Qualcomm has announced its new Snapdragon X Elite platform, which looks to be its most powerful computing processor to date. The chips (including the new Qualcomm Oryon, announced today) are built on a 4nm process and include 136GB/s of memory bandwidth. PCs are expected to ship in mid-2024.
Qualcomm has made the ambitious claim that its Snapdragon X Elite will outperform multiple Intel Core i7 processors on the Geekbench 6 benchmark that measures multi-threaded performance. The company has put forth a chart as evidence for this, which it did not label in any especially useful way. I have no idea whether this y-axis is a linear or logarithmic scale or where it starts. There is also no mention of single-thread performance, which is an area where Intel’s processors are traditionally very strong. Additional charts claim to show the X Elite chip beating AMD’s Ryzen 9 7940HS on GPU benchmarks, with the same ambiguous “relative performance” as the y-axis.
Oh, Qualcomm also claims that its chip will deliver “50% faster peak multi-thread performance” than Apple’s M2 chip. This is just a funny claim; the X Elite has 50 percent more cores than the M2 and sucks down much more power, so of course it is going to do better on Geekbench at “peak multi-thread performance.” That’s like a professional sprinter bragging about winning the 100-meter dash against a bunch of marathon champions. But I digress. Clearly, this chip is not a potato, and I imagine that it will offer a huge step up in performance from the Snapdragon PC chips that 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, this is “a cross-platform technology that enables Android, Windows, and Snapdragon devices using other operating systems to discover each other and share information to work as one integrated system.” One could, for example, drag and drop files and windows across multiple different devices, share screens, or have their earbuds automatically switch between them. Seamless is incorporated into Snapdragon’s mobile platforms; current partners include Microsoft, Google, Dell, Lenovo, Honor, and Oppo.
This seems like a neat idea, but it is, of course, something you will only see widespread use of if lots of people end up buying Qualcomm’s PC chips. So, as I said, I guess we’ll have to see.