To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855+ is overclocked and boosts graphical performance

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855+ promises a graphical boost for high-end smartphones

Qualcomm has unveiled its newest smartphone SoC, the Snapdragon 855+. Architecturally, it’s exactly the same as the existing Snapdragon 855, as found in the OnePlus 7 Pro – but Qualcomm has tweaked the clock speeds to squeeze some extra performance out of the silicon. In particular, the company describes the 855+ as targeted at “elite gamers”, with a focus on gaming and VR/AR apps.

READ NEXT: The best smartphones

That’s because the major change is a frequency boost for the Adreno 640 GPU, which goes up from 585MHz in the standard Snapdragon 855 SoC to 672MHz in the new model. That’s an increase of 15%, which should translate directly to higher frame rates, or more complex and detailed 3D scenes.

The CPU also gets a boost, although it’s less dramatic. As Snapdragon fans will know, the 855 uses a heterogeneous architecture, in which four energy-efficient A55-based cores take care of everyday business, while four more powerful A72-based cores kick in as needed to handle heavier workloads. In Qualcomm’s original 855 design, three of those A72 cores had a maximum clock speed of 2.42GHz, while one was capable of hitting 2.84GHz for the most intensive tasks.

In the 855+ design, seven of those cores remain wholly unchanged, but the “boss” core’s maximum speed is increased to 2.96GHz. That’s a difference of only around 4%, but Qualcomm claims that it will give the performance an “uplift”, especially for taxing applications like AI.

As always, higher speeds are likely to mean phones based on the new SoC generate more heat and eat through battery power more quickly – but the Snapdragon 855+’s 7nm process design should help to keep things relatively cool and efficient.

At any rate, we won’t have to wait too long to see for ourselves exactly what the impact is. Asus has already confirmed that its forthcoming ROG Phone II will be based on the Snapdragon 855+, and Qualcomm suggests that other devices will be along before the end of the year.

Read more

First Look