Snapdragon X Elite performance: ARM SoC beats rival CPUs

After the presentation of the SnapdragonARM architecture intended for the PC world, Qualcomm has shared a series of data that photograph the performance of the US company’s new top of the range.

Snapdragon X Elite it is the new processor made at 4 nm that brings the latest Qualcomm cores Orion on notebooks. The goal is to offer users a convincing alternative to x86 processors, which have dominated the PC market to date. As we have highlighted, the x86-64 or ARM64 instruction set (ISA) does not matter in the chip race: what matters is the design of processors that allows you to push on performance, on the reduction of energy consumption, on integrated functions.

Intel is skeptical that ARM SoCs can pose a real threat on the PC side

And if Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, states that he does not see a real threat on the horizon from ARM SoCs in the PC sector, NVidia and AMD have decided to invest in the development of ARM processors in the same market segment. The number one of Intel he adds that historically ARM proposals have played a marginal role on the PC side while his company has a robust and convincing roadmap. On the other hand, however, Gelsinger himself – as he has stated several times – sees the production of ARM chips for third parties as an exceptional opportunity for Intel which will strengthen foundry activities and his business.

Gelsinger’s words may seem contradictory and perhaps, at least in part, they are. The impression is that Intel is considering ARM’s arrival in the PC world as an opportunity and not just a threat. While AMD claims that Intel will regret its choice to produce SoCs for third parties, the Santa Clara company is convinced that it is on the right path, an approach that will allow it to grow significantly in the years to come.

It’s time for bets and strong investments: in a few years we will see who was right, with the RISC-V architecture in the background.

How fast is the new Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite compared to Intel, AMD and Apple processors

Independent benchmarks do not yet exist. However, a few days after the presentation of the new Snapdragon performance that users can expect.

The company led by Cristiano Amon has prepared two reference configurations: the first is intended for a high-performance laptop system, the second for a thinner and lighter device (ultrabook). In the first case, the Snapdragon clock frequency boost equal to 4.3 GHz and 3.8 GHz on all cores. The test device, described by Qualcomm, is 16.8 mm thick and features a 16.5-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. The device is also characterized by a TDP of 80 W and is based on an 87 Wh battery.

Snapdragon X Elite: reference design

The “Configuration B” revealed by Qualcomm features slightly lower clock frequencies for the Snapdragon X Elite SoC (4 GHz/3.4 GHz). Here the reference device is a little thinner (thickness equal to 15 mm), with a 14.5-inch OLED screen (resolution of 2880×1800 pixels). The system has a TDP of 23W and a 58Wh battery.

Given the low TDP, in the second case Qualcomm would use a passive cooling system. In reality the company has opted for a solution of active heat dissipation in both configurations.

Snapdragon X Elite performance compared to competing processors

Qualcomm compared its new Snapdragon X Elite to a processor Intel Core i7-13800H used in a 2023 Razer Blade 15 notebook, with a AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS mounted on the 2023 ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 system and a Apple M2 used in the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro. Qualcomm avoided a comparison with the Raptor Lake-H mobile CPU Core i9-13900HIntel’s current top of the range.

Qualcomm engineers say the Snapdragon single thread. With the Cinebench 2024 benchmark the margins are even higher: the performance in single thread they would be up to 15%, 21% and 9% better in the case of the three rival processors examined.

Also in multi thread the Sanapdragon of 22%, 25% and 113% with Cinebench, always taking as reference – in order – Core i7-13800H, Ryzen 9 7940HS and Apple M2.

Snapdragon X Elite performance

Using the specialized benchmark UL Procyon AIQualcomm provided some results on the processing of artificial intelligence: the NPU Hexagon of the Snapdragon X Elite promises up to 45 TOPS, up to 10 times higher than those of Intel and AMD chips.

The performance of the integrated graphics section

And how does the Snapdragon X Elite’s iGPU perform? In this case the data must be taken with a pinch of salt: Qualcomm seems to have chosen the benchmarks in which its SoC excels. GFXBench Aztec Ruins e 3DMark Wildlife in fact, they are tests more oriented for use on smartphones. The numbers, therefore, are impressive: frame rate higher than 98%, 151% and 19% in Aztec Ruins; higher than 67%, 54% and 9% with 3DMark Wildlife.

Two final words

Qualcomm’s tests were performed without it emulation, which negatively affects performance. The comparison is based on the use, on the one hand, of native applications for ARM and other x86 versions running on systems based on the same architecture.

Furthermore, the systems prepared for the occasion can rely on the use of RAM memories LPDDR5X-8533, a feature that evidently gives the Snapdragon X Elite a concrete advantage over its rivals in some benchmarks. The Core i7-13800H and Apple M2 support LPDDR5x-6400 memory, while the Ryzen 9 7940HS natively supports LPDDR5x-7500 RAM.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite can therefore count on one bandwidth in terms of RAM memory 33% higher than the Core i7-13800H and Apple M2 and 14% higher than the Ryzen 9 7940HS.

Finally, it must be said that the first Snapdragon new generations of Intel, AMD and Apple chips: Raptor Lake Refresh, Strix Point e M3.


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