Windows 10 on ARM is a great idea but it’s far from perfect,
with Microsoft’s own laptops like the Surface Pro X facing
considerable performance and compatibility issues. In fact,
Apple’s M1 pretty much destroys the Surface Pro X in the
benchmark tests, even when running Windows 10 via
The compatibility problem is in the hands of Microsoft and the
tech giant has already promised support for x64 apps but better
performance would certainly need help from Qualcomm.
The good news is that Qualcomm is planning to take on Apple’s
M1 laptops with the third generation of its high-end CPUs for
Always Connected PCs. We’ve already seen a number of leaks
regarding Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which we expect to see sometime
in the fall.
Today’s leak comes courtesy of a benchmark listing made
public last week and it merely shows an early prototype running
on “Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD)”. Based on the timing and
the past history of the Qualcomm processors, the assumption is
that this is the next-gen CPU for Windows 10 on ARM.
According to the benchmark, Qualcomm is currently testing a
variant of Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 with eight cores and a clock
speed of 2.69 GHz. The listing does not provide any other
details about the rumoured Apple M1 rival from Qualcomm, but
it’s another confirmation that the chipmaker is actively
testing new CPUs for Always Connected PCs.
The single-core difference between Apple’s machine and
Qualcomm’s rumoured processor is still huge, but Qualcomm seems
to have made progress in the multi-core performance, as shown
in the benchmarks comparison chart created by us.
It’s worth noting that the benchmarked processor is an
engineering sample and the final product will produce better
results. Microsoft’s emulation tool is also in beta, which
could very well impact performance in such benchmarks.
In early benchmarks, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 appears to be as fast
as Intel Tiger Lake-U and it has also fetched better results
than Microsoft SQ2.