Meta Quest 3 GPU could deliver a 2.5x performance boost

Picture: Qualcomm

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Qualcomm’s new flagship chip could be the Meta Quest 3 SoC model. Early benchmarks are promising.

Last week, Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon AR Gen 2, which will power high-end Android smartphones next year. The second-generation Snapdragon XR2, also known as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and “Project Halliday” would be based on this SoC. It is also rumored that this chip will be installed in the Meta Quest 3, which will be released in 2023.

The current XR2 generation, the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, has appeared in standalone VR headsets since 2020. The derivative of the Snapdragon 865 smartphone SoC introduced in 2019 works in the Meta Quest 2 (2020), Vive Focus 3 (2021) and Pico. 4 (2022).

With an XR2 chip refresh, advancements of three generations of SoCs would find their way into Meta Quest 3 and other VR headsets.

A hopeful GPU benchmark

According to a Chinese benchmark, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s GPU makes decent gains over its predecessor – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The following table lists the GPU results. (“SD8Gen2”) alongside other SoCs, including the Snapdragon 865 (“SD865”), which provided the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 blueprint.

According to these numbers, the new GPU gets more than 2.5 times more FPS in the benchmark (89 against 226). However, the average power consumption also increases by almost double (3.8 against 7.5).

Tabelle mit GPU-Benchmark-Ergebnissen verschiedener SoCs.

The following table allows us to compare the GPU performance of Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. | Image: Golden Reviewer@ Twitter

Does this mean that Meta Quest 3 will calculate 2.5 times faster than Meta Quest 2? It depends how lots of Meta limits CPU and GPU performance to avoid overheating. The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 has been heavily downclocked in part for waste heat and battery consumption reasons. The CPU runs at half clock while the GPU is only slightly downclocked.

The degree of throttling also depends on the cooling solution used. This in turn is limited by the targeted weight of the helmet.


Apple chips play in their own performance class

The Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 hasn’t even been introduced yet, let alone announced for Meta Quest 3. Therefore, direct conclusions about the performance of the upcoming VR headset should be taken with a grain of salt. XR leaker Brad Lynch reports at least that his informants are enthusiastic about the performance offered by Project Halliday.

However, one should not expect a gigantic leap in graphics. The extra performance could enable new hardware features like high-quality mixed reality or higher display resolution. VR games still won’t look as good on Meta Quest 3 as they did on PC VR or Playstation VR 2.

The comparison with Apple’s M-series SoCs, which top the list, is also interesting. For example, the M2 chipwhich is supposed to compute in Apple’s first mixed reality headset, is 1.6 times faster than the Snapdragon AR Gen 2 or 4.25 times faster than the Snapdragon 865. There is also the question of what clock the chip works to conserve waste heat and power consumption. in check.

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