Snapdragon X Elite Windows Laptops to Deliver More Performance than Apple M3 MacBook Air, Sources Say

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Image: Qualcomm

A round of new Arm-powered Windows laptops that feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Elite CPUs are on the horizon, and they happen to be powerful enough to beat Apple’s M3-powered MacBook Air not only in terms of CPU performance, but also AI-accelerated tasks, according to sources close with Microsoft. Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon X Elite brand in October 2023, calling it an AI super-charged platform that would be set to revolutionize the PC.

The Verge reports:

  • “…Snapdragon X Elite processors…will ship in a variety of Windows laptops this year and Microsoft’s latest consumer-focused Surface hardware.”
  • “Microsoft…is planning a number of demos that will show how these processors will be faster than an M3 MacBook Air for CPU tasks, AI acceleration, and even app emulation.”
  • “…these new Windows AI PCs will have ‘faster app emulation than Rosetta 2’ — the application compatibility layer that Apple uses…to translate apps compiled for 64-bit Intel processors to Apple’s own processors.”
  • “…Microsoft is planning to ship consumer models of its upcoming Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite processors inside instead of Intel’s Core Ultra chips.”
  • “…Microsoft is also looking to improve video streaming on Arm-powered Windows devices with a new AI-powered feature that will ship on these ‘next-gen’ AI PCs.”
  • “Microsoft’s big AI PC reveal will take place on May 20th, just a day before the company’s annual Build developers conference.”

An overview of Qualcomm’s new chips:

Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm on Snapdragon X Elite:

The Snapdragon X Elite platform features the custom integrated Qualcomm Oryon CPU – the new CPU leader in mobile computing – and delivers up to 2 times faster CPU performance versus the competition, matching competitor peak performance with one-third of the power. Built for AI, Snapdragon X Elite is capable of running generative AI models with over 13 billion parameters on-device and continues to expand Qualcomm’s AI leadership with 4.5 times faster AI processing power than competitors.


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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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