While Apple has been making huge strides with its own Mac chips in recent years, we haven’t really seen anything in the Windows world that can match it for both performance and efficiency at the same time. Now, Qualcomm is claiming its upcoming Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite chips can finally do just that — but there’s a serious catch involved.
According to PC World, Qualcomm demoed the Snapdragon X Elite at its Snapdragon Technology Summit, where the chipmaker claimed that its latest efforts would trounce everything that came before it, in particular Intel’s 13th-generation processors.
In that demo, reporters were shown a set of pre-performed benchmarks that put Qualcomm’s chips right at the top of the pile across a variety of tests. For example, in Cinebench 2024, the Snapdragon X Elite chip scored 1,227 in the single-threaded test and 136 in the multi-threaded test. The closest non-Qualcomm competitor was the Intel Core i7-13800H, which scored 996 and 115, respectively.
Elsewhere, Qualcomm has previously claimed that its latest Snapdragon X chips could go toe-to-toe with the Intel Core i9-13980HK. However, none of the benchmarks provided by PC World actually show that chip competing against the Snapdragon X, so we can’t be sure that those claims hold water.
As impressive as these results are, they raise a few questions. For one thing, both Apple and Intel are due to launch new chips — in Apple’s case, later today — that could blow the Snapdragon X out of the water. Apple’s M3 series chips are expected to be a major step up over the M2 (which Qualcomm claimed its Snapdragon X trounced), while Intel’s Meteor Lake chips have similarly high expectations.
Plus, it’s not like Qualcomm can say consumers can get their hands on the Snapdragon X right now, as it’s not due out for months. By that time, its apparent performance prowess could look pretty outdated, providing its rivals’ offerings are as strong as they’re rumored to be.
That said, it’s encouraging to see more competition in the PC space to challenge the dominance of Intel and AMD. Because the Snapdragon X is built on Arm architecture, it should be able to combine top-level performance with solid efficiency, enabling it to balance low temperatures and high output.
That’s something PC chips have struggled with for years — Intel and AMD perform well, but often ramp up the heat and power draw in ways Apple silicon never does. If Qualcomm can finally offer an Apple-like chip to Windows users, that’ll be a step forward for the PC world, regardless of whether Meteor Lake and the M3 outperform it in the long run.