The first PCs powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors are expected to arrive in mid-2024, with most major PC markers partnering with Qualcomm in one way or another.

While we’ll probably have to wait a little longer for real-world reviews, Qualcomm is giving us a slightly better idea of what to expect from those upcoming PCs. The company has demonstrated benchmarking performance for a select group of journalists, but synthetic benchmark numbers aren’t the only things I learned about by reading the latest reports from sites like AnandTech and NotebookCheck.

For example, when Qualcomm first unveiled the chips, the company was kind of vague about how much power they would consume. The answer? It depends.

The company recently showed off two sample laptops running a set of benchmarks to demonstrate that the scores it had released to the public were accurate.

One of those demo systems was a high-performance laptop with a 16.5 inch display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite chip with an 80W TDP and support for speeds up to 4.3 GHz on up to two CPU cores or up to 3.8 GHz on  all  12 CPU cores.

This laptop measures 16.8mm thick and has more room for a large (87W) battery and space inside for the chassis for heat dissipation.

The other system was a smaller notebook with a 14.5 inch display, a chassis that measures 15mm thick, and a 58 Wh battery. In this system, the Snapdragon X Elite processor was configured with a 23W TDP and speeds that top out at 4 GHz for up  to 2 CPU cores or 3.4 GHz for 12 cores.

Even the lower-performance 23W version delivers strong performance in synthetic benchmarks, but unsurprisingly the 80W version comes closer to matching the latest high-performance Intel and AMD chips like the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X and Intel Core i9-14900K, with Qualcomm’s chip within striking distance when it comes to single-core performance in GeekBench 6.2 and Cinebench 2024. Intel and AMD hold a healthier lead in multi-core benchmarks.

Check out the NotebookCheck and AnandTech articles for more details, as well as for integrated GPU performance notes. And keep in mind that Intel selected which benchmarks it ran…  or didn’t run. So it’s likely that the company chose the tests that would show its chip in the most positive light possible.

And, as AnandTech notes, Qualcomm also probably chose when to reveal these scores carefully. The Snapdragon X Elite chip does seem to be very competitive with some of the best Intel, AMD,  and Apple processors available today. But it’s not coming out today… it’s coming out more than half a year from now, when it will have to compete with next-gen chips from those companies.

One more thing that’s interesting though? Most of the benchmarks were run on Windows. But some were run on Linux, because Qualcomm is said to be planning to support laptops running GNU/Linux distributions. It’s still early days for Linux support, with AnandTech reporting that “Qualcomm does not yet have fan control working under Linux,” though, so it’s unclear how representative this week’s benchmarks will be for next year’s performance.

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  1. Here’s a question no one is asking: Does the CPU support 32-bit backwards compatibility? The Apple M1 and some high end ARM servers don’t, which mean a lack of steam support under Linux. Here’s to hoping for aarch32 compatibility!

  2. I’m saving my enthusiasm for a real-life demo of how they perform with x64 emulation.

    The performance benchmarks are impressive, but that is running ARM software, which Windows still has little of.

    1. This.
      ARM support is great on Android and iOS, but pretty bad on Linux and almost non-existent with Windows. Apple basically strong-armed their way to having their desktop/server systems to now supporting ARM, making them vertically aligned top to bottom. Linux can’t do that and the experience will always be bad.

      But Microsoft could. It requires leadership, which they lack. They have been incompetent since 2010 when the world of computing had evolved. I have more faith in Qualcomm than I do with Microsoft.

      Anyways, the Apple M3 lineup dropped and it’s very disappointing. Whilst Qualcomm may be able to offer some competition to them hardware-wise, they cannot do that software-wise.

      My previous thoughts haven’t changed. Get an iPad Pro for the best tablet and best Apple experience. For Laptops, it’s still more utility having Windows. Linux is only optimised for Desktops. So for your phone you may aswell get an AndroidOS based one. That way you cover all your different platforms, and get access to all those exclusive content or Apps.

  3. Really, getting the Linux side working seems to be more interesting to getting this going. Windows applications are still way behind on ARM. However, because of both consumer side lower power devices (e.g. RPi) and the higher end server ARM chips, Linux should have almost an identical experience to x64 from the getgo. I imagine once the drivers are straightened, this will actually make for a super compelling Linux laptop.

    1. Of course they will be. And on Android, Qualcomm only provides security updates for 4 years, so there’s every reason to believe those binary blobs will stop getting updates long before the laptop stops being useful.

  4. i just dont want my os serving me random ads or any ads like the Microgoyslop does, nor do I want the edge browser homepage recommending me to commit euthanasia

  5. “Qualcomm does not yet have fan control working under Linux”

    Just as well. Make my Linux laptop fanless, please!

    And in any case, I will only believe the Linux laptops thing when I see it.

  6. if M$ tentacles paid off Qualcomm then there is no chance of supporting Linux out of the box.