Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Vs. Qualcomm Snapdragon 801: The Chipsets Are More Different Than People Believe

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snapdragon 801
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 series of chipsets have been quite popular among high-end mobile devices for several months, and now the line continues with the Snapdragon 801 SoC, which was recently showcased at the World Mobile Congress in February. The chipset will be included in such upcoming devices as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2. Upon its unveiling, however, many wondered how the processor differs from the Snapdragon 800.

Tech website AnadTech recently broke down the differences between the Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 801 processor, detailing that there are actually several version of both processors with slightly varied specs, which can be found in different devices.

The original Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset is the MSM8974 model, which features a quad-core Krait 400 CPU, an Adreno 330 GPU, dual-ISP, 64-bit wide memory interface and a 9x25 Cat 4 LTE modem. This model can be found in such devices as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Tablet and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Later, Qualcomm developed two silicon revisions of the Snapdragon 800 chip; version 2 still went under the 800 number while version 3 became the Snapdragon 801. Qualcomm broke these versions down still into three variants, which run different CPU and GPU frequencies. Under the Snapdragon 800 version 2 are the VV, AA and AB variants, and under the Snapdragon 801 version 3 are the AA, AB, and AV variants. Additionally, the 801 SoC enables support for eMMC 5.0. AnadTech visualizes these differences in the chart below.

qualcomm Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 801 chipset comparison.

Most popular for the Snapdragon 800 series is the MSM8974AA model, which can be found in a host of devices including the LG G2, Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z1, and Nokia Lumia 1520, to name a few. The Sony Xperia Z2 features the 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB model while the Samsung Galaxy S5 will feature the 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC model. Notably, the MSM8974AB model is a hybrid of sorts between the 800 and 801 SoCs. While the chipset has the same CPU clock speed as the original Snapdragon 800, it possesses a higher GPU speed, which is still not as high as on the MSM8974AC. Still it has the same memory speed, ISP frequency and video encode as the most recent MSM8974AC model.

To review, there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 model, on which all the other models are based. There’s the Snapdragon 800 MSM8974AA model, which is currently utilized in the most devices. There’s the Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB model, which possesses several features from both the 800 and 801 SoCs. There’s the Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, which is the most recently released and features the most high-end specs of the series.

Keep in mind that the Snapdragon 800 series is not finished; the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset has not yet been showcased in detail, but notably features an updated GPU and an Ultra HD display resolution capacity.

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