At the Snapdragon Summit 2023 in Hawaii today, Qualcomm unveiled its new Snapdragon X Elite platform for Windows-powered PCs. The company claims that its newest chipset for PCs crushes competitors in performance and power efficiency, two key considerations for anyone looking for an alternative to the x86 architecture.
The company is making some bold claims about the Snapdragon X Elite, such as its Oryon CPU delivering up to 2x faster CPU performance versus the competition while only consuming one-third of the power. The new PC platform also harnesses the best of what Qualcomm has to offer in AI processing, connectivity, and graphics.
Snapdragon X Elite has been built from the ground up for AI
Manufactured on the 4nm architecture, the Oryon CPU has 12 high-performance cores at 3.8GHz with single and dual-core boost cranking it up to 4.3GHz. It supports LPDDR5x memory with up to 64GB capacity, 42MB total cache, and 136GB/s memory bandwidth. This powerful package is claimed to deliver a 50% improvement in multi-thread performance in comparison to ARM competitors.
The integrated Adreno GPU delivers 2x faster GPU performance at 1/4 of the power consumption while supporting internal displays of up to 4K @ 120Hz, HDR10 as well as triple UHD or dual 5K external displays. It's evident that Qualcomm has built this solution to cater to power users who need workflows with multiple high-resolution displays. While all of these numbers seem impressive on their own, it's pertinent to note that Qualcomm doesn't specify the competitors it's comparing the Snapdragon X Elite to here, so there's a limited frame of reference for us to go on right now.
Advanced on-device AI is at the heart of all solutions that Qualcomm has unveiled at the Snapdragon Summit today. The Snapdragon X Elite is no different. The company calls it a “generative AI powerhouse” that delivers 45 TOPS (trillion operations per second), a whopping 55% improvement compared to Qualcomm's previous PC platform, the 8cx Gen 3. Qualcomm reveals that the Snapdragon X Elite can run over 13 billion parameters on device powered by the Hexagon NPU to deliver new experiences for creativity, communication, and productivity. The new AI experiences include stable diffusion, or the ability to create images using text prompts, erasing objects from videos, expanding photos beyond what was captured, and more.
The integrated Snapdragon X65 5G modem delivers peak download speeds of up to 10Gbps and upload speeds of up to 3.5Gbps. It's pertinent to mention here that Qualcomm developed its custom Oryon cores to rival Apple's M-series that's now used in its MacBooks. The M-series' powered MacBooks lack 5G support, so Windows OEMs who opt for the Snapdragon X Elite will be able to provide 5G support on their devices. Devices powered by this platform are future-proof with support for Wi-Fi 7, Wi-Fi 6E, and Wi-Fi 6.
Qualcomm says that leading PC manufacturers will release devices powered by the Snapdragon X Elite from mid-2024. Going by what it has shown off today, it's clear that these will be top-of-the-line devices with best-in-class performance and multi-day battery life. Qualcomm latest PC solution is orders of magnitude better than its previous attempt and with everything that it offers, we may see much wider adoption of the Snapdragon x Elite from next year.
Disclaimer: Qualcomm is hosting a large group of international media for the Snapdragon Summit 2023 from October 24-26 in Hawaii, including SamMobile. All opinions and analyses remain our own with Qualcomm receiving no advance preview or exercising any control over our coverage.