Since Apple began producing its M-series CPUs for Macs, the PC laptop market has been attempting to catch up with ARM-based alternatives that can equal power and efficiency.
Qualcomm looks to have made significant headway on its upcoming Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 chipset. Benchmark findings on Geekbench, first released in January and identified by Windows Latest, show that the chipset exceeds Apple’s M1 and M2 CPUs in a critical statistic.
Now, for the less favorable aspect in the single-core test, the chipset earns a score of 1,197, representing minimal gain over the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3’s average performance, which ranges from 1,040 to 1,120. However, it falls short of the M1 (1,750) and M2 (1900).
The latest chipset, built by former Apple Silicon engineers at Nuvia, has significantly improved multi-core performance. Regarding multi-core scores, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 often falls between 5,300 and 5,900. However, the Gen 4 chipset achieved a far better score of 9,337, demonstrating a significant increase. Apple’s M1 chip typically provides multi-core scores in the 7000s, while the newer M2 chip varies from 8,500 to 9,000. While these performance gains are significant, Qualcomm and Microsoft should not celebrate just yet.
Real-world concerns exist:
There are various reasons why these new developments should be treated with caution. First, it’s worth noting that this data is based on a single leaked benchmark, which could be erroneous or even manufactured.
Second, the purported Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 architecture looks to differ from Apple’s M-series chipsets. The Snapdragon features eight performance and four efficiency cores, whereas the M1 and M2 chips have four of each. Although this technical detail may not interest the typical customer, more performance cores may increase battery drain, an essential factor for portable devices.
Third, Apple has an edge because all its Macs now employ custom-designed chips, improving software compatibility. In contrast, despite improvements in emulation, Windows on ARM has long encountered issues in this area. Software developers have less incentive to create ARM-native versions of their products because there are fewer Snapdragon-powered Windows devices.
Finally, the strong Snapdragon scores compete with Apple’s M1 and M2 CPUs rather than the higher-tier Pro, Max, and Ultra models. The Apple M3 chipset on the horizon could indicate a substantial performance leap across generations. Regardless of these concerns, it’s an exciting development, and more details will soon emerge. The Qualcomm Summit begins this week in Hawaii, so we should get specifications and benchmarks soon through official sites.