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Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 does not throttle

by on23 March 2017

Our own testing of score consistency

Before we tell you how well Snapdragon 835 benchmarked we wanted to share one more important thing. The 10nm chip really stays cool even after five runs of the same benchmark. Some of its competitors will fail significantly after five runs. 

Qualcomm gave us access to a Mobile Development Platform (MDP), which can be seen as a demo device, or a prototype of an actual phone based on the Snapdragon 835 SoC. This “phone” comes with 6GB of LP-DDR4 RAM, 64 GB storage, a 5.5-inch 2560x1440 display, and a 2850 mAh battery.  We tested a few benchmarks and we were not surprised to see that the Snapdragon 835 defeats the  Snapdragon 821 based Google Pixel and some of its heavyweight competitors, including the brand new Kirin 960 based P10 or the Exynos 8890 based Galaxy S7.


It is a well-known fact that when running benchmarks, phones get hot and after every single run, you score a bit lower result. This happens due to the heat and the chip has to downclock its CPU and GPU in order to keep the chip health in place.

We decided to try to test AnTuTu 6 exactly five times to see if the score would dramatically change. The first run was, as expected, the fastest. We scored 182395 which is the fastest score we've ever seen on an Android phone.


The second run was slightly slower with 181608 followed by 181596, an almost identical score. The fourth time we managed to score 181104 and the last time we got 179657.

Huawei P10 scored 140011 on the first run and only 131313 on the second run, while it dropped sharply to 117119 on the third run. On the fourth run, we got an almost identical score to the third attempt, which proved our point that SoCs such as the Kirin 960 will throttle when it gets hot. The fifth time we got 116236, which is around 17 percent slower than the first score.

Google Pixel scored 142607 on the first run, followed by 141823. The third run, with 141421, was quite impressive and even on the fourth run the Snapdragon 821 based Google Pixel XL scored 139658. So you see that a Snapdragon 821 based phone holds out quite well in this benchmark, where the fifth score deviated only slightly from the first one. The fifth score we got with the Pixel was 2.3 percent slower than the first, again proving that this SoC doesn’t really throttle.


If you do the math, Snapdragon 835 makes 1.5 percent difference between the first and the fifth run, which is quite a great achievement. Bear in mind that Antutu 6 runs both CPU and GPU extensively and that it takes a few minutes to finish.

The phone was never hot, and we could not see any signs of overheating to the level that would jeopardize performance and force the chip to throttle down.

There are many factors that should be taken into account, eight Cores based on Kryo 280 custom architecture, powerful Adreno 540 GPU powered by fast memory controller, LP DDR 4 memory and fast storage.

The things that this benchmark didn’t test was a GigabitLTE - yes this is the first device that we had the chance to play with that supports GigabitLTE. This is not all, as the Snapdragon 835 also supported 2x2 866 Mbps Wi-Fi, but we will talk about this some other time.

One more thing, the Snapdragon 835 powered (MDP) phone performed faster and needed less power too. 

Last modified on 24 March 2017
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