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Snapdragon 730 Pushes Gaming

April 23, 2019

Author: Linley Gwennap

Now that the first phones featuring the flagship Snapdragon 855 are shipping, Qualcomm has turned its attention to the hot mid-premium segment, announcing three new products. The Snapdragon 730 targets the top of this segment, bringing many of the 855’s capabilities to a lower price tier just one quarter later. In a new twist, the company announced a special model, the 730G, for gaming phones, providing a 15% graphics-performance boost over the stock 730. Finally, for mid-premium phones that sell for as little as $250, the new Snapdragon 665 refreshes the venerable Snapdragon 660. Smartphones running these new processors should begin shipping midyear.

The 730 upgrades last year’s Snapdragon 710 with Qualcomm’s custom version of the Cortex-A76 CPU. The new design provides 35% more CPU performance, according to the company, although the maximum clock speed remains the same at 2.2GHz. The sixth-generation Adreno GPU is restricted to a 10% speedup in the 730 model but delivers a 25% boost in the 730G. The new chip adds a tensor accelerator similar to the 855’s, providing an overall 2x boost in AI performance. Samsung manufactures the 730/730G in its 8nm process, reducing power relative to the 710’s 10nm process.

The 665 is an 11nm revision of the 660, which debuted two years ago in 14nm technology. Both chips provide the same combination of four Cortex-A73 and four Cortex-A53 CPUs. Although the 660 is available in speeds of up to 2.2GHz, the 665 is limited to 2.0GHz, positioning it below the recent Snapdragon 675. Compared with the 660, the new chip upgrades the GPU to support Vulkan 1.1 and improves the image processor (ISP) and AI performance.

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