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Benchmarking the Asus ROG Phone II Ultimate Edition with Snapdragon 855

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The mobile chipset scene has always been rather unique. Unlike more traditional computing avenues like the PC ream, in the ARM world variety isn't really all that abundant on a year to year basis. That's how you end up with a sea of competing flagship handsets typically based around the exact same Qualcomm silicon. That has been the status quo for quite a few years now. So, in a sea of sameness, how can a "gaming" phone realistically differentiate while using the exact same internals as its often cheaper competitors? Well, it certainly goes beyond than merely getting the speediest chipset around. There are extra aspects such as CPU governors, performance curves and most importantly - thermal management - which play a huge role in real-world results. We recently published a deep dive on the matter of gaming smartphones in general, which you can check out here for more in-depth details. And when it comes to squeezing the best performance possible out of an ARM chipset, Asus and Republic of Gamers really go above and beyond the competition. The original ROG Phone actually leveraged cherry-picked or so called "speed binned" Snapdragon 845 chips, which it then ran at a maximum frequency of 2.96GHz (on the powerful core cluster), instead of the 2.8GHz if the vanilla Qualcomm chip. galatea points That is essentially a factory overclocked processor and a rather novel idea in the smartphone realm at the time. Well, this year, Qualcomm themselves took this idea one step further by doing the speed-binning and overclock itself, resulting in the Snapdragon 855+. Naturally, that's the chip Asus went for the no-compromise ROG Phone II Ultimate Edition. The best possible 20-layer variant of the chip, to be even more specific. tappytoon tokens This is the first 855+ unit to come by the office, so we were eager to test out just how much better it performs compared to its vanilla sibling. In terms of competitors for the ROG Phone II we picked out a selection including the regular Snapdragon 855, Samsung's Exynos 9820 and 9825 and Huawei's Kirin 980. Like most gaming phones, the ROG Phone II also has a performance mode, in this case called X Mode. X Mode itself has a few presets depending on how much performance gains you'd like. For our runs below we've used the default preset. What X Mode does is actually a bit more complex than simply bumping up CPU clocks. Rather it tries its best to smooth out performance dips and combat the inevitable thermal-throttling. As is tradition, we start off with a pure CPU test and GeekBench. The difference in raw compute scores is slim. In real-world terms, however, having X mode on, as well as the external active fan attached, do make a tangible difference in sustained performance on the ROG Phone II.