Snapdragon 898 engineering sample promises 20% faster performance, but thermals continue to remain a problem
Information about the putative Qualcomm Snapdragon 898 (formerly known as the Snapdragon 895) is still scant. An earlier leak told us that an ARM Cortex-C2 CPU core would star the show. The supporting cast will likely consist of three Cortex A710 and four Cortex A510 cores. While the former offers incremental upgrades over the Cortex-A78, the latter is something to look out for, as it is the first successor to the nearly four-year-old Cortex-A55 cores. Now, a new leak from Weibo gives us another slight glimpse into the Snapdragon 898's performance.
Weibo veteran Digital Chat Station says that an early Snapdragon 898 engineering sample managed to outperform its predecessor by around 20%. The leaker doesn't tell us much more, other than the fact that the chip runs hot. It isn't shocking, given that the Cortex X2's predecessor, the Cortex X1, was also known to be a scorcher. Bad thermals have always plagued Samsung's now-dead Mongoose cores, and that curse seems to have transferred over to Samsung LSI's 4nm manufacturing node, which will be shared by both the Snapdragon 898 and Exynos 2200.
If we were to apply the 20% increment in performance to, let's say, Geekbench 5.1 single-core test, we'd be looking at a score of approximately 1,300 (measured against an average single-core score of 1,100 for the Snapdragon 888). That is still shy of the A14 Bionic's average score of 1,400. Although Qualcomm doesn't get to beat Apple just yet, it is inching closer by the year. Besides, Qualcomm and smartphone OEMs will have their hands full trying to cool the toasty Snapdragon 898, so beating Apple is probably not on the top of their agenda.