Windows on ARM laptops and tablets have been a mixed bag so far. While they make it possible for PC makers to deliver thin, light, and usually fanless devices with long battery life and sometimes with integrated support for 4G LTE or 5G wireless, they’ve generally been slower than similarly-priced hardware with Intel or AMD processors.
But there’s mounting evidence that this could start to change. The latest clue? Benchmark results for an Windows 11 device from Lenovo powered by an unannounced Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor.
According to results uploaded to the Geekbench website last month, this device has a 2.69 GHz 8-core, 64-bit processor and achieves a single-core performance score of 1010 and a multi-core score of 5335.
While most recent 15-watt Intel and AMD chips get higher single-core performance, that’s a pretty respectable multi-core result. For example, both scores are within striking distance of what I saw when I tested the Acer Swift 3 laptop with an an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor. That notebook got scores of 1139 for single-core performance and 5033 for multi-core.
Meanwhile, GeekBench results for devices with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 processors tend to hover in the 790 single and 3100 multi-core scores, while devices with first-gen Snapdragon 8cx chips are in the 720 / 2800 range.
That said, it’s probably best not to read too much into benchmarks for an unannounced device, since we don’t know whether Lenovo actually plans to bring this to market and we don’t know anything about how the system was configured when the test was run. It’s possible the tester was overlocking the processor and/or applying unrealistic cooling in order to get the best possible performance.
We should know more about Qualcomm’s plans for the PC space soon. The company is holding a Snapdragon Tech Summit from November 30 – December 1, where the chip maker will likely unveil plans for the coming year.