May 28, 2023

For years, Apple’s homemade SoC silicon that powers the iPhones has been unrivalled — tons of performance, tons of headroom. However, we’ve seen the gap between Apple A-series chips and Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon chips get narrower and narrower over the years.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is pretty close (but still below) in terms of raw benchmark performance to the Apple A16 Bionic. And when it comes specifically to graphical tests, the Snapdragon can often come out on top. Well, if rumors are correct, Qualcomm’s next generation might equal or finally topple Apple’s silicon.

OK, first things first to get you up to speed — rumors suggest that we won’t see a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2. The Plus edition plan that we saw last year might not repeat this time around, because Qualcomm is hard at work getting ready to reveal the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 earlier than expected — possibly in October of 2023!
Secondly, numerous reports have now said that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will have an octa-core configuration of one prime core, five performance cores, and two efficiency cores. This is noteworthy because these top-tier processors usually have upwards of 4 efficiency cores and 4 performance cores. However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 seems to be focused more and more on performance.
Now, we have another interesting tidbit of information — the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s prime core may be clocked up to 3.7 GHz. That is a performance bump of amost 15% over the 3.2 GHz Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. And, considering how mature this tech is — we dare say that 15% is quite the jump.

Apple, for example, hasn’t really been able to squeeze out a 15% performance improvement from its A-series chips within one generation for the past two iterations. Of course, raw numbers are not the end-all be-all, but they are worth to keep in mind (and geek out over).

And then, we’ve already heard suggestions that the new Adreno 750 GPU in the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 could be 50% faster than its predecessor. So, that small lead in graphics performance that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has over the A16 Bionic may become a huge gap in the Gen 3’s favor!

But hey, who knows — what if Apple puts an M3 in the iPhone 15 Pro instead of an A17? Now, that would be wild!

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