Snapdragon 800 vs. Tegra 4

Qualcomm and Nvidia unveiled the next generation mobile chips that would pave the future of mobile devices including phones, tablets and ARM based notebooks.

Qualcomm has renamed its processor line and divided into a number of series of processors. Snapdragon 200 400, 600 & 800.

Snapdragon 200 processors are designed to deliver value with basic performance and incredible battery life. Snapdragon 400 is a mid-level processor that delivers good performance along with good battery life. 600 series deliver outstanding performance with on-chip features like gigabit wireless. 800 is top of the line with  industry leading performance.


Snapdragon 800, 600

Snapdragon 800 is a powerhouse with 4 cores each running at upto 2.4Ghz, raising the performance upto 1.75x times from S4Pro. It has following improvements over S4 Pro:

  • 28nm HPm (“High Performance for mobile”) fabrication process, would immediately save 30% power.
  • all new Hexagon V5 digital signal processor
  • A 800MHz LPDDR3 memory which is neck-to-neck with PC industry’s 12.8GB/s.
  • New Krait 400 architecture running at higher clock speeds of up to 2.3GHz
  • Adreno 330 GPU  with double the graphics power of Snapdragon S4Pro’s Adreno 320.
  • Support for smooth video playback at beyond-HD resolutions: 4K video at 30fps, 2K video at 60fps with latest 7.1 channel DTS-HD and DD Plus audio standards.

What’s on the Snapdragon 800 chip:

  • ARM 15 28nm 2.4Ghz Quad-core CPU
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • Gigabit Wireless (Wifi) 802.11ac
  • 150Mb/s LTE with Advanced Carrier Aggregation,
  • Miracast HD 1080p
  • FM radio
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Accelerometer

A single chip is a full package in itself.

Nvidia Tegra 4

Tegra 4 is a giant step ahead of Tegra 3, making the performance 6 folds. With 6x times the performance of Tegra 3, we would also see increased power efficiency gained from new 28nm fabrication.

Tegra 4 has 72 CUDA GPUs, which is a massive for any game you throw to it. The GPU would support general computing with OpenCL out of the box. The 72 cores can be put to good use for graphics intensive applications like HDR (High-dynamic Range) photography on the fly, or even live HDR video processing.

Tegra 4 has no problem with 4K Video either, and can run most Android games at 1080p.

i500 SDR LTE processor on Tegra 4 is the best processor made for LTE, but it needs to be proven with real-life scenarios.

More about Tegra 4 specs, features.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 vs. Nvidia Tegra 4

Both Qualcomm and Nvidia have taken the mobile chipsets to all new level. The processing power of these chips is compatible to an average laptop you used to own a year ago.

Synthetic benchmarks are not available but from what companies claim, both Processors beat iPad 4, Nexus 10 performance by a large margin.


Qualcomm makes better CPU, and they have proven it in the past with S4Pro’s industry leading performance. Snapdragon 800. S800 runs at 2.4Ghz vs. 1.9Ghz of Tegra 4. Although real performance is never about gigahertz, snapdragons are more efficient and performing then Nvidia CPUs.

Snapdragon 800 has a clear edge over the competition.


Adreno 330 is great, but it Nvidia might do better with Tegra 4’s 72 core GPU. Nvidia does GPU best, and Tegra 4 exclusive games and Nvidia Shield would make this baby monster even more attractive.

On-Chip Features & Battery Life

These mobile processors are nothing but SoCs – System on a chip. A single chip has cpu, gpu, wireless, etc. Packaging them all into one chip has cost and battery efficiency benefits.

Snapdragon 800 packs all that plus accelerometer, 4G LTE, etc, which is not part of standard Tegra 4 packaging. Tegra 4 has industry’s first mobile Software defined Radio (SDR) powered by a 1.2 TFlop i500 chipset that could take LTE and 4G technologies to a different level. But Tegra 4 needs additional circuitry to fully support 4G. (ADC/DAC and the RF-to-baseband transceivers are not part of the Tegra 4 or Icera i500 chip.)

Read more about Nvidia Terga 4 Icera i500 SDR LTE Modem/processor

Overall, 800 would beat the overall device pricing and battery life vs. the Tegra 4 offerings. But Tegra 4 would provide more integrated features (like Nvidia shield) and better graphics for gaming lovers.

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    My understanding was that the adreno 330 gpu and nvidia’s 72 core gpu performed equally. Could you please elaborate in terms of GFLOPS?

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    • John Kiser

      I’d say while they may have around the same specs for non tegra optimized games games optimzied for tegra will be more graphically capable in all likeliehood.

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