Qualcomm has tried to capture the Windows laptop market before with its 8cx SoCs but compatibility issues and limited performance, have been huge roadblocks for its ARM-based chips. This is what the company is aiming to change with its new Snapdragon X Elite SoC, a custom-made chip that is expected to rival Intel and Apple’s offerings.
Snapdragon X Elite SoC brings Oryon cores, powerful Integrated Graphics, and more to PC
The biggest strength of the Snapdragon X Elite seems to be the Oryon cores, and the company is claiming significant improvements over the competition in the mobile CPU space. Qualcomm is claiming significant performance gains over the x86 and even ARM-based competition.
That means, compared to what Intel, AMD, and Apple are offering (right now), the Snapdragon X Elite can supposedly outperform while consuming less power. Qualcomm claims a 2x faster CPU and a 2x faster GPU which, if accurate, is pretty impressive.
If claimed numbers are accurate, single-core performance should be faster than Apple‘s M2 Max (while consuming 30% less energy) and Intel’s Core i9-13980HX (while consuming 70% less energy). That is significant, but we’ll have to see how the numbers hold up in the real world.
Qualcomm’s X Elite is an unusual laptop SoC
Qualcomm built the Elite X on the 4nm Process Node which, in theory, should be great for efficiency. However, this has a 12-core CPU where all the cores are Performance cores going up to 3.8 GHz, so there are no Efficiency cores in this one. There is also 42MB cache memory and the LPDDR5x RAM has a max capacity of 64GB and max bandwidth of 136GB/s.
The X Elite is scalable across a wide variety of thermal designs which will allow device manufacturers to use it in different types of PC designs. That means both smaller and larger laptops, 2-in-1s, and other devices with different cooling capabilities can use this chip in different configurations, but of course, the performance will vary.
Combining the Oryon CPU, Adreno GPU, Hexagon NPU, and Sensing Hub, makes the X Elite one of the company’s most important SoCs ever. However, real-world performance is going to matter a lot on how Windows for ARM handles the new chip and app compatibility.
Availability of Products powered by X Elite
Snapdragon X Elite will start powering PCs from mid-2024 and multiple OEMs should come out with all kinds of devices around that same time. We should also see new Snapdragon smartphone SoCs with Oryon cores sometime around 2024 as well.