 also drops one efficiency core in comparison to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
Despite this drop, the 8 Gen 2 was infinitely more efficient than the 8 Gen 2. We expect the 8 Gen 2 to be no less of a contender on the efficiency front. More small cores like the Cortex-A520 with low clock speeds (2.26 GHz) aren’t particularly necessary since the entire CPU cluster is more efficient with power draw than before.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 sticks to the tried-and-tested TSMC 4nm node. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and 8 Gen 2 both use the same node. It’s very reliable and offers a good performance-thermals balance. Not to mention, it makes perfect sense price-wise.
The industry’s first 3nm SOC, the A17 Pro, has many thermal and performance issues. The yield rate is also considerably lower at 55%, and it’s a lot more expensive. The performance and efficiency gains are negligible, so it makes sense that Qualcomm stuck to the more reliable 4nm node.
Faster CPU and GPU Clock Speeds
According to a reliable leaker, Ice Universe, the 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy could have a GPU clock speed of 1000 MHz (1 GHz). That’s a considerable upgrade from the ~720 MHz on the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. The gaming performance will see considerable improvements with the 8 Gen 3. The GPU is also more efficient than the A17 Pro.
The Adreno 750 has a 28% boost in performance. Samsung hasn’t confirmed whether there’s a variant of the 8 Gen 3 exclusive to them yet, so we have to wait for the official launch in January to find out. It’s also worth mentioning that the Exynos 2400 has a really high GPU clock speed as well.
The prime CPU core on the 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy could have a very impressive 3.40 GHz clock speed. This is still lower than the 3.78 GHz on the Apple A17 Pro, but the CPU cluster has a lot of potential. The prime core of the 8 Gen 3 is at 3.3 GHz, and Samsung gets a 0.1GHz boost.
It currently scores around 6700 points in the multi-core Geekbench round and 2100 on the single-core test. The clock speed of the 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy also beats the Dimensity 9300, which is at 3.25GHz. It also beats the Exynos 2400, which is at 3.21 GHz. The entire cluster is the prime core Cortex-X4 (3.4 GHz for Galaxy), three Cortex-A720 cores (3.1 GHz), 2 Cortex-A720 (2.96GHz), and two Cortex-A520 (2.26GHz) small cores.
Many Samsung phones will use the 8 Gen 3, like the S24 Ultra and the Fold 6 and Flip 6. The S24 and S24 Plus will get the Exynos 2400 in some regions and the 8 Gen 3 in others. Qualcomm’s future variants of the 8 Gen 3 might have a new TSMC 3nm node. However, for that, the yield rate and prices have to improve.