Qualcomm launched a new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset late last night. The chip is a major upgrade from its predecessor. If we believe the manufacturer, it is 85% better in performance. This upgrade makes it sound like a viable competitor for the Apple M1 chipset which powers the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook 2020, iPad Pro and the Mac Mini.
But is it really an ‘Apples’ to apples comparison (pun intended)?
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During a Q&A session post the launch event, a similar question came up and here’s what Qualcomm executives had to say about it.
Miguel Nunes, VP, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, said that the Snapdragon chipset is focused on a more mainstream segment. This clearly implied that Apple’s M1 chip have a niche audience (most likely professionals and creators). He also mentioned that a more decent comparison will be with the Intel Core i5 chip powered devices.
Ziad Asghar, VP, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies said that in comparison to the Apple M1 chips, the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a complete package with some added advantages such as advanced AI-accelerated experiences.
It will be hard to compare benchmark numbers of both the chipsets until we get our hands on some of the devices powered by the new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. However, leaked benchmark scores can give us some perspective.
Geekbench results on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 2688 MHz (8 cores) show single core score just north of 1000 and multi-core score of well above 5000. These numbers definitely line-up with the claims of 85% performance boost in multi core performance and a 40% boost in single core performance, when compared to the Gen 2 chipset.
Comparison with Apple M1
Now we move to the scores of Apple M1 chipset, which was launched almost a year before the Snapdragon 8cx. On the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the chipset recorded a way better score of above 1700 for single core and more than 7500 in multi-core performance. The comparison with the newer M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max will further enhance the disparity between benchmark scores.
However, considering Qualcomm is the only ARM offering in the Windows ecosystem and hoping that the devices will be priced competitively, Qualcomm stands a chance against the Apple M1 chips.
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