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Android GPU Inspector to bringe huge performance gains to Snapdragon 855-powered phones

The new driver updates are part of Qualcomm's Elite Gaming initiative. (Source: Qualcomm)
The new driver updates are part of Qualcomm's Elite Gaming initiative. (Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm has announced that its collaboration with Google to bring upgradable mobile GPU drivers has started to bear fruit. The first smartphones to receive driver upgrades will be the Snapdragon 855 =-powered Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL along with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10 with more coming later.
Sanjiv Sathiah,
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As impressive as mobile GPUs have become over the past few years one area where they have lagged their desktop counterparts is in the driver department. While desktop GPU drivers are readily upgradeable often delivering substantial performance gains when a new update gets dropped, mobile GPUs are stuck with the drivers that they shipped with. As Google engineers discovered last year, in the case of the Adreno 640 found in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 could be further optimized by a massive 40 percent.

As a result, Qualcomm and Google partnered to start delivering updateable GPU drivers starting with the Snapdragon 855 and continuing with the new Snapdragon 865. The partnership is now yielding fruit with Qualcomm announcing that Google’s new developer to enable driver updates to Snapdragon 855 smartphones is now available. Dubbed the Android GPU Inspector, companies that have released Snapdragon 855 smartphones will be able to access the Adreno 640 to apply the appropriate tweaks to their OEM Android variant to open the door to receiving driver updates.

The first smartphones to get an update for the Adreno 640 driver will be Google’s own Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL along with the Snapdragon 855 variants of the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10. In theory, the driver update should put the Snapdragon 855 at least on par in terms of GPU performance with newly released Snapdragon 865 smartphones. While other Snapdragon 855-powered smartphones are also getting the driver update in the coming weeks and months, the good news for owners of devices with Snapdragon 865 chipsets can expect similar boosts with the release of the new GPU driver update tool.

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will be the first to receive a mobile GPU driver update. (Source: Google)
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will be the first to receive a mobile GPU driver update. (Source: Google)
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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1254 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Android GPU Inspector to bringe huge performance gains to Snapdragon 855-powered phones
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-03-25 (Update: 2020-03-25)