If you've been closely following Qualcomm's flagship chipset releases, you may have already noticed that the 8 Gen 2 launched with a rather peculiar configuration. It featured one prime core, four performance cores, and three efficiency cores. Now, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has just appeared on Geekbench 6.1.0.
And upon a closer look at the 8 Gen 3 scorecard, you'll see that Qualcomm has once again tweaked the core configuration. What changes did Qualcomm make? The chipset's Geekbench 6 results reveal that Qualcomm has dropped an efficiency core and added an extra performance core. Also, the performance cores now have different clock speeds.
A Closer Look at Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 on Geekbench 6
For those who are not familiar, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 came with a 1 + 2 + 2 + 3 core configuration. The chipset has a 1x Cortex X3 core, which runs at 3.36GHz on the Plus and “for Galaxy” versions. There are two Cortex A715 cores and 2 Cortex A710 cores. These are performance cores, and they are clocked at 2.8GHz.
Finally, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 came with three Cortex A510 cores. These are efficiency cores that run at 2.0GHz.
However, in Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Qualcomm has switched to a 1 + 3 + 2 + 2 configuration. The first one is a Cortex X4 core, which runs at 3.30GHz. There are three performance cores with 3.15GHz clock speed and 2 performance cores with 2.96GHz clock speed. These are clusters of performance cores.
Lastly, the two efficiency cores run at 2.27GHz on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The key observation from this comparison of configurations is that the 8 Gen 2 had different performance core clusters but had the same clock speed. At the same time, the new flagship chipset features 2.96GHz for one cluster and 3.1GHz for the other.
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Whether or not these performance cores are the same Cortex cores is unknown. There's no official word regarding the core model of the efficiency cluster either. But ARM has already released the A720 and A520, which are upgraded core models of the A710 and A510. Thus, it's likely that we will see them in the 8 Gen 3.
The 1 + 3 + 2 + 2 or 1 + 5 + 2 configuration of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 aligns with the setup that ARM had in mind when designing the cores. For this config, the X4 core of the new chipset aims to deliver 15% higher performance on equal power as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
Likewise, ARM has promised to deliver 25% higher efficiency at equal performance as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. But the expectations for the X4 core in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 were to hit 3.4GHz. This clock speed closely matches that of Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 or 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipsets, which is at 3.36GHz.
What About the Prime Core Running at 3.7GHz on Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?
Previously, a report suggested that the X4 core of the 8 Gen 3 would run at 3.7GHz. But as you can see from the Geekbench 6 result image attached below, it's at 3.30GHz. Seeing 3.7GHz clock speed on the prime core would've been amazing.
However, even with the new node from TSMC, Qualcomm may not have seen the clock speed feasible on a passively cooled device. But again, the performance result showcased by Geekbench 6 is from the Galaxy 24+. The device is not officially out yet. So, there's a chance that Qualcomm and Samsung may tweak things to further refine the clock speed of the X4 core.