Snapdragon X Plus takes on Apple M-Series in laptops

Snapdragon X Plus is positioned just below the high-end Snapdragon X Elite

Snapdragon X Plus
Qualcomm asserts a 10% performance advantage over Apple's latest M3 chip for their Snapdragon X Plus

Qualcomm is expanding its lineup of ultra-portable PC chips with the introduction of the new Snapdragon X Plus series, positioned just below the recently launched high-end Snapdragon X Elite.

Qualcomm opted to unveil its most potent Snapdragon X chip first, the X Elite, in October. Now, it’s following up with the X Plus, a premium chip that sacrifices a few features for affordability and enhanced power efficiency.

Unlike the 12 cores present in the Elite, the Snapdragon X Plus, fabricated on a 4-nanometer process, boasts 10 cores. Additionally, the dual-core boost featured in the Elite is notably absent in the X Plus. Furthermore, while the GPU performance is slightly dialed back from the Elite’s 4.6 teraflops to 3.8 teraflops, it still promises impressive performance for its class.

The PC Reborn – Introducing Snapdragon X Plus

Ultimately, this new processor is designed to deliver impressive performance and efficiency, thanks to its Qualcomm Oryon CPU, which Qualcomm claims outperforms competitors while consuming less power.

Based on Qualcomm’s tests, the chip clocks in at 3.4GHz with a total cache of 42MB and delivers impressive performance, rivaling Intel’s top-tier mobile CPU, the Core Ultra 7 155H, while surpassing it in power efficiency by a reported 54%. Qualcomm also asserts a 10% performance advantage over Apple’s latest M3 chip.

One of the most notable features of the Snapdragon X Plus is its powerful Qualcomm Hexagon NPU, capable of processing at 45 TOPS.

Some highlights include the ability to generate code in Visual Studio Code, as well as the ability to generate music in Audacity from prompts or pre-existing music, and live captioning in multiple languages, all in real-time – all using on-device generative AI.

Snapdragon X Plus benchmarks
Snapdragon X Plus benchmark results across Geekbench, PCMark, 3DMark and others

PC manufacturers are gearing up to integrate the Snapdragon X Plus into their devices starting from mid-2024, indicating a shift towards more advanced computing capabilities in laptops.

The Snapdragon X Plus boasts a 10-core Qualcomm Oryon CPU, ensuring smooth performance for a variety of tasks, from productivity work to entertainment. Its integrated Qualcomm Adreno GPU also enhances graphics performance, making presentations and multimedia experiences more immersive.

Furthermore, the Snapdragon X Plus is equipped with an AI engine that opens up possibilities for AI-powered productivity tools and advanced camera and audio features.

Connectivity is another highlight, with support for both 5G and Wi-Fi 7, while notable security features, including the Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit and Microsoft Pluton TPM, help protect user data from potential threats.

Overall, the Snapdragon X Plus demonstrates Qualcomm’s commitment to competing with Intel and Apple in the laptop market.

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