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Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 vs. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: The better chipset?

We’ve seen this time and time again, and people are debating between chipsets — is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 better than the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3?

As we’ve been saying in most of our reviews, chipsets at the flagship levels will have no noticeable physical differences with casual users — whether it’s gameplay experience or multi-tasking and running apps.

In some situations, there will be tell-tale signs of its raw power capability, like encoding video at the max 8K @ 30fps or just 4K @ 60fps for some. Even then, the manufacturer also has the option to disable 8k video encoding due to system stability or heat management.

So, if no one can tell the difference between the performance of a Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 vs. a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, or even the older Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, why do people bother?

Well, it has got to do with marketing. A chipset labeled at the flagship-level will also carry that value to the brand that uses it and, along with it, the price.

From definition, the SD8 Gen 2, SD 8s Gen 3 and SD 8 Gen 3 are all lumped in one basket labeled flagship. Their differences will only be seen or observed if we looked closely into the architecture, chip lithography and, oftentimes, as basic as clock speeds. From a marketing perspective, they also cater to different target consumer and price categories.

Now, we go back to our question, which is better — Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or Snapdragon 8s Gen 3?

In order to answer this academically, we look into their architecture, CPU components and maximum clock speeds. Here’s what you will see:

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8s Gen 3
Architecture1x Cortex-X4 3.0GHz1x ARM Cortex-X3 3.2GHz
4x Cortex-A720 2.8GHz2x Cortex-A715 2.8GHz
2x Cortex-A710 2.8GHz
3x Cortex-A520 2.0GHz3x Cortex-A510 2.0GHz
Instruction SetARMv9.2-AARMv9-A
L2 Cache1MB1MB
L3 Cache8MB8MB
GPUAdreno 740Adreno 735
GPU Clock Speed680MHz1.1GHz
Execution Units22
Shading Units1280768
Total Shaders25601536
FLOPS3481.6 Gigaflops3379.2 Gigaflops

The SD 8 Gen 3, SD 8s Gen3 and the SD 7+ Gen3 belong in the same class and using the latest Cortex-X4 processor although at different clock speeds (3.3GHz, 3.0GHz and 2.28GHz, respectively). The SD 8 Gen 2

You will also notice that the Adreno 735 has a higher clock speed (1.1GHz vs. 680MHz) than the Adreno 740 but that is not the only factor to consider. That’s why we included the Shading Units because they’re a huge component in determining GPU performance.

Shading units refer to the number of processing units within the GPU that are responsible for performing complex calculations related to rendering graphics, such as lighting, shading, and texturing. A higher number of shading units generally allows the GPU to handle more complex graphics and render scenes with greater detail and realism. Shading units play a crucial role in determining the overall rendering capability of the GPU.

It is due to the number of shaders that a chipset has better capabilities, such as video encoding, and offer better performance. In this case, the Adreno 740 of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will perform better compared to the Adreno 735. The former can encode 8K @ 30fps and 4K @ 120fps and decode (play video) with a max resolution of 8K @ 60fps while the Adreno 735 can only encode video at 4K @ 60fps and play video at 4K @ 120fps. This is just a basic example and there are many more to speak of.

At the moment, the standard for testing which chipset performs better is through synthetic benchmarks that run “real world” scenarios and measure the performance of each component in the chipset.

Let’s look at the average benchmark scores of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs. the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8s Gen 3
Antutu CPU380,418393,845
Antutu GPU600,588 532,340
Geekbench 6 CPU Single Core1,9912,019
Geekbench 6 CPU Multi Core5,299 5,570
3DMark 12,36911,802

From these limited information and tests, we can pull out some conclusions:

  • The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 has the better CPU, scoring higher than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in both single core and multi-core tests. Not only due to the newer Cortex-X4 but also the higher CPU clock speed.
  • Despite having a higher GPU clock speed (1.1GHz vs 680MHz), the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and its Adreno 740 GPU performed better than the Adreno 735 in graphics intensive tasks, resulting in much higher scores in Antutu GPU and 3DMark Wild Life tests.
  • The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can do video recording and playback with 8K @ 30fps and 8K @ 60fps, respectively. The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 can only do 4K @ 60fps recording and 4K @ 120fps video playback.

So, if we’re talking about CPU, go for the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3; if it’s GPU, go for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Perhaps this is the reason why Xiaomi chose the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the POCO F6 Pro, as it is more gamer-centric, while the POCO F6 got the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3.

This year, devices that were released with Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 are the POCO F6 23, realme GT 6 13, Xiaomi 14 Civi and Motorola Edge 50 Ultra.

If a few customers understand these chipset differences, they will know which one to pick based on they personal preference. Otherwise, from a marketing standpoint, the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is the newer and more updated chipset to use for new smartphone releases.

* Benchmark data obtained from NanoReview.net and supported from our own pool of benchmarks from related devices.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar for Wakoko Wakoko says:

    Sa nanoreview kinuha benchmark wala man lang mention ahaha

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