Windows 11: Leaked Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 fails to beat Apple M1

Windows 11 and Apple M1

Qualcomm is apparently working on a successor to the Snapdragon
8cx lineup. The processor is codenamed “SC8280”
and it is expected to replace Qualcomm’s traditional efficiency
plus performance core combination with ‘Gold’ and ‘Gold+’ cores
for better performance, but this could limit the overall
battery life.

Ahead of the launch, Qualcomm’s unreleased Windows 11 on ARM
chip has appeared in a new benchmark leak. An engineering
sample of Lenovo QRD with Snapdragon 8cx new variant has been
spotted on GeekBench and it shows some progress in overall
performance.

It’s worth pointing out that the GeekBench v5 listing is for
Lenovo QRD, but it apparently has references to Snapdragon 8cx
Gen 3 as well as Windows 11. In this case, it’s possible that
QRD refers to the “Qualcomm Reference Device” which are test
units that Qualcomm sells to its partners like Lenovo and Asus.

A “Qualcomm Reference Device” allows companies like Lenovo to
develop their own products for the new platform. As per
the GeekBench
listing, Qualcomm’s identifier is ARMv8 (64-bit) Family 8
Model D4B and it does not match any other chipsets available in
the market for Windows on ARM.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 benchmark

It’s safe to assume that Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a new product
and successor to the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2.

It’s very much possible that benchmarked “Qualcomm Reference
Device” uses the long-rumoured Gold+ core, which was first
discovered in early 2021.

According to the benchmark, Qualcomm’s next-gen processor is
going to have a base clock speed of at least 2.69Ghz. The spike
in the base speed could be due to Qualcomm’s new ‘Gold+’ cores,
which offers better performance at the expense of battery life.

This new processor has better single-core and multi-core
performance than the Snapdragon 8cx and it is definitely closer
to the Apple M1, especially when we consider the fact that this
is an engineering sample/prototype from Lenovo and it was
tested with Windows 11 Home in a balance power state (which can
reduce scores).

Snapdragon vs Apple M1

As you can see in the above comparison, it fails to beat Apple
M1’s performance in the benchmark for both single-core and
multi-core results.

While Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon processor won’t be as fast as
Apple M1, it would still beat some chipsets from Intel and AMD.
For example, 8cx Gen 3 will be slightly faster than Core
i7-1165G7 and Core i7-1065G7. It is also faster than Ryzen 5
4600U and Ryzen 7 4800U.

The large improvements against the previous generations of
Windows on ARM processors are still commendable. No other
details have been revealed about this unreleased Qualcomm
processor.

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