With Snapdragon X Elite, Windows laptops have a promising future


Snapdragon X Elite
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Arm is still not a popular name in the world of Windows PCs. It has not gained as much attention as the x86-based mobile CPUs from Intel and AMD. But Qualcomm hopes to change all of this with its new Snapdragon X Elite platform that has a custom Arm-based “Oryon” CPU. Let’s find out more.

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite Overview:

12 cores (4nm)

Based on a 4nm process, the Snapdragon X Elite features 12 high-performance “Oryon” CPU cores, all clocked at up to 3.8 GHz. Out of which two of them can be boosted up to 4.3 GHz as well.

Better than the competition?

And with this, Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon X Elite has 2x the multi-core performance of the Intel Core i7-1360P CPU at ISO power (meaning at the same power level). Supposedly, this CPU matches Intel’s peak performance with 68% better power efficiency. Whereas compared to the top-of-the-line Core i9-13980HX, this Oryon CPU reportedly manages slightly faster single-threaded CPU performance too.

That too when consuming 70% less power!

Snapdragon X Elite vs i7 13th Gen CPU

Qualcomm even compared this new processor with Apple’s Arm-based M2 chip, with the Snapdragon allegedly coming out to be 50% faster in multi-threaded performance. However, this would not be fair competition since M2 has an 8-core CPU compared to X Elite’s 12-core setup.

When taking the fight to M2 Max which has a 12-core CPU, the X Elite is apparently 13.60% faster in terms of single-core performance while consuming 30% less power.

Snapdragon X Elite vs Apple M2 chip

What about the GPU?

As for the graphics, X Elite’s integrated Adreno GPU reportedly beats AMD’s RDNA3-based Ryzen 9 7940HS by 80% while also being 80% more power-efficient.

Other than this, it has a peak performance of up to 4.6 TFLOPs and it supports DirectX 12 API as well. The Adreno video processing unit (VPU) it incorporates offers support for 4K 60 fps 10-bit encodes and decoders for H.264, HEVC (H.265), and AV1 file formats.

In addition, the Snapdragon X Elite goes big in terms of AI as well. Qualcomm has included a Hexagon NPU here that’s capable of processing 45 trillion operations per second (TOPs). And it can run generative AI models with over 13 billion parameters on-device at 30 tokens per second.

What else?

Apart from that, Snapdragon X Elite supports up to 64GB LPDDR5x RAM with up to 136 GB/s bandwidth. As for storage, it works with PCIe Gen4, UFS 4.0, and SD 3.0 protocols. Furthermore, wireless connectivity options include WiFi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, alongside a Snapdragon X65 5G modem for cellular connectivity (up to 10 Gbps download speed).

Snapdragon X Elite Summary

Other features of this chip include Qualcomm Aqstic DAC for lossless audio playback and Qualcomm Spectra ISP (image signal processor) with support for two cameras (36MP) and 4K HDR video capture. It supports USB4 specifications as well for data transfer, power delivery, and display output.

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite Specifications:

  • Process: 4nm node
  • Core: 12x Oryon @ 3.8GHz (up to 4.3GHz)
  • GPU: Adreno (4.6 TFLOPs), supports DirectX 12
  • Video Processing Unit: Adreno
    • Encoder: 4K60 10-bit
    • Decoder: H.264, HEVC (H.265), AV1
  • NPU: Hexagon (45 TOPs)
  • Memory: Up to 64GB LPDDR5x RAM,
  • Storage: PCIe Gen4, UFS 4.0, SD 3.0
  • Wireless: WiFi 7, Bluetooth 5.4
  • 5G modem: Snapdragon X65 (up to 10Gbps)

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite Availability

According to Qualcomm, Windows PCs with Snapdragon X Elite are due in mid-2024. And as per the latest rumors, Microsoft will feature this new chip in their Surface Pro 10 — while companies like HP, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung will also have their take on this.