Qualcomm has announced its new Snapdragon X Elite platform, which seems to be its most powerful computer processor to date. The chips (including the new Qualcomm Orion announced today) are built on a 4nm process and include 136GB/s of memory bandwidth. The PCs are expected to ship in mid-2024.
Qualcomm claims that its Snapdragon X Elite outperforms many Intel Core i7 processors in the Geekbench 6 benchmark. The company presents a chart as proof of this, which isn’t labeled in any particularly useful way. I don’t know if this y-axis is a linear or logarithmic scale or where it starts. There’s no mention of single-threaded performance, an area where Intel’s processors have traditionally been very strong. Additional charts show the X Elite chip beating AMD’s Ryzen 9 7940HS in GPU benchmarks, with the same vague “comparative performance” on the y-axis.
Oh, and Qualcomm also says its chip will offer “50% faster peak multi-thread performance” than Apple’s M2 chip. It’s a funny statement; The X Elite has 50 percent more cores and absorbs more power than the M2, so of course it performs better in “Peak Multi-Thread Performance” on Geekbench. It’s like a professional sprinter bragging about winning the 100 meters against the marathon champions. But I digress. Clearly, this chip is no slouch, and I imagine it will offer a big step up in performance from the Snapdragon PC chips we’ve seen in the past. Will it “beat” Apple’s M2? I mean… I guess we’ll have to see.
Qualcomm also announced a new technology called Snapdragon Seamless. In Qualcomm’s words, it’s “a cross-platform technology that enables Android, Windows, and Snapdragon devices using other operating systems to discover and share information with each other as a unified system.” For example, they can drag and drop files and windows across different devices, share screens, or have their earbuds automatically switch between them. Seamless is integrated into Snapdragon’s mobile platforms; Current partners include Microsoft, Google, Dell, Lenovo, Honor and Oppo.
It sounds like a neat idea, but you’ll only see widespread use if lots of people buy Qualcomm’s PC chips. So, like I said, I guess we’ll have to see.