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